Rabbinic Genealogy SIG #Rabbinic Seeking information on R Chayim Dov(id) (Z/S)(u/i)sselman #rabbinic


In the wake of "Roots", I was able to interview my grandfather about his
ancestors. He told me his grandfather was a rabbi, whose name appears to
have been Chayim Dov(id) (Z/S)(u/i)sselman, lived c.1815-1885. About a year
ago, I turned up evidence that he was probably born in or near Horodetz,
Belarus, but most of his career appears to have been in western Ukraine,
with a possible posting in Odessa.

Grandpa never met his own grandfather, who died before his birth, but by
the way Grandpa referred to him, it seems likely that Rabbi
(Z/S)(u/i)sselman had something of a reputation for being tough. There is
nothing to suggest that he was Hassidic, and I infer that he was a
mitnaged sent into the heartland of Hassidism to hold the line.

Although they used the surname Zisselman in Ukraine, my grandfather and
three of his five brothers took the surname Zussman when they came to
America, a fourth used Sussman.

I mention this because there was a dynasty of Zussman rabbis based in
Ostrog (see {\em Mizkeret LeGedolei Ostrog} by Menachem Biber) whose
members held positions in various communities where members of my
family lived, including the towns where my grandfather and father were

My theory is that my gg-grandfather (or perhaps his father) married into
the Ostrog Zussmans and then took their surname, adding the "el" to
clarify that he wasn't a descendant -- the Ostrog Zussmans were kohanim,
and we're not. Unfortunately, I don't have a given name for my

I am looking for a way to establish a connection, or prove there wasn't
one, and would much appreciate some guidance on how to proceed.

Yale Zussman

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