Pupa (Hasidic dynasty)

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The Pupa 1934 Hachnasas Sefer Torah took place on Shabbos, and was photographed by a non-Jew.

Kehillas Yaakov Pupa (also "Puppa"; Hebrew/Yiddish: קהלת יעקב פאפא) is a Hasidic dynasty named after the town of its origin (according to the Yiddish name), also known in Hungarian as Pápa. Before World War II, Pupa had an important yeshiva which produced many well-known ultra-Orthodox rabbis in Hungary. The whole community was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and only a few people came back. Currently, there are no Jews in Pápa. The group is based in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York, with branches in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, Monsey, New York, and Ossining, New York. It is headed by the Pupa Rebbe, who has several thousand followers.

Pupa consists of a wide international network of educational institutions, with more than 7,000 students enrolled in its yeshivas, girls schools, summer camps, and kollelim in Williamsburg, Boro Park, Monsey, Westchester, Montreal, Jerusalem, and elsewhere.[1] In Williamsburg, Pupa is second in size to the Satmar Hasidim, with whom they share many communal facilities.

Lineage of the Pupa Dynasty[edit]

Grand Rabbi Moshe Greenwald, the progenitor of the Pupa dynasty, was a disciple of Grand Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeach, the second Belzer Rebbe, son and disciple of Grand Rabbi Shalom Rokeach of Belz. The latter was a disciple of Rabbi Shlomo of Lutsk, a disciple of the Rebbe Dovber, the Maggid (Preacher) of Mezritch, who was the primary disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism.


The interior of the Pupa Great Beis HaMidrash in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Pupa Cheider and school buses on Wilson St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
  • Brooklyn, New York
    • Williamsburg
      • Great Synagogue and Beth Medrash, located at 654 Bedford Avenue, including a Mikveh, Cheder sheini, and 3 Shtiebels. Also housing the Pupa Kollel, a Beth din room and Simcha hall, and Rebbe's house.
      • Pupa Head Start at 638 Bedford Ave.
      • Cheder, Talmud Torah, two wedding halls on Wilson street
      • Girls school, grades PK, K-12 Bnos Yakov of Pupa (Hebrew girls' school) – originally Temple Beth Elohim – 274 Keap Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Stained glass has been replaced by mirror glass.[2]
      • Bnos Yaakov Educational Center School in Brooklyn, NY (1–8 • Private • Regular School), 62 Harrison Ave.[3]
      • Pupa-Tzehlim Matzah bakery, located at 346–348 Broadway, is a hand-matzoh bakery. It has made a name for itselves by selling extra-thin Matzot.[4]
      • Banquet hall/event hall named Pupa hall on Penn street
    • Borough Park
      • Synagogue, including a Mikveh and Cheder sheini. It also houses the Chateau Manor / Pupa Hall.[5]
      • Cheder, Talmud Torah[6][7]
      • Girls school, grades PK, K-12
    • Red Hook
  • Pápa, Hungary
    • Great Beth HaMedrash, located on Petofi Sandor Street 19, including Mikveh
    • Cemetery, located on Veszprémi Utca 27

Kiryas Pupa[edit]

Kiryas Pupa is a village in Ossining, Westchester County, New York, which includes the Kehilath Yakov Rabbinical Seminary, a 4-year educational institution, and a cemetery. It is just off the Taconic State Parkway exit for Rt 134 Ossining.

Kehilath Yakov Rabbinical Seminary[edit]

More than 800 students are enrolled in graduate yeshiva Gedolah, located on a pastoral 140-acre campus. Kiryas Pupa was established by the late Pupa Rebbe in the last years of his life. He toiled to seat his yeshiva outside the bustling city. The Pupa mosdos are presently expanding so fast that they are currently building at least one new facility every year, and outgrow the new facility before its completion. The main beis midrash in Kiryas Pupa was previously enlarged, and is currently under further expansion.[1]

The Kehilath Yakov Rabbinical Seminary in Ossining, New York, is an institution geared towards producing students who share an equal passion for the history and ethics of Judaism as well as scholarship, and learning itself.

