Burials in Jewish Cemeteries
General information on Jewish cemeteries and other resources in Missouri:
Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol (“Great House of Learning”)
9125 Ladue Rd.; St. Louis, MO 63124; 314-991-0264
Primarily Lithuanian origins. All records are at the cemetery, indexed since 1937. 1902–1937 records (originals destroyed by fire) reconstructed and recorded in plot books which are kept current. Brief accounts in the golden and diamond jubilee books.
Six acres of land were purchased for a new cemetery on 5 December 1901. The cemetery was and remains limited to those of the Orthodox faith, although they may be affiliated with any Orthodox synagogue. The present stone gates were constructed in 1931. A stone chapel was designed for the cemetery in 1936.
To access Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol records, click here.
B’nai Amoona (“Children of Faith”)
930 North and South Rd.; St. Louis, MO 63130; 314-725-2033
Cemetery holds a short entry register, 1888–1895 (records 1872–1887 are lacking), and recent large plot maps, which locate all identifiable graves from existing monuments and records. In 1924, the name of the cemetery was changed from Sheerith Israel (“Remnant of Israel”) Cemetery to B’nai Amoona Cemetery.
The present cemetery has plots on both sides of Blackberry Lane in University City, Missouri. The smaller one to the south is 1.3 acres and dates back to 1871, when it was purchased for Sheerith Israel. In 1884, a splinter group from Sheerith Israel formed B’nai Amoona. Members of B’nai Amoona could no longer use the Sheerith Israel cemetery, so they bought an acre from Mount Sinai on Gravois Road. In 1893, however, the two groups were reunited under the newer name.
To access B’nai Amoona records, click here.
Chesed Shel Emeth (“Kindness of Truth”) Society Cemetery
7570 Olive Street Rd.; St. Louis, MO 63130; 314-721-4658 and
650 White Rd.; Chesterfield, MO 63017; 314-469-1891 (main office phone number for both cemeteries)
The Chesed Shel Emeth Society was formed on 3 November 1888 by Russian Jews who had fled the murderous pogroms in the homeland. It was a chevra kadisha, literally a “holy society” for mutual assistance and especially for burial. The name, originally transcribed from the Hebrew as “Chased Shel Amas,” means “Faith in the Truth.” The society’s first goal was to buy a hearse, and by early 1889 enough money had been raised to begin the purchase of one by installments. A celebration was held at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol, then located on North 7th between Cole and King, and the hearse was paraded through the streets of the neighborhood.
After the hearse was paid off in 1891, the society was able to purchase an acre and a half on the west side of Hanley Road at Olive Street Road on 3 May 1893. The congregation dedicated the ground on 5 May, and the new fence and frame chapel were dedicated on 16 July of the same year. The old gate to the original part of the cemetery can still be seen on Olive. It has a cut limestone arch inscribed in Hebrew. An adjacent 19.19 acres were purchased in 1904 but not dedicated until September 1926. A new cemetery was launched in 1967, when thirty acres were purchased at 650 White Road, near Olive Boulevard in Chesterfield.
Chesed Shel Emeth did not originally intend to have its own synagogue. It concentrated on providing free burials to all, treating rich and poor equally, so that indigent families need feel no shame at such a critical time. As the society succeeded at this goal it was able to turn its attention to other needs, particularly a hospital, a senior citizens home and an orphans home. It supported Hebrew schools both here and back in Russia and Poland. Finally in 1919, Chesed Shel Emeth moved into its own synagogue at Page and Euclid. A new University City building, at North & South and Gannon, was built in 1950. The congregation remained Orthodox in its philosophy but finally disbanded in 1996, when the building was sold to Shaarei Chesed Shul.
On 8 May 2011, the Chesed Shel Emeth Society opened Beth Shalom Cemetery, located within the grounds of the cemetery on White Road. The new cemetery fills a growing need in the Jewish community for a final resting place for those converted to Judaism by a rabbi of any denomination. Since the original Chesed Shel Emeth locations are Orthodox, they will only accept Jews converted by Orthodox rabbis. The new cemetery does not have such a restriction.
To access Chesed Shel Emeth records, click here.
Chevra Kadisha Adas B’nai Israel Vyeshurun (“Holy Society and Congregation of Israel and Yeshurun”) 1601 North and South Rd. (at Page Blvd.); St. Louis, MO 63130; 314-427-0160
Indexed records and plot maps since 1922.
