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Meet Our Rabbeim



Rabbi Mordechai Benhaim, Rabbi

Rabbi Mordechai Benhaim was born into an illustrious family of rabbanim, Toledano and Benhaim, tracing back to Spain of The Golden Era. After the expulsion from Spain in 1492, they settled in Meknes, Morocco where they remained until the mass Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael. His father Rabbi Avraham Benhaim eventually met his mother, Rabbanit Alisa. They married and came to America, as he was offered the position of rabbanut and chazzanut in the first Sephardic synagogue of Queens,  (where Rav Mordechai was born) eventually becoming the esteemed spiritual leader of the Moroccan Jewish Organization.

In 1975, they moved to Co-op City in the Bronx, where his father Rabbi Avraham Shlit"a became the Rav of the Sephardic Cong. Shaare Rahamim, of the Turkish and Greek Jewish community. It was there that Rav Mordechai learned the beautiful chazzanut of the Turkish and Yerushalmi nusach, in addition to the authentic Moroccan nusach that he received at home.

Rav Mordechai graduated from S.A.R. Academy of Riverdale, and went on to high school in the prestigious Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, graduating with honors as valedictorian of his class. From there he went on to study in the Rabbinical college of the Mirrer yeshiva, under the guidance and tutelage of the saintly geonim and tzadikim Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum zt"l and  Rabbi Shraga Moshe Kalmanowitz zt"l. During this time, he also developed a close Rebbi/talmid relationship with the late gaon and tzadik Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt"l, deeply inspired by the Rav's unique teachings of Torah and Mussar.

After 8 years in Mir Yeshiva, including a six month period in which he attended Yeshivat Kol Torah of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l in Eretz Yisrael, he married Sharona, the daughter of Rabbi Igal Haimoff Shlit"a, a leading rabbi of the Bukharian community in Queens.

His father in law immediately saw his potential and assigned him to the position of 9th-grade Rebbe in the new yeshiva which he had opened, Yeshivat Ohel Simcha. Rav Mordechai stayed with the same class for 7 years because the students simply could not imagine learning from another rebbe. Today those same boys who didn't know how to read or write in Hebrew when they came into 9th grade, are now Rabbis and educators, well respected in the community, and have received semicha from HaRav Ovadia Yosef zt"l, as well as other leading rabbanim in Israel.

Rav Mordechai is currently a Sephardic "Ram" and Rosh Yeshiva in RIETS, in addition to giving the first English shiur designed for the fast-growing population at Yeshiva University in their Mazer Yeshiva Program.

He resides in Cedarhurst with his wife and 5 children.


     Rabbi Yonatan Sebban, Assistant Rabbi

Executive Board 2020/5780

President:            Mitchell Ozeri

Vice President:    Elazar Aryeh

Treasurer:           Ralph Benzaken

Secretary:           Roni Benjamini

Board Member:   Yaakov Mordechai

Board Member:   Eli Arakanchi

Board Member:   Eliyahou Mizrahi

Web Manager:    Mordechai Aryeh

Tue, November 29 2022 5 Kislev 5783