The cemetery is located on a hill in a landslide zone. This destroys the cemetery, especially its old part, where many unique ancient burials are located. The cemetery is surrounded by a stone fence, which is destroyed in several places. Some ancient burials have merged or are adjacent to old one-story buildings. Pets graze in the cemetery. The size of the cemetery is 400 thousand square meters. It is believed that the number of burials and tombstones is 15 thousand. Some of the graves have been described and catalogued. The oldest discovered and dated slabs date back to the 18th century. However, older burials are also possible, since the Jewish community settled on the territory of Orhei already in the 16th century. In 1989, an act of vandalism was committed and 40 monuments were destroyed. Orhei was the only town in the Soviet Union where the rioters were detained and convicted.
In many ways, the city’s cemetery is a unique monument of Jewish culture. Studies by some scholars have shown that the cemetery could have been established in the 16th or even 14th centuries. It is among three oldest active cemeteries in Europe along with the ones in Prague and Mainz. Ancient burials are located on the old part, many matzevas are partially destroyed or turned upside down. It is possible that some ancient burials ended up outside the territory of the cemetery and in the locations of old rural houses. This makes it difficult to study and determine the real date.