People Group Profiles

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Jew, Gerrer of United States

People Group Info

Total Population: 5,000

ROP3 Code: 108099
IMB Affinity Group: North African and Middle Eastern Peoples
Affinity Bloc: Jews
People Cluster: Jews
Language: Eastern Yiddish - (ydd)
Religion: Ethnic Religions - Judaism
Country of Origin: Poland

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Majority Located Where

  New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY - 5,000

Large communities of Gerrer Hasidim exist in Israel in Ashdod, Bnei Brak, and Jerusalem, where thousands of Hasidim live, and a somewhat smaller community exists in Brooklyn, NY.

Click here to recommend other locations where this People Group resides.

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Brief Profile

The Gerrer Jews, also known and the Ger or Gur, are a Hasidic people originating from Ger, the Yiddish name of Góra Kalwaria, a small town in Poland. The founder of the dynasty was Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Alter (1798–1866), known as the Chiddushei HaRim after his primary scholarly work by that title.

“If I were a rich man [....] I’d discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day. That would be the sweetest thing of all!” sang the character Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye’s song aptly illustrates a problem with Orthodox Judaism’s emphasis on study of the Torah (Jewish Scriptures) as the best way to grow closer to God — most Jews did not have the means or time for such in-depth scholarship.

In late eighteenth century Eastern Europe, a movement called Hasidism arose to challenge this tradition. Hasidim, which means “pious ones” in Hebrew, teach that prayer, mystical experiences, and joyful worship with singing and dancing are equally valid ways of drawing closer to God.

Over the centuries, Hasidic Judaism has broken into numerous movements called “courts,” each led by a rebbe, a spiritual leader revered for his holiness and wisdom.

Prior to the Holocaust, followers of Ger were estimated to number in excess of 100,000, making it the largest and most influential Hasidic groups in Poland. Today, the movement is based in Jerusalem, and its membership is estimated at 13,000 families, most of whom live in Israel, making Ger the largest Hasidic dynasty in Israel. However, there are also well-established Ger communities in Brooklyn (New York) and London (UK); and minor Ger communities in Toronto, Ontario (Canada), and Los Angeles.

The men are distinguished by their dark Hasidic garb, and by their pants tucked into their socks called hoyzn-zokn (not to be confused with the breeches, called halber-hoyzn, worn by men in some other Hasidic groups). They wear a round felt hat, and a high, almost-pointed kapel. They raise their sidelocks from the temples, and tuck them under the yarmulke, nearly hiding them.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that Christians will be aware of the existence of this people group and intentionally form friendships with Gerrer Jews.
  • The Gerrer Jews will find shalom (peace) in their lives, a word that signifies being “complete, perfect, and full.” Pray that they would recognize Christ as Messiah and Sar Shalom, the Prince of Peace.
  • Pray that the Gerrer Jews will come in contact with evangelical Christians who will reveal Christ to them both in deed and word.

Learning Resources

Learn more about "Learning Paths"
Online Courses for embracing, encountering and engaging diaspora people. Work at your own pace. Begin anytime and complete the course according to your schedule. Interactive, Hands-On Application.

Learn more about "Reaching the Nations"
This book delineates five disciplines Christians should develop in order to effectively reach the nations. More specifically, it will guide Christians to develop an engagement strategy in their locale.

World Religions - Beliefs Overview
An overview of major world religions and cults - their beliefs and practices.

Other Resources

Prayer Guide for Unreached Peoples
A 30 day guide to pray for unreached people groups.

Prayer Guide using the GOSPELS acronym
A prayer guide that utilizes the acronym GOSPELS to pray for workers among diaspora.

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Country City Metro Area Name State / Prov. Baseline Population
United StatesMonseyNew York-Newark-Jersey CityNY5,000