Peoria Hebrew Cemetery


Peoria Hebrew Cemetery is located in the city of Peoria at
2807 W. Heading Avenue, 61604.


Peoria Hebrew Cemetery(photo by J. Crandell)
This enclosure was erected as a memorial to
Israel Bennett who pioneered this cemetery
by his grandson Louis S. Oppenheim

"The Jewish cemetery that was known as Brith Israel, located on Heading Ave., west of Sterling Ave. was purchased Jan. 21, 1873, from Thomas S. Dobbins and wife, Israel Bennett, Jacob Conigisky, Levi Meyers, Lewis Brim and Aaron Mittenthal for the purpose of a cemetery where none but orthodox Jews could be buried. (Note; Reformed Jews are buried elsewhere, most of them in Mt. Sinai, Springdale.)
     The purchasers of the tract deeded a quit claim in 1874, to the trustees of the congregation of Brith Israel and their successors in office. A clause was added in 1901 that appointed Sam Woolner, Moses Gumbiner and I. J. Levinson for life. During the year 1918 the name of the cemetery was changed to Peoria Hebrew Cemetery, owned by the Peoria Hebrew Cemetery Association. On Dec. 1936 the officers of the association are; M. Wegner, Pres., Sam Ketay, V-Pres., Sol Lipkin, Treas. Roughly scratched in the cement drive at the entrance is the following:

J. Frankel)
John Levie) -life trustees
D. Wallk)
July 28, 1922

     To the left of the drive at the entrance gate stands a memorial building, the front of which is used as a chapel, and the rear as the living quarters of the custodian.
     Over the door of the chapel entrance is inscribed, MIRAM AND EZRA KETAY MEMORIAL: in the base of the window at the left of the chapel door, PEARL RAFFELOUGH CATRON: and at the right of the door, in the window's base, JACOB SILVERMAN, in the northwest corner of the building there is a stone bearing the following; ERECTED 1918 LAID BY S. MOSKOVITZ?
     Above the door leading from the north side of the chapel may be seen, "In memory of our Beloved Son, Issidor Moskovitz, born February 28, 1903 - Died Sept. 20, 1922" On the window base to the west of the door is inscribed MR. AND MRS. I. I. FEINBURG, and the window base to the east of the door bears the name, ESTER SILBERSTEIN.
     After entering the chapel, one of the first objects to attract the attention is a small pulpit, on the front of which may be seen in gold letters on black glass, "In Memory of Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Cohen." On the wall in the corner there is a board which shows the list of donors who made possible the erection of the building.
     A blue print which shows the platted site, 330 x 896 feet, and also the location of a vault in the northwest corner of the chapel building wherein bodies are placed temporarily, in case of emergencies, as an orthodox Jew believes in burial services within 24 hours after death.
     In the cemetery are to be found grave markers which show burial dates, June 18, 1851 and July 30, 1861. These remains have been transferred from the Old Jewish Cemetery on South Adams St. There are other old stones with inscriptions in Yiddish.
     A small section of the cemetery is set aside for the burial of persons having committed a major crime, particularly murder. Their remains are not allowed to be buried on consecrated ground."
(Excerpt from the book Inscriptions of 58 Cemeteries by Ruth Crim, Winona Pfander and Margaret Herberger)

Tombstone Photo Project (over 900 photos by Steve Slaughter)


Any contributions, corrections, or suggestions would be deeply appreciated!

Copyright 2003-2007, Janine Crandell & all contributors
All rights reserved
Updated October 22, 2006