From Pruzhan to Boston

The Rav lived in four countries through the course of his life: Poland, White Russia, Germany, and the United States. Cities he called home include Pruzhan (Poland), Khaslavichy (White Russia), Warsaw (Poland), Berlin (Germany), and Boston (United States). As Rosh Yeshiva of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) in New York, the Rav commuted weekly from Boston to New York City and may have logged as many as a million miles (certainly several hundred thousand). It is likely that no Torah sage in Jewish history ever travelled that much.

Original Discoveries  In 2009, TheRav.Info discovered a series of official documents recording the Rav's immigration to the United States.* As far as we can tell, these documents were previously unknown to scholars on the Rav's life. With gratitude to the Almighty, we proudly present them here.

First Entry into the US
Ship manifest for the Rav's first entry into the United States along with his wife Tonya and his daughter Atarah. Click to enlarge

The Rav, the Rebbetzin, and Atarah departed Liverpool, England and sailed aboard a ship called the Baltic. They arrived in New York on August 29, 1932.

The Baltic
The Baltic, built in 1904, was the largest liner in the world at the time of completion. Japanese ship-breakers destroyed it in 1933. Click to enlarge.

Second Entry After Trip to Eretz Israel
Ship manifest for the Rav's re-entry into the United States after his visit to Eretz Israel in 1935. (Line 19) Click to enlarge.

The Rav sailed aboard an Italian ship called the Rex which British aircraft later sunk during World War II.

The Rav's naturalization card, dated September 19, 1938

*These documents are from the collection of the national archives and are in the public domain. The photo of the Baltic from 1904 is assumed to be in the public domain.

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