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The Jewish Community of Belz

Belz

In Ukrainian: Белз

Small town in Lvov Oblast, Ukraine; between the world wars, in Poland.

The Jewish settlement in Belz dates from the beginning of the 16th century. About 200 Jews inhabiting 32 houses are recorded in 1550. Belz was devastated in 1655. It later revived and became famous as a center of chasidism. The rebbes of the Rokeach dynasty officiated as rabbis of the Belz community. Other noted rabbis of Belz include Joel Sirkes, Zechariah Mendel, and Jonah Te'omim. In 1921 the Jews numbered 2,104 (50.7% of the total population).

In February 1942 during the Nazi occupation about 1,000 Jews from Belz were deported to death camps. In May 1942 an additional 1,540 were deported. The remaining were hunted down and deported in September of that year.

In 1970, Jews lived in the town and there was one synagogue.

Place Type:
Town
ID Number:
187629
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Nearby places:

Related items:
Gamoran, Emanuel (1895-1962), educator born in Belz, Ukraine near the border with Poland (then part of the Russian Empire). He was brought to the USA by his parents in 1907.

From 1917 to 1921 he worked for the New York Board of Jewish Education, then in 1923 he was appointed Director of the Commission on Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He held this position for almost 40 years. In 1927-1928 he he was president of the National Council of Jewish education. Gamoran was responsible for the preparation and introduction of numerous new textbooks and he revolutionized many learning methods for the Hebrew education system.
Founder of hasidic dynasty

Orphaned while still a child he studied under his uncle Issachar Ber of Sokal whose daughter he married. At Sokal he was influenced by hasidic teachings. He was appointed rabbi in Belz where he was recognized as a tsaddik and attracted a large following, including rabbis and other tsaddikim. Belz now became the focus of Hasidism in Galicia. Many legends were related of miracles performed by Rokeah but he was also a noted talmudist who insisted on the principle of learning in Hasidism. He was active in public affairs and was a spokesman for Galician Jewry,viewing Haskalah as a grave danger to traditional Judaism.

Aharon Rokeah - Rabbi of Belz (1880-1957), rabbi, born in Belz, Ukraine (then part of Austria-Hungary). The dynasty was founded by R. Shalom Rokeah (1779-1855). As rabbi of Belz he attracted a large following and his court became the center of Hasidism in Galicia. He was a noted talmudist and was the subject of many legends. He viewed the Enlightenment (Haskalah) as a danger to traditional Judaism and combated it where he could. He was regarded as the spokesman of Galician Jewry. (See under Sokal).He was succeeded by his son, Yehoshua (1825-1894) who formed the Mahzikei ha-Das Association as part of his fight against assimilation. He was succeeded by Yissakhar Dov (1854-1927) who strongly opposed both Zionism and Agudat Israel. In World War I he fled to Hungary where he got many Hungarian Jews to join Belz Hasidism, He returned to Belz in 1925. His son Aharon (1880-1957) suffered during the Holocaust and in 1944 reestablished the headquarters of the dynasty in Jerusalem.

Funeral of Belz Rebbe Issachar Dov Rokeah,
the third Admor of the Belz dynasty, in Belz,
Galicia, October 29, 1926 (then Poland)
(Jerusalem, Archive of Hasidic Research)
Jews in Belz, Ukraine, 1916-1917
Photo taken by the German soldiers in World War I
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Polska Akademia Nauk, Warsaw)
Rabbi of Belz

The dynasty was founded by R. Shalom Rokeah (1779-1855). As rabbi of Belz he attracted a large following and his court became the center of Hasidism in Galicia. He was a noted talmudist and was the subject of many legends. He viewed the Enlightenment (Haskalah) as a danger to traditional Judaism and combated it where he could. He was regarded as the spokesman of Galician Jewry. (See under Sokal). He was succeeded by his son, Yehoshua (1825-1894) who formed the Mahzikei ha-Das Association as part of his fight against assimilation. He was succeeded by Yissakhar Dov (1854-1927) who strongly opposed both Zionism and Agudat Israel. In World War I he fled to Hungary where he got many Hungarian Jews to join Belz Hasidism, He returned to Belz in 1925. His son Aharon (1880-1957) suffered during the Holocaust and in 1944 reestablished the headquarters of the dynasty in Jerusalem.
Rabbi of Belz

