And This Is Just One Family: Yad Yehudis Chana Cancer Support Services

Yaakov was about to become Bar Mitzvah. Let’s peak into his home to watch the goings on: the frantic calls to the caterer, the late night trip to exchange the hat for a larger size, the sisters pirouetting about in their new finery. But there was none of that. No happy excitement. Not a drop. There were late night trips but they were to the ER, not the hat store. During this what normally would have been a most joyful period in Yaakov’s life, both of his parents were battling cancer.

Yaakov’s family had already benefited in so many ways from Ezer Mizion’s Yad Yehudis Chana Cancer Support Services, the cancer support division that services the religious sector. It was only natural that they took over the organization of Yaakov’s Bar Mitzvah, one of approximately thirty in the past year. It would have to be small due to his parents’ condition. Small but certainly cheerful and festive. The Ezer Mizion volunteers got to work producing all that was needed including lovely miniatures to grace the sweet table and a special Bar Mitzvah cake. The mother sat comfortably on a chair which the director had brought from his own office.  Yaakov had his first aliyah (honor of reading a portion from the Torah) and was blessed by his father afterwards.   It was a memorable occasion with some of the last memories Yaakov will have of his father who parted from his beloved family just ten days later. Forever.

 Ezer Mizion continues to accompany the family on their difficult journey in the hope that the mother will have a complete recovery. Staff members raised money to cover renovations in their home to accommodate a wheelchair and for the purchase of a Dutch bed, an attractive piece of furniture with the features of a hospital bed. The enthusiasm among staff members was contagious, each one looking to do more and more. 

Yad Yehudis Chana Cancer Support Services, in memory of Rebetzin Judy Kalatzky A’H, serviced 731 families from 55 cities and towns in Israel in 2020. A total of 31,000 weekday meals and 21,000 Sabbath meals were provided to families in their homes over the year in addition to Sabbath baskets with complete Sabbathneeds delivered to families spending the Sabbath at the hospitals.

Transportation to and from hospitals and clinics, mentoring for children whose parents are not able to be there for them during this difficult period, a game library, emotional therapy, support groups and domestic help are some of the services provided by Ezer Mizion’s  Yad Yehudis Chana Cancer Support Services.

Corona was challenging for people universally. But for families with a close loved one who is struggling with cancer, corona was a veritable upheaval. Cancer patients were considered hi-risk and – where everyone was cautious – cancer patients and their families had to be super careful to avoid COVID infection. Many children did not go to school or kindergarten or to friends or to the park – even when lockdown was long over – in order to protect their dear one from infection. Through this long and challenging period, where many families struggling with cancer were additionally challenged by an already disrupted home situation, Ezer Mizion was there for them in every way that we could be, to assist, sustain and empower. While at Ezer Mizion we adhered to strict and frequently changing Ministry of Health corona regulations, we found ways to adapt our services and keep them available to our target population. The summer retreat, a favorite of these families, had to be canceled but, notwithstanding extremely complex logistics, 68 families were hosted separately on mini-vacations. On behalf of Yaakov’s family and all those who benefited from Yad Yehudis Chana Cancer Services, thank you from the bottom of our heart to all of you whose generosity enables Ezer Mizion to accomplish so much!

It’s For Real

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Cancer Support: soothing the pain

pr tfillin All he wanted was to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah with Ima….   But his mother is a cancer patient. It’s bad. The top doctors have given up on finding her a cure… They say it’s just a matter of days. And the boy? He didn’t want to be an orphan before his Bar Mitzvah! His only wish: to have his mother at his side on his Big Day. A wish so small… but so out of reach.

💔 A wish that tears the heart to pieces. A heart that can only be made whole again by someone who has within him a giant heart – big enough to encompass a young boy’s pain.

♥ Moishy B, an Ezer Mizion volunteer is such a man whose heart beats with irrepressible, boundless chessed. Work schedules, personal errands all fell by the wayside as he devoted the day to bringing the boy to the homes of gedolei Yisrael (Jewish leaders) to get their blessing in honor of the simchah. Touching the greatness of our gedolim, being soothed by their words of compassion helped heal a heart torn asunder.

