Biographies from Lyakhovichi - (Investigations into the Jewish History of Lyakhovichi)
This is the Biography Key page of the Lyakhovichi website. As we add new biographies and identify relevant material across our pages we will describe the article and link to it on this page. You can see the Biography Links at the top of column three.
Professional historians, memoirists, and many of our readers have created fascinating stories of Lyakhovichi residents. They have based them on their own memories or that of an informant. They have done original research in archives and newspaper files and the records of social communities created by groups like those of artists or writers. They have used the resources opened by this site and those which reside in online databases, national libraries, and genealogical networking sites. Tell your families' stories and the sources of information that were productive for you. We want true and engaging stories -this is not the forum for your raw research. Pedigrees, genealogies, and ahnentafels, are best posted on the invaluable sites of JewishGen - The Family Tree of the Jewish People; and JewishGen's Family Finder. There you will find partners in your research, people who want to work with you to extend the lines further forward and back in time. But here, we want those special stories, of individuals and events that moved you when you first heard them. All articles submitted for publication will be edited to fit our format and the webmaster reserves the right to decline publication on any material. But we encourage all submissions and we would like to expand this section.
Photos of Lyakhovichi People of Note
Dr. Alexander Mukdony (ne Sander Koppel)
He was a writer and a theater reviewer, but most notably, a cultural force to be reckoned with, for almost half a century. This 1910 collector's card was printed in Warsaw, for a following that was eventually as great in the US and Argentina, as it had been in Russia and Poland.
Levi Ben Amitai son of Lyakhovichi photographer Alter Brevda, stands in the center rear; Zalman Shifres son of Lyakhovichi teacher Chaim Shifris stands to his right and Yakov Rabinovitz of Nesvizh and Lyakhovichi to his left.This picture shows people who were part of the Poalei Zion organization in Nesvizh, which ran the group out of Poalei Zion's aliyah (immigration to Israel) office in Minsk. They all emigrated to Israel in 1920. The emigrating pioneers' surnames included a number of Lyakhovichi names - Angelovich, Menaker, Kirzner, and others. Degania alone is supposed to have had at least a half dozen early settlers from Lyakhovichi and many more from nearby Belarusan communities. Other famous first generation Degania settlers included Lyakhovichi natives Joseph Busel, Chayuta Gavza Busel, and Gabriel Berkowitz.
This photo was printed in the Nesvizh yiskor book, but it too shows a large number of Lechovichers.The caption includes the names of at least six Lechovichers - Zalman Shifres, and Levi Ben Amitai in the back row 2nd and fourth from the right. Sara Leah Angelovich and Zipora Malovitsky Ami on the first rown in that same second and fourth from the right positions.And in the middle row, Yosef Kirszner, fifth from the right is sometimes accounted to Lyakhovichi, also.
Zalman Shifres, pioneer of Degania A
from the Nesvizh Yiskor book
Zalman Shifres, the son of R' Chaim Nezvisher, as Chaim was called in Lachvitch, where he had resided after his marriage,and where Zalman was born and educated. During the 1915 war the family moved to Nesvizh. Zalman was then a soldier in the Russian army. In 1918 he was released and when he returned home he joined the Poalie Zion (Workers Of Zion).
Shifres excelled immediately in meetings. He had original and practical ideas. Very soon after he was elected to the committee as a secretary and then he became the chairman. He represented the Poalie Zion (Workers Of Zion) in many city organizations. About two years before he immigrated to Israel he was a Bible teacher in the Chelnov Hebrew School. After the Tel Chai incident in Israel, Shifres was the first to originate the idea of an organized group of pioneers for "Aliyah" and his suggestion was accepted by the committee of The Poalie Zion (Workers Of Zion). Zalman Shifres was the first among the names registered to immigrate in 1920.
In all of his 50 years in Israel, and 45 years in Degania A, Shifres was an active participant in realizing his dream – the creation of a working Jewish nation based on equality, friendship and mutual support in our freee land, and he was among the defenders of Degania when the Syrians invaded in 1948. He underwent a great shock when his only son, Daniel, fell defending Degania and for a very long time he could not recover from this terrible event. Out of anguish and sorrow he wrote several poems that appeared in the collection entitled "In the Tempest on the Day of a Whirlwind" that was dedicated to the fallen of Degania. Zalman Shifres passed away in Degania A in 1970.
Chayuta Gavza and Joseph Busel, both of old Lyakhovichi families
Pioneering Couple, who were among Degania founders
They were not yet married in this 1905 picture taken with their fellow Zionist activists in Lyakhovichi. She fought for the creation of the State of Israel and eventually served in its parliament. He died very young in the 1920s.
Lyakhovichi's Zionist activists at the turn of the 20th century. This picture taken in Lyakhovichi in 1905/06 shows a group that all made early aliyah to Eretz Israel.From right to left standing: Shaya Pintschuk; Avigdor Grinspan; Isaac Lipshitz; Israel Winogrod; and Azriel (Zelik) Neikritsch. From right to left sitting: Joseph Busel, Chayuta Gavza, and an unnamed friend from Baranovichi.
Lipa Gavza fell defending Israel in its War for Independence. He was the son of Azriel Meir Gavza and grandson to Rabbi Aron Lemkes Gavza of Lyakhovichi. The picture is from the Kletsk Yiskor book where he had moved as a young Zionist organizer. Like many in Kletsk's Zionist movement, he headed for Eretz Israel as soon as he could.
Sarah Kamm Kaplan
Trade Unionist, Anarchist, Lyakhovichi native. Settler at the Ferrer Anarchist Colony in Stelton NJ