The dynasty was founded by R. Shalom Rokeah (1779-1855). As rabbi of Belz he attracted a large following and his court became the center of Hasidism in Galicia. He was a noted talmudist and was the subject of many legends. He viewed the Enlightenment (Haskalah) as a danger to traditional Judaism and combated it where he could. He was regarded as the spokesman of Galician Jewry. (See under Sokal). He was succeeded by his son, Yehoshua (1825-1894) who formed the Mahzikei ha-Das Association as part of his fight against assimilation. He was succeeded by Yissakhar Dov (1854-1927) who strongly opposed both Zionism and Agudat Israel. In World War I he fled to Hungary where he got many Hungarian Jews to join Belz Hasidism, He returned to Belz in 1925. His son Aharon (1880-1957) suffered during the Holocaust and in 1944 reestablished the headquarters of the dynasty in Jerusalem.
Gamoran, Emanuel (1895-1962), educator born in Belz, Ukraine near the border with Poland (then part of the Russian Empire). He was brought to the USA by his parents in 1907.

From 1917 to 1921 he worked for the New York Board of Jewish Education, then in 1923 he was appointed Director of the Commission on Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He held this position for almost 40 years. In 1927-1928 he he was president of the National Council of Jewish education. Gamoran was responsible for the preparation and introduction of numerous new textbooks and he revolutionized many learning methods for the Hebrew education system.

Aharon Rokeah - Rabbi of Belz (1880-1957), rabbi, born in Belz, Ukraine (then part of Austria-Hungary). The dynasty was founded by R. Shalom Rokeah (1779-1855). As rabbi of Belz he attracted a large following and his court became the center of Hasidism in Galicia. He was a noted talmudist and was the subject of many legends. He viewed the Enlightenment (Haskalah) as a danger to traditional Judaism and combated it where he could. He was regarded as the spokesman of Galician Jewry. (See under Sokal).He was succeeded by his son, Yehoshua (1825-1894) who formed the Mahzikei ha-Das Association as part of his fight against assimilation. He was succeeded by Yissakhar Dov (1854-1927) who strongly opposed both Zionism and Agudat Israel. In World War I he fled to Hungary where he got many Hungarian Jews to join Belz Hasidism, He returned to Belz in 1925. His son Aharon (1880-1957) suffered during the Holocaust and in 1944 reestablished the headquarters of the dynasty in Jerusalem.

Cantor and composer

He was cantor in Belz and was generally known as ‘Nissi Belzer’. Later he was cantor at Kishinev and from 1877 at Berdichev. In his childhood he had an accident which damaged his voice but he had an extensive reputation primarily as a composer and choir conductor. It was his vocal handicap that led him to develop original synagogue music in which the choir, instead of being merely an accompaniment or used for responses, was assigned lengthy ensembles - with solos and duets - reducing the role of the cantor. Spivak attracted many students to Berdichev and took his choirs to other centers, including hasidic courts.
Founder of hasidic dynasty

Orphaned while still a child he studied under his uncle Issachar Ber of Sokal whose daughter he married. At Sokal he was influenced by hasidic teachings. He was appointed rabbi in Belz where he was recognized as a tsaddik and attracted a large following, including rabbis and other tsaddikim. Belz now became the focus of Hasidism in Galicia. Many legends were related of miracles performed by Rokeah but he was also a noted talmudist who insisted on the principle of learning in Hasidism. He was active in public affairs and was a spokesman for Galician Jewry,viewing Haskalah as a grave danger to traditional Judaism.
Czech and Hebrew poet

A younger brother of the playwright, Frantisek Langer, he was born in Prague. He rejected his milieu of assimilation and after visiting Erets Israel in 1913 went to Belz where stayed for a few years at the court of the rabbi of Belz. Returning to Prague, he continued his observant lifestyle, including the hasidic garb. When World War I broke out Langer returned to Belz but was conscripted into the Austrian army; he was released because of his religious stringency. He then taught at a Jewish school and published Hebrew poetry. He also wrote books in German applying psychoanalysis to aspects of Jewish literature. Langer is best known for his Czech writings including poetry and hasidic stories. He was very friendly with Franz Kafka whom he taught Hebrew. After the Germans took over Prague in 1938, he escaped to Palestine where he wrote a further volume of Hebrew poetry.

Sokal

Town in Lvov Oblast, Ukraine.

Within Poland until 1772 and between the two world wars.

Jews first settled there in the middle of the 16th century. In 1578 the municipality restricted the number of Jews in the town to two families, who were authorized to occupy two houses. In 1609 the Jews reached an agreement with the townsmen authorizing them to erect 18 houses and a synagogue, and to acquire land for a cemetery. In 1613 the houses of the Jews were destroyed by a fire which broke out in the town; Sokal was devastated by the Cossacks under Chmielnicki in 1648.


