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History of Joseph Street Cemetery

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Main entrance and Plotkin Pavilion of the Joseph Street Cemetery.

 

In early 1850, organizers of the newly formed Congregation Sha’aray Tefilev began their search for a suitable property to bury their dead properly before even choosing a regular meeting place. On January 12, 1850, “The Hebrew Congregation” (as it was referred to in the Sheriff’s record of the property transfer) purchased a square of land with intentions to use it as a cemetery. The land was located in the Hurstville neighborhood of Lafayette City, an upriver neighbor of New Orleans in what was then part of Jefferson Parish. The record indicates that the property, which John Calhoun previously owned, was being sold “by virtue of a writ of seizure” by Sheriff Valmont Soniat Dufossat for $695. The property consisted of what today we recognize as a complete city block — 20 lots surrounded by Arabella Street, Joseph Street, Pitt Street, and Garfield Street. And so began what was then the 3rd Jewish cemetery in New Orleans. Today, the Joseph Street Cemetery has served Congregation Gates of Prayer for over 170 years. It is the second oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in the city.

 

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Joseph Street, Section “B”.

 

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Joseph Street, Section “D”.

Please click here to read a complete history of the Joseph Street Cemetery, which includes information about the 1853 Yellow Fever epidemic, the re-dedication of the area now known as the Memorial Area, the Medauer House, the Plotkin Pavillion, and the Touro Infirmary Cemetery.

Wed, May 25 2022 24 Iyar 5782