SEROUSSI, ELÍAS (1896–1983), leader of the Jewish community in Uruguay. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, he immigrated with his family to Uruguay in 1926. He took part in the founding of the Comunidad Israelita Sefaradí (Jewish Sephardi Community) and was its president for many years from 1932. Elías Seroussi was also president of the umbrella organization of Uruguayan Jews, Comité Central Israelita, from 1941 to 1951. He was part of the leadership of B'nai B'rith, Círculo Social Sefaradí, and Comunidad Israelita del Uruguay. He immigrated to Israel in 1974.
His son rafael seroussi (born in Alexandria in 1923) was a Zionist leader in Uruguay and very active in public and social life in Israel. In Uruguay he was secretary of the founding commission of the Federación Juvenil Sionista (Zionist Youth Federation) established in 1944, and its second president (1946–47) and editor of its publication, Aliá. Rafael Seroussi immigrated to Israel in July 1948 and fought in the War of Independence. A chemist by profession, he participated in missions of patwa (Professional and Technical Workers' Aliyah) to promote aliyah among professionals in Latin America (1953–55). He was secretary of the Organización de Latinoamericanos en Israel (Organization of Latin Americans Olim in Israel) for 15 years and served as its president from 1973 to 1975. Rafael Seroussi was very active in organizations of mutual relations with Latin America, such as the Israel–Costa Rica Friendship League and the Israel–Latin America Chamber of Commerce.
[Efraim Zadoff (2nd ed.)]