Friday, November 20, 2015

Bostoner

Boston is a famous and historic American city, with a rich early-American flavor. So it might therefore be surprising to learn that Boston is the home of its own unique chassidic sect.

It began with a rebbe - Rabbi Pinchas Dovid Horowitz.  Born and raised in Jerusalem, Rabbi Horowitz settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1915, after he found himself unable to return to his native Palestine after the outbreak of World War I (he had been acting as an arbitrator in Russia). The descendant of chassidic rebbes, Rabbi Pinchas Dovid Horowitz quickly gathered a following. He traveled throughout the northeast to share inspiration with other Jews. Soon, Jews came from all over the country to join his chassidic community. He remained in Boston until he and a group of his chassidim moved to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in 1939.

When Rabbi Pinchas Dovid Horowitz passed away on 8 Kislev (November 28), 1941, he was succeeded as rebbe by two of his sons. Rabbi Moshe Horowitz took the helm in New York, while Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz resided in Boston. Most references to the Bostoner Rebbe refer to latter.

In Boston,  Rabbi Levi Yitzchak (1921-2009) opened the New England Chassidic Center. Once established, the young rebbe focused on offering a warm and welcoming community to the Jewish students at Boston’s prestigious learning institutions. In the years that followed, an uncountable number of students from Harvard, M.I.T., and etc, attended classes, services and Shabbat meals at the Chassidic Center. Additionally,  Rabbi Levi Yitzchak founded ROFEH International, a renowned medical referral organization. In later years, he also expanded his Bostoner community to include a community in Har Nof, Jerusalem, where he spent half of each year.

Today there are numerous Bostoner chassidic communities around the world, each led by a descendant of the first Bostoner Rebbe.

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