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Rabbi Moshe Shimon Sivitz

January 27th, 2009 · 71 Comments

Rabbi Moshe Shimon Sivitz

משה שמעון ב"ר יחזקאל

Chief Rabbi, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Date of Death: Thu. July 30, 1936 - Av 11 5696

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Cemetery Details
827 Stewart Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
United States

Phone: 412-421-8855
Contact: Linda Pasternak


Cemetery Map:

Notes: The cemetery is located in South Pittsburgh the Carrick section of the City.

Directions to Kever: Shaare Torah Congregation Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Location: Center, H 18

Name Listed on Cemetery Database: Name on tombstone: Rabbi M.S. Sivitz

Biographical Notes:

Sivitz Shimon
Photo Caption: Rabbi Moshe Shimon Sivitz, Credit: Institute For Judaic Culture and History
Sivitz Shimon add
Photo Caption: Poster announcing the passing of Rabbi Moshe Shimon Sivitz, Credit: Institute For Judaic Culture and History

Credit: IFJCAH

Bio Information: 
Rav Sivitz was born in Zhitovyan (Kovno), Lithuania and studied in the Yeshivos of Slovan and Chelm, where he became a close disciple of Rav Eliezer Gordon, the Telzer rosh yeshiva. He also received semicha (ordained) from Rav Gordon and additional semicha from Rav Yitzchok Elchonon Spector, the Kovner Rav.
The Rav’s first pulpit was in Phikelin, Lithuania in 1885 but soon after moved to the United States. Before becoming the Chief Rabbi of Pittsburgh the Rav spent two years in Baltimore. Rav Sivitz, known as an outspoken critic against the Reform movement, organized the first talmid torah (day school) in Pittsburgh. The Rav was held in high esteem by many Rabbonim in Europe among them Rav Yisroel Meir Kagan, the Chofetz Chaim who wrote the approbation to his commentary on Talmud Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Talmud). As a side, the Rav delivered the keynote eulogy at Chief Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Joseph’s funeral.

Credit: Rich Boyer, Pittsburgh, PA

Credit: Rich Boyer, Pittsburgh, PA

Tags: Chief Rabbi · Pennsylvania · Pittsburgh, PA

71 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ann maser // Nov 25, 2012 at 5:18 am

    I am very excited about your interest in Feige since she represents a large piece of the missing puzzle in researching Rabbi M.S. Sivitz my ggrandfather. I believe Feige daughter, Mrs. Issacs sponsered my ggrandfather’s ticket to the States. Yehezchel and Feige had other children. I also know that some of the family, her children(??) or siblings reached South Africa.
    I would be interested in exchanging information with you.
    I live in Northern Israel.

  • 2 sarah levine simon // Dec 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

    My parents owned a copy of a portrait of Rabbi Sivitz’s father or grandfather. My mother Maita searched for the original portrait at one point. The information led to part of the Sivitz family that had emigrated to Japan. Anyone out there know who they are and if there are descendants. I don’t know which of my sibs has the copy but will ask.

  • 3 Gilad Gevaryahu // Jan 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Ann Maser: please contact me at I think I know a great deal of the story.

    Sarah Levine Simon: some of the grandchildren of Max Wolff, Feige’s first husband lived in Japan. I have the details.

  • 4 Yaacov Leiter // May 31, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Hello Mrs. Lifschitz
    I am a descendent of Rabbi Wolf Leiter who was a rabbi in pittsburg from 1921 0r 1922 till his demise in the early 1970’s. Rav Leiter of course knew Rav Sivitz and collaborated with him. Wolf Leiter together with two of his sons Rav Abba and Rav David put out a book in Rav Sivitz’s memory called Shem Mishimon. There is some biographical information about Rav Sivitz in there regarding the connection between Bernard Revel and Rav Sivitz. On page 14 of Shem Mishimon It discusses Bernard Revels relationship with Rav Sivitz it says there that Rav Sivitz made the shidduch between Revel and his wife Travis. There is also a nice picture of Rav Sivitz in the book

  • 5 Eli Kitay // Nov 25, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I have just discovered a tenuous family connection with Rabbi Moses Simon Sivitz. I hope I am correct
    The Rabbi’s mother was Feiga Moskowitz. She had a sister Shaina Moskowitz(born abt 1825) who married Yisrael Kitay abt 1845
    He is my great grandfather
    Can someone please confirm if this is the family of the Rabbi

  • 6 ann maser // Nov 26, 2013 at 7:21 am

    My dear Eli,
    Thank you for contacting me by email.
    This is not a tenuous family connection but you are the link to Feiga that will complete, hopefully, the missing pieces of the family tree.
    For me this is a Chanukah miracle.
    The Rabbi’s father, Yehezchel, was Feige’s second husband and the parents of Moses Simon Sivitz.
    My gut feeling is that Feige’s history is the most fascinating piece in the puzzle.

  • 7 Janice Sivitz Keilly // Dec 14, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Today is the first time I have visited this link! How exciting it has been! My grandfather, Simon Sivitz, was a first cousin to Rabbi Sivitz. Their fathers were brothers. Rabbi Sivitz played an important role in my family. He married my parents, Leon and Jennie, and spent time visiting his cousin. Hyman Goldberg was my dentist. Many of the names which were mentioned sound familiar to me. No one mentioned that when Rabbi Sivitz was young, he was a carrot top. Every time my grandmother had a baby, she would ask if he/she had red hair. When they told her no, she said, “Thank G__!

