And in Time of Crisis…

They came regularly with a burning desire to help, almost never missing their scheduled day. It was not honor that pushed them to don hot, uncomfortable ‘spacesuits’ and go from bed to bed dispensing compassion that would bring a rare smile to the face of their patients. For some it was dialing the phone number of a family member so that they could hear the voice of a loved one. For others a drink when they had lain there for hours unable to procure a glass of water or perhaps it was a delivery of goodies baked especially for the patient by a loving daughter. Or silently holding the hand of a patient on a ventilator. And for too many, it was saying Shma (core prayer) as their souls ascended with no family member able to be there.

It was not honor that drove these dedicated Ezer Mizion volunteers but now, as the situation eases, it was others who felt a powerful desire to honor them, to acknowledge the impact of the Ezer Mizion volunteers on the national disaster.

Rabbi Chollak , Founder of Ezer Mizion together with the Ezer Mizion senior staff members and branch directors were invited to the Knesset for a ceremony and national recognition with MK Moshe Gafni chairman of the Knesset’s financial committee. Yisrael Yeret, director of the Ezer Mizion Jerusalem branch and Moshe Hillel the activity coordinator were honored with a certificate for their selfless devotion, caring and professionalism during the Covid crisis, assisting all those in need throughout the pandemic.

Another prestigious ceremony was held at the Asaf Harofeh hospital in Beer Yaakov.
During the thick of corona, Ezer Mizion worked alongside hospitals across the country recruiting and training people that had recovered from covid to assist in the corona wards with whatever necessary to ease the workload of the nurses and medical staff. Even such basics as feeding patients and bringing drinks could not be handled by the overloaded staff.  The Ezer Mizion volunteers literally saved lives.

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And in Time of Crisis…

They came regularly with a burning desire to help, almost never missing their scheduled day. It was not honor that pushed them to don hot, uncomfortable ‘spacesuits’ and go from bed to bed dispensing compassion that would bring a rare smile to the face of their patients. For some it was dialing the phone number of a family member so that they could hear the voice of a loved one. For others a drink when they had lain there for hours unable to procure a glass of water or perhaps it was a delivery of goodies baked especially for the patient by a loving daughter. Or silently holding the hand of a patient on a ventilator. And for too many, it was saying Shma and Vidui as their neshomos ascended with no family member able to be there.

It was not honor that drove these dedicated Ezer Mizion volunteers but now, as the situation eases, it was others who felt a powerful desire to honor them, to acknowledge the impact of the Ezer Mizion volunteers on the national disaster.

Rabbi Chollak , Founder of Ezer Mizion together with the Ezer Mizion senior staff members and branch directors were invited to the Knesset for a ceremony and national recognition with MK Moshe Gafni chairman of the Knesset’s financial committee. Yisrael Yeret, director of the Ezer Mizion Jerusalem branch and Moshe Hillel the activity coordinator were honored with a certificate for their selfless devotion, caring and professionalism during the Covid crisis, assisting all those in need throughout the pandemic.

Another prestigious ceremony was held at the Asaf Harofeh hospital in Beer Yaakov.
During the thick of corona, Ezer Mizion worked alongside hospitals across the country recruiting and training people that had recovered from covid to assist in the corona wards with whatever necessary to ease the workload of the nurses and medical staff. Even such basics as feeding patients and bringing drinks could not be handled by the overloaded staff.  The Ezer Mizion volunteers literally saved lives.

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Dying with Dignity…Dying with Love

Romania reports Newcastle disease outbreak on farm | WATTAgNet
Covid restrictions prevent daughter in Romania from being with her sick father

Readers may recall the daughter of an elderly corona patient who was unable to leave Romania to be there for her father due to covid restrictions. A walker for her father– what would normally be a simple request – became a major undertaking and it was only after many, many calls back and forth from Romania to Israel and to various departments at the hospital and at Ezer Mizion that Devorah, director at Ezer Mizion , was able to procure  one. The daughter was ecstatic and couldn’t stop thanking Ezer Mizion. But her joy was short-lived.

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Appreciation Down the Line

We’re there for you for the big things and the small

Ezer Mizion’s ‘ Corona Alumnae’ have selflessly volunteered to help others now suffering as they did, not so long ago. A group delivering cake to hospitalized patients received the following note:

On behalf of the patients here in the ward, we want to thank Ezer Mizion for the delicious cakes that your volunteers brought us and gave out to everyone with all their hearts from the world outside.

