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The Shulman family of the Slabodka Yeshiva

Shulman Family ( of Slabodka)

My husband and I would often meet Rabbi Natan Shulman and his gracious wife; Lea (the daughter of Rav Yechiel Sclessinger) , during their stay in Los Angeles. Every winter they would come from France ( Strasbourg) and spend a few months in Los Angeles. They modestly spoke about their most distinguished ancestry when I probe them to talk about their childhood.

Reb Mordechai Shulman married Chaia Miryam, the daughter of Rabbi Isaac Sher of Slobodka. Her mother was the daughter of Rabbi Nosson Hirsh Finkel ( The Saba from Slobodka) They had three children. Their only son ; Natan Zvi-Hirsh ( named after his illustrious great grandfather , Nosson Hirsh Finkel) was born in Kovno in 1930. They also had two daughters; Ester Rivka and Avigail Gutl...Reb Mordechai Shulman replaced his father in law as one of the heads the Yeshiva of Slobodka ( in Kovno) after his father in law left to establish a Yeshiva in Eretz Israel. Hard times fell on the Yeshiva during the late 1930s’ and Reb Mordechai traveled to America in the hopes of finding a place for the Yeshiva in the United States. As the war started in 1939 he was trying to get his family to join him in America, but this was not to be…..In 1940 the Soviets annexed Lithuania and did not let Lithuania citizens leave the region other then exiling them to Siberia

In June of 1941 Germany attacked the Soviet Union. From this point of time there was no communication between Rav Mordechai Shulman in America and his family in Kovno for the next four years.

Chaia Miryam Shulman was a brilliant woman by accounts of all who knew her. She was determined against all the odds to save  her children. Already in the first months of the Jews being transferred to the Kovno Ghetto many of the children who lived in what was known as the small ghetto were killed. One day Chaia Miryam was able to leave the Ghetto and get in touch with a Jesuit priest named Smilgevi?ius. She implored him to help her as her colleague. First, it was well known in Kovno that her family was connected to a dynasty of Jewish religious leaders. Second; her husband is a Rabbi, which is similar job to his- So, he should help her children to find Lithuanian families who would keep them safe until the area is liberated. The Jesuit priest promised to help. Some guards were bribed and the children were transferred to the priest..- The priest arranged for her son, Natan, to hide with the family Tautkuvenia. There was another Jewish girl who hid with the same family. Each of the family members hid with a different Lithuanian family.  For the daughter Ester it was a little easier, she was red head and did not look Jewish. It was difficult for Natan who had to hide from the neighbors and the Germans. He could not keep Kosher and the years of the Shoah left a big imprint on his life. As the area of Kovno was liberated by the Soviets in the summer of 1944, the family united again. They got in touch with the father in America and eventually they all moved to Eretz Israel.

  1. Some information about the father;
    Mordechai Zee’v; was born in 1902 well travel already as a child going to several yeshivas. Amongst others he studied with Chafetz Chaim- typically to his lifestyle even his Bar Mitzvah was on the road- people he only recently met arranged for cakes and food for him. . No family members were present. He later studied in Slobodka were he made very good impression on everyone who met him. He also studied in Chevron Slobdka and later returned to Kovno to the Slobodka Yeshiva and eventually married the daughter of the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Sher. He was sent to the U.S to find a place in New York for the yeshiva for safety. He sent for his family to joined him but the trip was delayed ( his wife was reluctant to have her kids grew in America)  By the time she agreed It was too late- war started and he could not get in touch with his family or the Yeshiva in Kovno. He lived with his uncle, Avraham Yosef Shulman, who lived in CrownHeights. When the head of yeshiva Chafet Chaim; Rav Lebuvitz passed away- his son Hanoch was too young to take over- Mordechai took over for him. The years of the war and being away from the people he loved took the tall on him. He became sick. Later they met in  Jerusalem  (1945)- They came to Israel a year after Kovno was liberated by the Soviets.. -- HaRav Mordechai Shulman zt'l succeeded his father-in-law HaRav Sher as rosh yeshiva of Slobodke in Bnei Brak -- HaRav Nosson Tzvi Shulman who married Lea, the daughter of Rav Yechiel Sclessinger, succeeded his father as rosh yeshiva of Slobodke in Bnei Brak and the husbands of his sisters;  Ester Rivka Zuks and Avigal Gutl Hirsh, replaced him when he became sick.

