||R. Jacob b. Abraham Issachar Dov Avigdor (1896–1967), Chief Rabbi of the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Mexico. Born into a rabbinic family in Tyrawa Wołoska, Austrian province of Galicia between the cities of Sanok and Przemysl (now southeast Poland) in 1896. He excelled in religious studies and was ordained at the young age of 16 years. Later he attended the universities of Kraków and Lviv, obtaining a PhD in Philosophy. Acquiring a high reputation as an orator and Talmudist, he was named Chief Rabbi of Drohobych and Boryslav, then in southeast Poland (now western Ukraine), in 1920, where he officiated until the Nazi occupation. |
After his liberation from the Buchenwald concentration camp, R. Avigdor became extremely active in the efforts of rescue and rehabilitation of Jewish refugees in postwar Europe. Upon immigrating to the U.S. in 1946, he accepted a pulpit in Brooklyn, NY, and six years later he was offered the rabbinate of Mexico, holding that position until his death in Mexico City in 1967.
R. Avigdor was much consulted on religious and ethical questions by his contemporaries. A prolific writer, his topics included religious philosophy, Jewish history and traditions, and commentary on biblical text. Most of his prewar works were lost. In Mexico, he became a regular contributor to Torah periodicals, and published books in that language, Hebrew and Spanish.