If words of praise were drops of water, this page would turn into an ocean of thanks and adulation, after I experienced more than help, more than support, more than just a ride from point A to point B. Continue reading A Letter Meant for You, Our Dear Friends and Supporters
When staff really cares. When it’s not just a job…punch in/punch out. When the CEO gives out his cell number to recently orphaned children telling them to call anytime (and they do). When volunteers are inspired to drop what they are doing, time and time again, to help out a Jew in need… this is Jewish compassion at its best.
Sometimes it requires the utmost sensitivity. Like the kallah (bride) whose chassan (groom) was discovered shortly before the wedding to have leukemia. The wedding was rescheduled and the newlywed couple tried to build a home, albeit in a different way than planned, together. Ezer Mizion supported them in every way. The nightmare is over now. Please look over our shoulder, dear reader and supporter, as we read together the letter sent to the Ezer Mizion office. It is your gifts that enable Ezer Mizion to continue being the strong, dependable pillar for so many to lean on.
To the Fantastic, Special Organization: Ezer Mizion!
First of all, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your boundless giving and support, which helped us and gave us the tools we needed to get through a most difficult period, physically strong and emotionally healthy.
About two years ago, we got engaged, b’sha’ah tovah u’mutzlachat. The engagement period passed by pleasantly, filled with many hopes and dreams about the home that we would build together and the happy life we would share.
We do not know Hashem’s (G-d’s) calculations, but we do know that everything He does is for the best. And so, a month before our wedding, my husband was diagnosed with leukemia.
Suddenly, everything looked different… The wedding was pushed up to take place a few days later, and immediately afterwards, we began treatment. The physical and emotional pain and the challenges involved in these treatments are too complex to describe…
Amid all the agony and frustration, the Ezer Mizion team – a marvelous organization unmatched in its unfaltering assistance and support – appeared on the scene, truly loyal messengers. They helped us in countless ways, both practical and emotional. They were always there, even before we realized we needed something.
Ezer Mizion wisely and gently set us up with an expert therapist, which, in our sensitive situation, was truly a lifesaver!! She listened, supported, encouraged, and counseled us. She baruch Hashem (thank G-d) helped us in this very delicate situation, not to break down, but to remain happy, strong, optimistic, and full of emunah (faith), using our challenge to grow and form an even closer bond.
Again, we feel eternally grateful to those who were behind all this outpouring of chessed- those who helped, those whose financial support enabled this help…
We give you our heartfelt blessings that you should always be on the giving end, in good health, joy and happiness, and may Divine assistance accompany you in all your endeavors.
With our greatest appreciation,
Moshe and Chedvah
Jewish compassion…Sometimes it requires the flexibility of changing plans at the drop of a hat. A family with three small children recently emigrated to Israel from France. Resettling was hard enough but became overwhelming when the wife was suddenly diagnosed with cancer. Rides to the clinic, professional emotional support, regular meals, child care assistance, medical advocacy would all be theirs in a short time. But right now, this morning when Ezer Mizion became aware of their plight, they needed lunch. Food strengthens the body. Food invigorates the soul. Food enables the family to handle the crisis suddenly thrust upon them. And no lunch was yet on schedule. A call went out to volunteers: I know it’s very short notice but can anyone provide a hot lunch for five people today and for the next two days? In 1.5 minutes, that’s ninety seconds (!), one of our angels responded. A delicious, attractively served lunch was prepared by one volunteer, delivered by another to the family on time as if it were weeks in the preparation.
Ezer Mizion: where Jewish compassion provides the electricity that makes the wheels go ‘round.
Would you like to join the ‘wheel of compassion’?
Giving. It’s the wheel that makes the world go around. Some people have discovered its joys and thrive on ‘being there’ for a friend or neighbor with a problem. The Kakoons are such a family. Avrohom Kakoon acts as a chazzan (cantor) and spiritual leader at his shul (synagogue). In his spare time, he also volunteers as an emergency respondent for Hatzalah. His wife, Rina, volunteers as a doula, coaches new mothers and young families in managing their home and in parenting, and also cooks and bakes for families of women after birth. As infants, their seven children imbibed the satisfaction that accompanies giving and the sense of responsibility for those less fortunate. Helping families after birth, running a used clothing center, mentoring youngsters in the community. Driving an ambulance, heading a branch of United Hatzalah, helping out families in the community who are undergoing crises, activity clubs for young people in the community. The Kakoon siblings are involved in all of these. How can they not be? It was the ambience in the home they grew up in.
When the family discovered Ezer Mizion, they clicked with the organization like a magnet to a paper clip. An entity that does not recognize 9-5 hours, whose founder routinely gives out his private cell phone number to recently orphaned children and tells them to call anytime, whose teenage volunteers vie with their friends to obtain an unpaid position in Ezer Mizion’s summer camp for special kids… Ezer Mizion was the perfect partner for the Kakoons.
