Jewish Values: Rabbi Avraham Blumenthal: Father of Orphans

Place of Publication: 
Great Jewish Lives.
Publication Year: 
Number of Pages: 
110 p.
Life in Jerusalem was extremely difficult in the period before, during, and after World War I. The Turks and then the British ruled the country and many children and adults died from starvation, disease, lack of basic medical care, and conditions of poverty. The streets became filled with orphaned children. Rabbi Avraham Blumenthal (1877-1966) stepped up to the challenge of providing a loving and safe home for these boys in difficult times of poverty and starvation. At first, children whose parents had died were cared for by relatives, but soon even their families could not care for them. A new home was needed, and so the Zion Orphanage was created. Rabbi Blumenthal cared for them day and night making sure they had food and clothing and were safe from the dangers of war. Many miracles occurred during this period when the orphanage was saved from harm. The boys learned Torah and how to be good Jews and were truly loved. Rabbi Blumenthal and his wife, Chana, became their parents and raised many of them to adulthood. By 1947, most of the original children had moved on and now the orphanage was filled with boys whose parents just couldn’t care for them. Throughout the War of Independence, the orphanage continued to shelter homeless boys. Today the Zion Blumenthal Orphanage, located in Geula is the longest running children’s home in Jerusalem. This is a heartwarming and well written biography which will strike a chord of empathy and love in the hearts of the readers. It is an important story in the history of the heroes of Israel. It includes a timeline of events, glossary, and bibliography, and there is a teacher’s guide available for download on the publisher’s website. An adult biography of Rabbi Blumenthal has been published in Hebrew and English based on the testimony of his daughter.
Sydney Taylor Winner: