Landsmannschaften and Burials

Many eastern Europeans after arriving in the United States, and other countries, formed community associations or landsmannschaften (Yiddish) with other "landsmen" who were now beginning a new life in a new land. These associations were often extensions of those that existed in their hometowns. The groups helped new immigrants navigate the complexities of the new world while providing a foundation of old and new friends from back home. Along with hosting meetings and social activities, the associations also raised money for landsmen in need and to send back to those remaining in the country of origin. Many also encouraged their members to write down their remembrances and then published memorial books to their towns and the residents killed during the Russian Revolution or Holocaust. These books, known as Yizkor Books, can be found in libraries throughout the world. The Stavisht Yizkor Book has been translated, from the Hebrew and Yiddish, and can be read, in English, online at JewishGen.

cemetery gates In New York City, Stavishters organized a landsmannschaft named the First Stavishter Benevolent Association. As was the protocol of most landsmannschaften, the Association purchased plots of land within local cemeteries to be used for members' burial needs. The New York cemeteries, both located on Long Island, were Beth Moses and Old Montefiore.1 A list of surnames found within these plots has been posted online through the Cemetery Project at the online Museum of Family History. These individuals' names, along with additional headstone information, are included in the Stavisht Resident Database accessed from the People page of this website. Another Stavishter section has been identified in the Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus, New Jersey. Are there others? Would you like to volunteer to collect headstone information?

In Boston, the United Brothers of Stavisht became involved in their Jewish community. The Ladies Auxiliary of this organization is listed as a life member on a donor plaque, dedicated in January 1953, supporting Boston's Jewish Memorial Hospital.2 It is believed Stavishters had similar landsmanschaft organizations in Philadelphia and, possibly, Buffalo, and Chicago. If you have information about these other organizations or would like to research their existence, please contact the webmaster so the information may be included here.