Rabbi Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, PhD

RabbiEliezer was born in Jerusalem on September 25, 1938. His great grandfather, Yehuda Lieb Perlman, was a Hasidic Rav 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 and statesman. He founded "Va'ad Halashon" - the parent of today's Academy of the Hebrew Language, where one can find his "room." If you have Hebrew fonts on your computer, click here to read about the "Ben-Yehuda Center" at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  He is the author of 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 sixteen volume tome that is the most complete Hebrew language research tool. The Rabbi's father, Ehud, was an agronomist, journalist, soldier, lecturer and lexicographer. Author of the "Ben-Yehuda Pocket Dictionary" (Washington Press, Pocket Books, Inc.).

*for his story: http://www.jajz-ed.org.il/100/people/bios/beliezer.html   for Ben-Yehuda House click here

You may also want to look this excellent article up: http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH00ni0

bystreet.jpg (22232 bytes)Rabbi Ben-Yehuda began his religious education in the home of his maternal grandparents who were very pious, observant Jews, followers of the Khazon Ish, the leader of orthodox Jews in B'ney B'rak, Israel. At age four was reading and studying Torah with grandfather. At age five attended Heder at Yeshivat Eits Ha'yim. Attended Lemel and Kol-Yisrael-Haverim (Alliance) schools in Jerusalem. Studied Torah and Talmud with professor Joseph Klausner and Fievel Meltser, Midrash and Agadda with S. Y. Agnon and Dr. David Broyer. In 1947-49 War of Independence he served as a messenger for Hagannah in besieged Jerusalem, participating in the battle for Ramat Rachel, the kibbutz in south Jerusalem that changed hands four times before it was secured by Israel . From 1950 to 1952, while still a student, he volunteered to teach Hebrew to new immigrants in the Talpiot Ma'abarah - a temporary shelter community in south Jerusalem. At age sixteen, he volunteered for early military service in the Israel Defense Force. Detached from active duty to serve abroad, he arrived in the U.S. in 1955 after a short stint in Europe, to serve in a variety of capacities in and around New York City. While there, Rabbi Ben-Yehuda matriculated with a N.Y. State High School Diploma through Rhodes Prep-School in New York City. He went back to active duty in Israel in June, 1957, and separated from the service after being wounded in a border skirmish in February of 1958.

Rabbi Ben-Yehuda returned to America in July, 1958. He was accepted to the study of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and also took classes at Sir George Williams 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 linguistics, 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. In June of 2004, Rabbi Ben-Yehuda received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Literature from Chelsea University. Since arriving in the U.S. in 1958, Rabbi Ben-Yehuda has served in the following capacities: 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 (Habonim, U.S.Y., Young Judaea, B.B.Y.O., and N.E.F.T.Y.); counselor in summer camp (Massad, CampYoung Judaea in North Carolina); Drama and Judaism specialist (Camp Young Judaea, Camp Blue Star -- North Carolina); pulpit Rabbi in Indiana, PA. 1966-1970; Butler, PA. 1970-1984; Benton Harbor, MI. 1984 -1986; Lakeland, Fla. 1986 - 1999; Beth El, the Beaches Synagogue serving Ponte Vedra beach and the Jacksonville Beaches 1999 - 2008.

Rabbi Ben-Yehuda is married to Leah (nee Feldman) of Union, New Jersey. Ittamar, first born son (left, with two of his three boys, (Ehud, not in the picture,)Zohar and Uriah), born of a previous marriage, married and living in Israel with wife and three sons. One daughter, Tahl, who was teaching biochemistry at Cornell University while working on her graduate degree., has shifted her direction and is now pursuing a cantorial degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary, in New York City. She has two little daughters, Eliana and Sara. Second son, Gil-Ohz, completed a Masters Degree while teaching at Florida State University in Tallahassee, and an MFA degree at American University in Washington, D.C.. He is married tp Jenna and has a daughter, Lila, and twins, Sam and Ada - and is living in Washington D.C.. Second daughter, Naomi Kallah, completed her B.A. at Florida State University and an M.Sc. at Loyola of Maryland in Baltimore. She now lives and works in Richmond, B.C., Canada; a third son, Ilan (picture below), graduated the school of Theatre and Film at Florida State University in Tallahassee, and pursued his art at the Del Arte school of Physical Theater in California. He is working hard at his chosen field, working on "making it" in show business.

Over the years, Rabbi Ben-Yehuda has been a member of a number of organizations and served in many capacities on different committees. In New England, associated with lay and professional leadership of United Synagogue in the Connecticut Valley Region; Educators' Assembly of the United Synagogue; Connecticut Valley Youth Commission of United Synagogue; Connecticut Valley Commission on Jewish Education, N.E.F.T.Y. & U.S.Y. Leadership. In Western Pennsylvania, member regional United Synagogue Board; Indiana, PA. Ministerial Association; in Butler, PA. - American Red Cross (board member); Mental Health Association (board member); Irene Stacy Mental Health Center (board member & board president); Fellowship of Churches board; Ministerial Association; Ministerial-school relations committee; School Board advisory committee; Campus clergy at Indiana University of PA., Butler County Community College, Slippery Rock University; chaplain and counselor, George Junior Republic School, Grove City, PA.; Greater Pittsburgh Association of Conservative Rabbis (member, president 1972-1978); Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Fellowship (charter member, chairman '77-'78)); Zionist Organization of America, Pittsburgh & Tri-State districts (board member, executive board, V.P.-public relations); American Zionist Federation (V.P. 1982); Pittsburgh Conference on Soviet Jewry (board member, delegate 1976 Brussels & 1983 Jerusalem World Conferences); Chaplain, Dushon V.A. hospital, Butler, PA.; Director of linguistic research, Institute of Judaic-Christian Research, Arlington, Texas. Board member, Samaritan Center of South-Western Michigan. Member, Lakeland (Fla.) Ministerial Association. Affiliate West Coast Rabbinical Assembly of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Board member, Polk Interagency Council for Early Childhood Services. In Jacksonville area, Jacksonville Jewish federation board and allocation committee; Jacksonville Jewish Foundation; Rabbinic Association.

