Or Shalom has a cemetery for use by its members within Vancouver’s historic Mountain View Cemetery (MVC). The Or Shalom area is located on the west side of Fraser St. south of 33rd Ave. and north of the larger old Jewish section managed by Congregation Schara Tzedeck.
Or Shalom initiated discussions in 2013 with the City of Vancouver, which owns and operates MVC. An agreement was signed in March 2017, for a small area designated for use by Or Shalom. The Cemetery was dedicated in October 2017, but site work and landscaping continue.
MVC, dating back to Vancouver’s earliest days, remains the only cemetery within the city limits. Or Shalom does not own this area; all rights for interment are purchased directly from MVC. Our agreement with the City provides space for only 64 grave sites. However, each grave may be shared by two people, essentially cutting the cost in half. The two people sharing a lot need not be related. It is not possible at this time to purchase a half-lot.
Because of the limited space, the Or Shalom Board of Directors has set eligibility guidelines. The guidelines require those purchasing interment rights to have been members for five years and be current members in good standing, defined as having paid dues by June 30 of the previous fiscal year.
Rates for purchase, not including casket, marker or interment fees, are set by the City. For current rates, see: http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/mountain-view-cemetery-public-list-of-fees-2016.pdf
MVC requires certification of eligibility from Or Shalom before the sale of any lot in our area. The area will include an all-Jewish and an interfaith section. Choice of section must be indicated when requesting certification of eligibility. Burial of cremains will also be allowed. Selection of lot location is permitted within a portion of the chosen section. Markers (headstones) will be uniform with a unique design for the area; cost of the marker is in addition to the lot purchase price.
To request a certificate of eligibility, please contact the Or Shalom office: 604-872-1614 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
After eligibility is confirmed, a certificate will be sent electronically to MVC. A member can then go to the cemetery office at 5455 Fraser St. from 9-3 weekdays to complete the purchase. It’s best to make an appointment: 604- 325-2646. The entire amount may be paid on a credit card. Purchase also may be arranged with a minimum down-payment of about 25% and no-interest monthly payments over 24 months. MVC allows selection of the location of the lot within a portion of the chosen section. The cemetery staff will explain all options.
Burial preparation normally will be provided by Vancouver’s community-wide Chevra Kadisha, administered through Schara Tzedeck. Preparation charges are separate, and arrangements are made with the Chevra Kadisha.
Click here for current policies regarding the Or Shalom Area at Mountain View Cemetery.
Click here for background studies In Jewish law and tradition that informed our policy.