Chassidim Visit Kevorim, Sites in New England


new-englandEarly in the morning on Sunday, May 15, coach buses pulled out of Williamsburg carrying a diverse group of chassidim and others heading north to New England to visit cemeteries and shuls there. The bus made stops along the route to pick up additional passengers. Several private cars from Kiryas Yoel, Skver, and Boston joined the group. The trip was organized by Rav Yonah Landau, chairman of the Committee to Visit Jewish Holy Sites in America.In Chelsea, Mass., the group visited the Netzach Yisroel Cemetery where thousands of observant Jews rest eternally. In particular, the group stopped at the Ohel of Rav Menachem Nochum Twersky zt”l (1872-1925), Makover Rebbe and scion of the Trisker dynasty. The Makover Rebbe, suffering persecution in then Soviet Russia, arrived in the United States on Tuesday, June 3, 1924. His arrival was celebrated by thousands of his chassidim who preceded him here. With largest concentration of his followers in Chelsea, he moved there. Sadly, at the young age of 53, he passed away on Sunday, May 10, 1925. Thousands attended his funeral and he was mourned around the world.

Also visited was the Ohel of Rav Yaakov Yisroel Korff, zt”l (1883-1951), Zvhil-Mezubesh Rebbe; the gravesite of Rav Yehuda Yehoshua Falk Israelite, zt”l, Chief Rabbi of Chelsea, Mass., and a co-founder of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada (Agudas Horabbonim) in 1902; and the gravesite of Rav Yisroel Shmuel Kaufman zt”l, who was instrumental in saving hundreds of European yeshiva bochurim, among others, during the Holocaust.

In addition, a stop was made at Congregation Agudas Sholom in Chelsea, the last functioning shul there. After Minchah, a yahrzeit seudah was held and addressed by Rav Landau who described the founding of the shul and the many important rabbis that lived and visited there. The shul is located on the same street where the Makover Rebbe resided. Chelsea once had 16 shuls in operation, simultaneously. From there, the group traveled home to New York.

The trip is one of several every year, by Rav Landau, that continue to generate great interest regarding our American observant Jewish predecessors, many of whom were intensely fervent in their tradition and made great sacrifices so that the American soil would be receptive to Jewish immigration and the great bounty here would be shared. This trip is a continuation of a series which includes trips to Buffalo; Canada; Cleveland; Long Island; Newport; and Rochester, as well as Jewish cemeteries in the greater New York City Metropolitan Area.

In contrast to a visits aborad, the group calling itself the Committee to Visit Jewish Holy Sites in America, continues to bring neglected history to the forefront of the observant community’s consciousness. Presently, the much glossed over contributions of many tzaddikim that lived here in America are not given their just recognition. These trips are a major contribution to living Jewish history, giving a much deserved perspective to those holy lives that were invested and sacrificed so that a vibrant Jewish community may ultimately flourish here. The present golden era of American Jewry is a direct result of their unheralded self-sacrifice.

{Dovid Newscenter/Machberes}


  1. Not “persecutions in Soviet Russia”; at that time people were shmadtzach without the government and Chelsea, MA had more frum Yiddn than any place were Makover Rebbe, ztzvk’l was from.
    Son of that Zhviller Rebbe, ztzvk’l, one Boruch Korff was personal…whatever…to Tzar Nixon, imach shmoi, like, btw, certain OU rabbi to W. Jeff Clinton, imach shmoi.