Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery
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Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery Chesed Shel Emeth ("Kindness of Truth") Society Cemetery
7570 Olive Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 721-4658

Jewish Cemetery
Established: 1888
Size: 20.69 acres
Burials indexed: 17,105
(1888-2002)

Photo taken by Phil Klasskin© 2011; used with permission.

GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 38.67097, Longitude: -90.333602        Click here for Google Map

The Chesed Shel Emeth Society was formed on November 3, 1888 by Russian Jews who had fled the murderous pogroms in the homeland. It was a chevra kadisha, literally a "holy society" for mutual assistance and especially for burial. The name, originally transcribed from the Hebrew as "Chased Shel Amas," means "Faith in the Truth". The society's first goal was a hearse, and by early 1889 enough money had been raised to begin the purchase of one by installments. A celebration was held at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol, then located on North 7th between Cole and King, and the hearse was paraded through the streets of the neighborhood.

After the hearse was paid off in 1891, the society was able to purchase an acre and a half on the west side of Hanley at Olive on May 3, 1893. The congregation dedicated the ground on May 5 and the new fence and frame chapel on July 16 of the same year. The old gate to the original part of the cemetery can still be seen on Olive. It has a cut limestone arch inscribed in Hebrew. An adjacent 19.19 acres were purchased in 1904, but not dedicated until September, 1926. A new cemetery was launched in 1967, when thirty acres were purchased at 650 White Road, near Olive Boulevard in Chesterfield.

Chesed Shel Emeth did not originally intend to have its own synagogue. It concentrated on providing free burials to all, treating rich and poor equally, so that indigent families need feel no shame at such a critical time. As the society succeeded at this goal it was able to turn its attention to other needs, particularly a hospital, a senior citizen's home and an orphans' home. It supported Hebrew schools both here and back in Russia and Poland. Finally in 1919, Chesed Shel Emeth moved into its own synagogue at Page and Euclid. A new University City building, at North & South and Gannon, was built in 1950. The congregation remained Orthodox in its philosophy but finally disbanded in 1996, when the building was sold to Shaarei Chesed Shul.

General information on cemeteries and other resources in Missouri:
http://www.iajgsjewishcemeteryproject.org/missouri-mo/index.html

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