In the 17th and 18th centuries Sokal was among the important communities in the province (Galil) of Chelm-Belz within the framework of the Councils of Lands. A printing press was established there around 1755. During the period of Austrian rule, from 1772 to 1918, the Jews were mainly occupied in small-scale commerce, crafts, and transportation. Chasidism had considerable influence within the community. The Jewish population numbered 2,408 (36% of the total) in 1880; 3,272 in 1890; 3,778 (41%) in 1900; 4,516 (39%) in 1910; 4,360 (43%) in 1921; and 5,520 in 1931. Between the two world wars, Sokal was within Poland, and Zionism played an important role in community life.


After the outbreak of World War II, Jewish refugees from Belzec, Krystnopol, and from cities in western Poland arrived in Sokal, and during the period of Soviet rule (1939-41) the Jewish population increased to more than 6,000. The refugees were lodged in synagogues as well as private homes and a special committee was established to aid them. Because of Sokal's proximity to the German border, the Jews of the town witnessed the tragedy of the Jews of Chelm and Hrubieszow in November 1939 when they were brought by the Germans to the Bug river, but the Soviet border patrol prevented the survivors of the death march from crossing the river to the Soviet side. In the summer of 1940, refugees in Sokal from western Poland were deported to the Soviet interior. On June 23, 1941, a day after the outbreak of the German-Soviet war, the Germans captured Sokal. Eight persons were shot the same day. On June 30, 1941, the Ukrainian police killed 200 Jews near a brick factory in the neighborhood of Sokal.

In the winter of 1941 and early in 1942, the Jews were subjected to forced labor, economic restrictions, and physical attacks. On September 17, 1942, an aktion took place in which 2,000 Jews were deported to the death camp at Belzec. On October 15, 1942, a ghetto was set up in Sokal into which more than 5,000 Jews, including Jews from Steniatyn, Radziechow, Lopatyn, Witkow, Tartakow, and Mosty Wielkie were concentrated. The ghetto had only four wells and its inhabitants suffered from a severe water shortage. On October 24-28, 1942, 2,500 Jews from Sokal were deported to Belzec. On May 27, 1943, a final aktion took place. The ghetto was liquidated and the town was declared Judenrein. Some 30 persons survived in forests and hideouts.

Ukraine

Україна / Ukrayina

A country in eastern Europe, until 1991 part of the Soviet Union.

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 50,000 out of 42,000,000 (0.1%). Main Jewish organizations:

Єврейська Конфедерація України - Jewish Confederation of Ukraine
Phone: 044 584 49 53
Email: jcu.org.ua@gmail.com
Website: http://jcu.org.ua/en

Ваад (Ассоциация еврейских организаций и общин) Украины (VAAD – Asssociation of Jewish Organizations & Communities of Ukraine)
Voloska St, 8/5
Kyiv, Kyivs’ka
Ukraine 04070
Phone/Fax: 38 (044) 248-36-70, 38 (044) 425-97-57/-58/-59/-60
Email: vaadua.office@gmail.com
Website: http://www.vaadua.org/

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The Jewish Community of Belz

Belz

In Ukrainian: Белз

Small town in Lvov Oblast, Ukraine; between the world wars, in Poland.

The Jewish settlement in Belz dates from the beginning of the 16th century. About 200 Jews inhabiting 32 houses are recorded in 1550. Belz was devastated in 1655. It later revived and became famous as a center of chasidism. The rebbes of the Rokeach dynasty officiated as rabbis of the Belz community. Other noted rabbis of Belz include Joel Sirkes, Zechariah Mendel, and Jonah Te'omim. In 1921 the Jews numbered 2,104 (50.7% of the total population).

In February 1942 during the Nazi occupation about 1,000 Jews from Belz were deported to death camps. In May 1942 an additional 1,540 were deported. The remaining were hunted down and deported in September of that year.

In 1970, Jews lived in the town and there was one synagogue.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Ukraine
Galicia (east), Ukraine
Sokal

Ukraine

Україна / Ukrayina

A country in eastern Europe, until 1991 part of the Soviet Union.

