Horowitz, Pinchas David Ha-Levi

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HOROWITZ, PINCHAS DAVID HA-LEVI (1876–1941), U.S. rabbi and founder of Bostoner Ḥasidism. Born in Jerusalem, he was the son of R. Samuel Shmelke Horowitz (c. 1862–1898), a founder of Ḥasidism in Jerusalem and fifth-generation descendant of R. Samuel Shmelke of Nikolsburg. After his father's death, he was educated by his uncle, R. David Biderman, the Levoler rebbe of Jerusalem. He supported his early rabbinic activities as an architect, and together with his brother R. Yehoshua designed an expansion of Me'ah She'arim in Jerusalem. His interest in architectural aspects of Jewish life continued later in America, with special emphasis on the sukkah and the mikveh. In 1914, he was sent to Europe as a community representative, but the outbreak of World War i prevented his return and caused him to travel to the U.S., where he settled in Boston in 1915. He founded the United Rabbinical Schools of Boston, and worked to strengthen traditional Judaism, particularly observance of Sabbath and kashrut. He was known for visiting communities throughout New England to give spiritual guidance. He visited Jerusalem three times, in 1925, 1929, and again in 1934, when he attempted unsuccessfully to establish the first Ḥasidic community outside the walls of the Old City. In 1940, he moved to New York City, where he founded the Bostoner Bais Medrash of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, created the Committee on Family Purity to oversee mikveh construction and operation, and assisted in efforts to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.

R. moshe horowitz (1913–1985), born in Jerusalem, was the elder son of R. Pinchas and the first Ḥasidic rebbe to succeed his father in America, establishing the Bostoner dynasty. He founded a Bostoner Beis Medrash in Crown Heights and later in Boro Park, was active in the formation of Agudat Israel of America and a member of its Council of Torah Sages, and was a founder of Yeshiva Torah Vo-Da'ath. He worked with the Va'ad ha-Haẓẓalah to help settle Jewish refugees in America during and after World War ii. His son, R. Chaim Avraham, born in Zhidachov (Ukraine), was the Bostoner Rebbe of New York and founder of the Bostoner community in Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel. R. Chaim's son, R. Yaacov Yitzchok, the Bostoner Rebbe of Lawrence, New York, founded the Chassidic Center of Nassau County, represents the Orthodox Union as rabbi in charge of kosher food production for B. Manischewitz Food Company, and created American Jewish Legacy, an organization devoted to documenting the history of traditional American Jewry.

R. Levi Yitzchok (b. 1921), the younger son of R. Pinchas David, is the Bostoner Rebbe of Boston. Upon his ordination at Yeshiva Torah Vo-Da'ath in 1944, he moved to Boston to reestablish Bostoner Ḥasidism in that city and founded the New England Chassidic Center. He became a leader in the ba'al teshuvah movement, giving special attention to Boston's large Jewish university population. He founded Rofeh International, which continues to provide referral, counseling, and hospitality services for medical patients and their families. He is a member of the Council of Torah Sages of Agudat Israel of America, and established a Bostoner community in the Har Nof section of Jerusalem.

Additional Bostoner communities are located in Flatbush, New York (R. Pinchas David); Har Nof, Israel (R. Meir Alter); Boston (R. Naftali Yehuda); and Beitar, Israel (R. Moshe Shimon).


A Chassidic Journey: The Polish Chassidic Dynasties of Lublin, Lelov, Nikolsburg and Boston (2002); H. Teller, The Bostoner: Stories and Recollections from the Colorful Chassidic Court of the Bostoner Rebbe, Rabbi Levi Y. Horowitz (1990).

[Mark L. Smith (2nd ed.)]

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Horowitz, Pinchas David Ha-Levi

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Horowitz, Pinchas David Ha-Levi