Welcome to our family trees. The often-interlocking histories of our ancestors continues to inform our daily lives. I hope to continue to reconnect family all over the world.

The FALK Family of Breslau                                   

 The known, reliable history of the FALK family of Breslau begins only in the earliest years of the 19th century, though a few facts stemming from the 18th century are known.  The first family member to bear the name “Falk” as a surname[1] was R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK, rabbi in Dyhernfurth (1806-1814) and rabbi and dajan in Breslau (1814-1838).  According to family lore, Rabbi FALK was born in Lissa, Posen in the 1760s.[2]  His father was R. Jehoshua Falk.[3]  From his time in Dyhernfurth, he was known as the “Dyhernfurther Rav”.

 [Note - 12 October 2008:  The Todesanzeige [death notice] of R. Falk (Jehoshua) FALK, dajan of Breslau from 1843-1873, son of the Dyhrenfurther Rav, gives his age at death (on 3 Dec 1873) as 68 years.  If this is correct, then Falk FALK was born before actual or assumed death dates of either of his putative grandfathers “R. Jehoshua Falk” in 1807.   Either he was not actually born in 1805 (not 68 years old in 1873), or his grandfather was a Jehoshua Falk who died before 1805 (or his grandfather was not named Jehoshua).  (Breslau Todesanzeigen in the archives of the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin.) STF]

 Origin of the FALK Family Name

 The identity of this R. Jehoshua Falk is not known.  And this has led to interesting speculation among family historians.  It is my contention that for R. Jehoshua Falk the name “Falk” was not a surname, but rather the secular kinnui or nickname for his Hebrew name Josua / Joshua / Jehoshua.  The names “Jehoshua” and “Falk” are commonly associated in the same fashion as the names Zwi Hirsch, Dov Baer, Jehuda Loew and others; though, in the case of Jehoshua Falk, the origins of the association between the name and biblical figure Joshua and the bird of prey (falcon) are not well understood.

 The lifespan of R. Jehoshua Falk was likely from the 1730s or 40s through about 1807 -- he had to be old enough to be an adult when his son was born in the 1760s, and he has to have died before his grandson R. Jehoshua (“Falk”) FALK[4] was born (ca.1808-1873).  During his life, most Jews of Posen and Silesia did not have proper surnames and there was no set tradition in the Jewish community of passing on occasional surnames in a consistent pattern.  Some families had a sort of “family name”, but it might change during a person’s lifetime (for example, if he moved to a new town and was known by the name of the former town), or it might be lost or changed at the time of marriage (for example, if the bride’s father was from a richer or more prominent family).

 It was only after the Napoleonic Wars, in about 1812, that the Jews of Silesia - where Dyhernfurth and Breslau are located - were required to adopt surnames.  I believe that, at that time, when he was rabbi in the town of Dyhernfurth, R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel ben Jehoshua Falk adopted the name “Falk” as his legal surname FALK by transforming his patronymic “ben Jehoshua Falk” into his surname FALK.

 The FALK Family Ancestry - Two Theories

 The key to determining the ancestry of the Dyhernfurther Rav, and of ourselves, is the identity of his father R. Jehoshua Falk (d.ca.1807).

 So, who is this R. Jehoshua Falk?  We cannot be sure -- in part, because his son was not a published author and, therefore, did not leave us books with useful biographical information.  According to his son’s gravestone inscription[5], Jehoshua Falk was a rabbi.  Family tradition holds that R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK was born in Lissa.  If that is the case, then presumably his father was living in Lissa at that time in the 1760s.

 The two current genealogical theories can be illustrated as shown here:



R. Joseph of Vilna

R. Joshua Heschel (Megine Shlomo; P.J. (II))

dau.  m.  Abraham Segal haLevi

Miriam  m.  R. Zwi Hirsch of Krakow

R. Jacob Jehoshua Falk (P.J. (III)) m2. Taube

R. Arjeh Leib (Pnei Arjeh)

R. Jehoshua Falk

R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK


Alexander haKohen of Lemberg

R. Joshua Falk haKohen (SMA; Derishah

  :                    v’Perishah; P.J. (I))





Friedel  m.  R. Jitzhak Eisik

R. Jehoshua Falk (Binjan Jehoshua)

R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK

* P.J. = Pnei Jehoshua; the title of seforim written by each of I, II and III[6]

 * The family lineage between the Binjan Jehoshua and his ancestor R. Joshua ben Alexander haKohen is not currently known; however, that connection is noted by R. Jehoshua Falk in the introduction to his 1788 work Binjan Jehoshua.



Theory I

 A commonly held view in parts of the FALK family is that R. Jehoshua Falk (d.1807) was the son of R. Arjeh Leib[7] (1715-1789)[8], rabbi in Swirz and later in Hannover, and author of Pnei Arjeh.  R. Arjeh Leib was a son of R. Jacob Jehoshua Falk ben Zwi Hirsch[9] (1680-1756) from Krakow, rabbi in Frankfurt, and author of Pnei Jehoshua (III).  The ancestry of the Pnei Jehoshua (III) is well documented in various rabbinic sources and contemporary genealogical works.

Family trees from within the FALK family, give the dates for R. Jehoshua Falk as ca.1737 to 1807.  The relationship of R. Jehoshua Falk (d.1807) to R. Arjeh Leib has appeared in some published works[10], but it is my understanding that these references all stem from family histories originating with members of our family; that is, descendants of the Dyhernfurther Rav.

Many family members recall having been told by their parents or grandparents that that the FALK family was descended from the Pnei Jehoshua. [11]  They believe strongly that the FALK family is descended from the Pnei Jehoshua (III), R. Jacob Jehoshua Falk (1680-1756).  Through his mother, this important and influential rabbi is said to be a great grandson of the Megine Shlomo, R. Jehoshua Höschel (1578-1648), the Pnei Jehoshua (II).[12]

Because of the lack of clear evidence of the connection to support the father-son relationship between R. Arjeh Löb (1715-1789) and R. Jehoshua Falk (d.1807), there seems to be room for other possibilities.   Also, because different great rabbis wrote works called Pnei Jehoshua (and are sometimes referred to by the designation “Pnei Jehoshua”), perhaps the historical family memory of a connection to “the” Pnei Jehoshua was not a reference to R. Jacob Jehoshua Falk (1680-1756), but rather a reference to R. Jehoshua Falk ben Alexander haKohen (ca.1555-1614), who wrote Pnei Jehoshua (I) and also Derishah v’Perishah.


            Is there a possible link to one of the other rabbis known as Pnei Jehoshua?


