If you need to solve any complicated legal issue in Israel, don't hesitate to contact them. Otherwise you will loose hours/days/weeks with things that they can solve in minutes. They helped me to obtain my expert working visa in Israel and even after that they responded further questions and gave me advices related to administrative issues in Israel which saved me a lot of time. Irena Rosenberg and Michael Decker worked on my case, they are very professional and helpful. They will not let you down, feel free to contact them.
Josh has been helping me on and off for a few years now. I have needed legal advice and assistance with immigration due to a complex situation of mine, and he has been extremely available and responsive, honest and clear about my route and how to proceed. Very much recommended!
We highly recommend Adv. Mike Decker and have know him for many years. He has helped our family with many battles over the years. We recently received our permanent residency after 23 years in Israel. We so much appreciate Mike’s representation of us.
We have been working with Decker, Pex Ofir & Co - Law Firm in Tel Aviv for many years very well. Because we appreciated their lawyers services, we recommended businesses and individuals again and again to go there as well.
I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.
competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended
I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.
Very knowledgeable and professional
The team of lawyers and assistants are incredibly professional. Aiming to give their clients the advice possible regarding the normative and the law of Israel. With well trained and professional secretary at the front desk to the lawyers team, I could say that I had one of the most professional services possible. I'm super glad of choosing Joshua Pex of Law office for immigration solution, lawyers to advise in my case, to me, it is remarkable.
The team at Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co have been awesome to work with in helping our US company establish banking in Israel and in providing counsel for legal needs in Israel. I highly recommend!
I have been receiving services from this Law Firm for several years now and I want to say THANK YOU to the team, especially Joshua Pex. They are doing outstanding work. The services I have received for both our Israeli non profit association but also our social business have helped us solve many issues at hand and provided solutions in complicated situations. Personally, I am grateful for support in visa issues as a foreigner living now in Israel for many years.
The best lawyer firm I’ve had dealt with. I would like to thank Anat Levi and Ariel Galili from the Jerusalem branch for all of their efforts and patience, we could not have been Able to reach to where we are now without them
Courteous, clear, efficient service.
A really excellent firm. They knew exactly how to handle my situation effectively and efficiently, and we got the result I needed without much fuss. Adi Berger was a wonderful advocate for me and I am deeply grateful for her help!
Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.
Oded Ger did an excellent job by reviewing a modeling contract I was offered. Explained the bad clauses in the contract, and their possible consequences. Thank you for your amazing job, your professionalism, your consultation and honesty. You showed me from your experience how it can be done differently. It was the best decision choosing you as my lawyer.
I highly recommend this firm, especially Oded Ger.
Alexander P Gutterman
EU PASSPORT ! Big news! Thanks to Michael Decker and the other good people at the law office, as well as to the virtue of my ancestors, the cruelty of the Inquisition, reparations issued in the Iberian Peninsula, and etc, I am delighted to be on track for Portuguese and European Union Citizenship! A truly incredible development and one which brings me deep joy.
Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.
We were very pleased and content with the services of this law firm. They supported us 100% and solved our case successfully, we couldn't be happier.
Joshua Pex was both an amazing human being and an inspiring human rights attorney. I reported directly to him for various activities I performed as in intern. I was impressed with his incredibly solid character. He is trustworthy, fair, and goes above and beyond to advocate for the vulnerable. He is completely trustworthy and high caliber in his work. His partners and employees are very blessed to work with him. I am honored to know them.
We had a pleasure of working with Irena Rosenberg who assisted in getting our two U.S. born children registered in Israel and supported visa process for my wife in 2021. During the pandemic, my wife and I decided to move to Israel where I am originally from after living in the U.S. for over 20 years, but we had no idea how to go about securing visas before and after arriving in Israel. Irena is knowledgeable, reliable and competent lawyer who always had answers to all our questions which made us feel confident that everything would be fine with her assistance. We are now happily living in Israel and are so grateful to have Irena who is a genuinely nice person as our lawyer.
Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.
I admire the Austrian citizenship team in Tel-Aviv branch! They deserve more then 5 stars!! They are very friendly and professional. I've got Austrian citizenship in 4 months for all family members which consists of 12 people! The entire team is very friendly and responsive. They are always answering questions and support during the process. I recommend to everyone. Was 100% satisfied.
Marce Ruth St. Rey
Party time in the heart, my beloved husband received his residence after so much time of battles and faith. Gratitude, God has blessed us with wonderful beings who have accompanied us, including a "precious angel" who touched our hearts, our excellent and fantastic lawyer: Maria Chernin Dekel, sweet and wonderful human being, who has guided us and stayed On our side. side in this intense legal transit whom we bless on every occasion. God bless you dear Maria, you have exceeded your professional duty by containing us and collaborating with us in hard times, very hard, for that we want to thank you publicly, you are unique!!!
