Cemetery History
Hebrew Cemetery History
Jewish tradition teaches that establishing a cemetery is an urgent priority for any new Jewish community. Leadville’s explosive growth and the death of Gustave “Fred” Jelenko in June of 1879 accelerated the establishment of the Hebrew Cemetery in January 1880. Leadville’s Jewish community interred his body in the Hebrew Cemetery in January of 1880. At the time of his burial — the first one held in the Hebrew Cemetery — the area consisted of 101,000 sq. ft. in the southwest corner of Evergreen Cemetery.

Over the ensuing decades, the Hebrew Cemetery served as the resting place for 132 Jewish souls, including Minette Miller (1894-1981), the last living immediate descendent of Leadville’s pioneer Jews. Only 59 original markers remained; 60 lost markers were replaced, but 13 proved to be unlocatable. The creation of the Temple Israel Foundation in the 1980s and its subsequent acquisition of the Hebrew Cemetery have restored solemn dignity to this sacred space.
Dedicated volunteers, led by the Denver chapter of B'nai B'rith, have since cleared the Hebrew Cemetery of heavy overgrowth, constructed a new fence, erected an entry arch, and replaced grave markers and monuments. The Hebrew Cemetery was reconsecrated in August of 1999.

The first modern interment took place in the new Block E in December of 2001. B’nai B’rith’s ongoing support and volunteer-driven annual June clean up, along with periodic working visits from members of the Synagogue of the Summit, enables the Temple Israel Foundation to operate and maintain the historic Hebrew Cemetery.

Temple Israel Foundation
208 West 8th Street
Leadville, Colorado 80461

Temple Israel Museum
201 West 4th Street
Leadville, Colorado 80461

Hebrew Cemetery
SW Corner of Evergreen Cemetery
North end of James Street, Leadville
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