“We Never Saw Anything Like This Anywhere in the World!!”

pr corona- never saw anything lik eitFrom the files of Ezer Mizion Sheba-Tel Hashomer Branch The wife of the Myanmar ambassador in Israel was hospitalized in serious condition in Tel Hashomer, and she needed medical equipment for the process of recovery and rehabilitation. They were stunned to find that not only was the medical equipment made available to them, complete with professional advice, instruction and continued support during use but they were apprised of many other services to help them out.  What seemed so natural for us was anything but natural for them.  Their own situation led them to notice others. What is made available to a cancer patient, to the elderly, the mentally ill, the special child. The innovative services provided during Covid-19. ” We never saw anything like this anywhere in the world!! It is not self-understood in the least. We will pass this on to the residents of our country.” Their words, in turn, gave us a perspective. We looked in the mirror and saw caring. We saw understanding of another’s plight. We felt empowered.  And it gave us strength to do even more.

Nechalim Unable to have contact with the severely handicapped young adults of the Day Care Center, did the staff simply go home? Of course not. They are using the time to make improvements in the building and grounds. Why? Just because they love ‘their’ kids.

Linked to Life Network 3000 requests per day to transport medicines and medical equipment from drugstores and Kupot Cholim to the homes of patients, seniors, and people in quarantine.

Sheba-Tel Hashomer Medical Center A sick girl in Tel Hashomer. The staff is waiting tensely for the results of the important external biopsy, but the results are delayed! Sometimes, even medical staffs encounter bureaucratic delays and experience helplessness, as they simply do not know whom to turn to in order to get the fastest possible response! A call to our Medical Counseling and Referral Department brought the slow process to a speedy conclusion. Within a few minutes, we received the following message: “The clarification that you just did for us would have taken us a great deal of time, which would have hurt the girl’s chances of recovery! Thanks to you — now, we can help her in a timely way!”

Netivot A widow living with her 30-year-old severely autistic daughter who does not leave her alone for a moment is now getting regular breaks with trained volunteers taking over, all corona rules complied with.

Modi’in Illit 300 craft kits with gifts delivered to children of seriously ill parents and orphans.

Social Services Dept.  Mentors dispatched to families in which mother  is mentally ill to coach mother minute by minute in care of family providing both a nurtured family and a feeling of success in mother.

Ofakim Volunteer found to learn over phone with young man with special needs- the brightest spot in his day, says his mother.

Medical Referral Dept. An elderly woman needs regular injections to prevent deteriorating eyesight. Corona is preventing her from traveling to clinic. Several phone calls later: mission accomplished.

Nachalom Day Care Center A staff member came in right after Pesach. (We’re on vacation but she missed ’her girls’.) She baked chalos with them a’ la zoom.

AAC (Communication Devices) An autistic girl was hospitalized in Laniado with Corona. I prepared specific boards, while remotely controlling the hospital iPad and checking communication needs. From a girl who was strapped to her bed and drugged to control her wildness, she turned into a patient who could communicate with the staff.


Erev Pesach Preparations Ezer Mizion Style

corona_home_mainCoronavirus Crisis Update – Erev Pesach

Amidst the final preparations for Pesach and the continued challenge of the national emergency situation — we continue to follow and to be amazed by the dedication of the various departments. We’re happy to once again update you on more activities and facts from the field:

56,000 requests

Linked to Life — all-time high in requests coming in to Linked to Life:

From the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis — the 5 regions, from North to South, together with the branches, dealt with more than 56,000 requests (!!). It’s reasonable to assume that as you read these lines, dozens more requests have piled up at headquarters…

We’re talking about thousands of patients who needed medicines from the drug store, thousands of seniors who needed to get to medical care, countless meals that were delivered to the homes of quarantined individuals and the needy in impressive collaboration with the Home Front and the municipal Social Services departments.

Believe me — a brief peek at the What’s App groups task forces — and you’ll be dizzy from the pace of the activity.

The branches’ activities also continued at full throttle, providing a response for the varied needs of residents. Among these were refreshing projects to encourage the people and raise the general morale. For example, the Modi’in Ilit branch sent out a “Simcha Van,” which rode all around the city and got lots of people to join in song and dance from their porches.

