What’s App by Kobi Arieli

What does the term “What’s App Group” mean to you?
Connection with the family, unfunny jokes from the cousin who thinks he’s smart, cute pictures of kids lying under the table or standing on the table, popular videos streaming in from 12 different senders, somebody has a good plumber in Ohr Yehudah, Tzachi Hanegbi wearing a shtreimel, a photo-montage by Miri Regev, Ma-a-a-zel T-o-o-ov! – In short, a few pieces of good news and mostly – unabated annoyances.
For Ezer Mizion’s chessed industry, the What’s App application is a revolutionary work tool.
A few weeks ago, Motty got on a plane in Brussels on his way to Israel. Motty is a fellow in his 60’s, an employee who works for a bank. He was on his way to Israel to spend the summer vacation with his grandchildren.
When the sign telling everyone to fasten their seatbelts lit up, Motty got up from his seat to take out the medicine pouch from his handbag. But then he discovered that the pouch was not in his bag. Motty, who has heart disease and chronic diabetes, takes 22 pills every day, and the entire collection lay calmly in his dining room in Antwerp, right where he left it.
“At midnight,” says Meir Quinn, director of Ezer Mizion’s “Linked to Life” project, “one of our members got a call about a Jew from Belgium who landed in Ben Gurion Airport and forgot his medications at home. Failure to take some of these medicines could endanger his life. I channeled the problem to a number of relevant groups. Within a few minutes, a network of solutions jumped into action: The Jew sent a list of his medications. Many volunteers who had these medications or identical ones in their possession (among the volunteers were two doctors and a druggist who took the trouble to provide information about generically identical medicines) volunteered to bring them to him. At the same time, a group in Antwerp went to the man’s house, took his medicine pouch, and brought it to a passenger waiting at the airport, also a member of the group, who was scheduled to fly to Israel on the next flight. Within 12 hours, the forgotten pouch was in Motty’s possession.
A family with a premie needs a special formula, available in the US only. They were running out. Panic. A friend told them about Ezer Mizion. Five minutes (!) after posting, a reply appeared. Hands reached out and Detroit, Lakewood, Brooklyn all extended a hand to form a circle of togetherness. In less than one week, the tiny infant was happily sucking away at his imported formula, blissfully unaware of the many who had coordinated its arrival.
“Linked to Life” is an innovative initiative of Ezer Mizion, with the participation of about 4,000 people from countries around the world – Israel, the U.S., Europe, Ukraine, South Africa, and more. The groups deal with about 2,000 tasks a month, all on a fully volunteer basis and with one objective – to increase chessed among Jews and to help others in any way possible. These What’s App groups connect to and serve to streamline Ezer Mizion’s huge volunteer network, which includes distribution of hot meals, transporting patients and their families, Shabbat meals, and countless other acts of chessed. The truth? I checked them out his week. The speed of the groups’ response is something that is sure to be studied scientifically someday. Within seconds, things began to move. In most cases, a solution for every problem was found almost immediately.
Is there a formula for the absolute unity of the Jewish people through national chessed projects and network programs? Judging by the mounting number of people joining “Linked to Life,” it looks like there must be. One thing is for sure: In order to connect Jewish feeling to technology – you need a high-power motor, which brings us back to – Ezer Mizion.