The Hebrew Charitable Burial Ground was established by deed on September 11, 1851 when a portion of Darius Wait’s farm in the Maplewood neighborhood of Malden was sold to the Shaar Hachayim Association for $237.50. The association was a benevolent partnership formed in 1851 by a group of Jewish merchants who sought to establish a burial ground open to poor Jews unable to afford plots in private congregation-owned cemeteries. The cemetery was sold and changed hands numerous times over the years. The Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts finally acquired the property in 1986.
There was only one Jewish cemetery in the Boston area at the time – Ohabei Shalom Cemetery in East Boston, associated with Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Mass. Founded in 1844, it was the state’s first Jewish cemetery. The Hebrew Charitable Burial Ground in Malden was the second Jewish cemetery in the Boston area, and likely in Massachusetts.
Of the 1439 burials recorded at the cemetery between 1888 and 1919 (the date of the last burial), 1,188 were children under age 5 and 1,258 were individuals under age 20. While many cemeteries of the era had childrens sections, there are no other cemeteries in Massachusetts occupied predominately by children. The fact that most of the graves are unmarked is consistent with Jewish funerary practices at the time, which prescribed no period of mourning and discouraged headstones for young children.
The cemetery sits on 3/4 acre. The earliest death date is 1853 and the latest 1919. There are approximately 150 headstone.
The Massachusetts Historical Commission refers to this cemetery in MACRIS as MAL.801 Hebrew Cemetery - Hebrew Charitable Burial Ground.
GPS Coordinates: 42.43931, -71.04769
- Added: 28 Jan 2002
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #1060071
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