JCAM Past, Present & Future

History of the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts

From the late 1800’s through the 1940’s, Greater Boston’s Jewish community was predominantly comprised of immigrant groups that came from Eastern Europe before and after the Holocaust. As these new Americans settled in Boston and the surrounding towns, they created the foundation of Jewish communities in Massachusetts.

One of the first steps was establishing and providing individuals Jewish burial sites. Over time, with changes in demographics, many of these original communities disappeared, but their cemeteries remained, leaving an historic reminder of these original Jewish immigrant groups. The result was second generation associations with a single purpose, the need for cemetery management.

Chevra Thillim Cemetery

This is the Chevra Thillim Cemetery on Centre St., West Roxbury before JCAM was created.

Chevra Thillim Cemetery

This is how Chevra Thillim  looked in 1986, after JCAM began restoration.

Chevra Thillim Cemetery

This is Chevra Thillim after complete restoration. In 2004, JCAM held a rededication ceremony.

JCAM was established in 1984 out of the need to ensure the Jewish community the continuity of Jewish cemetery management would continue long after the original burial societies were unable to care for the cemeteries. It all began with 17 Jewish cemeteries, 5 of which were abandoned. Today, JCAM cares for more than 125 of the 222 known Jewish cemeteries in Massachusetts. These include the oldest (the Temple Ohabei Shalom Cemetery in East Boston) and newest (the Beit Olam East Cemetery in Wayland). Over our nearly 40-year history, JCAM has become an important Jewish cultural and historical resource.

Restoration is the core foundation upon which the success of JCAM has been built. Our restoration projects include preserving historic chapels and creating memorial gardens. We have replaced concrete walkways that have crumbled dangerously through the years. We have replaced fences, gates, and masonry that have deteriorated over time.

As more independent cemetery associations join the JCAM family, we have modernized our record keeping systems to keep up with the growing needs of the community. When needed, we provide graves for the less fortunate of our community, responding to the need for Jewish tradition and continuity. Our work ensures that future Jewish generations will have peace of mind regarding their loved ones resting on our cemeteries.

Your support of our efforts is crucial to our ongoing success. All donations to the JCAM Charitable Foundation are tax deductible. Thank you.


Jcam cemetery

JCAM's Newest Cemetery

Beit Olam East Cemetery, Wayland


Prayer Garden

Prayer Garden, Beit Olam Cemetery


Prayer Garden Chapel

Quincy Hebrew Cemetery, Baker Street

Baker Street


Mohliver Cemetery, Baker St.