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From the Archives: City Rest

2010 May 23

I stumbled on this little cemetery tucked between two buildings on 21st Street a couple of weeks ago. Burials have been illegal in Manhattan since 1852, so finding a cemetery here means finding history. Apparently, this one belongs to Congregation Shearith Israel, which was founded in 1654 and was the first Synagogue in New York City. The plots here were relocated from another cemetery on 11th Street that was reduced in size by the city’s grid plan in 1830. In 1860, the congregation built an adjacent synagogue on 20th Street, which is now gone.

If you’d like to read more you can start here.

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