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Bobov (or Bobover Hasidism) (חסידות באבוב) is a Hasidic community within Haredi Judaism originating in Bobowa, Galicia, in southern Poland,[1] and now headquartered in the neighborhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn, New York.[2] Bobov has branches in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn; Monsey, New York; Lakewood, New Jersey; Montreal; Toronto; Antwerp; and London[1]. In Israel, Bobov has large branches in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Ashdod, Elad, the settlement of Betar Illit, and an enclave Kiryas Bobov in Bat Yam.[3]

A robust offshoot dynasty also headquartered in Borough Park named Bobov-45 claims adherents in similary located enclaves in North America, Europe and Israel.


Outline of Bobov's Hasidic rabbinical lineageEdit

Grand Rabbi
Yisroel ben Eliezer
Baal Shem Tov
founder of Hasidism
Grand Rabbi
Dov Ber
the Maggid of Mezritch
Grand Rabbi
Elimelech of Lizhensk
author of Noam Elimelech
Grand Rabbi
Naftali Tzvi Horowitz of Ropshitz
author of Zera Kodesh
Grand Rabbi
Chaim Halberstam of Sanz

author of Divrei Chaim
Rabbi Myer Noson Halberstam
3. Grand Rabbi
Shlomo Halberstam

Third Bobover Rebbe
author of Divrei Shlome
4. Grand Rabbi
Naftali Tzvi Halberstam

Fourth Bobover Rebbe
Female Halberstam
1. Grand Rabbi
Shlomo Halberstam

First Bobover Rebbe
author of Ateres Shlomo
eldest grandson of the Divrei Chaim
2. Grand Rabbi
Ben Zion Halberstam

Second Bobover Rebbe
author of Kedushas Tzion
5. Grand Rabbi
Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam

(b. 1955)
Fifth Bobover Rebbe
Grand Rabbi
Mordechai Dovid Unger

(b. 1954)
Bobov-45 Rebbe
Rabbi Yosef Unger
Ruv of Beth Midrash Apirion Shel Shlome
Female Halberstam
Female Halberstam
Female Rubin
Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Tauber
Bobov Dayan
Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin (born 1952)
Bobov-45 Ruv
Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Rabinovich
present Ruv of Bobov Monsey Monsey
Female Halberstam
Female Rubin
Teacher → Student
Rabbi Yonasan Binyamin Goldberger
Rebbe of Bikofsk & present Rosh Hakolel of Bobov
Rabbi Meyer Yosef Eichenstein
Present Rosh Hakolel of Bobov-45
Father → Son
Female Halberstam
Husband ↔ Wife
Rabbi Ben Zion Blum
Bobover Dayan of London
Female Halberstam
Rabbi Yaakov Yisroel Meisles
Bobover Ruv of Kiryath Bobov in Bat Yam
Female Halberstam
Rabbi Boruch Avraham Horowitz
present Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta Eitz Chaim of Bobov
Rabbi Baruch Dovid Halberstam
Sorvosher Ruv
Rabbi Chaim Yehoshua Halberstam
Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Halberstam
Ruv of Beis Chaim Yehoshua
Rabbi Chaim Yehoshua Halberstam
Rabbi of Satmar in Monsey
Rabbi Yechiel Halberstam
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Monsey, NY
Rabbi Yechezkel Dovid Halberstam
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe
Rabbi Chaim Halberstam
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Flatbush
Rabbi Ben Zion Avraham Halberstam
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Flatbush
Rabbi Shloime Halberstam
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Lakewood, New Jersey


First Rebbe of BobovEdit

Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, the first Bobover Rebbe

Bobov originated with Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam who was the grandson of Grand Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz,[4] in the Galician village of Bobowa.[1]

While most of the early yeshivos ("Talmudical academies") originated in Lithuania, the 19th century saw the opening of similar institutions in Poland. The first yeshiva in Poland was established by the first Bobover Rebbe in 1881 in Vishnitsa where he was rabbi then; and it later moved with him to Bobov.

