AUCTION 54 | Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

Back to Catalogue Download Catalogue

Lot 269


(Kamenitzer Yeshiva). Group of heartrending letters in Hebrew and English written by the Deans of the Kamenitzer Yeshiva and others, seeking to obtain Australian visas for yeshiva students stranded in war-time Siberia, Uzbekistan and other parts of the Soviet Far East.


Est: $1,000 - $1,500
Impassioned pleas written to Rabbi Joseph Lipman Gurewicz of Melbourne beseeching him to obtain Australian visas for yeshiva students desperate for safety. Includes: Autograph and Typed Letters Signed by the Deans of the Kamenitzer Yeshiva, R. Moshe Bernstein and R. Reuven Grozovsky, (sons-in-law of R. Baruch Ber Leibowitz) recording the appalling conditions currently being experienced in Siberia. With a two-page list of names and addresses of thirty-three students and families hoping for visas. Includes R. Baruch Ber’s brother-in-law R. Naphtali Leibowitz, the mashgiach of the Yeshiva and R. Baruch Ber’s nephews Shalom and Nachum Leibowitz. Further names recorded and whom indeed survived to become prominent post-war rabbinic and yeshiva leaders were Rabbis Tuviah Goldstein of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Jacob Joseph, Shaul Brus of Beth HaTalmud, Abraham Brody of Torah Vodaath, Jacob Pester, Joshua Yitzchak Belsky, Hirsch Tennenbaum, etc. Also includes draft of a Memorandum addressed to the Australian Prime Minister in the name of Chief Rabbi Herzog of Palestine begging for his assistance. Vilna-born Rabbi Joseph Lipman Gurewicz (1885-1956) was a student of R. Chaim Ozer Grodzensi. In 1930 he visited Australia on behalf of the Lithuanian Va’ad HaYeshivos and made such a positive impression upon Melbourne Jewry he was prevailed to take up the pulpit of the Carlton United Hebrew Congregation. In this position, and due to the dynamic community leader that he was, Gurewicz became a central figure in the intense struggle to obtain sanctuary in Australia for Jews desperate to leave Nazi-Europe.