They helped out in any way they could. One has even undertaken to head the Ezer Mizion’s Modi’in Linked to Life group and another its counterpart in the Migdal HaEmek area. Linked to Life is a What’s App Center which connects people throughout Israel and even Europe, the US and Canada in order to provide for the needs of people around the globe. A surgical device is needed and can’t wait for regular mail. A man from Eretz Yisroel forgot his vital medication and realizes it only when he a several thousand feet in the air, on his way to California. A wheelchair-bound young man living in the North would like to spend Pesach with his family in Jerusalem and needs a ride in a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. Hundreds of people like this are constantly being helped by heads of groups like the Kakoons and the volunteers who drop what they are doing at a buzz of their phone and race out to help a person in trouble.
Avrohom and Rina planted strong seeds which continue to flourish into the next generation. Last summer vacation, while her peers were having fun in the pool and park, Avivah, a granddaughter, discovered another kind of fun. She gathered a group of friends and set up a refreshment stand. The girls popped popcorn and prepared gallons of drinks to sell to passersby. The money? It was donated to Ezer Mizion’s Cancer Support Division to help sick children, of course. Ezer Mizion welcomes Avivah as its newest volunteer and awaits her latest ideas to help those less fortunate than herself. Congratulations, Avivah! You have discovered the much sought after key to happiness.
I was trying. Friends and relatives were also helping. The situation was beyond hopeless and I was helpless to keep things together. I had three children in three separate hospitals, located in various parts of the country. One was in a mental hospital, two in medical hospitals. Can you imagine the anguish, the sights I witnessed daily? The despair when I had to leave one to visit another. The tiny bewildered faces at the window at home watching Mommy leave…again. The exhaustion- both physical and emotional. The frustration when twenty-four hours were far from enough in each day. The astronomical expenses incurred on top of less money coming in. Continue reading Hospital ‘Rounds’ via What’s App
We all remember what Purim was like. That special electricity in the air as we rush from house to house sharing treats and Purim joy. In the center of the Avenue, a rabbit dances with a lion to bouncy Purim tunes. On the next block, a miniature Mordechai gleefully rides a pony while being led by “Haman” announcing to the world, “Thus shall be done…” Many of Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life volunteers add another dimension to their holiday festivities by granting Purim wishes to people in need. Continue reading Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life: The Beeps Keep Coming
If you’re like most people, your mental wastebasket is filled with great ideas that didn’t happen. You meant to get to it. You really did. But ‘life’ got in the way. Things were busy that month and it fizzled and died. Maybe someone else could have done it but offhand you didn’t know anyone to ask. And so it joined the many other ideas waiting for ‘someday’.
But this one couldn’t wait. It had to be done now. Continue reading The Bas Mitzvah That Almost Wasn’t
“I’m sorry. He won’t be back in the office until a week from Tuesday. Please call then.” A typical response. Professional. No complaints. We all understand that being out of the office means being unavailable for work-related matters and we don’t expect him to interrupt his golf game or his very important meeting in China to answer our questions. However, when it comes to saving a life, Ezer Mizion will not accept such a response. What happened? Here’s the story.
Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry has saved the lives of over 2000 patients around the globe. Recently, a call came in from Schneider’s Hospital that a six year old child needed a transplant as soon as possible. Is there a genetic match available? A search was done. Success. Among the 800,000 registrants on the database, an excellent DNA match was found. The potential donor was contacted. She’ll be happy to donate but there’s one problem. The next level of testing must be done asap and she is currently in Brno in the Czech Republic. “Can I make an appointment with the lab for when I return in a few weeks?” A natural response. Polite. Professional. The Ezer Mizion staff member could simply note on records: Donor out of country. Testing will be done when returns. The file would then be closed pending her return. The patient? Perhaps his condition would still be such that he can benefit from the transplant. Perhaps not. Ezer Mizion was not going to take that chance.
Linked to Life, another division of Ezer Mizion that utilizes a What’s App program to make vital contacts worldwide, was called. Thousands of screens lit up while the test tubes were being prepared. ‘We need a volunteer to drive vital test tubes from Petach Tikva to the airport in Tel Aviv to meet someone going on the 3:50 flight to Vienna. In moments, a volunteer responded and the tubes were on their way. While he was driving, screens lit up again looking for someone scheduled to be on the flight to take the tubes. Bzzzz. Responding. Am at airport at Gate 123. I’ll take it. Another Linked to Life volunteer was waiting at the Prague airport and drove the package to the Chabad House. The head of the Chabad House drove through the night to Brno and used his contacts to have the clinic opened in the middle of the night to draw blood from the potential donor. More clicks while the now-filled test tubes were making their way back to Brno. Anyone traveling from Prague to Israel on next flight? By the next morning, another Ezer Mizion Linked to Life volunteer was waiting in the airport at Tel Aviv to transport the tubes to the Bone Marrow Registry in Petach Tikvah. Less than twenty-four hours. Mission accomplished.
