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Ashinsky, Aaron Mordecai Halevi

ASHINSKY, AARON MORDECAI HALEVI

ASHINSKY, AARON MORDECAI HALEVI (1866–1954), U.S. rabbi and religious Zionist leader. Born in Rajgrod, Poland, he was ordained at an early age. In 1895 he went to the U.S., and first held rabbinical posts in Syracuse and Detroit. In 1898 he accepted a position in Montreal, where he organized Canada's first Zionist group and also served as chaplain to Jewish soldiers in the Canadian armed forces. Ashinsky subsequently became rabbi of the Beth Hamidrash Hagadol congregation in Pittsburgh, where he remained for 25 years until leaving for Brooklyn, a decision that was reversed when the congregation took him to a din Torah. He served in Pittsburgh for the rest of his life. Ashinsky was devoted to the cause of Jewish education and helped establish talmud torah schools in several of the cities where he served as rabbi. An able orator, he was among the founders of the Mizrachi Organization of America, of which he was vice president for many years. Ashinsky was also a founding member of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada and was very active in the aid and relief work of the Ezras Torah organization.

bibliography:

Enẓiklopedyah shel ha-Ẓiyyonut ha-Datit, 1 (1958), 200–2. add. bibliography: I.A. Swiss and H.N. Shoop, Rabbi Aron M. Ashinsky: Fifty Years of Study and Service (1935).

[Aaron Lichtenstein]

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