JERUSALEM (AP) _ The remains of 40 Soviet Jews were reburied in the Holy Land after being carried to Israel by a Soviet Jewish immigrant in a suitcase, a funeral official said Friday.

The 40 urns were placed in a single grave in the cemetery of the northern Israeli city of Zefat on Thursday, said Yonah Amer, head of Zefat's Religious Council.

The deceased were all relatives of the immigrant, Sonya Bachrach, Amer said.

Mrs. Bachrach had the remains dug up in the Soviet Union at the request of her family and carried them to Israel, Amer said.

On Thursday, Mrs. Bachrach ''came with a suitcase, and we went down to the cemetery,'' Amer said. Each urn carried a name and date of death.

Amer said he had checked with the local rabbis to make sure the reburial did not violate Jewish law. He said it was the first case of reburial of remains from abroad in Zefat and that he has designated a special section of the cemetery for any future cases.