A Community United


It’s all over now but there was a time when Colonel Uri Cohen and his wife, Nurit did not think they would ever be able to say those words. A year and a half ago, Nurit, a mother of six, was diagnosed with cancer and the sky fell down onto their young lives. Nechalim, the community which was their home, rallied and provided the support that only good friends can provide. At the same time, the Cohen’s grew to know Ezer Mizion, the organization that assisted with every imaginable service and many that they couldn’t imagine. “They knew before we did what our needs would be. They really understood. They really cared.” There was professional therapy of the highest caliber, a suite to live in close to the treatment center, summer camp for the whole family to bond- far, far away from syringes and stethoscopes–, a volunteer to do homework with the kids, another one to take the kids shopping for school supplies, volunteers for this, volunteers for that, retreats, trips, fun-days. Rides to and from the hospital, meals for whoever was staying at the hospital plus for the family at home. The bone marrow registry should the need arise for a transplant. The list goes on and on.
And now it was thank-you time. The Cohen’s decided to host a mesibat hoda’a (a gathering of thanksgiving) for their friends, providing their community with the ultimate gift as an expression of their appreciation: an opportunity to grow even further by becoming partners with Ezer Mizion.
Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Registry is mostly funded by private parties. A donation of $30,000 to fund genetic testing of potential donors creates an Individual Personalized Donor Pool of those whose genetic testing was funded by the donation. When a potential donor from the pool is found to be a match for a cancer patient and a transplant takes place, the contributor is notified with the electrifying words: You have saved a life!
In and new, unique initiative, the Cohens incorporated into their mesiba the concept of a community uniting to save lives. The mesibat hodayah took place in Moshav Nechalim, with the participation of Rabbi David Greenwald, rabbi of the community, Shimon Sousan, head of the Modi’in District Regional Council, and Rabbi Chananya Chollak, International Chairman of Ezer Mizion. Hundreds of people from the moshav, young and old, took part in the moving event and came to rejoice with the Cohen family over the miracle of Nurit’s recovery. Buoyed by a special feeling of mutual responsibility and the desire to become partners in saving lives, the community pledged the substantial sum of 150,000 NIS to the Registry. As a result, the Nechalim Community was privileged to become the first community in Israel to establish a pool of 600 registrants under their name.
“Everyone was swept up by the cause. Each person did what he could for the success of the initiative and it was just wonderful. Even the youngsters donated what they could from their allowance. We explained to them that giving five shekels also makes them a partner in the mitzvah. There was a very uplifting atmosphere, and we felt that as a community together, the sky’s the limit,” Nurit said emotionally.
Ezer Mizion decided to carry forth the innovative project, which Uri calls a “life-saving purchase cooperative,” to other communities across the country. They are seeking other communities who will take up the gauntlet and fund a pool that will carry their community’s name and render all their members partners in saving lives. The project was initially established in the United States with the West Hempstead Community and Belle Harbour Community leading the way.
The community is now looking forward to the phone call that will bind them even closer together: Moshav Nechalim, you have saved a life!
For further info: http://www.ezermizion.org

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