5,500 cartons

Kimcha D’Pischa Pesach packages

Distribution of the many cartons is in progress! This year, more than ever before, we realize that these food cartons will touch the hearts of families of patients and seniors, who have been in unusual isolation already for long weeks, due to their dangerous medical situation.

1,569 aid recipients

Social services

These days, the social service families are receiving adapted services, provided by the department of professional support for family empowerment, in collaboration with the Social Services Department and the various municipalities: Coaches, mentors for children with special needs and on the autistic spectrum, alternative for rehab day care centers, and more.

It’s moving to see the mentors going out for a walk with the children, taking along the disabled ID card that entitles them to walk around with the children beyond the restriction of 100 meters.

Special adapted work plans to be implemented by phone were prepared for those families whom the staff is unable to reach directly.

41 transplants

Bone Marrow Donor Registry

We’re signing off the month of March with 41 lifesaving stem cell transplants!

An inconceivable achievement, given the existing circumstances and challenges!

At the same time, collection of bone marrow samples from IDF soldiers at the Induction Center continues as usual.

5,100 new potential donors join the Registry

798 families Cancer patient support

Children with cancer are totally isolated from the staff due to their sensitive medical situation, but the staff members supporting them are investing creative efforts into keeping the children happy! Craft kits and games were sent to the hospital wards and Ezer Mizion’s Wildlife Pavilion has gone online, with filmed stories and live broadcasts from the site of the animals so beloved by the children.

In addition, patients undergoing treatments still have the option of being hosted at Ezer Mizion’s Oranit cancer patient guest home, along with a family member escort.

Mentoring and babysitting services, as well as consultations with professionals, are also continuing to function.

1883 recipients of aid

Mental health

Aside from the stepped-up mental health hotlines and additional services that continue functioning in every possible form, we were excited to hear about the close contact that is being maintained at this time between mental health clients and their rehab staff and coaches. For example, a coach who would come every Erev Shabbat to accompany her client cooking in her kitchen — continues meeting with her regularly via “Zoom.” The program enables them to see each other and engage in a “cooking competition,” while communicating openly and naturally.

The sheltered work facilities, which serve as a place of occupation and rehabilitation for mental health clients — are open for small groups, in accordance with Health Department directives, and the coaching of clients working in the free market, so vital for their rehabilitation, continues as well.

The “Briyuta” club also continues to function! Though they cannot visit the fitness gym and attend workshops on site, all of the service recipients received a kit for home use, with recommended fitness exercises, tips for daily scheduling, healthful recipes, and more.

It’s hard to describe how critical a continued stable routine is for the mental health clients’ rehabilitative process. A round of applause for the staff!

329 recipients of aid

Children and toddlers

The children constantly talk about how they miss the staff in the preschools. Every child in the Ezer Mizion preschools got a loving reminder call from the teacher, along with a newsletter for the parents. The families also get ongoing telephone and online guidance from the paramedical staff, to avert a break in the continuity of therapy. At the same time, the staff has gone over to online direction for the teachers and paramedical staff, guiding them towards adapted therapy suited for this period.

The learning clubs — continue by “remote control.” Counseling and emotional support for the children’s parents also is being carried on, with great dedication.

The Information and Counseling Center for parental support is like a breath of fresh air for the parents. It is no easy challenge to spend time with these children and keep them occupied for such a long period at home. Many parents find a listening ear, as well as important information to help them cope — thanks to the Center’s work. Recently, they even offered an online lecture for parents.

Active Nurturing Playground —The worldwide Coronavirus crisis led the Bernard Van Leer Foundation to contact Ezer Mizion’s developmental programs department and request professional materials for development and advancement of the parents and children from home. At this very time, English-language materials are being created, which will be distributed by the Foundation on a national level.

1,820 loans

Loan of medical and rehabilitative equipment

Not only have the hours not been cut down, but, in response to the demand in the field, services have been expanded to 9 a.m to 8 p.m.! The devoted staff is working non-stop! On the holidays, as well, the center will be open in the mornings (from 9:30 to 11:30) to provide a response to the general public.

4,711 seniors and their family members

Geriatric services

The precious seniors supported by the division throughout the year now require double and triple caution.

On the other hand, the technological solutions serving the general public aren’t always an option for them, at their age.

