As our ancestors emigrated and settled in new countries, they often clung to their landsmen, the people from their same town, and they often formed benevolent aid societies (landsmanshaftn). These aid societies would serve the community of landsman by making loans or grants to those in need, providing a form of community insurance. One of the functions of a landsmanshaft was to purchase society burial plots in cemeteries, so that the members would all be assured of a place for proper Jewish burial. (For more general info on landsmanshaftn, see the JewishGen InfoFile on that topic. Also see this site about New York landsmanshaftn.)
New York Landsmanshaft. Incorporation papers for the City of New York contain two incorporations for Machnovka landsmanshaft associations:
Machnowker Benevolent Association. Incorporated June 18, 1906 in City of New York. Initial six directors of the corporation were Nathan Morrison, Abraham Teller, Abraham Fine, David Pereles[?], Louis Heller, and Israel Gold. [Ref: 1906 Doc# 2422. AJHS film XXVII (028).]
Machnowka Aid Association. Incorporated in 1912 in City of New York. Initial five directors of the corporation were Bernard J. Fox, Peter Fox, Benjamin Spiro, William Weisberg, Louis Weisberg. [Ref: 1912 Doc# 1196. AJHS film XXXIV (035).] It seems likely that this was a re-organization of the same society, rather than a second society. (Louis Heller, from the first incorporation, and the Weisbergs from the second, are both buried in the same society plot at Mt. Zion Cemetery, owned by this association. Further, an inscription on the gate pillar lists "Leib Heller" as ex-president and "Bernet Fox" as president. Thus, it seems pretty clear that this second organization was just a reorgnization of the first one, and not a "rival" organization.) A constitution of this organization dated 1932 indicates that the group was originally formed in June 1895.
New York Burial Plots. The Machnowka Aid Association owned plots in four cemeteries in the New York area:
Zion. 5963 54th Ave., Maspeth, NY 11378 (Queens). (718)
Two plots: Path 5 Right, gate 5; Path 37 Right, gate EL-6. (See photos.)
New Mount Carmel.
8345 Cypress Hills St., Ridgewood, NY 11385 (Queens). (718)
Section 2, block 3, map 7. (Posted as "Chevra Anshei Machnovka Unt. Verein")
300 Elmont Rd., Elmont, NY 11003 (Nassau). (516) 328-1300.
Section C, block 8.
Wellwood. Wellwood Ave., Farmingdale, NY
11735 (Suffolk). (631) 249-2300.
Block 20, section 2.
Philadelphia Burial Plots. The Moshe Machnovker Society has a landsmanshaft plot at the Montefiore cemetery in Philadelphia. The Society was named after a cantor from Makhnovka who was the grandfather of some of those buried there (though the cantor never came to America). It includes a couple of rows of graves with posts along the road with Hebrew inscription identifying the area. Names on the tombstones include Lieberman, Keyser (Kaiser), Litman, Spector, and Lieberman. Nathan Litman was the founding president of the Society. [Info contributed by Richard Litman.]
This page maintained by Tom Chatt. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or contributions.
Updated by TRC 8 Oct 2006
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