We’re Proud of You, Rina!

As Director of the Geriatric Surgery Department at Emek Medical Center in Afula, Rina Cohen’s days are full. Her side position in the Oncology Department accompanying, treating and supporting women undergoing  treatment for breast cancer fills up any empty spaces in a very long day. But Rina’s compassion doesn’t allow her to stop there. Using her extensive medical knowledge combined with her sensitivity, she volunteers to escort Ezer Mizion stem cell donors who are anxious to save a life but understandably apprehensive regarding the process.

Rina was chosen as an outstanding contributor to the city of Afula and has been awarded the Annual Afula Citizen Prize in recognition of her work. No doubt the best choice – Rina, we are proud  that you are part of the Ezer Mizion family!

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Swabbing for Miri

A bone marrow transplant can save the life of eight year old Miri

She is only eight years old. Her parent try to smile when she talks of what she wants to be when she grows up. But it’s so hard.  You see, Miri is not well and only a bone marrow transplant can save her life. To be successful, a genetically matching donor must be found. With the transplant, Miri will someday become a Mommy. Her children will, in turn, mature and produce grandchildren for Miri –  generations…eternity. But without the transplant, …

Ezer Mizion, the largest Jewish registry worldwide has saved the lives of so many around the globe. A drive was recently held in NY and NJ where thousands made their way, in the rain, in the cold, to the Ezer Mizion stations in order to ‘Swab for Miri’. As the drive progressed, Ezer Mizion received requests from more precious members of the Jewish nation – two in Flatbush, two in Lakewood, one in Buffalo – who were desperately waiting in hope and prayer for the genetic match that will mean Life.

Jews rallied. Busy mothers maneuvering the crowds with double strollers. Fathers trekking to the stations late at night after Evening Prayers. In twos and in threes. Another and another and another. Thousands!  Closing time came and went, virtually ignored.    How could we close when more people, so very tired after a long day, were detouring away from a relaxing cup of coffee in a warm home? Instead they were heading toward the still bustling stations to save the life of another!

A woman arrived with two babies in tow. “I never go anywhere,” she told us. “No weddings, no shopping. Nothing. I have a cancer patient at home. I don’t even have the time for basic housework. But for this? To help save a life? For this I just had to come!” “Yes!” we thought to ourselves. “You really understand. The pain. The fear. That tiny glimmer of hope that, at times, seems all but extinguished. A dying spark until Ezer Mizion arrives to fan it into a flame of faith.

Founded in 1998, Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Registry, is the largest Jewish registry worldwide and has saved the lives of 4,293 patients whose sole chance of survival had been a transplant.  Three hundred and ninety-four lives were saved in 2021 alone, more than one per day! Several years ago, Ezer Mizion opened its Stem Cell Harvesting Center, one of the first centers in the world to operate outside a hospital. A full medical staff operates at the Center, including a doctor, nurses, medical technicians, and a Clinic Director, operating according to the strict guidelines and regulations of World Marrow Donors Association (WMDA), which guarantee the quality of the stem cells and ensure the highest standards of performance.

The Registry now numbers 1,130,526 potential donors ready and anxious to donate their stem cells to save a life. It is our fervent prayer that among the many new swabs taken, some will emerge to be perfect match for each of these Yidden and all those around the globe for whom a transplant will mean a Future. 

To view heartwarming video of transplants entitled Nothing in Your Life:  www.ezermizion.org

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How Would You Like Your Coffee?

90+ National Coffee Day 2021 Deals, Free Coffee & Discounts

It all starts from the top and it is in Israel that they learn how to create a proper ‘top’. It is the doctor that sets the tone for his clinic. PA’s and office staff follow his lead. A group of medical students are fortunate to learn in Haifa Technion and are given a daily lesson on how to care for a patient. They help man an Ezer Mizion midday cafeteria wagon which services patients’ family members and the doctors. A steaming cup of coffee accompanied by a scrumptious piece of cake does so much to enable the frazzled doctor or the drained family member to return to his post refreshed and ready for the next round.

One of the senior doctors, a professor and lecturer at the medical school in the Haifa Technion turned to Ezer Mizion with a request for a cafeteria wagon which will be manned by med students. “I want our foreigners, students from overseas to be involved- hands on”. It’s important that my medical students get to feel the genuine need of giving. In many offices, the first question is: What is your insurance. When they open their own offices, I want them to know that, when in Israel, they learned how to really care. The first question: How would you like your coffee? 

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What Can You Say?

