The Khotyn Legacy Project (KLP) is a comprehensive research and international networking effort aimed at gathering information about the famed Bessarabian city of Khotyn and linking survivors, post-war residents and their descendants around the globe.
The Project is a key component of The Twersky-Heschel Center of Israel (THCI), which counts among its core objectives the perpetuation of the legacies of the Twersky-Heschel Rabbinic family. Grand Rabbi Mordechai Israel Twersky served as Khotyn’s leading Hasidic rabbi until he was murdered during the Holocaust in July 1941.
Khotyn Legacy Project objectives include:
- A multi-lingual translation, indexing and annotation of The Hebrew-Yiddish Khotyn Yizkor (Memorial) Volume (1972) documenting the history of city and its Jewish population before, during, and after the Holocaust, and its postwar remnants in the US, Israel, and elsewhere.
- Updating the Khotyn Yizkor Volume for republication in 2016, the 75th anniversary of the destruction of the city’s Jewish population during the Holocaust, as an interactive digital book that would include:
- Multi-lingual translations and annotations of testimonies by Khotyn residents conducted by third-parties.
- New information about Khotyn via interviews and research produced by the Twersky-Heschel Center.
- Construction of a comprehensive web site, online database, and international network for survivors and second and third generation descendants of Khotyn.
- Establishment of a Khotyn Synagogue and Educational Center in Israel as a living tribute to Khotyn.
The Project has been spearheaded by THCI President Mordechai I. Twersky, a grandson of Grand Rabbi Twersky, and son of the late Avram J. Twersky, a New York City spiritual and communal leader who led the Bronx Park East Chotiner (Khotyner) Jewsh Center from 1960 to 2000.
Mordechai’s 2011 visit to Khotyn and to the mass grave containing the remains of his grandfather, uncle, and more than 50 Khotyn martyrs was the subject of an essay that appeared on the op-ed page of the The New York Times. His personal account of Chernobyl’s Hasidic legacy was published in the Times in June of 1986, two months after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.