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Montefiore Cemetery

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Basic Information

Location 40.6862°N 73.7371°W
Country United States
City New York City

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Website http://www.ohelchabad.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/78445
Geographical Coordinates 40.68545,-73.73517


Summary

The Ohel (Hebrew: אהל‎, lit., "tent") is the name of a religious shrine in Queens, New York, to which tens of thousands of Jews make a pilgrimage each year. The last Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and his father-in-law Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn (the two most recent leaders of the Chabad-Lubavitch school of Hasidic Judaism) are interred there. Many Lubavitchers visit the shrine especially on the anniversary of Schneerson's death on the Hebrew calendar.

General

The Ohel is located at Montefiore Cemetery (Old Springfield Cemetery) in Cambria Heights. The cemetery is a remnant of the large Jewish community that once inhabited Cambria Heights. Today the area is largely African American. The Ohel is situated at the northern edge of the cemetery, near the corner of Francis Lewis Blvd. and 121st Avenue, in a section designated for prominent Lubavitcher men and their wives. It is an open-air structure containing the side-by-side graves of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880–1950) and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994). A row of small brick houses along Francis Lewis Blvd. abuts the cemetery. In 1995, Lubavitcher Hasidim bought one of these houses and turned it into a 24-hour visitors center. This center includes a video room, a library, a small synagogue, a quiet room for visitors to compose the prayers they will say in the Ohel, and refreshments. The entrance to the Ohel is through the back door of this house and down a pathway. Men and women enter the Ohel through separate doors.


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