United We Split: The Leadership of Rav Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky

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Rav Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky (1867-1948) was the rabbi of the Eidah Chareidis community in Yerushalayim & headed the branch of Agudas Yisrael in that country for 15 crucial and tumultuous years. Having grown up in Hungary, he had previously served as rabbi of Galanta and Chust (Slovakia) for four decades. In Yerushalayim he oversaw the sweeping changes which were taking place in the Yishuv with immigration, the Great Arab Revolt, the policies of the British Mandatory government, World War II, the Holocaust, the UN Partition Resolution and the founding of the State of Israel. As a responsible and outspoken leader, Rav Dushinsky courageously led his community through this unique era, and aside from his rabbinical duties – along with his position as rosh yeshiva in the yeshiva which he founded – he took an active political role as well.

Ultimately the changing demographics due to the immigration of more moderate Agudists from Poland in Germany led to a split between the Eidah Chareidis and Agudas Yisrael, which was overseen by Rav Dushinsky and remains to this very day. Following his passing in 1948 he was succeeded by his only son Rav Yisroel Moshe Dushinsky (1921-2003), who built the Dushinsky community around the yeshiva and transformed it from an Ashkenaz Oberland community into a full Chassidic court.

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