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Joseph Ezekiel Rajpurkar

RAJPURKAR, JOSEPH EZEKIEL (1834–1905), scholar of the *Bene Israel community in Bombay. After studying at the Free Assembly School, he became a teacher in the David Sassoon Benevolent Institution, Bombay, in 1856 and after five years its headmaster, a post which he occupied for 40 years. In 1871 he was appointed Hebrew examiner at the University of Bombay, which elected him a fellow in 1879. A master of Hebrew as well as of Marathi, the vernacular of Bombay, he translated over 20 works of the Hebrew liturgy and many English works of Jewish interest into Marathi.

His translations of Hebrew liturgical works include the Daily Prayer Book (1889, 1924), the maḥzor, piyyutim, and seliḥot. In 1887 he published Kuttonet Yosef – a handbook of Hebrew abbreviations, a Hebrew grammar in Marathi, a Hebrew primer for children, and prayers for various occasions.


H.S. Kehimkar, History of the Bene Israel of India (1937); The Israelite, 9 (1925), 97ff.; A. Yaari, Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Arẓot ha-Mizraḥ, 2 (1940), 54n, 73–79, 82. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: S.B. Isenberg, India's Bene Israel. A Comprehensive Inquiry and Source Book (1988

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.