(November 13, 1893 – October 13, 1974) was a Romanian-born Israeli painter and Israel’s first ambassador to Romania.
Rubin Zelicovici (later Reuven Rubin) was born in Galaţi to a poor Romanian Jewish Hasidic family. He was the eighth of 13 children. In 1912, he left for Ottoman-ruled Palestine to study art at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Finding himself at odds with the artistic views of the Academy’s teachers, he left for Paris, France, in 1913 to pursue his studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. At the outbreak of World War I, he was returned to Romania, where he spent the war years.
In 1921, he traveled to the United States with his friend and fellow artist, Arthur Kolnik, with whom he had shared a studio in Cernăuţi. In New York City, the two met artist Alfred Stieglitz, who was instrumental in organizing their first American show at the Anderson Gallery. Following the exhibition, in 1922, they both returned to Europe. In 1923, Rubin emigrated to Mandate Palestine.
Rubin met his wife, Esther, in 1928, aboard a passenger ship to Palestine on his return from a show in New York. She was a Bronx girl who had won a trip to Palestine in a Young Judea competition. He died in 1974.