The Hebrew Free Burial Association is incorporated as Chebra Agudas Achim Chesed Shel Emeth (The Society of the Brotherhood of True Charity) by Barnett Freedman, Louis Michilitsky, Selig Bergman, Marks Silva, Joseph Mistorsky, Max Cohen, Abraham L. Stone, Levy Minsky, and Abraham Greenberg on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
HFBA grows to an organization of 4,000 members, most of whom contributed $5 or less annually. The annual meeting attracted 500 participants and received coverage in The New York Times. HFBA was able to proudly declare that since its inception, no Jew had been buried in Potter's Field.
HFBA inaugurates its Second Century Campaign and launches a major outreach effort to agencies assisting indigent Jews as well as a fundraising drive to reach those who can provide financial support. Liaisons with agencies assisting the poor, ill and homeless are established and brochures, a newsletter (later named the Chesed) and a public relations campaign are initiated to publicize the unique and important work of HFBA.
UJA-Federation launches Operation Exodus to help Jews leave the Soviet Union. Over the next decade, more than 40,000 Jews per year come to the United States and burials at HFBA rise to record levels in response to immigration.
The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation grants funds to repair the physical condition of Mount Richmond Cemetery, to mark graves and to refurbish the cemetery's chapel. The Weinberg Foundation continues demonstrating substantial generosity and support over the next decade, and Mount Richmond's historic chapel is renamed in their honor.
2020Forced to work remotely, HFBA responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff works around the clock to provide a proper funeral and burial for over 250 victims of the pandemic. Every single deceased received a tahara and a burial presided over by our Rabbi.
2022HFBA is well known to social service and health agencies that aid the elderly, frail, sick, mentally ill and homeless. To facilitate our work, we maintain close relationships with governmental agencies such as New York City's Public Administrators, the Human Resources Administration and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. HFBA remains committed to its unique, important work of ensuring that every Jew, no matter how impoverished or marginalized by society, receives the dignity of a traditional Jewish funeral and burial. Along with this, our founding mission, we renew our communal responsibility to maintain our cemeteries by restoring Silver Lake and the older areas of Mount Richmond, by rebuilding fallen monuments, and by ensuring all graves are permanently marked with respect.
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