Rabbi Israel Boruch (Bernard) Zinober is rather forgotten today. In writing about his book, which was published posthumously in 1952 (there was a second volume in 1955), I will try to fill that gap. The book contains halachic discussions on various subjects written by his father, Rabbi Leib Shalom Zinober, who was the head of the Rabbinical Court of Ostrow for twelve years, and that of Kupishok in Lithuania for twenty years. The second book, at the back, consists of Rabbi Israel Boruch Zinober’s own writings.
Rabbi Zinober was born in Ribinishki, in the province of Vitebsk, on 25th May 1883 (This is from his Latvian birth record). He was educated by his father, and afterwards at Telz Yeshiva, under Rabbi Eliezer Gordon and Rabbi Shimon Skop. he came to London in 1922 and is first mentioned in the Jewish Chronicle as Rabbi B. Zinober from Riga, giving a sermon and Talmud shiur at the Adath Yisroel synagogue on Shemini Atzeres, in October 1922. He was appointed Rabbi of the Holy Law Synagogue in Manchester, succeeding Rabbi Dagutsky. From time to time he is reported, giving a sermon on “The Fortification of Judaism”, lecturing at Manchester Mizrachi meetings and giving a memorial speech in 1925 in memory of Queen Alexandra.
Rabbi Zinober was interviewed by the Jewish Chronicle in the issue of April 22nd, 1927. He had been interested in Zionism from his early youth. In 1921 he founded the Mizrachi in Latvia and had now been delegated by the Central Bureau of the Mizrachi Movement in Jerusalem to reorganize and revitalize the Movement in Britain. He thought that the Mizrachi brand of Zionism would strengthen Judaism in England against reform and assimilation.
In 1930, after his marriage to Jennie, the daughter of Rabbi Moses Aaron Sukmanski of Liverpool, Rabbi Zinober was appointed Rabbi of the Clapton Federation Synagogue in Lea Bridge Road. This was, at that time, a thriving large synagogue with a landmark building. (After a decline in numbers the Clapton Federation Synagogue was sold and although locally listed was sadly vandalized and destroyed by developers in 2005.) Rabbi Zinober was reported in the Jewish Chronicle as a very active Rabbi in his Shul and Talmud Torah.
Rabbi Zinober had intended to publish a book of his father’s writings, but passed away at a relatively young age on 30th May 1946. He is buried in the Adath Yisroel cemetery in Enfield. This book was published posthumously and printed at the Narodiczky Press.
Sefer Divrei Shalom has a Haskamah from Dayan Yechezkel Abramsky and a warm memorial page from Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Ferber. This is followed by Rabbi Leib Sholom Zinober’s writings, which include a contribution written by Rabbi Meir Simcha HaKohen of Dvinsk, author of the Ohr Sameach and Meshech Chochma, which I have scanned in full below.
The last part of the book consists of Rabbi Israel Boruch’s own writings, which demonstrate that he was, as Rabbi Ferber says, one of the most excellent Rabbanim in London.
Here is the contribution by Rabbi Meir Simcha HaKohen of Dvinsk:
Here is the second book bound with the first, which consists of Rabbi Israel Boruch Zinober’s own writings: