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Subject: descendancy from R' Chaim of Volozhin (1749-1821)
From: "L Reich"
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 14:30:12 +0100
The Progeny of R' Chaim of Volozhin
A long-standing mystery about one line of descendancy from
R' Chaim, founder of the famous Yeshiva, was probably the most
However, mystery has always surrounded the life and family of
The article reveals that Yosef was not a Chassid, but that one of his
Another son of Yosef (& grandson of R' Chaim) was Simcha (Naftoli)
Incidentally, Shlomo Zalman had a sister, a daughter of Simcha, who
Leslie Reich, Manchester
Source: Article in Yeshurun (A Torah Annual) Nissan 5768 by Eliezer
|From: Olga Zabludoff
To: AllanDolgow@aol.com ; Eilat Gordin Levitan
Sent: Sunday, June 15, 2008 1:50 PM
Subject: Re: Archivist
I am not sure I fully understand what you are asking, but I shall try to answer your questions as I see them.
First of all, I assume you are researching your ancestors in Volozhin in the Oshmiany District.
The records for Volozhin are housed in four archives, according to a search I did on the Routes to Roots Foundation http://www.rtrfoundation.org
The results are displayed below. I apologize for the mishmash in the formatting, but the copying and pasting did not work too well.
In the Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw, there are some 1929-1939 emigration records of residents who made aliyah to Palestine. I have had experience with these, and they are generally very sparse--perhaps five or six such records. But you can check with JHIW (the addresses and email addresses are below).
The National Archives of the Republic of Belarus seems to have some Holocaust data (1941-1943). I know nothing about these records, but again you can check if you are interested.
The State Archives of the Russian Federation in Moscow has some Holocaust data (1941-1943). I think they are the same records as above.
The Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius has all the census records and revision lists which LitvakSIG acquires and translates. We have already translated the 1858 Revision List and that is already online in the All Lithuania Database (ALD), www.litvaksig.org as Eilat has illustrated to you. There are earlier revision lists--1834, 1816, etc., but the 1858 was a very major census, so that was selected first. We generally start with a later list and work backwards. However, because the demand was high for the 1859-1908 additional revision lists, we have begun to acquire and translate those. Six Oshmiany District lists have already been done, and nine remain, including Volozhin. We are in need of funds to translate the remaining lists. If you are interested in making a contribution toward Volozhin, it will speed up the process to get that list translated.
I do not honestly believe that getting an archivist or professional researcher to do a search for you will be that helpful since the major data for Volozhin is in the Vilnius Archives, and LitvakSIG can access the lists and translate them for an entire group at a much lower per capita cost.
I hope you will consider joining the Oshmiany District Research Group and helping the project along.
Let me know if you have further questions.
The records for Volozhin
National Archives of the Republic of Belarus
43 Kirova Street
Minsk 220030, Republic of Belarus
Tel: 375/017/222-3229; Fax: 375/017/222-3285
Warsaw Jewish Historical Institute
ul. Tlomackie 3/5
Warszawa 00-090, Poland
Tel: 48/22/827-9221; Fax: 48/22/827-8372
Moscow State Archives of the Russian Federation
ul. Bol'shaia Pirogovskaia, 17
Moscow 119817 Russia
Tel: 7/095/245-8141; Fax: 7/095/245-1287
Also see: http://www.iisg.nl/~abb/abb_b1.html
Vilnius Lithuanian State Historical Archives
Gerosios Vilties 10
Vilnius LT-03134, Lithuania
Tel: 370/2/23-74-32; Fax: 370/2/23-76-12
----- Original Message -----
Thank you for your information. I know it was Russia and not Lithuania, I have a copy of my grandmother's passport when my grandmother brought my father to America. I was concerned as where the records could be found and if a local archivist is available.
I have trace my grandmother's brother, Abraham Gordon, to England where he met and married. Then a gap but found them in Canada where their first son was born and the to Los Angeles. I found their grand-daughter's son in Beverly Hills and we spoke. He had no information to add. My paternal great grand father and mother came to America and are buried here. I am trying to trace those roots where I have found roadblocks.
