In commemoration of R’ Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s 25th yahrzeit, Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff will be the scholar-in-residence at the Young Israel of East Brunswick, located at 193 Dunhams Corner Road, East Brunswick, on Shabbat, July 14. He will also be presenting a community-wide lecture on Sunday, July 15, at 9:30 a.m. at YIEB.
During Shabbat, Rabbi Rakeffet will speak on the following topics: “The Rav, on Educating the Next Generation of Modern Orthodoxy” (Shabbat morning drasha), “Synagogue Council: The Rav’s Attitude Towards the Non-Observant Jew” (about one hour prior to Mincha) and “The Rav in Berlin” (seudah shlishit).
On Sunday, Rabbi Rakeffet will present a lecture titled “The Rav’s Spiritual Journey from Agudah to Mizrachi.” Entry to the event is free. Light refreshments will be served.
After the lecture, Rabbi Rakeffet’s books will be available for signing, with the proceeds being donated to Shvut Ami. This organization reconnects unaffiliated Jews in the FSU to Jewish life and religion, enhances the bonds between Jews in the FSU and Israel, and promotes aliyah.
Rabbi Rakeffet was the rabbi at the Lower Merion Synagogue in Pennsylvania, after which he became the rabbi of Congregation Beth Ephraim in Maplewood, while simultaneously joining the faculty of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. In 1969 he made aliyah. He has taught at various institutions including Jerusalem Torah College, Machon Gold, Michlalah and Midreshet Moriah.
Rabbi Rakeffet is currently professor of rabbinic literature at YU’s Gruss Kollel in Jerusalem. He is a noted scholar and author who recently completed his latest work, “Rakafot Aharon Vol 4, Timeless Halachah and Contemporary History,” with the help of Yaakov Weinstein, a member of the Young Israel of East Brunswick.
Rabbi Rakeffet served in the Israel Defense Forces, and in 1980 joined the Mossad’s Nativ operation to covertly teach Torah in the Soviet Union. These experiences motivated him to become a founding board member of Shvut Ami.