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Rabbi Israel Lebendiger
Birth: Apr. 15, 1886
Bresckaja, Belarus
Death: Feb. 21, 1964
Sullivan County
New York, USA

Rabbi Lebendiger served Congregation Shaare Zedek, St. Louis, Missouri for over 6 years (1922-1928) and he is listed along with other rabbis who served St. Louis congregations. You can find the full list at SAINT LOUIS RABBIS.

Rabbi Lebendiger was born in the town of Grodno, Poland-Lituania, near Pinsk, Poland. Grodno is now considered part of Belarus. He came to the United States via Rotterdam, Holland on the Statendam vessel and arrived on August 15, 1904. He was unmarried at the time and traveled alone.

Married Carrie Liberman on April 10, 1921, West Hoboken, New Jersey

He died at the age of 77.

What is unique about the Jewish Theological Seminary diploma presented to Rabbi Lebendiger in 1914 (image can be found at the right of this page) are the 7 unique signatures that appear at the bottom of the diploma. These faculty members, distinguished educators, and administrators at the time of this 1914 class were some of the most learned scholars of their time.

Rabbi Solomon Schechter (1850-1915)
Rabbi Louis Ginzberg (1873-1953)
Rabbi Alexender Marx (1878-1953)
Dr. Israel Davidson (1870-1939)
Rabbi Israel Friedlander (1876-1920)
Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1881-1983)
Rabbi Joshua A. Joffe (1862-1935)

March, 2013
Recent telephone conversations with Lebendiger daughter Ruth (Ted) Shuster (now in her 80's) revealed that the early years in Liberty, New York for the Lebendiger family lead to a life-long friendship with the Grossinger family of the nearby historic Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel. This relationship was a fond memory for Ruth.

The Grossinger daughter, Jennie Grossinger, who was the hostess for the Resort, asked the Rabbi if he would be kind enough to lead the Seder services at the Resort during that special Holiday. He graciously complied but would not take a fee for those services and he did it for a number of years. In return for that gesture, Jennie Grossinger invited the young Ruth Lebendiger to attend the Grossinger summer camp sessions as their guest. The offer held for a number of years up until the time Ruth was a teenager. END

New Castle, Pennsylvania
March 15, 1918
P. 1


Rabbi Israel Lebendiger was one of 20 passengers injured on a westbound Pennsylvania train near Harrisburg, when the train's Pullman passenger cars were struck by a Boulder that had tumbled onto the tracks. The cars were overturned. The Boulder had to be dynamited so that it could be cleared from the scene. Several female passengers were killed in this accident. Rabbi Lebendiger was living in Youngstown, Ohio at the time. END

November 18, 1920


New Head of Hebrew School Sees
Necessity in Jews Holding Identity

"As Americans, we Jews can best serve America by being loyal to our traditions and to our faith--it would be a distinct loss to the world if the Jewish people were to lose their identity through assimilation or intermarriage," said Rabbi Israel Lebendiger in an interview yesterday. Rabbi Lebendiger was recently selected by the Jewish organizations of Duluth to superintend the Moses Montifiore Hebrew School, Third Avenue East and Third Street, and to organize a Jewish community center and other bodies for the advancement of Jewish culture.


"At the bottom of the massacres and pogroms in Europe is an effort on the part of the persecutors to force the Jews to give up their religion, customs and traditions," said the rabbi, "In Hungary, masses of Jewish people have become assimilated and adoption other religious to avoid heartless persecution. Radicals among the Jews have affiliated with other movements and have given up hope of a solution for the problems, but the bulk of the Jews in eastern Europe remain loyal to their race and culture."

Rabbi Lebendiger added that the Balfour Declaration giving Palestine to the Jews has heartened many Jews and has brought many converts to the ranks of Zionists, seeking to establish a homeland. He said that with a homeland established, much of the strife against Jews would cease.


"Today, many Jews are prominent in science and politics but the world does not know they are Jews, whereas it would be known should the Jews have a strong representative homeland of their own," said the rabbi. "As an instance, take nine-year old Rzeszewski, who has been proclaimed the 'Polish chess wizard', yet the lad is a Jew. Similarly, many others are Jews, yet it is not known."

The rabbi received his early rabbinical education in the old country where he obtained "Hatarath Huraah" which grants him authority to render ritual decisions. He attended Columbia College in America and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree. He graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York City as rabbi. He served as rabbi in Youngstown, Ohio and Union Hall, New Jersey and was at the latter place when called to Duluth. He is the author of "The Minor in Jewish Law."

