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.
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 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.
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
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.
Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.
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!
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.
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 (!)
Very knowledgeable and professional
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!
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.
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.
Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.
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
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.
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.
Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended
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.
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.
I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.
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.
Courteous, clear, efficient service.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
As a part of our office’s summaries of Israeli law and High Court of Justice decisions, we review the case of “Brother Daniel”, concerning the right of Jews who converted to another religion to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.
Oswald Rufeisen, aka “Brother Daniel” was born in Poland in 1922. His mother was Jewish. Rufeisen was an active member of the Zionist movement. During the early stages of the war, he saved numerous Jews from the Nazis during their occupation of Poland. On one such occasion, while pretending to be a non-Jew, Rufeisen was offered a job as a translator for a police officer. The police officer invited Rufeisen to Mir in Belarus, where Rufeisen saved about three hundred Jews who were imprisoned in a ghetto there. Rufeisen was eventually found out and fled, finding shelter in a convent. There, he read the New Testament and was baptized. Rufeisen viewed baptism as a fulfillment of his desire for a stronger connection to the New Testament, which he read as a Jewish document. In particular, the account of the death and resurrection of Jesus helped him to cope with the horrors of the Holocaust. Eventually, Rufeisen became a Catholic priest and changed his name to “Brother Daniel”.
In 1959, Rufeisen sought to be admitted to Israel under the Law of Return, which permits any Jew in the world to immigrate to Israel as a matter of right.
At that time, the immigration authorities defined a Jew as any person who professes to be one and [who] has not embraced any other religion. That interpretation would have classified as a Jew Oswald Rufeisen, the Jew by birth, but it excluded Brother Daniel, the Carmelite Friar. When the authorities would not admit Brother Daniel as a Jew under the Law of Return, he sought review before the Supreme Court of Israel.
At the time of the founding of the State of Israel, it was decided that every Jew in the world would have a right to immigrate to Israel. For example, Jews would be given the right to asylum in the event of political persecution or a refusal by the country of their origin to allow them to conserve their own culture. Proposals concerning the proper approach ranged from an unlimited right, including the granting of citizenship to stateless Jews wherever they were and whenever they became Jews, to the granting of the right to only those who indicated their readiness to immigrate immediately. The results of these propositions were the 1950 Law of Return, which granted an automatic right of immigration to all Jews, and the 1952 Nationality Law, which, in addition to granting naturalization rights to all persons settling in Israel, gave automatic citizenship to Jews declaring their intention to become Israeli citizens by virtue of the Law of Return.
Rufeisen was denied citizenship under the Law of Return but became a citizen of Israel through naturalization shortly after the end of his trial, as a Righteous Among Nations (before the RAN visa was re-defined as a work and residence visa only). In his will, Rufeisen stated, “I don’t know if I am to be doomed or spared, but from all the things you may know about me, I would like you to remember that I was born a Jew, and died a Jew”.
Whether the term ‘Jew’ in the Law of Return carries a religious-halakhic meaning or a secular meaning?
Answer to Issue One
The term ‘Jew’ in the Law of Return carries a secular meaning.
The court held that the Law of Return is secular and must be interpreted according to secular principles. Because the law contains no definition of the term ‘Jew,’ ordinary usage, the language of men, would determine its meaning.
The justices of the court split, however, on how to determine the secular meaning of the term ‘Jew.’ The majority favored a combination of common understandings used in everyday language coupled with some notion of traditional bounds of collective identity. Applying this test, the court concluded that the secular view treated conversion as decisive and excluded the convert from the Jewish community.
One of the judges, Justice Berenson, noted that, had Rufeisen been captured by the Nazis after his conversion, the conversion would have made no difference and he would have fallen victim to them as a Jew.
Berinson also suggests that if Rufeisen would have declared that he believed in Buddhism, and lived as a Buddhist monk, he would apparently have been recognized as a Jew. Thus, according to Berinson, Rufeisen could be a Jewish, Buddhist monk, but not a Jewish, Christian monk. However, this statement is not necessarily accurate. Prior to the 1970 amendment to the Law of Return, it may have been more likely that one could immigrate to Israel as a Buddhist monk. However, after the 1970 amendment, which granted immigration rights to family members and spouses of Jews, but stated that those rights did not apply to Jews who (1) were members of another religion; or (2) voluntarily converted from Judaism to another religion, there have been instances of individuals of the Muslim faith who have also been denied Aliyah.
Berinson also maintains that Ahad Haam, one of the central literary figures of Zionism, would not have viewed a Jew who converted to another religion, but who in all other respects was deeply Zionist, as outside the bounds of the Jewish people. But despite this, Berinson concluded that the people themselves had decided that a Jew who has embraced another religion has withdrawn himself from the Jewish faith, nation and community. The court stated that the common understanding of the Jewish people is that a Jew and a Christian cannot reside in one person because there is a mutual denial of community that occurs when a Jew converts to another religion. Justice Berinson noted that even as early as 1947, the position of the Jewish Agency was that formal conversion to another religion would exclude one from the Jewish people for political purposes.