The academics available at the yeshiva include a bachelor's degree in Jewish and Talmudic Literature and Culture Studies. The program features close reading and analysis of many Jewish texts, including the Talmud, Halacha, and Chassidus.

Your college life at the yeshiva is intended to instill traditional Jewish values and moral codes into your everyday life so that you can be prepared for a life of leadership and stewardship, whether you intend to become a rabbi or use your yeshiva education to mold yourself into a Jewish scholar.

Instruction is delivered by rabbis who get to know you personally so that they can provide you with an individualized educational experience.

The yeshiva maintains an open admissions policy so that it can welcome students from a variety of educational backgrounds. For more information on program start dates and application deadlines, please contact the school.

Pupa Rebbe at the gravesite of his father

Kiryas Pupa Cemetery[edit]

In addition to the kehillah's older cemetery in Floral Park, New Jersey, a newer cemetery is located adjacent to the yeshiva in Westchester. The late Pupa Rebbe reposes there in Kiryas Pupa.[1] Directions

Notable people that repose in the cemetery:

  • Rebbe Yosef Greenwald, יוסף ב"ר יעקב יחזקיהו, Pupa Rebbe. Date of Death: Sat., August 11, 1984 – Av 13 5744
  • Rabbi Shimon Chaim Lowenstein, שמעון חיים בן דוד הכהן, Rav, Pupa, Hungary. Date of Death: Tue., January 30, 1996 – Shevat 9 5756
For more people, see the Find A Grave website

Chanukah Menorah[edit]

Among the dozens of holy items that were passed from father to son in the Pupa dynasty is the pure silver menorah used by the Pupa Rebbes to kindle their Chanukah lights. The menorah is unusual in that it can be transformed into candlesticks for Shabbos and Yamim Tovim, which the Pupa tzaddikim used throughout the year. The Vayaged Yaakov had received the menorah from his students, which they had constructed especially for him. It was passed down to the Vayechi Yosef, and today is used by the current Pupa Rebbe. This menorah – a borderline antique – is especially tall and majestic, which is not always the case with older menorahs of previous generations. On its back are engraved the words: "Mishloach manos to the holy Rebbe, shlita, from his faithful students of Pupa, 5698 [1938]."

In 1938, a number of the Pupa yeshivah bochurim decided to order a special, splendid menorah to be made by a silversmith in Pest. Each of the students contributed toward the expense of the valuable mishloach manos gift to their Rebbe, the Vayaged Yaakov. On Purim, some of the older bochurim, who served as gabbaim in the yeshivah, presented the Rebbe with the stunning menorah. Its size and beauty were unusual.

In 1941, with the passing of the Vayaged Yaakov, the menorah was left with the Rebbetzin. A year later, the menorah was transferred to her son in the following roundabout way: The Vayaged Yaakov's father-in-law, the Brezhvitzer Rav, Rav Yisrael Menachem Braun, was living in Slovakia, where the occupation under the Nazis had already become intolerable. The widowed Pupa Rebbetzin decided to bring her father to Pest – where Jews still has some recourse – but needed a huge sum to smuggle him over the border. The yeshivah bochurim offered her a deal: They would obtain the sum she needed and buy the menorah off her, which they would then present to her son, the Vayechi Yosef, who was arriving in Puppa to fill his father's place.

There was great anxiety about the fate of the many manuscripts and holy artifacts – would anything survive the Nazi onslaught? Rabbi Shmuel Webber, then learning in the Pupa Yeshivah, came up with the idea of burying them. The Rebbetzin gave him her large cholent pot, and he buried the manuscripts along with the holy menorah inside it in the courtyard.

As the war raged, and the community was ravaged, Rav Shmuel met the Rebbe, the Vayechi Yosef, in a labor camp as they were both being sent to Auschwitz. Neither knew if they would survive, and so, Rav Shmuel told the Rebbe what he had done, so that someone else should know the whereabouts of the manuscripts and the menorah. Both survived the war. After the liberation, they returned to Puppa, dug up the items, and found the menorah whole.

