Rabbi Binyamin Gittelsohn
בנימין ב"ר יהודה ליבChief Rabbi, Cleveland, Ohio
Date of Death: Fri. January 1, 1932 -
Teves 22 5692
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Directions to Kever: Lansing Cemetery Association in Cleveland, Ohio maintains computerized records and will provided a detailed location map upon request.
Name Listed on Cemetery Database: Name listed on marker: Rabbi Benjamin Gittelsohn
Rav Gittelsohn was born in Lithuania (1851-1853), son of Rav Yehuda Leib a descendant of Rav Yeshaya Halevi Horowitz, Shelah Hakadosh. The Rav’s father passed away when he was eight. Impoverished, he wandered from town to town for charitable donations enabling him to receive a traditional yeshiva education. Rav Gittelsohn attended the yeshiva of Slabodka and thereafter Slonim where he was ordained. The Rav’s first rabbinical post was in Alanta and soon after, Troskunai, a small Lithuanian town. He remained very poor, because the Jewish community was unable to pay an adequate salary. In 1890, the Rav was asked to settle in Cleveland by the growing community of Lithuanian Jews in the city. After serving various congregations throughout the city he was appointed as the Moreh Dasrah of Oer Chodosh Anshe Sfard where he remained until his passing. As Cleveland’s first rabbinic scholar he was led to become the spiritual authority for many of the surrounding congregations.
Rav Gittelsohn published two seforim (books) Ha-Poteah ve-ha-Hotem (New York, 1898) and Seder Haggada shel Pesah ‘im Be’ur Nagid ve-Nafik (Jerusalem, 1904). Additionally, he wrote a commentary on Tefilah (prayer) that was never published. The Rav married Celia “Sippa” Alenik while still in Lithuania, they had 12 children.
(Biased on information obtained from the The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History)