Side A: Chestnut Street Cemetery is the first Jewish cemetery in Ohio and the earliest west of the Allegheny Mountains. It was established in 1821 when Nicholas Longworth sold land to Joseph Jonas, David I. Johnson, Morris Moses, Moses Nathan, Abraham Jonas, and Solomon Moses for $75 as a “burying ground.” Benjamin Lape (or Leib) was the first buried there with Jewish rites. The purchase of the original plot marks the beginning of an organized Jewish community in the Queen City. Chestnut Street Cemetery, although enlarged by adjacent purchases, closed in 1849 when cholera ravaged the city and filled available space. In all, there are approximately 100 interments on the site. Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati maintains Chestnut Street Cemetery as well as many other Jewish cemeteries in the region.
Side B: Cincinnati provided Jewish immigrants from England and Continental Europe with a home to practice their religion without persecution. Joseph Jonas (1792-1869), often considered the first Jewish resident of Cincinnati, arrived from his native England in 1817. By the start of the Civil War, Cincinnati was home to approximately 7,000 Jewish immigrants and ranked as one of the more populous Jewish centers in the US. Cincinnati Jews set down roots and established religious and cultural institutions according to Jewish traditions and beliefs while contributing to the political, industrial, and philanthropic growth of the city. Many early Jewish social welfare organizations in the country originated in Cincinnati and in 1896 combined to form United Jewish Charities. For two centuries, prominent Cincinnati Jews have held positions in local, state, judicial, and governmental offices.