Vaad Olami D'Chasedai Breslov
36 Salant Street
(World Committee of Breslov Chassidim)
P.O.B. 5944, Jerusalem
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
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
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
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.
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.