Some information from the internet about Natans’ grandmother;

Beile Dvora Shulman (nee Lev) was the wife of Reb Simcha Shmuel Shulman, son of Moshe Gdalyahu and Ester Rivka nee Friedman. Reb Simcha Shmuel Shulman received semichah (ordination) from the Aruch HaShulchan (Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein), beginning with the words: Simchah B'MiOno V'Shmuel B'Korai Shmo. Yet he refused to accept a rabbinical position, and became a manufacturer. After he died at the young age of forty, his young widow dedicated the rest of her life to raising her eight sons (Aharon Zvi, Mordechai Zee’v ( 1902), David Yoel, Eliahu Baruch was born in 1905 , Binyamin, Eliezer Shulman was born in 1910, Yehuda, Simcha Shmuel who was born after his father passed away) and one daughter (Sheina Sara Gutstein born c 1896). She raised them to a life of Torah. In spite of all sorts of difficulties, she realized her goal: Some learned in the Lomza Yeshiva (they ate Shabbos and Yom Tov meals in our house for years), some in Slobodke, some in Kamenetz. One of the sons, Reb Mordechai Shulman, married the daughter of Rabbi Isaac Sher of Slobodka, and became Rosh Yeshiva in the Yeshiva Slobodka in Bnai Brak, Israel (Chaim Shapiro wrote it in the yizkor book for Tikotin)
---------------------------

Information from Shulman family members about the family tree;

Moshe Gdalyahu Shulman married Hinda Friedman Child;

Chaim Yaakov married Mareisha Zilberberg, . He was a Rabbi/ Dayan in Brisk. He later lived and perished in Mogilev children;

  • Hinda
  • Zeev Yosef , rabbi, lived in Zelwa, married, perished at age 55 with daughters; Hinda and Ester
  • Shlomo Mordechai, a rabbi , married lived and perished in Mogilev at age 45
  • Chaia Sara
  • Sheyndel Elka
  • Sima Menucha

Moshe Gdalyahu married Ester Rivka Friedman (his sister in law ) after Hinda passed away. Children;

Simcha Shmuel (He prduced Talits- worked with Talitania that later came to Israel and gave good price to the family) married Beile Dvora Lev, Children;

  • Sheina Sara Gutstein ( children; ; Simcha age 15 and Zeev age 12 perished with her)
  • Aharon Zvi- helped to carry the family and mother did not let the Russian take him to the army. He had two marriages and 6 children who live in Israel ( Tamar and Avinoam) wife; Yonina ( children; Arie, Eliezer, Simcha and Avraham Yosef)

Mordechai Zee’v; was born in 1902. ( children; Natan Zvi, Ester Rivaka Zuks and Avigal Gutl Hirsh

  • David Yoel was a clerk in Tel Aviv ( Children; Tchia, Amity and Elisha)
  • Eliahu Baruch was born in 1905, he was a rabbi in Mir, 2 children perished with him.
  • Binyamin lived in Haifa was a teacher ( children Adina and Shmuel)
  • Eliezer Shulman was born in 1910, he was a rabbi, he perished Kowno at the age of 30
  • Yehuda he was a rabbi in Z. ha. l . ( Army) his wife was Ziva daughter of a rabbi from Afula ( Rachel, Adina, Simcha Shmuel and Beila Dvora)
  • Simcha Shmuel was a teacher in Petch Tikva and later supervisot in the ministry of Education ( children; Arie Shulman Telston Rabbi, Levi, Beila Dvora, Yehoshua

Avraham Yosef married ?, Children;

  • Avraham Yosef Shulman who lived in Crown Highets.
  • Baruch ( Ben) his son is in show business ; Oren Shulman in New York
  • Ytzhak
  • Zvia
  • Ester
  • Ray ( Rachel)

Shlomo Dov married Sheina, He was a merchant and he lived in Warsaw, Poland. Shlomo perished in Warsaw at the age of 70

Menachem Yisrael married Alta Shapiro, they came to Israel before the war lived in Jerusalem. children;

  1. Shmuel Baruch
  2. Ester Sara married an attorney
  3. Moshe Gdalyahu
  4. Ytzhak Mordechai
  5. Simcha +Dov Etinger in Jerusalem
  6. Sima Sheindel

Moshe Gdalyahu married Ester Beila Cohen ( She was first married to Akerman she had two children from the first husband) , children;

Sima perished in the holocaust

Mordechai married Bat- Sheva Ratner, children;

  1. Chemda studied physics maybe is in machon Viezman maybe her husband is also in machon Vitzman one son studied in a Yeshiva
  2. Shlomit
  3. Gdaliahu in yeshiva
  4. Ytzhak married with no children



  1. HaRav Boruch Rosenberg, zt"l
    HaRav Mordechai Shulman zt"l would ask for his opinion regarding the
    shiurim they gave, we realize how great he was in Torah. And his
    greatness in Torah was matched by his greatness in chessed, in gemilus
    chassodim, in middos shebein odom lechavero, in bringing orphans into
    his home and in all of his greatness in Torah he was a giant in
    humility. Who can replace him
  2. More from the internet;

Ask the Rabbi wrote that "The only real "requirement" is that the chuppah be big enough for the bride and groom to stand under and that there be room for the bride to circle the groom." I really don't mean to shock you, but I must confess that I am of "pure" German-Jewish descent (a real "yekke" -- and proud of it) and it is not our custom for the bride to circle the groom. I want you to know that this is how I was married, the officiating rabbi having been Rav Yosef Breuer, zatzal, in the presence of Rav Mordechai Shulman, zatzal (of Slobodka Yeshiva). The ketubah was read by Rav Shimon Schwab, zatzal. I hope that you do not feel that the marriage was not valid! In many respects these customs are still followed, especially here in Washington Heights, New York.

