Rabbi Chaim Dov Urbach was born in Ramat Gan, Israel, on February 16, 1951. At the age of three, his family moved to Brazil and for two years, they lived in a rural area, in a town called Americana, founded after the American Civil War by a group of confederate families from the southern United States. The Urbachs were known to the Brazilians as “the Germans,” despite Chaim’s father being a Holocaust survivor from Poland. They lived primarily on welfare, but to create income, Chaim’s father, Eliezer, learned how to make pork sausage, so for a time, he went into business making and selling sausages. However, still in financial need, Urbach found a more lucrative opportunity at a weaving factory. It was there that Eliezer met evangelical Christians who witnessed to him and shared the Gospel. He began to attend their meetings and became a believer in Yeshua.
Shortly thereafter, Chaim’s mother, Sara, became a believer through a direct vision from the L-rd. For a time, Eliezer left his family in Americana and went into the Brazilian jungle to hunt for diamonds. After recovering from malaria, he drove a taxi in a little jungle town until he was summoned back to his family in Americana. A short time later, the Urbach family returned to Israel.
Chaim’s parents raised their children as believers in Yeshua when there were only a few believers in the land. Their faith community was a blend of Arab, Christian (Plymouth Brethren), and Jewish Believers. The only children in the small congregation were Nechama and Chaim Urbach. They both remember kneeling on the stone floor to pray with the adults and having to adhere to the strict rules of the religious community—no music, no dancing, no make-up, no movies, long hair for women and girls, and short hair for men and boys.