Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery

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Coordinates: 31°46′25.82″N 35°14′35.05″E / 31.7738389°N 35.2430694°E / 31.7738389; 35.2430694

Jerusalem Mount of Olives BW 2010-09-20 07-57-31.JPG
JERUSALEM Mount of Olives Cemetery.JPG
Aerial view of the mountain

The Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives, including the Silwan necropolis, is the most ancient and most important cemetery in Jerusalem. Burial on the Mount of Olives started some 3,000 years ago in the First Temple Period, and continues to this day.[1] The cemetery contains about 70,000 tombs from various periods, including the tombs of famous figures in Jewish history.


In the 19th century special significance was attached to Jewish cemeteries in Jerusalem, since they were the last meeting place not only of Jerusalemites but also of Jews from all over the world. Over the years, many Jews in their old age came to Jerusalem in order to live out the rest of their lives there and to be buried in its holy soil.[2]

During the First and Second Temple Periods the Jews of Jerusalem were buried in burial caves scattered on the slopes of the Mount, and from the 16th century the cemetery began to take its present shape.[1]

The old Jewish cemetery sprawled over the slopes of the Mount of Olives overlooking the Kidron Valley (Valley of Jehoshaphat), radiating out from the lower, ancient part, which preserved Jewish graves from the second Temple Period; here there had been a tradition of burial uninterrupted for thousands of years. The cemetery was quite close to the Old City, its chief merit being that it lay just across the Kidron Valley from the Temple Mount: according to Jewish tradition, it is here that the Resurrection of the Dead would begin[2] once Messiah will appear on the Mount of Olives and head toward the Temple Mount.

Many famous names are buried in the cemetery such as Rabbi Chaim ibn Attar, known as the Ohr ha-Chaim, and Rabbi Yehuda Alcalay who were among the heralds of Zionism; Hasidic rebbes of various dynasties and Rabbis of "Yishuv haYashan" (the old – pre-Zionist - Jewish settlement) together with Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, and his circle; Henrietta Szold, the founder of the Hadassah organization, the poet Else Lasker-Schüler, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda the father of Modern Hebrew, Shmuel Yosef Agnon, the Nobel Laureate for Literature, Boris Schatz, the founder of the Bezalel school of Art; Israel's sixth Prime Minister Menachem Begin, the victims of the 1929 Arab riots and 1936–39 Arab revolt, the fallen from the 1948 War of Independence, together with Jews of many generations in their diversity.[1]

Notable graves[edit]

Rabbis and religious scholars[edit]




Hasidic Rebbes[edit]

Chief Rabbis[edit]


Cultural figures[edit]

Political figures[edit]

Terror victims[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Mount Of Olives Jewish Cemetery
  2. ^ a b Ben-Arieh, Yehoshua. (1986). Jerusalem in the 19th century: Emergence of The new city, pages 24-25

External links[edit]