What continues to tie these families to the area – and to each other – is B’nai Israel, the cemetery for generations of this region’s families: great-grandparents, who paved the path for religious and economic freedom; grandparents, who crossed the boundaries of the old world and new traditions; parents, who worked tirelessly to support new dreams; as well as extended families of aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters; and dear friends and teachers.
Today, B’nai Israel Cemetery is more than simply a graveyard. As the only Jewish cemetery in the area, it is, in many ways, the last vestige of Northern Rhode Island’s Jewish history. It holds countless stories of families and friends, their shared celebrations and struggles, milestones and losses.
Just as establishing a sacred cemetery was imperative for the ﬁrst Jewish families in and around Woonsocket, so too is our solemn obligation to preserve B’nai Israel Cemetery. By looking towards the future of the cemetery, we continue its lessons and show our respect for those who came before us, those who cared for us, and those who will remember us, as we remember them.