Our Story

The Assyrian American Association of San Jose (AAASJ), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was established in October 22, 1981 in Santa Clara County. The main objectives of this organization are to promote the Assyrian language, heritage, and culture among all Assyrians; To assist Assyrian charitable, cultural, and educational organizations at the discretion of the Executive board of this organization; and demonstrate a need for public or private charitable support; Provided, however, that any expenditures, distribution or bequest shall qualify under the purpose set forth in section §501(C)(3) in accordance with code section §170 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Historical Notes:

The Assyrian American Community Center of San Jose (AACC of San Jose) was established and chartered with the state of California in 1978.

The Assyrian American Association of San Jose (AAA of San Jose) was established and chartered with the State of California on October 22, 1981.

In November of 1985, both of these two associations became affiliated with the Assyrian American National Federation (AANF), and in May of 1987, they affiliated themselves with the Assyrian United Organizations of California (AUOC), a unified body of registered Assyrian American Associations in the State of California, representing the Western Region under the AANF at the time.

In order to uphold the unity among Assyrians and to further Assyrian goals and objectives in an effective and harmonious manner, on December 15, 1992 the two Assyrian associations in San Jose, merged upon the majority vote of both organizations whereby all assets of AACC were transferred to the surviving association, the Assyrian American Association of San Jose (Shotapoota D Atour).

At the time, Mr. Carlo Ganjeh was the president of the AAA of San Jose and Mr. George Zaya was the president of the AACC, where   upon merger of the two organizations, Mr. George Zaya became the president, and Mr. Carlo Ganjeh became the Vice President of the AAA of San Jose, now the one united body of Assyrians of San Jose.

Since its establishment, the Assyrian American Association of San Jose has strived to serve the community through its various committees geared towards different interests and activities, including Social, Athletic, Education, Aid, Art, and Literature, generational geared activities for youth, children and teenagers.

Assyrian American Association of San Jose also has several publications in which through this website you can learn more on and has taken part on other publications as sponsor.

Location:

Our office is located in Willow Glen at:

    1352 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, CA 95125

    Telephone: 408.824.9051

    e-mail: [email protected]

Organizational Structure:

The overall structure of this Association consists of:

  • General Body
  • Executive Board
  • Board of Advisors
  • Auditor
  • Parliamentarian
  • Committees

General Body Members

The highest authoritative power of the organization is General Body which consists of any person of Assyrian ancestry, their spouses, and their minor children residing within San Jose and the Bay Area region.

General Body members are members of the organization of Assyrian descent who reside within Bay Area, and are in good membership standing with the Association. General Body upon its majority vote in accordance to its bylaws has the highest power of the organization.

Executive board Members

Subject to limitation of the Articles of Incorporation, of the Bylaws and of the California Non-Profit Corporation Law, all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the authority of, and the business and affairs of the Association shall be controlled by, the Executive Board which consists of seven officers who get elected and / or appointed for up to a two year term(s).

Board of Advisors

The Board of Advisors consists of three past presidents and four elected members of the Association

Parliamentarian

Parliamentarian of the AAASJ is an independent entity providing support to the General Body regarding the interpretation of the Association’s Constitution and Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order.

Auditor

Auditor is an independent entity providing inventory and financial auditing services on an annual basis and submitting the report to the General Body.

 

Committees

Various committees of this organization, defined or undefined in bylaws, also get formed in direction of the President and the Vice President’s objectives for their term of administration.

Who we are:

Current Administration:

The objectives of the current administration under the leadership of president and Vice President for the two consecutive terms of 2013-2015 & 2015-2017 has been:

Progress; Participation and Patriotism

Executive Board 2016-2017

President: Rochelle Yousefian

Vice President: Firas Jatou

Secretary: Rosika Babakhanian

Treasurer: Neneveh Oksar

Board Member: Diana Oshku (Appointed in 2016 continued in 2017)

Board Member: Joseph Dadashadeh (Appointed in 2017)

Board Member: Alis Bertos (Appointed in 2017)

 

Other board members who have been appointed and have served greatly in line with the goals of this organization:

Sargon Benjamin (2016); Tania Daniel (2016); Chris Dawood (2017 – Short Period)

Board of Advisors 2016-2017

Romel Baba (Past President)

Alphonse Odisho (Past President)

George Zaya (Past President)

Carlo Ganjeh (Past President)

Yodiq Lazari

Fred Babassi

Mloan Amrikhas

Auditor 2015-2017

Heron Babaei

Parliamentarian 2016-2017

Michelle Badal

Past Administrations:

Executive Board 2013-2015

President: Rochelle Yousefian

Vice President: Firas Jatou

Secretary: Alina Sargiss

Treasurer: Neneveh Oksar

Board Member: Juliette Odisho

Board Member: Yodik Lazari (Appointed)

Board Member: Jack Chaharbakhshi (Appointed)

 

Other board members who have been appointed and have served greatly in line with the goals of this organization:

Rosika Babakhanian (Appointed in role of Secretary in November 2015 after relocation of the elected Secretary Ms. Alina Sargiss in August of the same year)

Board of Advisors 2013-2015

Romel Baba (Past President)