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 50,000 out of 42,000,000 (0.1%). Main Jewish organizations:

Єврейська Конфедерація України - Jewish Confederation of Ukraine
Phone: 044 584 49 53
Email: jcu.org.ua@gmail.com
Website: http://jcu.org.ua/en

Ваад (Ассоциация еврейских организаций и общин) Украины (VAAD – Asssociation of Jewish Organizations & Communities of Ukraine)
Voloska St, 8/5
Kyiv, Kyivs’ka
Ukraine 04070
Phone/Fax: 38 (044) 248-36-70, 38 (044) 425-97-57/-58/-59/-60
Email: vaadua.office@gmail.com
Website: http://www.vaadua.org/

Sokal

Town in Lvov Oblast, Ukraine.

Within Poland until 1772 and between the two world wars.

Jews first settled there in the middle of the 16th century. In 1578 the municipality restricted the number of Jews in the town to two families, who were authorized to occupy two houses. In 1609 the Jews reached an agreement with the townsmen authorizing them to erect 18 houses and a synagogue, and to acquire land for a cemetery. In 1613 the houses of the Jews were destroyed by a fire which broke out in the town; Sokal was devastated by the Cossacks under Chmielnicki in 1648.


In the 17th and 18th centuries Sokal was among the important communities in the province (Galil) of Chelm-Belz within the framework of the Councils of Lands. A printing press was established there around 1755. During the period of Austrian rule, from 1772 to 1918, the Jews were mainly occupied in small-scale commerce, crafts, and transportation. Chasidism had considerable influence within the community. The Jewish population numbered 2,408 (36% of the total) in 1880; 3,272 in 1890; 3,778 (41%) in 1900; 4,516 (39%) in 1910; 4,360 (43%) in 1921; and 5,520 in 1931. Between the two world wars, Sokal was within Poland, and Zionism played an important role in community life.


After the outbreak of World War II, Jewish refugees from Belzec, Krystnopol, and from cities in western Poland arrived in Sokal, and during the period of Soviet rule (1939-41) the Jewish population increased to more than 6,000. The refugees were lodged in synagogues as well as private homes and a special committee was established to aid them. Because of Sokal's proximity to the German border, the Jews of the town witnessed the tragedy of the Jews of Chelm and Hrubieszow in November 1939 when they were brought by the Germans to the Bug river, but the Soviet border patrol prevented the survivors of the death march from crossing the river to the Soviet side. In the summer of 1940, refugees in Sokal from western Poland were deported to the Soviet interior. On June 23, 1941, a day after the outbreak of the German-Soviet war, the Germans captured Sokal. Eight persons were shot the same day. On June 30, 1941, the Ukrainian police killed 200 Jews near a brick factory in the neighborhood of Sokal.

In the winter of 1941 and early in 1942, the Jews were subjected to forced labor, economic restrictions, and physical attacks. On September 17, 1942, an aktion took place in which 2,000 Jews were deported to the death camp at Belzec. On October 15, 1942, a ghetto was set up in Sokal into which more than 5,000 Jews, including Jews from Steniatyn, Radziechow, Lopatyn, Witkow, Tartakow, and Mosty Wielkie were concentrated. The ghetto had only four wells and its inhabitants suffered from a severe water shortage. On October 24-28, 1942, 2,500 Jews from Sokal were deported to Belzec. On May 27, 1943, a final aktion took place. The ghetto was liquidated and the town was declared Judenrein. Some 30 persons survived in forests and hideouts.

Galicia (east), Ukraine
Joel SIRKES
Joel Sirkes
Joel{BACH} Sirkes
Langer, Jiri
Spivak, Nissan
Rokeah, Yehoshua
Rokeah, R. Shalom
Aharon Rokeah - Rabbi of Belz
Rokeah, Shalom
Gamoran, Emanuel
Czech and Hebrew poet

A younger brother of the playwright, Frantisek Langer, he was born in Prague. He rejected his milieu of assimilation and after visiting Erets Israel in 1913 went to Belz where stayed for a few years at the court of the rabbi of Belz. Returning to Prague, he continued his observant lifestyle, including the hasidic garb. When World War I broke out Langer returned to Belz but was conscripted into the Austrian army; he was released because of his religious stringency. He then taught at a Jewish school and published Hebrew poetry. He also wrote books in German applying psychoanalysis to aspects of Jewish literature. Langer is best known for his Czech writings including poetry and hasidic stories. He was very friendly with Franz Kafka whom he taught Hebrew. After the Germans took over Prague in 1938, he escaped to Palestine where he wrote a further volume of Hebrew poetry.
Cantor and composer