Rabbi Lebendiger will speak tonight at a meeting of the Jewish Center league of young men and women in the Talmud Torah hall. Officers will be elected and a program of activity outlined. The meeting will be public. END

October 26, 1922
Page 3


Rabbi Israel Lebendiger, of the Hebrew Institute, has resigned to accept a similar position at the Shaare Zedek synagogue at St. Louis, it was announced yesterday. He will leave here for his new post November 7th or 8th.

Coming here two years ago, Rabbi Lebendiger organized clubs composed of young people and Sunday school classes in connection with special services held in the synagogue. The sisterhood of the Hebrew Institute was re-organized by the Rabbi and now it is one of the vital factors in operating the activities of the Institute.

Since his arrival in Duluth, prominent Jewish people in St. Louis have besieged Rabbi Lebendiger with requests that he leave his Duluth post and take charge of the St. Louis synagogue. The Shaare Zedek synagogue is the largest modern orthodox congregation in St. Louis.

The board of directors of the institute are negotiating with the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, to obtain the services of a new rabbi. It is expected that the new rabbi will arrive in Duluth prior to Rabbi Lebendiger'departure for St. Louis. END

Page 353


Rabbi; born April 15, 1886, Russia; son of Hyman Lebendiger and Dora Waliwelsky Bendiger; education - Yeshivah in Russia; received Semicha from Rabbi Boruch Baer Leibowitz (head of Yeshivah Keneseth Beth Yizchok, Slabodka), 1904; Columbia University, Bachelor of Arts, 1912; Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi, 1914; married Carrie Lieberman, April 10, 1921, West Hoboken, New Jersey. Rabbi, Holyoke, MA (B'nai Zion), to 1917; Rabbi, Youngstown, Ohio (Temple Emanu-El), 1917-1919; Duluth, MN (Moses Montefieore), to 1922; Rabbi, Congregation Shaare Zedek, St. Louis, MO since 1922. Member, board of education and one of organizers, Associated Hebrew Schools of St. Louis; member of the executive board of Zionist Club of St. Louis; member of the education committee, United Synagogue of America. Author: the Minor in Jewish Law; Contribution of Zebi Hirsh Chajas to Jewish Science. Member of Z.O.A.; United Synagogue of America; Jewish Theological Seminary; Rabbincal Assembly; Jewish Publication Society; B'nai Brith. Residence: 4461 Olive Street. Study: Page Blvd at West End Avenue, St. Louis, MO. END
Congregation Bulletin
Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue
Windsor, Ontario, Canada

(A Biography by the Editor)

Israel Lebendiger, the Rabbi of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim graduated as Bachelors of Arts from Columbia University and as Rabbi with distinction from The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York. He has also Hatorath Horaah from the well-known Gaon Rabbi Baruch Baer Leibowitz, Kamenetz, Poland. He is the author of "The Minor in Jewish Law," in the Jewish Quarterly Review, 1916, Dropsie College, Philadelphia, PA, and of the contribution of Zebi Hirsh Chajes to Jewish Science in preparation.

Prior to his coming to Windsor, Ontario, Canada he was the spiritual leader for six years of Congregation Shaare Zedek, in one of the largest orthodox congregations in St. Louis, MO. Upon his arrival here a year and a half ago, he found a handful of people who for years have been cherishing the idea of erecting a modern orthodox synagogue and centre. Starting to work with this group as a nucleus, he succeeded by means of lectures and sermons, publications of literature, the organization of the proper groups, and with the fine cooperation of the officers of the congregation, in inspiring and arousing the community to their spiritual needs, so that now the long cherished dream is embodied in a beautiful edifice, with all the various organizations and activities that pertain to a modern synagogue and centre.

Combining an American university and seminary training, with a scholarly Talmudic background, he met the essential requirement necessary in this community to unite in our undertaking all elements, the old and the young, the strictly observant Jew and the Jew with liberal tendencies.

The following is a short record of his achievements during his short stay in Windsor. (1) The organization of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. (2) The planning of the first financial campaign during which the sum of Ninety-four Thousand Dollars was raised. (3) The organization of the Shaar Hashomayim Sisterhood. (3) The organization of Shaar Hashomayim Young People's Society. (4) The organization and supervision of the Shaar Hashomayim Sunday School. (5) The conducting of Friday evening services at which he delivers sermons. (6) the weekly publication of the Shaar Hashomayim Bulletin.

