Eliyahu Essas

Eliyahu Essas

Rabbi Eliyahu Essas (Russian: Илья Эссас; born 1946) is a notable former leader of Soviet Jewry and one of the founders of Baal Teshuva movement in former Soviet Union.Currently he lives in Jerusalem, Israel.


In 1973 he applied to the Soviet Authorities to make Aliyah to Israel. He was refused on the grounds of his wife's having a sensitive job.

While living in Moscow, Essas spent his time building an Orthodox Jewish Community. He created a network of Torah studies, children underground education, and summer camps.

In January 1986, after political deals between Edgar Bronfman, Sr., Chairman of the World Jewish Congress, and Soviet Authorities, Essas' family moved to Israel.

Recent activity

In 1988 Rabbi Essas was running to Knesset with Degel HaTorah party.

Rabbi Essas currently works for Aish Hatorah in Jerusalem, Israel and is a founder of Jewish Russian website http://www.evrey.com


* Zakon, Miriam Stark, "Silent Revolution - Story of Rabbi Eliyahu Essas and Russian Torah Network" (Artscroll/Mesorah, 1992) ISBN 0-89906-105-2

Learn Torah, Love Torah, Live Torah: Harav Mordechai Pinchos Teitz, the Quintessential Rabbi, by Rivkah Teitz Blau, Chap. 13 (Ktav 2001)

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