Reminded by Oakland Daily Photo of Home of Peace Cemetery in a recent Taphophile Tragics entry, I went and checked it out on Monday. I've ridden past it many times on my way to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, but had never stopped before.
It's much smaller than Mountain View Cemetery or even Saint Mary's Cemetery, and a bit newer, as the land for it wasn't purchased until 1901. At the time, that was still a ways from the city limits, though people were living in nearby areas. Despite its compact size, it's an interesting place, and I'll need to make another visit sometime.
The cemetery is owned by Beth Jacob Congregation, which has been on Park Blvd. since the 1950s. But the original structure for the congregation was in Old Oakland, at 9th and Castro, dating back to the incorporation of the congregation in 1893.
symbols: ivy (fidelity, eternal friendship), kohanim hands (priestly tribe of Aaron), and even a few Freemason symbols. But I also saw some new symbols, including a water pitcher (a Levite, a person who was responsible for cleaning the hands of the temple priest) and lions (tribe of Judah).
All of the markers had English, but most had some Hebrew text on them as well. A few had Cyrillic (Russian), and one I saw had a quote in Romanian. I also saw a number of them that were fully bilingual—English on one side, Hebrew on the other. While the markers are generally smaller and simpler than those at Mountain View or Saint Mary's, many of them were visually quite striking, using unusual colors of granite or marble, along with a combination of polished and unpolished stone and painted lettering.
One thing I'd never seen before was what appeared to be a small mailbox next to one of the gravestones. It had a glass front so I could see there was something inside, but it wasn't clear what was there. Maybe on my next visit I'll be brave enough to see what's in there.
Lots more pictures:
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