By Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff
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In 1906, a gifted young Talmudic scholar named Bernard Revel came to the United States in the wave of mass immigration from Eastern Europe. Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel was determined to create a school of Talmudic study that would also provide an American college education – to produce American Orthodox rabbis who could mold and sustain a viable authentic Judaism in the New World. This is the story of the man and his vision, and his achievement. Bernard Revel steered the course and development of Yeshiva College, the first college of liberal arts and sciences under Jewish auspices, from its beginnings as a modest yeshiva in a synagogue building on New York’s Lower East Side to its imposing quarters on the heights of Upper Manhattan.
Utilizing a wealth of source material uncovered in the course of his work for his doctoral thesis, Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff has written a unique, detailed study of one of the most important figures in the rise and growth of modern American Orthodoxy.
Check out an excerpt: Bernard Revel Arrested for Socialist Agitation
Long out of print, OU Press has republished Bernard Revel: Builder of American Jewish Orthodoxy with a new introduction by Rabbi Rakeffet.
PRAISE FROM A REVIEW OF THE FIRST EDITION
“In his engrossing biography of Dr. Bernard Revel (1855-1940), head of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and founder of Yeshiva College, Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff has created a looking glass for every reflective American Jew. Through careful documentation, Dr. Rakeffet-Rothkoff has depicted Dr. Revel’s life as an inspiring model of selfless dedication to the nurturing of Torah on American soil… Dr. Rakeffet’s sensitive portrayal of such selfless dedication evokes a call for introspection and personal accounting. In the light of such overwhelming self-sacrifice for the cause of Torah, Jewish education, and world Jewry, the reader cannot help but feel challenged to consider and evaluate his own efforts and deeds.”
– Dr. Barry Eichler, Current Dean of Yeshiva College