Rabinovitch Coat of Arms / Rabinovitch Family Crest
This surname of RABINOVITCH was an East Ashkenazic Jewish status name from the Polish word RABIN, meaning RABBI. Other spellings of the name include RABINOWITZ, RABINSKI, RABINSKY, RAVINSKI, RAFF, RABERINSON, RABINOV and RABINOVICI, to name but a few. The RABBI was the title of a Jewish scholar or teacher of civil and religious law from New Testament times on; the Spiritual leader of a Jewish community and senior officer in the synagogue. Solomon J RABINOWITZ (1859-1916) was the Russian-Jewish author, born in Pereyaslev in the Ukraine, the son of Russian-Jewish shopkeepers. After working as a rabbi he devoted himself to writing and Yiddish culture, contributing to the first Yiddish newspaper, established in 1883. In 1893 he moved to Kiev, but the progroms of 1905 drove him to the USA. His short stories and plays portray Jwish life in Russia in the 19th century with vividness, humour and sympathy. Between 1880 and 1914, almost three million Jews left Eastern Europe, representing the most extensive migration in Jewish history since the expulsion of Jews from Spain at the end of the 15th century. Most of the emigrants fled from Russia, where pogroms had raged, and where the laws of Czar Alexander III had oppressed Jewish life. Most of the emigrants departed from Hamburg and went to the United States, but some emigrated to Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada and South Africa. While the vast majority of the immigrants to America came through Ellis Island from 1907 to 1914 thousands of East European Jews participated in a little known episode in American Jewish history. They migrated through the port of Galveston, Texas and then were routed to towns throughout the Midwest where lodging and jobs awaited them. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
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