Jewish Genealogical Society to tour historic Chicago cemetery on Aug. 11

  • The Hebrew Benevolent Society of Chicago was founded in 1851. Mike Karsen

    The Hebrew Benevolent Society of Chicago was founded in 1851. Mike Karsen

Martin Fischer
Updated 6/27/2019 7:30 AM

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois will tour the Hebrew Benevolent Society Cemetery at 3919 N. Clark St. in Chicago on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, starting at 11 a.m.

The Hebrew Benevolent Society Cemetery is believed to be one of the oldest existing Jewish burial grounds in the Chicago area. The first interment occurred in 1854. The Hebrew Benevolent Society, which was founded in 1851, owns two parts in what is often referred to as Jewish Graceland Cemetery: gate 2: B'nai Shalom, KAM (948 burials); and gate 3: Hebrew Benevolent Society (1,249 burials).


This tour will be led by Cathy Eiseman-Horwitz, who is co-owner of the cemetery. She will explain the history of the cemetery and lead us through the cemetery, visiting the graves of some of the most significant individuals buried there.

Attendees are asked to bring folding chairs, because chairs will not be provided for the 15-minute introductory talk.

For those coming from the North suburbs, carpools will form in Edens Plaza by the Walgreens at 10:15 a.m. If you can drive or would like a ride, please email JGSI at or call 312-666-0100.

Street parking for this special event is available on Clark Street in front of the cemetery.

The CTA Irving Park #80 bus stops at Clark, about one block from the gate. The Clark #22 bus runs on Clark, and the CTA Red Line Train's Sheridan stop is about a half-mile from the cemetery.

Several prominent people or their ancestors are buried in the Hebrew Benevolent Society Cemetery. They include Col. Marcus Spiegel (1829-1864), a Civil War veteran, whose family helped start the Spiegel mail order and catalog store. Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, known as the organizer of the National Council of Jewish Women and who was its president from 1893 to 1905, is buried nearby.

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For more information about this special event and to RSVP, go to or phone 312-666-0100.

JGSI has indexed the records of the Hebrew Benevolent Society Cemetery as part of the JGSI Jewish Chicago Database (JJCD), and they can be searched at JGSI has also made these indexed records available worldwide through JewishGen's JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR).

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots.

The JGSI motto is "Members Helping Members Since 1981." The group has more than 300 members.

Monthly meetings, usually held at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, feature informative speakers as well as access to an 800-volume genealogy research library and expert volunteer genealogy help desk. Members also have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members forum, more than 40 video recordings of past speakers' presentations, the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more. For more information, see

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