Clara Rubin


     I first met Clara Rubin on a hot Summer night in 1974.  It was August 15th, and I had been invited to a Bible study at the home of Richie & Patty Saxon, by Ralph & Kathy Curtin, long time friends from High School.  Kathy is Patty’s sister.  I didn’t go there with the intent of learning about the Bible.  Truth be told, I had never even opened a Bible before, didn’t own one and God had no part in my life. I went there because I heard that the people running the Bible study were Jews who believed in Jesus.  Well, everyone knows that Jews don’t believe in Jesus so these people must be some kind of a cult, I figured, so I went there, in my arrogance, with the intent of exposing these frauds, not knowing a thing about scripture.

     When I walked into that room full of people, I had no idea what to expect, but I was ready for battle.  Immediately, from across the room, this short, plump women in a house dress locked her eyes on me like radar.  She made a bee line right to me, wrapped her arms around my neck and planted a big kiss on my cheek.  She said, “Darling, do you know Jesus”?  My hard heart just melted.  As I stammered trying to find words to say, she sat me down and shared the gospel with me.  No deep theology;  no fancy words; no long Bible quotes, none of which I would have understood anyway.  Sho told me how much Jesus loved me, how lost I was,  and how he died for me.  I knew instantly that what she was telling me was the truth, by the love that was coming from her. I gave my heart to the Lord that very night and she gave me my first Bible as a gift.  A paperback King James.  Little did I know that this was the beginning a wonderful, 40 year frindship with my Yiddisha Momma, and the start of a spiritual journey with Jesus!  She was a friend, a mentor and a teacher by example.

     I remember asking her once, “what is the best way to reach Jews with the gospel”!  She looked at me and said, “Ronnie, do you know why Jews have big noses”!  I said, er, no!  She answered, “because we can smell the love”!  She had just shared with me the secret of her amazing ministry.  Go with love!  I was thinking of a verse of scripture that best describes Clara and the first verse that came to mind is John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  I knew Clara was a disciple of Jesus.

     Clara did not just pay lip service, she lived it!  While going through a rough time where I was unable to work because if illness, and money was very tight, Clara and Joe would stop over my home every week bringing milk and other staples to help feed the kids, and always slipped some money into my pocket, even though her and Joe were just getting by themselves.  If someone had a need, spiritually or physically, Clara gave from her heart.  She walked the walk!
Clara opened up her home for weekly Bible studies taught first by Raymond Cohen and then By Marty Fromm,  where I gained a foundation in the Word of God and a love for the Jewishness of the scriptures and the Jewish people.  While Clara had a burning desire to bring the gospel to her Jewish brethren,  she had a burden to reach everyone with the good news about Yeshua.  Countless lives were touched by that little Bible study and many found salvation through the words of truth spoken there.  When the time came to sing to the Lord, Clara would be up singing the loudest, dancing and encouraging everyone to be joyful, praising God continually.

     Every year we would have a Passover Seder, usually in the basement of a local church that was a friend of the ministry!  Sometimes we would have 100 or more people attend.  For days ahead of time, Clara would single handedly make gallons of motzoh ball soup, clean and prepare chickens, and pretty much cook for the entire seder by herself in her little kitchen. She made a great motzoh ball!

As the result of Clara & Joe’s ministry, in addition to so many coming to faith,  many pastors, missionaries and ministries were birthed.  While Clare lived a humble and modest life, she must be a spiritually wealthy lady in heaven today because she lived Matthew 6:20,  “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”

     About 3 years ago, I felt let to go to Florida to visit Clara, and my wife wanted to meet this lady I was always talking about.  I believe she was 93 years old at the time.  My wife and I went to lunch with Clara and Ilayna to a local Chinese restaurant.  Even at 93, Clara still loved to eat.  When we were done and trying to leave, Clara made two of the Chinese waiters sit down with her as she shared Jesus with them.  That was Clara!  Anyone who came into her company heard the gospel.  I have never known anyone who was as bold for Messiah, and she was about as close as you could come to a modern day Paul!   🙂

     Because of love her for Jesus and her love for me,  Clara led me to salvation and blessed me with 40 years of friendship and godly love, and for that I am eternally grateful.  At the end of her life and ministry, most of those she had ministered to were no longer around, but she held fast to her Messiah and ministered until her last breath.  I know the first words she heard in Heaven were “well done thou good and faithful servant”.  The last words she said to me just a week ago were, “I’ll see you up there”!   I look forward to the time when I will see her again in Heaven and will fellowship with her for eternity.  Love you Clara!

 Ron Cusano

More:  A Tribute to Clara Rubin from Jews For Jesus –