“Jewish law requires that a tombstone be prepared, so that the deceased will not be forgotten and the grave will not be desecrated … The idea underlying this custom is that the dead will not be forgotten when he is being mourned every day…” — Jewish Virtual Library
In the fall of 2021 while updating the database for the United Hebrew Cemetery, with more than 7,000 burials dating back to the 1800s, the Cemetery Committee determined that there are graves that are lacking an appropriate marker identifying the name of the buried individual, especially in the Memorial Garden (600 grave section opened in 1964) which consist of the flat markers in the south central area of the cemetery.
Rosenbloom Monument Company was consulted to provide a cost estimate to create approximately 40 markers with an estimated cost of $10,000.
The Cemetery Committee researched Jewish community grants that may be available to help fund this project and applied for an “Anything Grant”—offered each year to St. Louis Jewish community partners which would have covered 50% of the cost. Unfortunately other community priorities took precedent and we did not receive the grant.
Next, the committee researched historical cemetery records, walked and photographed the area, and corroborated as much verifiable data as possible on the names, birth dates, and death dates of the individuals buried, via primary sources, such as obituaries and death certificates.
In the process of verifying these deaths and burials, we learned that some of these individuals had died with no known descendants, some were identified as “charity” cases and buried in donated graves, and others were residents of the Missouri State Hospital on Arsenal Street, at that time operated by the Missouri Department of Mental Health. A total of 37 verifiable unmarked graves were confirmed for the Memorial Garden.
Phase 1 – Fundraising & Timetable for Project Completion
Additional phases of the project are in the planning stages and will be updated as more information becomes available.
For more information about the “Remember Their Names” Project, or to make a tax-deductible gift, please contact Barry Krell, Cemetery Committee Chair, at (314) 997-0275, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the UH office at 314-469-0700, email@example.com.
If you are donating online, under “Type” please scroll down under donations and select Cemetery-“Remember Their Names” Project.