We bless and thank the entire team at Decker Pex Tal Ofir Law Firm.
I really recommend the law office's services. The service is very professional and efficient, the price is right. I am satisfied with the services I needed and happy to have known them.
Incredibly knowledgeable, approachable, accessible, and evident across the board that they truly care about the people they are helping. They are quick to respond, engaged, and obviously top-notch lawyers. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Thank you, Joshua and Itamar for your help with our Joint Life Application. You were a calming energy during a storm - always breathed a sigh of relief after speaking with you. It is so difficult to get straight answers from the Misrad Hapnim, but you guys are straight shooters. I appreciate your candor and evident integrity. Hope to work with you in the future, and will send everyone I know in need of legal aid your way. Thank you for your guidance and support.
Best lawyer house from Israel! I couldn’t dealt with my situation without their professionalism and effectiveness. Their dedication to every legal aspect and their drive it’s how a true lawyer house can be!
Working in European market and international now, I couldn’t dare to let myself wide my wings on countries unknown to me. Definitely they’ll be the lawyers representing me, my business at every international aspect and on personal development.
When you hear Decker,Pex,Ofir &Co, you hear 10+ class services, luxurious professionals, confidentiality and exclusive attention to your needs.
We were very satisfied with the service of Nehama. She was very professional in all her dealings and kept us informed all the way.
We highly recommend this law firm. They proved to be reliable, efficient and pleasant to work with.
Dongdiet & Nellie
We are very happy with the services. Somehow they managed to translate the law lingo into language we actually understand 😉 and their outstanding YouTube videos helped us to have a better grasp of what process we had to go through. Their patience, clear explanation and experience are very valuable. It's also very nice to know that you will receive response promptly; it made us feel we can really trust their services. We recommend all those looking for immigration lawyers to get in touch.
We were searching for a law firm that will be honest with us and really work hard for a satisfying result, it wasn't an easy task
We found them online; they were the only law firm from all of our searchings which were completely honest and NOT gave us just what we wanted to hear
Using them guaranteed honesty above all. A legal team that is friendly and cares for a superb result
They really care about helping their customers without any other interest
Nadia gave us service behind what we expected; she was professional which lead to fast and easy process with great result
We definitely recommend using them
Michael and Ariellah Waizman
For Advocate Joshua Pex.
We were in a devastating situation when my wife received an order from the immigration office to leave Israel within 30 days, without any explanation, after we have been married and in the process for six and a half years. We heard of Advocate Pex through a friend of a friend. We contacted Mr. Pex and he was ready to help us when he heard of our situation.
The service is amazing! Always ready to assist without regard to the time it takes. The advice Mr. Pex gave us was great, such as what to do, he gave useful links, and advice about which officials to contact. The price for the service was great!
The process until we received the extension for another year for my wife was not long (3 months). Things started moving once Mr. Pex came into the picture.
We highly recommend Advocate Joshua Pex! We achieved our goal and the fear of deportation has been lifted!
Sephardi U.S Jews established the first Jewish communities in North America. In the beginning, the United States Jewish community was comprised of Spanish expellees and converts from Western Europe and South America. When the Sephardi community settled down in the coastal cities of what will be known as the USA, it earned the name “Kehal She’erit Israel.”
The descendants of these first Sephardi communities mixed with later waves of Ashkenazi immigrants. If you can prove one of your ancestors was Sephardi, you are entitled to a Portuguese citizenship.
The benefits of a Portuguese passport:
Right of residence and free movement in EU countries.
Entry to the US without obligation of obtaining a visa in advance.
Work permit in EU member countries.
Easy entry into and right to reside in the UK (until the Brexit process is complete).
Business and/or real estate establishment in the EU.
The Expulsion from Spain and moving to the United States
In 1492, the Spanish King Fernando and Queen Isabel ordered a general expulsion of all Jews from Aragon and Castilia. Over the years, the Jews in the Iberian Peninsula suffered from violent riots under different governments, but this was the first time such a large number of Jews were expelled. Roughly 80,000 Jews converted to Christianity to retain their Spanish residency. 150,000 Jews refused to convert and fled to all corners of the earth. Some of them even reached the colonies of the Dutch West India Company, on the eastern shore of present day USA.
The first Jewish group to set foot on American ground was a group of Dutch refugees of Portuguese descent. They arrived on September 1654, from the City of Recife in the north of Dutch Brazil. They were expelled from Brazil due to the rise of conservative and zealous Catholic and Puritan Portuguese powers in the Dutch colony. After the zealous Christians rose to power, they led an Inquisition regime just like in Portugal. This regime was based on clergymen, dressed as civilians, who searched for “heretics” across Brazil with the purpose of conversion or expulsion.