(You might not believe this, but we actually saw patients licking the cake crumbs!! For real!!)

The volunteers passed the appreciation down the line to those volunteers who had baked the cakes.

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Corona Caregiving for the Elderly by Ezer Mizion

Corona Innovation:  Ezer Mizion will be providing nursing caregivers for elderly quarantined and corona patients.  Caregivers either immunized or recovered from corona will be trained by Ezer Mizion to be able to provide a treatment response for elderly quarantined patients whose needs are unmet during this time due to safety restrictions.

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Corona Alumni

Corona Alumni Volunteering at Corona Ward

Avichayil is a science teacher but her real expertise lies in math. Avichayil knows – really knows – that subtraction is the best way to add. She lives quite far from Hadassah hospital and her twice weekly traveling to volunteer in the corona ward subtracts many hours from her schedule but adds so much to her life.

     “I live alone. All of my children live out of town. The volunteering does a lot of good for the person who does it. It fills you; it’s so important to give of yourself to others. There is no lack of whom to give to nowadays. My children also volunteer, to the extent that they can, and my parents, too, used to volunteer in the past. They taught me all my life to look for how I can make the day brighter for someone else. That’s what I was taught and that is how I train my children and my students, too.”

Avichayil was one of the first corona patients. When she was well, she spotted an Ezer Mizion ad looking for volunteers in the corona ward. .She has been volunteering devotedly over the past few months, coming to every Corona ward or room where help is needed, even on Shabbos and Yom Tov (Sabbath and Holidays): “Suddenly, I’m on the side of the caregiver and it’s amazing! After all, I understand what the patients are going through. I know the feeling when family is not always present nearby and I’m familiar with the loneliness. I have experience: I, too, had the virus. She is now able to say to her patients, “ I was here in this very ward.” It gives them hope.

One of the 50 Ezer Mizion volunteers in the ward, Avichayil dons the hot and clumsy ‘spacesuit’ twice a week. The ‘corona alumni’ volunteers have become a vital part of the hospital community  Due to the tremendous overload weighing on the caregiving staff, help was needed to provide an adequate human response, a listening ear, and aid in things like serving a cup of coffee or a drink of water, helping patients eat, and other simple everyday actions. She and the other former corona patients become the listening ear for the patient suffering from loneliness. “It means so much to them,’ she says’ for someone to be there to give them a sip of coffee, to recharge a phone so they can talk to a family member. We’re the liaison between the patient and family. A message from a daughter will light up a wan, discouraged face. .  “I am part of a wonderful project. We fill the vacuum with real love. The patients become part of our own families and we become part of theirs!”

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Chanukah Torch of Chessed in the Corona Wards

Chanukah is a holiday of light, warmth, and family togetherness.

For someone who is hospitalized, it is hard to feel all that. When the hospitalization is in a corona ward, the situation is even more complex.

Ezer Mizion’s volunteers in the corona wards took upon themselves a challenge: to bring the light of the Chanukah candles into the corona wards, too. Every day of Chanukah, a candle-lighting ceremony was held in the Jerusalem’s Herzog Hospital corona ward

One day of Chanukah, the volunteers — all “corona alumni” — came in full protective gear, with guitars and sufganiyot, to hold a Chanukah party in the ward.

In Shaare Zedek Hospital, too, there was candle-lighting each night and visits by volunteers to the wardo

In Hadassah Ein Kerem’s oncology ward, activities went on throughout Chanukah, climaxing with a special event with Yishai Rebo, who sang with the hospitalized children.

“We’ve set as our goal that no patient should remain alone on Chanukah, whether in the corona ward or in oncology,” said Yisrael Yeret, director of Ezer Mizion Jerusalem region services. “In addition to parties in hospitals, we distributed craft kits to families of oncology patients and large amounts of food to families who needed it. We also gave out groceries to people in quarantine, to cheer them up and to keep them supplied.

“In spite of the difficulty rallying volunteers on Chanukah in general, and specifically volunteers for the corona wards, we achieved our goal of brightening the holiday for people in challenging situations.”

Ezer Mizion held many Chanukah parties for patients, elderly, and people with special needs.