Having witnessed the murder of his family, the Vayechi Yosef wandered from place to place after the war, until he reached the United States. Meanwhile, he sent the menorah to Temishvar, Romania, to his surviving sister, the Temeshvarer Rebbetzin, tchya. She returned it to her brother in 1946, when he was living in Antwerp, and from there, it traveled with him to the United States, where it remains to this day. The accompanying little silver pitcher was a mishloach manos present to him from the students of the Pupa yeshivah in the United States on Purim 5725 (1965).

With the division of the inheritance of the Vayechi Yosef, his son Rav Aharon Greenwald – brother of the current Pupa Rebbe and dayan of the Kehillas Yaakov community of Pupa – received the menorah. [14]

Reb Yiddel Weber[edit]

Rav Yehuda ("Reb Yiddel") Weber (1920–2006). Born in Vodkert, Hungary, to Rav Yisoscher (Berman) Weber, a descendant of the Bach, and Rebbetzin Chana, a niece of the Arugas HaBosem. After his Bar Mitzvah, Yehuda was sent to learn in Pupa under Rav Yaakov Yechezkiye Grunwald, the Vayaged Yaakov, the Pupa Rebbe, who was his rebbi muvhak for 7 years. When he died at the age of 58, he was succeeded by his son, Rav Yosef Grunwald, the Vayechi Yosef. Rav Yehuda then served as mashgiach of Pupa. When the yeshiva was closed in 1944, Rav Yehuda spent 6 months in the local work camps before being deported to Bergen-Belsen. In 1946, his sister introduced him to his Rebbetzin, Batsheva. A year later, his sister, Miriam, married the Pupa Rebbe. Both families settled in Antwerp, then moved to Williamsburg, New York, in 1950. In 1952, he was appointed as a Maggid Shiur in the newly established Pupa Yeshiva, first located in Queens, then in Ossining, Westchester County. Although his family stayed in Williamsburg, Reb Yiddel made the 40-mile drive for sixteen years.[15][16]


  1. ^ a b c Tannenbaum, Rabbi Gershon (30 July 2015). "Celebrating Pupa's Glory". Five Towns Jewish Times.
  2. ^ "Bnos Yakov of Pupa (Hebrew girls' school) – originally Temple Beth Elohim – 274 Keap Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Stained gl… | Favorite Buildings | House styles, City architecture, Brooklyn". Pinterest.
  3. ^ "Bnos Yaakov Educational Center School in Brooklyn, NY – Test Results, Rating, Ranking, Grades, Scores, Classes, Enrollment, Teachers, Students, and Report Card". www.city-data.com.
  4. ^ "Matzot: Thick, Thin and In Between". theshc.org.
  5. ^ "Chateau Manor / Pupa Hall". thesimchacenter.com.
  6. ^ "Maimonides Purchases Pupa Yeshivah Building on 10th Ave". Hamodia. 21 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Maimonides Purchases Pupa Yeshiva Building on 10th Avenue". Boro Park 24. 21 August 2019.
  8. ^ "מונסי: בנו של האדמו"ר מפאפא הוכתר במעמד מיוחד לכהן כאב"ד הקהילה". JDN. 3 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Congregation Kehilath Yakov Pupa of Monsey". Kosher Travel Info.
  10. ^ "Pupa Kollel Monsey". Foursquare.
  11. ^ "Yeshiva Tzoin Yosef, 15 Widman Court, Spring Valley, NY 10977 – School K-12 Food Service inspection findings and violations". www.city-data.com.
  12. ^ "Pupa Monsey Widman Court Shabbos Minyan". Kosher Travel Info.
  13. ^ "Bnos Esther Pupa". Niche.
  14. ^ Landesman, Yeruchem (December 1, 2010). "Sacred Silver". Mishpacha.
  15. ^ "Lights of our righteous Tzaddikim" (PDF). panel.sendmsg.co.il.
  16. ^ "Chinuch.org::Gedolim Yahrtzeits". www.chinuch.org.

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