Ushpoler Benevolent Association

The Ushpoler Benevolent Association was created in New York in 1906 to serve the needs of the immigrant community, located mainly on the Lower East Side.


One of the major activities the group undertook was to purchase and run a burial plot for its members in Baron Hirsch Cemetery, Staten Island.  Click here to see the members who were buried here.     

This beautiful photo seems to be a meeting of the Ushpoler Benevolent Society at Baron Hirsch Cemetery, where they have an organizational plot.  It was taken in 1916 and contributed to us by Neal Eisenberg on behalf of the Fin Family.  See the Fin Family page for identification of their family members.

cem 1916 sm  Click on the photo to see a larger version


  Click here to see a copy of the Incorporation Papers of the Ushpoler Benevolent Association.



Clues from a Cup

My great-grandfather Harry Siegel was a Litvak. Maybe he was from Vilnius or from near Salakas, where my namesake great-grandmother Taibel Rachman Siegel came from. No one was sure. Searching for genealogical records always yielded too many Harry Siegels. Then my mother found a sterling Kiddush cup, a small, plain cup with the inscription “Pres. by Ushpoler Benv. Ossn Nov. 5, 1921.” Now there were records to check. The Ushpoler landsmanshaft was for people from the town of Uzpaliai in Lithuania, 114 kilometers north of Vilnius. Before World World II, 551 Jews lived in the town. The Uzpaliai records matched generations of Siegel first names.  We used the Kiddush cup most recently for our child's Friday night dinner before his bar mitzvah. The story of the cup moved a Siegel second cousin almost to tears; he talked all weekend about how it felt to see the Kiddush cup being used by a great-great-grandson at his bar mitzvah. —Jonina Duker

From the newsletter of Congregation Beth El, Bethesda, MD

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