Memory Lane: The Skverer Admorim of Boro Park

Memory Lane: The Skverer Admorim of Boro Park

In the year 1929 there arrived a Rebbe, a leader and a shepherd in the neighborhood of Boro Park. In those early days, when Boro Park was far from the locale bustling with Jewish life that it is today, Harav Yitzchok Twersky, zt”l, established his beis medrash on 47th street and 13th Avenue—where it still stands today— and it soon became an address for many of the Yidden living in Boro Park of that era. 

Having escaped the pogroms which haunted the Jews in the towns of Skver and Kiev in the Ukraine where the Twersky family traces its roots, the Rebbe arrived on the Lower East Side in the year 1920. The family moved to Williamsburg, and then settled in Boro Park in 1929. 

The building at 1336 47th street which is now more than 100 years old was purchased by chassidim as a home and a beis medrash for the Rebbe. 

The Rebbe sent his son and future successor, Rav Duvid, to learn in Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, under Harav Gedaliah Schorr, zt”l. He stood out among his peers, and was given an office at the yeshivah from which to conduct his many chessed activities. 

In the year 1941, when Rav Duvid was 19 years old, his father, the Rebbe, passed away at the untimely age of 52. Immediately, two of the most prominent Rebbes in New York at the time, The Boyaner and Kapisznitzer Rebbes, zt”l, prevailed upon him to assume his fathers’ place.   

Reminiscent of the Rebbes of old who would stop at nothing to ease the plight of a fellow Jew, the Rebbe became known for his superhuman efforts on behalf of those who were navigating the maze of the medical system, and would ensure that people had access to the best medical care possible. These efforts are continued to this day by his children.   

In the year 1960, the Rebbe opened the Tomer Devorah girls school, and in 1962, Yeshiva Beis Yitzchok (in the name of his father) which continue to serve the Boro Park community to this day.

Throughout the years, the shul on 47th street was an address for people in Boro Park of various levels of observance, especially on Simchas Torah when throngs would converge to witness the Rebbe in his tremendous avodah of the hakafos.  

The yahrtzeit of the Rebbe, Rav Duvid, zt”l, will be marked this month, on the ninth of Shevat, with a tish conducted by his son the current Rebbe, shlit”a, at the shul in which the Skverrer Rebbes have been leading in Boro Park for more than 90 years. 

The photos featured here include the first Rav Duvid of Skvyra, his son Rav Yitzchok of Skver-Boro Park, Rav Duvid, his son, ybl”ch, the current Rebbe, as well as the Shul as it appeared in 1940. A newspaper clipping is also featured of the time the neighbors sued, unsuccessfully, to have the shul closed. 

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