Yerusalimchik, Jerusalemchik ... - on the trail of a surname

The year 2004 marked the 200th anniversary of the beginning of assigning surnames to Russian Jews.

I found the following expert information on an Internet forum.

When men had not had surnames previously, they were given surnames when drafted into the army, and most often just by the police. Naturally, the process involved bribes. Jews who were a little more prosperous, who spoke Yiddish and often even literary ?hoch deutsch, purchased "German" surnames. The poorest Jews and those disliked by the police were given such mocking sobriquets as "Erusalimchik". There weren't enough whimsical names to go around for most of them, and the Jews (like Russian and Belorussians, by the way) were given surnames based on their fathers' names (Abramov, Izrailevich), their mothers' names (Sarkin, Rokhlin, Mirkin), their trade or position (Rabinovich, Reznik, Kantor) or their place of residence, home town or town where they were called into the army. In the latter case, the name of the town with the suffix -sky was normally used: Minsky, Vilensky, Mogilevsky, etc. Slutsky was taken from the city of Slutsk near Minsk. These cities, naturally, were located in the western territory, within the Jewish pale.

Almost everything here is probably accurate. The only point that is difficult to understand is why the surname Jerusalemchik is referred to as mocking. In my view, it is no worse than the other surnames formed from the names of cities. Moreover, since my wife Lilia has that surname, I have had occasion more than once to hear favorable, agreeable comments about the name.

I don't know whether the forum user in question has met people with the surname Jerusalemchik often, but the name is an extremely rare one, and it comes from one place - the shtetl of Bobr in the Senno Uezd [district], Mogilev Gubernia [province] (this is now a city in the Krupsk District, Minsk Region).

I have visited Bobr, where many Jews once lived, several times. You don't see them there now, but old timers do remember the Jerusalemchiks. All who bear the name, who were scattered all over the world long ago, confirm that their ancestors came from Bobr.

I have tried, with some success, to find as many Jerusalemchiks as possible and to post information about them on the Russian genealogy site In the course of my search, I heard a legend about the appearance of the name.

There once lived in Bobr a rather eccentric Jew, who talked everyone's ears off boasting about having been to Jerusalem and having seen a land flowing with milk and honey. He was a poor man and had hardly been outside the Jewish pale, but because of his fantastic cock-and-bull stories, he was given the rather unusual surname Jerusalemchik.

Even though there are not many of them, not all the Jerusalemchiks are related now or even know each other. I would hope that the little page I am developing will be of some interest to them.

2005 © Alexander Rosenbloom

Translated by Melvin Redmount

People who bear or once bore the surname Jerusalemchik are listed below, in no particular order. Those who were born with the name Jerusalemchik are listed in red, and those who acquired the name are listed in blue.


Yerusalimchik Yeisef-Osher. 1870-1920. Watchmaker and jeweler. Bobr resident.

Yerusalimchik Hana (Elinson). 1872-1941. Killed by Nazis in the Borisov ghetto.


Shulman Shifra (Yerusalimchik). 1892-1941. Born in Bobr. Killed by Nazis in the Borisov ghetto.


Yerusalimchik David. 1893 - 1972. Born in Bobr.

Yerusalimchik Gita (Cherkasskaya). 1897-1965.


Yerusalimchik Benyamin. 1922-1941. Died at the front.


Leiferova Sima (Yerusalimchik). 1928.


Yerusalimchik Benyamin. 1896 - 1961. Born in Bobr.

Yerusalimchik Sonya (Rosenbloom). 1907-1979.


Erushalmi / Yerusalimchik Gennadiy. 1931-2018.

Erushalmi / Yerusalimchik Anna (Movshina). 1929.


Erushalmi / Yerusalimchik Boris. 1955.

Erushalmi / Yerusalimchik Alice (Isserlin). 1956.


Sorokin Olga (Yerusalimchik). 1978.


Erushalmi / Yerusalimchik Iosif. 1936.

Erushalmi / Yerusalimchik Ivetta (Otman). 1940.


Erushalmi / Yerusalimchik Michael. 1970.


Yerusalimchik Samuil. 1898 - 1951. Born in Bobr.

Yerusalimchik Fanya (Berlina). 1900-1986.


Yerusalimchik Iosif. 1925.

Yerusalimchik Valentina (Filatova). 1929.


Yerusalimchik Boris. 1931-1947.


Yerusalimchik Fayva. 1900-1941. Born in Bobr. Watchmaker. Missing in action near Gzhatsk.

Yerusalimchik Sarra (Strongina). 1904-1988. Worked as a shoemaker in a shoe collective.


Yerusalimchik Iosif. 1927.

Yerusalimchik Bella (Polotskaya). 1926.


