Nine hours! Can you imagine spending nine hours with five small, rambunctious children in a hospital setting with no supplies?! It’s the stuff of nightmares but it actually happened to a young mother who became worried about a medical issue in one of her kids and, having no place to leave them, ran out with the whole family to the hospital emergency room. Continue reading Lottie’s Kitchen
Did you ever feel helpless? Alone? Frightened? Do you recall how a smile of sunshine could break through the black clouds? The hospitals are filled with family members who have been suddenly catapulted out of their comfortable daily routine to deal with a nightmare of fear. They spend hours and hours with the patient, never even noticing their own needs. A quick coke from the machine down the hall will have to sustain them for the day. Often vital decisions must be made with the decision-maker running on empty. Until Lottie’s Kitchen comes by. A sympathetic volunteer arrives at the door bearing a mouth-watering, attractively served, hot meal. The caregiver, who hadn’t even realized that he is fasting, is revived like drooping flower after a heavy rain. A pat on the shoulder, an understanding remark, some practical advice complete the meal. He feel strengthened. He is now able to once again give to the patient who is depending on him.
Yaakov* is a case in point. He known as Mr. Nice Guy. Continue reading Lottie’s Kitchen
In Hadassah’s outpatient clinic, I sit near my wife on a chair,
Along with many patients who’ve come from far and near.
Each one is hooked up to IV, getting chemo to cure his disease
Perhaps the powerful drugs will alleviate and ease.
As I sit there, my stomach rumbling, I wonder – what will be???
As an escort, I get no hospital meal, and I’m ravenously hungry…
Just then, in walk some women, their bags bulging and cheery
With food in all shapes and size – pareve, meat, and dairy.
For those who want something lighter, there’s a fresh and luscious roll.
I choose the tray of pareve food – it revives me, body and soul!
I thought of the chessed you do with love that’s sincere and real.
Thank you, Ezer Mizion, for the tasty and heartwarming meal!
We are currently visiting and had to take our daughter to out- patients last evening. It was traumatic and Boruch HASHEM all was okay. Ezer Mezion was there with a coffee trolley and biscuits and kindness. I would liken Ezer Mizion to water. It seeps into every corner. So do the activities Ezer Mizion. Its chessed seeps into every corner of people’s lives.
Thank you and please convey our thanks to the hanholla. You have no idea what that chessed means. May you all have koach (strength) to carry out this wonderful avoida (service).
A visiting family from South Africa
Dano Monkotowich, Jerusalem Branch Coordinator
From Dano I learned a new definition for the term “alternative medicine.”
“Patients and their families appreciate what our work does only after we are not on the scene anymore. A worried family member sits next to his loved one’s room in the hospital chewing at his nails or hunting for an outlet where he can charge his cell phone. He’s nervous, concerned, frightened.
Suddenly an Ezer Mizion volunteer passes by with his refreshments cart and offers him a Danish pastry. The fellow thanks him with a blank expression, opens the wrapper, and eats the cake. The volunteer has already continued on his way. He is already on the next floor, in a different ward. Meanwhile, downstairs, the person pulls off half of the pastry and gives it to his sick relative. They finish munching, flick away the crumbs, and suddenly grasp what ‘alternative medicine’ is.”
Dano is right. It’s not the Danish. It’s the secret ingredient. The compassionate smile. The pat on the shoulder. The sympathetic words of encouragement. It’s the giver, even more than what is given. You are sitting there in the oncology ward at your low point. You have forgotten that you didn’t put a thing in your mouth the entire day. It is not even ‘alternative medicine’. It is medicine itself and without the pain that often comes with medical treatment. Plain and simple. Both the patient and the family member feel so much better. Someone noticed them as a person- not a vein to jab or a form to fill out. Someone understands what they are going through. Someone cares.
Every day, Ezer Mizion’s Lottie’s Kitchen volunteers walk through hospital wards on regular routes at set hours and distribute their alternative medicine- pastries, hot meals, sandwiches, and drinks- to patients and their families. The ‘treatment’ affects not only the patient and family member but also the Lottie’s Kitchen volunteer. “It feels good to give,” they all say once they have tasted the experience.
