Yitzchak Dovid Grossman

In smoke-filled disco halls is where it all started. Months after witnessing the miracles that handed Israel a victory in the Six Day War, Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman travelled north from Jerusalem in search of the opportunity to give thanks for Israel’s deliverance by helping Jews in need. He found his opportunity in Migdal Ha’Emek, a developing town that had absorbed scores of immigrants but lacked the infrastructure and industry to supply its burgeoning population with educations and jobs. Seeking out the town’s idle youth, Rav Grossman travelled to dance clubs, bars and pubs in the hope of engaging them in a meaningful dialogue and gaining their trust. His generous spirit and palpable kindness soon won them over and many of the town’s formerly jaded youngsters began to embrace the Rav and his message of Jewish inclusivity. In 1969, Rav Grossman was elected to the post of Chief Rabbi of Migdal Ha’Emek and granted lifetime tenure.

What began as a search for direct human connections in a place and time of need later became the foundations for the Migdal Ohr Youth Village, which opened in Migdal Ha’Emek in 1972. Today, the campus is home to thousands of children from impoverished neighborhoods all around the country and Rav Grossman, its visionary founder, has been the recipient of Israel’s highest honors from the Love of Israel award to the Israel Prize – Israel’s version of a Nobel. He has twice declined the offer to serve as Israel’s Chief Rabbi, preferring instead to remain close to his students. Whenever asked how many children he has, Rav Grossman will always smile and say “Thousands.”…………

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