Alphonse Odisho (Past President)

George Zaya (Past President)

Mloan Amrikhas

Fred Babassi

Youbert Valadio

Michael Younan

Auditor 2013-2015

On Record

Parliamentarian

Robert Oushalem

—————————-

Executive Board 2011-2013

President: Roomil Baba

Vice President: Rochelle Yousefian

Acting Treasurer: Roomil Baba

Diana Oshku (Appointed)

Lenard Daniel (Appointed)

Alina Sargis (Appointed in 2012)

John Shahidi (Appointed in 2012)

Auditor 2011-2013

On Record

Parliamentarian 2011-2013

Robert Oushalem

Board of Advisors 2011-2013

Alphonse Odisho (Past President)

George Zaya (Past President)

Carlo Ganjeh (Past President)

Fred Babassi

Mloan Amrikhas

Youbert Valadia

—————————–

 

Executive Board 2009-2011

President: Alphonse Odisho

Vice President: Roomil Baba

Secretary: Rochelle Yousefian

Acting Treasurer: Roomil Baba

Board member: Yolanda Bebla (one year term)

Board member: Diana Oshku (One year term)

 

Auditor 2011-2013

Fred Babsi

Parliamentarian 2011-2013

Robert Oushalem

Board of Advisors

George Zaya (Past President)

Carlo Ganjeh (Past President)

Youtam Naseri

Fred Babassi

Linda Kaldani

Michael Yonan

David Benjamin

 

—————————-

Executive Board 2006-2009

President: Alphonse Odisho

Vice President: Roomil Baba

Secretary: Rochelle Yousefian

Treasurer: Dalton Ivan (3 months); Ninveh Tatavosian, appointed there after

Board member: Youbert Valadio

Board member: Edmond Badal (1 year term)

Auditor 2006-2009

Fred Babasi

Parliamentarian 2006-2009

Robert Oushalem

Board of Advisors 2006-2009

George Zaya (Past President)

Carlo Ganjeh (Past President)

Youtam Naseri

Fred Babassi

David Benjamin

Michael Yonan

———————————-

Executive Board 2004-2006

President: George Zaya

Vice President: Roomil Baba

Secretary: Dorina Golpashin

Treasurer: Mary Pavel

Board member: Arbella Babaei

Board member: Youbert Valadio

Executive Board 1997-2003

President: Jacklin Bejan

Vice President: Homer Yonan

Secretary: Josephine

Treasurer: Linda Nassayan

Board member: Arbella Babaei

Board member: Roomil Baba

Executive Board 1994-1996

President: Alphonse Odisho

Executive Board 1992-1994

President: George Zaya

Vice President: Carlo Ganjeh

Secretary: Dorin Golpashin

Treasurer: Fred Babassi

Board member: Raymond George

Board member: Atour Paul

Executive Board 1989-1990

President: Carlo Ganjeh

Vice President: Honibal Jonathan

Secretary: Dorin Golpashin

Treasurer: Fred Babassi

Board member: Robert Badalian

Board member: Vivian Solimanie

Executive Board 1987-1988

President: Sargon Yaldaei

Vice President: Dan Aghasi

Executive Board 1985-1986

President: Daniel Daniel

Executive Board 1980-1984

The first members of Executive Board of the Assyrian American Association of San Jose were:

President: Sargon Yaldaei

Also known and regarded as founding father of the Assyrian American Association of San Jose

Vice President: George Rostamzadeh

Secretary: Rubina Amrikhas, Edward Tuman

Treasurer: George Gorbanian

Culture & Art Officer: Youbert Vardeh

Board member: Dan Aghasi

Board member: Victor Simon

 

A tribute to the Founding father of the Assyrian American Association of San Jose, Mr. Sargon Yaldaei

Mr. Sargon Yaldaei, was a visionary and a true Assyrian patriot, whose impact on the Assyrian community in San Jose is still held in high regard. He valued the richness of his Assyrian heritage which inspired him to establish an organization dedicated to the preservation of Assyrian culture, language and history. His vision, wisdom and decisiveness brought to fruition the “Shotapoota d’Atour”.

His leadership, personal conviction and strength empowered those around him to bring his vision to a reality. Today we continue to bear the fruits of his vision in San Jose.

Mr. Yaldaei’s legacy not only includes the establishment of the Assyrian American Association of San Jose, but also creating a home for the great Rabi William Daniel, a legendary Assyrian writer, poet, musician and artist.  Today the Association is proud to archive and hold copyright to his works, which we continue to honor through various projects.  Again, this would never have been possible without Sargon Yaldaei.

Preserving Assyrian culture, language and history was not just a mission statement for Mr. Yaldaei, it was his passion. The Cultural Wave of Nisiban was a result of his dedication in cultivating this Assyrian pride in the younger generation during his Presidency. Today, many of those Nisiban members have given back to their culture what was instilled in them long ago.

A man of great vision, determination and dedication will be truly missed. His legacy will live on forever in our hearts, and the fruits of his labor will always be respectfully remembered as the founding father of the Assyrian American Association of San Jose.

Mr. Yaldaei passed away in his home peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 in San Jose, California.

