Yaakov Aryeh Alter

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Yaakov Aryeh Alter
Alter as Sandek at a bris milah
TitleGerrer Rebbe
Yaakov Aryeh Alter

(1939-05-18) 18 May 1939 (age 83)
Jewish leader
PredecessorPinchas Menachem Alter

Yaakov Aryeh Alter (Polish: Jakub Arie Alter, Hebrew: יעקב אריה אלתר, born 18 May 1939) is the eighth, and current, Rebbe of the Hasidic dynasty of Ger, a position he has held since 1996. He lives in Israel, and has followers there and in the United States, Europe, and Canada. He is a member of the Presidium of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Israel.


Yaakov Aryeh Alter was born on 29 Iyar 5699 in Lodz, Poland, in 1939, to Rabbi Simcha Bunim Alter, also known as the Lev Simcha, who later became the sixth Gerrer Rebbe, and Yuta Henya, daughter of Rabbi Nehemiah Alter, his grandfather's brother. He was named after his ancestor Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Guterman of Radzymin.[1] In 1940, he immigrated with his father and grandfather (Rebbe Avraham Mordechai Alter) to Eretz Israel. He studied in the Talmud Torah Etz Chaim. For many years, he studied Torah at a synagogue known as Rashi Shtiebel in Bnei Brak.  He married Shoshana, daughter of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Weitz, one of the heads of Yeshivat Chiddushei HaRim.

Alter is one of the wealthiest people in the Haredi sector and in Israel in general, and in 2012 was ranked third on the list of the richest rabbis in Israel, with a net worth of approximately NIS 350 million to NIS 500 million (between approximately $95 million and $135 million) due to real estate investments his father made in north Tel Aviv, Arsuf and Jerusalem before Israel’s establishment.[2] Despite his wealth, he lived in an apartment in an ordinary residential building in the Chazon Ish neighborhood in Bnei Brak until 2011 when he moved to Jerusalem.

He and his wife have five sons and four daughters.[3] In 2019, it was reported that one of Alter's sons was accused of sexually molesting two young male students from amongst Alter's followers.[4]

In 1996, after the passing of Pinchas Menachem Alter, his nephew Yaakov Aryeh Alter became the Rebbe [5]of Ger.[6]

In 2007, approximately 50,000 people attended the wedding of Alter's oldest grandson in Jerusalem.[7]

In 2016, Alter's followers were estimated at 11,859 families.[8]

In 2019, Alter's cousin Shaul Alter and his followers split off, forming Kehilas Pnei Menachem.[9] As of 2021, membership of Shaul Alter's breakaway faction consisted of some 500 families.[10]

In 2022, an estimated 60,000 people, including Rabbis Yisrael Meir Lau, Yitzhak Yosef, Yitzchok Zilberstein and Nachum Dov Brayer attended the wedding of Alter's granddaughter.[11]


  1. ^ "Handwriting of the Rebbe Yaakov Aryeh of Radzymin a special segulah for protection". winners-auctions.com. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  2. ^ Ettinger, Yair (2012-06-11). "Forbes Presents: The Richest Rabbis in Israel". Haaretz. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  3. ^ Sela, Neta. "Gur Hassidic wedding of the year". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2011-02-04.
  4. ^ Rabinowitz, Aaron. "Sexual Assault Allegations Rock an Israeli Hasidic Community; the Hassidut covered up the cases". Haaretz. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  5. ^ "WATCH: 60,000 Gur Chasidim Celebrate Wedding Of Rebbe's Grandson". VINnews. Vos Iz Neias. 6 September 2022. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Gerrer Rebbe Recovering After Surgery | Matzav.com". matzav.com. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  7. ^ Editor, Y. W. (28 February 2007). "Yerushalayim: 50,000 people attend Gerrer Chasunah". The Yeshiva World. Retrieved 7 November 2021. {{cite news}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  8. ^ Wodzinski, Marcin (2018). Historical Atlas of Hasidism. Princeton University Press. p. 207.
  9. ^ "Religious Affairs: The Gerrer rebellion". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  10. ^ "Baltimore Jewish Life | Followers Of Rav Shaul Alter Purchase 40 Million NIS Property Near Jerusalem Entrance". www.baltimorejewishlife.com. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  11. ^ "WATCH: 60,000 Gur Chasidim Celebrate Wedding Of Rebbe's Grandson". VINnews. Vos Iz Neias. 6 September 2022. Retrieved 6 September 2022.

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