By: Herman Rosenthal
A general name for prominent members of any congregation, and typically used in regard to the leaders of the community in the old kahals (governing boards) of the Jews of Poland and Lithuania. The number of these leaders varied from five to ten according to the size of the community. Candidates were chosen from among them to replace absent members of the four elders (), or any of the three to five honorary members of the board (). They were the so-called "reserve" of the kahal.