Volume 9 Number 80
                       Produced: Wed Nov  3 22:03:54 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

The Rabbinic Rabinowitz Family of Mogilev, Russia  Pt. 2.


From: <ofayr@...> (Ofayr Efrati)
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 93 19:24:00 EDT
Subject: The Rabbinic Rabinowitz Family of Mogilev, Russia  Pt. 2.


The first part of this article appeared in vol. 9 issue#21 of Jewish Mail. 
What follows is the second of three installments.

   I am doing Genealogial/Historical research on the Rabinowitz Family
from the Romanova and Mogilev area of White Russia.  This particular
"""Rabinowitz""" family is a Levitical family.  Although the children of
immigrants were born in Sunderland, England, many of them can be found
in various parts of England (Birmingham,London,and Manchester),
Israel(Jerusalem,Ra'ananah, and Dolev), and the United States.

  I am interested in collecting stories, facts, memories,etc. about any
or all its members.  Interested parties can E-mail responses to me
directly, and I promise to respond to them.  Below is all the
information I have thus far.  Since the family is fairly large, I am
doing this in installations-there'll probably be 3.
C)   Rabbi Avraham Hirsch HaLevi Rabinowitz (z'tl) {{{not to be confused with
his nephew [zt'l], who was Dean of Students at Bar-Ilan in the early 60's,
and the Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Air Force in the late60's and 70's}}}, the
third son of Rav David Rabinowitz (zt'l) was born in Mogilev on June 13,1883.

         After he obtained smicha from the Volozhin Yeshiva, he was
drafted into the Tzar's army garrison in Mogilev.  Since he was fluent
and literate in Hebrew, Russian, German, Yiddish, and English, he became
the Commandant's Adjutant Officer (a position unheard of for a Jew in
Pre-Bolshevik Russia).  When the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 occurred
Avraham Hirsch wrote a letter to his mother telling her that his unit
was going to be shipped off to Vladivostok (a certain death at that
time-if not from the Japanese, then from the wretched conditions of the
area) .  Upon receiving this letter, his mother, Leah Reina was reported
to have gathered ALL the family jewels to bribe Avraham Hirsch out of
the army.  She is reported to have done this Motzei Yom Kippur; standing
at the sentry's gate awaiting admittance in the thick, falling winter
snow of Russia to attempt to bribe the Commandant into releasing her
son.  One version of the story has it that as Avraham Hirsch and his
mother wept at meeting each other, the Commandant had a soft spot in his
heart for this sight and immediately released Avraham Hirsch from the
armed forces.
      A similar story has it that the Commandant refused to let him go
at that instant; however, when the Commandant mustered the Regiment the
following morning he had one soldier to many.  The Commandant ordered
everyone to draw lots to see who would be discharged; a Muzhik soldier
drew the lot and he was told he could leave the army; however, he
refused to depart because he would have returned to an impoverished home
and hearth (I guess that although serfdom had been officially abolished
years before that the conditons were still pretty wretched), so he
stayed.  At this the Commandant became very, very, angry and said " You
fool!!!  Since you are the stupidest man in the camp and insist upon
staying, then I will let go the most intelligent man in the camp!!"  He
then shouted , "Rabinovich!!!  You will go in his place, because last
night the scene between you and your mother broke my heart!!!".  Avraham
Hirsch returned home, whereupon his family, not trusting their beloved
to the Tzar's (or Commandant's) beneficience used Moshe Eliezer's
passport (they looked similar to each other) to get him to the port of
Bremen.  He sailed on the first boat, which happened to be destined for
       Arriving in New York on November 9th, 1904, he worked to support
himself as a manual laborer.  He met a woman named Rebecca Rachel
Schmidt (the family changed it's name from Kalmanov to Schmidt to flee
from Russia to Palestine), and married her.  They had seven children
together.  The family eventually moved from the Lower East Side of
Manhattan to Brooklyn, and from there to Passaic, New Jersey, where
portions of the family remain today.  Avraham Hirsch became ill with Lou
Gehrig's disease(in the U.K., I beleive it's called Motor Neuron
Disease) and died at age 45 in 1928.  Rebecca Rachel lived until 1945.

Their 7 children were:

1) Ethel (Etta) who lived in Eretz Yisrael during the mandate Period
from 1936-1939.  She met Shmuel Bloomrosen (a native of Poland, who left
before the Shoah was to engulf his family) in Yerushalayim and they
married there.  As a matter of fact, three of their children were born
there.  They are:
   AA)Hanah, who married a WW2 refugee named Gabriel Michaels.  Their
children generally live in the mid-west of the U.S.
   BB) Avram Tzvi (z'tl) and Marsha (Masha) who were twins.  Marsha
married an lawyer named Bob Stone and they have 3 daughters.  Their last
child was born in the U.S., she is:
   CC) Tamar married a bio-chemist named Jack Joffee, who work with
another two of Avraham Hirsch's children named Ruben and Bernard (more
on them later).  They have 3 sons: Joshua (who, after studying at
Yeshivat Sha'alvim is studying hydrology in preparation for Aliyah),
David, and Avrum.

