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Cleanup and Restoration of the Beth Jacob Cemetery Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0200-0019

Scope and Contents

The records of Cleanup and Restoration of Beth Jacob Cemetery are created and collected by Joshua Finkelstein between 2008 and 2009. Subseries A. contains gravestone inscriptions from an earlier volunteer inscription project under the Jewish Federation Cemetery Corporation. Some are listed as inscribed in English only or in Hebrew only.

Different research strategies would be suggested to find out gravestone information in Subseries B. Gravestone Records/Photographs. Researchers who know a lot location would likely found a result from Beth Jacob Cemetery Records. The cemetery is organized in three sections, lots A, B, and C. Lot A is the left side of the cemetery from the main gate and Lot B is located on the other side. C spreads horizontally behind both A and B lots. The first page of the cemetery record explains the layout. Photographs are arranged alphabetically by last name. However, only 157 photographs of gravestones are listed by last name and could be single, companion, or family type.

Subseries C. chronologically documents the cleanup and restoration project in photographs, a report, and clippings that Joshua Finkelstein had compiled.


  • 1990-2009
  • Majority of material found within 2008-2009


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Cleanup and Restoration of the Beth Jacob Cemetery Records, 1990-2009 [bulk 2008-2009] are open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Historical Note

Before the Beth Jacob Cemetery (also known as Doat Street Cemetery) at the end of Lanford Street, Buffalo, was legally transferred to the Jewish Federation Cemetery Corporation in 2002, it had been neglected and struck by extensive vandalism for 40 years. Most of the individuals buried in Beth Jacob Cemetery died in the later 19th or early 20th centuries. Its total accounts are 275 gravestones.

Joshua Finkelstein, a high school sophomore at Nicolas School and a member of Eagle Scout Troop 156 (chartered by the Jewish Community Center), heard about this cemetery from his father, Mark Finkelstein (a troop master of the troop), and designed a project to test his leadership skills.

On February 18, 2008, he wrote a letter proposing clean up and restoration of Beth Jacob Cemetery to the Jewish Federation Cemetery Corporation and got approval the following month.

Tearing down brush, trees, and clutter, repairing or replacing fences, signage, and fallen headstones, the project was successful due to tremendous local support from the troop, their family friends, students from University at Buffalo, congregational members of a nearby church, and members of the board of the Jewish Federation and Temple Beth Zion.


0.65 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box, 1 half manuscript box)


Cleanup and Restoration of the Beth Jacob Cemetery Records document mainly the cemetery inscriptions, and Joshua Finkelstein’s leadership activities of Cleanup and Restoration of the Beth Jacob Cemetery in 2008.


This collection is arranged in one series as follows:

  1. Cleanup and Restoration of the Beth Jacobs Cemetery Files

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated in 2011. All digital materials have been retained by the creator.

Accruals and Additions

No accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

Processing Information

Records were processed by Kuniko Simon, June 2016. Finding aid created by University Staff, July 2016.


Finding Aid for the Cleanup and Restoration of the Beth Jacob Cemetery Records
Finding aid written by Kuniko Simon, June 2016.
June 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)