JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Dying Cemeteries in New York #general
Dear Fellow Jewishgenners,
First of all, a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving to everyone!
This subject has been heard many, many times before but I just felt it a
good time to update it. To Jewishgen, I do not intend to have an ongoing
thread so I ask that respondents please contact me privately at:
If those interested in this subject want to share their ideas for the
general public and it goes above and beyond what I am tating here, Please
In my 29 years in genealogy one of my "favorite" areas of research has been
cemetery research. Most who know me know that. It has also come with many
frustrations and surprises.
We are all very busy and most of the times our efforts to change what we see
take dollars of which we all have our problems. In the past I have been
involved with various research projects regarding the Free Burial Society of
Mokom Sholom Cemetery in Ozone Park, Queens and other cemeteries.
I am saddened by the condition of the twelve (12) Jewish sections of Cypress
Hills Cemetery. I have viewed them myself and many stones are either
toppled over or broken. The stones are so old (made of sandstone or some
other easily deteriorating stone) that it is almost impossible to read the
stone, even with a rubbing. The management has been under scrutiny for
various reasons over the years. But the point is, it is sad to see these
conditions of the stones of people one of us may be looking for and have
been unable to find for years. You never know.
Bayside Cemetery has a section known as the "old fields" (if I remember
correctly). It is the area going toward Acacia cemetery. It is very, very
overgrown and, although I have never been to some of my ancestral shtetels
in Eastern Europe, I feel as if I am looking at the photographs I have seen.
The cemetery has made outstanding efforts to make improvements by clearing
much of the overgrowth, but this particular area which spans most of the
area >from Pitkin Ave. to Liberty Ave. seems to remain untouched. One
wonders how many of the 35,000 stones are invisible there. I have tried to
walk through there and, as agile as I am as a Physical Education teacher, I
am afraid to injure myself. A gentleman >from Salt Lake City has done some
very remarkable work along with the cemetery administration, but there is
also our valid concern about past experiences of involvement with the the
Family History Center.
There are many other cemeteries that are "dying" but I justed wanted to note
I have no intention to inflame any person(s) or entity with this email, I am
just a 45 year old crazy genealogist who cares about NY Cemeteries
specifically (and all cemeteries in general) and would like to try to do
something positive about it for our ancestors and for my fellow
genealogists. If I could just hit the six numbers for the NYS Lotto then I
would not hesitate to put some of my money into resolving these problems.
Thank you for reading.
David Joel Priever
Kew Gardens, NY