NYC Cemeteries - Offering Mt Hebron #photographs #usa

A. E. Jordan

I am restarting the cemetery photographing projects now that spring has returned to New York and first up I will do a visit to Mt Hebron in Queens. NYC. (Next in order is likely to be Mt Zion for people who want to advance plan/research.)
Process I follow is fairly simple in offering to take photos for people.
You ID the grave from the cemetery's online database and send me the details. I take a photo and email it to you and in turn I appreciate a few dollars to help defer the expense of doing this for everyone, ie gasoline money.
I am happy to help out where I can, but please don't send me a generic name and ask me to find the person at the cemetery and please don't send me around the cemetery to find the 20 people named Jack Cohen because one of them might possibly be your long lost cousin. The cemetery is massive and a few people have asked me to do that and it is a very slow process that takes a lot of time and gasoline, etc.
Mt Hebron is one of the best organized cemeteries and has a very good database and you can also call the office and they will help with some additional information on the telephone. They know where a person died for example. You can also easily manipulate their database to see other people in the same plot with the same family name. I believe they charge $25 though per photo.
It is better if you search the name on the Mt Hebron database versus the commercial Find a Grave because the position information and data is better at Mt Hebron.
A few people asked me last fall for photos at Mt Hebron that did not get done because winter set in. Please feel free to re-request or I will look for the requests and see if you still want them.
Feel free to ask me questions via email and ask about other NYC area cemeteries because I will visit most of them as the spring/summer progresses. There's a few I do not go to because of distance or safety issues.
Please respect the discussion group and send your specific requests to me privately by replying to this email or my email address aejordan at aol dot com.
Allan Jordan
New York

Kenneth Ryesky

I totally concur with Allan!

Before making Aliyah to Israel, I had many occasions to walk the two (long) blocks from my Queens College CUNY office to the rear Mt. Hebron gate on Main Street to take volunteer Find-a-Grave photos.

The cemetery is quite massive.  Different sections have different gravesite arrangements, and not all of them are in the regular rank-and-file array as would be found in a military cemetery.  Some of the older tall stones in some of the sections are difficult to access. {Whereby hangs a tale:  The former rabbi of the congregation to which my wife and I belonged (and of which we remain associate members) preferred to have the attendees fill the grave by hand using shovels instead of having the cemetery personnel use their diesel front-end loaders.  The mother of one of our members lived to be 104 years old, by which time her burial plot, purchased early in her marriage, was totally surrounded by other stones and the hand-shoveling option was impracticable.  Pointing out the dates on some of the surrounding stones, I remarked, "If she had died when she was supposed to, then these other stones would not be obstructing us!"}.

Photographing some of the stones is a challenge, especially the older ones whose legibility has been reduced over the years by the elements; getting the proper lighting and camera angle is critical.

And, of course, statistical probability dictates that one may encounter the occasional toppled headstone or sunken foot marker.

I learned very early on to carry a pair of pocket pruning shears because the inscriptions on many of the stones have been obscured by vegetation, especially if both sides of the stone are being photographed.
[] .

So do appreciate what Allan is taking upon himself, and with due regard to everyone's personal economic situation, a little financial assistance would not be inappropriate.

-- KHR

Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@... 

GERTZIG, BRODSKY; Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine
IZRAELSON, ARSHENOV; Yevpatoriya, Ukraine (Crimea)

David Jacobowitz

I am going to write to Allan with a substantial list of graves to photograph -- and a check.

I saw a useful hint for getting inscriptions when there is snow on the ground. Smear some snow over the inscription and scrape away the surface. The letters will be more legible in white. The snow will melt and clean the crevices.

David Jacobowitz

David Lewin

When there is no snow you can use some tracing paper and a soft lead
pencil. you cover the sheet as evenly as possible with the
lead. The sharp edges of the inscription letters will stand out more
than the background.

This is a technique learned from tracing heraldic inscriptions in old churches

David Lewin

At 14:26 02/04/2021, David Jacobowitz wrote:
I am going to write to Allan with a substantial list of graves to
photograph -- and a check.

I saw a useful hint for getting inscriptions when there is snow on
the ground. Smear some snow over the inscription and scrape away the
surface. The letters will be more legible in white. The snow will
melt and clean the crevices.

David Jacobowitz

Mike Coleman

Or better use shoe-repairers' black heel ball :

"A wax colored with lampblack that is used to stain and polish the edges of the soles and heels of shoes or to take rubbings of brass or stone inscriptions".

Mike Coleman  London  U.K.

David Passman

Allan or anyone who lives close to this cemetery:

Do you consider Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn safe to visit?

Kind regards,
David Passman
Dallas, Texas


Yes Washington Cemetery is safe. I visited a few months ago. You can drive or take subway. It is also walking distance to Schreiber’s kosher bakery (excellent rugelach and black and white cookies).
Liba Casson-Nudell
Minneapolis, MN

Jay Paul

You asked if Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn was safe to visit.
I have not been there for a number of years (since 2012), but I certainly found it safe to visit back then.
It is quite cluttered with gravestones, and not always easy to navigate. As it turned out, the office did not have records indicating all the family members who were actually buried in a plot together — I was happily surprised when I got there.
All the best,
Jay Paul
San Francisco, CA 94117
Researching: SUMBERG (Pilvishok/Pilviskiai, Lithuania), LANGERT (Pilviskiai & elsewhere in Suwalki gubernia); KAHN (Ranstadt, Germany), GOTTLIEB (Grebenau, Germany), PAVLOVSKIY / PAVLOVSKY (Mala Antonivka, Bila Tserkiv, Vasyl’kiv, Kyiv gubernia, Ukraine), LEVITSKIY / LEVITZSKY (Yasnohorodka, Vasyl’kiv, Kyiv gubernia), KOTLER (Vistytis, Suwalki gubernia, Lithuania; Traby, Belarus), LEIBSON (Lithuania), WOLF, SCHWARZ and STERN (presumed from Austro-Hungary).

Jay Paul, PhD
San Francisco CA 94117
Researching: SUMBERG (Pilvishok/Pilviskiai, Lithuania), LANGERT (Pilviskiai & elsewhere in Suwalki gubernia); KAHN (Ranstadt, Germany), GOTTLIEB (Grebenau, Germany), PAVLOVSKIY / PAVLOVSKY (Mala Antonivka, Bila Tserkiv, Vasyl’kiv, Kyiv gubernia, Ukraine), LEVITSKIY / LEVITZSKY (Yasnohorodka, Vasyl’kiv, Kyiv gubernia), KOTLER (Vistytis, Suwalki gubernia), WOLF (Austro-Hungary).

Moishe Miller

It is perfectly safe.
The cemetery is located in the middle of what is now an orthodox Jewish area.

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
JGFF #3391

Ronni Nass

Hi, I’m interested in getting a photo of Mechel Glazerman.  I don’t know where in Washington Cemetery but will try to find out.
Thanks, Ronni Nass