Theory II

Another possible identity for R. Jehoshua Falk (d.1807) was first suggested to me by my beloved cousin Prof. Dr. Ze’ev Wilhelm FALK, late of Jerusalem (1923-1998).  This theory is that R. Jehoshua Falk was the author of the work Binjan Jehoshua (“Structure of Jehoshua”).  This work was published in Dyhernfurth in 1788.  The author R. Jehoshua Falk was living in Breslau at the turn of the 19th century and died there on 8 November 1807[13].  He was buried in the Claassenstrasse Jewish cemetery in Breslau.[14]  R. Jehoshua Falk ben Jitzhak Eisik was also known as Falk Isaac VALENTIN and Falk Isaac NEUMÖGEN according to various records of the Breslau Jewish community.

Information about R. Joshua Falk VALENTIN is available from a variety of sources, including the introduction of his work Binjan Jehoshua, the Breslau “Familienbuch”[15] of 1791, vital records of the Breslau Jewish community, and a very brief family history by one of his children Abraham VALENTIN (1778, Lissa - 1830, Breslau).   According to an entry in Otzar haRabanim, this R. Jehoshua Falk was dajan in Lissa in 1770.[16]

 The Familienbuch (transcription by Hermann DA FONSECA WOLLHEIM of Belgium) includes the following entry:

Entry            Family Name            Given Name            Age            Occupation

2/093            Neumoegen            Falck Isaac            42            Unter-Rabbiner

Bezallel            Nenche            42

  s  Abraham            13

  t  Hanne            20

  t  Serel            11

This information is consistent with the other sources in identifying R. Jehoshua Falk’s wife as Nenche (Nache / Nennchen) bat Bezalel, and his children as including Hanna (Hantke), Abraham and Sara (Serel).  R. Jehoshua Falk and his wife were born in 1748 or 1749, if the listed ages were accurately given and recorded in 1791.

According to Abraham VALENTIN’s family history[17], his father was from Breslau, but was living in Lissa, Posen at the time of the great fire of Lissa in 1790.  In the aftermath of the fire, he moved his family to Breslau, where his father Jitzhak Eisik was living.  That his father was still alive ca.1790 is consistent with his having been alive in 1788 when “Binjan Jehoshua” was published.  This Jitzhak Eisik is almost certainly the same man as R. Jitzhak Eisik ben Jehoshua who died in Breslau on 1 August 1791.  He was also buried in the Claassenstrasse cemetery in Breslau.[18]

The names, dates and places all fit.  This R. Jehoshua Falk was born in about 1749, which would have made him about 18 in 1767 when R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK was probably born in Lissa.  This R. Jehoshua Falk was living in Lissa in the 1770s and still at the time of the fire in 1790, so he could have been living there as early as the late 1760s.[19]  And, this R. Jehoshua Falk died in 1807 making it possible for him to have been the grandfather of R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK’s son R. Falk FALK who was born about 1807.

What is sorely lacking is any direct statement in a printed work of the time, or any entry in the available Jewish community records, showing that R. Jehoshua Falk, aka Falk Isaac VALENTIN, author of Binjan Jehoshua, had a son named Jacob Jehuda, or a similar direct indication that R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK had as siblings any of the other children of this R. Jehoshua Falk (e.g., Hantke, Abraham and Sara), or that his mother was Neche, the wife of R. Jehoshua Falk.


So, all of this potential family history remains just a theory.


It is worth noting that descent from the author of Binjan Jehoshua (Theory II) would provide similar Jichus to the alternate family history (see, Theory I).  In particular, this refers to “this” R. Jehoshua Falk’s descent from the Pnei Jehoshua (I), R. Jehoshua Falk ben Alexander haKohen (ca.1555-1614), and the MaHaRaL of Prague, R. Jehuda Löw ben Bezalel (ca.1520-1609), as noted in the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906).[20] [21]

R. Jehoshua Falk haKohen (ca.1555-1614) wrote a work called Pnei Jehoshua – and he is sometimes referred to by the name of the work (this would be Pnei Jehoshua (I) in distinction to both R. Jehoshua Höschel ben Joseph (1578-1648), who also wrote a work called Pnei Jehoshua (Pnei Jehoshua (II)); and R. Jacob Jehoshua Falk (1680-1756), who also wrote a work call Pnei Jehoshua and is commonly referred to as the Pnei Jehoshua (III)).


Whether this is accurate or not, this descent of R. Jehoshua Falk (d.1807), author of Binjan Jehoshua, from the Pnei Jehoshua (I) could fit several pieces of the family puzzle.


As with Theory I, this putative ancestry would also lead back to a “Pnei Jehoshua”.  In one case, the connection is to the Pnei Jehoshua (I), R. Jehoshua Falk ben Alexander haKohen (ca.1555-1614); and in the other, to the Pnei Jehoshua (III), R. Jacob Jehoshua ben Zwi Hirsch (1680-1756).  This “coincidence” might help explain the origin of the theory involving the Pnei Jehoshua (III).


Interestingly, the parents of our beloved cousin Gerda OPPENHEIM, geb. PETROVER told her that the FALK family was also descended from the author of Derishat v’Perishat; that is, R. Jehoshua Falk haKohen (ca.1555-1614) – the Pnei Jehoshua (I).  As noted above, this famous rabbi is an ancestor of the Binjan Jehoshua, R. Jehoshua Falk (the key to Theory II).


Of course, I would be happy to establish a documented family connection to the Pnei Jehoshua (III), R. Jacob Jehoshua Falk (1680-1756).  However, my research has not found any reliable, published information or contemporary records to support the connection of Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK to the Pnei Jehoshua (III).  The Pnei Jehoshua (III) did have a son R. Arjeh Löb.  The weak link is that there is no evidence that R. Arjeh Löb had a son named Jehoshua Falk.


Potential Inconsistencies


The common feature that the Pnei Jehoshua (III) and the FALK family have “Falk” in their name is not evidence, in itself, of a family connection.  The name “Falk” was not a surname for the Pnei Jehoshua (III); as noted above, it was the kinnui of his second given name Jehoshua[22].  According to other genealogists, there are no known descendants of the Pnei Jehoshua (III) who carry the surname FALK.[23]  Other reasons that cause me to question the connection to the Pnei Jehoshua (III), include the following:


  • ·      the lack of evidence that R. Arjeh Löb had any connection to Lissa or Breslau[24] where his putative son R. Jehoshua Falk spent much of his life (and may have been born);


  • ·      the life span of R. Jacob Jehoshua Falk (1680-1756) which overlaps that of his putative grandson R. Jehoshua Falk (b.ca.1730s/1740s); it seems unlikely that the grandson could have been named after his living grandfather, even if the name in question was not his grandfather’s birth name, but his later adopted name “Jehoshua”; and


  • ·      the life span of R. Arjeh Löb (1715-1789) which overlaps that of R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK (b.1760 or 1767); given the similarity of names “Arjeh Löb” and “Jehuda Loebel”, both tied to the Lion (symbol of the house of Judah), it seems unlikely that R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK would be named after his grandfather while the grandfather was still alive (which would be the case here, unless the grandson only adopted the second part of his name after 1789).


