Shaarie Torah Cemetery

Breaking New Ground: A Testament to Inclusivity!
Monday, May 20, 2024

Dear beloved members of our Congregation Shaarie Torah community,

We’re excited to share our progress toward greater inclusivity within our sacred spaces. As many of you know, last June marked an historic moment as our synagogue membership united in a decision to amend our constitution. Through this change, we are creating a new burial section within our cherished cemetery: Ohavei Yisrael [Lovers of Israel]. This section is one that keeps families together during a time of loss, allowing burials for both Jewish individuals and their non-Jewish loved ones.

One year later, with hearts full of gratitude and excitement, we’re thrilled to share an update on our journey of this sacred space within our cemetery.

Since that pivotal vote, a dedicated committee has been working to ensure that this endeavor aligns completely with Shaarie Torah’s sacred traditions. We’re delighted to announce that the first phase of this vision has been brought to fruition. Through meticulous planning and dedication to Jewish legal principles, we’ve successfully established the physical groundwork for this new section. A halachic boundary now stands, woven into the very fabric of our cemetery and designated by the newly-planted boxwood hedge.

In the words of our esteemed Cemetery Committee Chairperson, Steph Kotkins, “We applaud the work of Isaac Tevet for professionalism and care in overseeing this project and express our deepest gratitude to Bill and Leo [CST cemetery groundskeepers] for all of their hard work.” This sentiment encapsulates the spirit of collaboration and dedication that has propelled us forward on this journey.

This box hedge isn’t just a physical marker; it’s a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and love. It serves as a gentle reminder that within these hallowed grounds, there’s ample space for all who seek solace and connection, regardless of faith or background during a difficult time, and where we can continue to fulfill the mitzvot of honoring our deceased and comforting our mourners.

At this time, we’re reaching out to our community members who may desire to help offset the cost of creating Ohavei Yisrael, which created a small gap in our 2023-24 budget. Your generosity will ensure that this endeavor continues to move forward.

A heartfelt thank you to the CST Sisterhood for their generous contribution of $1,800 and to an anonymous donor who gifted $1,000. We’re immensely grateful for these gifts, helping to off-set our initial costs of $8,000. You can help close this gap by clicking here and selecting the Cemetery Fund, noting that it is for the Ohavei Yisrael section.

As we pause to celebrate this significant milestone, let us also reflect on the profound impact of our collective actions, our open discussions, our votes, our commitments to Shaarie Torah that have brought us closer to our shared vision of a more open and loving community.. There’s still much work to be done. Let us continue to nurture our sacred spaces within our cemetery and our shul walls with the love, care, and compassion that defines our community.

With deep gratitude,
Daniel Petcher, President
Rabbi Gary Ezra Oren

Our Cemetery

Congregation Shaarie Torah has a beautifully maintained and manicured cemetery in Southeast (SE) Portland. The on-site chapel may be used for funeral services. Please call us in the office at (503) 226-6131 or email us at for additional cemetery information or information regarding plots. 

For any lifecycle emergency, please call our office, 503-226-6131 extension 101 to reach Jemi, our Executive Director.

To learn more about Jewish traditions in regards to death and dying read this document. Death and Dying

Sunday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm.
Closed on Shabbat and Yom tov.

Directions to our Cemetery: 8013 SE 67th, Portland, Oregon 97206