Rabbi Benjamin Blech
Associate Professor of Talmud, Yeshiva University, New York, NY
(New York, NY) Mar 24, 2014
Rabbi Benjamin Blech is an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, author, and lecturer.
Rabbi Blech has served as an associate professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University since 1966. He is a recipient of the American Educator of the Year Award and has formed thousands of student-teacher relationships through his warm and caring style.
A tenth-generation rabbi, Rabbi Blech is Rabbi Emeritus of Young Israel of Oceanside, which he served for 37 years.
Rabbi Blech has been a member of the RCA since 1957. A past officer of the organization, he has written numerous articles for Tradition and has served on both the Publications and Soviet Jewry committees. He has also participated in numerous sermon seminars on behalf of his chaverim.
Rabbi Blech is the author of fifteen highly acclaimed and best selling books with combined sales of almost half million copies. The Orthodox Union selected his book "Understanding Judaism" as "the single best book on Judaism in our generation." His "Idiot's Guide" books have been translated into Turkish, Portuguese, and Russian and are used in conversion and introductory Judaism courses around the world.
In a national survey, Rabbi Blech was recently ranked #16 in a listing of the 50 most influential Jews in America.
He has appeared on national television (including the Oprah Winfrey Show); hosted a popular weekly radio program in New York; and written for Newsweek, The New York Times and Newsday, in addition to a wide and varied number of scholarly publications. Rabbi Blech frequently lectures in Jewish communities around the world and has served as Scholar-in-Residence at hundreds of synagogues throughout the United States and Canada.
Rabbi Blech is a past President of both the National Council of Young Israel Rabbis, as well as the International League for the Repatriation of Russian Jewry. Rabbi Blech has also served as an officer for the New York Board of Rabbis. Presently, Rabbi Blech is actively involved in meetings with the Vatican and the Pope to arrange for the return of precious manuscripts held by the Church to the Jewish people.
When reflecting on his rabbinic career thus far, Rabbi Blech is most proud of “having been enabled - through my books, sermons, classes at Yeshiva University and personal contacts - to change lives and bring many thousands of people closer to Hashem. That is a blessing beyond words.”
He adds further: “I will always be grateful for the opportunity that was afforded to me to combine my rabbinic career with a teaching position at YU - which I still maintain to this day after retiring twenty years ago from the active congregational Rabbinate. I sincerely urge all my colleagues to seek similar educational opportunities in order to maximize their personal growth and satisfaction from a rabbinic career."