Rabbi David Bassous has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Etz Ahaim in Higland Park, NJ since August, 1991. Prior to that, he was the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Hamidrash in Vancouver, Canada from 1986 – 1991.
After attending college in England and receiving an Engineering degree, Rabbi Bassous attended various yeshivot in England and Israel. He received his rabbinical ordination from the Shehebar Sephardic Center (Midrash Sephardi) in 1988 in Jerusalem and passed the exams of the Israel Chief Rabbinate. Rabbi Bassous is also a mohel (ritual circumcision), sofer (scribe) and shochet (ritual slaughterer). From the SSC, he went to Vancouver where he instituted daily minyanim and adult education classes.
At Congregation Etz Ahaim, Rabbi Bassous has attracted young members and has increased the membership to more than 150 families. There are regular daily minyanim in the shul and night classes regularly in the teachings of the Rambam, philosophy as well as classes in Semicha and women’s classes. There is one community school and two elementary yeshivot.
Rabbi Bassous has also co-founded Ben Porat Yosef, the Sephardic Yeshiva of Bergen County, serving Central and Northern New Jersey and Manhattan. Rabbi Bassous presently serves as the Early Childhood Judaic Director at Magen David Yeshivah, Brooklyn.
Rabbi Bassous has been active in the building of new bet midrash. His goals are to create an outreach program and to continue to strengthen the kehilah. Among his greatest challenges are intermarriage and outside influences which detract the members from Torah.
Rabbi Bassous and his wife Clara have seven children aged between 8 and 26 and three grandchildren.
For more on David Bassous click: http://www.rabbidavidbassous.org/