JCC Tales from Historic Fairview Cemetery

Tales from Albuquerque’s Historic Fairview Cemetery

Historic Fairview Cemetery at 700 Yale Blvd SE in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was founded in 1881. It has approximately 12,000 permanent residents. Yet, only about 6,000 of the graves have markers. It’s the final resting place for both the famous and the unknown. There are military graves for Buffalo Soldiers and Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, notable politicians, business leaders, and unknown individuals who still have fascinating stories.

Gail Rubin, CT, president of the nonprofit Historic Fairview Cemetery organization, will introduce you to some of these stories in a free online presentation on Wednesday, February 17 at 10:30 a.m. The JCC is hosting a virtual coffee event where she will talk about additional notable people, including pioneer Jews who are buried in the Congregation Albert historic section. They include business people and merchants with well-known names such as Ilfeld, Bibo, Rosenwald and Nordhaus. Click here to register for this webinar. You can also email mayas@jccabq.org for more information.

About Gail Rubin

Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®, is a death educator who uses humor, film clips, and outside-the-box activities to help people plan ahead for our 100% mortality rate. She’s the author of three award-winning books on planning ahead for end-of-life issues (A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips, and Kicking the Bucket List: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die), creator of The Newly-Dead Game and The Family Plot File, and an informed advocate for planning ahead.

A member of Congregation Albert’s Cemetery Committee since 2010, Gail has experience with historic cemeteries. This Jewish cemetery, adjacent to Historic Fairview Cemetery, was originally founded by B’nai Brith in 1897 with the involvement of Albuquerque’s first mayor, Henry N. Jaffa. Jaffa was also the first president of Congregation Albert, founded in 1897 and the oldest continuing Jewish organization in New Mexico.

Gail became president of Historic Fairview Cemetery in March of 2020. The nonprofit organization is charged with maintaining the grounds and educating the public about the history of Albuquerque as told by the cemetery’s permanent residents. She has organized monthly volunteer clean up days, created signage for the cemetery, generated news coverage, and worked with cemetery historian Susan Schwartz to create self-guided cemetery tour information. The nonprofit is also working on making the cemetery a xeriscape demonstration garden.

Gail is coordinator of the annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival, which donates a portion of sponsorship proceeds and ticket sales to support Historic Fairview Cemetery. She’s also a TEDx speaker, and a winner of the 2019 Women of Influence Award from Albuquerque Business First.