Yitzchak Tuvia Yabeta Rubin, the son of David Aaron Rubin and Norma Yabeta Rubin of University City, became a bar mitzvah June 24, 2019 at the Kotel HaMaaravi in Jerusalem. Yitzchak read Torah and led a morning service, followed by a nine-course lunch at the Eucalyptus Restaurant, where the chef, Moshe Basson, is a personal friend of the Rubins.
A second celebration was held in St. Louis. On July 6 at Congregation Nusach Hari B’nai Zion, Yitzhak read Torah and had his aliyah to the Torah during Shabbat services, followed by a kiddush. The next day, he led services at NHBZ and delivered a speech in front of about 220 people attending.
Guests then enjoyed a special meal made by Yitzchak’s mother, including cold poached salmon, tilapia ceviche, a variety of salads, and trifles of many flavors and colors.
Yitzhak’s speech referenced his mother’s Bolivian ancestors on her father’s side and on her mother’s side, driven to the New World by the Spanish Inquisition, forced into conversion and assimilation, and now, through Yitzchak at his bar mitzvah, returning the family lines back to Judaism.
Yitzchak, is a seventh grade student at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School. He wore the tallit he designed and created in a tallit-making class he took at school. He is the grandson of the late Gilbert and Jeanette Rubin of University City and Juan Yabeta and Marbel Yabeta Aguilera of Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Yitzchak will donate 10 percent of his bar mitzvah money to the Ethiopia Project-Hunger, a nonprofit started by a St. Louis native, Dr. Morris Hartstein. Since 2013, Hartstein has been the sole eyecare provider to the 8,000 Jews awaiting aliyah in Addis and Gondar, providing eye examinations, medical treatment, eye drops and eye glasses. The Ethiopia Project-Hunger now provides two meals per day to 350 Jewish children in Gondar. The children, all of whom are age five and under, suffer from severe malnutrition. For more information or to donate, visit http://bit.ly/Ethiopia-Project.