21st St. Cemetery Manhattan, NY #general


Teri Tillman <natzrose@...>
 

Has anyone visited or passed by Congregation Shearith Israel's historic 21st
Street Cemetery lately? Is it kept locked? Is it possible to make
arrangements to visit the cemetery?

Thank you for your assistance.

Teri Tillman
Natchez, Mississippi


adamsny@...
 

Searching google.com with the following search terms "Congregation Shearith
Israel's historic 21st Street Cemetery" I located the following information
which may be useful to Teri and others on this list;

Congregation Shearith Israel
The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue
http://www.shearithisrael.org
212.873.0300
Fax: 212.724.6165
Email: office@...

You might try using the information above to help you learn the answers to your
questions! I am sure they can guide you in the right direction.

Good luck in your research!
Nancy Ring Kendrick
Port Orange, FL

Quoting Teri Tillman <natzrose@...>:

Has anyone visited or passed by Congregation Shearith Israel's historic 21st
Street Cemetery lately? Is it kept locked? Is it possible to make
arrangements to visit the cemetery?


Pamela Weisberger <pweisberger@...>
 

Jewishgenners wrote:

Has anyone visited or passed by Congregation Shearith Israel's historic
21st Street Cemetery lately? Is it kept locked? Is it possible to make
arrangements to visit the cemetery?>>

<<I can't visualize anything along 21st Street, East or West that might have
been a cemetery.>>

Yes...this cemetery is still in existence, and you can find photographs of
it and a map by going to the website for the Foundation for the Advancement
of Sephardic Studies and Culture at:

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/csi11.html

The location is at 98-110 West 21st Street, between loft buildings and
across the street >from the School Of Visual Arts on West 21st St just West
of 6th Avenue . This cemetery was adjacent to the congregation's synagogue
on 19th Street--built in 1860 and now long gone.

Known as "Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Synagogue or Beth Haim third
cemetery of Shearith Israel"
these burial grounds were established in 1829 and used for interments until
1851 when the city prohibited them at this location.

A New York Times article >from 1857 entitled "Some Old Grave-Yards," explains
that it could not be seen >from the street due to a very high brick wall
shutting it in. It was found directly behind O'Neill's and several other
large stores on Sixth Avenue and the graves could be viewed >from their back
windows. The description told of "green grass" and "weeping willow" with
white monuments. It was 80 feet wide and 140 feet deep.

from a New York article written in 1928, "Where Time Has Stopped," we learn
that even though it was against the law many families, who were attached to this
location, chose to pay a fine of $250 to continue burying family members at
this 21st Street location. Over the years, the congregation rejected offers
of hundreds of thousands for the land. A department store wanted to arch a
building over the cemetery, leaving it undisturbed, but that plan was also
rejected.

Other photos can be found at:

http://www.nyu.edu/classes/finearts/nyc/ladies/shearith.html and

http://www.forgotten-ny.com/CEMETERIES/Hidden%20cemeteries/hidcem.html
(where you might be able to read the inscription on the gate)

In 2002, another NY Times articles mentions a workshop on historic NYC
cemeteries, conducted by the New York Landmarks Conservancy, and offered a
tour. It's nice to know that some of these historic sites are still in
existence in Manhattan. Best to contact the congregation of the foundation
to find out how you can arrange a visit since, >from the photographs, it
appears to have a locked gate.

Pamela Weisberger
Santa Monica, CA
pweisberger@...


MBernet@...
 

In a message dated 5/22/2006 11:52:45 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
adamsny@... writes:

Has anyone visited or passed by Congregation Shearith Israel's historic
21st
Street Cemetery lately? Is it kept locked? Is it possible to make
arrangements to visit the cemetery?
==Would that be West 11th Street, perhaps? It's a tiny, triangular plot,
perhaps a dozen graves, (the rest, I believe, were reinterred in a later
cemetery) high walls but visible through a wrought-iron gate or fence. In the
middle of Greenwich Village, across >from the New School University, a few steps
from Sixth Avenue. I haven't passed there in a dozen years or so but I haven't
heard of its either being dug up or restored--and I'm sure I would have
heard the resulting noise if it had..

The location of the original Shearith Israel cemetery set up in 1656 is not
known today; it was outside the boundaries of NYC. In 1682 the congregation
bought a cemetery with room for probably a hundred or two hundred graves.
It's at Chatham Square, the south end of Chinatown, walled and elevated a few
feet above the sidewalk. Haven't seen it in 30 years, it's probably accessible
if you'll shimmy up the wall

I can't visualize anything along 21st Street, East or West that might have
been a cemetery. That's only ten short blocks >from Tenth Street--usually, when
a cemetery is full or becomes unavailable, land use and habitations will
cause a new cemtery to be built at least two miles away

Shearith Israel Congregation on Central Park West at 70th Street NYC 10023
will probably have all the info you need.
8 West 70th Street, New York, NY 10023
Telephone: 212.873.0300
Fax: 212.724.6165
General Information: _office@...
(mailto:office@...)

Michael Bernet, New York


MBernet@...
 

In a message dated 5/23/2006 4:54:41 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
pweisberger@... writes:

<< The location is at 98-110 West 21st Street, between loft buildings and
across the street >from the School Of Visual Arts on West 21st St just West
of 6th Avenue . . . . A New York Times article >from 1857 entitled "Some Old
Grave-Yards," explains that it could not be seen >from the street due to a very
high brick wall shutting it in. >>

==Thanks Pamela >from Santa Monica, now I know why I'd never seen it . . . .

Michael Bernet, New York