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Historic Cemeteries

Washington’s historic Jewish burial grounds are located in Southeast.

Adas Israel acquired its cemetery almost immediately after its 1869 founding. Washington Hebrew also made a cemetery a first priority. It purchased a small plot on Hamilton Road (now Alabama Avenue, SE) in the early 1850s, before moving to an area adjacent to Adas Israel’s land in 1879. Ohev Sholom purchased land nearby by 1895.

Members of other congregations typically purchased plots through fraternal organizations. Landsleit (countrymen) from Elesavetgrad in Russia bought burial plots together in the early twentieth century and named the cemetery for their Russian home. They offered space to fraternal groups and smaller congregations.

Commercially-run cemeteries offered plots in the more spacious suburbs for congregations and unaffiliated Jews. Recently, Washington Hebrew Congregation organized a 152-acre nonprofit cemetery, Garden of Remembrance (Gan Zikaron) Memorial Park, in Clarksburg, Maryland. It opened for use by the entire Washington area Jewish community in 2000.

Entrance to Adas Israel Cemetery

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1. Entrance to Adas Israel Cemetery

The chapel at Adas Israel Cemetery, a gift of the family of Bernard Schlossberg, was built in 1922.

Photograph by Jeremy Goldberg
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Entrance to Washington Hebrew Congregation Cemetery

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2. Entrance to Washington Hebrew Congregation Cemetery

The early Washington Hebrew cemetery is called Machpelah after the Biblical burial site of the matriarchs and patriarchs in Hebron.

Photograph by Jeremy Goldberg
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Entrance to Ohev Sholom Talmud Torah

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3. Entrance to Ohev Sholom Talmud Torah Cemetery

Photograph by Jeremy Goldberg
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Chapel, Ohev Sholom Talmud Torah Cemetery

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4. Chapel, Ohev Sholom Talmud Torah Cemetery

The cornerstone for this chapel in the Ohev Sholom Talmud Torah Cemetery was laid in 1895.

Photograph by Jeremy Goldberg
Tifereth Israel, Elesavetgrad Cemetery

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5. Tifereth Israel, Elesavetgrad Cemetery

The D.C. Hebrew Beneficial Society and a number of congregations, including Tifereth Israel as seen here, share space at Elesavetgrad Cemetery. Others with sections in the cemetery include Kesher Israel, Southeast Hebrew, and Beth Sholom Congregations.

Photograph by Jeremy Goldberg
Elesavetgrad Cemetery

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6. Elesavetgrad Cemetery

Elesavetgrad, a Russian town named after Czarina Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, was the old-country home of grocers and shopkeepers who formed the Southeast cemetery in the early twentieth century.

Photograph by Jeremy Goldberg