Maybe Olga can give me some guidance.
In a message dated 6/14/2008 6:17:30 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
You should get in touch with Olga Zabludoff <email@example.com>, they are working on additional Volozhin records.
There was no such country as Lithuania when your ancestors were there. It was all part of "Russia" -in the Vilna region. After 1920 most of the Vilna region became part of Poland. Now Vilna ( Vilnius) is in Lithuania, but most of the region is in Belarus. When you father said that he was "a Litvak" he was talking about "the Jewish sense of being a Litvak". Moshe Porat who grew up in Volozhin ( under Polish rule) wrote:" I had never seen a Lithuanian and never heard the Lithuanian language in my life, but we were called "Litvaks".
Some of the records could be found in Vilna.
Here is what Olga ( of Jewishgen) wrote about the records for Volozhin:
We have not yet translated the additional revision list for Volozhin. When we do so, perhaps the full names of Malka's father and mother will be entered. Please explain to Moshe that everything that is in the original record is translated, but if a second name or a maiden name is not on the record, there is no way we would know this.
> Thank you, I have that information but see no connections. What I need is someone to search the archives over there. I recall my father referring to himself as a Litvak so I am not sure if some information is in Lithuania.
> In a message dated 6/13/2008 10:24:26 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> the year 1858 revision list for volozhin is online. you find it at http://www.eilatgordinlevitan.com/volozhin/vol_pages/vol_1858.html
> Volozhin REVISION list of 1858; DOLGOW family
> MELTSER Chaim son of Abram Head of Household age 45 in 1858
> MELTSER Dvora Meyer Wife age 43
> MELTSER Sora Rivka Daughter of Chaim age 9
> DOLGOVYI Leyb son of Sholom Cousin of Chaim Meltser age 25 missing
> DOLGOVYI Rivka Daughter of Wulf wife of Leyb son of Sholom DOLGOVYI age 24
> DOLGOVYI Soska Daughter of Leyb and Rivka age 6
> DOLGOVYI Sheyna Daughter of Leyb and Rivka age 1
> Surname Given Name Father Relationship Age in 1858
> DOLGOVYI Smuylo son of Pinkhas Head of Household 58
> DOLGOVYI Gruna daughter of Chaim Wife 40
> DOLGOVYI Abram son of Shmuylo age 24
> DOLGOVYI Mirka daughter of Nekhemia Daughter-in-law of of Shmuylo 23 Abram's wife
> DOLGOVYI Nakhama daughter of Abram Grandchild age 4
> DOLGOVYI Leah daughter of Abram Grandchild age 2
> On Sun, Jun 8, 2008 at 5:54 AM, <AllanDolgow@aol.com> wrote:
>> I have almost completed (as far as I can go) on my maternal side. In August I am traveling to the Ukraine to finalize what can be done with my archivist. Also I will meet with a newly found second cousin, a retired doctor who is 87 years old. My archivist is limited to the Ukraine and is not a real professional, but rather a professor who does this work part time, but is very good in research and knowledge of archival records.
>> My question is on my paternal side of the family. Is there a an archivist you can recommend that can search for the Dolgow's? Is there someone in Volozhin?
>> Best regards,
Shaina Skolnik of Kurenets was the mother of Tzvi Hirsh Berkovich. He was born in Ilya
– A. Berkovich's granddaughter
Abraham Berkovich was a notable and important person in Volozhyn. For that reason, I can still clearly recall his character traits. He was very handsome, of average build, smart and always in a humorous mood.
He came from Minsk. His parents were orthodox Jews and they wished to send him to study in the Volozhyn yeshivah. However, he preferred secular studies, and with his father's permission, he attended a high school in Minsk. After his father's sudden death, he was forced to leave his high school studies so he could help his mother with the household income. He continued with night lessons. He learned on his own and read many books. He was able to gain a great deal of knowledge.
