As Jerusalem burial space runs out, Diaspora Jews fund underground alternative

As Jerusalem burial plots become increasingly scarce and expensive, Diaspora Jews hoping to be buried in the capital are helping to fund a $50 million initiative to build a massive, multi-level subterranean cemetery capable of holding more than 20,000 bodies.

According to Hananya Shachar, director of the Jerusalem Jewish Community Burial Society, work has begun on the project under Har Hamenuhot Cemetery, the country’s largest, where more than 150,000 people are interred.

Opened in 1951, Har Hamenuhot sits on a hilltop on the western edge of Jerusalem near the entrance to the city. It has since superseded the Mount of Olives Cemetery as the capital’s largest burial ground.


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