The Founder, Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam
(January 10, 1905 - June 18, 1994)
The Rubin-Zeffren Children’s Home in Netanya, Israel was founded in 1961 by the late revered Rebbe of Sanz-Klausenburg when one evening, a desperate widower abandoned his five small children at the Rebbe's doorstep.
The Founding Father of the Children’s Home was a “Father” to orphaned girls many years before even thinking about establishing an orphanage in Israel. The late revered Grand Rebbe of Sanz-Klausenberg, Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, was still reeling from the horrific losses of his wife and 11 children in the Holocaust on the Eve of Yom Kippur, 1946 when a newly-orphaned young girl ran up to him crying “Rabbi, who will bless me this Yom Kippur?!”
On this holiest day of the Jewish year, in the holiest moments of the Kol Nidrei service, when the Rebbe was normally envelo-ped in such fear of the Almighty that people were afraid to approach him, the Rebbi dropped everything to hear the
pleas of this young orphan. He turned to her lovingly and said “don’t cry, my child, I will be your Father and bless you this Yom Kippur!”
With tears streaming down his face, the Rebbe proceeded to place his hands atop a scarf upon the head of the girl and gave her a most heartfelt and sincere blessing for the coming New Year, in memory of the holy souls who had perished in the Holocaust. After the girl dried her own tears and thanked the Rebbe, she went back to her room and whispered her good fortune to her friends. In turn, they lined up to receive their own blessing and the Rebbe calmly blessed every girl who came to him that Yom Kippur Eve.
Thus, were the seeds of the Children’s Home planted that Yom Kippur Eve, of 1946.