Hebrew Cemetery, operated by Congregation Beth Ahabah, has played an important role in the history of Beth Ahabah and its predecessor congregation, K.K. Beth Shalome.
It is located on Shockoe Hill at Fourth and Hospital Streets, a site that was chosen in 1816 after the first cemetery of our congregations, located on Franklin Street, was filled. The Franklin Street Burial Grounds, founded in 1791, was the first Jewish cemetery in Virginia and continues to be maintained by the Temple.
The Soldier's Section contains the graves of 30 Jewish Confederate soldiers who died in or near Richmond. In 1866 the Hebrew Ladies' Memorial Association was formed to care for this section. This organization paid for individual grave markers for the soldiers, commissioned an elaborate ornamental iron fence to surround the plot and sponsored commemorative services for the soldiers.
The fence, which still stands today, was designed by Richmond artist Major William Barksdale Myers prior to 1873. The individual grave markers were removed during the 1950's and a central granite marker was erected in their place. Today the section, like the rest of the cemetery, is maintained by Congregation Beth Ahabah.