The dedication of the geriatric service branches and the support staff is very moving. It includes cautious home visits, in case of necessity, ongoing phone calls, and creative solutions to maintain contact and ensure a sense of vitality in the seniors supported by the division.

In one recent conversation, Rachel Markowitz, a Holocaust survivor and member of the Geriatric Services’ Eshnav program, couldn’t find the words to express her gratitude for the love and concern being showered on her at this time. She asked to give the following message to the organization’s staff: “Just tell them, ‘Am Yisrael Chai!’”

2,000 calls

Medical counseling and referrals

Both of the division’s units are available and busy, these days, too, providing counseling and referral services and accompanying and coordinating callers with medical cases.

The staff’s capabilities, diligence, and sense of responsibility in dealing with each call — continue to surprise us. For example, a woman who called to ask for a recommendation of a doctor for an urgent surgical treatment managed to get an appointment with one of the top specialists in the desired field that same week, thanks to the division’s dedicated work. “I didn’t know about you until now. For two days, I’ve been on the phone with the an administrative agency, getting nowhere. And with one phone call to you, I received an excellent and speedy solution!”


The service will continue functioning actively through Pesach!

21 boys

Matan Nechalim Day Center for disabled young adults

The day center for young adults with disabilities was open until right before Pesach, thanks to the endless dedication of the staff. The participants enjoyed exercise rooms, art, multimedia, grassy lawns, and the other activities on site, while adhering closely to Health Department directives.

We discovered that even at a distance of two meters, you can enjoy a variety of diverse activities and social life.

For those who preferred not coming in for activities, a kit was sent to their home, including cake, a mask hand-sewn by them, a weekly bulletin with a worksheet, stories and quizzes.

In order to keep up the morale and the social circle even when the place is closed for Pesach, an individual infrastructure for online learning from the home was set up for each of the participants, including accessibility options for the home and loan of adapted equipment.

1,778 rides to the hospital

952 beneficiaries of special projects

13,067 purchases of medications for the elderly and quarantined

1,376 purchases of food for the elderly and quarantined

40,668 distributions of food to families of cancer patients, social service recipients, and through projects in collaboration with local municipalities

Mental health, geriatric services, and special children counseling hotlines: *3464

“Linked to Life” hotline: 073-24-77777






Wishing you and your families, along with the entire Jewish people,

a happy and kosher Pesach, a holiday of deliverance, and full physical and emotional health.

Hakadosh Baruch Hu, have compassion on Your people, “Appoint guardians upon your city all day and all night; illuminate the dark of night as with the light of day”

and may we all merit


Our Precious Elderly Cannot Be Left On Their Own




Activities at the Geriatric Services Division during the Coronavirus Period


3,200 seniors

4,000 attendants

150 professional staff members

13 branches across the country

Thousands of dedicated volunteers

With the onset of the crisis, the entire Geriatric Services Division shifted to a mode of alternating home/office work. Authorization to work remote was given to 60 staff members who were provided technical support and computers, as needed.

During this period, the tremendous responsibility of the Geriatric Services division towards the highest-risk group in the world has doubled. This responsibility is reflected by work around the clock, with no breaks, in the division’s 2 primary areas of activity:

Core Services

  • Mentoring and guidance of new seniors, their caregivers and family members in obtaining a geriatric services stipend from Bituach Leumi (the National Insurance Institute)
  • Placement of certified attendants in seniors’ homes
  • Guidance in the process of obtaining a foreign worker
  • Initiated phone calls every week to all the attendants, care recipients, caregiving family members (about 7500 calls a week)
  • Frontal and phone visits to 3000 seniors
  • Intensive work geared at giving the full number of hours of entitlement and care to the senior, in spite of attendants’ fear and concern of giving caregiving hours in the homes of seniors.

