Rabbi Sholomo Ben Levy was born in Queens, New York, in 1964. He is the eldest son of Deborah Levy and the late Chief Rabbi Levi Ben Levy. As a rabbi and as a scholar he proudly continues the traditions of a long and distinguished line of black rabbis that extends back to the early part of twentieth century. Rabbi Sholomo Levy entered the Israelite Rabbinical Academy in 1981. He continued his rabbinic studies while pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree at Middlebury College in Vermont. Part of his rabbinic and secular studies were completed at Tel Aviv University in Israel. In 1985, he graduated from the Academy and was ordained a rabbi. The following year he received his B.A. and then immediately entered a Master’s Degree program in African-American Studies at Yale University. After graduating from Yale in 1988, Rabbi Sholomo Levy returned to New York where he was installed as the Spiritual Leader of Beth Elohim Hebrew Congregation in Saint Albans, New York. In 2005, Rabbi Levy received an M.Phil degree from Columbia University in American History.
Following in his father’s foot steps, he became President of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis. He served as the editor and a frequent contributor to the Hakol newsletter and editor of the website www.blackjews.org. Throughout the 1990s, Rabbi Levy taught college courses on various aspects of American and African American History at LaGuardia Community College, at the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University, Medgar Evers College, and Middlebury College. In 1999 he married his lovely wife and soul mate Rayah. From 2002 to 2005, Rabbi Levy worked at Harvard University in the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute of the Department of Afro-American Studies as an Associate Editor of African American Lives (2004) and the African American National Biography, a ten-volume reference work.
Rabbi Levy is currently a tenured Associate Professor of History at Northampton Community College and lives with his wife and son in Pennsylvania. He commutes regularly to be with his congregation in New York, continues to teach a wide range of courses in the Israelite Academy, and by his own example strives to create rabbis who are effective, dedicated, and inspiring.