Most importantly, in my estimation, is the fact that the gravestones of R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK and his children do not make any mention of the connection to the Pnei Jehoshua (III).   R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK’s gravestone only mentions his father R. Jehoshua Falk[25].  The graves of his children mention their father and mention their mother’s grandfather, the “Bet Meir”, R. Meir POSENER (ca.1735-1807).  It is generally accepted that the Pnei Jehoshua (III) was a more prominent rabbi than the Bet Meir.  That being the case, it seems very unlikely that such an important paternal ancestor would go unmentioned on the family gravestones inscriptions, while the somewhat “lesser” maternal Jichus would be noted.[26]


For these reasons, I have questioned Theory I which identifies the connection to the Pnei Jehoshua (III), R. Jacob Jehoshua Falk (1680-1756).  But, as noted above, Theory II would still provide a connection back to distinguish rabbinic ancestors, including a different, earlier “Pnei Jehoshua” – the Pnei Jehoshua (I), R Jehoshua Falk ben Alexander haKohen (ca.1555-1614).   This coincidence may also provide a clue as to how the Theory II of the FALK family history developed.


Still, for now, the mystery remains until new sources of information can be found.


The Dyhernfurther Rav


R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK (ca.1767-1838) is known as the “Dyhernfurther Rav”.  However, he does not appear much in printed sources, and this name seems to be mostly an appellation used within the FALK family.  He was born in the 1760s, probably in Lissa.  I do not know anything about his early life, his education or his early years as a rabbi before 1806.


According to the Stammbaum der Familie Falk (1937), R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK was married three times.  However, there is no information about his first two wives.  The FALK Stammbaum contains information only about the children of the third marriage to Sara NAUMBURG (ca.1787-1851), daughter of R. Juda NAUMBURG of Lissa and Rawitsch.  According to family tradition, they had 20 children.  The FALK Stammbaum only mentions the 11 children, four sons and seven daughters, who lived to adulthood and had their own families.  From my review of Breslau Jewish community records, I have found records of eight other children, including two sets of twins, all of whom died at birth or as very young children.


I have also found evidence of a 20th child, a daughter, who was probably the daughter of either the first or second wife.  This is Rebecca FALK.   Her 1821 marriage is recorded among Breslau Jewish community records in the possession of the Centrum Judaicum Archiv in Berlin[27], according to which she was born in about 1801.  At that time, Sara NAUMBURG would have been only 13 or 14 years old, so I have concluded that Rebecca was from one of the earlier marriages.


The “Breslau Marriage Register 1789-1818” database compiled by Irene NEWHOUSE and hosted by the JewishGen website[28] includes two entries which might represent R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK’s first two marriages.  They are the following:


Year    Date             Groom’s Name     Groom’s Father    Bride    Bride’s Father

5550   1 Cheshvan   Juda                      Josua Falk            Fale       Elieser Lipmann, Cohen

5553   13 Tevet        R. Jehuda Leib     Falk                      Elke      Nate


These marriages on 21 October 1789 to Fale bat Elieser Lipmann and on 28 December 1792 to Elke bat Nate might be Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK’s first weddings -- but I have no additional data to confirm this possibility.[29] [30]


The few other things that are known about R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK include the fact that he became rabbi in the town of Dyherrnfurth in 1806.[31]  He was only there for eight years, moving to (or back to) Breslau in 1814.  In Breslau, he was Dajan / Rabbinatsassessor / Neben-Rabbiner from 1814 until his death in 1838.  He lived at Goldene Rade Gasse 6, the same street where the Sklower Schul was located.  His last 15 children were born in Breslau.


Our cousin Gila SHMUELI in Tel Aviv showed me a photocopy of pages from Sefer Kerovot hu Machzor (Breslau 1829) by R. Wolf HEIDENHEIM (1757-1832) which contains a notice by R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK:  “notice to our brethren the children of Israel from the Rav, the great light, renowned in praise and glory, diligent and sharp, clear of thought etc. Jacob Jehuda Loeb son of R. Joshua Falk of blessed memory, who was previously Av Bet Din in Kehillat Kodesh Dyhernhfurth and now a teacher in our holy community of Breslau...” (translation by Gila SHMUELI), in which he authorized the publication of this prayer book without the permission of the original author or publisher; that is, he was condoning copyright infringement, presumably for the greater good of the Jewish community of Breslau.


R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK’s name appears in various marriage records of the Breslau Jewish community in the 1820s and 1830s, including the marriage of his daughter Rebecca FALK to Elkan Michel APET of Fraustadt in 1821 and his daughter Ernestine Ester FALK to her first cousin Moses Lipman RAWICZ in 1836.  He died on 22 June 1838, and was buried on 24 June 1838 in the Claassenstrasse Jewish cemetery, grave no. 1428.  The gravestone inscription has been preserved, but the gravestone and the entire cemetery were destroyed by the Nazis during the Second World War in 1944.



The Third Wife - Sara NAUMBURG


The Dyhernfurther Rav’s third wife was Sara NAUMBURG.  She was probably born in Lissa, where her sister Tscharne was born about 12 years earlier, but may have been born elsewhere since her parent’s location is not known between 1775 (birth of Tscharne) and 1808, when her father R. Juda Lisser NAUMBURG (d.1831) became rabbi in the town of Rawitsch, Posen.  Her mother Freidel (Fradel) (d.1828) was a daughter of the Bet Meir, R. Meir POSENER.


Presumably, Sara NAUMBURG married Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK in about 1805 or 1806.  This is just a guess that accommodates her age (Sara was born in about 1787[32] and would have been about 18 in 1805), the loss of the previous wife at some time after the birth of Rebecca (b.ca.1801), and the birth of Sara’s first sons Meir and Jehoshua (“Falk”) soon after the death of their great grandfather R. Meir POSENER and their grandfather R. Jehoshua Falk in 1807 (on 3 February and on 7 November, respectively).


Sara bore at least 19 children between about 1807 and 1832, when her last child, my great grandfather Emanuel (Zecharja Mendel) FALK, was born.  Sara died in Breslau on 20 December 1851, and was buried on 21 December 1851 in the Claassenstrasse cemetery, grave no. 1429.[33]


The Children


The 19 known children of the Dyhernfurther Rav and his third wife Sara were:

Meyer, Aidel, Jehoshua (Falk), Zerline, Ester (Ernestine), “sohn”, Bertha, Salomon, Abraham (Michael), Johanna, Moses, Dorel, Jettel, Elkan Tobias (David Elchanan), Jettel (Henriette), Friederike, Emanuel, Rozina, and Zecharja Mendel (Emanuel).

Of these 19, 11 lived to adulthood, married and created families of their own. They were:

Meyer, Aidel, Jehoshua (Falk), Zerline, Ester (Ernestine), Bertha, Johanna, Elkan Tobias (David Elchanan), Jettel (Henriette), Friederike, and Zecharja Mendel (Emanuel).

Their descendants, over the last 200 years, comprise about 4000 individuals.


