In light of the increase in the number of patients in Beersheba and the environs and a sharp rise in their needs, representatives of Ezer Mizion-Southern Region approached the Bet Moriah community and suggested a collaboration between Ezer Mizion and community volunteers.
A gathering was held at the Bet Knesset Hakipah for the purpose of recruiting volunteers. Dozens of volunteers took the time and trouble to attend and join the organization’s nationwide volunteer network.
The evening was emceed by Rabbi Naftali Kober, Director of Ezer Mizion’s Southern Region. Rabbi Kober spoke of the momentum of Ezer Mizion’s expansion in the South and called upon the people to become a part of their important work. The program was opened by Rabbi Shimon Cohen shlita, head of the Bet Moriah institutions, who strongly encouraged the partnership with Ezer Mizion. Rabbi Cohen delivered words of Torah lauding the virtue of loving kindness and urged attendees to do what they could on behalf of the patients.
The next speaker was Rabbi Chananya Chollak, International Chairman of Ezer Mizion, who spoke with great emotion about the importance of volunteering and called upon the community to rally on behalf of the patients and assist the organization in their work.
After that, the audience was addressed by Meir Quinn, Director of Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life What’s App groups in Israel, along with Meir Lassry, Director of the Beersheva group of volunteer drivers. He expounded on the great need for additional volunteers for the Linked to Life project-Southern Region. He pointed out that sometimes, through the What’s App network, you can do enormous favors with almost no effort. When he concluded, the crowd enjoyed a rich and elaborate supper.
Later in the evening, Mr. Uri Schechter spoke about the importance of giving. He, too, praised the value of being on the giving end and pointed out that the giver always gains far more than the recipient. When he concluded, Rabbi Naftali Kober thanked Mr. Tzion Hadad, Director of Bet Moriah institutions for working around the clock to ensure the success of this evening.
He also thanked Rabbi Kobi Chollak, Ezer Mizion representative in Soroka Hospital, who makes the rounds from patient to patient every day and helps them and their families by providing information and assistance in a range of areas, dedicating himself to this holy work day and night. He also thanked the staff of Ezer Mizion-Southern Region, who also worked hard to ensure the event’s success.
As the evening drew to a close, Mrs. Lizzy Peretz, Director of Projects in the Southern Region, asked the attendees to sign up for a variety of volunteer opportunities with the organization. She said that the greatest need is primarily in the area of hospital volunteering, which includes: volunteering for Ezer Mizion’s cafeteria network – geared primarily for the retiree population, who can take set morning shifts during the week; sitting at the bedside of patients hospitalized at Soroka; boosting the spirits of hospitalized patients.
In addition, there is a great need for volunteer drivers. Volunteers can join this amazing program through a What’s App application. This area includes transport of patients, providing hot meals for the patient’s relatives who are sitting with him in the hospital, delivering bone marrow donor blood samples – and all this “on the way,” while one is anyway driving to work, home, shopping, etc.
In addition, the Southern Region operates a range of services for the public benefit, such as:
- Free ambulance service for the disabled;
- A Special Children’s division, including a regional summer day camp, Hakalah Respite program, after-school clubs for the children, and more;
- Medical counseling and advocacy by Rabbi Shimon Rogoway. Applicants can come to the offices of the Southern branch for counseling once a week, with advanced appointment;
- Cancer patient support services – an aid package that embraces the family by providing everything they’ll need during the course of the patient’s treatments, including meals for the family at home, mentors for the children, household help, and more; and social services in the community.