Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Behind the Scenes at Ezer Mizion with its Founder, Chananya Chollak Part 2 of a Three Part Series

March 14, 2018


Rav Chollak - child brocha

Rav Chananya Chollak chuckles when he recalls the modest beginnings of Ezer Mizion in 1979 during his shana rishona.

“Everything was done out of our little apartment. The “receptionist” sat in the kitchen or the children’s bedroom. I sat in a cubicle of sorts at the entrance, and in the half-room sat the people waiting for consultations. Volunteers came to us to work on meals for distribution and they organized themselves in the bedrooms. The medical equipment that we gave out was stored in our home, although how it fit, I cannot imagine. The house was wide open to everyone – people in need, volunteers –  all the time.

“Three years later, we felt that the apartment had become too small to accommodate the needs of Ezer Mizion and that the time had come to expand the work of the organization in an orderly manner. We moved to a larger apartment but the organization quickly outgrew that, too. A philanthropist helped us buy the apartment next door. Later on, we rented a few more such places around the city and Ezer Mizion continued providing services for its existing departments and developing further, without a stop. We’ve come a long way, baruch Hashem.”

 At the start, meals were delivered by the Chollaks and their friends to a handful of families. Today, hundreds of meals are delivered each day to family members spending their days at the bedside of a loved one in the hospital. Meals are also provided to afternoon programs for special children, and to families whose exhaustive attention to a patient does not allow them to cook for the rest of the family.

Today, Ezer Mizion works from a countrywide deployment of 57 branches. In addition to the original departments, Ezer Mizion now includes the loan of medical equipment, a hydrotherapy pool, a center for medical counseling and referrals, a division for social services, day nurseries for special needs children, a child development division, assistance for families dealing with mental health challenges, programs for the elderly and more. The organization has a network of over 25,000 volunteers throughout the country. The Bone Marrow Registry, the largest Jewish registry in the world, has close to a million registrants and has facilitated 2700 life-saving transplanted around the globe.

Twelve and Four Equal Sixteen

Not only are Rav Chananya Chollak’s  work hours, which include nights, Shabbos, Yom Tov, geared to chessed but even his personal life He is the father of 16 children, four of them adopted.

“I met them in the course of my work at Ezer Mizion. There was a family of immigrants from Iran. Adjusting to a new country can be hard enough. This family found themselves to be living in a nightmare when the mother was stricken with cancer. There were four little children. I came for a home visit and saw the terrible poverty in which they lived. The refrigerator was totally empty. We brought volunteers to help with the child care and delivered daily hot meals for the family that had been living on almost nothing. We provided medical advice and referrals regarding the mother’s treatment. But, sad to say, two years later, she passed away. Things could not get worse, or so we thought until   half year afterwards when the father also died of a brain tumor. The four orphans remained all alone.”

“After the shivah, the oldest daughter, who was then 13 years old, came to me,” he says, and in spite of the many years that have elapsed since, his voice trembles with emotion. “She cried when she told me that they were informed that the plan was to split them up among different institutions. Suddenly, she looked me in the eye and asked, “Maybe you could adopt us…?”

“Let me ask you, can anyone  ignore such a plea?”

“I spoke with my wife and said to her: ‘It is entirely your decision.’ My wife, Leah A’H, the tzaddeket, agreed to take them,” he said with visible admiration.”

Rav Chollak relates very naturally to the four orphans and explains that they are his children in every respect. “They were little orphans who had simultaneously lost father and mother. True, the beginning was not easy as you can well imagine. But our natural children received them with a lot of love and they became an inseparable part of the family. Today the four are already married and we have grandchildren from them,” he says proudly. (To be continued.)

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.




The Boeing Corporation Saves Lives

February 21, 2018

David Ivry

Can one even begin to imagine the helplessness of being in a plane thousands of feet in the air when the plane is no longer responding to the control mechanisms? You  – a tiny speck in the vast sky –  and the hitherto dependable controls now no more than bits of disconnected metal and plastic… alone… exposed…powerless. David Ivry, former Israel Ambassador to the United States, the ninth commander of the Israel Air Force and the first director of the Israel’s National Security Council was a man used to being in control. Yet, he tells of his experience in the scenario described above. “It seemed to be all over. Then I remembered I had one chance: the ejection seat. I used it and I was saved.”


Mr. Ivry compares his terrifying experience with the situation of a patient diagnosed with cancer. All the usual forms of treatment have been tried and have failed. There is only one more chance. That is a bone marrow transplant. But it can only be performed if a DNA match can be found. It probably exists somewhere in the world but how does one go about searching among millions of Jews around the globe? And even if it can be done, will a match be found in time? Before the patient’s condition deteriorates and it can no longer be effective? Before it’s too late?

