Our Rabbi and Rabbanit

Rabbi Raphael Katz, born in South Africa, first came to Israel as a student to attend the Kerem B’Yavneh Yeshiva Hesder programme. He saw action in the Yom Kippur War and the “Sh’lom Hagalil” operation while serving in the Tank Corps. He continued his rabbinical studies at Mevaseret Kollel and Yeshivat Mir in Jerusalem and subsequently received his rabbinical diploma from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.

Rabbi Katz’s career has alternated between pastoral work and the world of learning. He lectured at Yeshiva College in Johannesburg, then moved to Los Angeles, where he taught at the Yeshiva High School and Kollel of Yeshiva University.

In 1986, he returned to South Africa where he served as rabbi of the West Street Hebrew Congregation in Johannesburg, while also lecturing at the Yeshiva College and Open University.

In 1994, he accepted a call to the “Tze’eerey Zion” congregation in Glenhazel, Johannesburg, while simultaneously serving as head of the Kollel “Torah Mitzion” from 1998 until his permanent Aliyah to Israel in 2002. Rabbi Katz returned to Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh as a lecturer with special responsibility for the English-speaking students from abroad.

Rabbi Raphael Katz was appointed Rabbi of our congregation in 2004. Together with his wife Ora, they have succeeded in creating a warm and welcoming Kehilla, rich with learning and chesed.

Rebbetzin Ora Katz was born and raised in Pretoria. She attended Brovender’s and Michlala in Jerusalem, studied with a women’s kollel, and holds a Degree in Philosophy. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Speech Therapy in the U.S.

Rabbi Katz and Rabbanit Ora have four children.