ahavai shalom cemetery
Portland is fortunate in its Jewish cemeteries. For all I know, everywhere that has Jewish cemeteries is fortunate. For whatever reason, the Jewish cemeteries of Portland are well maintained and well watched over. Ahavai Shalom is a favorite, though the competition is fierce. It doesn’t have quite the old stones that Beth Israel has, its neighbor on Boot Hill, but it makes up for it in richer plantings and a greater intimacy. The newer graves in particular, sparked, probably, by a significant number of Russians, have shrubbery and flowers planted on them, making me question the dictum that Jewish cemeteries don’t like roots invading their resting places.

Ahavai Shalom maintains an attractive chapel—not to mention a restrained but elegant entrance fountain—donated by Louis and Belle Gevurtz, and a mausoleum that is hidden even further in a cemetery already hidden; though once you get down to the site, it’s very protective and comforting. Stones at Ahavai Shalom are packed tightly together and are kept squeaky clean. Remarkable, really.

This might not technically be a “hidden” cemetery, as there is a sign directing one to the cemetery at 1st Ave. at Palatine Hill Rd., but it’s not much of a sign and one might not pay attention to it. As I’m sure the folks at Ahavai Shalom would have it.

Directions:

End of SW 1st Ave. from where it takes off from Palatine Rd. across from Greenwood Hills Cemetery. Cemetery at the top of Boot Hill, aka Burlingame.
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