2) Gerald (Gedalyah), who died at age 10 in 1917 of a nephrological
disorder called " Bright's Disease"

3) Celia (Chinny) zt'l, who married Israel Sonenshein z'tl (brother of
U.S.  Retired Admiral Nathan Sonenshein) , a lawyer who was instrumental
in drafting the laws for the Federal Government regarding Social
Security and Child Support.  Her children are:
  AA) Abraham Lincoln Sonenshein, a world class professor of
Microbiology at Tufts University in Boston.  Also, author of medical
textbooks on microbiology.  His wife, Gail is a world class Oncology
researcher at MIT.  They have 2 children:
          AAA) Dinah
          BBB) Adam

BB) David Sonenshein, Professor of Law at Temple University in
Philadelphia.  He is also commisioner of Lower Merion, Philadephia.  He
maried Jennifer Forest (The family name was changed from Freedman).
Their children are:
     AAA) Emily
     BBB) Peter

CC) Rafael Sonenshein, professor of Sociology at University of
California at Los Angeles.  Author of numerous books on race relations
and politics in the U.S.A.  He married a woman named Phyllis and has two
    AAA) Mary
    BBB) Anne-Cecilia

4) Deborah Marion (z'tl), who married Lenard Pepkowitz.  Lenard was a
nuclear chemist during WW2 on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos.
After the war, he became a co-founder of NUMEC (Nuclear Materials and
Equipment Corporation), and managed their different plants in Apollo,
Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York.  Deborah Marion died in 1968.
Their two children are:

 AA) Dr. Samuel Pepkowitz, head of the Hematology Lab of Cedars Sinai
Hospital of Los Angeles.  He married Roberta Ann Belkin of Monroeville,
Pennsylvania, and they have two children:

    AAA) Aaron Daniel, who is currently a cadet at the Air Force Academy
in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
   BBB) Deborah Katherine

  BB) Rebecca Rachel Pepkowitz, a teacher of the deaf and hearing
impaired.  She married and divorced an organic farmer by the name of
Michael Tabor.  Their children are:
        AAA) Chad Abraham
        BBB) Benjamin Ari
          In 1990 she married a wonderful person by the name of Gerry
Gilstrop, and they reside in Baltimore, Maryland.  Gerry (who underwent
a giur l'fi halakhkah by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Feldman) is currently
changing careers, and studying to become a Pharmacist.

5) Ruben went to night school to become a Chemical Engineer.  During his
stationing in the U.K. during WW2, he would make frequent visits to his
Uncle's family, Rabbi Ruben Rabinowitz & Rebbetzin Sarah of Birminham.
     After serving in the European theatre of WW2, he co-founded with
his brother, the Atlantic Chemical Dye Corp. in Clifton, New Jersey.  He
married a wonderful woman named, Phyllis Kovens (z'tl).  They would make
frequent trips to the U.K., combining business with pleasure, to see the
English relatives.  Many of the family members to this day remember
their extreme generosity.  He is semi-retired and resides in Clifton
with his second wife, Renee.
          Their children are:
  AA) Johnathan, Owner of Turtle Press Publishing House.
  BB) Joshua, Vice President of Atlantic Chemical Dye Corp.
  CC) Peter, who is a stage member for the Allman Brothers   
        Rock Group.
  DD) Andrew, who is studying at Telshe Yeshiva in Chicago.

6) Bernard (AKA Bay) was the other co-founder of Atlantic Chemical Dye
Corp.  He married Anne Kubie (daughter of the famous Austrian
Psychoanalyst Dr.  Lawrence Kubie), who writes children's fiction.  Her
two books are titled: "Knight On Horseback", and "Bethie".  Bay and
Annie have four children, and reside in Nutley, New Jersey.
       AA)Daniel, a corporate lawyer in New  York City.
       BB) Becky, who is married and lives on the West Coast.
       CC) Sarah who is an artist and lives in southern
              New,  Jersey.
        DD) John who is a  student in Boston

7)  Lenore, who never married.

D) Isroel, was a brilliant Melamed who after becoming ill with spinal
meningitis went deaf, and became a recluse in the British Museum.  He
often taught many of the younger Rabinowitz children and grandchildren
their alef-beit, chumash, and other subjects.  He is believed to have
died in December of 1944.

E)  Chatchah (Charles???) maried Becky Lewis and they had two children:
            1)Gedalyah, who married a person by the name of Belle,  
                and has one daughter:
                AAA)Francis (married name unknown), who lives on 
                        Moshav Nevei Ilan near Yerushalayim.

            2)Jean, who married Arthur Pascoe and has two    
                   AAA)Yvettte, whose married name and location is  

                    BBB) Charles, a chartered accountant who is       
                             believed to reside near the Hendon area         

                             of London.

Well, I have 4 more siblings and their families left to cover.  I will
probably get to list them after the Chagim.  In the meantime, anyone who
has information on these relatives please contact me via e-mail.  I have
thoroughly enjoyed the responses I have received thus far and look
forward to receiving more.

Todah Rabbah,


End of Volume 9 Issue 80