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Icik Benkovitz Papers

Identifier: JHCP-005

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains ledgers recording marriage performed by Rabbi Icik Benkovitz. The ledgers give information including the names, ages, addresses, number of marriages, occupation birthplace, parents’ names (including maiden names) of both the groom and bride, as well as the date and location of the marriage. Photocopies of the marriage ledgers are included, and a searchable database is available. This collection also contains certificates (in Yiddish) of gets (divorces) Benkovitz administered.


  • 1922-1956


Language of Materials

The collecton is in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact

Biographical Note

Rabbi Icik Benkovitz (also spelled Benkovits and Benkowitz) was born in 1853 in either Šiauliai or Anykščiai, Lithuania. He married his wife Malka, and they had three sons—Aaron, Zvi, and Alec—and one daughter, Norma. In 1922, Benkovitz and his wife immigrated to the United States, settling in Chelsea, Massachusetts. That year, he became the rabbi at Zemach Zedeck (Tzemach Tzedek) in Chelsea, and in 1937, he also began serving as spiritual leader at Shaare Zion (known as the Orange Street Shul), also in Chelsea. Benkovitz died at the age of 110 on May 5, 1963, and before his death, was believed to be the oldest living rabbi in the United States.


  1. Materials from this collection.
  2. "Rites in Chelsea for Nation's Oldest Rabbi." Jewish Advocate, May 9, 1963, p. 1.


Benkovitz is born.
Benkovitz immigrates to the United States.
Benkovitz serves as rabbi at Zemach Zedeck (Tzemach Tzedek).
Benkovitz serves as rabbi of Shaare Zion (Orange Street Shul).
May 5, 1963
Benkovitz dies.


4 folders


This collection contains marriage and divorce records performed by Rabbi Icik Benkovitz in Chelsea, Massachusetts and surrounding cities and towns. A searchable database of the marriage records is also available.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Leon Benkovitz and Michael Benkovitz, 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Lindsay Murphy, June 2019.

Guide to the Icik Benkovitz Papers, JHCP-005
Lindsay Murphy
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States