In the 19th century, in Breslau, the FALK family was not just observant in its adherence to Jewish tradition; they practiced a form of Orthodox Judaism uninfluenced by the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) movement.  The family was a mainstay of the Sklower Schul, a small shul located in a house at Goldene Rade Gasse 2.  One perspective of the Sklower Schul and the four FALK brothers, Meyer, Falk, Tobias and Emanuel, who worshipped there, is captured in a 1925 article by Isidor KASTAN[34], “Breslauer Erinnerungen” in Jahrbuch für jüdische Geschichte und Literatur (Berlin 1925).


The Eleven Branches


Note:  I encourage members of each branch of the family (and others) to prepare additional information to supplement the brief comments below.


1.  Aidel (Adelheid) OPET, geb, FALK (ca.1806-1838)


Aidel married the widower Elkan OPET from Fraustadt (Posen) and the family lived in Fraustadt.  They were married in Breslau in 1825 by her grandfather R. Juda NAUMBURG of Rawitsch.  Aidel died shortly after giving birth to her fifth child, a daughter named Adelheid, after her late mother.


2.  Meyer FALK (ca.1807-1889)


Meyer was named after his maternal great grandfather the Bet Meir, R. Meir POSENER.  In 1830, he married Amalie HELDENSTEIN of a prominent family of Lissa (Posen).  She died shortly after the birth of her seventh child in 1841.  He then married Rebekka COHN of Miloslaw.  They had eight children.  Meyer was a leather merchant in Breslau.  He was also trained as a rabbi.


3.  R. Jehoshua (Falk) FALK (ca.1808-1873)


Jehoshua “Falk” FALK was named for his paternal grandfather.  1n 1828, Falk FALK married his maternal first cousin Auguste (Gitel) RAWICZ (sister of Moses Lipman RAWICZ).  He was a rabbi, and achieved the same position as his father in Breslau as Rabbinatsassessor (Dajan).  He held that position from 1843 until his death in 1873.


4.  Zerline BERLINER, geb. FALK (ca.1813-1867)


Zerline married Meyer BERLINER.  The husband’s family history is not known.


5.  Ernestine RAWICZ, geb. FALK (1814-1902)


Ernestine was the second wife of her maternal first cousin Moses Lipman RAWICZ (brother of Auguste RAWICZ).


6.  Bertha KROCH, geb. FALK (1816-1904)


Bertha married Jacob Loebel (ben Schmey) KROCH, a student of her father, in 1840.  In the mid 1830s, R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK sent his student Jacob Loebel to Posen to study under the famous rabbi Akiba EGER (1761-1837).  R. EGER suggested that Jacob Loebel marry one of the daughters of his former teacher.  He returned to Breslau and married Bertha FALK.  This family includes the prominent Leipzig KROCH banking family; the bank was started by Bertha’s son Martin Samuel KROCH.


7.  Johanna TREITEL, geb. FALK (1818-1874)


Johanna married Josephsohn TREITEL from Wronke, Posen, in 1843.  The wedding was officiated by her brother R. Falk FALK.  From one source, Johanna had the name “Hinde” (in additional, also, to Hanna and Hannchen).  If that is correct, then she may have been named in memory of her mother’s sister Hinde SCHREIBER, geb. NAUMBURG, who is said to have died at the age of 34.[35]


8.  Tobias FALK (1822-1886) - The Missing Branch . . .[36]


Tobias FALK was a leather merchant in Breslau like his brothers Meyer and Emanuel; and like his three brothers he worshipped in the Sklower Schul on the Goldene Rade Gasse.  His name is given as “Tobias” in the Falk Stammbaum (1937).  In Breslau records, his name appears as “Elkan”.  On his gravestone in the Lohestrasse cemetery, his name is given as David Elchanan.


9.  Henriette AUERBACH, then RAWICZ, geb. FALK (1824-1885)


In her first marriage, in 1846, Henriette married R. Lazarus (Elieser) AUERBACH[37] (ca.1825-1892) of Ostrowo, Posen.  The marriage, in Breslau, was officiated by his father R. Menachem Mannheim AUERBACH of Ostrowo.  They were divorced after having a single child, Leopold AUERBACH.  Henriette re-married, in the early 1850s, to Joseph (ben Schmuel) RAWICZ, who appears not to be related to Henriette’s sister- and brother-in-law, Auguste FALK, geb. RAWICZ and Moses Lipman RAWICZ.


10.  Friederike HIRSCHBERG, geb. FALK (1825-1901)


Friederike married Joseph (ben Israel) HIRSCHBERG[38] (1819-1866) of Kempen, in 1851.  Their Ketubbah is still in existence in the family; it was witnessed by her mother Sara FALK, geb. NAUMBURG, and her brother Meyer FALK.


11.  Emanuel FALK (1832-1906)


When Emanuel FALK was born on 22 March 1832, his name was entered as “Mendel” in the birth records of the Breslau Jewish community.  According to those same records, his parents had had a son six years earlier whom they named Emanuel (28 July 1826 – 12 October 1826).  They called one Emanuel and the other Mendel, but it looks like the latter was named in memory of his late brother.  (On his gravestone, Emanuel’s Hebrew name is given as Zecharja Mendel; I do not know when he acquired the name Zecharja.)


Emanuel was only 6 years old when his father died.  Like two of his older brothers Meyer and Tobias, Emanuel was in the leather trade.  He is listed as “Lederkaufmann” in the Breslau Adressbuch of 1864.  The address is given as Nikolaistr. 33, near the Ring in Breslau, and only a couple blocks from the Sklower Schul.


In about 1860, he married Ernestine Berliner (1838-1865), the daughter of his sister Zerline BERLINER, geb, FALK (see above).  They had four children, but Ernestine died from the results of the 4th childbirth; the last child also died, age 2 days.  By 1869 or so, Emanuel married Johanna KALISCHER (1845-1929), daughter of R. Zwi Hirsch KALISCHER.  They had eight children, after a first pregnancy that ended with a stillbirth in 1870.


When his son Louis (Eliezer Jehoshua) FALK died in 1897, Emanuel buried his son in the Lohestrasse cemetery, in a family plot along the north wall:  the plot for “Familie Emanuel Falk”.  Eventually, Emanuel was buried there (1906), as well as his second wife Johanna (1929), their son Martin (1927), their son Hermann (1932), and Emanuel’s other son from this first marriage Loebel (1936).  The plot is still there, but the tablets bearing the inscriptions were destroyed, and the metal fencing has also been lost.


Fortunately, a photograph of the burial plot from the late 1930s survives.  It may have been taken by Hertha MENDLOWICZ (MENDELSON) (1893-1988) who gave our family a copy together with a photo of the blank brick wall after she visited Wroclaw in the 1960s.  I am in the process of trying to decipher the blurry Hebrew text from the old photograph, in order to have the tablets re-created and re-installed.



