Rabbi Joseph Benjamin Serfaty (Antwerp, 1974) is a descendant of the Spanish-Castilian Serfaty dynasty. His parents exchanged Marrakesh for England and France and eventually settled in Antwerp, where Serfaty was raised. In 1997, he married the French-Swiss Rachel Cohen-Tsedek. Together they have seven children.
Serfaty graduated from the following yeshibot: Etz Haim Antwerp, Ohr Baruch Jerusalem, and Kissei Rahamim Bnei Brak. After his wedding he completed his rabbinical studies at the Kollel Midrash Sepharadi in the Old City of Jerusalem in accordance with the official curriculum of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. In 2001, he passed all his exams with the highest grades endorsed by the Chief Rabbis of Israel E. Bakshi-Doron and Y.M. Lau.
Through his halakhic knowledge, Serfaty comes up with unpredictable solutions
In 2003, Serfaty also received degrees in Judaism and Hebrew in the Diaspora from the Lifshitz Academical College in Jerusalem. He was ordained as a Shokhet (ritual butcher) by the Chief Rabbis E. Abergel and S. Messas in 2004. During these years he served as the rabbi of the Heichal Pinto Synagogue in Beitar near Jerusalem.
After being appointed as a religious teacher at the Israelitische Religions Gemeinde in Stuttgart, he served as the Rabbi and Dayan of the Communauté Israélite Orthodoxe in Brussels. In 2014, he returned to his hometown of Antwerp and founded the Spanish-Moroccan Community Beit Yosef.
Rabbi Serfaty is aware of the complexity and problems of contemporary European Jewry. He knows how to propose unpredictable solutions through his broad halakhic knowledge and human kindness.
Connection with the Esnoga
The first connection between the Serfaty family and the Esnoga was created about three centuries ago. As Moroccan pioneers, Serfaty’s ancestors brought all their family writings to Amsterdam for printing. Divrei Shmuel was printed in 1699 and Tsuf Dvash and Nimoekei Shmuel in 1718 by the famous bookseller and printer Salomon Proops. All those books contain honorable introductions written by spiritual leaders S. Di Oliviéra and S. Aelion.
During the years 1999-2000 Serfaty published Tsurat ha-Levana (1999-2000), an extensive commentary on the Bible. He speaks ten languages and has a very extensive and diverse general knowledge. He is also the author of Hohkma ve-Heshbon (2004), alphanumeric interpretations of the numbers in the book of Esther and Shira Hadasha, Liturgical Poetry and Musical Compositions (2012). His Va-Ya’an Yosef responsa is still in manuscript and contains a various halakhic decisions.
Serfaty wrote an extensive responsa about Alenu leshabe’ach – Minhag Amsterdam (2020), which you can download here:
Meetings with Rabbi J.B. Serfaty can be scheduled through our office. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.