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 the age of 8. At that time, he immigrated with his family to the United States and settled in Miami, Florida.

Because of his parent's 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 and his love for Torah made him pursue the rabbinic field.

After High School, Rabbi Benchimol attended many well-known rabbinical schools and eventually received his Rabbinical ordination in December 1988 from Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim, the Lubavitch seminary at 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY. He furthered 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 the would-be founders of MSC
. During the course of their learning, they formed a close bond and Rabbi Benchimol was asked to be their founding rabbi. He was 23 years old.

In 2003, Rabbi Benchimol founded the Aleph Learning Center (www.alephlearning.org) to expand his outreach programs to the greater Tri-State community and beyond. He is Aleph's Executive Director.
In 2012-2013, during the year of his father's passing, Rabbi Benchimol published two volumes of Divrei Torah entitled ‘Bet Aharon,’ bearing his father’s name, in his memory (אהרן בן אברהם ז"ל).

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