History of the B'nai Israel Cemetery
The Oldest Jewish Cemetery in North Central Florida
The untimely death of a 20-year-old boy and a disputed lottery played major roles in the 144 year history of B'nai Israel Cemetery, believed to be the oldest separate Jewish cemetery in Florida. When young Abraham Pinkussohn died on August 27, 1871, he was buried in a plot of ground east of downtown, along a "cow path some distance from the nearest dirt road," according to Samuel Proctor, official historian of the Gainesville Jewish Community. Five months later, Pincus Pinkussaohn and Gerson Joseph obtained a deed for one acre for $20 naming it the Gainesville Jewish Cemetery. In 1946, the Gainesville Jewish Cemetery had officially been incorporated into the supervision of Congregation B'nai Israel, earlier established on December 22, 1921.
For the complete story of our cemetery's origin, click here.
The B'nai Israel Cemetery is located on the corner of Williston and East University Avenue.