Auxiliary Services

Operation of an active “Corona hotline” Sunday to Thursday from 8 AM to 10 PM and on Fridays and Erev Chag from 8 AM to 12 PM; Motzaei Shabbat and Motzaei Chag from 8 PM to 11 PM

The hotline provides a response to seniors, family members, and attendants in the following areas:

  • Calls for emotional support
  • Therapy calls with experienced professionals (social workers)
  • Calls to obtain information about entitlements and assistance in making them happen
  • Facilitating community and municipal services, especially hot meals!
  • Facilitating Ezer Mizion services: loan of medical equipment,
  • Arranging purchase of groceries, produce, home supplies and medicines and delivery via Ezer Mizion “Linked to Life” volunteers
  • Tapping in to connections for the purpose of obtaining service from different entities, in collaboration with the Home Front Command, kupat cholim, etc.

Activating volunteers to relieve loneliness via:

  • “Listening Ear” project — phone calls from volunteer emotional therapists
  • “Adopt a Bubby and Zeidy” — in collaboration with Discount Bank employee volunteers who are set up with seniors to allay their loneliness by phone.

Physical Exercise

  • Online physical exercise through a number of channels: website, online handbooks, etc.
  • Distribution of physical exercise kits to the homes of seniors by volunteers
  • Telephone guidance for active participants at the Senior Health Promotion Center by Center staff

Installation of Security Cameras

Tzipporah Fried Alzheimer Patient Support Center

  • Outgoing support calls initiated by the Center’s professional staff to caregiving families who were in touch with the center in the past
  • Online support groups via ZOOM

Holocaust Survivors

  • Phone calls initiated by staff to all Holocaust survivors who participate regularly in the Ezer Mizion activities
  • Provision of a full response to needs that arise in the conversations: cooked food, purchase of groceries and medicines, emotional support via therapeutic phone calls
  • Home visits, in keeping with all Health Department directives (remote, porch visits)
  • Establishment of a mobile library operated by means of a personal delivery from the municipal library to the Holocaust Survivor’s home – operated by the British Café staff
  • Online/telephone physical exercise guidance
  • Distribution of potted plants to 1100 Holocaust survivors across the country on Yom Hasho’ah



Give Up? Not When It Means Saving A Life!

airplane-corona- challenge acceptedHow is Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry managing? Corona created formidable obstacles. 60% of stem cells are normally transported by courier for life-saving transplants to countries outside of Israel. At first, foreign couriers who do not have an Israeli passport were denied entry into Israel. Israeli couriers were forced to wait a two week isolation period following their return into Israel. Continue reading Give Up? Not When It Means Saving A Life!


Coronavirus Crisis — Updates from the Field


coronavirusDear Ezer Mizion Family,

In the midst of one of the most turbulent times that the world has ever known, the need for Ezer Mizion services has significantly increased. We thought it important to stop the rush of activity for a moment and update you on what’s being done in your neighboring departments and divisions. Amazing work with real dedication!

We are each busy with the challenging work going on within our own departments and staffs — and now, at a time of national and international emergency, it is heartening and comforting to discover that we’re all part of the enormous efforts to bring emotional and physical sustenance and recovery to the Jewish people.

How fortunate we are to be on the giving end!

Bone Marrow Registry

While meticulously following the directives of the Health Department and international regulations, the Collection Center is continuing to collect stem cells from matching donors. The saving of lives goes on, without compromise!

This month, we even had a record number of collections done by our collection center with a total of 41 lifesaving transplants!

In a complex logistic effort, stem cell units were recently sent from Ben Gurion Airport via Germany to a cancer patient in Italy. Additional lifesaving units were flown on cargo planes, in the absence of regular passenger flights. Each case was its own complex assignment, which had our team tapping in to massive networking and creativity to achieve our mission.

Cancer Patient Support Services

In order to protect the health of cancer patients, who are Corona virus high risk — Ezer Mizion’s dedicated staff was compelled to break off all face-to-face contact with the patients. The connection continues “long distance” with packages of sweets, phone calls, and surprises and online connections.

In a joint project with Schneider Childrens Medical Center and other partners, Ezer Mizion has organized a day camp for children of the hospital’s doctors and nursing staff, enabling the medical teams to continue their vital work even when schools are closed.

Geriatric Services Division

The senior population is considered highly vulnerable due to the Coronavirus.

An impressive service cushion was set up by Ezer Mizion Geriatric Services team to bolster and support the aging population in Israel.

