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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Their Challenges/ Our Mission/Your Pride

Each one was unique yet each one was the same. Each reflected an individualized situation much exacerbated by the Covid-19 situation. Yet each one was a desperate plea, “Please help me!’ sent  to the  address they have come to rely upon. Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life is a whatsapp network spanning Israel and around the globe which receives requests that are as varied as those that send them. It may be a need for transport for an oncology patient, delivery of vital meds, putting together a Bar Mitzvah for a boy whose father is in serious condition, picking up  medical equipment for a patient who cannot be released from the hospital without it. The list goes on and on.

During the pandemic, the Linked to Life networks were on fire. Requests didn’t stop. Linked to Life coordinated with other divisions of Ezer Mizion and was there for everyone in their time of need. Was it ten requests, a hundred, two hundred? and make no mistake. Each request did not have a one-step resolution. ‘I would check the network  and come back half a day later and see 600 more.’ said a staff member who had access to the network.  See chart above for the amazing numbers, all performed by our dedicated Ezer Mizion volunteers.

At the same time, all the other Ezer Mizion divisions – Bone Marrow Registry, Golden Age, Special Needs, Mental Health, Cancer Support, Transportation, Food Disbursement –  were working at full speed.  If we were to add those numbers, the totals would be mind boggling!  How does this happen? Because of you, our invaluable friends and supporters!

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This One is for Us!

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Magic show: the pièce de résistance of a magical day for special needs families

It’s a tradition! The families look forward to it for weeks. It’s not like the others.

Chanukah parties take place all over the country but even the family party can be uncomfortable for parents with special children. While their siblings rejoice in the annual get-together, relaxed, enjoying each other’s company, the special needs parent cannot relax for a moment. Her sister worked hard on a fun kids’ activity. Will her child overturn the perfectly set-up table resulting in children’s tears and adults’ pitying stares? The cousins grab hands. They have plans. They want to put on a choir for the adults and are running down to the basement to practice. They don’t mean to be cruel when they don’t invite her child but her heart cries. She tries to comfort him   as her tears mingle with his. Continue reading This One is for Us!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Giving at the Workplace for Federal Employees via CFC

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. Continue reading Giving at the Workplace for Federal Employees via CFC

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Giving at the Workplace: CFC for Federal Employees

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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. Continue reading Giving at the Workplace: CFC for Federal EmployeesFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Special Children/Special Parents

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Jeeping at Ezer Mizion’s summer Camp for Special Children

Some special children have very special parents indeed! Ayelet Sanens is a person of many facets. She is a pre-school teacher by profession who devotes hours to preparing the presentation of a concept to her tiny charges. She fully understands the educational benefit of breaking down ideas based on her vast experience with her special needs daughter, Tamar. Of an outgoing personality and a sense of responsibility, she is an active member of the community, initiating and supporting worthwhile communal functions. In addition, she tries to publicize, wherever she goes, the need to recycle household items to protect the environment. Often heard from Ayelet by her friends: ‘Don’t buy it unless you need it and, once you do buy it, recycle it when your family no longer has any use for it.’

It’s not often that all of these facets come together as they did in the recent Ashdod Environmental Preservation and Recycling Fair.

Aware of the many special needs children who can benefit from Ezer Mizion’s special summer program in Ashdod, she brainstormed and came up with an ‘out of the box’ idea of promoting her opinions on recycling to raise funds for these kids. Thus was born Ashdod’s amazing Environmental Preservation and Recycling Fair!

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Ahdod Recycling Fair to Benefit Ezer Mizion’s summer Camp for Special Children

Items on display included toys, cosmetic products, costume jewelry, clothing, household items, and more, all tastefully and attractively arranged in booths.

The event brought the Ashdod residents closer together as they rallied to provide a much-needed communal program.  In attendance at this charming event, in addition to the local residents, were the Education Department supervisor and other local municipal staff representatives.

The creative event was enjoyed by all, and the proceeds will be put to good use: helping to finance Ezer Mizion’s summer repertoire for Ashdod’s children with special needs. These children have been benefiting enormously from Ezer Mizion’s newly expanded program serving children with special needs in the local area and the surrounding region, under the able direction of Mrs. Estie Koenig.

Ezer Mizion has long been in the forefront of providing services for special needs children throughout the country. Ezer Mizion’s Beit Chana Activity Clubs provide supervision and constructive activity in four major cities in Israel for children with special needs after school hours, weekends and holidays.

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Special Needs Kids Visiting the Kosel and Pouring Out their Heart in a Very Special Way

Ezer Mizion’s training courses provide Developmental Aides with the fundamental concepts and techniques of speech, occupational and physical therapy, enabling them to provide this therapy under the direction of professionals. .Because early intervention is crucial for children with developmental difficulties, Ezer Mizion offers subsidized physical, occupational and speech therapy to children from birth through age eight. Through Ezer Mizion’s unique Developmental Aide program families are offered these therapy sessions at a minimal cost.

Ezer Mizion’s network of special needs summer camps has grown to include camps to service thousands of children with physical handicaps, brain damage, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, autism, blindness, deafness and emotional disorders. For these youngsters, Ezer Mizion’s summer camps are the highlight of the entire year.

Fifteen thousand hostings by respite programs and twenty day care centers for children are more of  the many ways Ezer Mizion attempts to increase the child’s chances of reaching his full potential and to alleviate the plight of families dealing with special needs.Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Special Children – Special Opportunities

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Special Needs- Special Opportunities

In a quiet moshav, an enigmatic natural phenomenon is going on. Unfathomable chessed is being done by youths who have chosen to enable parents and families of special-needs children to vacation.

Bein Hazemanim (vacation). Families are on the road from here to there. Yeshivas are traveling to summer camp. And those who aren’t — go out on day trips, looking for a change of atmosphere, at the seaside or on trails throughout our beautiful Land of Israel, to gather strength for the year to come. Continue reading Special Children – Special OpportunitiesFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Bein Hazemanim Break: Perfect Opportunity to Build Character

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Special Children – Special Opportunities

In a quiet moshav, an enigmatic natural phenomenon is going on. Unfathomable chessed is being done by youths who have chosen to enable parents and families of special children to vacation.

Bein Hazemanim (vacation). Families are on the road from here to there. Yeshivas are traveling to summer camp. And those who aren’t — go out on day trips, looking for a change of atmosphere, at the seaside or on trails throughout our beautiful Land of Israel, to gather strength for the year to come. Continue reading Bein Hazemanim Break: Perfect Opportunity to Build CharacterFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

The Ezer Mizion Family

 

pr inv ty 2 pr inv ty 1It seems like it was just yesterday that we were זוכה to make both Meir’s בר מצוה and Tamar’s בת מצוה together with עזר מציון. Those two nights stand out in our minds as the most special and inspiring moments in our lives. The exciting, enthusiasm and pure joy of the saintly נשמות of the children of the Beit Chana Activity Club and B’Lev Sameach camps remains tangible and real to me. Tears swell up in my eyes every time I flip through the photo albums and recall the energy and love that I felt on those magical evenings. Those events were true שמחות and a קידוש השם, as we celebrated the milestone with the עזר מציון family.   Continue reading The Ezer Mizion FamilyFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail