History of I.J. Morris
Established in Brooklyn, New York in 1888 by Joseph Morris, I.J. Morris, was incorporated in its present form in 1929. Joseph Morris was a prominent citizen in early Brooklyn, who owned and operated livery stables to furnish horse-drawn hearses and carriages for the conduct of Jewish funerals. When Jewish immigrants arrived in New York, they organized synagogues, formed mutual protection societies, chevra kadisha or sacred societies to bury the dead, and purchased cemetery property. In those early years, Joseph Morris recognized the commercial opportunity in securing an affiliation with these newly formed religious and secular Jewish organizations.
The original Morris location was at Thatford and Sutter Avenues in the almost exclusively Jewish community of Brownsville, Brooklyn. Most of the prominent Jewish schools, yeshivas, rabbinical seminaries, and synagogues had their roots in the community serviced by I.J. Morris.
In 1928, the Morris family built the first formal, modern Jewish funeral home in Brooklyn. Prior to the opening of the new Morris funeral home, Jewish funerals were serviced and conducted at the family residence or in some cases at the synagogue. This modern facility enhanced the already preeminent reputation of the Morris funeral firm in New York City. In 1953, the Morris family opened the first Jewish funeral chapel in Nassau County. This funeral chapel was renovated in 1993. The Hempstead chapel is the only Jewish funeral home outside of Israel that has a custom-made, stainless steel tahara table for ritual washing and dressing.
In 1977, I.J. Morris opened Suffolk County’s first Jewish funeral home in prestigious Dix Hills. After recognizing the need to remain in contact with its constituency, many of whom spend the winter or have relocated to Florida, I. J. Morris established its presence in the exclusive West Palm Beach area.
The reputation and goodwill of I. J. Morris, has been carefully stitched together over the past 111 years. During which time, the Morris family has earned a reputation for fairness, honest dealing, sensitivity to special secular and religious needs, and professionalism. From the early 1900’s to the present time, we have conducted approximately 2,500 funerals annually. The countless relatives, neighbors and friends who have attended the approximate 200,000 funerals are part of the heritage of I.J. Morris. We continue to serve a wide and varied constituency and have assembled an outstanding staff of professionals to meet these needs.