LEADERSHIP & ISJ STAFF
Shelomo Alfassa, Executive Director
Mr. Alfassa is an international advocate
for Sephardic Jewry. He is the founder of the International
Society for Sephardic Progress and the editor of the award
winning International Sephardic Journal. Mr. Alfassa served
as former Director of Research and Development for Sephardic
House at the Center for Jewish History and as a consultant
to the American Sephardi Federation. He currently serves
on the board of directors of the Foundation for the Advancement
of Sephardic Studies and Culture. Holding both Israeli and
U.S., citizenship he has served as a consultant to Yeshiva
Hatefutsoth in Jerusalem. Mr. Alfassa is the author of 'Quiet
War Against the Jews' and 'Bibliography of Ethnic Sephardic
Jews in the Medical Literature'. His articles have appeared
in the media such as The Jewish Press, Israel National News,
Sephardic Image Magazine and several other publications.
Charles Peyton Bass, Vice President of Operations
Mr. Bass is a information systems technical
expert, with knowledge of both hardware and software. He has
contributed to developing the World Sephardi News Service,
as well as assisted in development of the International Sephardic
Journal. After a long career with airline industry and extensive
world travel, Mr. Bass donates his time to assist with operations
of the many projects of the International Society for Sephardic
Chris Gonzaga, Director of Security
Gonzaga is the founder of the National Security Agency &
Training Center based in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Gonzaga graduated
the US Army Special Agent/Criminal Investigation Academy and
was attached to the Criminal Investigate Command (CID). Mr.
Gonzaga has worked as an active police officer and sheriff's
deputy and has been trained in Counter-Terrorist operations
by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs as well
as members of the Israeli Defense Forces and Mishteret Israel
(Israeli Police Force).
Rhonda Gross, Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Gross is a member of the ISFSP support
staff who helps with day to day operations. Mrs. Gross handles
administrative issues related to the organization. Her family
is from the former Ottoman Empire, Turkey and Rhodes.
Rachamim Berman HaLevi, Director of Jewish Education
Berman HaLevi studied at Yeshiva Tiferes Menachem, in New
York City. He conducted his undergraduate studies at University
of Miami and holds a Master's Degree in History from University
of Pennsylvania. He is a decorated veteran who served in the
United States Marine Corps and spent eight years with a major
Wall Street firm. Mr. HaLevi is available as part of our speaker's
Sharon Whalen, Journal Production Assistant
Timothy Veely, Printing Consultant
ACADEMIC COUNCIL [Updated 12/2004]
Jane Gerber is a prominent scholar in Judaic
Studies and is the Director of the Institute for Sephardic Studies
at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has received numerous awards
including National Jewish Book Award in Sephardic Studies. Prof.
Gerber was visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, Columbia and the
Hebrew University. She has published many books and articles in
the area of Sephardim and European Judaism. Among her works: The
Jews of Spain (1992), Jewish Society in Fez: 1450-1700
(1980). She also edited Sephardic Studies in the University
(1994). Some of her articles include: Jewish Studies in
the Public University, Association for Jewish Studies
Newsletter (1997), The Sephardic Experience and 1492,
Humanities (1992), and April Memories of Soviet Jewry,
The New York Times (1979).
Yael Kassorla is a religious Sephardic Jew
with a Ph.D. in Ethnic American and 20th Century American Literature
from Bowling Green State University. She currently works as a
tenured Professor of English at Western Nevada Community College,
Carson City, NV. She is the mother of three sons and a regular
columnist for Israel National News.
Yitzchak Kerem is associated with Aristotle
University, Thessaloniki, Greece, & The Hebrew University
of Jerusalem. He is a historian on Greek & Sephardic Jewry,
Holocaust, and a historical filmmaker. Dr. Kerem is founder and
director of Institute for Hellenic Jewish Studies at University
of Denver, and have given some 150 academic conference papers.
He has contributed to numerous encyclopedias including Encyclopaedia
Judaica bi-annual yearbooks, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Dictionary
of National Biography (Oxford University Press), and Chronoly
of World Slavery.
