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Town population 110,000 with 450 Jewish families in 2000. Funeral Home and monument maker: Dietz Memorial Company, 500 La Salle, Waco TX; Phipps Memorial, 1110 La Salle, Waco TX.

BOOK: Jewish community is documented in Pioneer Jews of Waco (1986) by M. Podet.


Agudath Jacob Cemetery: at South 12th St, 1929 of Congregation Agudath Jacob


Hebrew Rest: Hebrew Rest Cemetery: 900 South First Street. (254)754-3242. [University Parks Drive or South First Street near Interstate 35] 1869 of Temple Rodef Sholom, Hebrew Benevolent, historical marker. Source: AJA contact form. American Jewish Archives, 3101 Clifton Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 45220-2488. (513)221-1875 (tel); (513)221-7812 (fax). E-mail: AJA contact form. Hebrew Rest Association Constitution and by-laws, May, 1935; articles of incorporation, May 1968; articles of amendment to the articles of incorporation, Sept. 1970; and rededication ceremony news clippings, Oct, 1969. Histories file

Contact Harold D. Ginsburg about grave locations. Congregations that use this cemetery: Temple Rodef Sholom, 1717 North New Road, Waco TX and Agudath Jacob Congregation, Hillcrest at Lake Shore, Waco TX. The land-marked cemetery has no flower policy. The caretaker has the key: Connell & Co, 825 West 11th, Austin, TX 78701 (512-635-0___)

The earliest Jewish community dates from 1847 (sojourners) and permanently from 1853. In 1873, sixteen Jewish families and twenty young men lived there. The 1876 Jewish population was 150 out of 8,000 inhabitants. The inactive cemetery was established in 1869 with only five burials in the 1870s. Located on flat land, the cemetery has a sign in English: "Hebrew Rest Cemetery" and is reached by turning directly off a public road. Access is open with permission. A continuous masonry wall and a gate that does not lock surround the two-acre cemetery with no special sections. The oldest gravestone dates from 1869 (July 1869 Bessee Lyans…age 1 year 6 months). The cemetery was enlarged by land purchased in 1893 and 1922. 100-500 granite flat stones with carved relief and sculpted monuments with English, Hebrew, and Sephardic inscriptions exist, with none removed. The present owner is the local Jewish community and used only as a cemetery. The site is visited rarely. The cemetery was vandalized between fifty and 10 years ago. Maintenance in 1965: clearing of vegetation and repair of wall and gate by the local Jewish congregation, non-Jewish individuals, and city authorities. Current care: occasional clearing or cleaning, paid by Hebrew Rest Association. Within the limits of the cemetery is an office. Vandalism, security, weather erosion, and pollution are slight threats. Vegetation is a seasonal problem preventing access. Water drainage is good all year.

  • Survey completed on 16 Feb 2001 by Harold Ginsburg, 806 Austin Avenue, Waco, TX 76701, (254)754-3242 using Cemetery Records of McLennan County, Vol. VIII of the Central Texzas Genealogical Society, Inc., Waco-McLennan County Library, 1717 Austin Avenue, Waco, TX 76701 as reference: "Hebrew Rest: A History Waco's Oldest Jewish Cemetery" by Rabbi Mordecai Podet.
    Hebrew Rest Association and B'nai B'rith; Irving Ginsbergh Lodge 198 Records, 1930-1961, 1965-1981. Temple Rodef Sholom Sisterhood minutes, 1923-1931; 1960-1982; Microfilm No. 3277
    See also: 1. The American Israelite, then called The Israelite, Cincinnati, 13 June 1873. "Recollections of Correspondent". 2. I.A. Goldstein, "The Waco Jewish Community' Some Historical and Reminiscent Notes". (1909/1910 essay) 3. The Israelite, 1 August 1869. 4. Letter dated 2 October 1876 from Waco to The Jewish Messenger (NYC) of 13 __ 1876 in American Jewish Archives [], November 1965. 5. Waco Daily Examiner, 3 February 1874 and 26 August 1878. Central Texas Genealogical Society has burial lists to 1985.
    UPDATE: Texas Jewish Historical Society Records, VIDEO: 3Y200 "Better with Age: Jewish Heritage and Ellis Island" Historical marker dedication ceremony, Hebrew Rest Cemetery, Waco, Texas History of the Waco Jewish Community, 1848-1986 Jacob de Cordova Historical Marker Dedication, [August 24, 1986] Jim Swift with Ruthe Winegarten and Cathy Schechter, November 13, 1990 Natalie Ornish, Historian, and Dr. Walker Railey, Methodist minister, [interview?] on the Jewish Texans, November 13, 1986 "Temple Beth-El, Corsicana, Texas, March 29, 1987 Texas Jewish Historical Society annual meeting: 1981 1982 1983 [August 2005]
Last Updated on Saturday, 17 April 2010 16:06
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