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in what is today Lyakhovichi, Belarus    


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This site is created as a way to further research and publication of materials on the history of Lyakhovichi.If you have been aided in your research and wish to contribute materials and resources to further our knowledge, contact Gary Palgon and ask how you can help.

This site is hosted at no cost by JewishGen, Inc., the Home of Jewish Genealogy. If you have been aided in your research by this site and wish to further our mission of preserving our history for future generations, your JewishGen-erosity is greatly appreciated.

Family Searches in the Lyakhovichi Research Community

This is a page in the Welcome suite. To reach any other page in that category just click the button "Welcome" in the table in the left-hand column.

Zelig Goldin the Lechovicher Darshan
Zelig Goldin the Lechovicher Darshan
Sent with an email by Miriam Steinberg
Thank-you so much Miriam!

New July 2009 You would think from a town that had a Jewish population of around four thousand at the beginning of the twentieth century, the community of researchers would be well acquainted with each others work. Four thousand Jews in a Russian town can't have produced that many twenty-first century descendants, can they? The truth is that though the number of active researchers for Lyakhovichi continues to grow, most of the descendants of the town's Jews do not know almost anything about this piece of their family's history. Many have discovered a Lyakhovichi connection after years of hearing "we were from Minsk," which for the original emigrants meant the guberniya not the city, but the emigrants' children did not remember the distinction. Many researchers knew that their ancestor came from a large town, Minsk, Slutsk, Bialystok, and only after their own long hard work, have uncovered that their ancestor arrived in that big city from our small town.

This page begins to bring together those who have written to share their family info. We begin with the emails sent recently by members of the Kuntsevitsky, Postan, Zabelinski, and Gelfand families. We will try to go back and include many more that we have saved. We are not here including anyone's email address as this is a public site. But the webmaster will be happy to play matchmaker in exchange for more information about your family including stories, photos, and shared info of all types.

Despite the appearance of these letters, they may in fact be edited. I have changd subject lines to make it clearer to the reader, many follow the request on our website to please cite "Lyakhovichi" in the subject line when sending mail to us. I have also removed all return emails with the exception of our contact email. Personal notes to the recipient may have also been removed.

This is a small collection from the last few months. I have received many detailed communications from at least a hundred of you. Please expect to see a fuller posting of these in the next update.

E-Mails about Family Searches

From: Cheryl Gelfond Grant
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 11:35 PM
Subject: Rabbi Boruch Mendel Gelfond
I saw a reference to my great-uncle Boruch Mendel Gelfond on your website (
GELFAND, Rabbi Boruch Mendel
( 1870 -1958)
scholar in Lyakhovichi; teacher and rabbi in Philadelphia
He taught Hebrew and religious school in Philadelphia; led Beth Jacob Congregation in the area of 58th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia; not yet sure if his Gelfands came from our Lyakhovichi or the one closer to Pinsk where he married, lived, and had his children prior to emigrating in 1905; he may be the Boruch son of Meier Gelfand who appears in the 1890 Draft List for Lyakhovichi