  • A hotline for emotional support and provision of medicines, food supplies and vital needs for seniors. Many of them do not have computer access or family members who can help them. The many calls that come in are chilling! Elderly people break into tears as they tell of their loneliness, incidents of illness and neglect that require urgent intervention, and above all, a large number who call looking for a listening ear and human warmth. The response of the dedicated staff is really amazing and we are so proud of them for their efficient
  • In addition, the Division has introduced the “Bonding with Motion” program — a home-based age-adapted fitness program to maintain the seniors’ health. The program is available on video and as a handbook that can be downloaded at the Ezer Mizion Hebrew website.
  • Hotline support, tips, and guidance — unique for the Corona period, serving the families of Alzheimer’s patients at the Tzipporah Fried Alzheimer Family Support Center.

Mental Health Division

Some rehab services are continuing, in accordance with Health Department directives, in the understanding that maintenance of a sane routine is critical for mental health clients.

In addition, we are witness to a dramatic rise in the number of callers seeking a listening ear, support and someone to share their anxiety and tension with. The Division foresaw this need in advance and the “Yedidei Nefesh” hotline has stepped up its activity. Population-adapted staff is responding with utmost sensitivity to many hundreds of calls from clients.

The Division has also created handbooks for families of clients on how to deal appropriately with the situation and keep up a normal daily schedule, as well as instructions for physical activity. The handbooks can be downloaded online at the Division website.

AAC (Alternative Augmentative Communication) Center

In a project specifically targeting hospitalized Corona patients who are on respiratory support in hospitals, Ezer Mizion’s AAC Center has compiled a special handbook of communication boards, tailored to individual needs. The handbooks were sent on request to 15 hospitals around Israel and are also available online in several languages for downloading on Ezer Mizion’s site.

Special Children’s Division

Ezer Mizion’s Judith Pfeuffer Daycare Center Network and Ezer Mizion’s kindergartens, serving babies, toddlers and young children with complex special needs, are continuing to provide online guidance to parents.

The Respite Program has been stepped up and is working around the clock to alleviate the difficulties parents are experiencing ever since all special education schools and recreation frameworks were shut down by the Ministry of Helath.

Since the educational system, including services for children with special needs, has been suspended, children with complex difficulties are at home and the parents are experiencing severe hardships! In response, a hotline for parents has been set up in addition to an information center on the local municipal information line.

Currently, the focus is primarily on the daily function and didactic fronts. Information on entitlements through other entities with additional support options are provided aong with personalized learning materials for each child that were created by EzerMizion professional staff.

Ambulance Transport

Mobility impaired patients are frequently classified as Corona high risk and must be more careful today than ever not to use public transportation! Our devoted ambulance staff continues driving the mobility impaired, using full protection and personal responsibility, as required.

The Linked to Life department is working together with the branches at this time, with close cooperation and full energy!

Linked to Life – in a big way!!!

The Linked to Life volunteer network is working these days at full steam, together with Ezer Mizion branches throughout Israel, providing solutions for thousands of people every day. Requests for assistance stream in, and are provided thanks to exceptional cooperation with local authorities through municipal hotlines, ensuring provision of responses for the needs of the most complex and needy residents.

Haifa and Northern Region Branch, under the leadership of Moshe Beeri, joined the authorities in his region in answering the ongoing calls prompted by residents fragile medical and financial situation. The branch identifies needs all the time and works unflaggingly to develop appropriate solutions.

Jerusalem Branch is buzzing with activity — distributing food, delivering medications to seniors, and countless other small and big kindnesses, in response to needs that arise.

In Netivot and Southern Region Branch, the staff works tirelessly helping families of special children by arranging babysitters and distributing cheerful craft kits, food distribution to the needy,  and solutions to many requests, stories, and personal needs. It is so thrilling to hear about these and about the response that was given!

Last week, the Rechovot Branch worked to distribute 1500 (!) meals to seniors, patients, and people in quarantine, in collaboration with the Municipality, and responded to the a range of needs of city residents.

There is the “Kimcha D’pischa” project in Kefar Saba and other branches, providing produce and Pesach products for families who were struggling with serious health challenges before Corona came along.

At the Matan Center in Nechalim for young adults who are cognitively perfect but have severe physical impairments, the staff is active online to maintain contact with center members who have stopped attending due to Corona. Special gift kits for Pesach were prepared for every Center member along with a moving poem.

