In The Lineage of a Torah Scholar

Rabbi J J Hurvitz

Rabbi J J Hurvitz

This week I received an email from a family genealogist who had found some taped interviews I made with my father and his two brothers back in 1998. In it my Uncle Sam referred to his great-uncle, the famous Rabbi.

My Great-Great-Great Grandparents The Kaplans

My Great-Great-Great Grandparents The Kaplans

Her husband’s great-grandfather was Rabbi Jacob Joseph Hurvitz. He was also my father’s great-uncle, the brother of my great-grandfather, Morris Shapiro. It took a great effort on the genealogist’s part to figure out that the two were connected.

The reason the brother’s have different last names is that while in Russia, the way to stop inscription in the army, was to buy the name of someone who died. Both of the brothers were originally named Kaplan.

My great-great uncle, Rabbi J J Hurvitz was Chief Rabbi of Lynn, MA at the time of his death in 1931. Before that he was the Rabbi at our own Toras Chaim on Negley Avenue and before that he was the Chief Rabbi of Chelsea.

Pretty good yikhes for me!

My grandparents Sarah and Hymen Shapiro

My grandparents Sarah and Hymen



4 Thoughts

  1. Phyllis says:

    I knew you were a “great spiritual soul”

  2. Allan Hurvitz says:

    I would like your name and email address.
    Rabbi Jacob Joseph Hurvitz was my grandfather.
    Rabbi Nathan N. Hurvitz was my father.
    I live in Los Angeles, California.

  3. Marla says:

    Hello, Rabbi Jacob Hurvitz was my great grandfather, and the namesake to my son. I am the grand daughter of his youngest child Anne.

  4. I believe I am related to both of you. My maternal Grandmother Was Faigele ( Fanniea) Kaplan Lehman. She was born in Kobrin, Belarus. Her father was Samuel ( Shmul Alta) Eliza Kaplan. Her brothers took different names when they came to the USA because of conscription. One was a Hurvitz, one was a Shapiro and I think one kept the Kaplan name. There was another sister, I believe named Zelda. My grandmother married Max Lehman from Antapol and came to the USA in the late 1800s. Grandmother with 5 children eventually followed in around 1902 because my Mother wa born in the USA. I remember hrvtalking about her cousin who was a Rabbi in Mass and who at some point moved to the LA California area. He actually met my father’s. sister and brothers in LA. My father was Michael Lessin. I am 87 and the remaining child in my family. Inhave three children from my first marriage. Two daughters and one son. Please let me know if what I have surmised is true. Thank you!

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