The Herschman/Gerschman family Vitebsk- Velikyi Luki #rabbinic


H(G)erschman family     Looking for Family


I am looking for 2 things:

  1. How we are descendents of the Vilna Gaon.
  2. If any relatives are alive today.


 My late Father Oscar Herschman (born 1903, NY; died 1988, Israel), was born in America. His father was Harry (Zvi, Gregory) Herschman and he came to America at the time of the turn of the century. He came from a family that was originally from Vitebsk (now Belarus) and were descendents of the Vilna Gaon. The entire family is mentioned in the Vitebsk Memorial Book.


My Great-grandparents were Shlomo Zalman H(G)erschman and Chia Golda (Chiena). She was the daughter of Mayer and (Chia) Bas(t)ya. She was my Father's Grandmother.  He came from Vitebsk as did his family. He and his wife moved to Velikye Luki after WWI, after the beginning of the persecution to the Zionists in Vitebsk and after all of his children left Vitebsk. He died in Velikye Luki on 23/11/1923 (15 Kislev Tarpad). His wife died in Velikye Luki on 24 Tamuz Tarpad (1923). It is possible that the connection to the Vilna Gaon is by the way of a woman in the family.


This is the information that I know of about my Grandfather's siblings.

    His brother, R. Girshman, went to France. He wrote a book entitled "IRAN"

    His sister, Goda went to France, where she lived with her son Miron Zlatin and his wife, who ran an orphanage in Izeui. He was deported to Estonia and killed during the Holocaust. They had no children. He was born on September 21, 1904, in Orche, Russia. My Father corresponded with him, before he was killed. His name appears on the web.    

    His brother stayed in Russia and became a doctor.

    His brother Meir, came here to Israel; his son Isaac, was married to Chava (Ava Levin). They had no children. We knew them well.

    His brother Mathias came to Palestine, was married to Devora, and had a son Dov. Mathias was a judge here under the British Mandate. Devora was a dancing teacher. Their son was killed before the war of Independence. We knew her well.

    A cousin of my Father's came to Israel before the War of Independence and was killed when a bridge was blown up.

    A son of a cousin of my Father's managed to get out of Russia about 30 years ago and was on his way to Israel. He met an American girl in Greece and went to America with her. He lived in the Boston area, got divorced, and moved to California.


My Father and his Aunt Devora told us everything about the family. We thought we knew the story, but realized that we are missing a few links. The names Ginsberg and Markowitz were in my Father’s story. 


Please see my website about Vitebsk:



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