Yerusalimchik Lilia. 1930. Journalist. Graduated from Belorussian State University. Worked in the media for 37 years, of which 22 years were as correspondent for the newspaper Minskaya Pravda. Author of several books written individually or with a collaborator.


Yerusalimchik Max. 1937-2016.

Yerusalimchik Elvira (Markevich). 1936.


Sonis (Yerusalimchik) Inna. 1960-2016. Designer. Graduated from Riga Polytechnic Institute. Worked in advertising.


Chekhovich Zhanna (Yerusalimchik). 1965. Expert on merchandise. Graduated from Latvian State University.


Yerusalimchik Manuil. 1900-1944. Born in Bobr.

Yerusalimchik Rebecca (Gorodinskaya). 1901-1984.


Berman Sima (Yerusalimchik). 1927-1989.


Shults Raisa (Yerusalimchik). 1928.


Yerusalimchik Abram. 1903 - 1981. Born in Bobr. Forestry engineer. Graduated from Goretsk Agriculatural Academy (Belorussia) in 1927. Served as director of the Minsk Forestry Administration and as director of studies at a technical school.

Yerusalimchik Sonya (Shmukler). 1904-1969.


Mazo Zinaida (Yerusalimchik). 1928-1989. Bookkeeper. Lived in Reutovo, Moscow Region.


Yerusalimchik Joseph. 1931-2010. Born in Minsk. Civil engineer. Worked at design organizations in Minsk and Los Angeles.

Yerusalimchik Mainna (Artishevskaya). 1933. Architect. Native of Belorussia. Taught at the Belorussian Polytechnic Institute. Candidate in architecture. Assistant professor. Member of the USSR Architects Union. Inna Sanina writes poetry under a pseudonym. Member of the International PEN organization. Author of several poetry collections.


Artishevskiy Alexander (Yerusalimchik). 1954. Graduated from Belorussian State University. Worked at the Academy of Sciences in Minsk. Defended his doctoral dissertation in Los Angeles (PhD) - biochemist.


Yerusalimchik Roman. 1937-2022.


Yerusalimchik Boris. 1906 - 1990. Born in Bobr. Expert in the field of watches. Worked as a production engineer at the First Leningrad Watch Factory. War veteran of the Baltic Fleet. Played violin and piano. Died in the United States.

Yerusalimchik Riva (Krolik). 1909-1997.


Barskaya Nina (Yerusalimchik). 1936.


Svirskaya Anna (Yerusalimchik). 1946. Violinist. Born in Leningrad. Graduated from the conservatory. Plays in symphony orchestras in the United States.


Yerusalimchik Meyer Osherevich. 1864-1938. Born in Bobr. Resident of Chelyabinsk. Was arrested on trumped-up charges of counterrevolutionary and anti-Soviet activity on December 30, 1937, and sentenced to execution by firing squad three days later. The sentence was carried out on January 11, 1938. Rehabilitated in 1956.

Yerusalimchik Ettel.


Yerusalimchik Ilya Mironovich. 1899-1938. Bookkeeper. Born in Bobr. Lived in Chelyabinsk, where he worked in the tanning industry. Was arrested in 1937 on trumped-up charges of anti-Soviet activity (Article 58 of the RSFSR Criminal Code) and executed by firing squad on January 1, 1938.


Yerusalimchik German Ilich. 1936-2003. Gastroenterologist and psychotherapist. Born in Chelyabinsk, where he worked at the regional hospital for many years after graduation from the medical institute. Author of a documentary book on Jews of his native city, Raznyye sudby - obshchaya sudba [Different Fates - Common Fate] (Chelyabinsk, 1999).


Yerusalimchik Israel Mironovich. 1912-1941.


Yerusalimchik Samuil.


Yerusalimchik Chaya.


Yerusalimchik Abraham.


Yerusalimchik Zhenya.


Yerusalimchik Bronya.


Gordo (Yerusalimchik) Luba.


Yerusalimchik Liba Gilevna. 1889-1969.


Yerusalimchik Khasya Gilevna. 1899-1974. Born in Bobr. Neuropathologist. Professor at the 2nd Moscow Medical Institute. Doctor of Medical Sciences. Was the first to introduce bee venom therapy. Her patients included extremely famous individuals, in particular, Nikolai Ostrovsky (probably as a result, we read in the seventh chapter of his famous book Kak sakalyalas stal [How the Steel Was Tempered]: "An intern with the odd name Yerusalimchik, a likable party member...").


Yerusalimchik Yudel Gilevich. 1904-?.


