The Jewish cemetery of Totowa

I was looking at the map of Riverview drive, or Annie’s rd as it is more commonly known, when I noticed a graveyard off in the woods. This wasn’t Laurel Hill, that’s farther down the road past midgetville and Route 80. So there’s an abandoned graveyard off to the side of the haunted road where dwarfs live? Well that demanded an investigation…

When I visited I saw that the entrance to the cemetery was thru the driveway of an auto salvage yard or construction company. At first it looked like any other cemetery, but then I examined it further and that’s when it got really weird. First off, it had appeared to be old and abandoned, but it wasn’t. There were several fresh graves. Second, almost all the graves were Jewish. third, I found a sign that said this graveyard was maintained by the construction company. What does a construction company have to do with Jewish people? It wasn’t a Jewish construction company… and why was it located in such an oddball place?

I did some web searching and found out that the Jewish Federation of North Jersey Cemetery Association owns numerous graveyards and that the Knoble Construction Company apparently manages several of them. I presume therefore that family would go up the construction company driveway. I just don’t know why the Jewish Federation chose such an obscure spot that would require driving thru a construction company to get to it.

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11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by joe on March 26, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Where is Ahavas Joseph cemetary ? and is it for sale?

    Reply

  2. Posted by JCarbone on April 9, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    4/9/11

    Anyone visited cemetery lately?

    Reply

  3. Posted by BEN GLASSMAN on October 8, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    sorry wrong phone ..it is 595-0555

    Reply

  4. Posted by BEN GLASSMAN on October 8, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    my grandparents are buried there..I went yesterday Oct 7th, 2010 and it is very difficult to drive up that road (stones, branches, etc)..I also saw on the graves a small writing that says
    Perpetual Care
    I.F.N.J
    585-0555

    I tried calling that phone number using a 973 area code and it is a car service..
    My parents are not alive nor any of my uncles or aunts..but I would like to know who can take care of the graves as i live quite far …

    Tnank you

    Reply

  5. Posted by evan spivack on July 27, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Please send me the phone number for:
    Independent United Jersey Verein on McBride Ave , West Paterson N.J

    This is very inportant as my Father has a plot there and we need to talk with someone about this

    The name is under Jack Spivack
    Thank you

    Evan Spivack

    Reply

  6. Yes, I am interested. Thank you.

    Reply

  7. Posted by a fan on March 26, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    The jewish cemetery by the “construction company” is actually in Totowa. I don’t seem to know the construction company you refer to. The old house on the right as you go up ht e road is actually the land owner. I have spoken with him in the past.The large empty lot along the dirt road on the right on the way  up to the cemetery is all his. This place used to be  Passaic Valley Auto Salvage—a junk yard. It has been cleared out quite some time ago.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Eagles on March 26, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    Concering your article about the jewish cemetery, I am somewhat familiar with it and some of the story surrounding it. Yes, it is a jewish cemetery. Yes,burials are still done there. When you mention the construction company, are you referring to Case Equipment, behind the Bethwood? Case Equipment has nothing to do with the cemetery at all. The Jewish Federation of North Jersey is the “owner” of the cemetery and many others in the area. They contract out the maintenance worh. Hence the sign for Knoble Construction Company on the fence. Knoble Construction does not do construction work at all. I think the owners father may have at one time. But now all they do it cemetery maintenance work.

    At one time I was even actively pursuing the contract to care for this cemetery. I have been a caretaker for at least 20 years now.  I think I may know why the cemetery is situated in an inaccessable spot. Originally the cemerery covered the area includind the existing cemetery and the area that is now Case Equipment.I guess over the years with declining membership in the organization and declining dollars, the cemetery committee decided to sell off a portion of the land. They effectively landlocked themselves in the process. Access is now by way of a dirt road, quite bumpy and overgrown at times. 

    Access is not as hard as it seems. I don’t want to say how to get in, property owner doesn’t need the headache. But there is not much to see here anyway. The small building that once stood in the middle of the cemetery has long since been torn down. Too many kids at night , too many liquor bottles strewn about.
    Hope you received my letter concerning ” the jewish cemetery “. If you would like I can give you the location of another cemetery in the area. This one ,   It is TOTALLY landlocked. It is surrounded by single family homes. This one is abandoned, and very overgrown. This one, I have never been in. Access, I would assume , would be through someones property. A few years back, I aws looking at a home for sale in the area that actually abutted the cemetery,and while in the yard took a better look at the cemetery. Very hard to see much of anything, as it was very overgrown.

    Anyway , let me know if you are interested.

    Reply

    • Posted by JCarbone on February 21, 2011 at 11:26 AM

      I have often wondered about this cemetery as we drove by it on Route 80. I tried to find out how to access it. Low and behold, as we were driving down Riverview Drive, there was a small wooden sign indicating a cemetery…I want to drive up there when the snow is all gone. Thank you for the information.

      Reply

      • Posted by donna on November 10, 2015 at 9:26 PM

        How do I get to the cemetery

        Reply

        • Posted by Lenore Mehr Kalotai on May 16, 2016 at 8:13 PM

          There is an unmarked road off of Riverview Dr. almost opposite Margaret St. It goes up a long hill and curves to the right and ends at the cemetery entrance. I have 7 relatives buried there that I discovered after I received my great-grandfathers death certificate. After I searched for this cemetery, and visited it in January 2015, I discovered my great-great grandparents buried there and I hadn’t know their names before or that they were even in this country. Also, my great uncle, Alex Mehr is listed at the entrance as a member of the original cemetery association. I have been trying without luck to find out if there are records of these people buried there. I have called the Jewish Federation a few times and have only gotten an answering machine, and never have been called back. Very frustrating. If anyone has any info on anything to do with this cemetery, please let me know.
          I have pictures posted at Find a Grave:
          http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSmcid=48086543&GRid=141091230&

          Reply

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