Raphael N. Levi in Washington Heights, NY

Yad Vashem Testimony by Yehuda Shulman son of Beile Dvora Shulman ;

Shulman Dvora Beila

Dvora Beila Shulman nee Lev was born in Poland to Levi Yosef Lev and Etel

Dina. She was a housewife and married to Shmuel Simkha. Prior to WWII

she lived in Tikotin, Poland. During the war was in Tikotin, Poland.

She died in Tikotin, Poland. This information is based on a Page of

Testimony submitted on 12/02/1956 by her son; Yehuda Shulman R'

Yisrael Salanter Street, # 31- Tel Aviv.

Gutstein Sheina Sara

Sheina Sara Gutstein nee Shulman was born in Poland to Shmuel Simkha

and Dvora Beila nee Lev. She was a merchant and married to Zaidel.

During the war was in Bialistok, Poland. Sheina died in the Shoah with

two sons; Simcha age 15 and Zeev age 12 , she was 45 years old. This

information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted on 12/02/1956 by

her brother

Shulman Eliahu Baruch

Eliahu Baruch Shulman was born in Poland in 1905 to Shmuel Simkha and

Dvora Beila nee Lev. He was a rabbi and married to Ester nee Golomovski they

had 2 children. Prior to WWII he lived in Mir. During the war

was in Mir, Eliahu died in Mir at the age of 38. This

information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted on 12/02/1956 by

his brother

Shulman Eliezer

Eliezer Shulman was born in Poland in 1910 to Shmuel Simkha and Dvora

Beila nee Lev. He was a rabbi and married to nee Litvaken . she perished at

age 28. Prior to WWII he lived in Slobodka, Lithuania. During the war

was in Kowno, Lithuania. Eliezer died in Kowno at the age of 30. This

information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted on 12/02/1956 by

his brother

Cousins who perished;

Shulman Mordekhai

Mordekhai Shulman was born in Brisk, Poland to Khaim Yaakov Shulman and Hinda.

He was a rabbi and married. Prior to WWII he lived in Mogilev,

Belorussia. Mordekhai died in Russia at the age of 45. This

information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted on 12/02/1956 by

his cousin

Shulman Yosef

Yosef Shulman was born in Poland to Khaim Yaakov Shulman and Masha. He was a

rabbi and married to Shifra ( perished at age 55. Prior to WWII he

lived in Zelwa, Poland. Yosef died in the Shoah at the age of 55 with

daughters; Ester age 15 and Hinda age 14. This information is based on

a Page of Testimony submitted on 12/02/1956 by his cousin

Shulman Shlomo

Shlomo Shulman was born to Moshe Gdalyahu Shulman and Ester Rivka. He was a

merchant and married. Prior to WWII he lived in Warsaw, Poland. Shlomo

died in Warsaw, Poland at the age of 70. This information is based on

a Page of Testimony submitted on 12/02/1956 by his brothers’ son; Yehuda

Shulman R' Yisrael Salanter Street, # 31- Tel Aviv.

Khaim Yaakov Shulman was born in Mezerich, Poland to Moshe Gdaliahu and Ester. He was a rabbi and married. Prior to WWII he lived in Mogilev, Belorussia. Khaim Yaakov died in the Shoah at the age of 70. This information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted on 12/06/1956 by his cousin

Lev Pinchas

Pinia ( Pinchas) Lev was born to Yisrael Leib Lev. He was married. Prior

to WWII he lived in Bialistok, Poland. ????? died in the Shoah at the

age of 58. This information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted

on 12/02/1956 by his cousin

Lev Yehoshua

Yehoshua Lev was born to Yisrael Leib Lev. He was a merchant and married.

Prior to WWII he lived in Sokolka, Poland. Yehoshua died in the Shoah

at the age of 48. This information is based on a Page of Testimony

submitted on 12/02/1956 by his cousin Yehuda Shulman R' Yisrael

Salanter Street, # 31- Tel Aviv.

Lev Yaakov

Yaakov Lev was born in Skidel, Poland to Yisrael Leib Lev. He was married

and had 4 children. Yaakov died in the Shoah at age 55. This

information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted on 12/02/1956 by

his cousin Yehuda Shulman R' Yisrael Salanter Street, # 31- Tel Aviv.

Lev Shalom

Shalom Lev was born in Poland to Yisrael Leib Lev. He was a merchant and

married and had 1 child. Prior to WWII he lived in Bialistok, Poland.

During the war was in Bialistok, Poland. Shalom died in the Shoah at

the age of 40. This information is based on a Page of Testimony

submitted on 12/09/1956 by his cousin

Labendik Khaia

Khaia Labendik was born in Sokolka, Poland to Yisrael Leib Lev. She was a

housewife and married and had 3 children. Khaia died in the Shoah at

the age of 50. This information is based on a Page of Testimony

submitted on 12/02/1956 by her cousin.