Our Emissaries & Representatives

Shavei Israel is dedicated to the research of the Lost Tribes of Israel, anousim (Marranos), and other descendants of “lost Jews.” Shavei Israel also endeavors to provide tangible assistance to individuals and communities who sincerely desire to return to the Jewish people. This includes sponsoring spiritual leaders and educators to communities who are in the process of returning to the Jewish fold.


Shavei Israel supports emissaries in communities that show a desire to increase their Jewish awareness. Today, Shavei Israel sponsors rabbis in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Poland as well as educators in India. Additional emissaries are needed in these countries and in Latin America.


Shavei Israel emissaries teach Judaism and Hebrew, conduct prayers on Shabbat and holidays, prepare weekly bulletins for the community, establish programs for children and youth and give individual guidance. Shavei Israel emissaries are a contact for members of the community, as well as those on the outside of the community framework, who are interested in investigating their connection to Judaism and the Jewish people.

Rabbi Shimon M. Yehoshua

Shavei Israel’s Emissary in Colombia

Shimon serves the Bnei Anousim communities and conversion candidates in Colombia. Rabbi Shimon was born in Argentina and received his rabbinic ordination…

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…in Jerusalem at the Beit Hamidrash Hasefaradí. He is a graduate of the Amiel Institute, which prepares Rabbis for the Diaspora. He served as Rabbi of the city of Pattaya in Thailand, and was the general program coordinator for Latin America of Bnei Akiva. He taught at the Yeshiva Torah beTzión and at Midreshet Lindenbaum and worked as a mashgiach kashrut in Argentina.

Rabbi Avraham Israel Latapiat

Shavei Israel’s Emissary in Chile

Born in Chile, he has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. In the past, he served as professor at the Central University…

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… of Venezuela. He is a member of the American Mathematical Society and has published widely in astrophysics, including through the Center for Astrophysics NASA and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He went from mathematics to the Mishnah, and received his rabbinical ordination at Yeshiva Pirchei Shoshanim in Israel. He established a Kollel called Haor HaKodesh in Caracas, Venezuela, before returning to Chile, where he now lives with his wife. He is an active member of the Kollel Chazon Ish, project director of Ta’am Kosher certification agency and president of CEDIH, an organization whose goal is to bring man to Torah study.

Rabbi Yehoshua Ellis

Shavei Israel’s Emissary in Warsaw, Poland

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Rabbi Yehoshua Ellis studied at various Yeshivot in Jerusalem before receiving his rabbinical ordination from the Shehebar Sephardic Center…

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…He is also a certified Shochet, or ritual kosher slaughterer. Several years ago, he served as a community volunteer in Warsaw, where he developed a powerful bond with the Polish Jewish community and decided to devote himself to strengthening it. He has also served as the Chief Rabbi of Katowice.

Rabbi Dawid Szychowski

Shavei Israel’s Emissary in Lodz, Poland

Dawid serves as the rabbi of Lodz and assists the “hidden Jews” of the area. He is also Chief Rabbi of small communities in the area. Born in Poland, …

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…he has a BA in philosophy. For a long time, he was a student of Rabbi Boaz Pash, who served as emissary of Shavei Israel in Krakow for seven years. Dawid made aliya and lived in Israel for six years and there received his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Peretz in Beit Hamidrash HaSefaradí and Rabbi Riskin in  Ohr Torah Stone in Efrat.

Rabbi David Cordova

Shavei Israel’s Emissary in Cuba

Rabbi David Córdoba assists Bnei Anusim communities in Cuba and people in the process of conversion there. Rabbi David, born in Cuba and emigrated to Israel in 2018, received his 

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rabbinical ordination from the Beit Hamidrash Hasefaradí in Jerusalem as Kashrut Supervisor, Shechitah (Ritual Slaughter), Brit Milah (Circumcision). Gerut (Conversion Laws) Nida (Family Purity Laws).


Asher Cornejo

President of the Beit Shemaya & Avtalion community in Armenia, El Salvador

The Beit Shemaya & Avtalion community was established in 2005. It’s Shomer Shabbat with a mikveh, a prayer area and an area for shechita (ritual slaughter)…

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They are 48 families (150 people) who almost all of us live 1 km away in all directions, the synagogue being the central axis of their lives. They care for the values of Jewish identity, love the state of Israel and are located approximately 45 minutes from the capital, municipality of Armenia Sonsonate, El Salvador.

