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Hopkins Street Cemetery Clean-Up

Sunday, May 30, 2021 19 Sivan 5781

2:00 PM - 3:30 PMHopkins Street Cemetery

Unrest and revolution in the German states compelled thousands of people to leave their homeland. Already home to a Germanspeaking 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 post Mitzvah Day Celebration on Sunday, May 30, our congregation is reaching out to our members to participate in cleaning up Hopkins Street Cemetery. This event will begin at 2:00 pm. Feel free to bring garden clippers, metal rakes, and shovels. We will start with a brief service, and then the clean-up 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.


Yes, I will be there on May 23 at 1:00pm to help with the clean-up.  
Let us know who else will be coming with you.
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Mon, June 14 2021 4 Tammuz 5781