Members of the Los Angeles Jewish community recently attended a reception for the Zion Orphanage Jerusalem. Founded over 100 years ago by Rabbi Abraham Yochanan Blumenthal, the orphanage started out as home to Israel’s homeless children. Blumenthal’s, as it was known, was not only a place of refuge for these children, but a home that provided food, shelter, care – and the security of a loving family.
The Zion Orphanage now serves some 100 children, ages 7-18, along with an additional 120 children attending its yeshiva high school. While some of the children are orphans, many others come from dysfunctional, abusive or poverty-stricken homes. At Zion they receive renewed opportunities of growth and education, and a potential future of productivity and accomplishment.
Zion’s director of development, Rabbi Gershon Unger, introduced Rabbi Dr. Izhak Dayan, chief rabbi of Geneva, who made a special trip to L.A. to extol the virtues of Zion Orphanage.
Rabbi Baruch Rakovsky, Zion’s executive director and direct descendant of the founder of the Zion Orphanage, described the orphanage’s mission. He relayed what he told an inquiring fellow passenger on his flight from Israel to L.A. as to what he does for a living. He told the person that he polishes diamonds. Upon further questioning, Rabbi Rakovsky explained the type of diamonds he deals with – namely precious, vulnerable children.
To learn more about the Zion Orphanage, visit their website (www.zionorphanage.com) and when in Israel, make arrangements to visit the orphanage.Rabbi Arye D. Gordon
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