New Zilboorg Memorial

27949898_15193988430_r.jpeg27949898_15193988590_r.jpeg27949898_15193988920_r.jpegThis is a campaign to raise funds to restore the graves of Moses (1[phone redacted]) and Anna Zilboorg (1[phone redacted]). They were born in today's Belarus and Ukraine (then the Russian Empire) and met--perhaps though a matchmaker, then the custom--in Kiev. There they raised four children: Gregory, James, Basia and Esther. Moses worked in the grocery trade. During the years of turbulence before and after the October Revolution of 1917, three of their children left Russia for the United States. Their second son, James, after training to be an engineer in New York, was sent in 1922 by his employers to Mexico. Meanwhile, Moses lost his business in the revolution.  Moses and Anna, then near retirement age, emigrated to Mexico to join their son around 1925. They lived in Mexico City for the rest of their lives, looked after by their widowed daughter Basia, with her daughter Hope. James and his family lived nearby. They were supported financially by their other children, who had settled in New York: Gregory, a well-known psychiatrist and author, and Esther (Fera) who was married to the magazine editor Saul Levitas. Moses, an orthodox Jew, was active in Mexico City's Jewish community, and played an important role in the foundation of the city's first orthodox cemetery, the Pantheon Isrealitica. Moses died in 1942 and was buried there in an imposing mausoleum with its own roof. Anna passed away ten years later and was buried next to him.

The graves, which have been maintained periodically over the years by generous family members, are now in such a state of disrepair that they must be replaced, at a cost of approximately 3500 USD. The new graves, which will incorporate the original inscriptions, will be more secure against earthquakes and should outlast most of us. The work will be carried out by trusted contractors at the cemetery and coordinated by our Mexican cousin Alexander ("Sascha") Saitcevsky, whose aunt Eugenia Helfman Zilboorg was married to James. Sascha, indeed, is one of the few still living who remember Moses and Anna.

If we are successful in raising the necessary funds,  we hope that as many of us as possible can meet in Mexico City to rededicate the memorials to Moses and Anna, learn a little more about their remarkable migration and celebrate a long-overdue family reunion.


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  • John Zilboorg 
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $175 
    • 36 mos
  • Joel Howell 
    • $125 
    • 36 mos
  • Peggy Schaeffer 
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Thomas Irvine 
    • $150 
    • 36 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Thomas Irvine 
Southampton, South East England, United Kingdom
Peggy Schaeffer 
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