Congregation Ezra Bessaroth
Congregation Ezra Bessaroth is a Sephardic synagogue in Seattle, Washington, founded by immigrants from the Mediterranean Island of Rhodes. The synagogue holds true to Sephardic heritage and traditions, proudly maintaining the liturgy and customs of Rhodes.
In 1904, Nessim Alhadeff made the journey from Rhodes to Seattle. Within three years, all of his brothers and many others followed him. By 1909, the first steps at formal organization were taken. Moved by the leadership of Haim DeLeon, the original group of Rhodeslis formed, in 1909, the Koupa Ozer Dalim Anshe Rhodes (the fund for the aid of the poor, people of Rhodes) with Solomon Alhadeff as president, Nessim AIhadeff as treasurer, and Harry Franco as secretary. Funds were raised from within the group and were sent to the needy Jewish community of Rhodes. Throughout the 20th century, the community would go on to grow and thrive in Seattle, building multiple synagogues and moving neighborhoods as the community developed over time.
Today, our over 100 year old synagogue continues actively plays a major role in Sephardic and Jewish life in Seattle. With daily minyanim, weekly Shabbat Services, the annual bazaar, and so much more, our kehila is an active center of Rhodesli and Sephardic Jewish life in the United States. Recently, the synagogue welcomed our new Rabbi, Rabbi David Benchlouch, an expert in the minhag of the island of Rhodes. He previously served as the Rabbi of the Sephardi Hebrew Congregation of Cape Town in South Africa, another Rhodesli Synagogue that is still actively perpetuating our Sephardic customs and traditions.