Elfenbein, Israel

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ELFENBEIN, ISRAEL (1890–1964), U.S. rabbi and talmudic scholar. Elfenbein was born in Buczacz, eastern Galicia. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1906 and in 1915 was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Between 1915 and 1940 Elfenbein was rabbi of congregations in Nashville, Chicago, and New York. In 1938 he became national executive director of the Mizrachi Education and Expansion Fund. Elfenbein's principal interest in scholarly research was medieval rabbinic literature. He made many contributions to scholarly periodicals and annuals. His major work was a collection of the responsa of Rashi, Teshuvot Rashi (3 vols. in one, 1943). Other works include Maimonides the Man (1946). Some of his more popular writings were collected in a volume published posthumously, American Synagogue as a Leavening Force in Jewish Life, edited by A. Burstein (1966).


J.L. Maimon (ed.), Sefer Yovel… Yisra'el Elfenbein (1962), 9–13.