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Tifereth Israel Cemetery - New Castle PA

The Tifereth Israel Cemetery is a Jewish burial site located in the northwest section of New Castle, Pennsylvania. It is located at the end of Maple Drive off of the Wilmington Road (Route 18) and adjoining the northern most property of the Jameson Memorial Hospital. It was once accessible via a long-abandoned entrance off of West Leasure Avenue.

The small conservative Hebrew congregation known as the Tifereth Isreal was formed on the south side of New Castle in the 1870’s. The congregation erected its first synagogue on Home Street back in 1894, before moving to a new location on South Jefferson Street in 1909. St. Francis Hospital was later built on the bluff overlooking the synagogue. In about 1897 the congregation formed a Chevra kadisha (or “Holy society”), a group dedicated to upholding the traditional methods of burial for the deceased members of the synagogue. In early 1898 the group was petitioning for the establishment of a Jewish cemetery and a lot was purchased soon after. The earliest burial I can find a report of took place in July 1902, when nine-year-old Jacob Bennet, who had drowned in the Shenango River, was laid to rest.

On Sunday, June 27, 1948, a memorial was dedicated to the eight local Jewish servicemen killed during or just after World War II – four of which were eventually interred in the cemetery. The eight men are Max Aronson, Nathan Baskind, Hyman Buntman, Emanuel Fell, Dr. Meyer Frank, Joshua Kaplan, Stanley Luxenberg, and Herbert Silverman. The memorial featured a white memorial wall with eight small markers, each emblazoned with the name of one of the men, laid out in front. Longtime local jeweler and Jewish community leader Jack Gerson helped unveil the memorial, while the newly appointed Rabbi Jules Lipschutz led the service. Several local military veteran organizations took part in the dedication of what some dubbed “Little Arlington.”

The Tifereth Israel congregation remained on South Jefferson Street for almost five decades until a modern synagogue was dedicated on East Moody Avenue in May 1958 – just next to a Jewish synagogue of the reform movement built in 1927 and known as the Temple Israel. At that time the Jewish population in New Castle, which had generally migrated to the surrounding North Hill section of the city, was at its peak with about 300 total families but began a steady decline over the next few decades. In 1998, due to dwindling attendance, the congregation had no choice but to merge with that of the neighboring Temple Israel. The long discussed union of the two congregations was given the name of Temple Hadar Israel, which made the existing Tifereth Israel Synagogue its new home.

Years later a new version of the World War II memorial, which had grown a little worn, was commissioned. Sadly, the impressive large white wall and the eight flat markers were removed and replaced with a single gray granite memorial wall. The new memorial stone contains the same original inscription as its predecessor, as well as the names of the eight men, and was dedicated during a ceremony on Sunday, September 9, 2012. The new memorial, located near the original entrance at West Leasure Avenue, was essentially “turned” to face the rest of the cemetery.


Tifereth Israel Cemetery is located just northwest of Jameson Memorial Hospital (North). (c2012)


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This is the original memorial dedicated in June 1948 to the eight local Jewish servicemen killed during or just after World War II. Four of the men were eventually interred in the cemetery. It was located near the original entrance to the cemetery off West Leasure Avenue. It was replaced with a newer memorial in 2012. (Mar 2012)


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The new World War II memorial that was dedicated in September 2012. (Mar 2013) Full Size


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Comment

  1. HELLO can you tell me if their is any kaufmans in this cemetary

    George Searfoss · 11/03/2015 02:29 PM · #

  2. have family buried in New Castle-cemetery-don’t know if this is the one-believe so
    last name of Cohen, Sigler, Perez
    please let me know todah

    Sarah Bielsky · 11/30/2016 12:25 PM · #