Ezer Mizion also operates a nationwide volunteer initiative in which people who have recovered from corona come to volunteer in corona wards, after undergoing a screening process in the hospitals. The volunteers give the hospitalized patients warmth, attention, encouragement and support and alleviate the burden on the medical staff. Every Ezer Mizion branch and many departments partner in these activities, along with their routine tasks and obligations.

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Take a Deep Breath

It’s 3:00 AM. Dark outside. The world is asleep. The shrill tone of a phone wakes him up. “Hello,” he answers groggily, unsure if the phone was part of his dream or not. “He can’t breathe! I’m so scared! The doctor says he needs an oxygen concentrator! Please, oh please help us!”  Gone was the grogginess. In its place was concern and professionalism. The right questions were asked and answered. A trained volunteer was immediately dispatched with the machine and the Ezer Mizion director returned to his dreams…for a few minutes. Three (!) more calls from frightened families in Israel. One after the other, after the other. Three more concentrators set up. In the space of one dark, frightening hour, four corona patients who were able to safely remain at home. Four corona patients now in good health. 

It’s 30 minutes before Shabbos candle lighting  time. An Ezer Mizion staff head calls in. A concentrator is needed asap.  A volunteer races to the branch to pick one up, races to the family, sets it up and explains its use as if there was all the time in the world, then resumes his race to shul (synagogue), sliding into his seat only a few minutes later than usual. L’cha dodi…

A patient no longer needs hospitalization. He is so anxious to leave. But even though hospitalization is no longer needed, respiratory assistance is. An oxygen concentrator would be the answer. Is there one available? Yes there is! Thanks to all of you out there who contributed so generously, many patients, under advice and guidance from their physicians, are able to continue their recuperation away from the hospital setting. 

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It’s All About Giving

I am the grandmother of Uri who — thanks to you — celebrated his bar mitzvah in the Corona hotel.

I cannot begin to describe the difficulties of this period— the difficulty of planning a bar mitzvah for a boy who is so looking forward to his big day, and then, a week before the occasion, he, his parents and his siblings experience symptoms of Corona, test positive, and are compelled to evacuate to a Corona hotel… All we could do was to focus on praying for their recovery and strengthening our faith that this is G-d’s will and that all is for the best.

None of us dreamed that so many good people would rally on our behalf and organize such a stupendous, lively event! What a fantastic job!!! What efforts to make one boy happy on his big day! You thought of everything: a huge “Mazel Tov” sign; balloon arrangements; a dessert table with fancy cakes, chocolates, petit fours, candies and more and more; a big festive meal for all the patients at the hotel; music, including a keyboard player and singers; and behind the scenes — all the planners, the cooks, the electric technicians, helpers, coordinators  — you name it!

And as for us? We will never be able to sufficiently thank you for the joy you brought to Uri and the entire family.

In 1979, Rav Chananya Chollak, then newly married, founded a small organization of 8 volunteers because he saw a need and wanted so much to give. His attitude has filtered down to the thousands of Ezer Mizion staff and volunteers of what is now known as an empire of chessed. New departments crop up as a new need is identified. The above letter is one of hundreds received in response to help given during the corona crisis.

The Cancer Support Division provides a variety of professional, emotional and practical assistance. Like the planters. A group of children whose mothers are battling cancer needed an emotional outlet.  Emotions are funny things. They don’t always make sense.  The children have a powerful need to give. But what can they give? It must be something meaningful.  A frustrated need brings bitterness. A need properly channeled can bring fulfillment and positivity into the family relationship. And so the children were taught the rudiments of carpentry and produced planters, each filled with seedlings of love, watered by a tearful prayer for a speedy cure.  Can one begin to imagine the joy of the child presenting the gift to his mother, her joy at receiving a ‘piece of his heart’ both culminating in an overflow of family togetherness!

It’s catchy, that feeling of giving. At age 15, Moshe Israeli was diagnosed with bone cancer.
During those incredibly trying times, Ezer Mizion was there to help Moshe and his family with food deliveries, medicine runs, hospital visits and so much more! Fast forward almost 30 years and Moshe now manages Ezer Mizion’s Petach Tikveh branch.

Due to COVID-19, many high risk patients are left with no support or help for their everyday needs. Moshe has organized some 2,800 volunteers to help the elderly, the immuno-compromised and those in desperate need as the pandemic continues its disruptive path.
Food has been packaged, medicine has been delivered so those in need can receive practical support as well as equally important emotional support, all from a distance.

It’s all about giving.

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