Rare Glimpse Into the Home of Rabbi Shteinman - Israel National News

What can you say? She was a young woman. Recently stricken with ALS. She had a family. Some of her children were still so small. Can you say, “Everything will be fine.” She’s too intelligent for that.  She knows what her diagnosis means. Rav Chananya Chollak, Founder and International Chairman of Ezer Mizion, was called. His sensitivity enables him to speak to people undergoing life’s crises and give them strength to go on.

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CFC Giving at the Workplace

Life has been difficult for all of us since the advent of covid-19 but especially grueling for the ill and the elderly.  Your friendship and support via CFC have eased the plight of hundreds of thousands who find themselves unable to cope with life’s challenges. On behalf of all those that have benefited from your generosity, we’d like to say

Federal Workers Giving at the Workplace CFC #11583

Thank you for caring!

Because you cared, 390 patients received a life-saving stem cell transplant in the year 2020 alone. Grandparents will read stories to their grandkids, young parents will be there to raise their children when they had feared leaving their children to grow up as orphans and babies and teens will now have a future.

Corona ‘alumnae’ with strong antibodies were trained to volunteer in Israel’s hospitals to relieve staff and bring comfort to lonely corona patients. Because you cared, isolated patients were able to call home, speaking to spouse and children for the first time in weeks.

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The Secret

She was so little. Only four. But she also had needs like her older siblings. Her Tatty (Daddy) was sick and her Mommy was often crying. Mommy never cried when she or her siblings had a virus or a sore throat. She didn’t understand.  She was confused…and scared.

Rav Chananya Chollak

Rav Chananya Chollak, Founder of Ezer Mizion, was visiting the family. His compassion and sensitivity enabled him to know just what to say to give them strength.  As the visit came to an end, he gave out cards to the mother and older children. “Here’s my phone number. Please call me whenever you need to talk.” He did this frequently. The man who headed an empire of 30,000 volunteers and an army of professionals seemed to have time for the hundreds, no thousands, of individuals who needed his caring warmth to ease their pain. And they called, many of them, at all times of day.

As he made his way toward the door, the four year old approached him. “Can I tell you a secret?” Stooping to bring his ear to four-ear-old level as only the great can do, Rav Chollak listened to her ‘secret’.

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The Ezer Mizion Schedule

What’s on schedule this week?” a new recruit asks on an early Monday morning. She is too new to know we don’t have a precise schedule. Professional meetings, awareness events and the like are planned for but ultimately we try to be there for anyone in need. Doing what? Doing whatever is necessary to soothe the wounds of those who find themselves engulfed in life’s crises. To wipe the tears. To ease the pain.

Like the nine year old autistic child whose father just died of cancer. His mother is not functioning and he is currently living with his grandmother whose health does not permit her to continue caring for him.  Such a sweet child who communicates fully with those around him. Sensitive, sociable, happy, smiley, likes music and animals, and, in short, he is suitable and needs a family framework. Ezer Mizion does not handle fostering but with its vast network, it can start the ball rolling and attempt to find him a home and avoid the government’s imminent threat of an institution. 

What’s on schedule this week? MVA’s are not planned and when they happen, they wreak havoc with people’s lives. A minibus with yeshiva students turned over into a ditch  Two of the more seriously injured passengers were on their way to Haifa’s Rambam Hospital in a helicopter. There are another 18 wounded in hospitals spread around the North.

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Giving at the Workplace via CFC

Please Help
Support Ezer Mizion via CFC 11583

Since 2007 Ezer Mizion has been chosen as a participant in the U.S. government program’s Combined Federal Campaign that offers federal employees the opportunity of making contributions to non-profit organizations by payroll deductions.

The campaign enables civilian, military and postal employees to make either one-time or monthly donations to benefit participating organizations. Every year about 1.3 million government employees pledge over $250 million to the 2,200 national organizations and 20,000 local charities that are part of this campaign. Many participants, who would like to support a charity in Israel, have chosen Ezer Mizion, one of Israel’s major organizations. Founded in 1979, Ezer Mizion offers a wide range of services for the seriously ill, the special child, the elderly, the disabled and the mentally ill.

Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry, the largest Jewish registry in the world, engages in its vital work of saving the lives of Jewish patients around the globe, whose sole chance of survival had been a bone marrow transplant.

Professional therapy and support is offered at Ezer Mizion’s Oranit, Israel’s Guest Home for Children with Cancer and their Families. The elderly and disabled receive free transportation to doctor appointments and treatment centers by Ezer Mizion’s trained ambulance drivers. Hot meals are delivered daily to families whose member is suffering from serious illness. Support and guidance are provided for the mentally ill and their families.

