Ty Alhadeff hails from Seattle, Washington, where he is part of the large Alhadeff family whose roots go back to the Island of Rhodes in the former Ottoman Empire. After graduating from the University of Washington with a BA in political science, he earned an MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Jewish civilization. Upon return to Seattle — and a wedding at the historic Sephardic Touro synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island — he worked with the University of Washington as a research coordinator to help launch their Sephardic Studies Digital collection, giving new life and accessibility to hundreds of books and manuscripts in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) from Seattle’s Sephardic community and beyond. That work introduced him to people around the world looking for a connection to their Sephardic Jewish heritage and made him a point person for research and communication. Ty is a board member with Congregation Ezra Bessaroth, the Rhodesli synagogue that his family helped establish in 1914, and a father of four.
At JIMENA, Ty is leading the development and launch of the Sephardic Leadership Institute. Utilizing a community-based coalition model, the national Sephardic Leadership Institute aims to serve as a democratic convener and hub that provides community building and leadership development opportunities to every single Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewish communal professional, lay-leader, and institution in the United States. The institute also aims to provide collaborative opportunities and support to Jewish agencies and leaders interested in building Jewish spaces that are inclusive of diverse Jews, including those of Mizrahi, Sephardic, and Israeli heritage.