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Obtaining Austrian citizenship – Famous Austrian Jews

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Gáspár Erőss

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.

Prima Lorenzo

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.

Amir Abt

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

Josh W-S

The firm had a quick response to my last-minute needs, they were helpful in communicating with me in English, and they fulfilled my needs in a timely fashion.

Morgan Jones

The team at Decker, Pex & 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!

TarcisioePotira Freitas

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.

Shaltiel Devorah

Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.

Genaan Abdelall

I cannot recommend Nechama enough! Her expertise, professionalism, and dedication to her clients is unparalleled. From the moment I reached out to her, she provided clear and concise communication, and helped me navigate through a complex legal issue with ease.

Throughout the entire process, Nechama went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable with every decision. She demonstrated a deep knowledge of the law, and was able to offer sound advice that ultimately led to a positive outcome.

What sets Nechama apart is her compassionate and empathetic approach to her clients. She truly cares about the well-being of her clients, and it shows in the way she handles every case.

If you are in need of a lawyer, I highly recommend Nechama.

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.

lynn vonne

Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.

Greg Olson

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.

Michael Soffer

I would like to recommend Attorney Yehuda Elcharar. He assisted both me and my company in a complex lawsuit. He handled negotiations that led to a favorable outcome much quicker than expected.

I am extremely pleased with choosing Attorney Elcharar. Many thanks also to the office team, Oz and Chaya, for their assistance throughout the entire process.

Thanks again ????

Michelle Long

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!

Eden Weiss

Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.

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!

Jacob Newberry

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!

Halvor Ronning

Courteous, clear, efficient service.

Lilian Granovsky

I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.

Shurouq Hajyassin

We were very satisfied with the consultation we had.
You were very straightforward with us , You tried to help us in every way you could . we really appreciate that.
And of course the fast reply we got from you on our emails and the appointment you gave us .
You deserve more than 5 stars????

Kfir Cohen

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

Наталья Мажуга

Great lawyers Joshua Pex and Nechama and Michael Deker who really want to help you and I have very trustful relationships with them. All my cases they took they won. Thank you and let’s keep working together

Tomer Hila Birnbach

I received a recommendation from friends about the firm, and indeed every word is correct, a service team, professional, welcoming, a fair price for the work I requested, I am satisfied

Sergei m Vashkevich

We came to Mr. Joshua with so many questions (and most of all, with so many concerns and worries) …

When we explained our case to him, first of all, he calmed us down and helped us to see the big picture, which took away our fears;

Then he presented us with a detailed explanation and a few options to explore, and a timeline, how things work and necessary steps to undertake on our part,

We thank and highly recommend Mr. Joshua for showing us so much empathy, care and professionalism (!)

Stuart Safft

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 & 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 & 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.

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.

Matthias Oppliger

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.


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.

Arielle Bosch

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.

Lauma Zariņa

This is definitely the best lawyer I know!!! very honest and super helpful he really helped me a lot dealing with immigration issues in Israel and it was very successful!
I highly recommend

David De La Rosa

Very friendly, professional, and effective, highly recommended

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.

Dumitrascu Cristina

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.

Esty A

I had a consultation with Batya and she was very helpful. She made sure I understood all the information I needed, and was patient with me in gathering documents I needed.

Paul Prince

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.

Priscilla Moses

competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended

Sveta Vashkevich

We (myself and my husband) came to Mr. Joshua Pex – for his professional advice – and we received such human warmth and caring attitude, that our hearts melted …

His attention to our details and our situation peculiarities, combined with his professionalism and knowledge, helped us to map out what needs to be done on our part: we appreciate and recommend You, Mr. Joshua!

Yossi Montrose

Very knowledgeable and professional

Sophie Cooperman

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.

Adi Katina

Great Team. With no doubt, this office is actually thee best-leading office in Israel. Simply put, if you want your case to win, just join them, hand in your documents, and celebrate the victory.

Kindest regards,
Adi k.

