New Light Lecture Series: “Hasidic Dynasty Native to Pittsburgh: Its rabbis, history, and music.”

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Few Pittsburgh Jews know about the dynasty of Hasidic rabbis who founded a community in Pittsburgh known as “the Pittsburghers.”  Rabbi Yosef Leifer, a scion of the Nadvorna dynasty, founded the community in Pittsburgh in 1924.  He and his sons are remembered for conducting exuberant tishen  on Friday nights and after the Shabbat morning meal, as well as the Seudah Shlishit which goes late into the night accompanied by the Rebbe’s words of mussar.The  sect is also famous for its heartfelt niggunim (melodies).  In 1970, the grandson Rabbi Mordecai Yissachar Leifer moved to Ashdod in Israel after serving the Pittsburgh community for four decades.  Rabbi Leifer presided over the “Pittsburgh” educational system in Israel which includes a cheder with over 300 students, two yeshivas with 90 students,.  He also established  a Kollel institution within the city. By the time of his death in 2021, Rabbi Leifer had increased the number of Pittsburgher families in Ashdod to nearly 200. The Pittsburgher Hasidim attracted formerly non-observant Jews through Rabbi Leifer’s shiurim (classes), tishen and personal interaction   He also established charitable institutions in the city, which earned him a special commendation as “Worthy Citizen of Ashdod” from Mayor Yehiel Lasri.   

Come join us as we celebrate the life of this group of native Hasidim with a shared testimony to their presence in Pittsburgh and the singing of beautiful niggunim.

Presented by:  Morton Milch, a resident of Pittsburgh his entire life was close to the rabbis and was a member of their community.  He attended their shul and visited them when he traveled to Israel. 

Registration Information: The lecture is free but you must register by emailing


Beth Shalom 5915 Beacon Street
Pittsburgh, Pa 15217

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