Levi Yitzchak Horowitz

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Levi Yitzchak Horowitz
Second Bostoner Rebbe
The Rebbe at the Western Wall, Jerusalem
Full nameLevi Yitzchok Horowitz
Born(1921-07-03)July 3, 1921
Boston, Massachusetts
Died(2009-12-05)December 5, 2009
Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem
BuriedMount of Olives, Jerusalem, 5 December 2009
PredecessorPinchos Dovid Horowitz
SuccessorPinchos Dovid Horowitz (II),
Mayer Alter Horowitz
Naftali Yehuda Horowitz
FatherPinchos Dovid Horowitz
MotherSora Sosha
Wife 1Raichel Ungar
Children 1Pinchos Dovid Horowitz
Mayer Alter Horowitz
Naftali Yehuda Horowitz
Shayna Gittel
Toba Leah
Wife 2Yehudis

Levi Yitzchak HaLevi Horowitz (born 3 July 1921, Boston, Massachusetts,[1] died 5 December 2009, Jerusalem[2]) was a rabbi and the second rebbe of the Boston Hasidic dynasty founded by his father, Rabbi Pinchos Dovid Horowitz. He was the first American-born Hasidic rebbe[3] and a champion of Orthodox Jewish outreach, reaching out to many students in the Boston area through his New England Chassidic Center. He was also the founder of ROFEH International, a community-based medical referral and hospitality liaison support agency.[4]


Horowitz's parents were Rabbi Pinchos Dovid Horowitz and Sora Sosha Horowitz. His father, founder of the Boston Hasidic dynasty, died in November 1941. On 17 November 1942[1] he married Raichel Unger Leifer of Cleveland, Ohio,[5][6] daughter of Rabbi Naftali Unger, av beis din of Neumarkt[1] and a descendant of Rabbi Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz.

Communal activism[edit]

In 1943, Horowitz was one of the 400-plus rabbis led by Rabbi Baruch Korff who traveled to Washington, D.C. just before Yom Kippur, to plead with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to rescue Jews from Hitler.[3][7]

The New England Chassidic Center complex on Beacon Street, Brookline, Massachusetts.

Upon ascending to the leadership of the Bostoner Hasidim in 1944, after his marriage and ordination at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, he announced that his primary thrust as rebbe would be aimed at the area's large number of college students, many of whom were away from home and in a perfect position to partake of all that he felt the New England Chassidic Center could offer them. Many tried to dissuade him, saying that Hasidism and college did not mix,[3] but he persevered and was personally responsible for returning many students at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to their Jewish roots.

In 1984, Horowitz decided to create a Hasidic community in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, establishing Givat Pincus and dividing his time between Israel and Boston. The nascent Bostoner community in Har Nof was instrumental in developing that neighborhood's Orthodox community.[3] In 1999, an additional community was established in Beitar for the next generation of Bostoner Chassidim.

Horowitz served as a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Israel of Israel.

At the time of his death, he resided both in the U.S. and in Israel spending half a year in each country. Day-to-day leadership in his community had already passed on to his children.[citation needed]

Horowitz suffered a cardiac arrest on July 6, 2009, and hospitalized in the Sharei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem.[8] He died at the Sharei Tzedek Medical Center, on Saturday, December 5, 2009 (Shabbat Vayishlach). He was buried the same night on the Mount of Olives.[9] The Boston Globe carried a comprehensive obituary on December 24, 2009.[10][11]

Per his will, he was succeeded by all his sons:

  • his eldest son, the Chuster Rav, Rabbi Pinchos Dovid Horowitz as Bostoner Rebbe of Borough Park, Brooklyn (though not supplanting his cousins, brothers Rabbi Chaim Avrohom Horowitz in his long-established position as Bostoner Rebbe via a shtiebel on 49th Street, and Rabbi Pinchos Duvid Horowitz of the Flatbush shtiebel and Bostoner Kollel / Yeshiva Darchei Noam)
  • his second son, Rabbi Mayer Alter, as Bostoner Rebbe of Jerusalem
  • his third son, Rabbi Naftali Yehuda, as Bostoner Rebbe of Boston.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Rosenstein, Neil (1990). The Unbroken Chain: Biographical sketches and the genealogy of illustrious Jewish families from the 15th-20th century, Volume 2. CIS Publishers. p. 993. ISBN 0-9610578-4-X.
  2. ^ Ronen, Gil (5 December 2009). "Bostoner Rebbe Passes Away at 88". Arutz Sheva. Israel. Retrieved 5 December 2009. The Bostoner Rebbe, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, died at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem on Sabbath
  3. ^ a b c d Ahren, Raphael (12 November 2009). "The Bostoner Rebbe, the first American-born Hasidic leader". Haaretz. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  4. ^ Rofeh International
  5. ^ The Bostoner Rebbetzin Archived 2006-10-28 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Raichel Horowitz
  7. ^ International Jerusalem Post, January 19–25, 2007, Page 19
  8. ^ Thousands Daven for the Bostoner's Rebbe Refuah. Yeshivaworld.
  9. ^ Bostoner Rebbe Levi Yitzhak Horowitz dies at 88. Jerusalem Post, December 6, 2009.
  10. ^ Boston Globe obituary - December 24, 2009
  11. ^ Rabbi Levi Yitzhak Horowitz at Find a Grave
  12. ^ Tannenbaum, Rabbi Gershon (14 April 2010). "Bostoner Rebbe Visits 17th-Century Ancestor". The Jewish Press. Archived from the original on May 11, 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]