The FALK Stammbaum Project


In 1937, the Breslau genealogist Paul DOBRIN completed the Stammbaum der Familie Falk which he had prepared under a commission from members of the FALK family.  According to the late Prof. Ze’ev W. FALK, it was the KROCH branch of the family, descendants of the Dyhernfurther Rav’s daughter Bertha KROCH, geb. FALK, who instigated this genealogical work and published it for the family.  Their motivation is said to have been their desire to maintain contact with family members in order to distribute copies of the works of Bertha’s husband Jacob Loebel KROCH.  Given the timing of this genealogy project, it may also have been motivated by a hope of keeping the family connected through the turmoil and dispersion caused by Nazi persecution.


In Breslau, my father’s family had a copy of the FALK Stammbaum, but it did not leave Germany with my father or his older sister.   However, in about 1970, our family again came into possession of a copy.  The origin has been forgotten; it either came from the library of our great uncle Siegfried FALK (1885-1969) who had died in Wellington, New Zealand a bit earlier; or, it came through our aunt Eva WULKAN, geb. FALK (1911-2005) of Chicago who would have received it from her second cousin Max LEVY (1893-ca.1960s) of Frankfurt am Main.  In any case, it arrived in our home in Raleigh, North Carolina and into the possession of my brother Don.  I was about 8 years old.


The Stammbaum always interested me, and I would follow the seemingly awkward organizational structure to trace my own line from the Dyhernfurther Rav to his son Emanuel, to his son Hermann, and to my father Hans.  I also explored other family lines noting occasional points of interest: for example, the poor child of the Dyhernfurther Rav who had the name “Falk FALK”; the curious family line from the Dyhernfurther Rav’s son Meyer FALK, to his son Wilhelm FALK, to his son Meyer FALK, to his son Wilhelm FALK; and the appearance of three RAWICZ families in different parts of the family tree.


When I knew a bit more about other parts of my family history, I was also curious about whether the FOERDERs and the BACH in the FALK Stammbaum came from the same families as my other relatives with those names.  And, there was the interesting fact that my great grandfather had had an earlier marriage which was to his niece (though, for many years, I mistakenly thought she was his first cousin once removed).


Later, when I had learned about the Holocaust, I found the pages of the FALK Stammbaum to be a sad compilation of families lost soon after this family tree had been completed.   Even when I came to understand that German Jewish families had a much higher emigration, and survival, rate than most others in Europe, the fact that all these distant cousins were unknown, left me thinking that most had probably been murdered in the Shoah.


In the late 1980s, the first two relatives from outside the family of Emanuel FALK’s second marriage surfaced.  The first was Dr. Sven TREITEL of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  It was a very welcome contact, but it did not lead to too much information beyond his immediate family.  Then, I met Prof. Ze’ev W. FALK of Jerusalem, Israel on a visit to New York.  I brought the FALK Stammbaum with me, and I was amazed when he flipped through the pages and said, this family is in Bnei Beraq, this one is in Jerusalem, that one is in England, etc.


Suddenly, the FALK Stammbaum was not just a memorial to lost family, but, in large part, a roadmap to finding the dispersed family.   Still, it took several years of pestering Ze’ev – and his eventual semi-retirement – before he was able to provide me with a long list of family addresses.  That was in the summer of 1996.  Finally, I could start to contact family members.


I prepared a standard letter to introduce myself and to ask for information about 60 years of family developments.  At the same time, I started to use a CD-rom disk of names and addresses all across the U.S. to find some people with relatively distinctive names.  The letter writing was a great success, and often led to addresses for more cousins.  Around this time, the internet also became a great resource for finding information and people.  The letter writing soon transformed into e-mail writing.  Trips to New York, Washington, Chicago, Europe and Israel allowed me to meet a growing circle of cousins.


Over the next eight years, I managed to find hundreds of FALK family members from 10 of the 11 branches of the family.  There are still a few parts of the family that I have yet to make contact with, but for most, I have leads.  At this point (February 2006), only the Tobias FALK branch of the family remains “missing”, but I remain optimistic that I will find members of the BORINSKI family, or learn their fate during or after the Shoah.


The new website at www.familymemory.org is one of the ways in which I will be sharing the updated FALK Stammbaum.  I also hope to publish a new print-version of the FALK Stammbaum, about 70 years after the original.


I am looking for leads to find the BORINSKI family and the other cousins who have resisted my attempts to find them.  If anyone can help me find the following people or their descendants, please contact me:


  • Max BORINSKI, born 1923, probably in Breslau.
  • Susanne (Shoshana) FLEISCHMANN, born 1932
  • Eva (Chava) FLEISCHMANN, born 1935
  • Rosanne GINSBURG, geb. KATZ, born ca. 1922
  • Gertrud BAREINSCHEK, born 1907, probably in Berlin
  • Siegmund BAREINSCHEK, born 1908, probably in Berlin
  • Amalie BAREINSCHEK, born 1911, probably in Berlin
  • Martin BAREINSCHEK, born 1913, probably in Berlin
  • Horst SACHS, born 1914
  • _______________






Stephen Falk (ben Hans Ludwig (Emanuel) ben Hermann (Zwi Hirsch) ben Emanuel (Zecharja Mendel)) lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia with his wife Liz.  He is an intellectual property attorney in Philadelphia.  Now, 45, he has been an avid genealogist for over 30 years.


Please contact the author with questions, additions and corrections:

Stephen T. Falk                                    sfalk81162@aol.com

140 West Wayne Avenue

Wayne, PA  19087-4019




1 November 2007


[1]  By convention, in this article, surnames will be written in all capital letters; e.g., FALK.


[2]  According to an entry regarding the death of R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK in the Breslau Jewish community records (LDS Microfilm 1184391 - Breslau, Schlesien Sterberegister 1813-1859 - p.195), R. FALK was either 76 years and 6 months old, or 70 years and 6 months old, when he died in June 1838; I could not tell for sure whether the second digit was a “6” or a “0” - so, whether he was born about December 1760, or December 1767.


[3]  His name is given as R. Josua Falk in the Stammbaum der Familie Falk (Breslau 1937) prepared for the family by the Breslau genealogist Paul DOBRIN; this information is likely based on the information from R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK’s gravestone inscription5.

[4]  His name is given as Falk FALK in the Stammbaum der Familie Falk (Breslau 1937).


[5]  R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK’s gravestone inscription:

“Here is buried the great rabbi, the great light, the righteous and true pious, the famous one, who taught Torah to excellent youths for fifty years, the honored holy one, our teacher, the rabbi Jacob Jehuda, alias Loew, son of rabbi Joshua Falk of blessed memory, is the righteous decisor of the holy community Breslau, formerly chief of the rabbinical court of the holy community Dyhernfurth.  He died on Holy Shabbat, 1st of New Moon Tammuz and was buried the following day, Sunday, 2nd of New Moon in the year 598 according to the small account.  May his soul be bound in the binding of the living.”

Translation by Prof. Ze’ev W. FALK, z”l, 18 July 1998.

