Rabbi Michel Twerski
Rabbi Michel Twerski, Rebbe, Spiritual Guide, Rav, and Posek of his community in
Milwaukee for over 30 years, has made a strong impression on the American Jewish scene. A
pioneer in the Kiruv movement, Rabbi Twerski has brought hundreds back to
their roots and has helped numerous outreach organizations establish their methods and
In addition to Rabbi Michel's original approach in interpreting Jewish
thought, he is also a composer of music, whose melodies are enjoyed and sung throughout the
The Twerski home serves as a haven to hundreds seeking Torah guidance, as well as being the hub
of a dynamic orthodox community in Milwaukee. The Twerski's direction has revitalized
traditional Jewish life in Milwaukee, where a recently created "cheder" school and
Kollel have become the centerpiece of community growth.
The Rabbi and Rebbetzin travel the world, lecturing and counseling on a myriad of
topics. They have had a positive impact on thousands of lives from totally secular
non-religious Jews to the most observant Torah scholars, and left an indelible taste of
wisdom and warmth in the hearts of those who hear them.
Rabbi B. C. Shlomo Twerski ZT"L
Rabbi Twerski, zt"l, was born in Crakow, Poland in 1923, and came to Milwaukee,
where he grew up under the tutelage of his saintly father, ZT"L the revered Rebbe of
Hornisteiple. Endowed with a brilliant mind, Reb Shloime drank in the rich Chassidic
tradition of his forebears, while remaining keenly alert to the new challenges of America
and its melting-pot culture. With penetrating insight and compelling authority, he was
able to apply his commanding knowledge of Torah Chassidus, and Kabalah, to address the
kaleidoscopic and transitional Jewish landscape of the late 40's, the 50's and 60's. Reb
Shloime assumed the rabbinate of Denver, Colorado, which he served with unsurpassed
devotion until his passing in 1981.
Rabbi Twerski was a pioneer in the outreach movement, to which he opened his
heart and home, where hundreds came to seek the definition of their spiritual identity.
Ultimately, in 1973, the Rav founded the Torah Research Institute, where he was able to
devote himself full time to his outreach efforts.
Reb Shloime was a teacher of unique stature. With breathtaking originality, depth
and compassion, he was able to address large audiences in a way which left each listener
with an intensely personal message. His clarity of language was filled with a
subtlety appreciated by scholars of Torah and understandable to those with no background
Rabbi Aaron D. Twerski
Rabbi Aaron Twerski, Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, is a nationally acclaimed
scholar in the field of Products Liability. He was recently accorded one of America's
highest legal honors with his appointment by the American Law Institute as
Co-Reporter of Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability. A prolific writer, Rabbi
Twerski's incisive and authoritative expositions have ben published in this
country's most prestigious law review journals, and are frequently cited by the highest
courts of the land in decisions which break new ground in this complex field of law.
Of even greater note are Rabbi Twerski's extraordinary contributions to the Jewish
community at large. Rich and poor, powerful and weak, political and personal, religious
and secular , public and private, all make their way to his open door for
guidance and counsel given with unsurpassed warmth and sensitivity. A widely sought
after speaker, Rabbi Twerski has championed the causes of Torah Judaism in forums
cutting across the spectrum of Jewish life in the United States. He is one of the few
who speak their mind with singular candor and integrity, confronting contemporary
Jewish issues cogently and fearlessly.
Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.
Rabbi Twerski began his rabbinical career by assisting his saintly father, who was the
founder and spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Jehudah in Milwaukee.
In addition to being a pre-eminet Torah Scholar, Rabbi Twerski is a psychiatrist
who is considered one of America's leading experts in the field of substance abuse
rehabilitation. He served as chief of psychiatry at Pittsburgh's St. Francis General
Hospital from 1965 to 1985; subsequently he founded and currently directs Gateway
Rehabilitation Centers, facilities of national renown in the treatment of
dependencies. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at University of
Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Rabbi Twerski is currently establishing an alcohol and
drug rehab center in Israel.
Rabbi Twerski has authored many books, both on Torah and secular topics.
