9. Hebrew Cemetery

The earliest Jewish settlers came to the Brownsville area around 1845 just before the beginning of the U.S.-Mexican War. On May 21, 1868, the Hebrew Benevolent Society of Brownsville and Matamoros, represented by S.M. Bleu, B. Kowalski, and others, participated in a transaction with Charles Stillman which deeded a half acre of land next to the Old City Cemetery for a Jewish cemetery. Before the Hebrew Cemetery was established local residents wanting burials in accordance with Jewish traditions transported the deceased to Laredo, TX or Monterrey, Mexico where the closest Jewish cemeteries were located. Some Jewish residents originally buried in the Old City Cemetery were disinterred and re-buried after the Hebrew Cemetery was established. In the 1950’s, the Temple Beth-El congregation assumed responsibility of the Hebrew Cemetery even through it is still owned by the Hebrew Cemetery Association.