Isaac Jack Lévy is Distinguished Professor
Emeritus of Spanish Language and Literature at the University
of South Carolina and founder of the American Society of Sephardic
Studies. He is the author of And the World Stood Silent: Sephardic
Poetry of the Holocaust and Prolegomena to the Study of
the "Refranero Sefardi." Dr. Lévy's research
is primarily on the Sephardic communities of the Ottoman Empire.
Isabelle Medina Sandoval is Assistant Professor
and Assistant Chair of the Education Department at the College
of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She holds a BA from the University of
New Mexico, an MA from the University of Missouri and her doctorate
from the University of Wyoming. She has taught at primary, secondary,
and college level. Her poetry, short stories, and articles have
appeared in numerous publications. Her writings express the experience
of the Sephardic community living in the American Southwest.
is professor of history and Holocaust and Judaic
studies at Florida Atlantic University. Previously she was with
the Department of Collections and Exhibitions at the Holocaust
Memorial Museum in New York. Dr. Sanua currently serves as president
of the Sephardi Federation of Palm Beach County.
Seth Ward is Assistant Professor of Judaic
Studies and History at the University of Denver, where he also
directs the Institute for Islamic-Judaic Studies, part of the
Center for Judaic Studies. He came to the University of Denver
in 1991, after six years in Israel teaching at the University
of Haifa and the Technion. Ward's academic interests include the
Jews of Muslim Lands, Jewish-Muslim relations, and other aspects
of Islamic-Judaic Studies. He is widely published in a number
of scholarly journals. Dr. Ward received his academic degrees
from Yale University, with additional studies at Hebrew University
and at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Mira Zussman is Professor of Comparative Religious
Studies at San Jose State University. She is the founder and Coordinator
of the Middle East Studies Program there, and currently Acting-Coordinator
of the Comparative Religious Studies Program. She is past president
of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness and has served
on the Executive Council of the American Anthropological Association.
For the past 25 years her research has focused primarily on the
Middle East and North Africa.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDITOR
is a member of the Adjunct Graduate Faculy at York
University, Canada. Her Ph.D. is in Ethnomusicology, and her M.A.
is in Medieval Studies. Dr. Cohen is affiliated fluent in French,
Spanish, and Portuguese, and possesses knowledge of different
forms of Judeo-Spanish fluent for reading purposes. She has been
reviewing books for many years, as the person responsible for
Sephardic material in the Jewish section of the American Folklore
Society, for the Canadian Folklore Journal, and as an unaffiliated
reviewer for many others.
is the award-winning, New York Times and
international best-selling investigative author of IBM and
the Holocaust and War Against the Weak. In the past
several years, Black has won numerous prestigious awards. Editors
have nominated Black for the Pulitzer Prize eight times, most
recently for his latest Banking
on Baghdad which exposes the connections of Hitler with
the Arabs in their joint quest to destroy the Jews of Iraq while
the Germans the British vied for Middle Eastern oil.
Camhi Fromer is an editor and writer of poetry
and prose; her works on Sephardic themes include The Holocaust
Odyssey of Daniel Bennahmias (University of Alabama Press)
and The House by the Sea (Mercury House); she is represented
in the volume Sephardic American Voices-Two Hundred Years of
a Literary Legacy (University Press of New England), and she
is the co-founder of the Magnes Museum (the Jewish Museum of the
West), a world-class museum in Berkeley, California.
Mordechai Goldstein, Ph.D. is
Rosh Yeshiva & Dean of Yeshiva Toras Yisrael, Jerusalem
Lopez Ed.M. is director of the first International
Jewish Home Schooling Educational Service for the B'nei Anusim.
D. Sanua, Ph.D. is Research Professor in the
Department of Psychology at St. John's University, and the President
of the International Association of Jews from Egypt. He
resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Shmuelevitz, Ph.D. z"l
was professor for Middle Eastern History and former
Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern and African History
for the Dayan Center in Tel Aviv. Professor Shmuelevitz was one
of the founders of the Shiloah Institute (later the Moshe Dayan
Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies) and its annual
publication, The Middle East Record, and is a Senior Research
Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center. He specialized in the history
and society of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey and Iran, and the Jews
of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey. He was the author of The Jews
of the Ottoman Empire in the Late 15th and the 16th Centuries,
as well as many other books on related topics.