Sunday, June 24, 2018

An 1883 Chabad Connection

My Lefand, Tolchinsky and Halperin ancestors lived in what is now Nizhyn, Ukraine.  Since recently many Ukrainian vital records went online (including those of Nizhyn/Nezhin!!), I've been going through all of the town's metrical (vital) records from the comfort of my home.  I've gone through these records on microfilm, but the writing is much easier to read on my laptop--plus, I'm not limited in seeing them at a Family History Center during the hours they're open.

As I was browsing through these records, I saw a familiar surname that wasn't one of my family's.
Death Record of Yisrael Noach Schneerson

Rav Yisrael Noach, son of Rav Mendel Schneerson, was the 29th Jewish death in Nizhyn in 1883.  He died on the April 12, 1883 (note that this was the Julian date, which corresponds to April 24, 1883 in the Gregorian calendar currently in use) which was the 17th of Nisan.  He was 67 years old.  His cause of death was (in Hebrew) apoplexy and (in Russian) a stroke.  He is a hereditary honorary citizen of the town.
Top of the Page of the death of Yisrael Noach Schneerson
So who was this?  Yisrael Noach Schneerson was the son of the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel, also known as the Tzemach Tzedek.  He founded the short-lived Nezhin branch of Chabad.  And his granddaughter Nechama Dina was the wife of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson.

(Thanks to Dmitry Pruss for confirming that the Russian is essentially the same as the Hebrew in this record.)

My ancestors likely knew Rav Yisrael Noach Schneerson and his family; Nezhin wasn't that large a place.  My great-great-great grandmother Mira Halperin Lefand Marienhoff and her sister Risha Halpern Rubenstein/Sugarman were living in Nezhin at this point; one of Risha's great-great granddaughters is a Chabad shlucha today (Rochel Sugarman Flikshtein)!

I've just found another two Schneerson records.  Please comment below if there's interest in my posting about additional Schneerson records I may find.

Note:  I'm on Twitter.  Follow me (@larasgenealogy).


  1. Yes! I'm a Lubavitcher into genealogy! Definitely interested.

  2. Lara Hi,
    Please do post the Schneerson records.
    Jules Feldman