[6]  In this article, the three rabbis and authors of works entitled “Pnei Jehoshua” are distinguished from one another by the designations “I”, “II” and “III”; that is:

  • ·      R. Jehoshua Falk ben Alexander haKohen (ca.1555-1614), Pnei Jehoshua (I);
  • ·      R. Jehoshua Höschel ben Joseph (1578-1648), Pnei Jehoshua (II); and
  • ·      R. Jacob Jehoshua Falk ben Zwi Hirsch (1680-1756), Pnei Jehoshua (III).


[7]  See, the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 (published at www.jewishencyclopedia.com):

"ARYEH LOEB BEN JACOB JOSHUA:  By: Gotthard Deutsch    German Talmudist and author; born 1715; died at Hanover March 6, 1789. He was a son of the author of "Pene Yehoshua'," who died as rabbi of Frankfort-on-the-Main 1755. In his youth he was his father's assistant, and taught as such in the yeshibah (academy) about 1745-1750 (see his letters in Israel Lipschütz' responsa "Or Yisrael," No. 57, Cleve, 1770). Subsequently he was called as rabbi to Skala in Galicia, and in 1761 to Hanover, where he officiated until his death. Aryeh edited the fourth part of his father's work (Fürth, 1780), and added to it his own novellæ on treatise Baba Kamma under the title "Pene Aryeh" (The Face of the Lion). His own works are of the usual scholastic type. Aryeh was succeeded by his son, Issachar Berisch (1747-1807). A eulogy on him is found in Eleazar Fleckeles' sermons, "'Olat Hodesh," Prague, 1793.

Bibliography: Buber, Anshe Shem, pp. 43 et seq., Cracow, 1895."


[8]  In FALK family trees, it is often written that the Pnei Arjeh died in 1761; however, this is not when the son of the Pnei Jehoshua (III) died; 1761 is when he became rabbi in Hannover, a position he held until his death in 1789.


[9] See, the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 (published at www.jewishencyclopedia.com): “JACOB JOSHUA BEN ZEBI HIRSCH:   By : Solomon Schechter   M. Seligsohn    Polish rabbi; born at Cracow in 1680; died at Offenbach Jan. 16, 1756. On his mother's side he was a grandson of Joshua of Cracow, the author of "Maginne Shelomoh." While a youth Jacob became examiner of the Hebrew teachers of Lemberg. In 1702 his wife, his child, and his mother were killed through an explosion of gunpowder that wrecked the house in which they lived. Jacob himself narrowly escaped death. He was then called to the rabbinate of Tarli and Lisko, small Galician towns. In 1717 he replaced Hakam Zebi in the chief rabbinate of Lemberg; and thence he was called to Berlin in 1731. Having displeased Veitel-Heine Ephraim, one of the most influential leaders of the community, by rendering a judgment against him, he was compelled at the expiration of his term of office (1734) to resign. After having been for seven years rabbi of Metz he became chief rabbi of Frankfort-on-the-Main; but the unfavorable attitude of the local authorities toward the Jews, and the fact that the community was divided by controversies, made his position there very precarious. Soon afterward the quarrel between Jacob Emden and Jonathan Eybeschütz broke out. The chief rabbi, because of his opposition to Eybeschütz, was ultimately compelled to leave the city (1750). He wandered from town to town till he came to Worms, where he remained for some years. He was then called back to Frankfort; but his enemies prevented him from preaching in the synagogue, and he left the city a second time.

Jacob was one of the greatest Talmudists of his time. He wrote "Pene Yehoshua'," novellæ on the Talmud, in four parts. Two of them were published at Frankfort-on-the-Main (1752); the third, with his "Pesak bet-Din Hadash," at Fürth (1766); the fourth, which, in addition to Talmudic novellæ, contains novellæ on the Tur Hoshen Mishpat and "Likkuyim," also at Fürth (1780). He wrote also a commentary on the Pentateuch, which is mentioned by the author himself, but has not appeared in print.

Bibliography: Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed., x. 353, 362, 366;  Buber, Anshe Shem, pp. 104-109;  Landshuth, Toledot Anshe Shem, pp. 27-30;  Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, pp. 567-569.  S.S.  M.Sel.”


[10]  See, for example, Elasar Lipa GARTENHAUS, Sefer Eshel haGedolim (Brooklyn 1958).


[11]  For example, our wonderful cousin Gerda OPPENHEIM of Brooklyn (1910, Hamburg-2007, Brooklyn).  Her parents were Avraham Moses PETROVER and Friederike PETROVER, geb. FALK, daughter of Lippman Meyer FALK, granddaughter of R. Jehoshua (“Falk”) FALK, and great granddaughter of R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK.  As Gerda said with much love, her parents never lied to her.


[12] See, the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 (published at www.jewishencyclopedia.com): JOSHUA HÖSCHEL BEN JOSEPH:   By : Solomon Schechter   Bernhard Friedberg

Polish rabbi; born in Wilna about 1578; died at Cracow Aug. 16, 1648. In his boyhood he journeyed to Przemysl, Galicia, to study the Talmud under Rabbi Samuel ben Phoebus of Cracow. He returned to his native country, and continued his Talmudic studies in the city of Lodmir (Vladmir, Volhynia) under Rabbi Joshua Falk21. After his marriage to the daughter of Rabbi Samuel of Brest-Litovsk he became rabbi of the city of Grodno, whence he was called to the rabbinate of Tiktin (Tykotzin), and later to that of Przemysl. In 1639 he became rabbi of Lemberg, and in the following year he was appointed head of the yeshibah of Cracow. At Cracow Joshua devoted all his time to matters pertaining to the yeshibah, "din" (law), and religious decisions. As he was a man of wealth, he accepted no salary for all the laborious services he rendered to the Jewish community of Cracow.

Joshua was one of the most eminent Talmudical analysts of his age. Like many of his learned contemporaries, Joshua had also a taste for the Cabala; but he did not allow mystical teachings to influence his halakic decisions. On account of his extensive erudition in Talmudic literature, the number of his pupils at the yeshibah constantly increased. Many of them became noted rabbis.

Joshua's published works are: (1) "Maginne Shelomoh" (Amsterdam, 1715), novellæ on various tractates of the Talmud, in which the author attempts to refute the strictures made by the schools of the Tosafists on the commentaries of Rashi; (2) "She'elot u-Teshubot Pene Yehoshua'," Amsterdam, 1715; Lemberg, 1860. Other works of his are still in manuscript.

Bibliography: C. N. Dembitzer, Kelilat Yofi, i. 109, ii. 1, Cracow, 1888-93;  I. M. Zunz, 'Ir ha-Zedek, p. 79, Lemberg, 1874;  B. Friedberg, Luhot Zikkaron, p. 11, Drohobicz, 1897;  idem, Keter Kehunnah, p. 5, ib. 1898;  S. Buber, Anshe Shem, p. 82, Cracow, 1895;  Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1557;  R. N. Rabinowitz, Hesrot u-Tikkunim, p. 12, Lyck, 1875;  S. Hurwitz, Rehobot 'Ir, p. 10, Wilna, 1890.  S.S. B.Fr.