The miracle that stopped the expulsion of Sephardi U.S Jews
When the Portuguese Jewish expellees came to the city of New Amsterdam (yet to be renamed into New York) they were unwanted among the Church and local merchants. The opposition pleaded with the Dutch General Director in the colony, Peter Stuyvesant, to expel the Jews. Stuyvesant wrote a letter to the managers of the Dutch West India Company:
“The Jews who have arrived would nearly all like to remain here, but learning that they (with their customary usury and deceitful trading with the Christians) were very repugnant to the inferior magistrates, as also to the people having the most affection for you; the Deaconry also fearing that owing to their present indigence they might become a charge in the coming winter, we have, for the benefit of this weak and newly developing place and the land in general, deemed it useful to require them in a friendly way to depart, praying also most seriously in this connection, for ourselves as also for the general community of your worships, that the deceitful race — such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ — be not allowed to further infect and trouble this new colony to the detraction of your worships and the dissatisfaction of your worships’ most affectionate subjects”.
However, among the Company managers were Jews who intervened in favor of the expellees and denied General Director Stuyvesant. They claimed that the requirement to support those in need would not become a burden to society nor to the local community, since the Jews are supported by their own community. In addition, they would invest in the Company shares.
Sepharadic USA Jews and the West India company
The managers of the Dutch West India Company recognized Jews as property owners and global traders, thanks to the religious and familial connections with other Jews worldwide. Affluent Spanish and Portuguese Jews could be found in the Dutch colonies in North America before the arrival of the Portuguese community from Brazilian Recife, but they came as individuals rather than a community. Also, unlike most local Europeans who came to settle in large farms, the Jews settled down in a handful of port cities and made a living of trading sugar, molasses, grain, chocolate, weapons etc. with Jews from Italy, France, England, the Netherlands, Suriname, and the neighboring Barbados and Jamaica. Over time, additional ships continued to come and bring more Spanish and Portuguese families, specifically from the Caribbean.
Jewish Spain in the early years of the United States
In 1664 the British took over the government in the area, but the status of Jews remained as it was under the former Dutch government. The only change was that the community grew and expanded over various cities in coastal states such as Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Carolina, New York, etc. In the first century of English regime, the Jews were not allowed to publicly display their religion, and were forced to practice religious ceremonies in the privacy of their homes. Until 1740, US citizenship was only granted to specific Jewish nationals who held high socioeconomic power.
However, as of 1740, the Parliament enacted a law stating that Jews may be eligible to US citizenship even without swearing their support of “Christianity and Christ.” Sephardi Jews continued to come to the US from Spain, Portugal, the Caribbean and South America, in many cases also as converts. In 1763 they inaugurated the Touro synagogue in Rhode Island, which is considered the oldest synagogue in North America.
Members of the Spanish and Portuguese community took part in US history and development from the early European settlement, through its declaration of independence, the composing of its democratic constitution and during the civil war. They included men and women such as: Benjamin Cardozo – Supreme Court Justice and one of Roosevelt’s “Three Musketeers”, Haim Solomon – a financier of the US revolution, Emma Lazarus – poet, most distinctly known for the sonnet she wrote which is engraved on the Statue of Liberty, Baruj Benacerraf – Noble Prize laureate in Medicine and Physiology, and many more.
Distinct Sephardi Persona in the US:
Aaron Lopez – (1782-1731) merchant and philanthropist. Member of a family of Portuguese-English converted Jews who returned to Judaism. At the time, he was the richest man in New Port, Rhode Island, British America. He established factories for special wax extracted from whales and other sea mammals. He exported ships, barrels, rum and chocolate to various countries in the US, Europe and faraway islands. He owned approximately 30 ships, some of which engaged in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Uriah Levy (1792-1862) – an England-born Portuguese Jew. Served as the first Jewish Commodore in the US Navy. He was credited for the abolishment of flogging, which was customary in navies at the time. He was also a philanthropist and owned vast fields used in his real estate business. Levy was a known fan of Thomas Jefferson and supported his values. He also bought Jefferson’s estate – the famous Monticello Estate – rehabilitated it and turned it into a private resort. His widowed mother (Rachel Phillips Levy) lived there in the last two years of her life, and was buried there. Uriah donated a bronze statue in Jefferson’s image to the White House, where it stood for 39 years. It is currently standing on Capitol Hill, in Washington DC.
Additional articles about the Sephardi communities in various countries:
We thank Mr. Jonathan Gavrielov for his assistance in research and writing this article about Sephardi U.S Jews and other articles about the Spanish community in the diaspora.
Looking for a Portuguese citizenship lawyer?
Our law firm has over 30 years of experience in immigration law. The firm maintains contact with the Jewish community in Lisbon and Porto that grant the recommendation letter required for Portuguese passport eligibility. If your ancestors included Sephardi U.S Jews, you may obtain a Portuguese citizenship.
We would be happy to check your eligibility for a Portugal passport!
Call to schedule a meeting with a lawyer inTel Aviv or Jerusalem.