Burial Societies in the New York Metropolitan Area

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In 1989, the Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. (New York) began an effort to identify the names and cemetery locations of all Jewish burial society plots in the New York metropolitan area. These include plots of landsmanshaftn (home town associations), synagogues, family circles, fraternal organizations and labor unions. Today, this database contains close to 10,200 entries from almost 100 cemeteries located in New York City, Long Island, Putnam County, Westchester County, and northern New Jersey.

The project could not have been accomplished without the extraordinary efforts of Ada Green, who became Chairperson of the JGS' Cemetery Committee in early 1997. We would like to thank the many volunteers who, in addition to Ada, walked or drove around the grounds of each cemetery: Dena Abrams, Risa Axelrad, Mike Brenner, Gerry Dunsky, Les Eldridge, Estelle Guzik, Lorraine Korn, Susan Landau, Hadassah Lipsius, Madeleine Okladek, Rhea Plottel, Fred Shaw, Paul Silverstone, Art Simpson, and Lori Wenig. Additional volunteers included Debra Braverman, Syd Chazanow, Sandra Cohen, Nancy Deutsch-Sinderbrand, Joe Fibel, Mary Nahon Galgan, Steve Grossman, Eden Joachim, Susannah Juni, Barbara Khait, David Kleiman, Bob Kramer, Bob Kraus, Eli Levy, Adrienne Moumin, Gladys Paulin, Steve Rauch, Joan Sanders (z"l), Alan Shifrin, Steven Siegel, Andrew Sverdlove, and Ellen Weiss.

For a complete list of New York metropolitan area cemeteries, see the JGS' Jewish Cemeteries in the New York Metropolitan Area. Not all have burial society plots. Please note that we are not collecting the names of individual burials. This database includes the names of the burial societies, the cemetery in which each plot is located, the section/block and gate/post number and the shtetl or town from which its members originated. Where the society had more than one plot in a given cemetery, the society is listed only once but with multiple locations. If the society had plots in different cemeteries, its name will be repeated with the appropriate cemetery, block and gate location after each entry.

We have made a best faith effort to identify the correct shtetl or town for each landsmanshaft. However, because many Eastern European towns have the same or similar names, this could not always be done with certainty. For instance, there are 17 societies that have spelling variations of Janow/Yanow/Jonava in their name. While we have been able to identify several from Belarus, Lithuania, and Poland, not all could be determined. A question mark has been entered next to town names where we are unsure. Further, there are still many societies whose members' town of origin we were unable to determine.

We welcome your assistance in providing us with the correct town or country name where it is questionable, erroneous, or missing, but only if you have personal knowledge of the society. This may be the case if you have a family member buried there or if you have memorabilia from your ancestral society (e.g. souvenir anniversary booklets). Because we are seeking the highest degree of accuracy possible, we regret that we cannot accept "I’m pretty sure" or "I think" as definitive proof of the town name for a society. In such case, we would rather keep the question mark until we receive more exact information. Please send any corrections to info@jgsny.org.

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