Young historian to give talk on Hebrew cemetery – Rutland Herald

Posted By on July 30, 2021

GRANVILLE, N.Y. Born in Israel, raised in both Philadelphia and Vermont, young Netanel Crispe is steeped in history.

While he wont start college until the fall, Crispe, of Danby, is director of the East Poultney Jewish Cemetery Restoration Project, an effort that saw a neglected, nearly forgotten Hebrew cemetery in Poultney restored in early June.

Hell be giving a talk on the project, as well as his other historical endeavors, at the Slate Valley Museum in Granville, New York, on Sunday at 1 p.m.

People can attend in person or watch online.

Those watching online, and museum members, can see it for free. Non-members have to pay a $10 fee. Folks who are coming in person should pre-register by calling 518-642-1417 or emailing

Those attending in person should bring masks, owing to the ongoing pandemic. Those who want to watch online can find links to the livestream on the museums website,, or its social media pages.

Crispe said he wants people his age to better understand the importance of not only learning their history, but of uncovering and preserving it. He believes knowing ones history can establish their identity and allow them to craft a brighter future by learning what worked and what didnt.

The Hebrew cemetery in Poultney is the oldest of its kind in Vermont. Crispe said it contains about 80 headstones, though there may be more people buried there. It had become overgrown and many of the stones were broken.

His effort, aided by the town, the Poultney Historical Society, and hundreds of people worldwide, raised $19,000 to see it restored. He said 26 people came together in early June to clear the vegetation and repair many of the headstones. The cemetery has a state historical marker and leftover funds will be used by the town to keep it maintained.

The cemetery was established in the 1870s, according to Crispe, but the congregation in charge of it had disbanded by the turn of the century, its members moving to other areas.

Crispe said he plans to study history at Yale in the fall. He has spent the past seven years of his life with a metal detector looking for artifacts and relics and donating them to museums and historical societies. Some of his more interesting finds include pins that celebrate the inauguration of President George Washington.

Netanels work is tied in many ways to our mission here at the Museum, stated Slate Valley Museum Executive Director, Sarah Kijowski. We explore the lives and experiences of people who worked in and around the industry, including local Jewish communities, and much of what we do focuses on sharing and preserving their past.

In a release, she stated that Crispes zeal and tenacity impressed her.

What hes done is a real testament to whats possible when we believe in our work and have the drive, courage, and the will to forge ahead. It doesnt matter how old you are, how underserved or under recognized the area is that you live in, or how long the odds seem. We are certain that our audience will appreciate Netanels energy and find relevance and purpose in his work, maybe even feel compelled to help preserve pieces of history and share the stories that they hold in their own communities. Thats at the heart of what we do, she stated.


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Young historian to give talk on Hebrew cemetery - Rutland Herald

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