A S. Paulo, Brazil, Chabad House recently inaugurated a campaign to distribute pairs of tefillin to any Jewish man that pledges to wear them daily. Called the Tefillin Bank, the program resembles a New York-based effort that provided free pairs of tefillin to American communities.

In Brazil, staff from Beit Chabad Morumbi, founded by Rabbi Dovid and Sonia Elisheva Weitman, screen potential beneficiaries – primarily young adults who might not be able to afford the tefillin, which are made by specially-trained scribes – and teach them about the importance of the biblically mandated practice.

At a meeting with supporters, Beit Chabad director Rabbi Dovid Goldberg related the story of a person who regularly attended events at the community center. The man sent Goldberg an image of himself donning tefillin with a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinical student who meets him almost weekly at the same spot in the Jewish “A Hebraica” club. The rabbi asked the man if he wanted his own pair of tefillin to put on daily, and the man heartily said yes.


Begun just before the Jewish New Year, the campaign already boasts a cadre of volunteers for fundraising, advertising and organizational activities.

"It feels good to start my day off with putting on tefillin," said Paulo Drewiacki, 23, through a translator. He received his tefillin from the Tefillin Bank.

"I felt the need to find a way for me to connect to my Judaism and G‑d," he continued. "This is a good start."