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Jewish Families of Belz, Ukraine - משפחות היהודים מבעלז, אוקראינה

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This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish Families from Belz, Ukraine. (Bełz, Bels, Bełsk, Beltz, Belzec, Белз, בעלז)

Photo: Belz Hasidic Synagogue


Belz Hasidic Dynasty

Belz is a Hasidic dynasty founded in the town of Belz in Western Ukraine, near the Polish border, historically the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. The Hasidut was founded in the early 19th century by Rabbi Shalom Rokeach, also known as the Sar Shalom, and led by his son, Rabbi Yissachar Dov, and grandson, Rabbi Aharon, before the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. Rabbi Aharon Rokeach, escaped from Nazi-occupied Europe to Israel in 1944, re-establishing the Hasidut first in Tel Aviv and then in Jerusalem. Belz Hasidic Dynasty.

Lineage of Belzer dynastic leadership

• First Belzer Rebbe: Shalom Rokeach of Belz (1779–1855), also known as the Sar Shalom. Rebbe from 1817 to 1855. Disciple of the Seer of Lublin.

• Second Belzer Rebbe: Yehoshua Rokeach of Belz (1825–1894) – youngest son of the Sar Shalom. Rebbe from 1855 to 1894.

• Third Belzer Rebbe: Yissachar Dov Rokeach (1854–1926) – son of Yehoshua Rokeach. Rebbe from 1894 to 1926.

• Fourth Belzer Rebbe: Aharon Rokeach (1877–1957), also known as Reb Arele and as the Kedushat Aharon – eldest son of Yissachar Dov Rokeach. Rebbe from 1926 to 1957.

• Fifth Belzer Rebbe: Yissachar Dov Rokeach (b. 1948) – only son of Rabbi Mordechai of Bilgoray; nephew to Rebbe Aharon; son-in-law of Rebbe Moshe Hager of Vizhnitz. Rebbe from 1966–present.


Belz Jewish Community IAJGS

The Karaites, believers in a literalist offshoot of Judaism (Karaite Judaism or Karaism, Hebrew: יהדות קראית‎), settled in Belz at the end of the 10th century, following the fall of the Khazar Khaganate.

The Ashkenazi community (קהלה kehilla) in Belz was established in about the 14th century. In 1665, Jews in Belz were granted equal rights and obligations of citizens. The town was home to a Hasidic dynasty of Belz in the early 19th century.

At the beginning of WWI, Belz 6100 inhabitants included 3600 Jews, 1600 Ukrainians, and 900 Poles. The collapse of Austro-Hungary in November 1918 saw Belz included in the Western Ukrainian People's Republic and then under Polish control in 1919 in the Poland-Ukrainian People's Republic agreement in 1920. From 1919 to 1939 Belz belonged to Lwów Voivodeship, Second Polish Republic. The Hasidic Court returned in 1925.

Germany occupied Belz from 1939 to 1944, driving most of the Jews to flee to the Soviet Union. By May 1942, over 1,540 Jewish refugees remained in Belz. On June 2, 1942, 1,000 Jews were deported to Hrubieszów and from there to the Sobibór Extermination Camp where almost all of them perished. Ca. 500 were brought to Hrubieszów in September, as slave laborers. Many died and only few survived,

After WWII, Belz reverted to Poland (Lublin Voivodeship) until 1951 when it passed to the Soviet Union (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic). Since 1991 it has been part of independent Ukraine.

The remains of old synagogue were found in the schoolyard, covered in 1942.  [August 2009]

CEMETERY: The cemetery is fenced. Residents steal pieces for non-ferrous metals. About ten tomb stones remain. Other gravestones were stolen to build pigsties for fifty years. photos. photos. [August 2009] Source