Our Story

Zion Orphanage, founded in 1899, is the world's oldest continuously running Jewish orphanage. We provide 120 disadvantaged and homeless youth, ages 7-18, with the warmth and care of a loving family. Each boy – despite a rough start in life – is given a second chance to reach his potential and achieve greatness.

Zion Orphanage serves Jewish children from diverse backgrounds – secular and religious, Ashkenazi and Sephardi. Our thousands of graduates include Knesset members, business leaders, and renowned professionals. With the tender guidance of Zion Orphanage, the boys' early-ingrained "fighting spirit for survival" remained as they matured and re-entered the world, this time from a position of strength.

Our founder, Rabbi A.Y. Blumenthal, pioneered the practice of providing not just a place of refuge, but the highest standards of a stable, healthy environment – driven by a belief in the greatness of every human being. Today, each of our "mishpachtone" family units house 12 boys with a young couple – giving them the priceless benefits of a healthy family setting.

Every child deserves a fair chance.

Zion Orphanage is led by Rabbi Baruch Rakovsky and Mrs. Rivka Rakovsky, direct descendents of Rabbi Blumenthal, along with a staff of 80 experts in education, therapy, healthcare, and vocational training. Our one-acre campus is located in the heart of Jerusalem.

Zion Orphanage is dedicated to nurturing each boy's creativity and passion. We provide a variety of activities and therapies including gymnastics, martial arts, volleyball, soccer, arts and crafts, animal-assisted therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, book library, computers, electronics and more.

The Talmud teaches: "Whoever saves a life as if he saved an entire world." Every day at Zion Orphanage, we see this adage literally playing out in front of our eyes.

Please join in providing these precious Jewish children with the physical, emotional and educational needs they so richly deserve.
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Years of Service

The world's longest-running Jewish orphanage.

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Alumni

Knesset members, business leaders, and professionals

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Boys Residing

A warm and loving home in Jerusalem.

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Activities

Music, arts, fitness, and more!

Featured Alumni

The mission of Zion Orphanage is to nurture every boy's unique potential.
We are proud to count some of Israel's brightest and best among our alumni.
Moshe Abutbul
Mayor of Beit Shemesh
Born in Be'er Sheva, Moshe entered Zion Orphanage at age 9. In 2009, he was elected Mayor of Beit Shemesh, Israel's 15th-largest city. He cites "lessons learned growing up in Zion Orphanage" as integral to his success in building and nurturing the city.
David Azulay
Member of Knesset
Originally from Morocco, David spent 7 years at Zion Orphanage. An educator and expert in social welfare issues, David was elected to the Israeli Knesset in 1997.
Yechezkel Tzion
World-renowned Cantor
Born to a musical family from Baghdad, Yechezkel spent his formative years at Zion Orphanage. He has served as cantor of large congregations, performed concerts worldwide, and released 30 CDs.
Avraham Ravitz, zt"l
Member of Knesset
Born in Tel Aviv, Avraham grew up at Zion Orphanage. He served in the pre-State Lehi and later in the IDF. He was a beloved and respected Member of Knesset from 1988-2008, holding two Deputy Minister posts.

Our Staff

Mrs. Rivka Rakovsky
Mrs. Rivka Rakovsky is the granddaughter of our founder, Rabbi Avraham Y. Blumenthal. She says: "The joy radiating from the children’s faces testifies that Zion Orphanage is alive and well!"
R' Baruch Rakovsky
R' Baruch Rakovsky, CEO, is a Jerusalem native and direct descendant of the founder of Zion Orphanage. His warm and caring approach inspires all activities at the home.
R' Gershon Unger
Rabbi Gershon Unger, as Director of Development, is responsible for advancing the Zion boys' care. He also serves as liaison for Zion Orphanage supporters. A native of Southern California, Rabbi Unger was program director at Aish HaTorah Jerusalem for 11 years, before coming to Zion Orphanage.
Itzik Rosenbloom
Director of the children's extra-curricular activities.
Menachem Avitan
Krav Maga - Israeli Martial Arts
Ilana Rosenbloom
The Orphanage house nurse (and wife of Itzik).
R' Asher Jacobs
Head of our Yagdil Torah High School program
Yishai Blumenthal
The Jerusalem branch head of The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, is our animal-assisted therapist.
Faigy Glick
Animal-assisted therapist
Adina & Avichai Chazut
Home Group parents (Mishpachtone)
Moshe Miller
Child Psychologist
Nachman Porat
Drum teacher
Yochai Leshem
Child Psychologist
Joseph Kaplan
Wrestling Instructor
Jacob Shapira
Child Psychologist
Asher Horonchick
Photography Instructor
Asher Jungreis
Adolescent Social Worker
Gabi Elesry
Senior counselor
R' Yose Avitan
Mentor for our Yagdil Torah high school program
Shalom Kinnory
Choir instructor
Ovadia Siri
Counselor
Aryeh Yona
Head Counselor, serving over 30 years
R' Eliyahu Nitanyan
Head of our Shifty High School Program
Michael Buchboot
Big brother for the Yagdil Torah high school program
Yichiel Sachy
Social worker for high school programs
Shimon Amzelig
Drums instructor
Yonaton Shlomo
Guitar instructor
Yose Nitanyan
Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Zion Orphanage
Yonason Hill
Guitar and voice teacher
Shuky Attia
Teacher for Yagdil Torah high school program
Shalom Elchanan Elbaum
English Teacher
Yosef Eden
Counselor

Endorsements

The popular Jewish singer, Yaakov Shwekey (R), appears at a Zion Orphanage event with Yechezkel Tzion (L), the world-renowned cantor who spent his formative years at Zion Orphanage.

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt"l was the leader of Torah Jewry until his death in 2012 and a supporter of Zion orphanage. Here he greets Zion boys at his home in Jerusalem.

The current Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef (L) and Rabbi David Lau (C), join a Zion boy's Bar Mitzvah celebration at the orphanage.

David Azulay, Israeli Minister of Religious Affairs, spent 7 years living at Zion Orphanage in Jerusalem, which he credits for instilling his core values and work ethic.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (R) tours the Zion Orphanage campus with CEO Rabbi Baruch Rakovsky.

Moshe Abutbul entered Zion Orphanage at age 9. He cites "lessons learned growing up in Zion Orphanage" as integral to his success as Mayor of Beit Shemesh, Israel's 15th-largest city.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef zt"l, the most important Sefardi rabbi of the 20th century, held a special place in his heart for Zion Orphanage. Here he greets Zion boys at his home in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, the foremost authority on Jewish law today, is an avid supporter of Zion Orphanage. Here he greets Zion boys at his home in Bnei Brak, Israel.

Hot Off The Press 2017

The Inspiring Story of Zion Orphanage

A century ago in Jerusalem, amidst desperate circumstances of hunger, disease and Arab marauders, one man accepted the task of caring for hundreds of homeless Jewish children.

Now for the first time, you can read the remarkable story of Rabbi Avraham Y. Blumenthal, the founder of Zion Orphanage whose spirit of generosity and compassion continues today at our thriving Jerusalem campus.

Our gift with a $10/month donation (or equivalent)

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