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Memorial Day

Rabbi Shalom Morris Conducting Chatham Square Service

Rabbi Shalom Morris Conducting Chatham Square Service

Placing Flag at Grave of Jewish Veteran of Revolutionary War

Placing Flag at Grave of Jewish Veteran of Revolutionary War

Each year around the time of Memorial Day, Shearith Israel holds a ceremony at our historic Chatham Square Cemetery which dates back to 1683. This cemetery is the resting place of the earliest generations of our Congregation—the people who laid the foundations for Jewish life in North America.  Among those buried in this cemetery are eighteen congregants who fought in the American Revolution. (Other Revolutionary War veterans are buried in our cemeteries on 11th Street and 21st Street in lower Manhattan.) At the Chatham Square ceremony, we place American flags at the graves of those who served in the American military during the Revolution, and chant a memorial prayer for them—and for all who rest—in this most historic American Jewish cemetery.

Omer Board

Shearith Israel’s “Omer Board” dates back to the Mill Street Synagogue of 1730, and may indeed go back to the early years of the Congregation’s history. 

1730
Chatham Square Cemetery

The oldest of our extant cemeteries is known as the Chatham Square Cemetery.  It is located in Chinatown at 55 St. James Place.  The land was originally purchased in 1682 by Joseph Bueno de Mesquita. 

1682