Our Stories

Hebron's Stories

If a story is important, then it must be told. We can portray dreams of what the future may hold, or allow introspection on what has occurred in the past. A story is a narrative that can relay lessons and warnings. A story can teach us about hope and remind us how important and meaningful our lives are. We are unearthing stories about those buried at Mount Hebron Cemetery.

Kossuth Ferencz Hungarian Literary, Sick, and Ben

The Kossuth Ferencz Hungarian Literary, Sick, and Benevolent Association was founded in 1904 to help Jewish immigrants from Hungary who settled in New York City. Through membership dues and fundraising events, the group was able to help newcomers make a smoother transition to life in America with affordable medical attention, social activities, literacy assistance, and burial arrangements. This non-profit society, later incorporated as the Kossuth Association of New York, was named for a former Minister of Commerce in Hungary who, like his father Lajos Kossuth, was a dedicated advocate for Hungarian independence. Since Mount Hebron was established, nearly 600 members and their relatives have been buried in the Kossuth Association section, which features stately pillars and gates honoring the group's male and female leaders, all immigrants themselves. - Written by Marian Burk Wood, a descendant of Kossuth founders.

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Mirer Young Men

The Mirer Young Men's Benevolent and Educational Society was organized July 5, 1903. "Mirer" refers to the town of Mir in Eastern Europe. Mir was founded in the mid 1300's, sometime before 1345. Jews first started settling in the town in the 1600's. The Jewish population in Mir grew rapidly and by the later half of the seventeenth century, the city was noted as having a large Jewish population. Starting around this time, many of the townspeople were traders and merchants, including many in the town's Jewish population. Later in 1815 marked the opening of the Mir Yeshiva. After its opening many of Mir's Jews made money lodging its students. By the end of the 1800's, the town's population was more than half Jews. ~Blog Writtten by Emily Hazy

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The Zwanitzer Podolier Sick and Benevolent Society

The Zwanitzer Podolier Sick and Benevolent Society was founded by immigrants from what is now Zhavanets, Ukraine to subsidize burials and run charitable events. Members were likely either immigrants from the province of Podolier in the Russian Empire themselves or had parents from Podolier. The region experienced significant emigration in the late 1800's and early 1900's, which greatly decreased the Jewish population of Ukraine. Before this large-scale emigration and the devastation of the holocaust in the 1930's and 40's, more than a quarter of the world's Jewish population lived in Ukraine, with most of these people speaking Yiddish. ~Blog Written by Emily Hazy

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Workmen's Circle

Founded in 1892 and nationalized in 1900, the Workmen's Circle (now known as the Worker's Circle) is a nonprofit originally set up as a mutual aid organization which also provided health and death benefits. The society, initially known by its Yiddish name Der Arbeter Ring, was founded in an apartment at 151 Essex Street in New York City. The organization was created in the late 1800's in response to the hardships faced by newly arrived Jewish immigrants. These problems included ones previously faced in their home countries such as exploitative business practices and poor living conditions. These were compounded with new challenges such as integrating into a new country while maintaining traditions. Consequently, the Worker's Circle is historically associated with Jewish Unions and Socialist ideals. Early members and applicants were required to be union members and were expected to vote along pro-labor lines. ~Blog Written by Emily Hazy

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Freedom Benevolent Society

Located on Block 25, Reference 17 is the Freedom Benevolent Society. Initially founded as the Erster Kaiser Franz Josef Kranken Unterstutzungs Verein (First Franz Joseph Sick and Benevolent Society) the Freedom Benevolent Society was founded in 1882 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan by Jewish immigrants from Austria-Hungary. The initial name paid homage to the emperor of Austria-Hungary at the time of the society's founding, before it was renamed in 1940. It is likely that the original members of the organization were from German-speaking communities, given that some early records of the club were written in German. The society was all male. However, it was apparently associated with the Franz Joseph Ladies Sick and Benevolent Society. Less information is known about this society, but it operated at least in the 1930s and 40s. It is likely that the society operated before this, as the earliest death date for a society member buried at Mount Hebron is 1900. The last society member buried in Mount Hebron died in 1991.

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