Jewish History Soundbites

Great American Jewish Cities #21: Monsey Part I

May 18, 2021

Monsey. Rockland County. The Hudson River Valley. The image of suburbia. This small town across the Tappan Zee Bridge somehow developed into one of the largest Jewish Orthodox enclaves worldwide.

Though the area had some minor Jewish beginnings from the end of the 19th century, it was with the vision of Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz that Monsey began to develop as a Jewish community. Rav Shraga Feivel built Bais Medrash Elyon and his family and students laid the foundations of many Torah institutions including Yeshiva of Spring Valley and Bais Shraga. Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik was an early rabbi in Spring Valley, while his wife Rebbetzin Shoshana was a pioneer in girls education, standing at the helm of the Monsey Bais Yaakov for decades.
Great personalities who resided in the town and contributed to its development included Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, Rav Mordechai Schwab, Rav Nosson Horowitz, Ronnie Greenwald, the Vizhnitz Rebbe Rav Mottele Hager, Rav Moshe Neuschloss in nearby New Square and many others. 
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