Religious Staff

Simon Benzaquen
Interim Rabbi
David Benchlouch
Rabbi
Isaac Azose
Hazzan Emeritus
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Rabbi David Benchlouch attended the Jerusalem Midrash Sephardi Rabbinical College and the Strauss-Amiel,  Ner Le’elef and Ma’arava rabbinical training program for rabbis of the diaspora. Inspired by his close relationship to his mentoring Rabbi Yakov Peretz of Jerusalem, Rabbi David is visionary and affluent in pursuit of broadening Jewish awareness, affiliation, and identity amidst his sphere of influence.

Following the pioneering footsteps of Rabbi Sam Kassin, Rabbi Benchlouch can be found debating Jewish thought and Halacha, involvement in charity appeals and engaging in field work promotions for the community: anything to ignite the passion of a Jewish soul.

He has an outgoing and outreaching personality and loves discussing Hashkafa, Psychology and Jewish thought. He is innovative and creative, energetic yet soft-spoken.

Rabbi Benchlouch enjoys interacting with all ages and has much experience with  teenagers and children as a guiding mentor. He feels nothing less than fortunate to have been engaged in outreach and Shabbatons for singles & couples. His philosophy is one that welcomes and respects people as they are while arousing and motivating them to further discover their personal connection to their everlasting heritage.

He had the privilege to mentor and assist students and congregants assess and achieve their personal and spiritual goals through his combined rabbinical and clinical training applications in the field of psychotherapy.

 

Previous positions:

Rabbi of Sephardi Hebrew Congregation of Cape Town, South Africa. 

Rabbi and clinical psychotherapist in Yeshivat Lev Aharon, and psychotherapist in private practice in Jerusalem. 

Holds a Semicha and Masters degree on clinical counseling.

He is husband to to Tirtza and father to Michael, Ayala, Yosef, and Eliya-Uzi.

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Rabbi Benzaquen 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, with an emphasis on Askenazic cantorial liturgy and Hazzanut, which complimented his already familiar knowledge of Sephardic liturgy.

 

Rabbi Benzaquen additionally 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.

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Isaac Azose is the Hazzan Emeritus of Congregation Ezra Bessaroth, having served the community for over 35 years as its Hazzan. Born and raised in Seattle to Sephardic Jews from modern day Turkey, Hazzan Azose grew up surrounded by a loving and strong sense of Sephardic community and culture. 

Hazzan Azose retired from his position at the Boeing Company in 1995. He continues to actively engage with the Sephardic Community today, tutoring boys and girls for their Bnai Misva in the community, and teaching Sephardic Tefillah weekly at the Seattle Torah Day School.