He settled in our town when he married Keile from Volozhyn Her last name before Marriage was Shulman- Eilat). He opened a pharmacy in the most central location, in the market place, in the house of Mushka Persky (the baker). The pharmacy was decorated in very good taste. Two of its walls were covered with fitted polished shelves and on them were medicines in bright glass jars. The floor was polished with red varnish and covered with carpets, which were made by local farmers.
For a few years the pharmacy was the family's only source of income. When the children grew up and the parents decided to send them to a high school in Vilna, Keile opened a fabric store to supplement their income. The business succeeded and it enabled them to cover the large expenses they had acquired for their children's education in the big city.
Abraham Berkovich had his hands everywhere. There was not a trade that he was not proficient in. He truly had golden hands. He was familiar with various construction skills (although he never officially studied them). After the big fire burned the town in the twenties, he remodeled his shop in the Perelman's building, so he could still make a living. At a later time he bought from Yehuda Abraham Persky, the ritual slaughter, his burnt bricks building. He cleared the damage and the water and rebuilt it. His power of invention was revealed when he invented a round heating oven covered with tin-a real invention in Volozhyn of those days. He knew carpentry, and the furniture in his home, which had an original style, was all hand made.
Prior to every Passover, he would work diligently to beautify and to decorate his house with many colors and ornamentation. The sight was heart warming and cheerful. He also excelled in sign painting posters and announcements. He likewise applied make-up for the theater actors. Those deeds revealed his artistic talent and creative imagination. In addition, he would read the Torah and would blow the Shofar in the synagogue. Although in all these skills he was self-taught, all things he did turned to artwork.
"The Fire Brigade" was his main hobby. He founded it and chaired it until 1935. From that year on, the Polish government took away the management of the association from the Jews and gave it to the district governor. Berkovich remained as a consultant and an honorary member only.
Berkovich was always very active and restless (due to his good physical health). His hands were always occupied with toil. His brain was always engaged with ideas and plans. For instance he realized that the city needed an optician. He gained quick knowledge in this area, he brought an optical instrument and the problem was solved. A story was told about him: once someone came to him to order glasses. Berkovich checked his vision and found it quite normal, but the "patient" insisted he needed glasses. Berkovich gave him clear glasses and asked him to come for a check up after some time. The man came back and was very satisfied that the "glasses" saved his power of vision.
Many who knew Berkovich mentioned in many occasions his stories and fables, we'll present some of them.
1. Once a woman came to his pharmacy she was desperate and requested poison to end her life. Berkovich tried to dissuade her and encourage her to abandoned her plans but she persisted in her request. Finally he gave her a large amount of castor oil. She took the medicine and immediately rushed home, so she can end her life peacefully. When the medicine started working and she felt pain, she became aware that her dying day isn't better that her day of birth, and since there is such pain in dying, she decided to stay alive.
On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 12:40 PM, rootsfinder <email@example.com> wrote:
|1. KANTOR and Reb Chaim of Volozhin
Subject: KANTOR and Reb Chaim of Volozhin
There exist a persistent family tradition that we are somehow
I read that Reb. Itzaleh's daughter and Son-in-law R' Shmuel LANDAU
If the above details regarding Sarah Hinde and Yosef sound familiar
| Does anyone know what happened to a daughter (and possibly other children)
that a Daughter (don't know her name) of Reb' Itzaleh of Volozhin and her
husband Shmuel LANDAU had?
I haven't come across a family tree of Volozhin which names the daughter but
I am trying to research the possibility that I am a descendant of that young
| According to a scribbled note, not very reliable, written by a family member
my gggrandmother, Sarah Hinde (nee SCHATZ daughter of Yosef-name SCHATZ may
only be his profession and not his actual family name) KANTOR, was a
descendant of R' Chaim through a LANDA grandchild. According to the book
"Etz Chaim" by M. Zinovitz (1972) R' Yitzaleh, the son of R' Chaim had a
daughter Raichel, who married R' Shmuel LANDA. This couple died at a young
age leaving a daughter, who married Chaim Hillel FRIED, father of, among
others, the well known BEN-SASSON family and another son.
