GAbriel Rabinovich


Gabriel “Gava” Rabinovich (1899–after 1961)

Гавриил Борисович РАБИНОВИЧ (1899–после 1961). Русский текст – внизу страницы


Born in Vitebsk Province of Russia on 8 June, 1899. Had wife Rosa (Rosetta) Isakovna; daughter Isabel (Isa), born on 18 November 1927; son Boris, born on 9 December 1931.

Rena Krasno, author of the memoir Strangers Always, was his niece; she passed his architectural drawings and photographs to the Hoover Archives. According to her memoir, Uncle Gava was well-educated, wrote plays, told great jokes and doted on his wife. "Gava, endowed with a large bulbous nose, regales all and sundry with hilarious, often bawdy, tales told in a wide range of accents – Georgian, Tartar, Yiddish, Chinese." (Strangers Always)

In 1927, as a "penniless architect" and already married, Rabinovich created his earliest known project – the conversion of a residential building on Ward Road into the new Ohel Moshe Synagogue. The rebuilding required the removal of the second floor and the addition of pillars to support the roof. A mezzanine was constructed so women could pray separately from men. (Rena Krasno, Russian Jews in Shanghai) The synagogue opened in October 1928.

In 1930–1931 Rabinovich joined E. Hazzard and E. S. J. Phillips at Elliott Hazzard. During that period, the company designed and constructed the Shanghai Power Co. building, on Nanking Road.

In 1933–1935, he worked for the Republic Land Investment Co. 五和洋行, which was implementing a massive development scheme on North Szechuen Road and siting three multistory buildings there. The flagship of the project – the New Asia Hotel – was designed by the company's chief architect S. A. Sayer, with no involvement of Poy Gum Lee (in spite of common claims); Rabinovich designed the other two apartment buildings – the Bridge House and Derring Apartments – which opened on 15 January 1935. During the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, the Bridge House became the infamous military prison and its apartments were converted to cells.

Rabinovich designed Doumer Apartments, Koffman Apartments (for Mrs. Vera L. Koffman), and "several other small streamline moderne buildings in the French Concession," which remain to be identified.

He was a board member of the Russian Jewish Club and a member of the Jewish Company of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps. He acted as a secretary of the committee for the construction of the New Ashkenazi Synagogue, on Route Tenant de la Tour, designed by his colleague Emmanuel Gran.

Upon resettling in Tel-Aviv, Rabinovich built a synagogue for immigrants from China.

Ohel Moshe Synagogue, Ward Road


Bridge House Apartments, North Szechuen Road


Derring Apartments, Tsungming Road


Residence, Hungjao Road


residence, route de Sieyes


Koffman Apartments, Route Ferguson


Doumer Apartments, route Doumer

c. 1937

Residence, Muirhead Road


Board members of the Shanghai Jewish Club. Gabriel (Gava) Rabinovich is in top row, second from right. His twin brother David is in the bottom row, extreme left. Rena Krasno, Strangers Always.
Gabriel (Gava) and Rosetta Rabinovich (right), next to his twin brother David and his wife (left). Rena Krasno, Strangers Always.

Ohel Moishe Synagogue (1927)

"Alteration of house No. 58 Ward Road into a Jewish Prayer House." Floor plans of the Ward Road synagogue.

Bridge House (1935)

Architect's drawing of the future Bridge House, August 1933. China Press
Sites of the New Asia Hotel and Apartments (A & B), Derring Apartments (C) and Bridge House (D). Builder 建筑月刊, 1934
Three projects of the Republic Land Investment. China Press, July 1935
Bridge House during construction, June 1934. China Press
Residents of the Bridge House Apartments in the courtyard, with the tennis courts behind. Moses Katz archive
Bridge House interiors showing results of the conversion to a prison, 1948. NCDN
Bridge House recently

Derring Apartments (1935)

Architect's drawing of the Derring Apartments, the facade on the corner of North Jiangxi Road and Chongming Road. Builder 建筑月刊, 1934
Typical floor plan of the Derring Apartments. Builder 建筑月刊, 1934
Northern facade of the Derring Apartments in 2008
Derring Apartments nowadays. Shine

Koffman Apartments (1935)

Architect's drawing of the Koffman Apartments, on Route Ferguson. Builder 建筑月刊, 1935
Sections and plans of the Koffman Apartments, on Route Ferguson. Builder 建筑月刊, 1935
Modern view of the Koffman Apartments, on Wukang Road 武康路, with an extra floor added. 上海徐汇

Doumer Apartments (c. 1937)

Doumer Apartments, architect's drawing; the year is cut off. Tess Johnston
Doumer Apartments, 43 Lane 56 Donghu Road 东湖路56弄43号. Images:
Doumer Apartments (left), in a company of three other Russian-designed buildings on Route Paul Henry, c. 1937. Naval History and Heritage Command

List of known works by Gabriel "Gava" Rabinovich

  • Ohel Moshe Synagogue, 62 Ward Road (1927), now 62 Changyang Road 长阳路62号

  • Bridge House Apartments, 85 North Szechuen Road (1934), now 85 North Sichuan Road 四川北路85号

  • Derring Apartments 德邻公寓, 82 Tsungming Road (1934), now 82 Chongming Road 崇明路82号 and 71 North Sichuan Road 四川北路71号

  • Residence, Hungjao Road (1934), today's Hongqiao Road 虹桥路 – location being confirmed

  • Residence, Route de Sieyes (1934), today's Yongjia Road 永嘉路 – location being confirmed

  • Koffman Apartments 国富门公寓, Route Ferguson (1935), now 230–232 Wukang Road 武康路230号, 232号

  • Residence, 151 Muirhead Road (c.1940), now Haimen Road 海门路 – location being confirmed

  • Doumer Apartments 杜美公寓, Route Doumer, built by A. V. Kooklin (1941), now No. 43 Lane 56 Donghu Road 东湖路56弄43号

Гавриил Борисович РАБИНОВИЧ (1899–после 1961) – нажмите, чтобы прочитать

Биография составляется.


  • Tess Johnston, Permanently Temporary: From Berlin to Shanghai in Half a Century (2010).

  • Tess Johnston, Shanghai Art Deco (2006).

  • Rena Krasno, Strangers Always: A Jewish Family in Wartime Shanghai (1992).

  • Rena Krasno, “History of Russian Jews in Shanghai,” in Malek, ed., Jews in China (2003).

  • Reno Krasno papers at Hoover Archives.