Born into a Jewish family of Moroccan origin, he made his fortune in Paris in the bank of Jules Mires and Moses Polydore Millaud. lieutenant invested in the Spanish railways, which earned him the citation of the Order of Isabella. His obsession with philanthropy emerged from the Jewish tradition of the tzedakah (charity), republican values and the irrepressible desire to spread his wealth.
He built a statue in honor of Joan of Arc in Nancy, and an impressive collection of Napoleonic relics, bequeathed to the Pasteur Institute.
Iffla built several synagogues in Paris, including the Buffault Synagogue at Arcachon one in Tours and also the Vincennes Synagogue as well as synagogues in Tunis and Lausanne. In the latter city, he also constructed a statue of William Tell (in gratitude to the Swiss for their reception given of the army of Bourbaki in 1871).
His grave in Paris is white marble surmounted by a large bronze reproduction of Moses by Michelangelo built in Saint Peter in Chains.