About Manhattan Sephardic Congregation


About Rabbi Raphael Benchimol  

 

Rabbi Raphael Benchimol was born in Rabat, Morocco in 1966. He attended the Talmud Torah Hebrew School in Rabat until age 8. At that time, he emigrated with his family to the United States and settled in Miami, Florida.

Because of his parents' steadfast desire that their children continue to go to Hebrew school, they enrolled them at the Landow Yeshiva in Miami.  There, Rabbi Benchimol excelled in his studies. His love for Torah made him pursue becoming a rabbi.

After finishing high school, Rabbi Benchimol attended many well-known rabbinical schools. He received his rabbinical ordination (semichah) in December 1988 from Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim, the Lubavitch seminary at 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY. He continued his studies and received a "Dayanut" diploma from the Rosh Yeshiva of Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim in early 1990.   Despite his demanding and rigorous learning schedule, he also took time to participate in various outreach programs and activities including giving a weekly Parasha class on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to those who would later become the founders of MSC
. During the course of their learning, they formed a close bond and Rabbi Benchimol, then aged 23, was asked to be the founding rabbi of MSC.

In 2003, Rabbi Benchimol created the Aleph Learning Center (www.alephlearning.org), of which he is the Executive Director, to expand his outreach programs to the greater Tri-State community and beyond.
 
In 2012-2013, during the year of his father's passing, and in his memory (אהרן בן אברהם ז"ל), Rabbi Benchimol published two volumes of Divrei Torah entitled ‘Bet Aharon,’ which bear his father’s name.
 
In March 2012, Rabbi Benchimol was awarded the medal of "Knight of the Order of the Throne" bestowed by His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco. (www.jta.org/2012/03/15/news-opinion/united-states/n-y-rabbi-honored-by-king-of-morocco)  (http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/03/15/moroccan-king-awards-rabbi-with-prestigious-order-of-the-throne-award/#)

Rabbi Benchimol lives in New York City with his wife, Rachel, and their four children, Sarah Leah, Esther, Channah and Avraham Moshe.