Portions of three Jewish cemeteries survive in Manhattan: on Chatham Square (c. 1656-1831), West 11th Street (1805-1829), and West 21st Street (1829-1851). They are owned by Shearith Israel (the "Spanish-Portugese Synagogue") New York City's first and oldest congregation. Manhattan has few cemeteries due to an 1865 law prohibiting new burials. Cemeteries moved outside of Manhattan, purchasing sites in outer boroughs. Source: Florence Marmor.
[UPDATE] 11th St. Cemetery Visit/Report [November 2016]
- Ahavath Chesed: see "Directory of Jewish Local Organizations in the United States", pp. 330-583, American Jewish Yearbook 5680 September 25, 1919 to Sept. 12, 1920; vol. 21, edited by Harry Schneiderman for the American Jewish Comm and submitted by Alan Hirschfeld.
- Central Synagogue: Burial permits, 1859-1932. Manuscript Collection No. 544 is at AJA . American Jewish Archives, 3101 Clifton Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 45220-2488. 513-221-1875 (tel); (513)221-7812 (fax). E-mail: AJA contact form .
- Manhattan Cemetery: 12th Street, between 5 & 6 Avenue. extension of Manhattan's Chatham Square (Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue); Source:
- 2nd Spanish Portuguese Cemetery: West 11th Street. The dates on the sign are 1802-1829. Cheryl Harawitz.
PHOTO: West 11th Street just east of 6th Avenue is the Second Cemetery of Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue, Shearith Israel, and dates from 1805. West 11th Street was cut through in 1830, reducing the previously larger cemetery to its current triangle. The remains were reinterred at the Third Cemetery on West 21st Street. Burials ceased in 1852 by law after which burials continued in Queens. The red brick building abutting the site was a Civil War tavern called the Grapevine.[September 2002]
- Congregation Shearith Israel: (212)873-0300 New Bowery/Oliver St./Chatham Square, New Bowery St., Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue, 1656, see Postal & Koppman. Jewish Tourist's Guide to U.S. Philadelphia: Jewish Publ. Soc., 1954, p. 381-383. None of these locations are active. Source:
- Congregation Shearith Israel: Cemetery is located at Chatham Square & St. James Place, NYC. (212)873-0300. 23 Dutch Jews, who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654, established this cemetery, the second oldest Jewish burial yard in the US. The oldest gravestone bears the date 1682. Site was used until 1805. Source:
PHOTO: First Shearith Israel Cemetery of the Spanish- Portuguese Synagogue is at St. James Place, just off Chatham Square in Chinatown, and dates to 1683. The Shearith Israel Jews emigrated from Brazil beginning in the mid-17th Century. [September 2002]
[UPDATE] The Jews of the American Revolution [June 2016]
Pool, David de Sola, 1885- Title: Papers of David de Sola Pool and Tamar Hirshenson de Sola Pool, 1678-1981, 1889-1981 (bulk) Description: ca. 120 cubic ft. Notes: Rabbi David de Sola Pool (1885-1970) was associated with Congregation Shearith Israel, 1906-1970. Tamar de Sola Pool served as national president of Hadassah, the women's Zionist organization. Papers concern the Pools' involvement with Congregation Shearith Israel and Jewish, Zionist, Orthodox, and liberal organizations and causes, as well as personal and family matters. David de Sola Pool's papers include .., cemeteries, ..., funerals, ... New York, Location: Congregation Shearith Israel, New York, NY. Control No.: NYHV86-A2054 [December 2000]
Congregation Shearith Israel (New York, N.Y.). Clerk's Office Records, [ca. 1700-1985] Description: ca. 132 cubic ft. Notes: ... hashkavot (memorial prayers), 1718-ca.1942, and nakhalot (anniversaries of deaths), 1862-1903; ... cemeteries, ... Inventory of correspondence and subject files. Shelf list of other material. Location: Congregation Shearith Israel, New York, NY. Control No.: NYHV86-A2039 [December 2000]
Inskeep, Carolee. The Graveyard Shift: A Family Historian's Guide to New York City Cemeteries (Orem, UT: Ancestry, 2000. The book describes Jewish cemeteries that once existed in Manhattan on 32nd, 89th, and 105th Streets, and on Madison Avenue in the 70's. Beginning in the 1850's, which brought soaring real estate prices and legislation restricting further interments in Manhattan, remains were moved from those burial places to new cemeteries in Queens and Brooklyn. Consequently, Bayside, Beth El, and other cemeteries contain the graves of people who died years before the cemeteries opened.
Cemeteries of Congregation Shearith Israel - The Spanish and Portugese Synagogue website. [August 2002]
I am on a committee that has been formed to explore restoration of the 11th Street cemetery of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York. We are just beginning this process. If you can be of assistance in the restoration, please contact
First Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue (1656~1833) [Aug 2015]
Second Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue (1805~1829) [Aug 2015]
Third Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue (1829~1851) [Aug 2015]