Chaim Urbach was born in Ramat Gan, Israel on February 16, 1951 here. His family moved to Brazil and came back to Israel when he was still a small boy. At 12, he moved with his parents, Eliezer and Sara Urbach and his big sister, Nechama to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Learning to play baseball helped him not to be the dorky kid who talked funny. At 16, he moved again with his parents to New York City amidst the 60s protest movement where again, he really didn’t fit in. Being different became part of who Chaim was. He went from New York to Oklahoma Baptist University, where he didn’t fit in either, being only one of 2 Jewish students there. He graduated with a Masters degree in Zoology.
While attending a conference at Wheaton College, someone prophesied that Chaim would be a man of God, preaching the Gospel. He ignored that call for a long time. A serious introvert, that seemed like the least likely career path.
While working in various labs, he met his wife, Joy, and married. She also was a least likely candidate for ministry. Along with a wife, Chaim adopted a daughter, Hope. When he was laid off because the lab lost its funding, his wife encouraged him to go to seminary. He went to Denver Seminary and loved it. Following seminary, he worked as an associate with Burt Yellin at Roeh Israel, where he, his father, and other men of God had planted a congregation several years earlier. Some dear friends encouraged Chaim to plant another Messianic Synagogue in the Denver area, and Congregation Yeshuat Tsion was born.
The man of God who preferred only his (holy) books, grew, as the ministry matured him. That journey of growth persisted for over 30 years and developed Chaim into the kind and fatherly (and later grandfatherly) man that so many people came to know and love, through his mentoring, counseling, preaching, teaching, sharing, and encouraging.
Chaim will be sorely missed by so many, including the family he has left behind (for now) on this earth: His wife Joy, daughter Hope, grandchildren Isaiah and Skylah, sister Nechama and her children Mordechai and Nathaniel, and all their spouses and children.
March 15, 2023
Congregation Roeh Israel
8556 Warren Avenue
Denver CO 80231
Donations can be made to Israel First Fruits, PO Box 3785, Grapevine TX 76099, or to
Congregation Yeshuat Tsion, 1480 W. Canal Court, Littleton, CO 80120 (or www.yeshuattsion.org - see website for donate button).