RAFALIN, DAVID SHLOMÓ (1899–1979), rabbi of the Ashkenazi community of Mexico. He was born in Suwalki, Poland, and studied in the yeshivot of Slobodka and Mir. Rabbi Rafalin immigrated to New York and in 1929 to Havana, Cuba, where he was appointed rabbi of the Orthodox Ashkenazi congregation Adath Israel and was active in the Zionist Union of Cuba. In 1933 Rafalin immigrated to Mexico where he became the rabbi of the Ashkenazi community Nidchei Israel, serving until his death. Besides his rabbinic functions, Rafalin developed many public activities in the community. As an active Zionist he presided over the Jewish National Fund (1938–39); he founded and was the leader of the Mexican branch of the religious Zionist party, the Mizrachi; he headed many fundraising efforts in support of the government in its campaign for the nationalization of oil resources (1938) and for the aid to Holocaust survivors. Rafalin also collaborated in the foundation of the Jewish religious school Yavneh (1942).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.