The Twersky Dynasty

The legacy of HaRav Yaakov Yosef Twersky lives on…

The Twersky chassidic dynasty originated in Chernobyl, Ukraine. It spread throughout the towns of Ukraine and beyond, and today boasts over fifty thousand known descendants. The admorim of almost every contemporary chassidic line are its progeny.

HaRav Yaakov Yosef Twersky, a scion of this regal dynasty, was raised in the court of Azarinitz-Khotin, and was being groomed as successor to his father, the Rebbe. However, World War II thwarted these plans, and the teenaged Yaakov Yosef was enslaved for three years in various ghettos. Miraculously surviving the Holocaust, the now orphaned and penniless young Yaakov Yosef arrived at Ellis Island, New York, in 1946, hoping to rebuild his life and restore his family’s noble legacy. After years of arduous work to support himself and his orphaned sisters, Yaakov Yosef established a shul in memory of his martyred father in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx.

He fostered close relationships with leading gedolim and admorim of his generation, and his marriage to Chaya Pearl, daughter of Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel Heschel, the admor of Kopichenitz, merged two major chassidic dynasties.
With a unique combination of old-world perspicacity and American approachability, HaRav Yaakov Yosef led his kehillah for forty-one years, reigniting dimmed Jewish sparks, touching thousands of lives, and inspiring generations of Jews to follow the path of Torah and mitzvos.

This informative and fascinating biography, compiled by his son, Yitzchak Meyer Twersky, was produced after a twenty-year quest of searching through Russian, Romanian, and American archives, obtaining access to exclusive private collections, conducting personal interviews, and viewing rare letters and Holocaust testimonies. Included are over one thousand rare photographs.

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