Our problem with this is that another daughter is not mentioned and we know
of no connection to the FRIED/BEN-SASSON family (who we know well).
Ofcourse its possible that the LANDA couple had other children not mentioned
in the book.
Two other clues are: According to a family rumour, R' Mordechai Gimple
All the above seem to strengthen the theory of our connection with R'chaim
Thank you for any suggestions on other books which you know contain details
Does anyone know what happened to a daughter (and possibly other children)
I haven't come across a family tree of Volozhin which names the daughter but
I am trying to research the possibility that I am a descendant of that young
R. Abraham BERGER of Haradok (born about 1843) was a descendant of Reb
Itzaleh, son of R. Chaim Volozhiner, according to an acrostic on his
tombstone. Abraham parents were Yitzkhak Levi SOLOVEICHIK and Esther.
He was not a kohen so his descent from Reb Itzaleh would have been on
his maternal side.
Could Abraham's mother, Esther, have been the daughter of R. Shmuel
I think we may be
address. THanks. Jana Perskie
Does anyone know of a Sarah Hinde (maiden name unknown) who may have
Sarah Hinde was the daughter of Yosef SHAT"Z of Pinsk. I am not sure
Presumably these two Mordechais are the same and he, what ever his
Two possibilities which I thought of are: Yosef , the lesser known son
Some of the above information is based on a diary of a greatuncle of
To anyone who is well acquainted with the Volozhin family tree, and
Shabbat shalom and Chag Shavuot Sameach
Yoni Ben-Ari, Efrat, Israel
From: Debbie Shulman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I found this family tree on line. My great grandfather Simon Persky was from Volozhin. He came to the US and resided in New Haven, Ct. He is buried there. I have his obituary. He died in the 60s. I remember him( barely). His daughter Gertrude Persky Levin is now also deceased. His grandson and granddaughter are still alive.
I am would think we are related some how. I remember my grand mother telling me this is where he is from.
I am researching my mother's family whose name was HaKohen or Kaganovich (various spellings). The family originated in Volozhin and was associated with the Volozhin yeshiva -- my male ancestors were torah scribes. I have spent some time on the website you maintain but have not found anything about Chaim HaKohen, my great great great grandfather, or Shimon Dov HaKohen, my great great grandfather. Can you help? I am planning a trip to Belarus in May and want to do as much research beforehand as I can. Many thanks.
By the way the Volozhin site is fantastic -- great job! It really brings the past alive. David Laskin
I am working on my mother's family whose name was HAKOHEN or
David Laskin, Seattle, WA
I am researching the Nichamchin family of Druya, Disna, Vilna. Chaia
|Many years ago, when I first came to Israel, I lived on the Rav Berlin Street in Jerusalem. I later learned that the name “Berlin” belonged to a great Torah sage, Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, known as the ‘Netziv.’ Years later I knew his great grandson, a Torah scholar with the same name, presently a Rabbi in Rechovot. Except that the last name, Berlin, had been Hebraized to Bar Ilan.
The ‘Netziv’ was known to be a huge sage, whose published books are standard works amongst Torah students worldwide. He was also a great lover of Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel. When the Russians forcibly closed his Yeshiva in Volozhin in 1892, he planned to move to the holy land. Unfortunately, illness and his passing prevented this dream from becoming reality. But a number of his principal students did move to Israel and became Rabbinic giants: for example, Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook, Israel’s first chief rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein, later dean of the ‘Hebron Yeshiva,’ Rabbi Issur Zalman Meltzer and others.
Rabbi Berlin was also a strong supporter of the ‘Chovevei Tzion – Lover’s of Zion’ movement, which furthered aliya and settlement of the Land of Israel.