Rabbi Lebendiger did not confine himself merely to congregational activities. He has always been ready and willing to give his assistance to any worthwhile cause. He addressed B'nai B'rith and Hadassah gatherings and assisted the A.Z.A. in their activities. He gained the respect of the non-Jews and of the local press who consulted him on matters Jewish. Christian organizations called upon him to deliver addresses at their meetings. END
Who's Who In World Jewry
P. 438

LEBENDIGER, ISRAEL, U.S., rabbi; born Russia, April 15, 1886, son of Hyman and Dora Lebendiger; B.A., Columbia College, 1912; Rabbi, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1914; Doctor of Hebrew Letters, 1933; married Carrie Lieberman, April 10, 1921; Daughter, Ruth Lebendiger Shuster. Rabbi, Congregation Ahavath Israel, Liberty, NY, since 1933; chaplain, Woodbourne Correction Instritution, Woodbourne, NY, 1936; rabbi B'nai Zion, Holyoke, MA, 1915-1917; Temple Emanuel, Youngstown, OH 1917-1919; Duluth, MN, 1920-1922; Shaare Zedek, St. Louis, MO 1922-1928; Shaar Hashomayim, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, 1929-1933. Member, executive board: National Council Jewish Prison Chaplains; UJA, Liberty, NY. Author, The Minor in Jewish Law, 1915. Home - 8 Marion Avenue, Liberty, NY. Study: Congration Ahavath Israel, Liberty, NY.

Six months prior to his death, Rabbi Lebendiger was presented with an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
From the library archives of
Temple El Emeth
Youngstown, OH

"In 1917, Rabbi Lebendiger succeeded the first rabbi of the congregation. A young man, steeped in traditional Jewish lore, yet conversant with many aspects of secular learning, it was he who instituted the Friday evening children's services, a great success in its day. A series of similar innovations marked Rabbi Lebendiger as an Orthodox rabbi with a modern bent in the opinion of the more senior members."


Arrived in the United States

Earned Bachelor of Arts Degree
Columbia University
New York, New York

Rabbinical Ordination
Jewish Theological Seminary
New York, New York

Published: The Minor in Jewish Law
by Rabbi Israel Lebendiger
Jewish Quarterly Review, Oct. 1916
P. 145-174

Sons of Zion (B'nai Zion)
Holyoke, MA

Temple Emanu-El (1)
Youngstown, OH
(1) now merged as Temple Emeth

Moses Montefiori Hebrew School
Duluth, MN

Married wife Carrie Liberman
West Hoboken, New Jersey
April 10, 1921

Congregation Shaare Zedek
St. Louis, Missouri

Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue
Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Earned Doctor of Hebrew Letters
Jewish Theological Seminary
New York, New York

Woodbourne Correction Institution
Woodbourne, NY

Congregation Ahavet Israel
Liberty, New York

Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree
Jewish Theological Seminary
New York, New York

Scroll down the page to reveal the link to other photos. Click on any of the photos and scroll down the page to reveal any captioned information.

Click on the Liberman headstone photo on the second page of this posting and then scroll down to reveal the names of all family members buried in the Liberman/Lieberman family plot. Mrs. Lebendiger was a Liberman daughter.

Click on each photo and scroll down to reveal any caption information about the image.

When clicked, each hyper link on this page should open as a new tab window.

Here is a web link to the complete listing of the Liberman family and spouses at Riverside Cemetery. Click on LIBERMAN FAMILY.

The rabbi featured on this Find A Grave page is one of many included in a "Virtual Cemetery" of rabbis who've passed but who served on St. Louis pulpits during their rabbinate. The complete "Virtual Cemetery" list can be found at SAINT LOUIS RABBIS. Questions about this "Virtual Cemetery" project may be directed to:
Steven Weinreich
Family links: 
  Hyman Avigdor Lebendiger (1850 - 1925)
  Dora Volovelsky Lebendiger (1856 - 1948)
  Carrie Liberman Lebendiger (1892 - 1979)
  Caryl Benjamine Lebendiger (1935 - 1938)*
  Israel Lebendiger (1886 - 1964)
  Jennie Leah Lebendiger Kind (1890 - 1958)*
  Annie Lebendiger Schwartz (1892 - 1968)*
*Calculated relationship
Riverside Cemetery
Saddle Brook
Bergen County
New Jersey, USA
Plot: Family Section #2, Map 322, Lot D, Section 23, Lot 8
Maintained by: Brent Stevens
Originally Created by: Erice Wilcox
Record added: Jul 25, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 94170832
Rabbi Israel Lebendiger
Added by: Brent Stevens
Rabbi Israel Lebendiger
Added by: Brent Stevens
Rabbi Israel Lebendiger
Added by: Brent Stevens
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- by Mary Barton Wilcox
 Added: Jul. 25, 2012
This page is sponsored by: Brent Stevens

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