  • 8 Maury (Moshe) Zivitz // Mar 13, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    My Uncle Nathan in Birmingham, AL told me that Rabbi Zivitz took a long train ride to attend his bris in 1907. There was always a picture of the rabbi sitting on Uncle Nathan’s TV set. My grandfather’s name was Mose Zivitz, who lived in Alabama. Mose’s sibs were Gustavia, Nathan, Rebecca, Bessie and Katie. Unlce Nathan told me the rabbi was his uncle, but that cannot be correct because Mose’s dad was named Hoetkal and that would make the son of Yechezkal have a (Jewish law) forbidden name. Does anyone know how Hoetzkal was actually related to the rabbi? I have the last name of Feige as Yekutiel. Her dad was a rabbi in Grode, Lita [AKA Kroze, Lithuania]. Please email me at

  • 9 dalya danish // Jan 12, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    i have a family tree dating back to 1972 from Denmark which shows that Rabbi Moshe Simon Sivitz was a son of Fannie Moskowitz, sister to my great grandmother Golde Moskowitz Kitay. i would like more info about his siblings.

  • 10 dalya danish // Jan 12, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    anyone need a copy of Feige (Fannie) Moskowitz family tree can contact me at

  • 11 Jodie Goldman // May 28, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Hi. I think Rabbi Sivitz was my Great-Great Uncle. His sister was my Grandmother’s Mother. My Grandmother’s name was Mollie Gertrude Goldberg Maysels. I also remember all of her siblings, Rose, Hymie, Babe, Teddy, Millie and Sylvie. Their father was Louis Goldberg (Lipman Velvel), also a rabbi. Both of the parents dies young. If anyone has a family tree we can plug into or see, I would be very grateful! My email is

  • 12 Tzvia Goldberg // Jun 3, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Our DNA results show that our family is closely linked to the extended Sivitz family, but we do not know how. Please contact me if you are in either 23andme or FamilyTreeDNA and interested in sharing results. We have one family member who is very good at understanding all of the DNA results, which is helpful.

  • 13 Feigie Ilana Shaman // Jul 8, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Hello I am the great great grand daughter of Rabbi Moshe Sivitz and I was named after my granny I am 9 years old right now and my next birthday will be this year on the October 5 and my father is Sanford Shaman and I live in Cape Town South Africa

  • 14 Feigie Ilana Shaman // Jul 10, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    PS I am good at dancing art and singing

  • 15 Feigie Ilana Shaman // Jul 25, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I was named after my granny, whose name was Feiga Florence Shaman. Sadly I never got to meet her. My mother’s name is Marcelle Goldsmith

  • 16 Feigie Ilana Shaman // Jul 25, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    PS my 👵 (granny ) was Florence (Feiga) Sivitz (Shaman ),granddaughter of Rabbi Sivitz 😰!

  • 17 Noson Ingber // Aug 10, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I am Noson Ingber. My mother is Sara (zivitz) Ingber. whose father was Shmuel Chiam Zivitz son of Kalman kloynemus Zivitz. The family came from Lomza Gubernia in Bialystock Region. Their town was Wysockie Macziewcki. Zeide Kalman had 4 living children (That I know of-others died in childbirth or young). Simcha who lived in Baranovich and was the headmaster of the slonimer school there. His father-in-law was a shchet and didnt allow them to come to America the Treife Medina. His family was killed during the war except one son Shmuel Moishe who ran to russia and lived there until 1981 when he came to America with his wife and daughter. They were/are religious. The oldest daughter was Esther who married Toivia Shustal a respected scholar whose son was R Simcha Shustal who has a Yeshiva in Stamford CT (He passed away in 2013). There were 4 sons and 1 daughter. Next was my grandfather Shmuel Chiam Zivitz who had 2 sons and 3 daughter whose children/grandchildren etc live mostly in the NY metro area. Irving, the youngest who lived in Florida who passed away several years ago. If anyone is interested in this branch of the family can contact me at for more info.

  • 18 K. Applebaum // Aug 28, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    If anyone can send me a copy of biographical info. about Rav Sivitz from the memorial book Shem MiShimon, that would be greatly appreciated.

  • 19 Scott Becket // Apr 22, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    I think I might be related. My grandfather was Leon Sivitz of Pittsburgh.

  • 20 Yosef Edelstein // May 8, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    It is nice to see all of this! In the last few months, I have found out my connection to Rabbi Sivitz (zt’l). My great great grandmother was Nechama (Jennie) Sivitz, sister of Rabbi Moshe Shimon, by one of the marriages. [Her daughter Sara Kaminsky married Jack Fiedler, who had my grandfather, Howard Taft Fiedler….my mom’s dad.] I have been in touch with Sanford Shaman (who is mentioned in this thread) and Jeffrey Shaman, as well as Marty Sivitz who lives in Pittsburgh, grandson of Rabbi Sivitz. I would love to be in touch with anyone.
    All the best,
    (Rabbi) Yosef Edelstein…only including the Rabbi title to proudly say I am following in the tradition!

  • 21 Yosef Edelstein // Aug 16, 2019 at 10:45 am

    I just wanted to report that I had the merit and privilege of visiting the kever (grave) of Rav Sivitz, zt’l, this past Monday….which was his yahrzeit (11 Av)! I thought it would be a perfect great time to travel to Pittsburgh, say some prayers at his grave…AND, no less meaningfully, meet for the first time Marty Sivitz (the Rabbi’s grandson), and Marty’s wife, Sherry. It was a wonderful experience.
    If anyone wants to be in touch, please do so. I truly enjoy exploring Sivitz (and other family)connections.

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