Benjamin, Raphael

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BENJAMIN, RAPHAEL (1846–1906), U.S. Reform rabbi. Benjamin was born in London, England, received his B.A. degree from the University of London, and was ordained by the chief rabbi of the British Isles. In 1874, he was elected assistant minister and reader of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation (Bourke Street Synagogue) in Melbourne, Australia as well as master of the Jewish schools of that city. He earned his M.A. from the University of Melbourne. In 1882, he was named rabbi of K.K. Benai Israel (the Mound Street Synagogue) in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he also served as vice president of the Young Men's Hebrew Association. In addition, Benjamin lectured and served as governor and examiner at Hebrew Union College. In 1889, he became rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Shomayim (the Fifteenth Street Temple) in New York. When his congregation merged with the Fifty-Fifth Street Synagogue (Congregation Ahavath Chesed), he ministered at large in New York City, serving as secretary of the Board of Jewish Ministers (later the New York Board of Rabbis) and conducting services at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. In 1902, he became rabbi of the Keap Street Temple in Brooklyn (Congregation Beth Elohim). Benjamin was also a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]


M.A. Meyer, Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, Number 17, 1907.