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Obituary Rabbi Avram Twersky Dies at 74, Heir to Chernobyl Rabbinic Dynasty

June 12, 2001
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Rabbi Avram Twersky, a Holocaust survivor and a seventh-generation descendant of the founder of Chasidism, the Ba’al Shem Tov, died May 30 in New York at the age of 74 after a long illness.

During the war, Twersky’s father and brother were killed in their hometown of Chotin in the Eastern European region known as Bessarabia. Twersky himself was interned in several detention camps.

After the war, Twersky moved to the Bronx, where he founded a congregation dedicated to his hometown and the memory of his father, Rabbi Mordechai Israel Twersky.

In the Bronx, Twersky, was an active communal leader, spearheading the drive to preserve the local mikvah and serving as a chaplain with the New York City Police Department.

The heir to the Chernobyl rabbinic dynasty, Twersky was also an ardent supporter of Zionism who was active in annual appeals for the State of Israel.

“He was a rabbi cut from the old-style European cloth,” said his eldest son, Mordechai. “Despite what he saw during the Holocaust, he was a man of unshakeable faith.”

In addition to Mordechai, Twersky is survived by a daughter and another son, three sisters and six grandchildren — as well as by his wife, Pearl Heschel, the daughter of noted Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, whom he married in 1960.

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