Living in the US and like to join Linked to Life? SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936
I want to share with you a special experience I just had. I had a problem that needed the input of some people in power. I had tried political connections. I had applied pressure. I had clicked ‘send’ on email after email and made call after call and got… nowhere. It was an uphill battle with me on one side and everyone else seemingly an opponent. And it wasn’t even about myself. I was trying to obtain a benefit for an oncology patient, a small child from Beit Shemesh. Continue reading The Real Reason What’s App Was Invented
It’s erev Shabbos on a winter Friday. They thought they were already frantically busy but then a call came in on What’s App. The remainder of their personal lists fell by the wayside with nary a thought. It’s an emergency and they are ‘volunteer soldiers’ in the ‘Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life army’ (the real reason What’s App was invented). It may be a Shabbos meal to prepare, together with other volunteers, for a family whose mother was suddenly hospitalized. Perhaps it’s medication available only at his neighborhood pharmacy that must be delivered before Shabbos to an ill child in a more remote area or maybe it’s a desperate search for a missing Alzheimer’s patient. Within moments there are enough volunteers. Each mission is accomplished. Each person is cared for. Each volunteer glows with satisfaction. And they know they are appreciated. As the candles are set up moments before candle lighting, a message from the Ezer Mizion coordinator is received on What’s App by all volunteers: Yaakov sent malachim…” – Some explain this to mean literally “angels”; others interpret it as “shlichim,” emissaries.
The Tzemach Tzaddik asks: According to those who maintain that these were actual angels, why would Yaakov employ divine angels for a mission to his brother Esav??
He answers that these were mortal emissaries. But since the mission was so difficult, by agreeing to do it, they were elevated to the level of divine angels… because one who makes a great effort for another person and bears difficulties for his sake, is considered “literally an angel.”
…And you, who respond to Linked to Life requests with such joy and readiness, even on these short Fridays … you are truly “angels.”
Have a tranquil and joyous Shabbos!
The job is never done. Unfortunately, requests continue to pour in. Over Chanukah, it was two Bar Mitzvahs. The first was for the son of a cancer patient who was recently niftar. The very security of the boy’s home was shaken. No longer would father and son daven (pray) side by side. No longer would he see the sheen of pride in his father’s eyes as they reviewed the week’s learning on Shabbos. The very pillar of his life had shattered but ‘thirteen’ was fast approaching. Was he also to miss out on what every boy looks forward to for years? His mother did not have the emotional energy to plan a major event. He understood that. But did that mean that the day would be just a day like every other? He swallowed hard. He had accepted his father’s death. He’d grown up fast, this young man. He would accept this, too. He would. But Ezer Mizion would not. It’s Linked to Life Division got to work. A venue. Invitations. Food-only the nicest would do. And suddenly there it was. The Bar Mitzvah he was sure would never be.
That same week of Chanukah, a second Bar Mitzvah was born. This one was in answer to the timid, whispered request of the Bar Mitzvah boy whose medical condition was not very good. Cancer. As desperate as he was for what every boy dreams of, he felt hesitant to ask, what with everything else that Ezer Mizion was already doing for him. The faint whisper- no louder than the movement of a butterfly’s wings- reverberated throughout the Linked to Life membership producing a resplendent affair which brought a grin to the face that hadn’t smiled in weeks. Was he surprised? Lets listen in on a conversation between the mother and a Linked to Life volunteer:
My son asked me: “Maybe we should ask the people from Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life to daven for me to get better?”
“Why?” I asked.
“Very simple…”, he replied, “Because everything we ask of them - comes true… So let’s ask them for this too, and maybe it will also come true and I will get better…”
The volunteer adds:
I don’t know about you, but I’m writing this with tears in my eyes…
How many zechusim (merits) this sick child has given us …!
Let’s pray today at candle lighting for the refu’ah (well-being) of the child
Chai Yehuda ben Rachel
B’soch she’ar cholei Yisrael (among all those afflicted with illness) .
Sorry about the late hour!
Looking for a volunteer to deliver an envelope with an oncology patient’s lab samples from Israel to Milan, Italy, tomorrow morning!!
This is a real case of life and death!
We will bring the envelope to any point in Israel to the traveler. It will be picked up from any place in Milan. Continue reading Tuning in to Ezer Mizion’s What’s App Screen