From 1979 to 1983, Raffel was assistant director of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. He served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Regional Office of the American Jewish Congress from 1983 to 1986 and as vice president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College from 1986-87.
Raffel was admitted to both the Israel and the Pennsylvania Bar Associations. He received his law degree from the Hebrew University School of Law in Jerusalem (1976) and a B.A. in Government from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (1970). He has written numerous articles and op-ed pieces on Israel related issues and prepared a chapter on the history of Israel advocacy in the organized American Jewish community as part of the book, “Jewish Polity and American Civil Society,” which was published by Roman & Littlefield in 2002. For several years, he wrote a biweekly column for the New Jersey Jewish News called Raffel’s Riffs.