Or Shalom Cemetery

Or Shalom Area at Mountain View Cemetery, May 2021

The Or Shalom Cemetery is a designated area within Vancouver’s historic Mountain View Cemetery (MVC). MVC, dating back to Vancouver’s earliest days, remains the only cemetery within the city limits. The Or Shalom area, for exclusive use by Or Shalom members, is located (see map) on the west side of Fraser St. south of 33rd Ave. and north of the old Jewish section managed by Congregation Schara Tzedeck.

The Or Shalom Cemetery was dedicated in October 2017. The Or Shalom area includes an all-Jewish and an interfaith section. Site work and landscaping continue.

Or Shalom’s agreement with the City of Vancouver provides space for 64 grave sites (lots). In 2019, 24 additional small lots were designated for cremains.

All of MVC is owned by the City of Vancouver; individuals must purchase rights of interment directly from MVC. Each right of interment corresponds to a specific lot. A burial lot in the Or Shalom area may be shared by two people, cutting the purchase cost in half. The two people sharing a lot need not be related. Effective January 1, 2020, individuals may purchase half-lots directly from MVC. Burial lots may be selected in either the all-Jewish or interfaith section.

Space in the Or Shalom Cemetery is limited. Consequently, policies approved by the Or Shalom Board of Directors specify that those purchasing interment rights must be members for five years as well as current members in good standing, that is, having paid dues by June 30 of the previous fiscal year. Members are encouraged to pre-purchase rights of interment in advance of need.

All fees are set by the City of Vancouver and the Chevra Kadisha.  See here for a summary of current fees and some explanatory remarks.

MVC requires certification of eligibility from Or Shalom before the sale of any lot in the Or Shalom Cemetery. Choice of section (all-Jewish, interfaith, cremains) must be indicated when requesting certification of eligibility. Selection of lot 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 office@orshalom.ca.

After eligibility is confirmed, a certificate will be sent to MVC and to the potential purchaser. To complete the purchase, the member can then set up an appointment with the MVC office by calling 604-325-2646.

The entire purchase price may be paid with a credit card. Purchase also may be arranged with a minimum down payment of about 25% and no-interest monthly payments over 24 months.

Burial preparation normally will be provided by Vancouver’s community-wide Chevra Kadisha, administered by Congregation Schara Tzedeck. Preparation charges are in addition to MVC purchase price and related charges. Arrangements are made with the Chevra Kadisha.

Dr. Elizabeth Feldman of the Chicago Progressive Chevra Kadisha presents on what it takes to create a community chevra kadisha

Additional information:

Frequently Asked Questions

Policies for the Or Shalom Area at Mountain View Cemetery

Background studies in Jewish law and tradition that informed Or Shalom’s policies