Yerusalimchik Iosif Grigoryevich. 1933. Expert in the field of electrochemistry and microelectronics. The focus of his work is on instruments for electrochemical inspection of precious metals. Doctor of chemical sciences. Professor at the Moscow Institute of Radio Engineering, Electronics and Automation (Technical University).


Yerusalimchik Galina (Geyda) Lvovna. 1898-1968. Physician, infection specialist. Born in the shtetl of Tolochin (now a city in the Vitebsk Region). Graduated in 1924 from the 1st Leningrad Medical Institute and was accepted for work at the Leningrad Botkin Infection Hospital. Served as an intern, head of departments and medical unit deputy chief physician. Served as chief physician of the hospital from 1941 to 1952. During the Leningrad blockade, i.e., the most difficult period in the history of the hospital, performed as a capable and courageous organizer, for which she was awarded an order and medals.


Yerusalimchik Alexander Markovich. 1932-2006. Moscow artist. Graduated from the Decorative Monument Institute of the Stroganovsk Institute. Taught at the People?s University of the Arts. Member of the Artists Union. Has taken part in a large number of exhibitions. He had a one-man show of drawings in Moscow in 2004, at which more than 100 works, primarily landscapes, were exhibited (watercolor, gouache, pastels).


Yerusalimchik Efim Isayevich. 1911-1994. Director of Trade School No. 1 in Novosibirsk (during the early postwar years).


Yerusalimchik Mark Isayevich. 1913. Resident of Novosibirsk. Worked as an engineer at an aviation plant.

Yerusalimchik (Khrebkova) Pelageya Dementevna.


Yerusalimchik Vladimir Markovich. 1946. Worked as a pilot at an aviation plant. Commander of helicopter.

Yerusalimchik (Busina) Galina Alexandrovna.


Yerusalimchik Dan. 1978. Born in Novosibirsk. Graduated from Bar-Ilan University (Israel), specialist in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

Yerusalimchik (Busunova) Alexandra.


Yerusalimchik Leonid Markovich. 1952. Resident of Novosibirsk. Musician (trumpet-player).


Jerusalemchik Chaim-Zalman.

Jerusalemchik Xenia-Rivka (Itska).


Jerusalemchik Tsipa.


Jerusalemchik Yokha.


Jerum Frank (Jerusalemchik Perets). 1886-19??.


Jerum Henry (Jerusalemchik Chaim-Iche). 18??-1966.


Yud (Jerusalemchik) Nochem. 1888-1966. Poet, fabulist, translator. Born in Bobr. Lived in the United States beginning in 1916. Wrote in Yiddish. Translated Russian classics, especially works by A. I. Kuprin, into Yiddish.


Berlin Ida (Jerusalemchik Khaya-Itta). 1881-1959.


Klebanova Khasya Solomonovna (Yerusalimchik). 1880-1941. Born in Bobr. Killed by Nazis.


Klebanova Basya Solomonovna (Yerusalimchik). 1875-1941. Born in Bobr. Killed by Nazis.


Yerusalimchik Vulf Solomonovich. 1886(7)-1968. Pharmacist. Born in Bobr. Lived in Orenburg, where he worked as a pharmacy manager for many years.

Yerusalimchik Anna-Elka (Klebanova). 1886-1954.


Guryevich Pesya Vulfovna (Yerusalimchik). 1922(3). Physician. Lives in Moscow.


Yerusalimchik Lev Vulfovich. 1924. Sanitation inspector. Born in the Orenburg Region.

Yerusalimchik (Eliovich) Anna . 1929-2003. Worked in Orenburg as a kindergarten director.


Kagan Riva Solomonovna (Yerusalimchik). 18??-1960. Native of Bobr. Lived in Dzerzhinsk, Gorky (now Nizhegorod) Region.


Yerusalimchik Grigory Efimovich. 1882-1938. Buried in Kursk.

Yerusalimchik (?) Anna Israilevna. 1889-1953. Buried in Kursk.


Yerusalimchik Yefim Grigogievich. (1908-1943). Participant in WWII. Died of wounds in hospital. Buried in Tashlakc, Uzbekistan.


Yerusalimchik Matvey Grigogievich. (1919-1941). Missing in action in WWII.


Yerushalmi / Yerusalimchik Nachum. 1890-1961. Historian, writer, teacher. Born in Nikolaev. In 1905 immigrated to Palestine. One of the founders of Hebrew Gimnasia in Jerusalem.


Veintraub (Yerusalimchik) Mania. 1890-1941. Killed.


Yerusalimsky / Yerusalimchik Arcady Samsonovich. 1901-1965. Historian.


Yerusalimchik Pesia Lvovna. Mother of Soviet theater producer Alexander Pavlovich Konnikov.

Last update: 13.01.2023

Contact: Felix Rosenbloom

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