Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Leonard Cohen Was Buried in Montreal Before His Death Was Made Public

Singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen was buried in Montreal in the family plot a day before his death was made public.

Cohen died Monday in Los Angeles and was buried on Thursday at the Shaar Hashomayim cemetery in Montreal, his hometown, according to reports citing a statement from Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, an Orthodox synagogue located in the Westmount neighborhood of Montreal, which also said that Cohen maintained “a lifelong spiritual, musical, and familial connection to the synagogue of his youth.”

“Leonard’s wish was to be laid to rest in a traditional Jewish rite beside his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents,” the statement said.

The Toronto Star reported that a Cohen family plot is located just through the front gates of the Jewish cemetery near the base of Mount Royal. It also reported that the only evidence of Cohen’s burial is unsettled earth covered by fallen brown leaves indicating a recently dug and filled in grave, in front of an unmarked gravestone.

“Hineni, hineni, My Lord” and other lyrics to the song “You want it Darker” from his latest album released in September were read during the traditional Jewish graveside funeral attended by family and close friends only, the French news service AFP reported.

Announcement of his death was made on Thursday after the funeral.

“My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records,” Cohen’s son, Adam, wrote in a Facebook post. “He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor.”

An official statement Thursday on Leonard Cohen’s Facebook page said there would be a funeral in Los Angeles in coming days.

Mourners have laid flowers and lit candles at the doorstep of Cohen’s Montreal home, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre reportedly has pledged to find an appropriate way to honor “one of our greatest Montrealers.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.