The Boeing Corporation is committed to community responsibility and has invested in many worthwhile charities. Moneys are given each year and, by the end of the year, used up. That is the way of the world. Money is used and no longer exists. “Giving to Ezer Mizion is different,” says David.  “When our financial outlay funds a life-saving transplant, the money isn’t used up. The investment continues to grow. A life is saved. A child will mature. He’ll marry, produce children of his own. Generations. Eternity.”

pr bmr Boeing donor w child - triumphant - EM background
The Boeing Donor Pool has saved 8 lives including that of little Ivan.

It was under Mr. Ivry’s leadership as President of Boeing-Israel and Vice-President of Boeing International that Boeing invested in a donor pool in Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry. What is a donor pool? For a sum of $30,000, a pool of 600 potential donors is genetically tested. The information remains on the database for decades and is available when a search request comes in for a desperate cancer patient whose last chance to survive is a transplant. When a transplant takes place using a donor whose testing was funded by the pool, the contact is notified with the electrifying words: You have saved a life! The Boeing Donor Pool has already saved eight lives. When the news arrives, an email is sent out and the Boeing office is buzzing with employees running to one another, “Did you hear? Did you hear?”


pr bmr boeing donor w child - thumbs
The donor’s genetic testing was funded by the Boeing Donor Pool and saved Ivan’s life.

One such notification to Boeing told of a small boy – only three years old.  A little boy who, like little boys around the world, has plans, perhaps of becoming a fireman or a policeman when he grows up. But this little boy was afflicted with a life threatening autoimmune disease and was being treated in Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.  It never crossed his tiny mind that he may not grow up at all. But his parents knew.  Each time he spoke of the future – when I’m big can I cross the street by myself? – his parents smiled on the outside but cried rivers of tears inside.


David Ivry’s face glows as he tells of this child. The Boeing Donor Pool funded the genetic testing for Oded Zand, a young man in Israel, and it was he that was found to be the perfect genetic match for little Ivan Woloktyok. Because of the generosity of the Boeing team, Ivan will cross the street by himself one day, he’ll learn to ride a two-wheeler and he’ll grow up and become an adult like all little boys should.


Ivan is five now. He’s a healthy, mischievous ball of fire.  He recently was the star of a meeting between his parents, Oded and 2 key Boeing staff members. While the adults embraced with tears of mutual gratitude, Ivan zoomed around the room, not understanding what all the excitement is about. He’s secure, our little Ivan. Secure in the certainty of the future that awaits him. And that’s exactly the way it should be.


Today, Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry numbers 889,956 potential donors, thanks to whom 2,711 lifesaving transplants have taken place to date. One of the Registry administrators’ most substantial challenges is raising funds to finance tissue typing of the collected samples, a procedure that demands major resources.


Dr. Bracha Zisser, Director of the Registry: “On the one hand, the Bone Marrow Registry enables everyone to be a partner in saving lives, and, on the other hand, it acts as insurance policy, increasing the chances for anyone we know to obtain a transplant, should the need arise. Mutual responsibility is the essence and guiding principle of Ezer Mizion. Thank you to the Boeing Corporation, to all the personalized donor pools at Ezer Mizion’s registry and to all our individual contributors for their noble partnership in our efforts to save lives.”

A Holocaust Survivor Reaches Out to Others

February 14, 2018

holocaust - yellow starAs one who went through the nightmare, Tziporah Abramowitz (77) is more capable than anyone else to connect to the depths of the souls of the holocaust survivors in order to to help them with the emotional challenge of coping daily with the horrible memories, which do not leave them alone for a moment. She has become a beloved volunteer at Ezer Mizion’s social club for holocaust survivors. Her encouragement, her compliments, her ability to engage the members and her weekly presentation on the Parsha all serve to bring that elusive smile to the faces of these elderly victims of a horror that defies description.

Tziporah was one of those saved by Raoel Wallenburg. She was hidden, together with hundreds of children, in the cellar of one of the many buildings rented by Mr. Wallenburg. In the 17trh century there had been a terrible fire in London that killed many. When the “Pest’ section of Budapest was built, it was required that from every building, there would be a way to escape to another building. This area was thus blessed with a network of secret underground escape routes of which the Germans were not aware. When the Gestapo would come to one building, the children were quickly smuggled to another. The escape routes also proved invaluable at the end of the war. The Russians has surrounded Budapest for two months but were afraid to enter the city due to street fighting that would end in death as they were threatened by Hitler. When they were informed of the escape network, the problem was solved. They surprised the Germans and took over Budapest.