Additionally, the Netziv’s son, Rabbi Meir Bar Ilan, a Torah scholar in his own right, was an outstanding leader within the ‘Mizrachi’ movement, who voted against Herzel’s Uganda plan at the seventh Zionist Congress, and worked strenuously for Jewish independence from the British in Israel. He moved to Jerusalem in 1923. He was also instrumental in founding the Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. According the American Mizrachi movement, "The name Bar-Ilan was chosen, in honor of Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan (Berlin), a spiritual leader who led traditional Judaism from the ashes of Europe to rebirth and renaissance in the Land of Israel."
I am trying to confirm my family ties to Volozhin. My ggf, Lazer
-Eliezer Mordechai ben Tzvi Persky and his wife, Minnie Disha, immigrated to the US in 1883, along with their son, Jacob, and three daughters, Yochaved, Fanny, and Sadie after experiencing anti-Semitic persecution in what was then their home, Volozhin, the Russian Jewish Pale of Settlement. Here Jews were not permitted to own and farm land. With the assistance of the Alliance Israelite Universalle and the Baron Maurice de Hirsch Foundation they were able to come to this country, along with forty-three other families from similar backgrounds, all sharing the philosophy of the Am Olam Movement. These pioneers founded the first Jewish agricultural colony in the United States in Alliance/Norma/Brotmanville, NJ. Lazar's and Minnie's youngest son, Joseph B. Perskie, was their only child born in the United States, in 1885, on the farm in Alliance.-
Eliezer married Minnie, (Mindel), Disha bat Reb Eliyahu, born December 1844 in the Russian Jewish Pale of Settlement. "Disha or Dithy" are probably not Mindel's surname, but a middle name, as it means "Dinah," (as in the biblical "Dinah," who was the daughter of Jacob, one of the patriarchs of the Israelites, and Leah, his first wife). Minnie died in 1920 in Norma, NJ. The couple immigrated to the United States in 1883, (with 4 of their children - the 5th was born in the US), through Castle Garden, NY. They then moved to Alliance, Salem County, NJ, to become part of the original pioneering group in the Jewish agricultural settlement there. They begat five children - four were born either/or in Volozhin, or in Minsk, in what was then the govenment of Minsk, (Volozhin is situated 75 km away from Minsk, Russia). Their last child was born in Alliance, NJ. The 5 children are:
1) Yocheved Persky/Perskie - born December 1863 in Volozhin. She married Aaron Ruvinsky, born December, 1862, in the Russian Jewish Pale of Settlement. He changed his name from Ruvinsky to Rovine after arriving in the US. They married circa 1883 in New Jersey. Yochaved died in 1906 in Norma, NJ. The couple had 8 children. (See 2nd generation on this Homepage). Aaron died in 1935 in Philadelphia, PA.
2) Jacob H Perskie - born circa 1865 in either Volozhin or Minsk, Russia. Jacob changed the spelling of his surname from "Persky" to "Perskie" when he arrived in the US, and his siblings followed suit. He also added the middle name "Harrison" for William Henry Harrison, a former president of the US. He married Lena Abramowitz in 1891 in Atlantic City, NJ. Lena was born 22 June, 1875, in Russia, or possibly Romania. She and her family were amongst the original pioneering families at Alliance, NJ. She died 27 January, 1921 in Atlantic City, NJ. The couple had 13 children, (See 2nd generation on the Jacob H. Perskie Branch - yet to be completed). Jacob died on June 26, 1941 in Atlantic City, NJ. He was the official photographer and portrait painter for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1932 and 1936 presidential campaigns. His eldest son, Leon Perskie, was the photographer for the 1940 campaign, as Jacob was too ill at that time to work. Leon Perskie went on to become the official photographer for Presidents Truman, Kennedy and Johnson.
