The Lego Man Fights Cancer with Lego Therapy
Maor Cohen offering his special brand of joy to a child dealing with cancer!


Three years ago, when I came to Oranit, Ezer Mizion’s Cancer Support Center, to donate some LEGO sets, they asked me to work with children who have cancer and with children whose parents have cancer. “Wait! Stop! That’s more than I bargained for! All I came for was a one-time donation of LEGO .” I felt overwhelmed. This wasn’t what I had planned on.  But the angels at Ezer Mizion made me see how much more I could do. I was frightened at the thought. After all, the word ‘cancer’ is unmentionable and I’d be not only using the word but diving right in. Lego therapy is what they called it. Something to enable the child to be a child in spite of the raging river of terror that threatens to drown him.

I was hesitant. At the time, my wife and I had been married for some time and still had no children. A friend gave me some great advice: If you want Hashem to give you children, volunteer to take care of His children.  That clinched it. I was still hesitant, still frightened but I began with baby steps, thus launching my career as Lego Man. We have two little girls now. I can never thank my friend enough for his advice.

When I  see those suffering children, I understand their inner turmoil.  I know what it means to be a child with a sick parent.

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Hour of vacation from cancer

Ever since I was 5 years old, my father, may he live and be well, has been a heart patient. Continue reading The Lego Man Fights Cancer with Lego Therapy


Behind the Wheel with Yisroel

pr general bldg DG857322They always say thank you but, in truth, I am the one who feels privileged, as an Ezer Mizion driver, to transport so many very special people who have been battling illness and often have gained a clear insight of Hashem’s loving hand. A family   had requested a ride to the kvarim (gravesites) to give thanks to Hashem upon their young son completing a set of treatments.

At 7:45 I met six-year-old Noam Chai and his parents, exuberant after a 5-month long hospital stay. Their story is amazing, a story of blazing faith, of pure love of Hashem. Continue reading Behind the Wheel with Yisroel


My Gift

Christmas Present Wrapped in Gold and Silver 2000Let me tell you about one of the best gifts I ever received. Picture it. It’s not too large. About the size of a golf ball. It was amazing. As soon as it arrived, it began pulling my whole family together like never before. I felt so loved and appreciated. I was able to recalibrate what’s really important in my life and it redefined my sense of spirituality.  It even came with a coupon for an eight-week vacation with nothing to do – just accept flowers from all my family and friends to go with all their good wishes.  You’re probably wondering how you can get it. Is it on Amazon? Is there a waiting list? The cost: $55,000. I’m not sure you would want it but, as for me, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  It’s name? Cancer. Continue reading My Gift


When Things Couldn’t Get Any Worse

pr gen R' Chollak IMG_9149Today everything is fine and we expect tomorrow to be the same. Often it is but sometimes it is not. Mrs. Jaffe* was expecting and experiencing what she thought was just the normal aches of a pregnancy. Then it got worse. The pain was excruciating. The doctors were at loss as they did not want to do extensive testing until the baby was born. It was then that the horrific discovery was made. Continue reading When Things Couldn’t Get Any Worse


Rx: Fun

pr canc sup camp 2015  11796201_526093560876918_62661206831841520_nRegistration was underway. Name. Address. Phone. Room assignment. More lines to be filled out on an inanimate, impersonal form. But there before me stood not line items but people. A group came forward. Children gathered around a Mommy like frisky kittens tumbling over themselves trying to find a place. But the Mommy? The center. Their source of sunshine. Their source of life. The Mommy stood there, her skin translucent. So weak. So helpless. While her children clamored only for the normal requests of childhood, Sara was engaged in a battle for her life. A monster named Cancer had robbed her children of a nurturing Mommy. To admire a drawing, to kiss away a boo-boo…oh, how she longed to perform these motherly privileges once again. But she couldn’t. She felt like a shaky plant that will collapse completely unless surrounded by sturdy props. That’s why she registered in Ezer Mizion’s Summer Camp for Families dealing with Cancer. Its staff and volunteers would be the props to hold her up while she gave her children a much-needed dose of “Mommy”. Continue reading Rx: Fun


Moti Zisser & The Shopping Centers that Saved Lives


The walls of the homes of holocaust survivors often whisper: “Produce! Produce! Replace what was destroyed.” Moti Zisser a’h grew up in such a home and heeded the unsaid call. From a simple upbringing, he became a tycoon, branching out all over Israel and around the world. Giant ventures, huge shopping centers were the bricks of his world. Torah and chessed were its products. Together with his wife, Bracha hbl’c, he established Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry in Israel, which has already saved the lives of over 2,000 people. He was one of the founders of Mer’orot Hadaf Hayomi and supported this tremendous enterprise all his life. Private individuals also knew how to reach his listening ear and left warmed by the caring of a warm-hearted Jew, generous check in hand. Impoverished newlyweds often would find their needs well taken care of by a clandestine visit from a ‘mysterious angel’.   Some may say that his life ended in tragedy with his succumbing to cancer at age 60. But the word ‘tragedy’ can never describe a life that accomplished so much. Moti Zisser.gif Continue reading Moti Zisser & The Shopping Centers that Saved Lives


Good Morning!

pr failureGood morning…simple words. We say them every day. Most people are hardly aware of the greeting by neighbors or fellow workers. But for a small group of women at Ezer Mizion, the words mean everything. They represent the Good Morning program, a visual art workshop for cancer patients. These brave women are forced to deal not only with chemo and its side effects but with the frightening future of there perhaps being no future. At times they are paralyzed with fear of the unknown, of their children journeying through childhood with no Mommy at their side. They are compelled to face what most of us don’t want to even think about. And they’re terrified.

Ezer Mizion’s “Good Morning” program at its Donald Berman Rehabilitation Center enables them confront and comprehend the inner workings of their fears. It gives them strength to move forward and to deal with the monsters that lie hidden in the deep recesses of their psyche. A recent project entitled ‘I Dreamed That…’ enabled the participants to express their dreams and nightmares using the medium of art. Each work embodied the depth of the artist’s soul and was on exhibit at Heichal Payis L’Tarbut Ul’omanut in Petach Tikvah.  Continue reading Good Morning!


A Letter Meant for Your, Our Dear Friends and Supporters

pr mental illness flowers 1542_ne_photo_stories1_98b2aDear Tamar,

I consider it my privilege to express to you some of the enormous gratitude I have towards Ezer Mizion, and in particular, to Ophira Taylor and the entire staff of the chareidi Cancer Patient Support Division, headed by Blumi Willner. After already having lent your support to my family during my husband’s illness, you went on to help me personally by funding emotional therapy. Over the last few months, I underwent two series of therapy based on the “Journey” approach with Ayala Garbi, as arranged by the trusty intervention of Ezer Mizion’s Donald Berman Rehabilitation Center.

The offer to receive therapy in itself, after my husband finished his course of chemotherapy and reached a “hiatus,” moved and heartened me very much. Continue reading A Letter Meant for Your, Our Dear Friends and Supporters