Israeli business tycoon purchases 100 graves in Jerusalem

Despite acute grave shortages in Jerusalem, Lev Leviev purchased 100 graves in Jerusalem, bypassing local laws.

Yoel Domb ,

Lev Leviev
Lev Leviev
INN photo

The grave industry in Israel is thriving and has a 500 million NIS ($138 million) annual turnover. The deal which the government made with burial societies is supposed to fund burial for citizens but the dearth of available burial space in Israel means that if an Israeli citizen wishes to be buried in the ground in the capital, he must pay the regular price for it.

Israeli businessmen Lev Leviev decided that he wanted to be buried in Jerusalem. However he also wanted to purchase plots for his family and other members. The law stipulates that a person can only purchase for himself, his wife and his parents during his lifetime. Levayev joined with the Bukharan community and purchased no less than 100 plots, paying 9000 dollars for each plot. Leviev accomplished this by bypassing the law, possibly registering grave plots in the names of foreign citizens.

Some of the plots were registered in the names of people not yet born at the time of the purchase. Others had died and were buried elsewhere. However the Jerusalem General Chevra Kadisha (burial society) stated that they had acted lawfully and did not check the citizenship of those who claimed that they were foreign citizens. However they refused to divulge details as to who purchased the graves and how they were paid for, only emphasizing that every plot was bought by a person who supplied full details.