To Really See. To Really Care.

It’s a talent. An innate ability found in only a few. The ability to notice. To really see. To understand what someone else needs. Only a few have it but the few can give it over to the many.

Rabbi Chananya Chollak

Chananya Chollak, who founded Ezer Mizion in 1979, was such a person. A new chosson who would be expected to be involved in his kallah and not be able to see anything outside of new marriage, was spending time with his hospitalized father-in-law and became aware of the many problems facing the families of the patients.  It was there that several divisions of the future Ezer Mizion were born. What began with 8 volunteers to provide meals for family members spending hours at the hospital bedside and a professionally outfitted van to transport the wheelchair-bound has mushroomed into an empire of chessed with 30,000 volunteers, all who have absorbed Rav Chollak’s ability to really see and really care. 

Like the recent fire in Jerusalem. People were being evaluated en masse. The need to evacuate was obvious and the volunteers were working hard. What wasn’t so obvious is the fact that a group of yeshiva students had not had anything to eat since the early morning. Moments after they arrived to safety, there appeared pizza pies galore. The starving boys never would have asked but grins on their faces showed how welcome the unexpected treat was. 

Then there was Rina, a patient in the oncology ward. She was battling for her life but right now, uppermost in her mind, was her daughter who would normally be celebrating her bas mitzvah. What with all energies going toward fighting the cancer, this most special day was expected to pass with hardly a blip.  But Rina was an Ezer Mizion client and that made all the difference. Professional studio pictures taken at her home. A sweet table to vie those at the fanciest event. A cake donated for the occasion by an elite patisserie. A makeup artist for both of them who would wield the wand and turn them into princesses.  No detail was omitted by Shula, the volunteer who really saw and really cared.

The ultimate in Bas Mitzvah celebrations created by Ezer Mizion’s Cancer Support Division
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To Really See. To Really Care.

Yeshiva evacuated due to Jerusalem fire

It’s a talent. An innate ability found in only a few. The ability to notice. To really see. To understand what someone else needs. Only a few have it but the few can give it over to the many.

Chananya Chollak, who founded Ezer Mizion in 1979, was such a person. A new chosson who would be expected to be involved in his kallah and not be able to see anything outside of new marriage, was spending time with his hospitalized father-in-law and became aware of the many problems facing the families of the patients.  It was there that several divisions of the future Ezer Mizion were born. What began with 8 volunteers to provide meals for family members spending hours at the hospital bedside and a professionally outfitted van to transport the wheelchair-bound has mushroomed into an empire of chessed with 30,000 volunteers, all who have absorbed Rav Chollak’s ability to really see and really care. 

Like the recent fire in Yerushalayim. People were being evaluated en masse. The need to evacuate was obvious and the volunteers were working hard. What wasn’t so obvious is the fact that a group of yeshiva bochurim had not had anything to eat since the early morning. Moments after they arrived to safety, there appeared pizza pies galore. The starving boys never would have asked but grins on their faces showed how welcome the unexpected treat was. 

Then there was Rina, a patient in the oncology ward. She was battling for her life but right now, uppermost in her mind, was her daughter who would normally be celebrating her bas mitzvah. What with all energies going toward fighting the cancer, this most special day was expected to pass with hardly a blip.  But Rina was an Ezer Mizion client and that made all the difference. Professional studio pictures taken at her home. A sweet table to vie those at the fanciest event. A cake donated for the occasion by an elite patisserie. A makeup artist for both of them who would wield the wand and turn them into princesses.  No detail was omitted by Shula, the volunteer who really saw and really cared.

The Ezer Mizion Cancer Support Division does it again!

The first step in creating a new division is seeing the need. Matan in Nechalim was born because it became obvious to Rav Chollak that handicapped adults need something more than care. They need self-esteem – the kind that comes from accomplishment. And how can they accomplish when they cannot even move from here to there? Ideas were tossed around, debated, discarded, re-evaluated until a full program came into being. A program that gets these talented young people to leave their homes early, excited to begin their day. They’re taught 3-D printing, crafts, and much more…skills that can generate income, activities that create positive social interaction. Recently their creations were proudly displayed at a fair where crowds converged at the individual tables where each one’s products were admired and many purchased.

Disability Won’t Stop Me!

The files are filled with thank you notes from people who are longing to express their gratitude for the practical and emotional support. Many join our volunteer groups, anxious to give back to others what they received in their time of crisis. And many are accompanied by donations but none so poignant as the following written in childish scrawl:

I’m a 12 year old cancer patient sending you my donation. I want to thank you with my whole heart for all the good and fun things you give me.

Thank you so much,

Y.S.

