‘Each child is born with its unique value. It’s up to society to ensure that his development enables him to succeed to the limits of his potential.’ Thus spoke Naftali Bennet, Minister of Education in Israel at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Master’s Program at Chemdat Hadarom. Continue reading Ezer Mizion Partners with Chemdat Hadarom for Special-Needs Children
Registration was underway. Name. Address. Phone. Room assignment. More lines to be filled out on an inanimate, impersonal form. But there before me stood not line items but people. A group came forward. Children gathered around a Mommy like frisky kittens tumbling over themselves trying to find a place. But the Mommy? The center. Their source of sunshine. Their source of life. The Mommy stood there, her skin translucent. So weak. So helpless. While her children clamored only for the normal requests of childhood, Sara was engaged in a battle for her life. A monster named Cancer had robbed her children of a nurturing Mommy. To admire a drawing, to kiss away a boo-boo…oh, how she longed to perform these motherly privileges once again. But she couldn’t. She felt like a shaky plant that will collapse completely unless surrounded by sturdy props. That’s why she registered in Ezer Mizion’s Summer Camp for Families dealing with Cancer. Its staff and volunteers would be the props to hold her up while she gave her children a much-needed dose of “Mommy”. Continue reading Rx: Fun
Summer is winding down and with it, Ezer Mizion’s summer camp program. “It’s very fulfilling,” says Aharon Levy, senior Ezer Mizion administrator upon the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Camp Program. This year about 4,000 participated in the day camps and retreats, 4,000 special needs children, special needs young adults, families dealing with cancer, mentally disabled and physically disabled. The common denominator of all the summer camp programs was the tremendous challenge posed every day and each hour of camp, which demanded comprehensive and uncompromising logistics, single-minded commitment, devoted staff and a cadre of enthusiastic volunteers.
“Here where I stand,” says Aharon Levy, “about 400 girls with special needs are enjoying a safe and professional retreat here, which accommodates all their unique requirements. The volunteers –one, sometimes two, for each child– underwent special training that taught them exactly what they would have to do. Continue reading Summing it All Up
One of the most popular movies in the eighties was about a family who spent summers at a resort. As a teenager, I watched the movie over and over again. How I envied that family and their annual trip to the resort!
Twenty-five years later, it was I who was making that trip. Continue reading Giving by Yasmin Cohen
Sequel to Rx: Fun ( a description of Ezer Mizion’s Summer Camp for Families dealing with Cancer)
“My 7 year old daughter has been sick for the past 5 years. She never smiles anymore.” His voice broke. For several moments, he couldn’t speak. With tears streaming down his face, he continued, “Yesterday she smiled!” He could not stop telling me how enveloped with caring he and his wife and the other children feel at camp. “It’s like someone wrapped us in a soft blanket, and is gently stroking us and healing our emotional wounds.”
It was indeed little Gitti who smiled at camp. Her parents and siblings smiled too and laughed with her, holding on to her waning strength and her life that was ebbing away.
This past Tuesday, just two days ago, little Gitti woke up and gently announced to her parents and siblings: “Today is my last day in this world.”
Seeing the great distress and pain that she was in, her parents urgently called her doctor and asked him to come right away. By the time he arrived at their home, she had closed her eyes forever…
השם נתן והשם לקח – יהי שם השם מבורך…
Ezer Mizion is with the family at this very sad and difficult time, glad that we were able to fortify them only three short weeks ago at our summer camp with relief and respite ahead of this terrible loss.
May we share good news only!
Mira was a bit overwhelmed to see us and started to cry hysterically but she is settling back in to being with us. I think it was a mix of realizing camp was over, realizing she missed us and wondering why the heck we left her for a week. Rachel said Mira did not cry at all at camp so I know this was just the transition and those are often challenging for Mira.
Rachel, her counselor, was beyond fabulous! I would love to take her home and I wish that all of our sitters were more like her. She has incredible energy with a beautiful sense of calm and confidence. Mira had one seizure while at camp and it sounds like it was handled as well as it could have been.
We also had a great week with our boys and our youngest even got to experience one day and night where he was the only child which never happens.
So many thanks!
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
Ezer Mizion Retreat 5774 – Continued
Shalom dear readers!
I already told you about the first days of the retreat. There was so much going on that I couldn’t finish it last time I wrote .
On Monday morning, there was a learning session with Yair Avitzur, the head of our group, and he prepared us for the public test that would take place on the last day of the retreat. I usually do ok but all that prep certainly doesn’t hurt. Continue reading CP Won’t Stop Me! part two
Thanks and Best Wishes to Ezer Mizion’s Chessed Empire
Words cannot express the superb level we were treated to at the recent Ezer Mizion retreat for families with a loved one suffering from cancer – and all this at no cost. Everything was so perfect; they did not forget even the most minute detail in their goal to give participants the best possible vacation.
The varied meals, enjoyable and fantastic programs, pool, jeep ride, the wonderful Shabbat in which they invested untold effort, with a performance by Srulik Hershtik and his choir and Reb Yosele Eisenbach for the children, amazing attractions, and the shirts with the Ezer Mizion logo that all the children wore, looking like one unified Ezer Mizion family…
The special staff of girls who helped out the families and the technical staff that worked around the clock… and especially to the one who stands at their head, Rabbi Chananya Chollak shlita, along with all the rest.
You gave us a lot of strength. With deepest appreciation, may you receive all the blessings of Hashem!
A family struggling with cancer
Day camps for sick children, special-needs young adults, and special-needs girls, a sleep-over camp for teens – and that’s just a partial list * Last summer, Ezer Mizion ran no fewer than thirteen different day-camps and retreats for 2347 children and patients and their families * “For us, it’s not just a vacation – it’s fuel for the whole year,” sums up one of the mothers * On the threshold of the 2014 summer programs, we went out to hear about it first-hand from both sides – both from the organizers and volunteers, and from the parents of sick children who went out to charge their batteries.
From time immemorial, “summer” and “camp” have gone hand in hand. “Kayta,” the root of the word “kaytana” (the Hebrew word for camp) means “summer” in Aramaic. When we hear the word “camp,” we immediately think of frolicking children, attractions and trips, counselors hoarse from singing, and the characteristic scent of water parks.
But when you say “Ezer Mizion camps,” an important component is tacked on to this association: Participants in these camps belong to one of the special population groups for whom camp is not just a way to pass the long summer vacation, but rather – and primarily – a “gas station” where they can refill their tank with physical and emotional energies. These are people whom life has presented with complex struggles, and the major contribution that the summer programs grants them is expressed throughout the year that follows, until… the next summer camp.
We went out to survey five out of the thirteen summer retreats and day camps operated by Ezer Mizion in the summer of 2013 from up close, and we returned absolutely awestruck. Continue reading “In This Camp, There’s No Room for Sadness”