Began as another burial society (chevra kadisha) in 1920, when a group of interested laymen met at Zichron David Synagogue. The 10.2 acres at the corner of Page and North and South Rd. were purchased on 18 January 1922. The first interment was Miriam Elka Kaplan, who died on 22 September and was buried one day before Rosh Hashanah.
The cemetery society remains wholly independent of any congregation.
To access Chevra Kadisha Adas records, click here.
Chevra Kadisha Ohave Sholom (“Holy Society of Loving Peace”)
7400 Olive St. Rd.; St. Louis, MO 63130; 314-721-0026
The most recent Jewish cemetery established in the city, primarily serving German immigrants, Holocaust survivors, and their families. The cemetery was founded in 1937 by Brith Sholom (“Covenant of Peace”) with burials beginning in 1942 (Rosenbloom Monument Company map identifies many of those interred). Records are available through association president.
In 1937, a group of German-Jewish refugees formed Chevra Kadisha Ohave Shalom. The group had cultural evenings, performed the ritual preparation of the dead for burial, and helped new arrivals, including survivors of the Holocaust after World War II. Religious services were held on high holy days at Berger Memorial Funeral Home, but although membership grew to a high of 1,800 members, a decision was made not to make Ohave Sholom a full synagogue.
The group acquired a plot of ground measuring 88 by 91 feet from Brith Sholom in 1949. The cemetery’s careful maintenance is done by the staff of Chevra Kadisha Cemetery. In 1952, the nearby Wesleyan Cemetery closed in 1952, and its site became a grocery store. Brith Sholom sold their remaining land in 1958 to the Jewish Community Centers Association, which built a large community center building on the site.
This website provides grave site information and tombstone images. Information is supplied by volunteers. You may find photos and information from Jewish cemeteries on that site.
Jefferson Barracks Cemetery is part of the National Cemetery system established by Abraham Lincoln. Military burials in national cemeteries, including Jefferson Barracks, can be searched here.
Mount Olive (see United Hebrew)
Mount Sinai Cemetery Association
8430 Gravois Rd.; St. Louis, MO 63123; 314-353-2540
The original German minutes, since 1868 (and an English typescript, also at the St. Louis Jewish Archives), lists burials and includes the identified removals in 1872. A reconstructed single graves book gives name and location beginning with the earliest burials. A death register, indexed by initial, has entries starting in 1853. All but the minutes were microfilmed in 1972, and the American Jewish Archives holds a copy.
New Mt. Sinai Cemetery Association is a non-profit religious corporation providing mausoleum and in-ground burial arrangements for Jews and non-Jewish spouses throughout the St. Louis area. Owned by B’nai El, Shaare Emeth, and Temple Israel, the association was established in 1859.
To access New Mount Sinai records, click here.
Sheerith Israel (see B’nai Amoona)
7855 Canton Ave (at North and South Rd.); St. Louis, MO 63130; 314-727-9524
The original United Hebrew Cemetery was located in the City of St. Louis in the Mill Creek Valley. When opened in 1841, it was outside the city limits. Today, the area is in the railroad-owned land west of the Jefferson Avenue Viaduct, a bit north of the intersection with Chouteau Avenue. The cemetery was active in that location until 1867, when the city, faced with rapid growth and expansion, refused to allow any more burials there. United Hebrew then purchased land further west in what would become University City. The new cemetery, called Mount Olive, was dedicated in 1880, and, at that time, many bodies and gravestones from the old location were moved. Not until 1960 did the cemetery revert to its original name.
The congregation and trustees’ minutes record all early burials; the indexed cemetery death register, at the synagogue, records burials, beginning in 1849 to the present. It includes the names of those removed in 1880, when the original cemetery was cleared, and who were transferred to the current UH cemetery. The St. Louis Genealogical Society published an extensive and useful transcription of United Hebrew Congregation tombstone inscriptions in the older section of the current cemetery in “Old Cemeteries,” vol.1, 1982.
The main gate was originally on North & South, and the chapel there was used to prepare bodies for burial according to Orthodox practice. Twenty acres to the west of the original cemetery were purchased in 1929. Where the new caretaker’s residence was built in 1962, the old chapel was demolished, along with the former caretaker’s residence.
To access United Hebrew records, click here.
Jewish law prohibits cremation. Those who have elected cremation might be interred in a non-denominational repository. One such local place is Valhalla Cemetery Crematory and Mausoleum Co. The cemetery office is located at 7600 St. Charles Rock Rd.; St. Louis, MO 63133; 314-863-3011.
Last modified: 04-Jul-2016 11:08