Holy Order of the Living was founded in 1909 to provide burial rights according to Orthodox ritual. The cemetery is located in Cheektowaga on Pine Ridge Road and remains closely associated with descendants of the Sokolivka community in Buffalo. The organization remains an independent organization.
In 1964, its members erected a monument to commemorate one of the pogroms that happened in Sokolivka in 1918. The line by line Hebrew text on the monument (whose image is included in the photograph gallery below) is translated from the Hebrew and recalls the deaths of many as well as that of Rabbi Pinchas Rabinowitz who was murdered during the pogrom. His brother, Rabbi Eliyahu Yosef Rabinowitz, a revered Chasidic rabbi served briefly in Buffalo, and is buried in an Ohel on Pine Ridge on the opposite side of Holy Order of the Living.
For these we are crying
And our eyes drop tears
For our brothers and sisters
the people of Sokolivka
the town of our birth
our Rabbi, our Master, our Teacher
Reb Pinchas son of Rabbi Gedaliah Aharon
Martyred in the Sanctification of His Name.
This constitution and by-laws of Holy Order of the Living is a significant multi-page document that tackles rules and regulations for members on issues of rights, duties and responsibilities. While the organization dates its formation from 1909, this version of the bylaws included sections that were revised after that date as late as the 1930s. They cover a range of topics including the membership of women, remarriage, and assignment of graves and shed light on the inner workings of a group addressing end of life questions.
University at Buffalo, University Archives
- Ms 200.33 Individual and Community Memorabilia Collection, 1890s-2016 (bulk 1942-1987)
- Ms 200.07 Jewish Genealogical Society of Buffalo Records
Collection at the Benjamin and Dr. Edgar R. Cofeld Judaic Museum
- Ferne Mittleman Research Papers
Acknowledgements and Thanks
Our thanks to Steve Lippa of Holy Order for his permission to image framed and other materials at Holy Order of the Living.