Kagan Family
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#kgn-1:Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, better knoen as "The Chofetz Chaim"
(1838-1933) Rabbi Yisroel Meir HaKohen was one of the greatest figures in modern Jewish history. He was recognized as both an outstanding scholar and an extraordinarily righteous man. His impact on Judaism was phenomenal. It is interesting to note that, despite his great stature, he refused to accept any rabbinical position and supported himself from a small grocery run by his saintly wife in the town of Radin where they lived. Rabbi Yisroel Meir devoted himself to the study and teaching of Torah.
#kgn-2:Dr. Abram S. Kagan
Born in czarist Russia to a wealthy family in a society that discriminated against him because he was a Jew. (The English cognate of Kagan is Cohen; there is no "h" in Russian.) He nevertheless received a full university education through a combination of innate intelligence, indomitable courage, and patient toil.He established himself in St. Petersburg as a member of the Socialist intelligentsia. It was there that he began his career as a publisher, mostly of scientific works, though he also published the works of writers and poets of the time. During the few months of the Kerensky government in 1917, after the Czar had been deposed and before the Bolsheviks under Lenin took over, he was actively engaged in politics as a member of the ruling Socialist (Menshevik) party. After several turbulent years he and a number of other intellectuals were expelled from the new Soviet Union and he made his way to Berlin with his wife and young son. Though without funds of his own, he was able, with the help of some relatives in Germany, to get on his feet financially and to become, in time, a publisher of books translated into Russian from other languages, mostly German. These works were distributed in the Soviet Union, freely though technically illegally.The son of Trotsky, the man who exiled him, came to him and asked him to publish Trotsky's autobiography. Dr. Kagan accepted the book for publication and had it circulated in the Soviet Union at a time when Trotsky himself was either already an exile or about to become one.His departure from St. Petersburg was the first of Dr. Kagan's escapes from violent death. He was in fact arrested before being deported and not a few of his associates were summarily shot during his final years in Petrograd, as it was then called.The rise of Hitler to power in Germany forced Dr. Kagan to decamp again, this time to Belgium and France. It was only after the fall of France that he, his wife and daughter left their new home once again, this time for the United States, via Casablanca.In New York Dr. Kagan had to start from scratch for the third time. It was here, for the first time, that chance threw in his way the opportunity to publish books in the field of psychoanalysis and it was in New York that his career as a publisher of psychoanalytic books and journals began.He chose the name of his new publishing house in imitation of the Parisian firm, Presses Universitaires. The name reflects the nature of his devotion to his work. Making money was never his chief aim. He wanted above all to publish works that would enrich the culture of the society in which he lived and that would bring credit to his firm and to himself. He was a scholar whose intellectual and cultural interests took precedence over business interests. He was a charming and interesting social companion, one with whom it was always a pleasure to talk.
Charles Brenner

#kgn-3:Robert A. Kagan (center) and  Philip Selznick (back).
Robert A. Kagan
Professor of Law and Political Science Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program Boalt Hall School of Law,University of California, Berkeley
#kgn-4:Hershel Kagan of Vileyka son of Avrum and Rikla nee Zavodnik and his family in Moscow 1924.
#kgn-7: Zundel Kahan's family in Vilna 1930 (Zundel was the son of Avrum Kagan and Rikla nee Zapodnick)
#kgn-8: Boruch Kagan (Ben Cohen) and Vileika friend Max Tobias in 1913. Courtesy of his daughter; Beatrice Markel, Redondo Beach, California
#kgn-9: KAGAN, Aleksandr son of Israel year;1913
#kgn-10: KAGAN, Berk-Nison son of Leizer year; 1911
#kgn-11: KAGAN, Josef son of Jankel year; 1911
#kgn-12:KAGAN, Judel son of Israil year; 1909
#kgn-13: KAGAN, Meyer son of Zalman year; 1911
#kgn-14:KAGAN, shmuel son of Josel-Zacharya year; 1913
#kgn-15: KACHAN, Leib son of Meyer year;1908
#kgn-16: KAGAN, Sroel son of Girsh year; 1913
#kgn-17: Avrum and Rikla nee Zavodnik Kagan


