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38th IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy August 5-10, 2018 Warsaw, Poland

Jewish Cemeteries

of greater Paterson

The Jewish cemeteries of the greater Paterson area were started by synagogues, landsmanschaft societies, fraternal, and service organizations. More than twenty cemeteries were organized in this way.

After many years some of the sponsoring organizations became defunct; cemetery committee members died or moved away, and the cemeteries needed care and attention. The Jewish Federation of North Jersey developed a plan to maintain the cemeteries in perpetuity following an approach set by Cleveland and Toronto.

They created an independent corporation called the Cemetery Association of the Jewish Federation of North Jersey, Inc. Now in Totowa, NJ, this association maintains the independent Jewish cemeteries in a manner that is in keeping with the heritage and tradition of the Jewish people (see below).

A series of meetings was convened with the independent cemeteries to explain the purpose of the corporation. To date several cemeteries have become members of the Cemetery Association, while others still maintain their independence.

The first cemetery for Paterson's Jewish citizens (mainly the Ashkenazi Orthodox Congregation B'nai Jeshurun), believed to be the oldest organized Jewish cemetery in New Jersey, was located in Clifton (then known as Acquackanock Township). The B'nai Jeshurun Jewish Cemetery was used for only a short time (see link for additional details).

With the great influx of German Jewish immigrants to Paterson in the 1860's, the congregation (whose name later changed to Barnert Temple) outgrew its original cemetery and purchased a larger cemetery in Totowa, Mount Nebo Cemetery (founded in 1866), which is the congregation's burial ground today.

The other main synagogue in Paterson, Temple Emanuel, also established its own cemetery. Today two cemeteries exist, one in Saddle Brook (Passaic Junction Cemetery) and another in Paramus (Cedar Park Cemetery).

Ahavath Joseph established a Congregational Cemetery in 1890 in Paterson.

The combined Congregation B'nai Israel-Ahavath Joseph later on established a cemetery on Midland Avenue in Saddle Brook, NJ, now known as the Midland Avenue Cemetry, which also houses an area for the Yavneh Academy Cemetery.

The Water Street Shul established a small cemetery in Totowa (today managed by Noble Construction, a cemetery maintenance contractor).

Passaic Junction Cemetery (on Dewey Avenue, Saddle Brook) is not a real cemetery, but an area with several society plots, including Congregation Ahavath Torah (purchased by the Nathan & Miriam Barnert Organization); Barnert Lodge; Independent Worker’s Association Br. #5; Paterson Worker’s Alliance, Farband; Paterson Zion Camps #6; Temple Emanuel; Paterson Workmen's Cirlcle.

There are Workmen's Circle plots and specific landsmanshaft sections in which Jewish Patersonians are buried in several other Jewish Cemeteries in the area, including: Beth El Cemetery (which includes an area for the Fair Lawn Jewish Center, where many Patersonians relocated) and Cedar Park Cemetery (both in Paramus, NJ); King Solomon Memorial Park (Clifton, NJ); Menorah Cemetery (the Jewish section of East Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clifton, NJ); and Riverside Cemetry (founded in 1907 in Saddle Brook).

The Cemetery Association of the Jewish Federation of North Jersey owns and manages twelve small congregation cemeteries and one landsmanshaft plot in north New Jersey (not: the plots on Dewey Avenue in Saddle Brook are part of the Passaic Junction cemeteries):
Americus Lodge, Midland Avenue, Saddle Brook, NJ;
A.M. White Lodge, Riverview Drive, Totowa, NJ;
B'nai Sholom Organization, Dewey Avenue, Saddle Brook, NJ;
Independent United Jersey Verein, McBride Avenue, West Paterson, NJ;
Nathan & Miriam Barnert Organization (Jacob Dineson Lodge), McBride Avenue, West Paterson, NJ;
Passaic County Club, McBride Avenue, West Paterson, NJ;
Stein-Joelson Lodge, Riverview Drive, Totowa, NJ;
Temple Emanuel of North Jersey, Dewey Avenue, Saddle Brook, NJ;
Workmen’s Circle Branch #121, Dewey Avenue, Saddle Brook, NJ;
Workmen’s Circle Branch #970, Dewey Avenue, Saddle Brook, NJ;
Workmen’s Circle Branch #13, Chobot Lane, Elmwood Park, NJ;
Yanover Lodge, Dewey Avenue, Saddle Brook, NJ.
(note: Knoble Construction manages the above cemeteries for the Jewish Federation.  In addition, it maintains the Congregation B'nai Yeshurun/Yavne Academy Cemetery, Midland Ave, Saddle Brook, NJ);
Ozorkower Ben. Society, Dewey Ave, Saddle Brook, NJ

[More information to be included at a later date.]