באר שבע Hebrew. This desert city of approximately 200,000 inhabitants in southern Israel is the sixth largest city in Israel and gateway to the Negev. Local Religious Council: Yaakov Margi (Chairman), Rehov Hayim Yahil 3, P.O.B. 5920, Beer Sheva 84102. Tel: 08-627-7142, 050-430-440, home: 08-642-0211

Beer Sheva local authority website (Hebrew). There are four Jewish cemeteries in Beer Sheva. The very-old cemetery was established on January 1917 after 16 Jewish workers died in a British air raid. Mr. Nisim Elqayam bought a piece of land outside of town to bury the dead. This piece of land served as a cemetery after the 1948 war when many people came to live in the town. But it didn't meet the needs of the growing population and the local authority established the "old cemetery". The population increased rapidly and soon it needed a larger cemetery, and this is the "new cemetery". Awareness of human rights brought people to initiate "Menucha Nechona", an alternative cemetery where the mourning families can use a secular or religious ceremony according to their belief. All cemeteries are along the Beer Sheva - Hatzerim road. Source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [August 2009]

  • Menucha Nechona cemetery website. In 1986, the Menucha Nechona, or "Rest in Peace," burial society was founded to bury Jews using a ceremony that is either liberal Judaism or secular. The authorities refused to cooperate, but in 1988, Menucha Nechona petitioned the High Court of Justice to obligate local authorities to recognize it and its fellow organizations as burial societies and to grant them land. In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that the Minister of Religious Affairs must give this organization a license to operate burial affairs and that the Israel Land Administration must allocate land for this purpose "within a reasonable period of time." In 1995, the Knesset passed the Alternative Burial Law, which guarantees the establishment of alternative cemeteries throughout Israel. In 1996, after a second petition to the High Court of Justice, land was allocated for alternative cemeteries. Menucha Nechona is one such cemetery. [August 2009]

  • New Cemetery: 3 km further on Beer Sheva-Hatzerim Road [August 2009]
  • Yashan-Noshan Cemetery:  old cemetery on Beer Sheva-Hatzerim Road [August 2009]

  • British WWI Military Cemetery. Located just next the the Old Town near Beit Yatziv and the Turkish Train Station (corner of Ha'atzmaut and Harzfeld streets), this cemetery is the resting place of British, Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) soldiers who fought against the Turks in WWI. On the last row on the right (from the entrance gate) is a grave marked with a Mogen David, that of  Captain Seymour Van den Berg of the Middlesex Hussars, a British Jew who was killed five days before the capture of Beersheva. Inscription: "Far from home, close in the hearts of those who loved him." [August 2009]





Last Updated on Monday, 24 August 2009 18:35