Yehuda Kagan
This is the Page of Testimony for Yehuda Kagan. Yehuda was born in 1888 in Vilna, Poland. He and his wife Henia (nee Glasser) had, as far as we know, two children. During the war Yehuda was in the Vilna Ghetto. Together with his wife, Yehuda was murdered by the Nazis at the Ponary forest in 1941. His son Israel was also murdered during the Holocaust.
This Page of Testimony was submitted by Yehuda's granddaughter Florence Shochat (Levin) in 1973.



Esther Kagan nee Finkel was born in Rakow, Poland to Shalom and Tzvia. She was a housewife. Prior to WWII she lived in Kurzeniec, Poland. 

Esther was murdered in the Shoah.

This information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted by her daughter, Tzvia Even Shoshan


Rafael Kagan (1882- 1942) was a cantor and a shochet in Kurenets. He perished in the holocaust



Shoshana Kagan was born in Korzeniec, Poland in 1912 to Rafael and Gitel. She was a bookeeper and single. Prior to WWII she lived in Korzeniec, Poland. 

Shoshana was murdered in the Shoah.

This information is based on a Page of Testimony  submitted by her sister, Tzvia Even Shoshan


Abram Kagan was born in Lebadove, in 1906 to Rafael and Gitel. He was a hebrew teacher and single. Prior to WWII he lived in Kurnik, Poland. 

Abram was murdered in the Shoah.

This information is based on a Page of Testimony  submitted by his sister, Tzvia Even Shoshan



Joseph Kagan was born in Kurzeniec, Poland in 1910 to Rafael and Gitel. He was a bookeeper and single. Prior to WWII he lived in Kurzeniec, Poland. During the war he was in Kurzeniec, Poland.

Joseph was murdered in the Shoah.

This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed here) submitted by his sister, Tzvia Even Shoshan


Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, The Chofetz Chaim
(1838-1933) For almost one hundred years he lit up our world.  His was a soul from on high whose only desire in life was to fulfill the wish of his Creator through lifting the worth of individual lives as well as the life of the Jewish people as a whole.  This was the substance of the marvelous life of this giant of justice and kindness.

He could find no peace when contemplating the state of the nation  regarding the grave sin of slander, until he composed his first work which carried the name with which he has been identified ever since:  Chofetz Chaim... He also was inspired to produce a work, Ahavas Chesed (Love of Kindness) detailing the laws between man and man.

The emigration to America made him fearful for the well-being of Judaism in places where Jewish settlements were not well organized. He recognized the trials of the new immigrants and to fill their needs he wrote Nidchei Yisrael, (Dispersed of Israel), replete with detailed laws specifically related to the new life of the émigrés and heartfelt words of inspiration and encouragement to strengthen them in overcoming obstacles and preserving their Judaism.  And his caring eye observed the young conscripts forced to live far from any semblance of Jewish life and desperately in need of special guidance.  For them he composed Machne Yisrael, (The Camp of Israel).

In spite of all the writings of his predecessors he found that he must clarify many laws of the first portion of the Shulchan Aruch, and composed his famous Mishna Brura, which is firmly established as an authoritative source.

And within his heart there burned a holy fire: the hope for the full salvation.  The final redemption of Israel was his constant concern.  For the arrival of that event the laws of Kodshim must be clear.  But he saw that such learning was much neglected and so composed a monumental work on the order Kodshim, Likkutei Halachos.

In spite of all these undertakings he was totally involved in all matters of Torah support with youthful enthusiasm even when he was well into his nineties, traveling to anywhere he might help to strengthen activities on behalf of Torah.

This is but a too-brief overview of the life of an extraordinary man whose saintly presence we were fortunate to encounter and from whose saintly life and pure character we were privileged to feel the impact.

(Excerpts from an article by Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchak Kook which appeared in the journal HaHaid.  Translated by Matis Greenblatt for Fall 1983 issue of Jewish Action Magazine).