Ezra Bessaroth is proud to have an active team of volunteers who help make our community possible. Many of our leaders are the children or grandchildren of the original founders of our congregation, making it all the more special that they remain active and involved in our community. Coupled with the support of our Board of Directors, these volunteers dedicate their time and effort to sustain Ezra Bessaroth and ensure its continuity for generations to come.
Albert was born and raised in the Seattle Sephardic community and has been a proud lifelong member of Ezra Bessaroth. He is descended from two sets of immigrant families that chose Seattle as their home after the turn of the last century. His father’s side is made up of a large contingent of Israels, Pehas, and Francos (among other families), all from the Island of Rhodes. His mother, Bella was born a Calvo, and herself immigrated from Istanbul to Seattle in 1956. Because of this close connection of his mother to Turkey, and the love of Rhodes his father inherited from his parents, the history of immigration as Turkish subjects from the Ottoman Empire is very significant to him.
Professionally, Albert has worked in the investment and financial planning industry since 1984 and has seen considerable change over the years. Starting with EF Hutton, Albert now works with Ameriprise Financial, where he serves as a certified financial planner© focusing on retirement planning for those in or near retirement and financial aid consulting for those with college-bound high schoolers. From 1994 to 1998 Albert hosted a weekend radio show on KVI called “The KVI Financial Show with Albert Israel.” As a side business, Albert bought a retail music store (Capitol Music) in 1999 and guided that until he sold it in 2014.
Among his other work, Albert has also served as a board member, vice president, and president of the Washington State Jewish Historical Society. Outside the Jewish community, Albert has been a foster parent to a teen who needed a home during his senior year of high school. Albert considers this one of his most rewarding experiences.
Board of Trustees
Albert Israel - President
Jeff Solam - First Vice President
Jason Okrent - Second Vice President
Joanne Angel - Third Vice President
Art Lewy - Grand Trustee
Aaron Rabinowitz - Treasurer
Carole Behar - Recording Secretary
Muriel Thompson - Ladies Auxiliary President
Alan Breen - Trustee
Benjamina Menashe - Trustee
Beth Jacoby - Trustee
Dan Swedlow - Trustee
Danny Sikavi - Trustee
Helene Behar - Trustee
Jared Brown - Trustee
Jordan Behar - Trustee
Leon Cohen - Trustee
Michael Chotzen - Trustee
Rachely Hemmat - Trustee
Rena Behar - Trustee
Rochelle Romano - Trustee
Simcha Bloom -- Trustee