We were so weak. I couldn’t walk. My older brother asked a Russian soldier for food and he kindly gave us a loaf of bread even though the soldiers didn’t have much themselves. We lived on that bread for a week. I was so sick with ringworm. The skin all over my body was eroded. The doctor said I needed penicillin to live but there was none. Only in the black market. My father had escaped from the camp and joined the partisans. He was caught and was beaten till his teeth were knocked out. Now that the war was over, he laboriously made his way back to our little village. With him, he brought two things: meat and a gun. With those, we could obtain all our needs. Now my father went to the druggist and told him that he must obtain penicillin for me. If he would, he would receive lard from the meat. If he wouldn’t, he’d receive a bullet. The threat frightened the druggist. When my father returned that night, the druggist had obtained a generous supply of penicillin which saved my life.

“Even though we could have gone to America, my father did not want to live in what he called a foreign land,” continues Tziporah.   ‘It took a long time to reach Eretz Yisroel but Eretz Yisroel was home. Right after the war, people had come to my village and were fed by my mother who prepared huge pots for all the starving Yidden. This is how I was brought up. My home was always a place of chessed. Now it is my turn to give.  I am gratified to be a part of Ezer Mizion, an organization that accomplishes so much.”





Strangers or perhaps…

December 27, 2017

people helping people around globeImagine having an airplane view of the entire world. Not only the world but of generations. What would you see? You’d immediately notice the hubbub in America as Ezer Mizion launches a nationwide campaign to raise funds to sponsor genetic testing for thousands of new potential donors to register at its Bone Marrow Registry. The money pours in. You all give so generously.  The funds are transferred to Israel to pay for the cost of the testing. The genetic data of these young men and women is entered to remain on the database for decades.

Now your eyes flit to the right and you see sadness. Such sadness. Jonathan, a young father in South Africa has just been diagnosed. His children are not even grown yet. There are weddings to dance at. Grandchildren to read stories to. Up until now all this has been taken for granted. But no longer. They will happen but he might not be there. The doctors have tried many treatments. There only remains a bone marrow transplant which cannot take place until a DNA match is found. Right now the procedure can be successful. Later may be too late. His siblings are not a match. Will a match be found among strangers?

There’s a loud buzz. You glance to the left. In Israel, a search is being conducted at Ezer Mizion’s Jewish Bone Marrow Registry.  Emergency. A genetic match is needed for a young father in South Africa. Tension. All eyes are focused on the computer. Then smiles. Excitement. Joy.   Liron, one of the new registrants, is a perfect match.

The news is quickly relayed. The joy spreads across the ocean. Jonathan and his family dance. Once again, happiness reigns in this young home.

And they question.  His siblings were not a genetic match but a perfect stranger is? Is she perhaps not a stranger after all?

From your view above the skies, your eyes travel back…back…back. You see Jonathan’s grandparents living in Latvia, in Lithuania. They have large families. Their children marry and raise their own families.

You spot a young woman in France dissolved in tears. She is Liron’s grandmother. The child she has carried for nine months has died. Or so they tell her. She strongly suspects that the hospital staff is lying. But she is helpless. Was the child alive? Did he grow up and marry a girl whose family originated from Eastern Europe? So many questions. The answers lie hidden in the mysteries of time…

And so Liron, a perfect stranger in Israel – or maybe not such a perfect stranger after all – saved the life of Jonathan in South Africa. It’s twenty months later. His blood counts are perfect and have been since the transplant. He’s planning a vacation in Israel together with his family this Pesach. The highlight will be meeting Liron. The two will talk. They’ll share family history. Perhaps more light will be shed on the mystery then. If so, we will certainly share it with you, dear reader.

But most important, Jonathan’s life has been saved. Liron couldn’t be happier. It is her blood that is flowing through his veins. Perhaps they were strangers before but now they are strangers no longer.


Why Is this Tournament Different from All Other Tournaments?

November 23, 2017

golf 2017 Israel Nimrod-member of team of cancer patients who won first prizeThey won!

Each year, like many organizations, Ezer Mizion holds a golf tournament with proceeds to benefit its major programs. Ezer Mizion’s Eighth Annual Hole In One Tournament took place on November 20 at the Caesaria Golf Course in Israel to benefit its International Bone Marrow Registry which has, thus far, saved the lives of over 2500 patients around the world.