Second rebbe of BobovEdit

His work was continued by his son, Grand Rabbi Ben Zion Halberstam, author of Kedushas Tzion.[5] The Bobov Yeshiva was originally situated only in the town of Bobov itself. However, under his guidance, the Chasidus grew in numbers, with Hasidic youth flocking to Bobov. Subsequently, as many as sixty branches of the Yeshiva under the name Eitz Chaim were established throughout Galicia.

During World War II, the Bobov Hasidic movement was destroyed. The second Rebbe himself died in the Holocaust,(1874 - 1941/3 Menachem Av, HY"D) together with family members[1] and thousands of his followers.

Third Rebbe of BobovEdit

Barely 300 chasidim survived, and the Rebbe's son Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam took it upon himself to rebuild Bobov.[6] He first settled in the West Side of Manhattan, later moving to Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. The Yeshiva was located on the west side of Brooklyn Avenue at 184 Brooklyn Avenue between Park Place and Prospect Place; it later moved to Borough Park. Rabbi Shlomo was known as a very wise man and a gaon in midos (giant in good manners/attributes). He was noted for his steadfastness in not taking sides in disputes. This brought him great popularity and respect.

Over the more than fifty years[7][6] that Rabbi Shlomo was Rebbe of Bobov, he founded and built a vast network of synagogues, Hasidic schools for boys and girls,[8] high schools (mesivtas), and post-high school houses of learning. Besides schools, a summer camp for boys was founded in 1957 in the Catskills' Ferndale, New York, and a girls camp, Camp Gila, was founded a couple years later. These institutions span the globe. At the time of his death in August 2000, he was mourned by more followers than his father had in pre-war Poland. His Hebrew date of death was the first of Av, the same as that of Aharon (Aaron), the Biblical High Priest (Numbers 33:38), which was noted by many for their similar characteristics of "loving peace" (Oheiv Sholom Veroidef Sholom - Loved peace and pursued peace) (Pirkei Ovos 1:12).

Fourth Rebbe of BobovEdit

With Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam's death, his son Rabbi Naftali Zvi Halberstam succeeded him. Rabbi Naftali Zvi died on March 23, 2005[1] (12th of Adar II, 5765), at age seventy-four, leaving a wife, two daughters, and two sons-in-law: one Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin Rav of Bobov-45 and the other Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger Rebbe of bobov-45.

Fifth Rebbes of BobovEdit

After Grand Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Halberstam of Bobov died in 2005, a dispute arose[9] among Bobover Hasidim as to who should succeed the dynasty leadership; some preferred Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, while another group of people preferred Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger, the son-in-law of the late Rebbe. For seven years, while a prolonged arbitration proceeding at a beth din was going on, both groups claimed the rightful Bobov leadership. After seven years of deliberation, the beth din ruled among other decisions regarding assets, that the Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, half brother of the previous Rebbe,[10] is the Bobover Rebbe. However, the ruling allowed Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger to be named Bobov-45 rebbe[11].


Bobov-45 is an offshoot of the Bobov dynasty, headquartered in the neighborhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn, New York. It has branches in Williamsburg, Monsey, Lakewood, Montreal, Toronto, Antwerp and London. In Israel, Bobov-45 has branches in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Ashdod, Elad, the settlement of Betar Illit, and an enclave in Bat Yam named Kiryas Bobov.

Grand Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger, Bobov-45 Rebbe

Mordechai Dovid Unger is the first and current, Grand Rabbi of Bobov-45. He is the younger son-in-law of the fourth Bobover Rebbe, Naftali Zvi Halberstam. Yehoshua Rubin, the older son-in-law of Halberstam, is the current dayan and rabbinical leader of the sect.

History of Bobov-45Edit

The third Bobover Rebbe, Shlomo Halberstam, rebuilt the Bobov Hasidic dynasty in the United States after losing his wife and most of his children in the Holocaust. His son Naftali survived.[12] The third rebbe remarried, and the union produced a son, Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, half brother to Naftali.[10]

Naftali became the fourth rebbe upon his father's death. He had no sons, but left 2 daughters, one of whom married Mordechai Dovid Unger, and the other Yehoshua Rubin.

In 2005, after the death of the fourth rebbe, a breakaway group of Bobover Hasidim loyal to his son-in-law, Mordechai Dovid Unger, set up a grand hall under his leadership on 45th Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn.[1] A leadership dispute then arose between Unger and Halberstam, who both claimed the title of Bobover Rebbe.

