Temple Israel Cemetery & Levy-Cooper Chapel
You do not need a reservation to visit the cemetery during open hours; however, we recommend you let us know if you plan to visit. Please call the Welcome Center desk at 901.761.3130.
Hours of Operation
Sunday-Thursday: 10:30 AM – 4 PM
Friday: 10:30 AM – 2 PM
The cemetery is closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays(including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Shavuot, and the first and last day of Sukkot and Passover).
The Temple Israel Cemetery
Judaism teaches that our cemeteries are equally as important as our synagogues. Wherever Jews have lived, across time and space, burial societies were the top priority to care for loved ones who are no longer with us.
In 1846, the first Jewish Cemetery in Tennessee was quietly created when a plot of land was purchased by Joseph I. Andrews to bury his brother, Samuel E. Andrews. The year 2021 marked 175 years since the cemetery’s inception.
To this day, it is one of the most historic and beautiful cemeteries in the Jewish world.
Temple Israel’s historic cemetery has served as the congregation’s burial ground since 1846. A special section of the cemetery established in 1900 contains remains that were moved from the congregation’s burial ground on Bass Avenue (later Jefferson Avenue). This section, surrounded by a wrought-iron fence, contains the graves of many of the congregation’s earliest members, as well as numerous victims of the yellow fever epidemics that plagued Memphis during the 1870s.
The cemetery has been expanded only once, in 1991, when the congregation purchased additional land across from the existing cemetery to meet future needs. Burials in the new section began in 1994.
The Levy-Cooper Chapel was constructed on the grounds in 2006 and has held congregational services since January of 2007. It is a 150-seat venue that provides year-round weather protection for those attending funerals and other ceremonies on the grounds.
On September 27, 2014, Temple Israel dedicated a memorial to recognize congregants who lost their lives in service to our country.