My family genealogy indicates that Boruch was born in Lyakhovici and that his parents are Meyer Gelfand and Tamara, although I’m not sure where they were born.
I’ve also attached the marriage certificate of Boruch’s sister and her husband, which is signed by Boruch.
I have a photo of Boruch’s parents, but like I said I’m not where they were born.
If you have any other information on Boruch or his parents, I’d love to hear it.
From: Steven Zabelinsky
Sent: Sunday, July 05, 2009 8:47 AM
Subject: The photo of the family of Haim Zvi Zabelinsky
Dear Deborah,
I was wondering how you obtained the photo of my family in there home town in Lyakhovichi. I saw this photo once before in the possession of my father Yosef (Jose) and Shifra (Sofia my mother). My father passed away in June of 2008 at the age of 95 1/2. My mother passed away on 4/17/05 at 91
Thank you for having published this photo. By the way, this photo is from approx. 1931 - 1932.
From: Beverly Bord
Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 11:26 PM
Subject: Keile Dvora Charney from Lyakhovichi
Hi Gary,
It is only recently and with great excitement that I discovered that my paternal gmother Keile Dvora CHARNEY and her family came from LYACKHOVICHI.
Keile's husband, Jacob CHODOS, my paternal gfather, lived in BEREZIN/BEREZINO/BYERAZINO in Minsk Gubernia. Jacob came to America in 1910 but Keile, planning to come to America after the hot New York summer, died of the flu c.1918.
I have done research on the CHARNEY/CHARNY/CHARNIY family on your shtetl website on and have found much information thanks to your remarkable expertise. There is, however, no website for BEREZIN. Is there any way in which I can find out whether the CHARNEY family left LYACKHOVICHI before Keile married Jacob or did they stay while she went with him to BEREZIN?
I have looked at marriage records and have found none for Keile and Jacob. I have a photo of the CHARNEY family and have found grandchildren, descendants of CHARNEY which was changed to SCHWARTZ, living in Florida. No one really knows any more than I do. Is there any other place I can search?
Thank you for all you've done on your website
From: Edward Dobin
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 4:15 PM
To: Subject: Dobkowski family of Baranovichi Gary:
I somehow came across your site and found it to be of great interest. My father was from Baranovichi . How far is (was) it from Lyakhovichi? Was it essentially just 1 community? I did not see any his original surname on this list, to wit, “Dobkowski”.
Please advise to the best of your ability.
From: Jonathan Wolfson
Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 5:47 PM
Subject: Kurkhins from Lyakovichi
I believe Vulf-Yosel Kurkhin was my great great grandfather, my grandfather’s namesake, and my family’s surnamesake. My last name is Wolfson, and my great grandfather and great great uncles likely informed immigration guards that of their patronymic (Vulfov, or Wolfson) should be the surname, and Kurchin was lost. Any more info about the Kurkhins from Lyakovichi?
POR86 KURHIN Vulf-Yosel May be the same as Yosel Davidov Kurkhin in 1884 tax list household #257 Other Kurhins own property on Market Square – no street info in record No street info - dgg
From: Miriam Steinberg
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2009 2:54PM
Subject: Goldin family of Lyakhovichi
I can not say that my family is "from" Lyakhovichi, but we certainly at least passed through! My original source for that fact is contained in a book written in 1955 by a distant relative, Mordechai Wolf Bernstein, entitled - in English - In The Labyrinths of Epochs. He begins the book with an introduction detailing his family history. On page 13 there is a photo of Zelig Goldin who is referred to as 'the Lechovicher darshon.' I've attached a copy of that page. [The entire book can be viewed at: ] I have a copy of this photo you could use on your website if you are interested; I also have a photo (actually, a drawing that has been photographed) of Shmuel Goldin you could also use. [Incidentally, Shmuel Goldin was my great-great-grandfather.]
The book's information was confirmed by the records in the 1883-1884 Tax List, which I saw on JewishGen. Happily, this also revealed the name of Zelig's father.
I have sent you a PayPal payment to support your work, and look forward to reviewing the 1874 List of Males.
Much thanks, Miriam Steinberg

Since drafting the above, I have indeed received the spreadsheet. Much thanks. It is quite interesting. I now have a better idea of Shmuel's birth year! His listed place of residence confuses me a bit - which is the town and which is the volost: Mitskevichi or Lan? [Lan is certainly closer to Lachowicze and to Snov where my grandfather was born.][WEBMASTER NOTE Lan is the volost It is interesting to note that Zelig is not listed in 1874.
Again, much thanks,
From: Lorraine Saitowitz
Date: Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 9:19 AM
Subject: RE: The Postans of Baranovichi and Lechovich
Hi Debra,
Yes, I know my father Morris (Moshe) Postan and family lived in Lechovich . He often spoke of Baranovich. I do not believe they moved there but I think their cousins Mirel and Rachmiel Postan maybe lived there. (They moved to Israel) My grandfather Hershel Postan was married to Chaya and he immigrated to South Africa and then slowly sent for the rest of the family 3 sons and 2 daughters and one of the daughters "basherte" who later married in South Africa.