The dispute was taken to a beth din (arbitration panel), which ruled that the faction following Halberstam held the rights to the name "Bobov". Unger was also allowed to use the name Bobov, so long as a distinguishing identifier would be added to it.[13] The qualifying suffix "-45" was henceforth adopted in tribute to the name of the street on which the community center of the sect was located at the time. In addition, the beth din ordered Bobov to pay $6,200,000 to Bobov-45's Rebbe and dayan (rabbinic judge) in 25 quarterly installments as an allotment of their faction's share of the inheritance of the Bobov enterprise's assets, valued at the time at over $50,000,000[citation needed]. The award was based upon the number of members in the two communities.

As Bobov-45 rebbe, Unger has also been active in the wider Jewish community.[14]


Community institutions, such as a synagogue and mikveh, have been built within Bobov-45. Other infrastructure includes a Bais Medrash,[15] Cheder,[16] Yeshiva Ketana,[17] Mesivta,[18] girls school,[19] Day camp,[20] Wedding halls.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Naftali Halberstam Dies at 74; Bobov Hasidim's Grand Rabbi". The New York Times. March 25, 2005.
  2. ^ Mintz, Jerome (1998). Hasidic People. Harvard University Press. p. 120. ISBN 9780674041097.
  3. ^ Tzvi Rabinowicz (2000). Hasidism in Israel: A History of the Hasidic Movement. ISBN 0765760681.
  4. ^ "We Are the King's Children". June 7, 2002.
  5. ^ "The Second Bobover Rebbe, Rabbi Ben Zion bar Shlomo Halberstam, was born in 1874 (5634) in the village of Bikofsk, Galicia. His family moved to Bobov and, ... "19 km from Auschwitz. The Story of Trzebinia".
  6. ^ a b " .. had been all but wiped out by the Nazi Holocaust. Virtually single-handedly Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, who has died aged 92, revived it. "Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam". September 1, 2000.
  7. ^ pre-WW II thru '00
  8. ^ "Grand Rabbi Solomon Halberstam". August 17, 2000.
  9. ^ "Borough Park, NY - Bobov Dispute Heads Into Final Stage At Din Torah, Not Secular Court". VosIzNeias.
  10. ^ a b London,UK - "Chasidey Bobov-45 Beth Hamedrash" - " (The congregation should not be confused with the Beth Hemedrash of Kehal Chasidei Bobov of Egerton Road N16, which follows the leadership of the half brother of the Fourth Bobover Rebbe.) "Bobov Synagogue, Clapton Common, London". JCR-UK Jewish Communities & Records.
  11. ^ "bobov psd.pdf" (PDF). Dropbox.
  12. ^ "The Life And Legacy Of Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam". August 1, 2008.
  13. ^ "Bobov-45 Rebbe dances at wedding". October 26, 2017.
  14. ^ "Jan 20, 2016 - The Bobov 45 Rebbe, Reb Mordche Duvid Unger Shlita, being Menachem Aveil the BMG Rish Yeshivah Harav Yerucham Olshin Shlita". January 20, 2016.
  15. ^ "Driving directions to Bobov-45 Bais Medrash, Brooklyn, United States".
  16. ^ "Science Fair at the Bobov-45 Cheider". March 14, 2016.
  17. ^ "Federal contract awards,..." "Contracting Profile: Yeshiva Ketana Of Bobov 45, Inc. Brooklyn NY".
  18. ^ "BDE: Harav Mendel Gross, Menahel of Bobov-45 Mesivta". November 3, 2017.
  19. ^ "Bobov-45 readies for ceremony This Sunday celebrating the rededication of massive 150,000 s.f. school building in Borough Park". Boro Park 24. Feb 16, 2019.
  20. ^ "Bobov 45 (BP) Day Camp Song '16 on Vimeo". June 28, 2016.
  21. ^ "Today is the wedding of a granddaughter of The Bobov-45 Rebbe Shlita ..." "Bobov 45 Wedding – Furshpeil". BoroPark24. May 27, 2018.