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Rabbi Dovid Wichefsky

June 7th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Rabbi Dovid Wichefsky

דוד ב"ר זאב דוב

Chief Rabbi, Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Date of Death: Fri. February 24, 1922 - Shevat 10 5682

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Cemetery Details
5015 de la Savane
Montreal, Quebec H4P 1V1

Phone: (514) 735-4696


Cemetery Map:

Notes: See cemetery website for hours and directions.

Directions to Kever: Baron de Hirsch-Back River Cemeteries in Montreal, Canada maintains computerized records and will provide a detailed location map upon request. Location: Plot line: L, Grave: 7

Name Listed on Cemetery Database: Witchel

Biographical Notes:

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Photo Caption: Hascal and Annie Moses née Wichefsky  with daughter Rita and Rabbi David Wichefsky in the Moses family’s backyard, c. 1910, Credit: Ontario Jewish Archives
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Photo Caption: Rabbi David Wichefsky, Credit: Lloyd Donald Friedman

Bio Information:
The Rav, born in Dubrovna, Belarus a small town along the Dnieper River in 1857, studied in the famed Volozhiner Yeshiva. In 1892, after moving to the United States he settled in New Bern, North Carolina where he rabbinated for two years. He then relocated to Greater Sudbury in Canada. It was under the guise that he was going to a growing Jewish community that he made the move. Upon his arrival it was apparent that the community size was greatly embellished. Nevertheless he stayed. After retiring he to be with his children.

Credit: Lloyd Donald Friedman

Tags: Canada · Chief Rabbi · Montreal, QC

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Moshe W // Dec 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Rabbi Wichefsky was not interested in serving as the religious leader for the community and therefore focused his efforts on private tutoring. As a result, the synagogue’s executive committee spent considerable effort during the first half of the twentieth century securing a reputable and reliable rabbi to lead their congregation. Due to its geographic location, size and lack of kosher and Jewish amenities, it was not easy for them to attract someone with the credentials and commitment that they were looking for. Despite the fact that they were offering a generous salary of $100 a month plus free accommodations, they did not have much luck in this area.

    Between 1916 and 1919 they secured six different rabbis who were employed for several months at a time, who either left of their own volition or were fired because of incompetence or fraud. One rabbi, in fact, was chastised by the executive for ignoring the children during Hebrew classes. Hyman Ironstone stated at a meeting held in December 1916 that this rabbi “lets the pupils practically teach themselves while he drinks tea, smokes and otherwise entertains himself.” Another rabbi that they brought in was not only determined to be a fake by the Head Rabbi of Toronto, Rabbi Gordon, but was also discovered by Abe Weisman to be engaged in bootlegging and pimping during his short stay in Sudbury. When they finally located a rabbi in the Sault, Rabbi Rabinovitch, who appeared to be an ideal candidate, he accepted and then discovered that he could not break his contract with the congregation he was serving in Sault-Ste. Marie. Eventually, he left the Sault and took the job in Sudbury in 1919 and served the congregation for a number of years.

    In addition to leading regular services, many of these rabbis were called upon to act as shochet, mohel, Baal Tefillah and Hebrew school teacher. Most of the families kept kosher at this time and would purchase chickens slaughtered by the rabbi. The meat was shipped in from Toronto each week. If it arrived late, the meat spoiled and they were forced to go without until the following week.
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