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People of Righteousness Cemetery: Located just west of the New York State Thruway (Route 87) and about three miles north of the Cross County Expressway, the half-acre cemetery of the now defunct Congregation People of Righteousness was the subject of a year-long investigation by N.Y. State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

The cemetery was moved 15 years ago to make way for the parking garage for two new superstores. Under the terms of a court-approved 1989 agreement, drawn up with the approval of rabbinical authorities, all remains were to be relocated at the developer's expense, in accordance with Orthodox Jewish law and under the supervision of a Jewish uneral director - either to Eretz Hachaim Cemetery in Jerusalem or, at the request of families, to cemeteries in the United States. Although an old map of the cemetery shows at least 241 burials, Spitzer's office found evidence that 77 graves (65 adults and 12 children) were moved to Jerusalem and that no more than 20 were relocated within the U.S. Removal permits were obtained for the 20 U.S. reburials but not for the graves moved to Israel. The Attorney General's court brief raises questions about 135 children's graves that cannot be accounted for and may never were moved.

People of Righteousness, an Orthodox synagogue, was founded in 1898 and bought its cemetery grounds in 1899. The synagogue, which was located adjacent to the cemetery, was demolished in 1969. By 1989, the cemetery, overseen by five surviving synagogue members, was "in shameful condition" -- "thoroughly overgrown with vegetation" and "in serious disrepair." Source: JewishGen Digest [September 2004]

Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2009 12:28
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