Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz zt”l


It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing of Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz zt”l, former longtime rov of Congregation Knesseth Israel, the White Shul, in Far Rockaway, NY.

Rabbi Pelcovitz moved to Far Rockaway in 1951 and served as rov of the White Shul for 60 years.

Born in Canton, Ohio, Rabbi Pelcovitz attended local public schools and then joined the Chevron Yeshiva in Yerushalayim.

While taking up the pulpit at the White Shul, Rabbi Pelcovitz also served as a rebbi at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas while devoting time to writing seforim, including his volumes on the Seforno’s commentaries.

Rabbi Pelcovitz’s children are well know in their communities. His son David, a noted psychologist, is the chair of psychology and education at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Education, while his son Nachum practices podiatry in Lawrence.

Together with his son David, Rabbi Pelcovitz coauthored Balanced Parenting, published by Artscroll/Mesorah.

After his retirement, Rabbi Pelcovitz became the rabbi emeritus of the White Shul and Rabbi Zvi Flaum stepped in to serve as rov. Rabbi Eytan Feiner later became rov.

Rabbi Feiner has described his senior colleague as a “brilliant role model, the quintessential rov who personifies Torah, chesed, and avodas Hashem in everything that he does.”

Rabbi Pelcovitz is survived by his wife, Shirley Pelcovitz, and his children, Ethel Gottlieb, Judy Gribetz, David Pelcovitz and Nachum Pelcovitz, and grandchildren, Shraga Gross, Oralee Kanner, Carmi Gross, Efrom Gross and Gila Schwerd.

The levayah will be held today, Wednesday, March 14th, at 1 p.m. at the White Shul, located at 728 Empire Avenue in Far Rockaway. To listen in to the levayah, call 605-475-4000 and enter access code 365580#.

The aron will then be flown to Eretz Yisroel for kevurah on Har Hamenuchos tomorrow, Thursday, March 15th. The levayah in Israel will take place at about 2 pm.

Shivah will be observed at the Pelcovitz home, located at 781 Caffrey Avenue in Far Rockaway, through Tuesday morning, March 20.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{CB Frommer-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. A fine man, a great rabbinic leader, a fixture of the orthodox landscape for so long.

    אן אויסגעארבעטע איד, a baal middos, from the old school, who stressed the importance of yashrus over ‘frumkeit’.

    His prescient writings in the old OU “Jewish Life” publication, decades ago, warning of the danger of focusing on kiruv at the expense of problems in the FFB community in need of addressing, were prophetic. חכם עדיף מנביא.

    יהי זכרו ברוך


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here