Join our innovative new pilot project to protect and maintain our historic Jewish cemeteries and create a roadmap to sustain these sites for future generations.

Who We Are

Philadelphia is home to many historic Jewish cemeteries. Sadly, many of them are in disrepair, with broken and fallen headstones,  years of neglect and unstable ground that make them unsafe to visit. These problems require support beyond short-term clean-ups.

The Friends of Jewish Cemeteries is a special initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia to find long-term solutions to repair our region’s Jewish cemeteries and reconnect our community to its deep local roots. We are a group of volunteers with a shared passion who have come together to explore viable ways to secure these sacred places.


Do a Mitzvah & Help Cleanup Har Nebo Cemetery
Sunday, October 17, 2021  | 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
6061 Oxford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19149

Come do a mitzvah! Volunteer with your community and help cleanup Har Nebo, one of the region’s oldest and largest cemeteries. We will close with a memorial service to honor all of those buried at Har Nebo.

Volunteer Opportunities Include:

  • Raking 
  • Picking up trash
  • Clipping overgrown vines

We encourage you to bring a water bottle and work gloves. We will have a limited supply of work gloves available.

For more information and to register, click here.


As its first project, the Friends of Jewish Cemeteries is undertaking a pilot project at Har Nebo in the Northeast, one of the region’s oldest and largest cemeteries. The group’s initial effort will be the professional restoration of a section of 10 to 20 graves, reflecting the most common problems encountered at mature cemeteries. Our FAQ has more details. Click here to see the pilot project location.

The process will be documented for use in a multimedia how-to guide that will be available to others addressing similar challenges, including descendants of those buried at other local historic cemeteries, family genealogists and communities of all faiths.

The goals of the project are:

  • raise awareness of the preservation needs of historic cemeteries;
  • road-test a viable plan to improve conditions;
  • establish a fund to support restoration and preservation work;
  • identify and train local young people for careers in preservation; and
  • inspire a wider community to pursue similar activities through education about best practices.



Founded in 1890, Har Nebo is the city’s oldest privately owned Jewish cemetery.  Covering 28 acres in the Oxford Circle community of Northeast Philadelphia, it is the resting place of nearly 34,000 people and has few burial spaces remaining.

The Jewish Genealogical and Archival Society of Greater Philadelphia (JGASGP), in coordination with Har Nebo, has completed a valuable resource for genealogists—a comprehensive database of burials, searchable by surname or location.

Get Involved

  • Support our efforts by making a gift!
  • Volunteer for genealogy research and connection with descendants, documentation of the restoration, and other at-home and on-site activities by signing up for our mailing list!


Addie Lewis Klein