The court also maintained that Israel is not a theocratic state and that the law determines its citizens’ lives, rather than religion. It stated that the Rufeisen case decision proved this because the court used the secular meaning of the term Jew to determine whether Rufeisen was a Jew (which resulted in a determination that he was not a Jew), instead of the religious definition (which would have resulted in the determination that he was a Jew)/
Justice Cohn dissented, stating that he would permit anyone who declared in good faith that he was a Jew the privileges granted by the Law of Return. Cohn also stated that it was improper to consider Rufeisen’s participation in Catholic ceremonies in determining who is a Jew for purposes of secular legislation.
Does the ordinary, secular meaning of the term ‘Jew’, for purposes of the Law of Return, include a Jew who has become a Christian?
Answer to Issue Two
The ordinary, secular meaning of the term ‘Jew’, for purposes of the Law of Return, does not include a Jew who has become a Christian.
Justice Silberg, writing for the majority, concluded that the common understanding of the term ‘Jew’ does not include a Jew who has become a Christian. He suggested that “Jew” and “Christian” are incompatible statuses. Silberg maintained that it is the Jewish people’s historic culture as Jews which entitles them to the land, and that adoption of Christianity is inconsistent with the maintenance of Jewish cultural ties; therefore, Rufeisen had forfeited his right to return to Israel as a member of the Jewish people.
Whether a person who is born of a Jewish mother, and is therefore Jewish according to rabbinic Judaism is entitled to residency and citizenship under the Law of Return, when that person becomes Catholic?
Answer to Issue Three
A person who is born of a Jewish mother, and is therefore Jewish according to rabbinic Judaism, is not entitled to residency and citizenship under the Law of Return, when that person becomes Catholic.
The court recognized that Rufeisen might be considered a Jew under the rabbinical interpretations of the Jewish Halakah (religious book of law). However, the court stated that defining the term ‘Jew’ according to secular principles requires the use of the commonly accepted definition of the term, which is that one who converts to another religion is no longer a Jew. According to the court, a person cannot be both a Roman Catholic and a Jew simultaneously under the Law of Return; therefore, Rufeisen lost his right to obtain automatic citizenship as a Jew by accepting Catholicism.
The court stated that Rufeisen could still obtain citizenship by naturalization under the Nationality Law, in the same way as other non-Jewish immigrants
Whether a person who is born Jewish and later becomes Catholic may be registered in the population register as being of Jewish nationality?
Answer to Issue Four
A person who is born Jewish and later becomes Catholic may not be registered in the population register as being of Jewish nationality.
According to Jewish religion, a Jewish person who sins, is in violation of the Ten Commandments, or who breaks the law, is still a Jew. Rufeisen adopted this approach in his argument to the Supreme Court. He admitted that his religion was Catholic, but he insisted that he was still a Jew, stating “my ethnic origin is and always will be Jewish. I have no other nationality. If I am not a Jew, what am I? I did not accept Christianity to leave my people. I added it to my Judaism. I feel as a Jew.” Rufeisen believed his Judaism was the same kind of Judaism that Jesus and his followers believed, which to him was the true, original, God-given Judaism. Rufeisen also asserted that if the State of Israel considered atheists to be Jews, there was no reason why it should not also consider converts to be Jews.
In contrast, the State Attorney maintained that though an Israeli may be a Christian, Muslim, or Atheist, the term ‘Jew’ excluded the possibility of belonging to any other religion. The State Attorney stated that the distinguishing characteristic of a Jew is a common culture, and the Jewish religion, whether observed or not, is the basis of that culture.
In the present case, the court ruled that an individual who was born a Jew but converted to Catholicism and became a monk could not be registered in the population register as being of Jewish nationality. Rufeisen had renounced his Polish citizenship before leaving Poland. Therefore, the court ruled that he was not a member of the Polish nation or of the Jewish nation. The court stated that he was stateless and would be registered as such. On Rufeisen’s identity card, under the heading of “nationality,” it states not “Jewish,” but “Not clear.”
Unanswered Questions Raised by the Rufeisen Decision
The Rufeisen decision was broadly supported in Israel. However, by tying the legal definition of ‘Jew’ to common understanding, some objected that the majority’s definition was vague and impermanent. The majority’s definition also implied that a single common meaning of the term ‘Jew’ exists and could be found. Even assuming such a definition could be discerned, a further question remains with respect to who is permitted to offer an answer in order to determine the common understanding. Should Israelis be permitted to determine the common understanding? If so, should it be only Jewish Israelis, or, since this is a secular law, should it be all Israelis? Should the Diaspora be included? Should contemporary Jews be included, or Jews throughout history?