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Joel Wegmeister

Joel Wegmeister  

Joel Wegmeister

(1837–1919), entrepreneur, Jewish community leader in Warsaw, follower of the Ger Hasidic dynasty, and member of the Polish Council of State. Nothing is known about Joel Wegmeister’s family background. As a successful merchant and entrepreneur, he was active in a large number of mainly religious associations, some of which he founded, as well as in the Warsaw Jewish community. In addition, he strove to increase the influence of Ger Hasidism on Polish Jewry.

Throughout his life, Wegmeister was among the most prominent members of the Warsaw Jewish community; however, it was during his final three decades that his activities on its behalf peaked. He served many terms as a member of the Jewish community’s administration; additionally, he was a trustee of funds for Jews living in Palestine. He founded an association for the study of the Mishnah and presided over a fund to enable poor children to attend Jewish schools. Wegmeister sat on many committees that crossed the various religious factional lines and that were designed to aid crisis situations; these included the Cholera Committee of 1892 and a committee founded in 1905 to assist victims of pogroms in Russia.

In 1901, with other prominent representatives of Warsaw’s Hasidic population, he founded Ezra, a modern-type philanthropic society. More than 2,000 members strong, it did much to alleviate the suffering of the city’s Jews during the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905) and the subsequent 1905 Revolution. Also in 1905, at the instigation of the leadership of the newly opened (1902) Jewish Hospital, he initiated ?evrat A?im Ra?manim, a confraternity for the care of patients. Widely known and recognized, Wegmeister repeatedly interceded for the Jews of Warsaw and Poland in Saint Petersburg as a shtadlan. In agreement with Avraham Mordekhai Alter, the leader of the Ger Hasidim, he took part in the foundation of Agudas Yisroel in Kattowitz (Pol., Katowice; then in the Prussian province of Silesia) in 1912 as the latter’s representative.

During Germany’s occupation of Poland during World War I, Wegmeister exerted considerable influence on Polish Jewish affairs through his extensive contacts with representatives of observant German Jewry affiliated with the military administration. Thanks to this influence, he was permitted to found Agudat ha-Ortodoksim (The Orthodox League) in 1916, out of which Agudas Yisroel emerged after the war. This also led to his serving alongside Mosheh Pfeffer and Kazimierz Natanson as a representative of Polish Jewry in the Polish Council of State (established November 1916).
Suggested Reading
Gershon C. Bacon, The Politics of Tradition: Agudat Yisrael in Poland, 1916–1939 (Jerusalem, 1996), p. 36; François Guesnet, “Chasydzki klal-tuer wobec metropolii i nowoczesnosci: Joel Wegmeister z Warszawy, 1837–1919,” in ?ydzi Warszawy: Materia?y konferencji w 100. rocznic? urodzin Emanuela Ringelbluma, ed. Eleonara Bergman and Olga Zienkiewicz, pp. 41–57 (Warsaw, 2000); Jacob Shatzky, Geshikhte fun yidn in Varshe, vols. 2–3 (New York, 1948–1953).
François Guesnet
Translated from German by Deborah Cohen
My Grand-grandfather is Joel Wegmeister. He was a leader in the Warsaw community, a member of the Polish parliament and one of the founders of "Agudas Israel" (in behalf of the Gerrer Rebe). His mother Lea, was a descandent of the "yud kadosh" Yakov Yitzhak Rabinowicz. I would like to know more about her ancestors.
Zvi Amely
Joel Wegmajster 

February 20, 1919 
Warsaw, Warszawa, Mazowieckie, Poland
Place of Burial:
Jewish Cemetery, Okopowa Street, Warsaw, Poland
Immediate Family:
Son of Dawid Wegmajster and Laia Wegmajster 
Husband of Zlata Ruchla Laja Wegmajster 
Father of Izrael Icek Wegmajster; Batia Barbara Bialer; Berek (Dov Berush) Wegmajster; Mendel Wegmajster and Abram Wegmajster 
Brother of Szmul Abram Wagmajster; Mozes (Moszek) Wegmeistr; Golda Fidelzejt; Faiga Wagmajster; Gitel Gutmer; and Ita Estera Frydman « less 
Added by:
Malgorzata Gorecka on November 6, 2012
Managed by:
Malgorzata Gorecka, Vera Lechtman and Noam Finger
Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak of Peshischa, 1766-1813, The "Holy Jew" was the leading disciple of the "Seer" of Lublin, but subsequently split off to form the famous Peshischa movement of Chassidut. Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa and Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotsk were among his many disciples who became great Rebbes in their own right.
(The Yehudi's Great Great Grandfather: Brother of The TAZ)
The Biala rabbinical dynasty comes from Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowitz, the Holy Jew of Peshischa, a disciple of the Seer of Lublin.
The Seer was a disciple of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizensk, who was a disciple of the Preacher of Mezritch, who was a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism.
Jewish Dynasties Link
Gedolim - TzemachDovid Org
Complete Family Tree link. - http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/Biala_(Hasidic_dynasty)
Biala Rabbinical Dynasty:
1. Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowitz, the "Holy Jew" of Peshischa (1766-1813), disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin.
2. Grand Rabbi Yerachmiel Rabinowitz of Peshischa (d. 1831), son of the Holy Jew.
3. Grand Rabbi Nathan David Rabinowitz of Shidlovtza (d. 1865), son of Rebbe Yerachmiel
4. Grand Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Rabinowitz of Biala the author of Divrei Binah (d. 1905), youngest son of Rebbe Nathan David, son-in-law of Rebbe Yehoshua of Ostrovoh, author of Toldos Adam.
5. Grand Rabbi Yerachmiel Tzvi Rabinowitz of Biala-Shedlitz, son of the Divrei Binah.
6. Grand Rabbi Yechiel Yehoshua Rabinowitz Biala Rebbe of Jerusalem (1900-1981), author of Chelkas Yehoshua and Seder HaYom.
7. Grand Rabbi David Matisyahu Rabinowitz (1928-1997), author of Lehavas Dovid, Biala Rebbe of Bnei Brak, son of Rebbe Yechiel Yehoshua.
8. Grand Rabbi Aharon Shlomo Chaim Eleazar Rabinowitz , Biala Rebbe of America, in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, NY, son of Rabbi David Matisyahu

Originally a disciple of Yitzc?ak Horowitz,"The seer of Lublin", he broke away and founded the Przysucha Hasidic Dynasty. He introduced an elitist, rationalistic Hasidism that centered on Talmudic study and formed a counterpoint to the miracle-centered Hasidism of Lublin.http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Pshiskhe_Hasidic_Dynasty

- His rebbe was the Chozeh of Lublin (Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz). This is why he went by Yehudi Hakadosh- so that he would not be called by his rebbe's name.

Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak of Peshischa, 1766-1813, The "Holy Jew" was the leading disciple of the "Seer" of Lublin, but subsequently split off to form the famous Peshischa movement of Chassidut. Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa and Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotsk were among his many disciples who became great Rebbes in their own right.

The 'Holy Jew' of Przysucha