Chesed Shel Emes Rescues Jewish Woman From Potter’s Field on Hart Island and Brings Her to Kevuras Yisrael

By Hamodia Staff

Chesed Shel Emes pickign up a meis mitzvah on Hart Island. (CSE)

It has been almost a full year, but with persistence the remains of a Jewish woman have finally been brought to their proper resting place in kever Yisrael.

When this woman in her 50s passed away on March 24, 2023, her mother was quite ill, and her sister, who is not religious and married out of the Jewish faith, told the medical examiner that the family was not interested in disposing the body and the city should do whatever it usually does with unclaimed remains. This led to her burial in the potter’s field cemetery located on Hart Island in the western end of Long Island Sound.


Several months later, the mother passed away, and the sister put her house, located on the outskirts of Boro Park, up for sale. The lawyer who handling the sale questioned the sister about other possible relatives who might have a claim to the estate, and she mentioned that she had a sister who passed away and was buried “in the Bronx.” When gathering the paperwork, he noticed that the burial had taken place on Hart Island, and he was determined to bring this forsaken Jewish woman to kever Yisrael.

Although the sister was too emotional to make any decision, her non-Jewish spouse responded positively to the request of the lawyer, and after a while the sister agreed to go ahead with the kevurah.

The first step was determining that the woman, who was of Russian descent, was actually Jewish. The sister said her mother lit candles and did perform other Jewish rituals, and when the mother’s death certificate showed that her father’s name was Solomon Margulies, and her mother’s name was Blima Tabak, it confirmed that she was indeed Jewish, and that a Jewish burial was in order.

The lawyer contacted Chesed Shel Emes, and the paperwork was filed with the Human Resources Administration which runs the cemetery on Hart Island to disinter the body.

“On Friday, Chesed Shel Emes got a call that the ferry to the island would take us today, and we sent our truck to pick up the body,” Shloimie Feldman of CSE told Hamodia. “We brought the body to Shomrei Hadas Chapels, where a taharah was done and the body was prepared for kevurah.

Chesed Shel Emes truck on the ferry to Hart Island. (CSE)

Kevurah took place on Tuesday, March 19, at 2:00 p.m. in the Chesed Shel Emes cemetery in Woodridge, NY, and the talmidim of Yeshiva Zichron Mayir of Mountaindale provided a minyan, as they always do for kevurah of a meis mitzvah in the CSE beis olam in Upstate New York.

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