Skulen (Hasidic dynasty)

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Rabbi Israel Abraham Portugal - Grand Rebbe of Skulen - lighting Hanukkah candles

Skulen (or rarely Skolen) Hasidic dynasty was founded by Rav Eliezer Zusia Portugal. It is now headed by his son, Rav Yisroel Avrohom Portugal. Name is originated from Sculeni (Yiddish: סקולען Skulen), a town in Bessarabia where Rabbi Eliezer Zusia was born and served as rabbi.

Rabbi Eliezer Zusia succeeded his father as rabbi of Skulen at the age of 17 upon his father's death in 1915. Thereupon he became a disciple of the rebbe of Bohush (Buhusi, Romania), a scion of the Ruzhiner dynasty. Before the outbreak of World War II, the rebbe moved to Chernowitz. He survived the war and moved to Bucharest, the capital of Romania, where he opened an orphanage for the orphans left after the Holocaust. When the Communists took over Romania, it became dangerous for him to continue to educate the children in the ways of Judaism, yet the Rebbe continued unabashed. In 1959, the Communists arrested the rebbe and his son, the present rebbe, for teaching religion and for supporting and educating orphans. The Rebbes of Sadigura, Kopishnietz and Boyan led an international effort to free the Skulener Rebbe and his son, and eventually, through the intervention of United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, the Rebbe and his son were freed and immediately immigrated to the United States in 1960. Upon moving to America the rebbe continued his works helping the underprivileged and began an international charity organization known as Chesed L'Avraham. The Rebbe authored Noam Eliezer and Kedushas Eliezer, and composed many popular Hasidic tunes. He died in 1982 and was buried in the Viznitzer Cemetery in Monsey, New York. He was succeeded by his son, the present Skulener Rebbe. The Skulener Rebbe continues his father's work by running the Chesed L'Avraham organization to help the needy in the Holy Land and around the world, and continues to write new Hasidic tunes on a regular basis. His synagogue is located on 54th street in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, New York, near 13th avenue.

Lineage of Skulener Dynasty

Spiritual legacy

  • Rebbe Yisrael Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760) - the founder of Hasidism.
    • Rebbe Yechiel Michel - the Maggid (Preacher) of Zlotshov (d. 1786) - disciple of the Baal Shem Tov.
      • Rebbe Mordecai of Kremnitz - son of the Maggid of Zlotshov.
        • Rebbe Yeshayah Shor of Yas - author of K'lil Tiferes[1] - disciple of Rebbe Mordecai of Kremnitz.
  • Rebbe Yisrael Avraham Portugal (d. 1915) of Skulen - author of Shem uSh'aris Yisrael - disciple of the K'lil Tiferes.
    • Rebbe Eliezer Zusia Portugal of Skulen (1898-1982) - author of Noam Eliezer - son of the Shem uSh'aris Yisrael, disciple of Rabbi Yisrael Shalom Yosef Friedman (1863-1923), of Bohush and Rabbi Mordechai Shalom Yosef Friedman (1886-1979), of Sadigura.


  1. ^ כליל תפארת. (in Hebrew). Zhovkva. First published 1865. Retrieved April 3, 2013. Check date values in: |year= (help)

External links

  • Video clips of the Skulener Rebbe, shlit"a
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