kesser israel cemetery
Kesser shares space with the, obviously, equally well hidden Shaarie Torah, separated by a chain-link fence and a padlocked gate. By far the smallest and, arguably, the most unusual of Portland’s Jewish cemeteries. Probably not a fifth of the fairly small cemetery has yet been used, and it doesn’t appear that Kesser Israel has a monumental congregation. On the other hand, it has a number of interesting stones, many with photos dating back to the 1930s; as well as a mausoleum(?) or small building of some sort from 1927 with hand-engraved names of the founders of Kesser Israel. An architectural curiosity. And then there are the headstones on steroids for the Goldstein Family plot. But my favorite stone has to be that of Edith Porter (2000), which says: “I have three wonderful sons, it’s too bad you couldn’t keep me a little longer.”

Kesser shares a trait with most of the other Jewish cemeteries of Portland: not only are they hidden, but they have live-in watch-people. Each cemetery is accompanied by a house and family. Kesser’s has flower pots on the porch and dogs in a kennel. Some dogs: they made not a sound.

Directions:

Take 65th Ave. east from SE Flavel. Cemetery driveway is in crook of street where it makes a little jog a few blocks down from Flavel.
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