Menachem Gomez

President of the Derech HaChayim Jewish Community in Siguatepeque, Honduras

They are located in Siguatepeque, Honduras C.A. They are an emerging community that has been on the path of Torah…

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…for 10 years. They have more than 35 members including children. They have Torah services on Shabbat and holidays, a shochet of chickens, who graduated from the Yeshiva Pirchei Shoshanim. Torah, Halacha (Jewish law) and Musar classes are taught every week to all members. At the moment they are planning the construction of their Synagogue and a mikvah.

Fernando Flores

President of the Shaar Hashamaim Jewish Zionist Center of Guatemala

A community formed in 2018 by 15 families (45 people) whose main purpose is the observance of a Modern Orthodox Jewish way of…

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…life. They are located in Guatemala City and are about to complete the construction of their first community center which will have: Mikveh, Synagogue, apartments (Shomer Shabbat), community dining room and kitchen, Torah study area.

Javier Bartra Rengifo

President of the Benei Israel Jewish Community in Tarapoto, Peru

Located in the District of Tarapoto, Province and Region of San Martin, Peru. Community established in 2004, with the name…

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… of Ben Yehuda Jewish Community. In February 2006, we had a visit by Michael Freund, chairman of Shavei Israel, along with Rabbi Eliyahu Birnbaum. That March we had a visit by Rabbi Daniel Litvak, an envoy from Shavei Israel, to teach us Orthodox Judaism (Shabbat, rituals, kashrut, holidays and Torah); observance that we have been fulfilling to date. It’s the desire of the whole community to live fulfilling all the precepts of Judaism and return to dwell in the land of our ancestors. 

Past Emissaries

Rabbi Elisha Salas

Shavei Israel’s Emissary for Bnei Anousim

Rabbi Salas served as the Chief Rabbi of the city of Belmonte and is now our emissary for Bnei Anousim. Rabbi Salas was born in Chile and received smicha (rabbinical ordination)…

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 from the Sefardi Beit Midrashi in the Old City of Jerusalem. He has also received certification as a shochet, in education, and as a mashgiach kashrut. Rabbi Salas made aliyah in 1999 and lives in Jerusalem. He has a degree in accounting and management from the University of Santiago De Chile.

Rabbi Avi Baumol

Shavei Israel’s Emissary in Krakow, Poland

In Krakow, Poland, Avi serves as a Rabbi for the the local community and assists the “hidden Jews” of the area. Rabbi Avi Baumol was born in New York and received Smicha (rabbinical ordination)…

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… from Yeshiva University where he also received a BA in Economics and an MA in Medieval Jewish History from Bernard Revel Graduate School. He was the Rabbi of Congregation Schara Tzedeck in Vancouver, Canada from 1998-2003, building the community there and serving on the Bet Din and in the conversion program. After moving to Israel, he taught in Yeshivot and Seminaries, performed weddings for secular Israelis as part of Itim, continued to work as a rabbi in his congregation in Efrat, and authored a book on Tehillim called The Poetry of Prayer.

Rabbi Shlomo Zelig Avrasin

Shavei Israel’s Emissary in Vysoki, Russia

In Vysoki, Russia, Shlomo serves as the community Rabbi for the Subbotniks Jews. He was born in the Ukraine and received his smicha (rabbinical ordination)…

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…from Yeshivat Hamivtar, in Efrat, Gush Etzion. He is also a schochet and finished his academic studies in Education at Michlelet Herzog. Rabbi Avrasin has served as an emissary in different countries, including Russia, Germany, and Poland and has a wealth of experience as an educator in different frameworks.

Rabbi Eitan Della Rocca

Shavei Israel’s Emissary in Italy

Eitan, originally from Rome, is currently studying in the “Collegio rabbinico italiano” institution to become a rabbi and is completing his…

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… university education in the field of psychology. He spent several years in Israel and experienced both yeshiva studies in the Yeshivat HaKotel of Jerusalem, and service in Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the Kfir Unit.