Rabbi Eliyahu Essas
Ilya Tsvievich Essas

NationalityIsrael Israeli
OccupationTeacher and author
EmployerAish Hatorah
Parent(s)Tzvi & Sonya Essas

Rabbi Eliyahu Essas (Hebrew: אליהו אסאס, Hebrew: Илья Цвиевич Эссас, Ilya Tsvievich Essas; born 1946) is a former leader of Soviet Jewry and one of the founders of Baal Teshuva movement in the Soviet Union. He lives in Jerusalem. Essas became interested in Human Rights and Jewish cause, while studying Mathematics in Vilnius University.


In 1973. he applied to the Soviet authorities to make Aliyah to Israel. He was refused on the grounds of his wife having a security 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, Chairman of the World Jewish Congress, and the Soviet authorities, Essas' family moved to Israel.

Later activity

In 1988, Essas stood for election to the Knesset with the Degel HaTorah party.

Since 1999, Rabbi Essas works for Aish Hatorah in Jerusalem and is a founder of the Jewish Russian website evrey.com