[13]  Interestingly, a copy of the Lissa Jewish cemetery burial list made by the historian Bernhard BRILLING ("Aus dem Friedhofsregister der jüdischen Gemeinde Lissa, Posen 1734-1930", at the Leo Baeck Institute (AR 5518, James Bennett Collection, Folder II/3)) includes an entry at page 40, item 47 (in the J's) for “Josua b. Itzig  7 Cheschwan 568 / 8 November 1807”.  It is unclear whether this entry in the Friedhofsregister of Lissa is noting the death R. Josua of Breslau (formerly of Lissa), or whether someone of the same name could have died on the same date in Lissa.


[14]  R. Jehoshua Falk’s gravestone inscription:

“Here was buried the great rabbi, the Dajan, our teacher and rabbi, Jehoshua Falk of blessed just memory, son of the just man our teacher and rabbi [Jitzhak] Eisik of blessed just memory, [author of] “Nakhalat Jehoshua”, servant of God, on Sunday, the seventh of Marcheshwan 5568, under these clods.

     May the just man rest, who has done charity in the land,

     He was always righteous, did justice, and lent his hand,

     And he became strong in the fear of God and His Torah,

     He judged justly and decided the entire truth,

     He rose in the pleasure of God, this great man,

     And suddenly died and came into the grave at night,

     To [ ................................ ] our teacher and rabbi Jehoshua,

     In [ .................................... ] and at the time [ .............. ] Jehoshua,

              May his soul be bound in the bundle of life.”

Translation by Dr. Avner FALK of Jerusalem, 23 June 2001, based on an unclear, handwritten transcription found in Rosenstein, Neil, Avnei Zikaron (2000), publishing rabbinic gravestone inscriptions compiled in the 1930s by Samuel Zvi Weltsman.


[15]  “Das Stammbuch der zur Breslauschen Juden-Gemeinde gehörigen Mitglieder ist vom Endes Unterschriebenen im Jahr 1791 auf dem Grund der von den 3 erwähnten Personen als der Kutscher Scholz im Judenamt, der Schreiber Zwettel, der Gemeindediener Bie geschehenen Haus-Untersuchung gefertigt worden.  Breslau, den 1 November 1791   Alle nachher durch Heirathen, Todesfälle, Geburtenerfolgte Actus sind nach den monatlichen Berichten des Syndici Dohm und des Begräbnis-Vorsteher verwandt worden”


[16]  See, Friedmann, Nathan Zwi, Otzar haRabanim (Tel Aviv 1975); Entry No. 7775:

“Rabbi Joshua Falk, dajan in Lissa (1770), author of Binyan Jehoshua” (translation by Marcel APSEL of Belgium).


[17]  This brief family history is handwritten in Hebrew and German.  The original is in the archives of the University of Bern in Bern, Switzerland in the archival collection of Abraham’s son Dr. Gabriel Gustav VALENTIN (1810-1883).  See, Familienarchiv -- VALENTIN (19.-20. Jh.), Mss.h.h. XXII. 112; XXVIII. 61-72. - 0.9 m.- Unpublizierte Findmittel. - Diverses.


[18]  R. Jitzhak Eisik’s gravestone inscription:

“The Labor of Yitzhak Holech Tamim LPK

Here lies buried the dear-spirited, his just works will serve him, he gave his strength to the Torah, his holiness reaches the Holy Seat, he was a loyal and just old man, and he gave of his goodness to everyone, Jitzhak Eisik of just and blessed memory, son of the old rabbi, our teacher and rabbi Jehoshua Falk, of just and blessed memory, who died in good time on Monday, the first day of Ab, and was buried on Tuesday, the second day of Ab 551 LPK, may his soul be bound in the bundle of life.”

Translation by Dr. Avner FALK of Jerusalem, 23 June 2001, based on an unclear, handwritten transcription found in Rosenstein, Neil, Avnei Zikaron (2000), publishing rabbinic gravestone inscriptions compiled in the 1930s by Samuel Zvi Weltsman.


[19]  Alternatively, R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK may have been born somewhere else where his parents were living, but may have grown up in Lissa if his parents moved there when he was a child.


[20]  See, the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 (published at www.jewishencyclopedia.com):  “LISSER, JOSHUA FALK:   By : Solomon Schechter,  Jacob Zallel Lauterbach   Prominent rabbi and Talmudist of the second half of the eighteenth century; a descendant of Joshua Falk Kohen21 of Lemberg and of R. Liwa (MaHRaL) of Prague, and a pupil of R. Moses Zarah Eidlitz of Prague, author of “Or la-Yesharim.” He was dayyan or judge at Lissa while R. David Tebele was chief rabbi there, and was, therefore, a member of the council which in 1782, under the presidency of David Tebele, condemned and burned Naphtali Herz Wessely’s letter entitled “Dibre Shalom we-Emet.” Lisser wrote commentaries on the minor tractates Abot de-Rab`bi Natan, Semahot, and Derek Erez Rabbah we-Zuta, with textual emendations (“Binyan Yehoshua’,” Dyhernfurth, 1788); the commentary on the Abot de-Rabbi Natan was reprinted in the Wilna (1897) edition of the Talmud. In the preface he apologizes for his textual emendations by referring to Solomon Luria and Samuel Edels, who had likewise suggested variants in their commentaries.  S. S.  J. Z. L.”


[21]  See, the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 (published at www.jewishencyclopedia.com): “FALK, JOSHUA BEN ALEXANDER HA-KOHEN:  By: Solomon Schechter,  M. Seligsohn       Polish Talmudist; born at Lublin; died at Lemberg March 29, 1614. His name occurs as “RaFaK” (= “R. Falk Kohen”) and “Ma-HaRWaK” (= “Morenu ha-Rab Walk Kohen”). He was a pupil of his relative Moses Isserles and of Solomon Luria, and became the head of the yeshibah of Lemberg. Many celebrated rabbis were his pupils, among them being Jacob Joshua b. Zebi of Cracow, the author of “Maginne Shelomoh.” Falk was a great authority on rabbinical matters. At the meeting of the Council of Four Lands in 1607, during the Kremenetz fair, many of his proposals were approved. In 1611 Falk and Enoch Hendel b. Shemariah issued a bill of divorce at Vienna which occasioned lengthy discussions among the celebrated rabbis of the time, including Meïr of Lublin and Mordecai Yafeh (see “She’elot u-Teshubot MaHaRaM,” Nos. 123 et seq.).

