Landsmanshaft Cemeteries Project

Gravestones can provide very important information to people researching their families. In particular Jewish gravestones usually list the first name of the person’s father (although usually just in Hebrew).

One way Jews who moved to the US found help in their adopted country was to join Landsmanshaft organizations, which included other immigrants from the same towns or regions in Europe, and helped the immigrants adapt to their new country – and also frequently bought cemetery sections and sold plots to their members.

Landsmanshaft, pl. Landsmanshaftn – immigrant mutual-aid societies formed in the late 19th and early 20th century by Jewish immigrants to the US and Israel. At their peak in the early 20th century, there were thousands of these organizations in the US. As members aged and their children integrated into mainstream society, the great majority of these organizations disappeared.

We’ve identified two cemetery sections that were purchased by Kanczuga Landsmanshaft organizations, and have photographed all the gravestones. The two cemetery sections are from:

Erste Kańczuger Unt. Verein (Mount Zion Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens, NY)

Photos of Erste Kanczuger Unt. Verein Section (taken by Cheryl Sandler)

First Kańczuga Society (Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Iselin, NJ)

Photos of First Kańczuga Society Section (taken by Philip Trauring)

Where possible we’ve already added the names of the people buried to the photo galleries. Moving forward we will be transcribing all of the information on the graves and adding this information to the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) database.

We need a volunteer coordinator to manage these transcriptions. The coordinator need to be comfortable reading the Hebrew transcriptions, be able to convert Hebrew dates, etc. If you are interested in this position, please Contact Us.