MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni: Ezer Mizion Saved My Life

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni opened the Knesset meeting this morning with words of thanks to Hakadosh Baruch Hu (G-d) for His many kindnesses and pronounced the berachah (blessing) of “Hagomel” —“Who does good to the undeserving and Who has rendered every kindness to me.”

MK Gafni related: “I didn’t realize what it was all about. It was Shabbos (Sabbath). Suddenly I felt that I couldn’t walk and before I knew it, I had fallen. I wanted to go down to Minchah (Afternoon Services) so my children wouldn’t worry about me. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. It’s probably nothing, i thought to myself, but I did need to take care of the gash near my eye before Mincha so I went to Ezer Mizion’s Emergency First Aid Station. There were two doctors there, Arabs, it happened, friends of mine. I told them that I had fallen and I asked them to close and bandage the wound I’d gotten around my eye from the fall. Even though all I had asked them to do was to take care of my wound, they insisted on doing an EKG. EKG for a wound??? I told them that all I came for was a simple bandaging. But they did an EKG and immediately sent me to the nearby Maayanei Hayeshua Hospital Emergency Room.

Dr. Zachalka was there, a cousin of the former MK. We’re old friends but he just looked at me seriously. And he didn’t make any jokes. I asked him: “What’s going on?” He says to me, “Is this your EKG test?” “Yes,” I answered, “It’s mine. I just came with it from Ezer Mizion.” He immediately called another doctor and brought him in together with his team. They did this. They did that. And then like the voice of a nightmare, Dr. Zachalka tells me, “You’re having an angioplasty right now. You’re in the middle of a heart attack.” He couldn’t understand how I was speaking and laughing. It was a Divine miracle. Had I not fallen, i never would have gone to Ezer Mizion. I would not have known that I was having a heart attack. I didn’t even know that I had a heart…”

Knesset colleagues interjected: “It was your good fortune is that you fell and got hurt. Otherwise you wouldn’t have gotten to the hospital…”

“They called in Professor Granat, head of Cardiology at Maayanei Hayeshua. He immediately put in a stent and that saved my life. That is the story. Baruch Hashem (thank G-d), they took very good care of me. I have the highest praise for the doctors in all the places that took care of me; they were exceptional. My children, especially my youngest son, were with me for the duration of my hospitalization and recovery at home, and in addition, there wasn’t a single Knesset worker or MK who didn’t inquire as to how I was doing. I hope to reciprocate to everyone on happy occasions, and I thank Hakadosh Baruch Hu again and again for all of the kindnesses He did for me.”

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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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Because of You!

DNABONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY

In
July 2020:
30 transplants, 25 of these from donor pools
3,664 total transplants
1,883 new members this month
1,036,689 total members in registry Continue reading Because of You!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

One Hundred and Twenty

pr bmr cell bagSo many people came. It was hard to believe.  The lines were long and newcomers were still arriving in droves. There had been a series of rainy days which made it hard for people to get out resulting in a dangerously low supply of blood units throughout Israel. The shortage was serious and needed to be addressed immediately. Ezer Mizion worked together with a Teveriah chessed organization, Chasdei Olam, in collaboration with MDA and broke all records. The drive was held in Teveria’s Chen Market Place and the Teveriah residents fully understood the need. In just one day, one hundred and twenty units were collected. It was one hundred and twenty, a number used to denote long life, 120 units collected to ensure a long life for each patient in need. Continue reading One Hundred and TwentyFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Shock!

pr gen R' Chollak IMG_9149The strains of ketzad m’rakdim (a wedding song) still reverberated in the air as they began to the drive home after a family wedding. Feet were still tapping to the joyous rhythms as the family regaled each other with the highlights of the evening. And then came the crash. Unexpected. Without warning. And suddenly their lives were changed forever.

How could it be??? Just a moment ago, they had been so happy. Continue reading Shock!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Scrolling Down the Inbox

inboxA delightful video appears in the Inbox of an Ezer Mizion staff member. A chubby one-year-old is giggling as he tries to ‘catch’ the ball. Mommy’s laughter joins his childish giggles. Hers is a laughter of joy, of gratitude, of wonder. At his birth there had been no laughter. At his birth there had only been shock, terror and an all-pervading sadness. In the body of the email are words of thanks to Ezer Mizion:  Thank you so much for all the help over the 2 months my wife was in the hospital with our baby (medical referrals, food, hot meals, snacks, hospital volunteers, transportation, emotional support, more food and hot meals, etc. etc. etc…..).

