Raphael Evers

Raphael Evers

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Raphael Evers is the Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 of Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

 and an authoritative Jewish spokesman in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...



Evers grew up in Amsterdam-West. His father was Hans Evers. His mother, Bloeme Evers-Emden
Bloeme Evers-Emden
Bloeme Evers-Emden is a Dutch Jewish teacher and child psychologist who extensively researched the phenomenon of "hidden children" during World War II and wrote four books on the subject in the 1990s...

 (born 1926), is a Dutch Jew who was deported from Westerbork to Auschwitz in September 1944 on the same train as Anne Frank
Anne Frank
Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank is one of the most renowned and most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Acknowledged for the quality of her writing, her diary has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films.Born in the city of Frankfurt...

, whom she had known in Amsterdam. Evers-Emden survived the war and later published four books detailing her research on Dutch Jewish children hidden during the war.


Evers has been connected as a rabbi to the Nederlands Israëlitisch Kerkgenootschap
Nederlands Israëlitisch Kerkgenootschap
The Nederlands-Israëlitisch Kerkgenootschap is the umbrella organisation for most Jewish communities in the Netherlands, and is Orthodox in nature, while to be described as traditional in outlook. The expression Orthodox, is for the Dutch situation at least, of a later date than the existence of...

(Dutch Israelite Religious Community) (NIK) since 1990. He is also the dean of the Nederlands Israëlitisch Seminarium (Dutch Israelite Seminary) where Dutch rabbis and Jewish teachers are trained. Evers finished two studies—Psychology and Fiscal Law—and received rabbinical ordination in 1989 from several distinguished rabbinical authorities. He is known for his encyclopedic knowledge on almost all facets of Judaism.

Additional functions and activities

Evers is secretary of the Nederlands College voor Rabbinale Zaken (Dutch College for Rabbinical Affairs) and secretary on the board of the Bijbels Museum (Biblical Museum) in Amsterdam. He is also a member of the Conference of European Rabbis
Conference of European Rabbis
The Conference of European Rabbis is the primary Orthodox rabbinical alliance in Europe. It was founded in 1956 on the initiative of British Chief Rabbi Sir Israel Brodie, and its current executive director is Aba Dunner...

 (CER) and of the Joods Marokkaans Netwerk Amsterdam (Jewish Moroccan Network Amsterdam). Because of his work for and in name of the Dutch Jewish community Evers was given a place in the Golden Book of Moroccan Judaism; he was also honored for his 25-year jubilee at the Nederlands Israëlitisch Seminarium.


After the murder of Theo van Gogh
Theo van Gogh (film director)
Theodoor "Theo" van Gogh was a Dutch film director, film producer, columnist, author and actor.Van Gogh worked with the Somali-born writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali to produce the film Submission, which criticized the treatment of women in Islam and aroused controversy among Muslims...

 on November 2, 2004, Evers presented, alongside representatives of Christian and Muslim communities, a Samenlevingscontract (Cohabitation Agreement) to the President of the Dutch House of Representatives.

He has also spoken out on the increasing antisemitism displayed by Dutch Muslim residents of Moroccan
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and Turkish
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 descent, allowing himself and his mother to be filmed on the subject by French television. In 2010 his son, Bentzion Evers, told the press that he is planning to move to Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 because of antisemitism, and that his father also plans to leave Holland after his retirement. Five of Evers' children have already left the country.


Evers has produced several publications on Jewish topics.
  • Tsedaka het bijbelse tiende (on giving charity)
  • Kaddiesj: Theoretische en praktische aspecten van het Kaddiesj-gebed (lit.: "Kaddish: Theoretical and practical aspects of the Kaddish
    Kaddish is a prayer found in the Jewish prayer service. The central theme of the Kaddish is the magnification and sanctification of God's name. In the liturgy different versions of the Kaddish are used functionally as separators between sections of the service...

  • Aan tafel bij de rabbijn (lit.: "Sharing meals with the rabbi"—on eating and drinking from a Biblical perspective)
  • Talmoedisch denken (lit.: "Talmudic thinking"—on how to interpret the rules of the Talmud
    The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

  • Oude wijn in nieuwe zakken (lit.: "Old wine in new jugs"—on current events in the Jewish community)
  • Tijd van leven (lit.: "Time of living"—on the 24-hour economy)
  • Op het leven! (lit.: "On life!"—on medical-ethical topics out of a Jewish perspective)
  • Geen bloemen, wel bezoek (lit.: "No flowers, although there are visitors"—on death and mourning
    Bereavement in Judaism
    Bereavement in Judaism is a combination of minhag and mitzvah derived from Judaism's classical Torah and rabbinic texts...

  • De Echte Tora (lit.: "The Real Torah
    Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

    "—on the history of the Talmud)
  • Moge uw ziel gebundeld worden
  • De sja'atnez wijzer (verboden combinaties van wol en linnen): een moderne gids voor de diniem van sja'atnez voor de praktijk (on the laws of shaatnez)

Evers has also written Hebrew-language
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

books and articles concerning rabbinical topics. He also writes articles on a regular basis for newspapers and magazines, as well as study material used in Dutch schools. He is a frequent spokesman for the Jewish point of view on radio and television and during debates and lectures.