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Emma Lazaraus


Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) is best known for her famous poem, “The New Colossus,” written in 1883, and inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty in 1903. This poem includes the moving lines which capture the spirit and dream of America:


“Give me your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/ The wretched refuse of your teeming shore/ Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me/ I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”


She was a poet of note during her lifetime, and also wrote important essays in which she expressed her strong aspirations for a national revival of the Jewish people. She was an active participant in work on behalf of Jewish immigrants who were fleeing the oppressions of the Old World, and who were arriving in New York in very large numbers.

Maud Nathan

Maud Nathan (1862-1946) was founder and first President of the Sisterhood of Shearith Israel, established in 1896.  

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.