Photo Credit:
Virtual Judaica

The Death Certificate of R. Menahem Mendel Schneerson, issued in New York in 1995, is up for grabs at the Virtual Judaica website. The current price is $1,100, the minimum bid to beat that would be $1,200.

Virtual Judaica conducts online auctions of rare Judaica items, which can be viewed in person by appointment at the Virtual Judaica Exhibition Hall, 1760 Fifty Third Street, Brooklyn, NY.


The official Death Certificate of R. Menahem Mendel Schneerson issued on August 2, 1995 by the New York City Department of Health — more than a year after the Rebbe’s demise — to his next of kin, is described as a single page, 11 by 8.6 inches, with light age staining and creased folds. The Rebbe passed away in Beth Israel Hospital, Manhattan, on June 12, 1994, and his closest next of kin was his niece from the town of Rechovot, Israel, who is listed on the certificate.

Ideal for framing.



  1. Are not death certificates a public record?

    One time, I put up bail for a certain criminal defendant who subsequently died. I was able to get an official, sealed copy of his death certificate, and I brought it to the court on the morning when I knew he was due there for a court appearance. I found his public defender, and asked her to present it to the judge, and to ask that the Commonwealth (of MA) refund the bail money forthwith.

    Why would the Rebbe's death certificate be any different?

  2. This is odd. Only a specific list of people can order a death certificate in the five boroughs. The list is:

    Spouse – not applicable
    Domestic Partner – not applicable
    Parent – not applicable
    Child – not applicable
    Sibling – not applicable
    Grandparent – not applicable
    Grandchild – not applicable
    The legal representative of the estate of the descendent – possibly?
    Informant listed on the certificate – possibly?
    Person in control of disposition – possibly?
    A funeral director within 12 months of the registration of death A party with a property right who demonstrates that information beyond the fact of death is necessary to protect or assert a right of that party – not applicable
    A person or government agency who otherwise establishes that the record is necessary or required for a judicial or other proper purpose – not applicable

    Therefore someone in one of the above three categories had to have ordered one of these. They can order an official copy for $23.30 online. It could also be that someone either stole or copied a copy of the death certificate, or ordered one fraudulently. They then put it online and try to sell it for as much as possible. If they are really strapped for cash, I suppose that is a way to make money, but it seems to be in not such good taste.

Comments are closed.

Loading Facebook Comments ...