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 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!
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.
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.
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
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 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.
Very knowledgeable and professional
Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.
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 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.
competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly 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.
Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.
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
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.
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 (!)
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!
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.
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
Courteous, clear, efficient service.
Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.
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!
Frequently asked questions about Sephardic Jewish last names and Portuguese citizenship
Jewish Sephardic last names run in my family, what does that mean?
In 2015, Spanish and Portuguese governments passed laws sating that any descendant of the Sephardic Jews expelled from their territory in 1492 and 1496, would be eligible to obtain Spanish citizenship and a Spanish passport, or Portuguese Citizenship and a passport of Portugal, respectively.
This article has been published on April 2020, and as of today, the Spain no longer grants this right. The Law of Return for ancestors of the Sephardic Jews has expired during October 2019. However, the Portuguese version of this Act is currently valid and many apply for Portuguese citizenship.
That is great news, as long as you can prove your family is indeed a descendant of Spain or Portugal by name, language, birth or marriage certificates, and many other associations with the Sephardic language and customs. Portugal is part of the EU, therefore having a Portuguese passport can offer exciting opportunities to many.
Our Law Office
Our law office has much experience in immigration law in general and a specific expertise in obtaining the certificate to prove Jewish heritage from the Jewish communities in Portugal. We assist our clients from the beginning until the successful end of the process of receiving a Portuguese passport. You can read more information about this in the most comprehensive guide we published on our website.
What happened to those Spanish expelled families?
For approximately 500 years, the descendants of Jews deported from Spain and Portugal have been living their lives outside of their country of origin. Some Jews moved to the former Ottoman Empire, some to North Africa, and some to Europe, carrying on the Jewish faith to future generations, alongside the Ladino language and unique Sephardic last names.
Spanish descendants settled countries like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. A little known fact is that initially, Sephardic Jews settled also in places like Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Serbia, and Macedonia. The expelled Jews of Spain and Portugal eventually got all the way to countries like the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, the UK, and even reached India, China, and America. So, you do not necessarily have to be considered Sephardi to be a Spanish descendant.
Am I one of those eligible for a passport of Portugal?
Well, since the Portuguese government declared its intention to open their door and offer citizenship to anyone who can prove their Sephardic links, we now need to present them with proof. This proof can be made by preserved Spanish or Ladino language in your family, by documents that indicate Spanish lineage, by cultural affiliation with Spanish communities or more simply, by your Jewish Sephardic last names. You can read more about this in this article on our website.
Recommendation of Jewish community in Portugal
The main issue in receiving a Portuguese passport and citizenship is obtaining the letter of recommendation from one of the Jewish communities in Portugal. You can read more here about the process of receiving the recommendation of the Jewish community in Porto or Lisbon. Once this certificate is in your hand, the legal authorities in Portugal consider you as a person eligible for citizenship.
Does a list of Sephardic Jewish last names exist?
A big part of the Portuguese government’s consideration is the question of whether your surname or one of your ancestor’s names is linked to the Spanish deportees. Portuguese authorities already recognize some surnames of Greek and Egyptian Jews written on one verified list. You can read more about the list of family names in this article on our website.
Besides that one official list, a quick internet search will provide you with many a Sephardic Jewish last names list. Look for your immediate family name and search your genealogy and family trees for other names that might be on one of those lists. If your name or an ancestor’s name appears on a list of Sephardi surnames, this may be the first step in acquiring the recommendation of the Jewish community and after that having the Portuguese Immigration Office recognizing you and your family as citizens.
Contact us – Your law firm for a Portuguese passport
If you think you might be eligible by law to receive a passport of Portugal as a descendant of Sephardic Jewish ancestors please contact us. We will be glad to hear your case and let you know what are your chances.