Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, second Bostoner Rebbe
Levi Yitzchak Horowitz was a rabbi and the second rebbe of the Boston Hasidic dynasty founded by his father, Rabbi Pinchos Dovid Horowitz. He was the first American-born Hasidic rebbe and a champion of Orthodox Jewish outreach, reaching out to many students in the Boston area through his New England Chassidic Center. He was also the founder of ROFEH International, a community-based medical referral and hospitality liaison support agency.
Rabbi Horowitz’s parents were Rabbi Pinchos Dovid Horowitz and Sora Sosha Horowitz. His father, founder of the Boston Hasidic dynasty, died in November 1941. On 17 November 1942 he married Raichel Unger Leifer of Cleveland, Ohio, daughter of Rabbi Naftali Unger, av beis din of Neumarkt and a descendant of Rabbi Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz.
In 1943, Rabbi Horowitz was one of the 400-plus rabbis led by Rabbi Baruch Korff who traveled to Washington, D.C. just before Yom Kippur, to plead with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to rescue Jews from Hitler.
The New England Chassidic Center complex on Beacon Street, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Upon ascending to the leadership of the Bostoner Hasidim in 1944, after his marriage and ordination at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, he announced that his primary thrust as rebbe would be aimed at the area’s large number of college students, many of whom were away from home and in a perfect position to partake of all that he felt the New England Chassidic Center could offer them. Many tried to dissuade him, saying that Hasidism and college did not mix, but he persevered and was personally responsible for returning many students at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to their Jewish roots.
In 1984, Rabbi Horowitz decided to create a Hasidic community in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, establishing Givat Pincus and dividing his time between Israel and Boston. The nascent Bostoner community in Har Nof was instrumental in developing that neighborhood’s Orthodox community. In 1999, an additional community was established in Beitar for the next generation of Bostoner Chassidim.
Rabbi Horowitz served as a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Israel of Israel.
At the time of his death, he resided both in the U.S. and in Israel spending half a year in each country. Day-to-day leadership in his community had already passed on to his children.
Rabbi Horowitz suffered a cardiac arrest on July 6, 2009, and hospitalized in the Sharei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem. He died at the Sharei Tzedek Medical Center, on Saturday, December 5, 2009 (Shabbat Vayishlach). He was buried the same night on the Mount of Olives.