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Cemetery Policies

The following is an overview of key policies and rules regarding the GOP Cemeteries. For more detailed information, current fees or to discuss the purchase of the right to interment, please email Wendy Simmons, the Congregation’s Executive Director at

General Cemetery Conduct

Expectation for the general conduct of visitors to the CGoP cemeteries follows:

  • Respectful conduct is expected on the cemetery grounds at all times, including:
    • Appropriate attire.    
    • Proper disposal of trash upon exiting the cemetery.
    • No food, eating, or drinking (other than water for mourners at the time of a funeral).
    • No weddings, celebrations, or life cycle events other than funerals.
    • Not using shortcuts or pass-throughs on cemetery property for convenience.
  • After obtaining the gate access code, members, families, and visitors to specific graves are welcome to visit the cemeteries during daylight hours. Visitation after dark is discouraged.
    • Children under the age of 15 visiting the cemetery should be accompanied by an adult.    
    • Tours, including educational or tourist, are allowed only with preapproval by the Cemetery Committee, Executive Director or Rabbi, and may incur a fee.
    • Financial transactions will not be conducted on cemetery premises.
    • Only Jewish customs and traditions are allowed within the cemetery.
    • Musical activity is only allowed with Rabbinic permission.

Eligibility for Interment

GOP’s Constitution specifies that Congregational members in good standing, and any of their dependent unmarried children under age twenty-one, are entitled to purchase the right of interment (ROI) in one of our Congregation's cemeteries, subject to the fees established in the By-Laws or cemetery rules. At the present time, due to space limitations, non-members are not eligible to purchase the ROI.

Fees Paid to Gates of Prayer

The Right of Interment is defined as the right to be interred/buried in a GOP Cemetery. Its purchase implies no ownership of, nor right for other use of, the land otherwise, but is simply the privilege of burial at that location subject to the rules and policies of GOP. The fee to purchase a ROI varies by location in the cemeteries and is not refundable. Transfer or buy-back of the ROI is restricted to limited circumstances and subject to current rules of the Congregation.

Individuals are required to pay a Perpetual Care fee prior to interment, in addition to the purchase of the Right of Interment. As with the ROI fee, Perpetual Care fee may vary by location within the cemeteries and is not refundable.

Perpetual Care is defined as "Care given to the cemeteries to include the costs of general administration, upkeep, and maintenance of the cemetery inventory, grounds, walkways, directories, and signage." Perpetual care includes care of common areas in the cemetery, such as grass, shrubs or trees, fences and gates, security, and cemetery buildings/structures. It also includes the functions of mowing, seeding, fertilizing, pest control, and reseeding of gravesites after burial. Perpetual Care does not include maintenance, cleaning, and repair of individual graves, headstones, plaque, or copings, all of which are the sole responsibility of the plot owner, family, or successor.

All applicable charges and fees (including membership, perpetual care, and right of interment fees) are expected to be up to date and/or paid in full as applicable at the time of burial. The Executive Director and President, with concurrence by the Cemetery Committee Chair, may make installment payment arrangements where necessary on a case-by-case basis and subject to Board approval.

Additional to the above Cemetery Fees, please remember that GOP Membership must remain in good standing to retain eligibility for burial.

Fees Paid to Others

Members, or the interred's family, are responsible for and should expect to pay certain fees for interment at CGoP cemeteries directly to a vendor or provider of the service. This will include at a minimum:

  • Funeral Costs    
  • Interment costs (that is, opening and closing of the grave)    
  • Costs of designing, manufacturing, and installing a Plot Marker, Memorial Plaque, Headstone, and/or Coping (as applicable)    
  • Fees for clergy as applicable

Plot Markers

Plot markers refer to engraved stone headstones, engraved stone memorial tablets laid directly on the ground, bronze memorial tables mounted on a stone base and placed directly on the ground, and stone coping. 
Plot Markers of all types, including their design and installation plans and schedule, are subject to standards of and approval by the Congregation, as implemented by the Cemetery Committee. A plot marker vendor is to be retained directly by family of the deceased from a list of vendors approved by GOP.  The family is expected to communicate the process and requirements for plot markers to vendors, or assure that the vendor has communicated with GOP and follows guidelines. The vendors must submit the plans for approval by the cemetery committee before manufacturing and installation. 
Plot markers will be sized to fit the plot, whether single, double, or otherwise, and may be inscribed with wording, adornments, and symbols as allowed by cemetery standards and subject to the approval of the Cemetery Committee. Only Jewish symbols, designed in keeping with prevailing Jewish custom and tradition, are permitted. 
No plot/grave may be covered with concrete across the top of said plot (other than those graves presently as such), and vaults are not allowed in GOP Cemeteries.

Cremation and Burial of Cremains

Though it is considered a mitzvah and Jewish tradition to bury the dead in the earth, some Reform Jews have adopted the practice of cremation. If cremation and interment of the cremains is the choice of the deceased or the family, that choice will be respected, and the family assisted in their bereavement, subject to these circumstances.

  • Interment of cremains is not allowed at the Canal Street Cemetery out of respect for its Orthodox origins from Congregations Tememe Derech and Chevra Mikveh Israel and the continuing Orthodox observance in the Chevra Thilim and Beth Israel sections of the cemetery.
  • At Joseph Street, the ROI for the burial of cremains may be purchased based on space availability. There are no dedicated areas specifically for cremains. The Cemetery Fee Schedule addresses ROI and Perpetual Care fees specifically for cremains, which are largely the same as for traditional burial.
  • Cremains will be interred in the ground in a regular plot. It is expected that the cremains will be placed in an environmentally sensitive urn, and, as with other burials, there will be one interment per single plot.
  • All headstone, memorial plaque, and coping rules for the section of interment apply to the burial of cremains.

Indigent /Charity Burials

Congregation Gates of Prayer is committed to participating with the rest of the New Orleans Jewish community in meeting the need for burials of individuals who may lack the resources to pay for burial. Our ability to help is based on the availability of plots in our cemeteries and funds. Due to limitations in available space in our cemeteries, our contribution of plots for this purpose is unfortunately not typically available at this time.  However, GOP will contribute to a Jewish Family Services reserve fund to assist with the cost of indigent burials in our community.

Sat, June 15 2024 9 Sivan 5784