Charlotte’s only Hebrew cemetery is running out of room

The Hebrew Cemetery of Greater Charlotte is one of North Carolina’s only community-run and independent cemeteries, and it needs more space, the owner says.

The cemetery has been along Statesville Avenue, just north of Uptown, for more than 150 years.

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Some of the people who are credited for shaping Charlotte into the Queen City it is today are buried in those 11 acres.

Moses Luski, the president of the Hebrew Cemetery Association, says they’ll run out of room after the next decade. To address the land shortage, the cemetery is hoping to expand on the city-owned land right next to it.

The land used to be home to the Double Oaks School until the City purchased it in 2018 after a devastating fire. Now, the property is vacant.

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City officials are taking proposals on what to do with the land, and Luski has thrown his hat in the ring.

“It’s not about the most money, it’s about the best plan for the community,” Luski says.

A city spokesperson said in a statement that the focus is to build affordable and workforce housing. Luski and his team want to expand the cemetery while allowing for mixed-income townhomes to be built along community gardens and greenspace.

If their proposal is turned down, the cemetery could move burials to other areas since current ordinances prohibit any new cemeteries from being built in Mecklenburg County.

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“We are committed to making this a wonderful community amenity,” Luski said. “The moment you step in here it’s a very comforting environment.”

The development proposal is a part of the City’s North Tryon and North Graham playbook, which is why there’s such a strong focus on housing.

Channel 9 will be following the proposal. Check for updates.

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