Rabbi Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, PhD
Dr. Ben-Yehuda was born in Jerusalem on September 25, 1938.
A descendent of illustrious scholars and authors, his great grandfather, Yehuda
Lieb Perlman, was a Hasidic Rabbi in Lithuania; his grandfather, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda,
a pre-Zionist visionary and pioneer of Jewish national renaissance and resettlement
in Eretz-Yisrael, was a writer, lexicographer, newspaper editor, teacher (first
to teacher an entire curriculum in Hebrew) and statesman. He founded "Va'ad
Halashon" - the parent of today's Academy of the Hebrew Language and the
National Hebrew Library. He authored the "Ben-Yehuda Dictionary and Thesaurus
of the Hebrew Language, Ancient and Modern" (Ben-Yehuda Publishing House,
Jerusalem; International Edition, Thomas Yoseloff, New York & London), a
seventeen volume tome that is the most complete Hebrew language research tool
in existence. He is recognized as "the man who revived the Hebrew Language"
- and major thoroughfares in every large city and town in Israel are named for
him. Dr. Eliezer's father, Ehud, was an agronomist, journalist, soldier, lecturer
and lexicographer, who authored the "Ben-Yehuda Hebrew-English Pocket Dictionary"
(Washington Press, Pocket Books, Inc.).
Dr. Ben-Yehuda's religious education began in the home of his maternal grandparents, and at the young age of four he was already reading and studying Torah with his grandfather. At age five he attended Heder at Yeshivat Eits Ha'yim. He attended Lemel and Kol-Yisrael-Haverim (Alliance) schools in Jerusalem. He studied Torah and Talmud with Professor Joseph Klausner and Fievel Meltser, Midrash and Agadda with Nobel laureate S. Y. Agnon and Dr. David Broyer. In June of 2004 he earned a doctorate in literature with a thesis on reexamining of the Jewish Scriptures (Genesis) from the Hebrew text.
Rabbi Eliezer was accepted in 1958 to study Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and also took classes at Sir George Williams (later Concordia) University and the University of Montreal; after the birth of his first child, Itamar, he moved to Massachusetts, where he attended Boston University. He studied teaching methods and psychology at Brown University and the University of Rhode-Island, and clinical psychology and child growth and development at University of Connecticut.
Since arriving in the U.S. in 1958, Eliezer has served as teacher and Rabbi of the pulpit; Jewish chaplain for the V.A.; campus Rabbi at Indiana University of PA.; visiting college lecturer & high school teacher; Hebrew school and Sunday school principal; Hebrew, Jewish history, Jewish Ethics and Values teacher; Guidance counselor for youth movements; counselor in summer camp; Drama and Judaism camp specialist. He held pulpits in Indiana, PA. 1966-1970; Butler, PA. 1970-1984; Benton Harbor, MI. 1984 -1986; Lakeland, Fla. 1986 - 1999. From August of 1999 to June of 2008 he served as spiritual leader to Beth El, the Beaches Synagogue - a congregation that was just forming in Ponte Vedra Beach and the Jacksonville Beaches, Florida. Rabbi Ben-Yehuda led this congregation through the construction of its synagogue building as the first campus for Jewish people at the beaches. As of July 2008 he is a "Rabbi at Large," serving as guest Rabbi, prayer leader and lecturer in many pulpits in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Israel.
Rabbi Ben-Yehuda is married to Leah (nee Feldman) of Union, New Jersey. He is the parent of three sons and two daughters, and grandfather of eight grandchildren. Over the years, Rabbi Ben-Yehuda was a member of a number of organizations and served in many capacities on different committees. He published articles in a number of magazines and newspapers in Hebrew, English, and French; also published a number of pamphlets on the subjects of Judaism, the Holocaust, Zionism and the rebirth of Israel. He was the editor of the Rosetta Stone Hebrew Language computer program, Levels I & II. He has written two books, the first, "Fulfillment of Prophecy," was published in 2009, and the other is yet to be published. He is the creator and webmaster of his own site (www.benyehuda.us) and has also created web pages for his two last synagogues. Since 2008, Rabbi Ben-Yehuda has traveled and lectured in more than fifty locations in the U.S. and Canada, and more than 150 schools, colleges and clubs in Israel, where he spoke before audiences ranging in age from kindergarten to senior citizens' clubs. He has also taught college courses on Jewish subjects, most recently a number of courses at the University of North Florida OLLLI program.
Dr. Ben-Yehuda is available as a visiting lecturer in the following Lecture Topics:
• The Rebirth of the Hebrew Language (with or without a Power Point Presentation).
• Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and the Birth of Zionism.
• Highlights in the birth of Israel 1880 to 20012.
• A linguistic interpretation of Torah (possible lecture series).
• Basic Judaism – a series of lectures.
• Zionism from before its founding to the 21st century.
• Judaism and Christianity – old rivalries and new friendships.
• “Veshinantam levanekha” – What do we teach our children?
• The Life and Love story of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda anf his two wives.