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1654 Society

Whether they live down the street or across the globe, many people are fascinated by Shearith Israel’s unique place in history as America’s first Jewish Congregation. 

 

Formed in 2004 as a separate not-for-profit organization, the 1654 Society helps ensure the maintenance of our landmark synagogue, historic cemeteries, priceless artifacts, archives and more. The 1654 Society also sponsors tours, lectures and other programming that focuses on Shearith Israel’s history. 

 

We are currently involved in two major restoration projects: the rehabilitation and beautification of our West 11th Street Cemetery and the reinforcement of our priceless Tiffany windows.  Please consider donating to the 1654 Society today as there is no better time to be a steward of America’s Jewish legacy.   To discuss a major gift, please contact Executive Director Barbara Reiss.

 To learn more, visit 1654society.org

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
Benjamin N. Cardozo

Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Nathan Cardozo spoke of the need for the Congregation to maintain its historic traditions and to remain true to the customs and practices of the generations that had come before.

1895