Beth Olam Cemetery
Beth Olam Cemetery in Ridgewood, Queens has provided for the burials of our congregation since 1851 and will continue to do so for many years to come. Walking through the rows you will find important persons from the synagogue’s past as well as recent history. Emma Lazarus and Benjamin Cardozo are both buried here as are many of our ministers and hazzanim, Jacques Judah Lyons, Henry Pereira Mendes, David de Sola Pool, Louis C. Gerstein, and, Abraham Lopes Cardozo of blessed memory, among many others.
Commodore Uriah Philips Levy, is also interred here. At his death he requested that a life-size statue of his likeness be erected over his grave. This request caused the congregation some discomfort. While it is important to honor the wishes of the deceased, it is also prohibited by halakha to erect a statue in human form. In denying the creation of this monument, the synagogue cited responsa by leading European rabbis of the time, including both Zacharias Frankel and Samson Raphael Hirsch, respectively the founders of the “positive-Historical” and “Neo-Orthodox” movements, among others, who had written responsa to a similar question about a monument for Judah Touro in New Orleans just a few years earlier.
Another feature of our cemetery in Queens is its beautiful chapel, also known as the Metaher House. It was designed by Calvert Vaux, a designer of Central Park, and is his only known religious building. From time to time, this beautiful chapel is still used for small funerals.
Cemeteries require constant maintenance. This work is provided for by the congregation with the assistance of the Hebra Hased vaAmet and the 1654 Society. Our superintendent, John Quinones, keeps the historic cemeteries in good order while our cemetery in Queens is maintained under contract with a nearby cemetery.
Hours (Sunday through Friday)
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
2 Cypress Hills Street, Ridgewood (Queens), New York 11208
Directions from Manhattan by Car
Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Triboro Bridge), Grand Central Parkway to Exit 13W Jackie Robinson Parkway (Towards Brooklyn). Take the Jackie Robinson Parkway to Exit 3 Cypress Hills Street. Turn left at the traffic light, and Beth Olam Cemetery is the first cemetery on your right.
Map of Area
Shearith Israel does not sell plots at Beth Olam Cemetery. Rather, burial is a right of membership for full-members of the congregation. For details click here.