Falk was the author of various works, which are still popular and highly regarded among rabbinical scholars. They are: “Sefer Me’irat ‘Enayim,” a commentary to the Shulhan ‘Aruk, Hoshen Mishpat, containing all the decisions of earlier authorities, with an index of their sources, Prague, 1606; “Bet Yisrael,” a double commentary to the four Turim (the first commentary, entitled “Derishah,” contains explanations of responsa and decisions; the other, entitled “Perishah,” explains the text of the Turim and Bet Yosef: Yoreh De’ah and Eben ha-’Ezer, Lublin, 1635-1638; Hoshen Mishpat, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1712-16; and Orah Hayyim, Berlin 1767); “Kontres ‘al Dine Ribbit,” a discourse on the laws relating to the prohibition of usury, followed by some “takkanot” (ordinances by the Rabbis), Sulzbach, 1692; “Pene Yehoshu’a,” homilies in the order of the parashiyyot, Zolkiev, 1742; “Sefer ha-Hosafah,” a supplement to the “Darke Mosheh” of Moses Isserles, printed with the Hoshen Mishpat Dyhernfurth, 1796; novellæ on Talmudic treatises.

Bibliography: Azulai, Shera ha-Gedolim, i. 50, 70;  De Rossi, Dizionario, i. 116;  Buber, Toledot Anshe Shem, No. 197.  S. S. M.”



[22]  R. Jacob Jehoshua Falk ben Zwi Hirsch is said to have added and adopted the name “Jehoshua” after an explosion and fire in the Lemberg (Lvov) Jewish community in 1702 which killed his wife and a daughter.


[23]  Two exceptions are the works of the late Paul JACOBI of Jerusalem who included the lineage proposed by the FALK family in one of his genealogies of the Pnei Jehoshua (III), and of R. Elasar Lipa GARTENHAUS (Sefer Eshel haGedolim (Brooklyn 1958)).  I discount these “external sources” because I believe their respective sources about the link to the FALK family of Lissa and Breslau were from within the FALK family.


[24]  There may, in fact, be a connection, of sorts, to Breslau.  Apparently, R. Arjeh Löb’s second wife was Edel, daughter of R. Chaim Jonah Theomim-Fränkel (d.1728) of Breslau.   At least one of Edel’s brothers or half-brothers lived in Breslau.  At this time (February 2006), I do not know which wife of R. Arjeh Löb is supposed to be the mother of his son R. Jehoshua Falk.


[25]  The graves (i) of R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK,(ii) of R. Jehoshua Falk, the author of Binjan Jehoshua, and (iii) of Jitzhak Eisik, the father of the author of Binjan Jehoshua were all in the Claassenstrasse cemetery in Breslau; the proximity of the graves may explain why R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK’s grave did not include more detail about his father (if, indeed, he was his father, as per Theory II).


[26]  One theory to explain the omission of any connection to the Pnei Jehoshua (III) from the family gravestones is that a prevailing sense of German (or Prussian) national consciousness would have caused the family (in the 1830s, and later) to ignore and cover up the connection to the Pnei Jehoshua (III) because of his Krakow (Polish) roots.  I cannot be certain, but this seems like a 20th century rationalization that would not have rung true in the early 19th century among the highly orthodox FALK family of Breslau.

[27]  From Centrum Judaicum Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin records:  CJ 75a Br7, vol.14: Heiraths-Anzeigen 1821:  Nr.43:  Elkan Michel Apel [Apet] of Fraustadt, 26, son of Michel Apel [Apet] of Fraustadt, married in Breslau on 16 December 1821 Rebecca Loebel Falck, 20, daughter of the Breslau Neben-Rabbiner Loebel Falck.  Officiating rabbi was Loebel Falck.  (Information provided by journalist and genealogist Simon Srebrny)


[28]  See, www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/BreslauMarrgs.html


[29]  In many records, R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK is referred to as “Loebel” FALK, so it seems quite plausible that he could be referred to as “Juda” or “Jehuda Leib”; that is, the omission of “Jacob” would not dismiss this possibility.


[30]  I believe it is accurate to say that a “bat Kohen” can marry a non-Kohen, particularly a man who is a rabbi or Torah scholar; if that is the case, then Fale’s status as a bat Kohen would not eliminate the possibility of her husband Juda ben Josua Falk being the same person as R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK.


[31]  Bernhard Brilling, Die jüdischen Gemeinden Mittelschlesiens. Entstehung und Geschichte (Kohlhammer 1972).

[32]  The source for the birth year of Sara FALK, geb. NAUMBURG as “ca. 1787” is that her age is given as 64 when she died in December 1851. (See, LDS Microfilm 1184391 - Breslau, Schlesien Sterberegister 1813-1859)


[33]  Sara FALK, geb. NAUMBURG’s gravestone inscription:

“Here is buried the wife of the rabbi, who in her righteousness and integrity was similar to the matriarchs, who struggled in the sphere of sanctity, to assist her husband, so that he could sit in the chosen tent of the Torah, who supervised and commented her offspring, and after [her husband’s] death she was faithful to him, with effort and wisdom, in the way of the awe [of God] she built her house, for her ______ and holy root was her tree, and in truth she could be praised as a woman of valor, the lady Sara, wife of the great and righteous one our rabbi Jacob Jehuda Loew, may he rest in paradise, the decisor of this community, formerly head of the rabbinical court of the holy community Dyhernfurth, daughter of the great and famous rabbi Juda of blessed memory, who was head of the holy community Rawitsch and granddaughter of the great light of the Diaspora author of the book Bet Meir.  She died at a good age in the night of the Sabbath, 26 Kislew and laid to rest on Sunday, 27 of the month in the year 632 according to the small account.  May her soul be bound in the bond of the living.”

Translation by Prof. Ze’ev W. FALK, z”l, 18 July 1998).


[34]  The author Isidor KASTAN (1840-1931) notes that his maternal uncle married the youngest daughter of the Dyhernfurther Rav, this uncle would be Joseph HIRSCHBERG (1819-1866) who married Friederike FALK (1825-1901).

[35]   If Johanna (b.1818) was named in memory of her aunt Hinde, then Hinde would have died between the birth of Bertha FALK (27 October 1816) and the birth of Johanna FALK (9 November 1818); so, ca.1817.  If this is correct, and since Hinde was said to have been 34 when she died, she would then have been born in about 1783.


[36]   To date (February 2006), I have been unable to learn the fate of Tobias’ last known descendant, his great grandson Max BORINSKI (b.1923, probably in Breslau) or to locate any living members of this branch of the family.


[37]  It seems very likely, but not documented, that this R. Elieser AUERBACH went on to marry Friederike BRODEK.  They had a son named Menachem Mendel, who would have been named for his grandfather; and Menachem Mendel had a son Lothar Lazarus, who would named for his grandfather.  (Lother was the father of Ruth, wife of Jürgen SCHWIENING of Nuneaton, England.)


[38]  Joseph HIRSCHBERG was the uncle of Isidor HIRSCHBERG, author of “Breslauer Erinnerungen” in Jahrbuch für jüdische Geschichte und Literatur (Berlin 1925).






© 2006-2008 Stephen T. Falk

 A Family History – Facts and Theories

by Stephen T. Falk, Wayne, PA, USA