He was cantor in Belz and was generally known as ‘Nissi Belzer’. Later he was cantor at Kishinev and from 1877 at Berdichev. In his childhood he had an accident which damaged his voice but he had an extensive reputation primarily as a composer and choir conductor. It was his vocal handicap that led him to develop original synagogue music in which the choir, instead of being merely an accompaniment or used for responses, was assigned lengthy ensembles - with solos and duets - reducing the role of the cantor. Spivak attracted many students to Berdichev and took his choirs to other centers, including hasidic courts.
Rabbi of Belz

The dynasty was founded by R. Shalom Rokeah (1779-1855). As rabbi of Belz he attracted a large following and his court became the center of Hasidism in Galicia. He was a noted talmudist and was the subject of many legends. He viewed the Enlightenment (Haskalah) as a danger to traditional Judaism and combated it where he could. He was regarded as the spokesman of Galician Jewry. (See under Sokal). He was succeeded by his son, Yehoshua (1825-1894) who formed the Mahzikei ha-Das Association as part of his fight against assimilation. He was succeeded by Yissakhar Dov (1854-1927) who strongly opposed both Zionism and Agudat Israel. In World War I he fled to Hungary where he got many Hungarian Jews to join Belz Hasidism, He returned to Belz in 1925. His son Aharon (1880-1957) suffered during the Holocaust and in 1944 reestablished the headquarters of the dynasty in Jerusalem.
Rabbi of Belz

The dynasty was founded by R. Shalom Rokeah (1779-1855). As rabbi of Belz he attracted a large following and his court became the center of Hasidism in Galicia. He was a noted talmudist and was the subject of many legends. He viewed the Enlightenment (Haskalah) as a danger to traditional Judaism and combated it where he could. He was regarded as the spokesman of Galician Jewry. (See under Sokal). He was succeeded by his son, Yehoshua (1825-1894) who formed the Mahzikei ha-Das Association as part of his fight against assimilation. He was succeeded by Yissakhar Dov (1854-1927) who strongly opposed both Zionism and Agudat Israel. In World War I he fled to Hungary where he got many Hungarian Jews to join Belz Hasidism, He returned to Belz in 1925. His son Aharon (1880-1957) suffered during the Holocaust and in 1944 reestablished the headquarters of the dynasty in Jerusalem.

Aharon Rokeah - Rabbi of Belz (1880-1957), rabbi, born in Belz, Ukraine (then part of Austria-Hungary). The dynasty was founded by R. Shalom Rokeah (1779-1855). As rabbi of Belz he attracted a large following and his court became the center of Hasidism in Galicia. He was a noted talmudist and was the subject of many legends. He viewed the Enlightenment (Haskalah) as a danger to traditional Judaism and combated it where he could. He was regarded as the spokesman of Galician Jewry. (See under Sokal).He was succeeded by his son, Yehoshua (1825-1894) who formed the Mahzikei ha-Das Association as part of his fight against assimilation. He was succeeded by Yissakhar Dov (1854-1927) who strongly opposed both Zionism and Agudat Israel. In World War I he fled to Hungary where he got many Hungarian Jews to join Belz Hasidism, He returned to Belz in 1925. His son Aharon (1880-1957) suffered during the Holocaust and in 1944 reestablished the headquarters of the dynasty in Jerusalem.

Founder of hasidic dynasty

Orphaned while still a child he studied under his uncle Issachar Ber of Sokal whose daughter he married. At Sokal he was influenced by hasidic teachings. He was appointed rabbi in Belz where he was recognized as a tsaddik and attracted a large following, including rabbis and other tsaddikim. Belz now became the focus of Hasidism in Galicia. Many legends were related of miracles performed by Rokeah but he was also a noted talmudist who insisted on the principle of learning in Hasidism. He was active in public affairs and was a spokesman for Galician Jewry,viewing Haskalah as a grave danger to traditional Judaism.
Gamoran, Emanuel (1895-1962), educator born in Belz, Ukraine near the border with Poland (then part of the Russian Empire). He was brought to the USA by his parents in 1907.

From 1917 to 1921 he worked for the New York Board of Jewish Education, then in 1923 he was appointed Director of the Commission on Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He held this position for almost 40 years. In 1927-1928 he he was president of the National Council of Jewish education. Gamoran was responsible for the preparation and introduction of numerous new textbooks and he revolutionized many learning methods for the Hebrew education system.
Jews in Belz, Ukraine, 1916-1917
Funeral of Belz Rebbe, Galicia (Poland), 1926
Jews in Belz, Ukraine, 1916-1917
Photo taken by the German soldiers in World War I
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Polska Akademia Nauk, Warsaw)
Funeral of Belz Rebbe Issachar Dov Rokeah,
the third Admor of the Belz dynasty, in Belz,
Galicia, October 29, 1926 (then Poland)
(Jerusalem, Archive of Hasidic Research)
Aharon Rokeah - Rabbi of Belz
Rokeah, Shalom
Gamoran, Emanuel

