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.
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. Click here to read a recent article by Hazzan Azose, along with audio files.