Information about

Vaad Olami D'Chasedai Breslov
(World Committee of Breslov Chassidim)

36 Salant Street
P.O.B. 5944, Jerusalem
tel/fax 02-277330

The "Vaad Olami D'Chasedai Breslov" is the supervisory council for many Breslov activities.  This includes the massive effort to organize the regular pilgrimage to Uman for Rosh Hashana by Breslover Chassidim, to setting up and running Yeshivot and Kollelim, to publishing seforim, and much more.  The most recent project includes setting up the Breslov Uman Synagogue Committee, to oversee and organize the construction of a synagogue in Uman, Ukraine. It includes such renowned scholars and Torah giants, expert in both Chassidus and Mussar:

During the dark years of soviet rule in the Ukraine, it was this organization, and these individuals that kept the light of Rabbi Nachman's fire burning brightly.  The Vaad traces its origin directly to the work of Reb Nossan, the leading student of Rabbi Nachman, and the early leaders of Breslover Chassidus.  Today it provides direction and leadership from Israel to Breslovers throughout the world.

We present here short biographies on some of the leading luminaries of the movement - the "chain of tradition".

Rabbi Michel Dorfman, shlit"a (chairman)

Born near Kiev, Reb Michel became a Breslover Chassid in his early teens. He married the granddaughter of Reb Avraham Sternhartz. Escaping the Stalinist purges of the Ukraine, he settled in Moscow in the late 1930s where he survived the war, only to be exiled to Siberia for nearly seven years. After Stalin's death, he was given a reprieve and allowed to return to Moscow. Reb Michel was a key figure in maintaining the Breslov kibutz on Rosh HaShannah in Uman, which, even after Stalin, had to be done clandestinely as all religious gatherings remained prohibited.

It was Reb Michel's efforts and self-sacrifice that eventually led to the lifting of the "iron curtain" which prevented Breslover Chassidim from getting to Rebbe Nachman's gravesite. Even when visas were granted, the Russians only permitted tourists to be in Kiev and not Uman. Though he had a "record," having already spent time in Siberia, Reb Michel was still willing to place himself in great danger in order to travel with American tourists (who had no visas) to Uman so that he could show them the place where Rebbe Nachman was buried. Today, thanks to him and others who've emulated his self- sacrificing ways, the Russian authorities are permitting pilgrimages. Reb Michel was finally allowed to settle in Israel in 1970, and he is currently the Rosh Yeshivah of the Breslov Yeshivah in Jerusalem. .

Rabbi Yaacov Meir Shechter, shlit"a

One of the foremost and fiery leaders on the Breslov scene today, Reb Yaakov Meir was born in the Old City of Jerusalem where he learned from the leading Breslover Chassidim of the past generation, particularly from Reb Avraham Sternhartz. His father was a prominent Breslover Chassid, Reb Dovid Shechter. After his family was expelled from the Old City in 1948, he lived in Katamon, later on moving to the Meah Shearim area, near the Breslov Yeshivah.

Rabbi Moshe Burstein, shlit"a

A leading figure in Breslov in Jerusalem, Reb Moshe was born in Poltosk, Poland and arrived in the Holy Land in 1935 with his wife and infant son. Moving to Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter, he founded the daily Breslov minyan there. During the War of Independence (1948), he was held as a civilian hostage by the Jordanians along with eight other Breslovers. After his release, he was resettled in the Katamon section of Jerusalem, where he bought, rebuilt and administered the Breslover Synagogue. Reb Moshe was one of Reb Avraham Sternhartz's closest disciples and was a ba'al tefilah in the Meron kibutz for Rosh HaShannah for many years. For fifty years he longed to be worthy of getting to Rebbe, Nachman's gravesite. When this finally happened, in the spring of 1988, he recited the Shehechiyanu Blessing.

Rabbi Moshe Kramer, shlit"a

R. Moshe Kramer is also recognized by many as an authoritative figure in Breslov, and gives frequent shiurim.

Rabbi Nosson Libermensh, shlit"a

Rosh Kollel in Emanuel and was prior to that Mashgiach in the Kollel in Bnei Brak. He travels frequently abroad and gives well-attended shiurim. He was responsible for many Litvishe bachurim becoming Breslovers in the 60s and 70s in Bnei Brak.

Rabbi Elazar Mordechai Koenig, shlit"a

Rabbi Elazar Koenig is the son of Rabbi Gedaliah Koenig, and spiritual leader of the Safed community.  Born in Jerusalem, Reb Gedaliah was a young man when he wasdrawn to Rebbe Nachman's following by Reb Avraham Sternhartz. When the war of 1948 ravaged the Old City, he moved, together with his mentor, to what is today Katamon. Aside from his efforts to support the Breslover Rosh HaShannah kibutz in Meron, and authoring the ChayeV Nefesh (a treatise in response to the Nefesh HaChaim by the prominent disciple of the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Chaim Volozhin), Reb Gedaliah was known for his ability to speak to the searching souls of many of today's youth. Yet, for all of this, he saw as his true mission in life the reestablishment of a chassidic community in Sated. He literally gave his life for this cause.

Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Keonig, ztz"l.

Rosh Kollel in Bnei Brak for many years, and died suddenly shortly after Sukkos this year. He was also considered an authoritative figure in Breslov. He is best known for his chiddushim in Likutei Moharan and in Shas under the name Toras Nosson. He also published a number of rare collections of letters of important Breslover chassidim.

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, shlit"a

Born in the town of Haifa, 62 years ago, Rabbi Berland learned in the "Kfar Chassidim" Yeshiva, and later in the Kollels of "Poneviz" and "Volozin" in Bnei-Brak, where he was a chevrusa to the Steipler Rebbe.  Most of his time is dedicated to advising and teaching the many students who come to his house, day and night.  Rabbi Berland gives a weekly lesson to the community every Shabbos, after the morning prayer.  He and his wife, Rebetzin Tehila Berland, spend much of their time helping and guiding both students of the Yeshiva and their families, and also those from outside the Yeshiva.  Rosh Yeshiva of Shuvu Banim, and one of the pioneers in recent times in getting to Uman for a kibbutz. He is credited with encouraging larger numbers of Breslovers to make the trip to Uman at the end of the communist era.

Keeping Rabbi Nachman's Fire Buring.
Rabbi Nachman said, `My fire will burn until the coming of Mashiach.' [Chayay Moharan #46] The spiritual fervor and joy his teachings can arouse will actually help to bring the Mashiach. Speedily in our days. Amen.

This page maintained by Benyamin Pilant,
This page is not affiliated with the Vaad, it is presented as a public service by "Friends of Breslov" Boston.