“A few years ago,” Dano says, “we launched a project to recruit volunteers, with an interesting theme: Couples. The couples, usually parents of children, took upon themselves one or more volunteer rounds a week. They walk or drive to the hospital, load the meals onto the wagon, and go through the wards to distribute them. What were the results? Patients and their families whose pain was lessened, a greatly strengthened volunteer network, and, as a bonus: greatly enhanced matrimony. There is something about this joint work of doing chessed for others that does wonders for their marriage. I am willing to wager that on their way home, the couple has already forgotten all about the fights they had that afternoon and the entire week before.”
You know what I found most interesting in this whole story? Think about it. When someone you know has to be in the hospital, chas v’shalom and suddenly an energetic young man or woman sporting an Ezer Mizion shirt comes over and offers you a sandwich, does it seem strange to you? Unexpected? No, not at all. You know why? Because Ezer Mizion has become synonymous with giving. We have grown accustomed to it. And as far as I’m concerned, this pleasant routine, this naturalness with which we accept the Ezer Mizion giving– that is the biggest story of all.
Summer is over and Yom Tov has come to an end. It’s back to the routine. Lost homework, missed busses and all the rest. For most people.
As we wait outside in the rain with a shivering first grader who refuses to wear her raincoat, a neighbor looks on in envy. She would also like to be back to routine but her first grader is lying on a hospital bed in the oncology ward. She has her own routine: chemotherapy treatments, tests, pain, and anxiety.
It’s so hard. The endless, complex red tape, the demands of the other children who cannot understand why Mommy is hardly home, the regular household needs, the emotional needs of her precious child lying so pale and wan—it’s all so overwhelming. And then there’s the fear- the terror that engulfs, the horror that crushes, the monster that you don’t want to face but it faces you and you are forced to look into its ghastly eyes, helpless. Continue reading Back to Routine?
Cooking for Yom Tov? Don’t forget the people who are coping with a crisis situation!
Thus read the opening sentence to a pre-Yom Tov post.
Those days before Yom Tov, the Ezer Mizion’s kitchens were humming with activity as they engaged in large-scale preparations to send Yom Tov meals to families of the ill and disabled and bring the joy of the upcoming chagim into their homes.
Leah Kupferstein’s* kitchen normally would boast a counter full of culinary delights prepared for Yom Tov. But while the calendar had told Leah that Yom Tov will be arriving in a matter of days, her mixer remained on the shelf, unproductive, as desolate as its mistress who sits by the bedside of little Avi* at Schneider’s Oncology Clinic. Will the aura of Yom Tov enter their home at all this year? Continue reading Impossible?
—— הודעה מקורית——
תאריך: יום ב׳, 7 בספט’ 2015 20:51
I have been so blessed by the dear ladies of Ezer Mizion who come to Hadassah ER.
The coffee, cakes, meals have been so helpful to me and sooo many others, and the ladies themselves are the most special of all.
Toda raba, and Shana tova!
Rina and Eli Cohen hosted the all-day Lottie’s Kitchen event in their magnificent home in Deal, NJ. From early morning on, crowds converged on their massive lawn awaiting their turn at the ever-popular Portraits by Susan Menashe. The Cohen kitchen did not stop buzzing with professional food demonstrations , the height of elegant cuisine. Presenters included Lottie Bildirici, owner of Running on Veggies, Poopa Dweck, author of Aromas of Alleppo, Claudia Bildirici of Claudia at Home, Rachel Pahuskin, Sophia Cohen, Sarah Hanan and Brenda Kairy and Chef Solomon Flatow of the Institute of Culinary Education. Bonnie Mansour added a touch of spirituality with her always-on-target remarks. The Lottie’s Kitchen Bakery, the Kitchen Boutique and the Chinese Auction topped off a “dream day” for over 2,000 of the Deal community.
The annual event funds Lottie’s Kitchen in Israel which provides meals for those dealing with serious illness.
Life was fine. There were the usual bumps in the road. Nothing to write home about. That was before I fell into a black hole.
It had been a frustrating few weeks. My son wasn’t feeling well. It threw my schedule off what with having to take off so many days from work. Appointments had to be cancelled. Some clients weren’t too happy. The doctor prescribed some medication and I thought we were done but a few days later we were back in his office, another day off from work. It was really getting to my son also. It was no fun for him to hear all about the funny things that happened at school from friends at night. He wanted to be back on his regular schedule. He even missed a school trip. We were both in lousy moods, frustrated at not being able to get back to our routines. The phone rang one afternoon. They were calling from the doctor’s office. Continue reading Lottie’s Kitchen