Craft kits were sent out in Modi’in Ilit and other cities to orphans and cancer patient families. Devoted mentors do their work from afar in Elad. And more and more!

The activity goes on around the clock and we are totally awed by the energetic staffs deployed across the country!

Linked to Life teams have recently added hundreds of new volunteers to its rosters, strengthening the existing support network across the country, working from morning to night.

Craft kits for the orphans and patients of Modi’in Ilit

Medicines to the door for seniors and patients — Linked to Life

Close collaboration with the Home Front Command

Distribution of Kimcha D’pischa — Rechovot branch

Kits for children with special needs — Netivot

Food distribution — Tzefat

And that was just a small taste J


Corona and the Speed of Light

coronavirusHow fast is the speed of light? The scientists will quote numbers but those of us at Ezer Mizion will quote stories instead. Like the family from Italy. They were terrified to remain and fled to Israel. As per government restrictions, they knew they would be going into immediate isolation but where? They had no home. In one day, an apartment was found for them. An apartment to live in but it was empty. Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life was called into action. Electrical appliances arrived as if by magic. Funds for basics were raised. A grocery shopper materialized. Cooked meals were organized. It touches the heart. If there is something that gives us strength during these difficult days, it’s the spirit of volunteering that we see with Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life volunteers. Assignments are snatched up at the speed of light.

Ezer Mizion has been around since 1979. Says a staff member: Especially in these challenging days, I feel like I’m giving my debt back to society. I will start from the beginning.  I was eight and a half years old when my mother had breast cancer. Medicine was not developed enough in those days to deal with the disease. My father created a connection with the Ezer Mizion who made sure to schedule an immediate appointment for the doctor in Tel Hashomer. I remember that he told us how he waited there, confused and scared. He said that the volunteers came to him, who brought him food and drink and said that they are now accompanying him and all of us, that we are now family. Really– in these words. And so it was. Since then, Ezer Mizion was always there, in medical counseling that was critical in the great confusion and in sending volunteers who accompanied, supported and helped us throughout the period. After a year of treatments, my mother passed away. 20 years have passed since then. At the age of 10, I started volunteering there. Today, I run the entire north area (from Netanya to the Hermon). I am finally paying back.


Giving is Healing Translated from Yisrael Hayom, by Dan Lavie


In spite of the serious effects of the Coronavirus in Italy, a cancer patient there received a bone marrow donation from Israel • Director of Ezer Mizion’s Registry: “A tremendous mission”

In the shadow of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in the world and its especially harsh effects in Italy, a lifesaving stem cell donation was sent last Wednesday from a donor in Israel to a cancer patient in Italy. For that patient, this delivery of stem cells was a ticket to recovery and life! This feat was accomplished thanks to Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry, which continues functioning despite the unprecedented challenges of this trying period.

At Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport handover hub, an Ezer Mizion Registry representative personally delivered the small package of stem cells to a courier who came especially for this mission from Germany. The courier then transported the stem cells to the hospital in Italy.

More than one million potential stem cell donors who each gave a DNA sample are listed in the Registry. In practice, all the registries in the world are connected via an online network, enabling them to coordinate among themselves when necessary.

In a conversation with Yisrael Hayom, Dr. Bracha Zisser, Director of the Registry, explained the process and discussed the continued activity of the Registry in the shadow of the Coronavirus pandemic. “First a search is done within the family for a matching stem cell donor. Medical teams of patients who do not find a match in the family, search in the international registry network, which pinpoints potential genetically matching donors in registries around the world. In this case, after they saw that we have a matching donor, an official request was submitted to Ezer Mizion’s Registry for workup and stem cell collection.”

Regarding Ezer Mizion’s important work during these complex times, Zisser said: “The situation is especially problematic due to the fact that these patients, who are receiving chemotherapy treatments, cannot wait for six months or until the Coronavirus problem will be resolved. Our primary challenge is how to send the bone marrow unit when so many of the flight routes have been shut down.

“In this area, both the Ministry of Health and the National Security Council cooperated with us successfully, and I am happy to say that the right solutions were found, with the help of airport authorities. In spite of the difficult course in this challenging time, the stem cell unit reached its destination. Here is another tremendous mission of saving a life,” she summed up with satisfaction.