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.

Heather Lebrun

Andreas Kelling

We have been working with Decker, Pex & 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.

Israel iluz

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.


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.

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are eligible for Austrian citizenship under the new Austrian law. With that said, before you dive into the process you should learn a bit about the historic link between Jews and Austria.

Our law offices, located in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, deal with emigration to Austria. If your ancestors left Austria between the years 1933-1955, chances are you are eligible for Austrian and European citizenship, like hundreds of thousands of other Israelis.

Acquiring Austrian citizenship

Famous Austrian Jews

For close to 150 years Austria was home to thousands of talented Jews, some reaching influential positions within the society. This was especially noticeable in the capital Vienna, which attracted about two hundred thousand Jews from Eastern Europe throughout the 19th century. A significant percent came from Czech and Hungarian backgrounds, with others coming from Bosnia, Serbia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and more.

In the period of the Jews’ immigration, Austria was a small part of the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, which ruled over a significant portion of Eastern Europe up until the beginning of the 20th century. As a result, citizens of the Empire could freely move between the countries under its rule, and many chose to settle in the more developed cities.

During those years Vienna was considered one of the most prosperous and developed cities in Western Europe. Vienna was a place of progress, modernization and enlightenment, and was home to leading universities of pioneering sciences. In fact, on a cultural level, Vienna matched the leading cities of the time such as Paris, London, Berlin, etc.

For these reasons, hundreds of thousands of Jews seeking a better life settled in the Austrian capital. As you will see in the following list, the Jews strengthened Vienna intellectually and made breakthroughs in nearly every field imaginable, in both intellectual and practical areas. Many historians have marvelled at this phenomenon — a large group of relatively poor and uneducated immigrants who successfully managed to climb society’s ranks and eventually take their place as leaders.

Among the fields in which Jews reached significant achievements were: physics, medicine, literature, banking, psychology, law, chemistry, photography, management of advertising offices, oriental studies, jewelry making, athletics, archaeology and trade — especially of textiles, wine, metals and meat.

We have assembled a list of fifteen Vienna Jews widely known for their contributions to a variety of disciplines such as economics, science, business etc. Of course, most of these names are particularly familiar among Israelis, thanks to their contributions being studied and memorialized in Israeli universities. Here is the list:

Acquiring Austrian citizenship

1.      Martin Buber

1878-1965 – Bible commentator and philosopher with vast knowledge in many intellectual fields; wrote many important essays. Throughout his lifetime he interpreted, analyzed, and collated famous Jewish diaspora stories which had been retold as talmudic and hasidic tales for centuries. Buber studied and wrote on a broad range of subjects, including psychology.

2.      Arthur Koestler

1905-1983 – Prolific author, journalist and philosopher. As early as elementary school, his teachers recognized him as a genius and a rapid learner. He grew up as a multilingual, speaking many languages, including German, English, French, Russian, Hungarian, Hebrew and Yiddish. As an adult he wrote particularly about politics and science. Moreover, he was an avid supporter of both Zionism and Communism. In his well-known book “The Thirteenth Tribe”, he claimed that the Jews of Eastern Europe were descendants of the Khazars. This caused a great deal of discussion in Israel and abroad in the 1950s and 60s.

3.      Sigmund Freud

1856-1939 – Inventor of psychoanalysis. Worked as a talented neurologist in Vienna, often using special techniques to treat his patients. Today these techniques form the basis for the study of the mind — psychology. Freud’s unique research and their precise results paved the way for a better understanding of brain development, personality development and social behavior. Unlike other scientists of his era, Freud stood out in his ability to create an elaborate and impressive scientific thesis entirely on his own, without relying on previously accepted models. It is for good reason that Freud is world-renowned as one of the greatest intellectuals in history.