 

It is now almost a year since our Shlomo was born when all the doctors said there was a basically 0% chance that he was going to survive. As you can see, he is such a cute, amazing miracle. I just wanted to show you some of the results of your efforts. It is so special – all the support and help you give people in their difficult times.

 

The staff member scrolls down and there’s another one. This one is from Penina. She remembers Penina. One of her volunteers. Continue reading Scrolling Down the InboxFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

A Cushion for Every Need

mental health .

Just like that, with a simple message, without a lot of noise, a member of one of the Ezer Mizion branches sums up the events of one evening:

In the middle of a Daf Yomi shiur (daily study session of Talmud), a friend, one of the participants , asked me to come with him right then (!) to a house where the wife had called for urgent help. As Ezer Mizion volunteers, we often receive calls like this. The woman was frantic saying her husband was having an anxiety attack. We were qualified to handle the situation and raced out. Continue reading A Cushion for Every NeedFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Just One Division

Linked to Life, a whatsapp network providing rides and deliveries for the ill, the elderly, the disabled, is just one of Ezer Mizion’s many divisions. And the Jerusalem branch is just of of its many branches. Check this out to see a small piece of what Ezer Mizion has accomplished during the corona crisis.  How? With a lot of love and caring and much support from you, our contributors. Take pride!

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Saying Farewell to Corona – Let’s Hope it’s Final!

coronavirus
Saying Goodbye to Corona

Tens of thousands of missions were shared with Israel’s Home Front Command! And Israel’s seniors, seriously ill, and people in quarantine ­were the first to benefit from it. Each mission accompanied with so much love!

 

Recently, to the sound of ongoing applause, the Home Front Command awarded Ezer Mizion  a Certificate of Appreciation for dedicated partnership throughout the recent batpr corona Home Front awardtle. A big “hats off” to Ezer Mizion’s team: our friends and supporters, staff and volunteers!Even as the ‘goodbye’s to corona’ have begun, the needs have not yet ended. Says Moshe Beeri, director of Ezer Mizion’s Northern Region: “Via 350 What’s App groups, we help thousands of people and families. We are in contact with the municipalities and the social services entities, and we deal with 2,000 calls and requests a day from across the country. Thanks to our volunteers, very many people feel that they have help and support during this period of hardship and that they are not alone.”

A volunteer has enlisted her five children to do supermarket shopping for an elderly couple who cannot leave their home. She and other volunteers cook and distribute meals for those who are unable to manage on their own.

Decorative fruit platters were just one of the ways to cheer up a hospitalized cancer patient who had recently undergone a transplant.

pr corona - David and Nissim on trip w special kidsAnd what does a bus driver on furlough do nowadays?

He energetically plans a trip (not easy with corona regulations) for Ezer Mizion’s special needs children in Ashdod, finds a partner who donates the cost of a bus and gasoline, and together they serve as guides for the children and their accompanying staff for two days of a refreshing experience! The highlight was a visit to the petting zoo in Kefar Hanagid, where a blissful 17-year-old boy said: “For a whole month, I’ve been shut up in the house. You made me so happy!” Here are David and Nissim, the bus drivers with the golden hearts! David, the driver, mentors one of our special kids all year round, through Ezer Mizion’s Social Services Mentoring Department for Family Empowerment.

pr corona - Italy parentsAbout 6 weeks ago, a couple left Corona-battered Italy and arrived with their four children to an empty rental apartment in Beit Shemesh. During their compulsory two-week isolation, during which they slept on thin mattresses and used coats as pillows, a friend from abroad gave them the phone number of Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life, a WhatsApp network group for delivering items to people in need.

A message to the group: “Friends, we have a family here with four kids that just arrived from Milan and, due to the situation, they left Italy without any of their possessions. They have nothing — literally!!! Let’s try to help them!”

The message spread within minutes. The results: Religious, Chareidi, and secular alike all rallied to help. “Every ten minutes, someone drops a package at our door. Games, linens, food…”

Another neighbor opened a special headquarters, and before long, Ezer Mizion volunteers rallied to donate beds, electrical appliances, furniture, blankets, and linens to the family.. “We asked them what they needed, and all they requested was yogurt. In Italy, the yogurt isn’t kosher and the kids really wanted to taste one. They got their yogurt and so much more ”

 

Continue reading Saying Farewell to Corona – Let’s Hope it’s Final!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

DNAApril 2020 – BONE MARROW DOCTOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY
Just like the rest of the world, Corona has affected the field of stem cell transplants.  We are grateful to share with you this past month’s achievements. Continue reading Because of You!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail