Iranian Jewish Culure
Dr. Rahmatollah Rafie
Presidents of the Tehran Jewish Association

Dr. Rahmatollah Rafie


Rahmatollah Rafie was born in 1941 C.E., 1320 of the Persian calendar, henceforth P.C., to a religious Jewish family of Tehran, Iran. His paternal ancestor, Agha Raphael Ben Mullah Yousef “Joseph” Hai, had been a well-known cleric and philanthropist of the city of Kashan.

Rahmatollah Rafie graduated from the Firooz-Kouhi Elementary and Alborz High Schools. Having passed the national admissions exams known as the Concours with flying colors, he went straight from high school to the School of Medical Sciences at Pahlavi University of Shiraz. He received his Doctorate in General Medicine in 1968 C.E., 1347 P.C. A scholarship enabled him to leave for England, where he pursued his graduate studies in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In 1971 C.E., 1350 P.C., having completed his graduate studies at Liverpool University, Dr. Rahmatollah Rafie returned to Pahlavi University of Shiraz. The following year, he left for the United States to further advance his medical studies. By 1976 C.E., 1355 P.C., he had received three Post-Doctorate degrees in Female Oncology, Female Infertility, and Male Infertility, from Michigan University.

Back at his homeland, Dr. Rafie resumed to teach and practice medicine as an Associate Professor at the School of Medical Sciences, Pahlavi University of Shiraz,

In 1977 C.E., 1356 P.C., Dr. Rahmatollah Rafie moved back to Tehran. And before long, he had opened his private medical practice at the center of the Iranian capital. Following the 1979 C.E. Islamic Revolution, the Board of Directors of Kanoon-e Kheyr-Khah “The Philanthropy Center”, the umbrella organization of Dr. Rouhollah Sapir Hospital, invited him for up-close collaborations. Thus, Dr. Rafie began work as the Chair of the Gynecology Section of the hospital.

During the eight years of the imposed war between Iraq & Iran, Dr. Rafie was deployed many times to the warfront on professional duty. His invaluable services to the wounded earned him many honors, including several Commendations from the ranking military and state figures.

As a keen physician with outstanding skills, Dr. Rafie has garnered particular respect among his peers, and across the society at large. Well-known for his medical experience and expertise, he’s already been recorded in the annals of Iranian medical society as an accomplished physician.


Dr. Rahmatollah Rafie began his social activities at a young age, when he became a member of the Kourosh “Cyrus” the Great Cultural Center. Next, together with a number of friends, he founded the Iranian Jewish Students Association. No more than 17, given his demonstrated abilities in the social and cultural activities, he was chosen to lead the Cyrus the Great Cultural Center. Later on, by the advice and cooperation of fellow student members at the Bialik Literary Society, he established the Academic Students Association, which over the years would evolve into the Iranian Jewish Academic Students Organization.

In Shiraz, though as a student at Pahlavi University, he nevertheless continued his social activities. Thus, he launched the Iranian Jewish Academic Students Organization of Shiraz.

In 1977 C.E., 1356 P.C., Dr. Rahmatollah Rafie married Mojgan Nay-Davoud “Neydavoud”. The couple brought two daughters and a son to the world.

In 1979 C.E., 1358 P.C., once the Islamic Republic of Iran had been established, Dr. Rahmatollah Rafie ran in the elections for the Tehran Jewish Association, and a majority vote did place him in the newly formed Board of the Directors of the Association. However, certain concerns made him withdraw from collaborating with the Association at this time, instead limiting his social activities exclusively to the Iranian Jewish Graduate Society and the Pishrow “Progressive” Artistic & Cultural Center.

Yet, in 2006 C.E., 1385 P.C., invited by a number of caring members of the community, and despite a busy life his and critical responsibilities as an expert physician, Dr. Rahmatollah Rafie agreed to run once more for a seat in the Tehran Jewish Association. A majority vote earned him a seat in the Board of Directors, whose members chose him as their Chairman. In addition to leading the said Association, he has been in charge of the Tehran Beheshtieh “Eden” Jewish Cemetery, and he has been entrusted with the Chairmanship of the Jewish Community Conflict Resolution Council.

In 2008 C.E., 1387 P.C., Dr. Rahmatollah Rafie joined the Research Studies Center of the Iranian Jews, in which capacity he has done much to preserve and promote the Jewish oral history.


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