Acquiring Austrian citizenship

4.      Stefan Zweig

1881-1942 – Prolific author known for his novels, plays and biographies. At the peak of his career during the 1920s and 30s, he became one of the most widely read and translated authors in the world. He promoted pacifism and strongly opposed arms races and wars. He lived through a tumultuous period in Europe marked by extreme nationalism. These drastic changes eventually lead him, together with his wife, to commit suicide in 1942 while on a vacation in Brazil. A note he left denoted the reason as “the downfall of enlightened Europe”.

5.      Hilde Zaloscer

1903-1999 – A woman of broad horizons and a world-renowned professor of art history. Taught at several different universities in exotic cities such as Carleton (Canada), Alexandria (Egypt), as well as Vienna. Internationally famed as a specialist on Egyptian Coptic art. She was a Egyptologist, a historian, an author and one of the editors-in-chief of the comprehensive Coptic encyclopedia.

6.      Alfred Adler

1870-1937 – Psychotherapist, inventor of “individual psychology”. He rose to fame after being invited by the world-famous Sigmund Freud to join a weekly discussion group held in Freud’s private home. This then led him to dive into the depths of psychoanalysis. Shortly after joining Freud’s group, Adler was nominated as head of the psychoanalysis association. However, he quit a year later due to disagreements with Freud. His psychological approach is centered on human impulses and the desire to gain power within society and to find one’s place in it via leadership of the individual.

7.      Hugo Meisl

1881-1937 – One of the greatest soccer coaches in history. He made his main contribution while coaching the Austrian soccer team, which was highly esteemed in the 1930s. The team was named Wunderteam – “the Wonder Team”. Meisl assembled a phenomenal team which accrued many crushing victories versus formidable opponents such as Hungary, France, Germany, and more. In fact, Meisl paved the way for the famous “Total Football” tactic. He did this by instructing his players to make many short passes, as well as frequently swapping player positions. This tactic brought many future football teams to glory, such as Holland, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Spain, and above all Barcelona.

8.      Karl Popper

1902-1994 – One of the most influential philosophers of the past century; knighted in Britain for his achievements. He became famous for challenging scientific conventions, on the one hand, and refining political ideologies on the other. In this he was led by what he saw as the catastrophes brought about by the European regimes, reaching their heights in the two world wars. These beliefs were the basis for the anti-nationalistic approach in his writings.

9.      “Sir” Ernst Gombrich

1909-2001 – Historian, educator, writer and art historian, made famous by his books which shaped the understanding of the development of European art — from ancient times until the modern age. Two of his most popular books, which went through dozens of editions and were translated into over 30 languages, are “The Story of Art” and “A Little History of the World”. He served as head of the Warburg Institute in London, which focuses on the influences of ancient history on European culture.

10.  Ludwig Wittgenstein

1889-1951 – Philosopher, highly educated and well-versed in a wide range of philosophical fields such as the philosophies of language, mind, mathematics and logic. In many academic circles he is considered the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. He influenced many people in the field of philosophy and thought, including Bertrand Russell, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Thomas Kuhn and others.

11.  Isidore Singer

1859-1939 – Author and editor; created the first Hebrew encyclopedia and founded the American League for the Rights of Man. Throughout his life he fought against anti-semitism which often surfaced in Europe, playing an active role in defending Jewish victims in incidents such as the Dreyfus affair and the Kishinev pogrom. For most of his life he was an active writer in German, English and French.

12.  Paul Felix Lazarsfeld

1901-1976 — World-renowned sociologist. His studies on the influence of mass media on society became classics in the field. Using his successful polls, he created several pioneering methods in the study of human interaction and its manifestation in the interaction between groups. He taught in the University of Vienna before emigrating to the United States to escape rising anti-semitism. He was appointed head of the American Sociology Association and took part in special US government projects.

13.  Viktor Frankl

1905-1997 — Professor of neurology at the University of Vienna and renowned psychiatrist. He became famous for the psychological method he developed, called logotherapy — a method centered around the patient’s desire for meaning. Frankl wrote 39 books, of which the most famous is “Man’s Search for Meaning”. This book took on a special meaning due to the fact it was written while Frankl was imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp Theresienstadt.

