Mr. 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.

Mr. 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, 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 Progress.
Mr. Chris Gonzaga, Director of Security
Mr. Gonzaga is the founder of the National Security Agency & Training Center based in Orlando, Florida - corset suit. 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).
Mrs. 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.
Mr. Rachamim Berman HaLevi, Director of Jewish Education
Rachamim 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 bureau.
Mrs. Sharon Whalen, Journal Production Assistant
Mr. Timothy Veely, Printing Consultant

ISJ ACADEMIC COUNCIL [Updated 12/2004]

Dr. 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).

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. Marianne Sanua 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.


Dr. Judith Cohen 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.


Edwin Black 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.

Rebecca 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.

Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein, Ph.D. is Rosh Yeshiva & Dean of Yeshiva Toras Yisrael, Jerusalem

Marshall Lopez Ed.M. is director of the first International Jewish Home Schooling Educational Service for the B'nei Anusim.

Victor 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.

Aryeh 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.




© Copyright ISFSP International Society for Sephardic Progress