About the Shul
Khal Bais Shmuel Abba, formerly known as Congregation Shomrei Shabbos, and better known as “Rabbi Katz’s Shul”, was founded by Harav Shmuel Abba Katz zt”l.
הרב שמואל אבא כץ זצ״ל אב״ד בובאלאר מייסד הבית המדרש חברה שומרי שבת נפטר ט שבט תשמ״ו
Harav Shmuel Abba zt”l. was born in 1910 to his father Harav Dovid Tzimring zt”l, the author of the sefer “Metzur Dvash” on Torah & Shas. He was a Ben Achar Ben from the famous Mekubal, Shimshon of Austripolia, who was killed al Kiddush Hashem in the year ת״ח while he was in middle of Davening. Harav Dovid was also a Maggid Shiur in the Keshinov Yeshiva (Chişinău). Today, you can find the הגעות מצור דבש in the back of most volumes of shas; they became very famous throughout the world
הרב דוד צימרינג זצ״ל מחבר ספר מצור דבש על ש״ס ועל התורה נפטר ל סיון תש״ל
After World War II, HaRav Dovid emigrated to Eretz Yosroel where he became very close to the Chazon Ish zt”l, as well as to the Chebiner Rav zt”l (the Chazon Ish also gave a haskama on his Sefer). Harav Dovid was niftar ל סיון תש״ל at age 90. He is buried in the Bais Hachayim of Bnei Brak.
Harav Shmuel Abba zt”l learned in the Keshinov Yeshiva, and later served as their Rosh Yeshiva. He received his smicha from the Chief Rabbi of Bessarabia, Harav Yehuda Leib Tsirelson zt”l, a prominent Jewish leader and posek, in addition to being a member of the Romanian parliament.
At age 25 Harav Shmuel Abba elected Rav of the Romanian city of Bivalari. Harav Shmuel Abba married his Rebitzen Fruma Sureh, the daughter of the Riskeve Rav, Harav Avrohom Shlomo Hakohen Katz, author of the sefer אורחות המשפטים על חושן משפט.
After World War II, HaRav Avrohom Shlome came to NY where he opened his first shul in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In 1961, the Satmar Rebbe, Harav Yoel Teitlbaum zt”l, appointed him to serve as Satmar Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak. Harav Avrohom Shlome was nifter Erev Pesach 1975 at the age of 90, and was buried in the Bais Hachayim in Bnei Brak next to his Mechuten Harav Dovid Tzimring zt”l
הרב אברהם שלמה הכהן כ״ץ אב״ד ריסקווא ורב וראש ישיבת סאטמר בני ברק נפטר ערב פסח תשל״ה
Around the year 1955, Harav Shmuel Abba founded the original shul in Arvrene, NY in the Rockaways. In 1968 he opened “Chevra Shomrei Shabbos” on Hicksville Road in Far Rockaway with the help of our devoted first Gabbai, Mr. William Hilsrnrath. Together with Mr. Lazer Fuchs, Mr. Jack Wollman ע״ה, and Judah Finerman ע״ה, the Shul began to see tremendous growth. Along with Mr. Leon Meyer ע״ה, the shul completed its first major renovation in 1980. זה אלי ואנוויהו. Not long after, our beloved Rebbe was Niftar on ט שבט תשמ״ו and is buried next to the Skvere Rebbe Zt”l in New Square, NY. The shul grew steadily over the ensuing decades and remains a pillar of the Far Rockaway community.
In 2015, HaRav Chaim Mordechai Katz, a Talmud and Musmach of Yesivah Torah V’Dass and Bais Medrash Elyon, and talmid of Harav Gedalye Schorr and Harav Pam, succeeded his Father as Rebbe of the shul. The shul was renamed in honor of his Father, whereby it became known by its current name קהל בית שמואל אבא. HaRav Shmuel Abba zt”l carried the name of the Slavita Rov, Shmuel Abba zt”l, a descendant of Harav Pinchos of Koritz, talmid of the Baal Shem Tov.
Today, the shul has three daily minyanim for shachris, two for mincha, and three for ma’ariv (winter months). Lechtige minyanim and hot kiddeishim on Shabbos, freilichin Yom Tov minyanim, along with beautiful shiurim by the Rav, daily Daf Yomi sedarim, and Shabbos Afternoon Learning & Oneg, and an amazing kehillah, are among many of the shul’s wonderful features.