The students of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto have begun a worldwide Tefillin Bank, distributing free pairs of Tallis & Tefillin to whomever commits himself to put on Tefillin every day, regardless of his financial situation.
The new campaign is a project of the ‘Yesodot’ division of the ‘Shuva Israel’ institutions, launched in honor of Rabbi Pinto who is currently serving a prison sentence in Israel.
As of now, close to 1,000 Jews have received free pairs of Tallis & Tefillin, each with beautiful embroidered bags.
The idea of a ‘Tefillin Bank’ distributing free pairs of Tefillin is not a new idea, it was the Rebbe’s directive from 1967 to Rabbi Binyomin Eliyohu Gorodetzky, the Shliach to Europe & North Africa, asking him to set up a Tefillin Bank in France (which is active to this day!).
The idea became global when Rabbi Sholom Ber Lipskar, Chabad Shliach to Bal Harbor, launched ‘The Kushner International Tefillin Bank,’ which distributed close to 6,000 free pairs of Tefillin since its inception.
The idea was then replicated by Rabbi Dovid Wineberg of Chabad of South Africa, who launched ‘The Ichikowitz Family Tefillin Bank of Africa;’ Rabbi Yisroel Shmotkin, Chabad Shliach to the State of Wisconsin with the Lubavitch of Wisconsin Tefillin Bank; and Rabbi Dovid Weitman, Chabad Shliach to Morumbi, Brazil with his ‘MyTefillin – Tefillin Bank.’