37 unmarked graves of St. Louis Jews to get new headstones


Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

In the fall of 2021, while updating the database of more than 7,000 burial records of the 180-plus- year-old United Hebrew Cemetery, it was discovered that many graves in the Memorial Garden section lacked appropriate markers identifying the name of the deceased. Further research into records revealed that some of these individuals had no known descendants, some were listed as “charity” and others had resided at the former Missouri State Hospital on Arsenal Street.

Since Jewish law requires a marker of some kind be used so that the deceased will not be forgotten, the congregation created the “Remember Their Names Project.” The project raised funds to memorialize the individuals who were not provided an appropriate grave marker following death.

Rosenbloom Monument Company was contacted to provide a cost estimate to design and furnish gravestones for the 37 burials discovered in that section. The project set a goal of raising $10,000 to fund the grave markers and their installation. That goal was reached and now the project is advancing with special ceremony on Sunday, May 21, at 1 p.m.

Monument Dedication Service

The entire community is invited to attend the official Monument Dedication Service where the first of 37 new markers will be installed at gravesites.

“For whatever reason these 37 people did not get stones and now their graves are officially marked, and their names remembered,” said Rabbi Brigitte S. Rosenberg, the senior rabbi at United Hebrew. “I think it is important for the community to join in remembering them and saying kaddish for them.”

The goal is having all 37 completed by Shavuot 5783 which begins on Thursday, May 25, at sundown.

Following the initial phase of the project, the committee expects to expand to other areas of the cemetery, including those interred who had been relocated from the original burial grounds in the city of St. Louis in 1880.

For more information or to make a tax-deductible gift for the “Remember Their Names” project, visit the UH website or call 314-469-0700.