Our Affiliated Rabbis
Rabbi Nissim Elnecavé - New York
Rabbi Nissim Elnecavé is an active rabbinic educator in the New York Sephardic community and current serves as the Rabbi at Congregation Mikdash Eliyahu in Brooklyn. He was born in Mexico City to a family descendant from Ottoman-Ladino Turkey. He received his rabbinical formal training (Semikha) in Jerusalem at the Shehebar Sephardic Center and Yeshivat Porat Yosef, focusing on the minhag (traditions) and customs of the Ladino-speaking Sephardic Jews of Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans.
In addition to being a community rabbi, he is a staff consultant to Yeshiva University, where he helps catalog and translate information from antiquarian Jewish books in Ladino to English and Hebrew. Rabbi Elnecavé was appointed Executive Director in 2016 and has taken an active lead in reaching out to the next generation of Sephardic Jews and collaborating with communities across the country.
Rabbi Albert Gabbai - Philadelphia
Rabbi Albert Gabbai is the Rabbi at Congregation Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia, which is an historic synagogue, founded in 1740 rebuilt by the government for America’s Bicentennial and contains many Sefer Torahs from pre-revolutionary times. Rabbi Gabbai is was born in Egypt and arrived to the US in 1971, after being in an Egyptian prison for three years. He attended Yeshiva University and later the Shehebar Sephardic Center - Beit Midrash Sepharadi in Jerusalem to complete his studies and graduated in 1989.
He has been the rabbi of Congregation Mikveh Israel for more than 25 years, specializing in the Hazzanut of the S&P Western Sephardic Tradition and the Egyptian Sephardic customs of his home community in Cairo. He is also a Dayan and certified to issue ritual divorces (Gettin) and Jewish conversions.
Rabbi Simon Benzaquen - Seattle
Rabbi Benzaquen is the spiritual leader of Congregation Ezra Bessaroth and was born in Spanish Morocco in the coastal city of Melilla, Spain. At the age of fourteen, Rabbi Benzaquen was accepted to the prestigious Yeshivat Netzach Israel in Sunderland, England where he attended for ten years. He continued his Talmudic studies in London, England, for an additional three years at the Etz Chaim Yeshiva. With his love for music and Jewish liturgy, he additionally completed a two year program at the Jewish College University. Rabbi Benzaquen also received Rabbinic ordination from the Rabbinical Academy of Marseille, France. He has held rabbinic positions in Jewish communities of England, Venezuela, Seattle, San Francisco, and beyond. He is a member of the Va’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle and serves as a certified Dayan (Judge) on its Beit Din. He is a Sofer for Sifrei Torah, Tefilin and Mezuzothm a noted artist for his unique style of calligraphy of painted and decorated Ketuboth, marriage contracts, and a Shochet for Ofot and Gasot.
Rabbi Ben Hassan - Seattle
Rabbi Ben Hassan grew up in Manchester, England. He spent his teenage years in Bnei Akiva developing a passion for Torah and the land of Israel. After High School, he studied at Yeshivat Kibbutz Hadati and received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Salford. Following college he went back to Israel to study at Darche Noam in Jerusalem, later attending Yeshivat Hamivtar in Efrat, under Rabbi Shlomo Riskin where he received semikha (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Riskin and Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Hassan was a rabbinic fellow and teacher during his four years at Yeshivat Hamivtar. In February 2014, he accepted the position of Rabbi Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation in Seattle. Rabbi Hassan and his wife Rubissa Sharona have four daughters Cohava, Gabriella, Rutie and Tova. Rabbi Hassan teaches at the Seattle Hebrew Academy and serves as a Dayan on the Seattle Beth Din for conversions and divorces. He is also a member of the Vaad of Seattle.