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Hopkins Street Cemetery Cleanup

Sunday, May 22, 2022 21 Iyar 5782

1:00 PM - 3:00 PMHopkins Street Cemetery

Help us to continue our mission cleaning up Shaarei Tzedek

Unrest and revolution in the German states  compelled thousands of people to  leave their homeland. Already home to a German-speaking  community, Milwaukee became a magnet for these immigrants. Among the priorities of a  fast growing Jewish population was the establishment of a cemetery. 

Congregation Ahabath Emuno purchased an acre of land located at the intersection of Hopkins and Chambers Streets at a cost of $1,200 in 1854. The Register of Deeds records the area as the “Old Jewish Cemetery.” Some Jews were buried on this ground as early as 1847. Congregations Imanu-Al and Anshe Emeth also agreed to bury their members at this cemetery as a final resting place. When B’ne Jeshurun was established in 1856, they took over management of the cemetery and  changed the name to Hopkins Street Cemetery. The last recorded burial was in 1888. 

A number of graves were relocated in 1896 when a portion of the property was condemned by  the City of Milwaukee to widen  Chambers Street. Families were contacted and as a result some bodies were moved to another section of the cemetery and  others were relocated, mostly to Greenwood Cemetery. Records show 87 bodies are still buried at the cemetery. 

At the time of the merger of Emanu-El and B’ne Jeshurun in 1927, one of the articles of the agreement stipulated that the Hopkins Street Cemetery be preserved. In 1980, the Board of Trustees appropriated a substantial sum of money to refurbish and maintain the cemetery. All of the headstones remaining were placed in one grave, the grounds were landscaped and on May 28, 1981 a memorial service was held, rededicating the cemetery as an event of the 125th Anniversary renaming it “Shaarie Tzedek.” 

As part of our Mitzvah Day Celebration on Sunday, May 22, our congregation is reaching out to our members to participate in cleaning up  Hopkins Street Cemetery. This event will begin at 1:00 pm. Please bring garden clippers and metal rakes. We will start with a brief service, and then the cleanup begins.

If you wish to volunteer, please register below or call the synagogue office at (414) 228-7545. 

The entrance to Hopkins Street Cemetery is 1615 West Chambers Street. Click here for a map.

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Thu, May 26 2022 25 Iyar 5782