The Bostoner rebbe, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak Horowitz, dies


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Bostoner rebbe, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak Horowitz, the first American-born Chasidic leader, has died.

Horowitz died Saturday following a heart attack over the summer from which he never fully recovered. He was 88. 

Horowitz was born in Boston and led his family’s Chasidic dynasty since 1944. He began splitting his time between Boston and Israel after establishing a center in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood in 1984. Another center for younger followers was founded in Beitar Illit in 1999.

The rabbi was known for his outreach to college students in the Boston area. He was the founder of the Rofeh International Organization, which provides referrals to medical specialists around the world, as well as hospitality and kosher meals to patients in the Boston area.

In 1943, Horowitz marched to Washington to ask President Franklin D. Roosevelt to save the Jews of Europe from Hitler. In 1995 he came out strongly against the Gaza evacuation and visited the communities slated for destruction to offer his support.

He was buried Saturday night in the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Horowitz is survived by his second wife and five children.

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