A fourteen-month celebration of the bicentennial of the Jewish community in Cincinnati kicked off on Saturday night and Sunday, September 25-26, with events in the West End, one of the early centers of Jewish life in this city.
The first event of this celebration was a concert headlined by the Jewish American reggae and rap singer Matisyahu on Saturday night. The Sunday morning events began with the official rededication of the Chestnut Street Cemetery. Opened in 1821, it was the first Jewish Cemetery west of the Allegheny Mountains and also the first Jewish community project, although individual Jews were already living in Cincinnati (beginning with the arrival of Joseph Jonas in 1817). The property, on the corner of Chestnut and Central Avenue, was acquired from Nicholas Longworth when Benjamin Lape (or Leib or Laib) approaching death, expressed a desire to be buried according to Jewish custom. The Chestnut Street Cemetery was closed in 1849 during a cholera epidemic. Read More >