Or Shalom Cemetery Policies

Last updated: May 21, 2017

Or Shalom Cemetery Policies

The Reserved Area Agreement with the City of Vancouver states:

  1. The City agrees to convert the Or Shalom Area for use for a maximum of 64 burial lots.
  2. Upon the conversion of the Or Shalom Area … the City agrees that all rights of interment in respect of all lots within the Or Shalom Area will be reserved exclusively for purchase by members of the Synagogue and that it will not sell any right of interment in respect of any lot within the Or Shalom Area to any person without the written approval of Or Shalom.

This Agreement gives Or Shalom sole authority to approve purchase of interment rights in the Or Shalom Area (OSA) of Mountain View Cemetery (MVC).

The Or Shalom Cemetery Committee recommends that the Or Shalom Board adopt the following policies for the OSA (highlighted sections are changed from previously approved version based on community input):

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Use: The OSA of MVC will be used exclusively for burial of members of Or Shalom, their partners and children. A lot may contain the remains of either one or two individuals.

Burial sections: To be as inclusive as possible, the OSA will consist of two contiguous sections: one exclusively for Jewish burials and one for multi-faith burials. Non-Jewish members of Or Shalom, their partners and children; and Jewish members, their Jewish or non-Jewish partners and children may be buried in the multi-faith section. Separation of these sections will respect Jewish tradition. Cremains may be buried in the Or Shalom Area in a designated section respectfully identified as such.

Purchase of rights of interment (burial): An individual will purchase the right to be buried in the OSA directly from MVC, once approval has been granted by the Or Shalom Cemetery Committee. The specific lot allocation will be assigned at the time of need (i.e., upon death). Or Shalom will not purchase, maintain, or sell rights of interment or lots. If two eligible members intend to purchase a lot for their joint use, they will make financial arrangements directly with MVC.

In the event that two unrelated individuals wish to purchase rights of interment in one lot, both must be eligible members of Or Shalom (defined below) at the time of purchase. In the event that an individual meets eligibility requirements and purchases burial rights for their exclusive use and at a later time decides to share the lot with another individual, the second individual must also satisfy Or Shalom eligibility requirements in order to be buried in the OSA of MVC.

Transfer of rights of interment: Transfer or assignment of rights of interment to individuals other than the purchasers will be subject to Or Shalom and MVC guidelines.

Eligibility: To purchase rights of interment in the OSA of MVC, an individual must be a member in good standing at time of purchase and have been a member in good standing for five years in total.

Graves: Purchasers agree that markers will conform to Or Shalom policies. Non-Jewish burials will conform to Or Shalom policies. Markers must not display non-Jewish religious symbols.

Preparation for burial: Jewish, as well as non-Jewish individuals will normally be prepared for burial by the Chevra Kadisha in accordance with Or Shalom and Chevra Kadisha standards, with the understanding that there will be slight variations in preparation for Jews and non-Jews. Under extenuating circumstances the rabbi and cemetery committee may waive the requirement of Chevra Kadisha preparation. The Chevra Kadisha sets preparation fees.

Burial: Individuals will be buried in a casket or other biodegradable container that conforms to MVC guidelines and Jewish burial customs (e.g., simple pine or cardboard casket, reed basket or shroud). MVC does not require concrete vaults. MVC is responsible for interment, marker placement and maintenance.   Burial fees and marker placement fees are set by MVC; maintenance fees are included in the purchase of the right of interment.

Funeral Services: Options for location of funeral services include Or Shalom, the Schara Tzedeck chapel in New Westminster or the Celebration Room at MVC. The funeral and burial service may be combined and held at graveside. All funerals, both Jewish and multi-faith, will be officiated by the Or Shalom rabbi, the rabbi’s designate, or a rabbi of the deceased’s family’s choosing. Non-Jewish clergy may attend, but may not officiate, at a funeral in the OSA.

Cemetery Committee: The board will appoint a permanent Cemetery Committee to ensure these policies and guidelines are implemented and to resolve any conflicts arising from their implementation. The Cemetery Committee will determine eligibility and authorize MVC to sell interment rights. The Cemetery Committee will have the final authority to resolve disputes, in consultation with the Board of Directors.