His most popular titles are: Generation to Generation; Living Each Day,; Living Each
Week; Let us Make Man; Growing Each Day; When Do the Good Things Start?; I'd
Like to Call for Help but I Don't Know the Number, and Smiling Each Day.
Rebbitzen Feige Twerski
Rebbitzen Feige Twerski is an internationally renowned speaker offering inspirational
lectures and brilliant counsel to thousands who clamor for her guidance.
In addition to mastering the demands of raising 11 children and welcoming scores of
guests into her home each Shabbos, she is a key figure in the American Kiruv movement,
offering her insights and expertise to numerous outreach organizations in planning and
educational techniques. At the side of her husband, she has worked diligently to create
and revitalize Torah institutions in Milwaukee, including the development of the
Milwaukee Kollel and the Yeshiva Elementary School. The Rabbi and Rebbitzen have traveled
throughout the world making Torah tradition relevant for listeners in a way that has deep
impact on both the non-religious and most observant Jews. Rebbitzen Twerski's
multifaceted endeavors and accomplishments on behalf of traditional Judaism stand as a
model for all Orthodox Jewish women in today's society.
Rabbi Mordechai Dov Ber (Mottel) Twerski ZT"L
Rabbi Mottel Twerski was not a lecturer but the family didn't want him to be left out of
this web site.
In the interim, here is a story about his passing...
Twerski was patriarch of family at forefront of key Jewish issues
By Alan J. Borsuk
of the Journal Sentinel staff
September 7, 1998
Family patriarch, religious scholar, accountant, jokester with a twinkle in his eye
-- Rabbi Mordecai (Mottel) Twerski was the behind-the-scenes pillar of a family that
has been at the forefront of many of the central issues in American Orthodox Judaism.
Twerski, 73, died Sunday morning in New York and, in line with Jewish tradition, was
buried later Sunday in Milwaukee, a few feet from the graves of his parents at Beth
Hamedrosh Hagodel Cemetery near County Stadium.
He was one of five sons born to Rabbi Jacob and Leah Twerski, who moved to Milwaukee
in 1922 from Eastern Europe.
The other four brothers became major figures in contemporary Jewish issues -- one is a
prominent psychiatrist and author, one a lawyer who was formerly dean of the Hofstra
University law school and so on.
A brother, Michel, is the rabbi of Congregation Beth Jehudah, 2700 N. 54th St., and an
internationally known rabbinical figure.
But Rabbi Mottel stayed away from the spotlight. He was the one the other brothers
counted on for support. With the death in 1981 of his older brother, Shlomo, who was an
influential rabbi in Denver, Twerski became the de facto head of the prominent Chasidic
family. Family members recall him as their biggest booster and the one who almost never
missed a celebration or landmark event in the large and far-flung family.
They also describe him as a highly charitable, easily approachable man who loved to stump
both children and adults with brain teasers and riddles, to tell stories and to revel in
the "nachas" a Yiddish term for a special form of joy that comes from
the accomplishments of children, grandchildren or anyone else you love.
An ordained rabbi with a classic yeshiva education, he did not hold a pulpit. He got an
accounting degree from Marquette University and became a certified public accountant,
practicing in Milwaukee before moving to New York in 1960.
His many involvements in the Jewish community in Milwaukee in earlier years included
operating a store for a few weeks each year that sold the specially handled and
supervised foods and supplies for the spring Passover holiday.
He and members of his family returned to Milwaukee often in recent years.
In August 1997, Twerski, who had been having problems with dizzy spells, fell down a
flight of stairs and severely injured vertebrae in his neck. He was left paralyzed and
was hospitalized for the 13 months since then, much of the time unconscious or
Survivors include his wife Sara, seven children, three brothers and numerous
Shortly before the 1997 accident, Twerski told his brother Michel that he did not want
any eulogies when he died. He said he always wanted the option of walking out on a speech
that wasn't worth listening to, and he wasn't going to have that option at his own
funeral. At the graveside Sunday night, family members spoke, holding to his request,
technically, but making their feelings clear. No celebration would be the same, the loss
could not be filled, they said -- but their faith would not be shaken.