The International Tefillin Bank was founded and funded to further a revolutionary vision, simple at its core but breathtaking in scope.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, launched the global Tefillin campaign in 1967, just days prior to the Six-Day War, and publicly called for every Jew to have the opportunity to put on Tefillin. He felt all Jewish men should and would put on Tefillin every day, if given the opportunity.
Tefillin swiftly became an iconic mitzvah offered by Chabad on a global scale, ranging from Friday afternoon visits in business districts to Tefillin stands on college campuses and other public locales.
Rabbi Sholom Dov Ber Lipskar, of The Shul of Bal Harbor, Florida, approached The Shluchim Office with the initiative to create The International Tefillin Bank together with Mr. & Mrs. Yaakov and Chana Weinbaum, Holocaust survivors and congregants of The Shul, who assisted in the founding of the Tefillin Bank. The C. Kushner Companies Foundation later provided an endowment that allowed us to distribute Tefillin on a global scale.
The International Tefillin Bank was thus founded in 2005 with a mission and commitment to ensure that nothing held back any Jewish man from putting on Tefillin every day.
Through the Bank, The Shluchim Office distributed thousands of Tefillin sets to Jewish men in 35 different countries who committed to fulfilling the daily Mitzvah.
The International Tefillin Bank's momentum and initiative also spawned local Tefillin Banks in Brazil and Africa, encouraging countless people to connect to their Jewish spirit, heritage, and identity.
Thanks to the generosity of the Ichikowitz Family Foundation of South Africa, sponsors of the Tefillin Bank of Africa, The Shluchim Office, in conjunction with Lubavitch Foundation of Southern Africa, has re-launched the Ichikowitz Family International Tefillin Bank.
The Ichikowitz Family has undertaken the project because they understand how fundamentally important Tefillin are for the Jewish people.