His funeral service was held on Monday, May 16, 2016 at Mar Yosip Parish of the Assyrian Church of the East located at 680 Minnesota Ave., San Jose, CA 95125 at 11 am.  His body is laid in peace at the Los Gatos Cemetery.

Some historical notes on establishment of The Assyrian American Association of San Jose:

Sargon Yaldai along with a group of other 14 people together formed a group that was the foundation of what was latter called the Assyrian American Association of San Jose. The first meetings of this Association were held in Sargons house.

  • In October 22, 1981 the Assyrian American Association of San Jose was officially established and registered with the County of Santa Clara
    • These were the Charter Members who stood together with Sargon on bringing this vision to reality:
      • Sargon Yaldaei
      • Ashur Moradkhan
      • The Late Dr. Karam
      • The Late Mr. Joseph Tereza
      • The late Mr. Yasha Eyvazzadeh
      • George Gorbanian (As treasures)
      • Youbert Vardeh (Designs and graphics)
      • Edo Tuman
      • Neli Nasseri
      • Youtam Nasseri
      • George Rostamzadeh
      • Dan Aghasi
      • Noel Danial Vardah (He donated the first $1000 towards initial costs of setup and registration of the Association)
      • Shimson Sarmechanic
      • Victor Simon
    • Sargon became the first President of the Assyrian American Association of San Jose
    • The first events and programs held by AAA of San Jose were:
      • Setting up the Association preliminary bylaws
      • Picnics
      • New Year Party
      • Nisan
      • Easter Party
    • The Association operated under the following Active committees:
      • Assyrian Women’s Committee
        • First president of the Assyrian Women’s committee was Ms. Dorothy Vardeh; the Vice President was Dony and treasurer was Ramona
      • Cultural Wave of Nissibin, a committee of some of the most enthusiastic Assyrian youth whom some of them later became prominent pillars of the Assyrian community nationwide
    • After meeting with Rabi William Daniel in San Fransico while he was residing with Mr. Youra Tamraz, Mr. Sargon Yaldaei’s goal was to have a house for the AAA of San Jose (Shotapoota d Atour) to be a home to Rabi William Daniel also.
    • In 1985 the Association’s first home in Cahalan was purchased.
    • At the time the Association had 85 members in which 82 of them agree to buy the house.
    • While the Association had no credit to obtain loan, it was Sargon Yaldaei who used his own residence as a collateral towards a home for the Assyrians of Bay Area.
    • Immediately after purchasing the home, Sargon with support of his administration pursued Rabi William Daniel to make the Assyrian American Association of San Jose his home where it became his residence till he passed away.

Some of the major accomplishments during the term of Mr. Sargon Yaldai:

  • In 1985 (6735 Assyrian Calendar) 52nd National Convention was held in San Jose. This was a historically successful convention featuring great cultural and social programs. In addition convention was also financially successful as total income derived from all activities was $123,984 with net profit of $51,240 (31% higher than projected profit);

The AAA of San Jose share from this convention was a considerable down payment towards purchase of the “Bet Shotapoota”;

 

  • The same year also Assyrian Star; An AANF publication; moved its editorial and publication to San Jose. At this time the Managing Editor of Assyrian Star Magazine was William Daniel and Nancy Issac was his Shorthand Writer;

 

  • In 1986 (6736 Assyrian Calendar) The Assyrian American Association of San Jose under direction of Sargon Yaldaei Received “Award of Recognition” from Santa Clara County Fair Association Inc. for the outstanding contribution in providing educational, cultural and recreational activities;

 

  • In 1993 (6743 Assyrian Calendar) the 27th Annual State Convention was brought to San Jose and Sargon Yaldaei was the Chairman of the convention. In addition to standard programs at every convention such as parties, the banquet, the NEC and AUOC meetings, the Bazaar, this convention also brought the following programs:
    • Youth Conference
    • Language and other Seminars
    • Art exhibitions (featuring Assyrian artists) and many more…

 

  • Other programs during his presidency:
    • AAA of San Jose participation in International Food Festival featuring Assyrian Cuisine

 

Cultural Wave of Nissibin

The goal of this sub-organization was to bring together Assyrian teenagers who were isolated in different high schools across the Bay area so that they could make friends and learn about the Assyrian culture, language, and heritage.  One of the first presidents of this sub-organization or as stated in the bylaws of the organization at the time the committee of Assyrian American Association of San Jose was Wilfred Bet-Alkhas whom latter became the founder and Editor in Chief of the online weekly periodical called “Zinda Magazine” . Wilfred would periodically invite Assyrian scholars, artists, and writers as guest speakers and would ask his Nissibin group to invite parents to such functions. In this way he helped to bring the parents of these teenagers into the life and activities of their children in meaningful educational contexts.

The Nissibin Youth Organization was quite effective in keeping teenagers away from harms ways and get them involved in meaningful activities after school hours.

Rochelle (2)

Rochelle Yousefian

President

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Firas Jatou

Vice President

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Rosika Babakhanian

Secretary

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Nineveh Oksar

Treasurer

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Diana Ghahraman

Board Member

Joseph Dadashadeh

Board Member

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Alis Bertos

Board Member

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