NYC Honorary Street Names


Rabbi Raphael (Queens)
Present name:None
Location:Intersection of Empire Avenue and Sage Street
Honoree: Rabbi Raphael “Ralph” Pelcovitz (1921-2018) moved to Far Rockaway in 1951 and took up the pulpit at the White Shul while teaching at Torah Vodaath and writing scholarly books. Rabbi Pelcovitz was one of the first American born, college-educated, Orthodox rabbis. He was Rabbi and Rabbi Emeritus of his congregation, the largest in the Rockaways, for 65 years. He had a unique ability to speak and teach rivetingly in both Yiddish and English. In that regard, he was a “spokesperson” for Jews living in 20th century America, and was often a guest on local radio shows, providing commentary on issues of the day. He helped build an infrastructure of Jewish day schools, yeshivas, summer camps and other religious and social services. He published numerous scholarly articles and books in easy, accessible English, including the first and most definitive English translation of the biblical commentary of Rabbi Obadiah Seforno, a 15th century Italian scholar. He was also devoted to the welfare and growth of the Rockaways, and was even involved in helping bring the “A train” to Far Rockaway. He was well respected by local public officials, and was honored by many schools and charitable organizations for his leadership. Rabbi Pelcovitz was a board member of the Orthodox Union and a former president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. (Richards)

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