The Hebrew Free Burial Association (HFBA) began in the 1880's as a free burial society serving the residents of Manhattan's Lower East Side and was incorporated in 1889. As the need grew in adjacent Jewish communities, HFBA also grew to serve the broader metropolitan area of New York City. HFBA is currently the largest free burial society outside of Israel. HFBA is unique in that it cares for impoverished, marginalized Jews after death. Typically, an indigent person in New York City is buried in an anonymous mass grave in Potter's Field after lying in a morgue for up to a month or may be transferred to a medical school for dissection and research. HFBA, through its contacts with city and social service agencies, is notified about Jewish decedents and makes arrangements so that every Jew receives a prompt, dignified Jewish funeral and burial.
125 Maiden Lane
New York, NY 10038