Aharon Rokeah - Rabbi of Belz (1880-1957), rabbi, born in Belz, Ukraine (then part of Austria-Hungary). The dynasty was founded by R. Shalom Rokeah (1779-1855). As rabbi of Belz he attracted a large following and his court became the center of Hasidism in Galicia. He was a noted talmudist and was the subject of many legends. He viewed the Enlightenment (Haskalah) as a danger to traditional Judaism and combated it where he could. He was regarded as the spokesman of Galician Jewry. (See under Sokal).He was succeeded by his son, Yehoshua (1825-1894) who formed the Mahzikei ha-Das Association as part of his fight against assimilation. He was succeeded by Yissakhar Dov (1854-1927) who strongly opposed both Zionism and Agudat Israel. In World War I he fled to Hungary where he got many Hungarian Jews to join Belz Hasidism, He returned to Belz in 1925. His son Aharon (1880-1957) suffered during the Holocaust and in 1944 reestablished the headquarters of the dynasty in Jerusalem.

Founder of hasidic dynasty

Orphaned while still a child he studied under his uncle Issachar Ber of Sokal whose daughter he married. At Sokal he was influenced by hasidic teachings. He was appointed rabbi in Belz where he was recognized as a tsaddik and attracted a large following, including rabbis and other tsaddikim. Belz now became the focus of Hasidism in Galicia. Many legends were related of miracles performed by Rokeah but he was also a noted talmudist who insisted on the principle of learning in Hasidism. He was active in public affairs and was a spokesman for Galician Jewry,viewing Haskalah as a grave danger to traditional Judaism.
Gamoran, Emanuel (1895-1962), educator born in Belz, Ukraine near the border with Poland (then part of the Russian Empire). He was brought to the USA by his parents in 1907.

From 1917 to 1921 he worked for the New York Board of Jewish Education, then in 1923 he was appointed Director of the Commission on Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He held this position for almost 40 years. In 1927-1928 he he was president of the National Council of Jewish education. Gamoran was responsible for the preparation and introduction of numerous new textbooks and he revolutionized many learning methods for the Hebrew education system.
Aharon Rokeah - Rabbi of Belz

Aharon Rokeah - Rabbi of Belz (1880-1957), rabbi, born in Belz, Ukraine (then part of Austria-Hungary). The dynasty was founded by R. Shalom Rokeah (1779-1855). As rabbi of Belz he attracted a large following and his court became the center of Hasidism in Galicia. He was a noted talmudist and was the subject of many legends. He viewed the Enlightenment (Haskalah) as a danger to traditional Judaism and combated it where he could. He was regarded as the spokesman of Galician Jewry. (See under Sokal).He was succeeded by his son, Yehoshua (1825-1894) who formed the Mahzikei ha-Das Association as part of his fight against assimilation. He was succeeded by Yissakhar Dov (1854-1927) who strongly opposed both Zionism and Agudat Israel. In World War I he fled to Hungary where he got many Hungarian Jews to join Belz Hasidism, He returned to Belz in 1925. His son Aharon (1880-1957) suffered during the Holocaust and in 1944 reestablished the headquarters of the dynasty in Jerusalem.

Rokeah, Shalom
Founder of hasidic dynasty

Orphaned while still a child he studied under his uncle Issachar Ber of Sokal whose daughter he married. At Sokal he was influenced by hasidic teachings. He was appointed rabbi in Belz where he was recognized as a tsaddik and attracted a large following, including rabbis and other tsaddikim. Belz now became the focus of Hasidism in Galicia. Many legends were related of miracles performed by Rokeah but he was also a noted talmudist who insisted on the principle of learning in Hasidism. He was active in public affairs and was a spokesman for Galician Jewry,viewing Haskalah as a grave danger to traditional Judaism.
Gamoran, Emanuel
Gamoran, Emanuel (1895-1962), educator born in Belz, Ukraine near the border with Poland (then part of the Russian Empire). He was brought to the USA by his parents in 1907.

From 1917 to 1921 he worked for the New York Board of Jewish Education, then in 1923 he was appointed Director of the Commission on Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He held this position for almost 40 years. In 1927-1928 he he was president of the National Council of Jewish education. Gamoran was responsible for the preparation and introduction of numerous new textbooks and he revolutionized many learning methods for the Hebrew education system.