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Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Widerwitz

November 13th, 2008 · 17 Comments

Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Widerwitz

חיים יעקב ב"ר בנימין

Chief Rabbi of America

Date of Death: Wed. May 10, 1911 - Iyyar 12 5671

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Cemetery Details
81-10 Pitkin Avenue
Ozone Park, NY 11417
United States

Phone: 212-874-7005
Contact: Daniel Goldberg


Cemetery Map:,%20bottom.jpg

Notes: It should be noted that Acacia, Bayside and Mokom Sholom are three independent cemeteries and while Acacia and Mokom Sholom are under the same management umbrella, Bayside is independently owned and operated. The cemeteries run along Pitkin and Liberty Avenues from 80th Street to 84th Street. Access to Bayside is from Pitkin Avenue only. Although in a constant state of cleanup, Bayside is in extreme disarray and can be dangerous, use caution when visiting!!! Actual care is provided by Cong Shaare Zeedk on the Upper West Side, they claim that all records were lost in a fire.

Directions to Kever: Although in a constant state of cleanup, Bayside Cemetery along Pitkin Avenue in Queens is in extreme disarray and can be dangerous, use caution when visiting!!! In the event of an emergency call 911. Location: Society: Congregation Lubowitz Weinzein, Path: A, Gate: 13, on the right side a few graves in. The second section from the Liberty Avenue entrance)

Biographical Notes:

Rav Wderwitz, prior to his arrival in the United States was the Chief Rabbi of Moscow. The story goes that the Rav was once asked who made him Chief Rabbi of America to which he replied the sign painter.


Tags: Chief Rabbi · Pitkin Avenue Cemeteries · Queens / L.I., NY

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chabad // Dec 9, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I was there, many years ago, I believe you have it right. He is buried alongside his son.
    Just a little tip for anyone visiting the Bayside Cemetery, it?s in a rough neighborhood, so either go with someone or in the morning.

  • 2 MBD // May 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I tried getting there, but the cemetery is such a mess!!!!!!!!
    Is there a way of arousing interest in the community to get the cemetery cleaned up??????

  • 3 Chabad // Jun 3, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    WOW, the place is a jungle, how did you find it?

  • 4 Miller // Jun 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Based on the Matzieve, you should change the name to ‘Chaim Yaakov’.

  • 5 Miller // Jun 3, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    The Rav was closeley affiliated with Lubavitch, he worked on the ‘Shu”t Zemach Zadik’ and is likeley that he served as rav in one of the two Lubavitcher Shuls in his area on Henrey St.

    His wife Pesa was one of the founders of the Laidies Auxilary of Lubavitch.

    (Toldos Chabad, Levin)

  • 6 Miller // Jul 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    According to the NY Times report, Lower east Side has not seen a large funeral like the one of Rabbi Widerwitz since the death of Cheif Rabbi Joseph.

    The Rav was 75 years old at the age of his death, it is noted that he was a leading arbiter in family disputes in the East-Side.

  • 7 curios // Jul 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    interesting, according to the NYT report there were over 5,000 people there, can that be compared to the 100, 000 at R’ YY’s levayah?!

  • 8 YD Miller // Jan 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    in 1892 he is klisted as the Rav of Bies Hamedresh Anshie Lubavitch V’Niezin on 48 Ludlow St. in NY, see link

  • 9 Asher // Jan 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    He’s buried in gate 13, currently however it’s easier to access him by entering gate 14, after a couple plots, approx 10 stones you’ll be able to see his headstone to your left. Did anyone come across a pic of him?

  • 10 Admin // Jan 27, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I have one, it’s on the list for posting.

  • 11 farshlufen // Aug 24, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    R’ Barhuch we are waiting for the pic.

  • 12 Farshlufen // May 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm

  • 13 Yossi // Jan 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    In the last year of his life, R’ Widrewitz arbritrated a dispute over the kashrus of the Mikvah in Seattle, WA. The rov of the Seattle kehilla, R’ Gedalyah Halperin, allowed the mikvah to be filled by municipal city water, while another prominent posek from St. Louis, R’ Zecharia Yosef Rosenfeld, held that it was pasul. R’ Halperin sent both his teshuva and that of R’ Rosenfeld to R’ Widrewitz asking for an opinion, and he wrote back a letter supporting the position of R’ Halperin. All these letters are printed in R’ Halperin’s Sefer Mei Gava found here – (p50)

    It’s interesting that in his letter, R’ Widrewitz alludes to the fact that he had been ill for a while, and I wonder given the timing, whether this illness was ultimately the cause of his petira.

  • 14 Ben Bee Zee // Jul 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Along with him is buried his son R’ Yosef Tzvi who past away a few years before him on 7 Tishrei 5667-1906, there’s an interesting article in the newspaper i’m linking where he’s praised for leaving in his will some extra money that his wife should remarry after he dies.

  • 15 YD Miller // Sep 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    NYT on his Rebbetzins passing

  • 16 Joanne // Sep 24, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    According to the incorporation papers, my great-grandfather, David Albert, was one of the founders of Lubowitz Weinzein, and his son, a lawyer, Abraham Albert, drew up the legal documents. I’d appreciate any more information about this landsmanshaft.

  • 17 asher lowy // Feb 3, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Pix of Rebbetzin Tamra Widrevitz’s Marker

    Pix of Pesha Widrevik’s Marker:

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