Ezer Mizion, with its over 30,000 volunteers enhancing the effectiveness of its professional staff, alleviates the suffering of people from every segment of Israel’s population who are facing health challenges.

A visitor to Ezer Mizion may see the buzz of activity at the Registry as staff carries out its vital mission of saving Jewish lives or perhaps a child with cancer smiling for the first time in days as she pets a chinchilla at Ezer Mizion’s Wildlife Pavilion. Or he may witness the grin on the face of a special needs girl as she proudly displays a piece of jewelry that she created. Or he may be invited to come along on the run of an ambulance driver and stand in awe as he brings a wheelchair-bound octogenarian to his doctor’s appointment with professionalism, warmth and with dignity.

It is only because of its caring supporters that Ezer Mizion is able to continue its humanitarian efforts. Ezer Mizion is grateful to Jewish Aid Worldwide who has once again assisted in securing its participation in this federal campaign and to the many government employees who have chosen to support Ezer Mizion via CFC and to continue their support in the coming campaign.  

Please join the many Ezer Mizion supporters via CFC #11583.

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Nobody’s Baby…Everybody’s Baby

Everybody’s baby being loved by one of the many volunteers

He began life as nobody’s baby but it wasn’t long until he became everybody’s baby. . Refael was a deliciously, sweet baby but so very ill. In deep pain, his parents abandoned him due to the overwhelming burden of caring for their child.  An uncle contacted Ezer Mizion, the address for so many who don’t know where to turn. “Until an adoptive family can be found, please, please can Ezer Mizion provide the human love and warmth, so vital to a baby’s well-being?” And that is when he became everyone’s baby. Since then, Refael has not been alone. The Ezer Mizion volunteers surrounded him with tenderness and affection. Day and night, summer and winter, Shabbat and Yom Tov.

One day, the uncle asked Refael’s mother to come and just take a peek at her son. “Just for a moment. Then you’ll leave. You don’t have to go near him. Just a quick look. A mini-visit…” She was hesitant. True, it was just for a moment but emotionally it could take such a toll. She was afraid. “I can’t! i can’t! it’s too much!” The uncle persisted. He called again and again. Eventually, he wore her down. “Just a peak. I won’t go near him. just a quick look.”

She peeked – and was “caught.” She saw him held and oh so loved by a volunteer. She watched as another volunteer came to take over. From across the room, she felt the vibes of their love. For the baby. For her son. In tears, she said, “If Am Yisrael embraces Refael with such devotion, then he isn’t alone anymore…And I am not alone…I’ll have support…Perhaps…Perhaps I can do it. Ezer Mizion will be behind me, I can feel their strength. Perhaps my baby will have a mother after all…”This week, Refael will be released to his home, the home he will see for the first time since his birth.

Love and warmth. That’s what Ezer Mizion is all about. A message appears on the Ezer Mizion Linked to Life screen.  A 28 year old oncology patient is celebrating her birthday…Who is on board to help make her a grand party? I’m in, I’m in…The positive answers instantly clicking in…In no time we have: An awesome cake, balloons, creams, perfume, chocolates, makeup and more.

It’s midnight at the ER. Patients have been waiting for hours. They’re tense and worn out. And then like a dream, the Ezer Mizion stand appears. With snacks and hot drinks. With smiles and encouraging words. Love and warmth — it’s catchy! A posting appeared in the media and a call was received from a mother of Emunah, a Bas Mitzvah girl.  Can she celebrate her daughter’s upcoming Bat Mitzvah by volunteering at the Midnight Stand. Mazal Tov, Emunah. What a beautiful way to celebrate this special milestone.

They don’t forget – those recipients of the Ezer Mizion love. Last week, a woman came to the Ezer Mizion Center to personally deliver a donation to Ezer Mizion and a copy of her new book. “Twenty-four years ago, a few years after we’d moved to Israel, my husband needed a heart transplant. We didn’t know where to start. A friend of mind said, ‘Call Ezer Mizion.’  I remember it as if it was today. Ezer Mizion sent us someone named Benny Meyer. He was an angel. He took us under his wing and guided us step by step through the confusing and painful period. Ever since then, Ezer Mizion holds a special place in my heart. I have an automatic donation going out to them from my account every month and all profits from my new book will go to – where else – Ezer Mizion.  So – here is the first installment…”

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