14.  Michael Biedermann

1769-1843 – Nicknamed “The Royal Jeweller”, textile manufacturer, banker, philanthropist and businessman. He was one of the founders of the Jewish community in Vienna, and helped plan and build the first synagogue there, known as “The Great Synagogue”, in the years 1825-1826. He made a name for himself as “the Austrian Emperor’s Jeweller” thanks to his expert engravement skills and was also put in charge of designing and engraving the emperor’s stamps.

15.  Max Perutz

1914-2002 – Nobel prize winner for chemistry together with colleague John Kendrew in the year 1962 for his contribution to researching the structure of hemoglobin and myoglobin. An entrepreneur and a visionary, he founded the molecular biology laboratory in Britain. The laboratory is run and supervised by the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom. He laid the path for future biologists to decode the structures of many different proteins.Acquiring Austrian citizenship

Some history of the Jewish community in Vienna

During the 1920s, one in every nine people in Vienna was Jewish. The city was home to the sixth largest Jewish population of its time, a little over 200,000 in total. The large-scale Jewish immigration was partly due to the civil rights granted to Jews by the local authorities in the first half of the 19th century. In those times, such civil rights were unknown outside of countries like the United States, France, the Netherlands and a few German principalities. The Jews gained rights to live anywhere in the empire, to own property, and to acquire professional training without suffering from religious discrimination, as well as a plethora of other privileges.

A few figures will illustrate the Jews’ population expansion in Vienna: in the year 1857 there were fewer than 3,000 Jews living in Vienna; twelve years later that number had risen to 40,000. By the year 1890 there were close to 120,000 Jews, and by 1923 there were more than 200,000. However, following the Nazi party’s rise to power and its subsequent effects on the Austrian people, about 35,000 Jews left Austria for western Europe, the United States, South America, etc.

Notable achievements by Austrian Jewry

Austrian Jewry is viewed as a rare social phenomenon. Living amongst a xenophobic people unaccepting of strangers, the Jews managed to prosper against all odds. In large numbers, they developed their skills in an outstanding fashion. In fact, the Jews’ level of success is unmatched in history, considering they only accounted for about 4 percent of the Austrian population. This small sect stood out in the social scene, to the point where Jews were responsible for much of the nation’s affairs, whether it was in the various sciences, psychology, entrepreneurship, business, development or other fields.

Some statistics on the Jewish community: in 1934, more than half of all medical doctors in Vienna were Jews. Furthermore, Jews made up a third of all pharmacists, 40% of all jewellers, 75% of the bank managers, 85% of the lawyers, 63% of the cinema owners, 74% of the wine merchants, 40% of the cafe owners, more than 30% of the photographers, 21% of the opticians and 95% of advertising office managers. Metals were considered an exclusively Jewish trade, and Jews made up about 70% of textile merchants and a third of all watchmakers in Vienna.

Benefits of Austrian citizenship

Austrian citizenship is considered the most sought-after citizenship among Israelis. For years Austria has been regarded as one of the countries offering a high quality of life by international standards. This is in addition to the generous Austrian social benefits and the exclusive advantages of having a European passport. On top of it all, Austria has a breath-taking natural landscape, situated between Italy, Switzerland and Germany, and famous for its snow-topped Alpine mountain ranges.

The Austrian passport comes with the exclusive benefits reserved for citizens of the European Union. These benefits include living and working in countries in western Europe such as Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands without any restrictions, in addition to subsidized European health care, the ability to open a business, subsidized academic studies, freedom of passage between European countries, and many more exclusive benefits.

Contact us — Acquiring Austrian Citizenship — Famous Austrian Jews

Our office for emigration to Austria offers comprehensive assistance in the process of acquiring Austrian citizenship under the new law. Our office’s German department is responsible for translating all the necessary documents and maintaining direct contact with the Austrian departments responsible for approving citizenship applications.

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