Who was the first Chasidishe Rabbi to settle in the USA? Where did he settle?

  • Believe it or not, I was just thinking about the same thing the other day, to see if I could make something of it for the Mi Yodeya series! :) – Alex Jul 29 '11 at 15:58
  • I was thinking about it this morning. I never heard of anyone mentioning it. – Gershon Gold Jul 29 '11 at 16:00

Rebbe Eliyahu Yosef Rabinowitz Lintz – Slavita (Buffalo) Rebbe

The Rebbe came to the United States in 1899 from Russia and settled on the Lower East Side. He later (1910) moved to Buffalo and headed the Jefferson Street Shule. In addition to his own great genealogy the Rebbe was the brother-in-law and chavrusa (study partner) of the renowned Rebbe Mordechai Dov of Hornisteiple.The Rebbe appears to be the first Admor to be buried in the United States.



This article (PDF) says:

Credit for being the first "legitimate" Hasidic rebbe to settle in the United States appears to go to the Ukrainian Twersky family. R. David Mordecai Twersky, a descendant of R. David Twersky, the Tolner Rebbe, settled in New York in 1912.

Earlier in the article, though, he mentions reports from 1893 in New York and 1894 in Baltimore of people giving out kameyos (amulets) and such; whether they were genuine rebbes or impostors, though, I don't know.

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    There's a difference between a rabbi of Chassidish origins and a Rebbe. I took the question to be referring to the former, but I may be wrong. Your answer seems to refer to the latter. – Isaac Moses Jul 29 '11 at 16:05
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    I assumed it was the latter. Otherwise, of what significance is it? Who was the first executive director of a shul in New York to move to the suburbs? – Seth J Jul 29 '11 at 16:37
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    @Seth Rebbe or not, a rabbi and his traditions can exert influence over his community. The first Chassidish rabbi to hit American shores may have brought with him the first serious observance of Chassidish customs there, even if he wasn't a Rebbe, per se. – Isaac Moses Jul 29 '11 at 16:52
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    Fair enough. I would just assume that someone who did so would be regarded as a Rebbe in his own right. I'm not familiar enough with Chassidishe dynasties to know how one originates. – Seth J Jul 29 '11 at 17:06

The first Chasidic Rebbe to come to America was R. David Mordecai Twersky who came in August of 1913.

The First American Chasidic Rebbe, I think would have to go to Grand Rabbi Pinchas Duvid Horowitz, the founder of the Boston Chasidim. He arrived in America via Israel and Europe in 1915.

The First American Chasidic Rabbi, would be Rabbi Abraham Ash,who served as Rabbi in New York from 1860. http://www.tzemachdovid.org/gedolim/jo/tpersonality/rjj.html

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