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Ahuvi

My legs are disabled but my mind is doing just fine

For most of us, the word ‘I’ permeates our conversation. I feel, I believe, I am worried about. But what exactly is that ’I’ ? We don’t think so much about the question since our various parts work together. We think of an idea, dial a friend to discuss it, click on the mouse to research it, walk to the appropriate place to procure what we need. But then there are the people whose parts do not work together. They’re bright, intelligent, creative. They have opinions. An idea may percolate in their minds but they are not able to make the phone call, use a computer, walk to the nearest store, speak to friends. And so the idea remains. Crying to be developed. Aching to be shared with others. Eventually deteriorating and dying the death of all its predecessors. And the ‘I’? The ‘I’ becomes embittered and withers away into nothingness.

There it stands, a picturesque chalet surrounded by luxuriant foliage in a rustic village located in Nechalim. From a distance it exudes a quiet loveliness but come closer and you’ll see that it is anything but quiet. Everywhere you look, there are motorized wheelchairs and their owners are going from here to there, busy, busy, busy, very intent on achieving their goals. Their goals are many – these severely handicapped young people. Some are unable to walk, others unable to speak but all have talents, opinions, desires.

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Hidden Away Among the Leaves there Lies A…

pr handicapped Nechalim Activity Center - generic picture
Yes i can!

There it stands, a picturesque chalet surrounded by luxuriant foliage in a rustic village located in Nechalim. From a distance it exudes a quiet loveliness but come closer and you’ll see that it is anything but quiet. Everywhere you look there are motorized wheelchairs and their owners are going from here to there, busy, busy, busy, very intent on achieving their goals. Their goals are many – these severely handicapped young people. Some are unable to walk, others unable to speak but all have talents, opinions, desires. Continue reading Hidden Away Among the Leaves there Lies A…Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

When the Mazel Tov Seems So Far Away

pr chupah
In search of that elusive Mazel Tov

Ezer Mizion’s Strike A Match Division, under the able leadership of Mrs. Reisner, continues to make a difference in the lives of so many who approach the search for a marriage partner with a major strike against them.   Continue reading When the Mazel Tov Seems So Far AwayFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Bella Stern’s Math Lesson

Bella Stern’s math lesson: When you have less, give away more and the total will increase.
It’s a tried and true method, says Mrs. Stern. It works every time. Mrs. Stern is past seventy and paralyzed from the waist down due to polio which she contracted as a child. She moves around with heavy leg braces on crutches. Many people who knew her from phone conversations are shocked when they meet her in person, never realizing the challenging physical condition she endures with such cheer and optimism. Continue reading Bella Stern’s Math LessonFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

I’m Nervous…

Menachem Weiss, a “special” teen, reports every week to Merkaz Ha’inyanim on an angle of life that he alone can talk about
Winding Up the Summer
Shalom dear readers!
It’s that time of year and I’m nervous again.
Ezer Mizion’s retreats for CP guys like me are fantastic. They’re a lot of fun. Being with friends who share the same experiences is…well, I have no words to describe it. But still I get nervous. pr spec CP Matan 2014 10487420_342417442577865_7608780507596901650_n
One retreat is always not so far from home, and if there is a problem, someone from my family can come right away.
I’ve been going to these retreats for many years now, since I was a little boy. And each year I arrive feeling tense. Continue reading I’m Nervous…Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Hooray! It’s Camp Time Again!

Summer is here and with it, children everywhere are gearing up for a fun-filled, revitalizing and exciting summer season. Ezer Mizion’s summer camps, as you so well know, ensure that even special needs children and children battling cancer can look forward to a memorable and enriching summer camp experience.pr summer_beach_ball
This year have introduced upgrades in many of our camps. We are gratified to share with you a sampling. Continue reading Hooray! It’s Camp Time Again!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

15 Minutes

Photo: Today, Yisrael was being transported in an Ezer Mizion ambulance from Petach Tikvah to Jerusalem, where he had a doctor's appointment. The trip went unusually quickly and as they approached Jerusalem, they saw that there were another fifteen minutes left before the scheduled appointment. Yisrael asked the driver, Yair Ozeri, to take the opportunity and stop by the gravesite of the prophet Samuel on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where he had not had a chance to pray for years. Keep in mind that due to his medical condition, the only way for Yisrael to get around is by ambulance and he leaves the house only for medical purposes…This is also an opportunity to thank the volunteers at the Petach Tikvah branch of Ezer Mizion for their warm embrace and the daily assistance they give Yisrael throughout the year.
Doctor visits. Not very exciting but for Yisroel, those are the only times he steps out of his routine.  Unable to do what most of us take for granted-hop on a bus and go wherever we like-Yisroel is dependent on others for every move. This week was special for him. The Ezer Mizion driver arrived in Jerusalem 15 minutes ahead of schedule. For Yisroel, those fifteen minutes were a surprise gift. His relationship with the driver, and all Ezer Mizion drivers, was that of a friend and he felt perfectly comfortable in suggesting that they use the time to stop of at the gravesite of Samuel, the prophet , to pray. The driver was thrilled at the opportunity to give Yisroel that extra something. You see, the inside of an Ezer Mizion driver is not comprised of nickels and dimes. Inside, he is one big heart.



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