Max D. Raiskin

Max D. Raiskin (Hebrew: מרדכי רייסקין, June 3, 1919, New York City – December 29, 1978, Tel Aviv, Israel), was a rabbi, Professor of Hebrew Literature, licensed Certified Public Accountant, author of educational textbooks, and the principal and executive director of the East Side Hebrew Institute.

Rabbi Prof.

Max D. Raiskin
Rabbi Max D. Raiskin.jpg
Mordecai Eliyahu Tzvi Raiskin

June 3, 1919
New York City
DiedDecember 29, 1978
Tel Aviv, Israel
NationalityIsrael, USA
SpouseBarbara Elefant-Raiskin
ParentsLeib and Henia Raiskin
PositionFounder of Day School, Principal and Executive Director, Author of children's books and texbooks.
OrganisationEast Side Heberew Institute
BuriedKiryat Shaul cemetery, Tel Aviv, Israel

Life and workEdit

Max Raiskin was born in New York City on June 3, 1919 to Louis (Leib) and Anna (Henia) Raiskin, immigrants from Russia. The Middle initial of his name (the letter D) stands for his mother's maiden name, Dubnoff. In December 1947, the principal of the East Side Hebrew Institute, David R. Zaslowsky, died, and Raiskin was asked by the board to take over the school. Rabbi Raiskin served as the principal and executive director of the East Side Hebrew Institute for over 25 years, and was a professor of Hebrew literature at Brooklyn College and Hunter College. Aside from that he was a well-known educator in NYC.[1] His stated goal was to bring Jews closer to Judaism, with the motto that "Every Jewish child deserves a Jewish education".[2] He was the firstin the U.S. to initiate and establish a program for preparing mentally challenged and blind children for their Bar Mitzvah.[3] He also established the program for the master's degree in Modern Hebrew Literature at Brooklyn College in the early 1950s. Rabbi Raiskin authored several educational books, edited a multitude of others (uncredited), and was Ktav Publishing's educational advisor.[4] In 1974 Rabbi Raiskin emigrated to Israel with his wife and eight children, where he died in 1978.[5]

In 1981, the 6th street Synagogue and community center in New York City, where many of his students were members, was named in his honor "The Rabbi Max D. Raiskin Center".[6] In 1997, one of his former students, actor Paul Reiser, named a Day School after him in Los Angeles, following his educational philosophy.[7]



  • Sefer Ha'avot I : Haver LaHistoria (1954)
  • Torati (1956)
  • Chumashi I: Genesis (1956)
  • Chumashi I (Color Edition) (1956-1957)
  • Chumashi II: With Rashi Readings (1959)
  • Sefer Ha'avot I Targilon (Workbook) (1960)
  • Sefer Ha'avot II : Toledot Hashvatim (1965)
  • Sefer Ha'avot II Workbook (1967)
  • Mitzvot and Values (1977)
  • Mishnah Tractate Ta'anit with the commentary of Rabbi Ovadya of Bartinura : translated into English, punctuated and annotated (1996)


  1. ^ Bernard Warach, "Hope, A Memoir", iUniverse, שנת 2011, page 50: " Its school principal, Rabbi Max Raiskin, was a renowned educator who initiated a transformation of the traditional Hebrew School education which had been transplanted in New York from the ghettos of Poland... Rabbi Raiskin was very friendly man and knew the name of every boy"
  2. ^ Raiskin, Rabbi Max D. "A History of ESHI". The ESHI Scroll, Vol. 1, No. 1 (1976), p. 2.
  3. ^ "Jewish Training Slated; Mentally Retarded Children to Learn Fundamentals of Faith", New York Times (December 19, 1953), p. 18: "Starting the first of the year, the class will meet at the East Side Hebrew Institute in Manhattan. Carl Rappaport, association president, announced yesterday. Members will be taught in the simplest way, he explained, the history of the Jewish people and the meaning of the holy days and how to observe them. Rabbi M. Raiskin, director of the institute, will conduct the program". Also see: "Pioneering efforts at preparing mentally challenged children for 'Bar-Mitzvah' in the 1950s", Dor Ledor 32 (2008) VII-XIX; Ida Rappaport, "Parents and Retarded Children" [An address at the Consultation on Religious Classes for Mentally Retarded Children, October 8, 1964, New York City…], Religious Education, Vol. 60 No. 3 (May–June 1965), p. 183.
  4. ^ See: "'The 70 good years' – Manhattan's 'Zitomir Talmud Torah Darchei Noam' and 'East Side Hebrew Institute' (E.S.H.I.) – 1910–1981". Dor LeDor, 25 (2005), pp.158–172.
  5. ^ The Seventy Good Years, ibid. NY Times Obituaries, December 31, 1978.
  6. ^ David W. Dunlap, "From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship", New York: Columbia University Press, 2012, p. 49: "Named in honor of Rabbi Max D. Raiskin, it sits across the aromatic Indian restaurant row"; also see description of this at length at: Gerard R. Wolfe, "The Synagogues of New York's Lower East Side: A Retrospective and Contemporary View", New York: Fordham University Press 2013, p. 86.
  7. ^ Sylvia J. Danzer, "Rabbi Max D. Raiskin West Valley Hebrew Academy - The Bright Star of the West Coast!", The Jewish Press, Western States Special (Friday, September 19, 1997), page 10.