Hebron and Jerusalem 1900-1920*

  • 1870-1900  The Chabad establishments in Hebron and Jerusalem underwent similar, and yet opposite developments.  In both Hebron and Jerusalem, the Jews began to dwell outside of their respective “ghettos,” expanding to the surrounding areas.  However, the population of the Hebron community shrank, while the Jerusalem community grew. In Jerusalem, some Chabad families left the old city and settled in Meah Shearim.  They were joined by other Chabad families from Hebron, and soon the Chabad community in Meah Shearim was larger than that in the old city.
  • 1889-1890 The Rebbe Rashab was concerned about the lack of Jewish education among the youth in Hebron (at this stage, most of them preferred to go into business or learn a trade) and in 1890 a yeshiva – Magen Avot – was founded for that purpose.  The yeshiva received reinforcement in 1902.
  • 1902-1904 – The Rebbe Rashab observed that many learned and pious Jews in Yerushalyim, including those from Chabad families, were not receiving any exposure to Chabad Chasidut. Many were instead learning in institutions that were not connected to Chasidut.  A yeshiva was established for the purpose of learning Chasidut two hours a day with a stipend, in the Tzemach Tzedek shul.
  • 1912-1914 –  The Rebbe Rashab established a branch of Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch yeshiva in Hebron, housed in Beit Romano. It was called Toras Emes, and it was active until 1914, when the students and teachers as well as most of the Jewish residents of Hebron were expelled from the country for the duration of World War I.

*Information on this page is taken from “Toldot Chabad in the Holy Land: 1777-1950, by R’ Shalom Dov Ber Levin

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