Some of his achievements: Published articles in a number of magazines and newspapers in Hebrew, English, and French. Published a number of pamphlets on the subjects of Judaism, the Holocaust, Zionism and the rebirth of Israel. Wrote, printed and prepared for mailing the congregational bulletin in all but the last congregation. Wrote and produced a great number of radio and T.V. programs on Jewish subjects and about Israel. Studied media and communications at Brown University and developed curriculum for teaching Hebrew using the "language lab" method for the Bureau of Jewish Education of Providence, R.I. in 1961-62. Established a "media Center" for the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community in 1977. Co-founded "community religion" course taught in Butler High School from 1973-1984. Helped create the curriculum and taught courses on "Death and Dying" and "The Bible Through Jewish Eyes" - for the Butler County Community College. Lectured on campuses of a number of Christian colleges and seminaries on Jewish-Christian relations, the Jewish and Hebrew interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures and the Jewish view of Christianity and Christian teachings. Participated in Grief and Bereavement seminars at Yeshiva University for ten years, received training in counseling with the dying and their families, with suicidal patients and the families of suicide deaths. Worked with interfaith task force counseling with people with life-threatening diseases and their families. Did suicide-prevention seminars for health-care professionals and counseling with families of suicides. Did premarital counseling with young people about to get married and in a school setting both in high school and in college. Did marriage counseling. Established a one man media watch on anti-Israel reporting of the news in the local paper and on television. Lectured on media-bias, the power of the "oil lobby" and "the Petro-dollar connection." Developed a quick and easy program for converting the VIC 20 computer into a Hebrew-English machine and prepared a program for teaching Hebrew to young children using that computer. Taught Hebrew to adults and to children, influenced young people to make their home in Israel (ali'ya), and prepared many young people to live a Jewish life in American society. Served as consultant to Polk County school Board on new teaching techniques in education and on a standing committee on before & after school child care. Published a number of Passover Haggadahs and a text on basic Judaism. Served as a consultant on the use of computers in the synagogue office and in the classroom. In 1993 published a Hebrew language reading course on Video and Audio tapes. In March 1994 publishing an interactive Hebrew learning program for the IBM compatible computer in conjunction with Lev Software. Published a linguistic interpretation of the first 22 chapters on Genesis -- a work in progress. Moderator, Genesis Conversations, Mosswood Book Store, winter 1996. Guest lecturer for series on "The Jewish Prophets," All Saints Episcopal Church, Lakeland. In 1997 he created a web page for Temple Emanuelof Lakeland, FL. -- and in 1999 he created this website as well as a website for his new congregation, Beth El -- the Beaches Synagogue. Headed the fund-raising project that brought about the building of the permanent home of the synagogue on Roscoe Blvd. He served as editor of the Rosetta Stone Hebrew computer program - Level I and more recently Level II. In 2008 left the pulpit as the congregation chose to affiliate with Reform Judaism. He then founded the Eliezer Ben-Yehuda Foundation, Inc. - to preserve the physical and spiritual heritage of his illustious grandfather. 2008 - 2011 served as president of the foundation, traveiing throughout North America and Israel to lecture and teach about Ben-Yehuda's work on establishing Am Israel (the Jewish People) in Eretz Yisrael, speaking S'fat Yisrael - Hebrew, the ancient-modern tongue of the Scriptures of the Jewish People.

Rabbi Ben-Yehuda is a lover and collector of orchestral and operaticRabbi music, an expert in the field of high fidelity sound. An avid reader with interests running to biographies and history. A student of modern developments in technology. A serious photographer in still b/w & color photography, film and in video. A man with love and compassion for all - young and old, Jew and Gentile. An outgoing personality with a good sense of humor. An excellent, dynamic speaker on a range of topics who usually does not speak from a prepared text. A man who loves to sing and has a good voice, serving as cantor as well as Rabbi, leading the chanting in the synagogue for Shabbat and the High Holiday season. Beside fluency in Hebrew and English, the Rabbi also can read and converse in French and German. He has been called to serve a number of times as spokesman in different communities in the area for the Consulate General of Israel in Miami, Fla. He writes periodic "Guest Column" in "The Ledger," a N.Y. Times owned local paper. He published a monthly bulletin for the congregation that received a special award at the Southern District of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism convention in 1992, 1994 and 1996.  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 a number of courses at the Unirevsity of North Florida OLLI program.


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