Michael Rosen (rabbi)

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Dr. Michael Rosen
Position Founder
Organisation Yakar
Began 1978
Ended 2008
Personal details
Birth name Michael Rosen
Born (1945-01-21)21 January 1945
Glasgow, Scotland
Died 8 December 2008(2008-12-08)
Jerusalem, Israel
Buried Har HaMenuchot cemetery
Nationality British and Israeli
Denomination Orthodox
Residence Jerusalem, Israel
Parents Rabbi Kopul and Bella Rosen
Spouse Gilla Katzersdorfer Rosen
Children 6
Profession Rabbi and teacher
Alma mater Grodno Yeshiva Beer Yaakov and University College London
Semicha 1973

Michael Rosen (Shmuel Meir ben HaRav Yaakov Kopul, born 21 January 1945 in Glasgow, Scotland, died 8 December 2008 in Jerusalem, Israel) was a British-born Israeli rabbi and founder of Yakar, an innovative Jewish learning community and synagogue.


Michael ("Mickey") Rosen was one of three sons of Rabbi Yaakov Kopul and Bella Rosen. His thinking was strongly influenced by his father, who rejected fundamentalism and obscurantism and instead embraced secular wisdom while remaining committed to religious life.[1] Rosen was first educated at Carmel College, the school his father had founded based on this philosophical orientation. He then continued his education at the Slabodka Yeshiva and the Grodno Yeshiva Beer Yaakov, both in Bnei Brak. He received semikhah from the latter in 1973. In addition, he studied at the Harry Fischel Institute for Talmudic Research in Jerusalem, and was presented with a second semikhah by Chief Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman.[2]

After serving as a rabbi near Manchester, Rosen opened a Jewish educational center in London in 1978 called Yakar – Center for Tradition and Creativity, whose name is an acronym of his father's name, Yaakov Kopul Rosen, and also means precious or worthy in the Hebrew language. In 1992 he established a Yakar center in Jerusalem and, in 2007, another in Tel Aviv. What was unique about the Yakar concept was that it blended traditional Jewish learning with social action, interfaith dialogue and the arts.[3]

In 1994, Rosen received a Ph.D. from University College London after submitting a dissertation entitled A Commentary on Job Attributed to Rashbam. In 2008 he published a book about Hasidic Judaism entitled The Quest for Authenticity: The Thought of Reb Simchah Bunim.[4]

He spent his last three weeks in coma after a fall. He was buried on 9 December 2008 in the Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem. He was survived by his wife, Gilla, six children, seven grandchildren, his two brothers, Rabbi Jeremy Rosen and Rabbi David Rosen, and his sister, Angela.

He was widely considered one of the most popular and revered Anglo-immigrant rabbis in Israel.[5]


  1. ^ "To Start at the Beginning". Jeremy Rosen Online. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Beck, Mordechai (January 22, 2009). "Obituary: Michael Rosen". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  3. ^ Pogrund, Benjamin (February 19, 2009). "Michael Rosen: Spiritual leader who sought interfaith understanding". The Independent. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  4. ^ Wagner, Matthew (December 11, 2008). "Rabbi Michael Rosen". Intermountain Jewish News. Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
  5. ^ Ahern, Raphael (December 12, 2008). "Rabbi Michael Rosen, 63: A precious light dims with Yakar founder's death". Haaretz. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 

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