📖 Together, they traveled to Jerusalem to daven (pray) at the Kotel and even had a tour of the Kotel Tunnels, specially produced by another Ezer Mizion volunteer, our Man of Action – Moishy H.

🎁 And to top things off (after all, he’s only a young boy)… a bag of gifts and perks organized by Ezer Mizion’s  warm-hearted Mrs. M.

bandaged heart  Ezer Mizion ­– we’re there when it hurts. It’s not just a slogan. It’s for real!

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Cancer Support: soothing the pain

Coordinating the Impossible

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His firstborn’s Bar Mitzvah: will he be there?

His firstborn’s Bar Mitzvah. What every father dreams of as he watches his child mature. Every detail is pre-planned, pre-colored, pre-lived. All in capital letters. Ordering the tefillin (phylacteries). Choosing the design for the tefillin bag. The speech. The Torah Reading. The reception. Continue reading Coordinating the ImpossibleFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Bar Mitzvah Celebration?

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Bar Mitzvah celebration?

A young mother in Rechasim is battling cancer but that doesn’t stop the date of her son’s Bar Mitzvah from coming closer and closer. What the family had looked forward to for years promises to be a day of despair. Celebration? How does one celebrate when…when…? And so the days on the calendar rolled on and the Bar Mitzvah was scheduled for a Sunday in mid-April. Bar Mitzvah? One hundred people were invited but there was no joy. Both finances and mood precluded ordering any amenities including food! A bleak celebration indeed.   Continue reading Bar Mitzvah Celebration?Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Emissaries or Angels

cell-phone-300x300It’s erev Shabbos on a winter Friday. They thought they were already frantically busy but then a call came in on What’s App. The remainder of their personal lists fell by the wayside with nary a thought. It’s an emergency and they are ‘volunteer soldiers’ in the ‘Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life army’ (the real reason What’s App was invented). It may be a Shabbos meal to prepare, together with other volunteers, for a family whose mother was suddenly hospitalized. Perhaps it’s medication available only at his neighborhood pharmacy that must be delivered before Shabbos to an ill child in a more remote area or maybe it’s a desperate   search for a missing Alzheimer’s patient. Within moments there are enough volunteers. Each mission is accomplished. Each person is cared for. Each volunteer glows with satisfaction. And they know they are appreciated.  As the candles are set up moments before candle lighting, a message from the Ezer Mizion coordinator is received on What’s App by all volunteers: Yaakov sent malachim…” ­– Some explain this to mean literally “angels”; others interpret it as “shlichim,” emissaries.

The Tzemach Tzaddik asks: According to those who maintain that these were actual angels, why would Yaakov employ divine angels for a mission to his brother Esav??

He answers that these were mortal emissaries. But since the mission was so difficult, by agreeing to do it, they were elevated to the level of divine angels… because one who makes a great effort for another perShabbosson and bears difficulties for his sake, is considered “literally an angel.”

…And you, who respond to Linked to Life requests with such joy and readiness, even on these short Fridays … you are truly “angels.”

Have a tranquil and joyous Shabbos!

The job is never done. Unfortunately, requests continue to pour in. Over Chanukah, it was two Bar Mitzvahs. The first was for the son of a cancer patient who was recently niftar. The very security of the boy’s home was shaken. No longer would father and son daven (pray) side by side. l2l bar mitzvah 7No longer would he see the sheen of pride in his father’s eyes as they reviewed the week’s learning on Shabbos. The very pillar of his life had shattered but ‘thirteen’ was fast approaching. Was he also to miss out on what every boy looks forward to for years? His mother did not have the emotional energy to plan a major event. He understood that. But did that mean that the day would be just a day like every other?  He swallowed hard. He had accepted his father’s death. He’d grown up fast, this young man.  He would accept this, too. He would. But Ezer Mizion would not.  It’s Linked to Life Division got to work. A venue.  Invitations. Food-only the nicest would do. And suddenly there it was. The Bar Mitzvah he was sure would never be.