3) Fannie Perskie - born circa 1870 in Volozhin, the Russian Jewish Pale of Settlement. Her date of death is unknown at this time, but it probable that she died in the mid to late 1940s. She was alive when her father died in 1941. She married Joseph Jacobs, born in 1864 in Russia. They married in New Jersey and had 8 children. (See 2nd generation on the Fannie Perskie Branch - yet to be completed)). Joseph's date of death and place of death are unknown at this time.
4) Sadie Perskie - born circa 1875 in Volozhin, the Russian Jewish Pale of Settlement. She married Jacob Kurtz, in New Jersey. His date of birth and place of birth are presently unknown. The couple had 6 children. (See 2nd generation on the Sadie Perskie Branch - yet to be completed). Sadie died in 1947 in Philadelphia, PA.
5) Joseph B. Perskie - born July 20, 1885 in Alliance, Salem County, NJ. He gave himself the middle name "Bruce" because "he thought it sounded more distinguished than just plain 'Joseph Perskie.'" He married Beatrice "Batya" Masliansky, the daughter of Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Masliansky, a "Maggid," (a wandering Jewish preacher whose sermons contained religious and moral instruction and words of comfort and hope), from Slutsk, Russian Jewish Pale of Settlement. Beatrice was born 07 June, 1890, in Russia. The couple married on 27 Nov, 1910, in New York City, NY. They had 3 children. (See 2nd generation on the Joseph B. Perskie Branch - yet to be completed). Joseph died on May 29, 1957. Justice Joseph B. Perskie was a distinguished member of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1933 to 1947. Beatrice died in January 1976 in Atlantic City, NJ.
*** What follows is the Persky/Rovine branch of the family, because Yocheved Persky/Perskie, who married Aaron Ruvinsky ("Rovine"), was Eliezer's and Mindel's first child. I am in the process of creating a Jacob H. Persky/Abramowitz branch of our family tree. He was Eliezer's and Minnie's 2nd child.
For more information go to; http://www.jewishgen.org/family/perskyperskifamily.html
I have a copy of my great grandfather's Russian passport. I have the
The citations are from the "records about Jews born in Vilno City" and
|From: Roman Feldman <email@example.com>
In the past we corresponded regarding a photo on your site that features my grandfather Herzl Berger as a 17-year-old (1921) in Minsk. Now I see that you are interested also in the yeshiva of Volozhin, so you might be interested in some of the following.
Herzl Berger's father Yitzhak-Yosef and uncle Yehuda-Leib have studied there. Yehuda-Leib was born in 1867 and studied alongside the future Rabbi Kook. Yitzhak-Yosef arrived a few years later, after his elder brother already left. He was given a "sponsor", an elder pupil by the name of Yaakov-Simcha Ritov. They were relatives, and I am trying to figure out how.
Yaakov-Simcha Ritov later became the rabbi of a town called Osipovich. He had many children by two wives. One of them was called Yisrael Ritov. Yisrael was active in organizing the defense of Jews during the civil war of Russia that followed WWI. He made Aliya and headed the "Center of Cooperations" in Israel from 1934 until 1969(!). He also apparently wrote about the history that he participated in, but did not sign his name to at least some of his writing. My (and others') guess is that he wrote two chapters of a memorial book about the nearby city of Babruisk. These chapters deal with his own father, and with Osipovich during the Russian civil war.
He also wrote the historical part of a memorial book dedicated to my grandfather that was published in 1966. So everything that I know about the Ritovs, essentially comes from him. But only he knew what the family relation between us was, and he has been dead for over 30 years.
Yaakov-Simcha Ritov had several grandchildren by the name Yaakov Ritov. One of them is a renouned Statistics professor in the Hebrew U. Another one fought in Israel's Independence War and was awarded the highest commendation for valor.
The Ritovs are somehow connected to the family of Chaim Weizmann*, but I don't recall how. Aluf Ben**, the editor of "Haaretz", is a g-g-son of Yaakov-Simcha Ritov's 2nd wife, and Ben is the one that entered profiles of a part of the Ritov family into Geni.com.
Sonia Bomstein (Sorkin)