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BILOXI/GULFPORT: (Harrison County) PDF Print E-mail has Jewish community history and photos. "While the first sign of organized Jewish life dates from the 1850s, Biloxi did not have a Jewish congregation until the 1950s." [January 2009]

Congregation Beth Israel - Conservative, 1946 Southern Ave., Tel: 662-388-5574, Fax: 228-388-3742  [August 2005] has Beth Israel history and photos. [January 2009]

See p. 263-264" in Postal & Koppman "Jewish Tourist's Guide to U.S." (Jewish Publ. Soc., Phila., PA 1954) has general Harrison County information. [August 2005]

  • Hebrew Rest Cemetery: Original Biloxi Jewish Cemetery: Founded in 1855, the cemetery is located at Reynoir and Elder Streets in the older section of Biloxi. A brick sign tower with a historical landmark marker reads: "Historical Landmark Original Biloxi Jewish Cemetery/One Of The Oldest Jewish Cemeteries In The South/ Established 1855". Only one tombstone, belonging to Michel Levy, remains in this cemetery. The inscription reads: "Michel son of V. & P. Levy/ Born In Paris, France/ Oct. 7, 188? /Died Sept. 22, 189?". The exact dates are no longer known, as the tombstone has been worn away by time. On the other side of the stone is a Hebrew verse. According to the caretaker of the synagogue, there are many more people buried in this cemetery. The tombstones were unfortunately bulldozed many years ago. The remaining area of the cemetery is fenced in and appears to be in good shape. Source: Julian H. Preisler, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • "The earliest sign of a permanent Jewish settlement along the Mississippi Gulf Coast was the creation of a Jewish cemetery called “Hebrew Rest” in 1853.  Located on Reynoir Street in Biloxi, and not used for years, this cemetery was purchased by Jews in New Orleans, most likely the Gates of Mercy Synagogue.  Frederick Reynoir deeded the land to L. Klopman of the “Hebrew Society of the City of New Orleans to be used as a burying ground until there shall be a synagogue in Biloxi.”  The Gates of Mercy already had a cemetery at this time period, and the most likely explanation for this purchase was the 1853 yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans, during which many of the city’s residents fled to safer areas, including places like Biloxi.  Thus, the Hebrew Rest cemetery was most likely purchased for Jews fleeing New Orleans, who ended up dying in Biloxi.  Though there is some variance in the estimated use of the cemetery, most figures approximate the number buried at Hebrew Rest to be between 10 and 20. By 1916, the city took control of the abandoned land of Hebrew Rest.  When the city widened Reynoir Street, they planned to move many of the tombs to the naval reserve.  The city issued notice to the families of Cecile Schwartz, Oury Bernard, Aaron Cohen, Mrs. Mathilda Harnthal, Henry Lyons, Lazarius Leopold, Brandly Friedlander, and Michel Levy, warning them of the possible displacement of their family graves, though it is unclear whether these graves were ever disinterred.During the several decades after the founding of the cemetery, a few Jewish families lived on the Gulf Coast, but never in enough concentration to form a congregation. Source: [January 2009]
  • Southern Memorial Park, Inc: {10607} The Conservative Congregation Beth Israel Section, 2076 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, MS (601) 388-3292. Used by Congregation Beth Israel at Camelia and Southern Avenues Biloxi, MS (601) 388-5574. The present Biloxi Jewish community dates from the 1950's when Congregation Beth Israel was founded. The present Jewish cemetery is a consecrated section of the Southern Memorial Park, perhaps the only ocean-front cemetery in the U.S. The section is separated by two rows of bushes and contains a beautiful stone sculpture of a "Mogen David". The sculpture was presented to Beth Israel in memory of Mr. & Mrs. Hillel Rosenblum. All markers are flat bronze, inground style. The earliest marker dates from 1967. All grave markers were recorded as of August 1996. Source: Julian H. Preisler, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . has photos. [August 2005]


Last Updated on Sunday, 14 June 2009 01:08
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