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Levertoff, Paul Philip


LEVERTOFF, PAUL PHILIP (1878–1954), apostate and theologian. Levertoff, who was born in Orsha, Belorussia, into a ḥasidic family, was converted to Christianity in 1895. After studying theology in Russian and German universities, traveling in Europe, Palestine, and Asia Minor, and working for a time in Warsaw and as professor of Old Testament and rabbinics at the Institutum Delitzschianum in Leipzig (1912–18), he was appointed librarian and sub-warden of St. Deiniols Library, Hawarden (Wales; 1919–22). From 1922 until his death, he was director of the London Diocesan Council for work among the Jews (formerly The East London Fund for the Jews) and edited its quarterly journal, The Church and the Jews. He also took a leading part in the Hebrew Christian movement, translated considerable parts of the Anglican liturgy into Hebrew, and conducted Christian services partly in Hebrew at the North West London church where he was minister. Levertoff was a prolific writer on liturgical and theological subjects in Hebrew, German, and English. He contributed to periodicals and encyclopedias, translated the Midrash Sifre on Numbers (1926), and cooperated with H. Sperling in the translation of the Zohar into English (1933).

[Ruth P. Lehmann]

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