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Cornerstone Laid for Belzer Synagogue

June 12, 1984
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Thousands of Belzer Hasidim from Israel and abroad witnessed the cornerstone laying here yesterday of the movement’s new synagogue, which they say will be the largest in the world when it is completed in about five years.

The trowel was wielded by Rabbi Issacher Dov Rokeah, the 36 year-old Belzer Rebbe who heads the sect founded 170 years ago in Galicia, then a province of Austria-Hungary. He was surrounded by 5,000 Belzer Hassidim who flew here last week from the US., Europe and Australia to join the 10,000 Belz families who live in Israel for the ceremonies.

The $12 million synagogue and beit midrash (house of study) will accomodate up to 4,500 worshippers. It will be the centerpiece of the new Belz residential quarter in Jerusalem which is planned as a modern version of a 19th century Galician “shtetl.”

Belz Hasidim believe the Messiah will visit their synagogue once the ancient Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt.

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