Cincinnati’s bicentennial Jewish festivities kick off this weekend


The Cincinnati Jewish community kicks off its bicentennial celebration this weekend with the re-dedication of Chestnut Street Cemetery, the first Jewish cemetery west of the Allegheny Mountains.

The fenced-in burial site at Chestnut Street and Central Avenue in the West End was established in 1821 to bury the first Jewish settlers in Cincinnati even before the city’s first synagogue, which is now the Rockdale Temple, was inaugurated.

Thus, the anniversary of the cemetery is also the anniversary of the Jewish community.

Over the past 200 years, Cincinnati has become the birthplace of American Reform Judaism and ordained the first female rabbi in the United States.

The Cincinnati Jewish Bicentennial has partnered with the Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati Art Museum, ArtsWave, and the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund for programs throughout the year.

The dedication of Chestnut Street Cemetery will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Also part of this weekend’s celebration, the Ish Festival, a festival of Jewish and Israeli arts and culture, will be held at Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine. Tickets are required for the Night Market and Musician Matisyahu’s concert on Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Ish festival is free on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information on the bicentennial, visit

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