Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Lawrence Raphael: R.I.P.

Rabbi Lawrence W. Raphael, 74, on March 17 at his home in San Francisco.

Larry Raphael published articles on a broad range of topics, was an expert on Jewish science fiction, and was the editor of Mystery Midrash: An Anthology of Jewish Mystery Short Stories (Jewish Lights, 1999).

Rabbi Raphael played a vital role in the admission, education, and professional training of over a thousand Reform rabbis, cantors, and educators. He was instrumental in the founding and supervision of the Soup Kitchen, which has fed over 150,000 guests since its inception over 30 years ago, and implemented educational initiatives, using the latest computer technologies and the newly emerging Internet, for students, faculty, and alumni.

In 2003, Larry became the ninth senior rabbi of Sherith Israel in San Francisco, where he served until 2016. Since 2016, Rabbi Raphael continued to teach at several venues in San Francisco. He became an officer of the San Francisco Interfaith Council Board, was a hospice volunteer at the Jewish Home in San Francisco, served the North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation once-a-month, and was a part-time rabbi for the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community.

Larry completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1967), was ordained at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati in 1974, and earned a Ph.D. in higher education and leadership from New York University (1990) with a doctoral dissertation on “Leadership and Excellence in Theological Seminaries.”

Larry Raphael was a very special man with a good soul and warm heart. He will be missed.


Unknown said...

He will be much missed by all who came in touch with him and who he touched...May his memory be a blessing...

Phil Miller said...

Larry was one of a kind. Warm, sweet, caring, with a kind word for everyone. We knew one another as colleagues at HUC from 1973. At my encouragement, Larry compulrd a bibliograohy if Jewish themed mysteries, that was published in the Jewish Book Annual. (I am sorry, I do not remember which volume or year. But it was well over 20 years ago. Time for a revision! And in Larry’s memory.