Rabbi Israel Jacob Yoffey was born in Wilkowitz (Ukmerge) in Lithuania in 1874. His father-in-law Rabbi Joseph Yoffey had immigrated to England in 1893 and was appointed Rabbi of the Central Synagogue in Manchester. Rabbi Joseph Yoffey died in 1897 and Rabbi Israel Jacob Yoffey succeeded him at the young age of 23. he founded the Manchester Yeshivah and together with Rabbi H. Hurwitz (see The Well of Purification) of Leeds and others he organized a conference in England of eastern European rabbis, in 1911. He was a religious Zionist, and one of the leaders of the Mizrachi movement.
Rabbi Yoffey wrote three books:
- Knesset Yisroel was published in Manchester in 1910.
- This book, Techiyos Yisroel was published in Manchester in 1927. It was printed by Joseph Massel, the Zionist printer – you can read about him here.
- Shofar Yisroel, printed in Kedainiai in Lithuania in 1931.
Rabbi Yoffey died im 1934, in Alexandria, Egypt, on his way to the Land of Israel.
After the initial dedications at the beginning of the book, Rabbi Yoffey writes about his father, the late Rabbi Abraham Yoffey (or Jaffe), who was expelled from the city of his birth, Wilkomir (now known us Ukmerge, Lithuania) together with the other Jewish inhabitants during the First World War. He became a wandering refugee and on the way lost his possessions, including his manuscripts and writings. For that reason, to the disappointment of Rabbi Israel Jacob Yoffey, he was not able to include some of his father’s writing in this book.