That same week of Chanukah, a second Bar Mitzvah was born. This one was in answer to the timid, whispered request of the Bar Mitzvah boy whose medical condition was not very good. Cancer. As desperate as he was for what every boy dreams of, he felt hesitant to ask, what with everything else that Ezer Mizion was already doing for him.  The faint whisper- no louder than the movement of a butterfly’s wings- reverberated throughout the Linked to Life membership producing a resplendent  affair which brought a grin to the face that hadn’t smiled  in weeks. Was he surprised? Lets listen in on a conversation between the mother and a Linked to Life volunteer:l2l bar mitzvah 3

My son asked me: “Maybe we should ask the people from Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life to daven for me to get better?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Very simple…”, he replied, “Because everything we ask of them ­­- comes true… So let’s ask them for this too, and maybe it will also come true and I will get better…”

The volunteer adds:

Dear friends!

I don’t know about you, but I’m writing this with tears in my eyes…

How many zechusim (merits) this sick child has given us …!

Let’s pray today at candle lighting for the refu’ah (well-being)  of the child

Chai Yehuda ben Rachel

B’soch she’ar cholei Yisrael (among all those afflicted with illness) .Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

A Pre-Bar Mitzvah

“I really would have liked to celebrate my Bar Mitzvah like other kids, at 13. But I want to celebrate with you Ima so you can be happy and proud of me.” So went 11-year old Uriel’s speech at the pre-Bar Mitzvah celebration. pr general bldg DG857322
A week ago, Uriel would not have believed that he would be marking his Bar Mitzvah celebration a year and a half before the appointed time. But after a significant deterioration in his mother, Yamit’s, health condition, her chemotherapy treatments were suspended. Yamit understood what this meant. Continue reading A Pre-Bar MitzvahFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Part of the Family

Menachem Weiss, a “special” teen with CP, reports every week to Merkaz Ha’inyanim on an angle of life that he alone can talk about
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Shalom dear readers!
I recently had a very, very special experience. My nephew, Yissachar, became Bar Mitzvah this week. Well, every family affair is always a major hurdle for me. Not always is it possible for me to attend. Continue reading Part of the FamilyFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

A Double Celebration

Yisrael Hayom

By: Meital Yasur Beit-Ohr, Health Reporter
A Double Simchah: Celebrating a Bar Mitzvah and Defeating Cancer
Ohz Bassa from Rechovot is only a 13-year-old kid, but he already knows what real struggle is all about and can teach people a lot older than he is how not to surrender, even to the toughest of life’s battles. pr canc sup Ohz Bar Mitzvah 9 2014 10382818_362456793907263_4082358893661986179_nYesterday, he was called up to the Torah and on Tuesday, the auspicious day when “ki tov” (it was good) is mentioned twice in the story of Creation, he celebrated both his bar mitzvah and his victory over cancer. Continue reading A Double CelebrationFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

No Challenge Too Great


pr Shaul Bar MitzvahIn less than a month, Shaul will, G-d willing, celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. The preparation for this special landmark is being done while he is hospitalized. Rabbis from Ezer Mizion are teaching him to read his Torah portion, just like all of his classmates.


Bar Mitzvah Celebration

What exactly is a Bar Mitzvah? The Hamui family have it right. Isaac and Marilyn Hamui inaugurated their son, Albert's entrance to adulthood with a trip to Ezer Mizion's Lottie's Kitchen to help pack food for families dealing with serious illness. Now that is truly an appropriate Bar Mitzvah celebration!
What exactly is a Bar Mitzvah? The Hamui family have it right. Isaac and Marilyn Hamui inaugurated their son, Albert’s, entrance to adulthood with a trip to Ezer Mizion’s Lottie’s Kitchen to help pack food for families dealing with serious illness. Now that is truly an appropriate Bar Mitzvah celebration!