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Vertical Cemeteries On The Rise

October 17, 2014

This struck my attention this morning.

With real estate at a premium, Israel is at the forefront of a global movement building vertical cemeteries in densely populated countries. From Brazil to Japan, elevated cemeteries, sometimes stretching high into the sky, will be the final resting place for thousands of people. They are now the default option for the recently departed in the Holy Land.

After some initial hesitations, and rabbinical rulings that made the practice kosher, Israel’s ultra-Orthodox burial societies have embraced the concept as the most effective Jewish practice in an era when most of the cemeteries in major population centers are packed full.

The Yarkon Cemetery on the outskirts of Tel Aviv has been his flagship project. As the primary cemetery for the greater Tel Aviv area, its traditional burial grounds are at near capacity with 110,000 graves stretched across 150 acres. But thanks to an array of 30 planned vertical structures, Sagiv said the cemetery will be able to provide 250,000 more graves without gobbling up any more land, providing the region with 25 years of breathing room.

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