I dont recall hearing the names of Berl and Shaindel but I do know my great grandfater (Hershel's father) remained behind and was married a second time to a "younger" woman who I assume had children. We have often wondered whatever happend to them, perhaps these people are the connection?

Our family has spread all over the world. We had a big family in South Africa and in the past years have all moved the world over, USA, Canada, Australia, Israel etc. I live with my husband and children in USA. Where do these people live now? Please keep me informed.

Thank YOU
From: Konstantin Rodionov
Sent: Thursday February 12, 2009 8:53 PM
Subject Gerber family in Lyakhovichi, US and Omsk
Dear Deborah Glassman, Thank you very much for replying to my e-mail. It is very important for me to find out as much information as I can about my relatives. This e-mail contains all the photographs I have on my Lyakhovichi relatives. The pictures are sorted by folders; 'USA' for U.S. relatives, 'Unknown' for relatives that I lack information on, and the main folder has pictures of my grandfathers family and himself. I do however lack information on my U.S. relatives, other than the fact that they are probably from New York (according to the pictures). Some pictures are also scanned from both sides, I have labelled the pictues with 'name - a' and 'name - b' ('a' being the front side and 'b' being the back side)
In the main folder Samuel and Zina Gerber were my grandfathers relatives who have moved from Lyakhovichi to Omsk. Samuel Gerber was a brother of Moisei. The reason they invited Yefim to live with them was that they did not have any children of their own, and would never be able to have any children. Since Moisei had three sons, he decided for Yefim, who was the second eldest of the three to move to Omsk in 1936 or 1937. He never saw his family since then. After the war Yefim was getting mail from U.S., it was only for a few years that he was in contact with his U.S. relatives; the KGB had warned Yefim of contacting U.S. and threatened to arrest him.

In the main folder the picture named 'Gerber Family' is the picture with Yefim, Naftali, Venyamin, Moisei and Ida. It is the only picture that I have of my grandfather and his closest family. Somebody who is named 'Bary' was corresponding with Samuel and Zina Gerber before the war, he was from Lyakhovichi according to the stamps on the photographs but I do not have any more correspondance after the war. According to my grandfather around 35 members of his family were murdered and the remaining have left to U.S. and Israel.

To this day we have absolutely no idea where our Lyakhovichi relatives are buried, and we would like to locate our relatives in U.S. Do you think you could help our family? I hope the pictures help, please let me know if you would like additional descriptive information per picture. If the quality is off, I can re-scan the pictures and send them to you along with any information I have on the people in the pictures. Please let me know about people recently identified in NYC cemeteries.
Best regards,
From: Roberta Nathanson Abrams
Sent: Sunday, November 09, 2008 11:14 PM
Subject: Molovitsky to New Haven and then to Sydney Nova Scotia from Lyakhovichi
Hello...I believe my grandfather came from Lyakhovici or Lechovich, as we knew it, in Belarus. The family name was originally Molovitsky and changed to Nathanson...My Grandfather came to the U.S. (about 1890) to New York and then New Haven, and in 1902, moved to Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. Have you any information to share with me?
Thank you



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All names on this page were included in Surname Index Nov 2009

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Contributors to our Family Searches

These people have each contributed information to me about their family research. If you have points of convergence with their research, I will forward your communication to them. Many may also be found through the private communication system available in the Jewish Gen Family Finder, which I recommend that you use.
Build Networks, Share Info, Submit your Family from Lyakhovichi
Researcher Family Names in and around Lyakhovichi
Maris Gavzy Rabolini GAVZY, GALOSTEIN,
Stan Golembe
Deborah Glassman
Marilynn Handelman
Mark Horn
Gloria Kay
Bernie Kouchel
Harold Levy
Eleanor Arons Newland ARONCHIK
Gary Palgon OLCHA
Edward Porter BUSEL, GAVZY
Shirley Serota SLONIMSKY, SHANE,
Miriam Steinberg GOLDIN