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Hebrew Free Burial Association

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Hebrew Free Burial Association


Basic Information

Location 22 West 35th Street, New York, NY, United States
Country United States
City New York
Address 224 West 35th Street Room 300 New York, NY 10001

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility yes
Website http://www.hebrewfreeburial.org/
Geographical Coordinates 40.74966,-73.98542


As suggested by its name, the Hebrew Free Burial Association (HFBA) bury Jewish New Yorkers for free as it is the largest free burial society outside of Israel. The organization was established with the main purpose of ensuring that recently deceased Jews of all denominations are given a full Jewish burial, in line with Jewish law. Jewish victims of the Second World War and the American Spanish War were also buried by the HFBA, as the organization assisted in shipping bodies back from war areas, such as Manila and New Guinea.


The HFBA operates and maintains two historic cemeteries on Statan Island, namely; Silver Lake and Mount Richmond Cemetery, with the majority of the burials coming from the New York immigrant communities. Initially, HFBA mainly buried victims from disease as well as infants and those with poor living conditions. A vast majority of the people buried have been from the Russian Jewish Community, who dies from illness or old age, on their arrival in the USA. Despite many of these Jews loss of Jewish identity, they still expressed their desire for a Jewish burial. To further assist in ensuring that the Russian Jewish community received the proper Jewish burial, HFBA issued a Russian edition of their website, in 2006.

History and time period

The HFBA was formed in 1892, the Silver Lake Cemetery was the initial cemetery obtained by the HFBA with the sole purpose to bury New York's indigent Jews. During the following 17 years, approximately 15, 000 Jews from the Lower East Side have been buried here and this burial site. However in the following years, there became a great shortage in the number of graves due to the increase in New York's impoverished Jewish community. As a result, in 1909, Mount Richmond Cemetery was formed. Since the establishment of the Mount Richmond Cemetery 60, 000 Jews have been buried, with 300 Jews buried there annually.

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