The first American Hasidic sect, Bostoner Hasidism was founded in 1918 by Rabbi Pinchos Dovid Horowitz (1876-1940), who had arrived in Boston via Israel and Greece. In 1939 he moved his court to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When this first Bostoner Rebbe died in 1940, his elder son Rabbi Moshe Horowitz inherited his father's dynastic position. Then in 1944, his younger son Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz returned to Boston from Brooklyn and established a court on Beacon street, in Brookline.

So there are currently two Bostoner Rebbes, with two courts, and two rapidly diverging sets of traditions. For instance, in the 1960s the Boston Bostoners made a name for themselves through outreach and extensive interaction with local colleges. This is as opposed to the New York City Bostoners, who integrated themselves with older Hasidic communities in Williamsburg- for a time Rabbi Moshe Horowitz lived next door to the Satmar Rebbe- and became more or less indistinguishable from them. Original Bostoner traditions such as lighting Sabbath candles on Friday night 48 minutes, instead of 18 minutes, before sundown, are currently maintained among the Boston Bostoners but not among the Brooklyn ones.

(Confused yet?)

There is also a Bostoner community in Har Nof, Israel, led by Rabbi Levi Yitzchak's son Rabbi Meyer Horowitz.

An excellent essay on the Bostoner Hasidic schism is "Between Brooklyn and Brookline: American Hasidism and the Evolution of the Bostoner Hasidic Tradition", by Seth Farber, is at

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