Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff

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Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff of Yeshiva University’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Jerusalem, is a noted scholar, author and teacher. Born in New York City in 1937, Rabbi Rakeffet moved with his family to Israel in 1969, following seven years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Ephraim and Maplewood Jewish Center in New Jersey.

Rabbi Rakeffet has written many entries for Encyclopedia Judaica, including the one on the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. His two-volume “The Rav: The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik” was published in 1999 by KTAV Publishing House. Most recently, Rabbi Rakeffet’s scholarly memoir, “From Washington Avenue to Washington Street”, was published in 2011 by the OU Press in conjunction with Gefen Publishing House.

Rabbi Rakeffet is also the author of “Bernard Revel: Builder of American Jewish Orthodoxy,” a biography of Yeshiva’s first president published by the Jewish Publication Society; and “The Silver Era: Rabbi Eliezer Silver and His Generation,” about the life and times of Rabbi Eliezer Silver (1881-1968) and published by Feldheim. Both these works have gone through three editions. In 1997, he published two volumes of “Rakafot Aharon,” a collection of published scholarship in the fields of halakha and Jewish history.

The Yeshiva College Alumni Association awarded its annual Bernard Revel Memorial Award in Religion and Religious Education to Rabbi Rakeffet in 1975, the first time the award ceremony took place in Israel. He has taught at Jerusalem’s Torah College for Men, Machon Gold, Michlalah (the Jerusalem College for Women) and Midreshet Moriah, an advanced Torah study program for women.


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