But this year was different!

Not only will the monies raised help cancer patients but the tournament itself created a tremendous lifting of spirits for a small group young men whose daily lives have been clouded over by the anguish of a future unknown. For the first time, a group of cancer patients were invited to create one of the teams competing for the many awards.  A day of fun under the sunny, blue sky was just what ‘the doctor ordered’.  Worries shrunk. Smiles appeared. Jokes. Camaraderie. The spirit was strengthened to better partner with the body in its battle for life. It was a delightful day. But the best was yet to come.

They won!

  1. and his team of cancer patients were the winners of Par 3, First Place. N. was not able to remain for the post-tournament dinner to receive his award as he was scheduled to return to the hospital but Chananya Chollak, founder of Ezer Mizion, made sure that he didn’t miss out on the glory. Rav Chollak personally delivered his trophy in a ceremonious display of tribute. There in his hospital bed, N. was infused with encouragement. Emotionally he felt ready to continue to engage in battle in the Major Tournament for Life. May you, there too, be a winner soon to be holding in your hands the Trophy of Remission.


A Journey We Didn’t Plan Part 3 taken from the diary of Nechama Spielman

November 22, 2017

diary Nechama Spielman

Recap: Nechama has been dealing with her husband’s cancer

Hodu La’Shem. The radiation treatments have helped a lot. The tumor has shrunk which qualifies us for surgery. The remarkable precision of the timing gives us a special feeling. We are slated to go in for surgery right after Rosh Hashanah and to come home for Sukkot. We especially love the mitzvahs of Sukkot, and Yigal was really bothered by the thought that he wouldn’t be able to build our sukkah, the very first year in our new house. With superhuman effort and a lot of help (Help? Yes, there is such a word! We are trying to make friends with it, to learn it, to give ourselves over to it…), Yigal builds a sukkah that will wait for us patiently until we come back. We make our way to Shaare Zedek. Here, all eight of our children were born. We are used to passing through the doorway of this hospital and taking the elevator straight up to the delivery rooms. This time, it’s so different…

Operation. Major. Complicated. Challenging.

Hours of waiting. Tehillim being said in all corners of the country. From “plain Yigal,” he has become “Yigal ben Yaffa.” This name rolls off the tongues of so many people, who, with their prayers, have become a part of us. Eighteen books of Tehillim had been recited by the time the doctor came out to tell us that everything went well. Shvach l’Borei Olom! We experience a very special Yom Kippur in Shaare Zedek. The bet knesset is full of people, of flaming prayers: “Remember us to life, O King who desires life, and seal us in the Book of Life… Our Father , our King! Send a speedy recovery!… Listen to our voice, have compassion on us! … Answer us!”

Hot tears, so, so close to the Throne of Glory. He Who hears the sound of our cry – will You make Your voice heard, He Who knows all hidden things? Healer of all flesh, Father of mercy, will You have mercy on us?

The heart soars. The body is weak. We’re going home. Our sweet, holy sukkah greets us. Yigal goes into it and does not come out for seven days. “Spread upon us the sukkah of your peace, a sukkah of mercy, of life, and of peace.”

Ezer Mizion is everywhere. Meals. Advice. A pat on the shoulder. Rides to and from the clinic. Babysitting. Cleaning help. A volunteer to take the kids on a fun trip. A big brother for the kids to share their feelings with. Fun events for the family to remind us what family time is like…

The body gradually convalesces from the operation, gets stronger, prepares itself for the next objective. Chemo! A half year of it…

Again, trips to the hospital. Again, we leave brave children behind. Again, the body is weakened. Very. The journey looks longer than ever. How fortunate that we have our togetherness, we have each other, and a big, supportive family to fill us with strength.

The Ezer Mizion driver – he’s so much more than a driver –  picks us up, imparting his own brand of strength. He drops us off at Ezer Mizion’s guest home where anything we can possibly want is available including therapy to help us cope. There we recuperate until the next round. Again and again and again…

To be continued.

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over

For further info:                   718 853 8400                          5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219



Their Role/ Our Role

October 25, 2017

Womn Driving A CarI’ll admit it. I had a negative thought there for a moment. I picked up a woman at one of the major hospitals and drove her miles to the city in which she lived. For an instant, I couldn’t help wondering why she called for a volunteer. Couldn’t she have gone by bus?  She looked fine, spoke in an upbeat manner, even joked a bit. I’m happy to help people out. After all, that’s why I joined Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life but from what I could see, I wondered if she really needed help.


That’s when I realized what was going on. It was an act. An act for her children and her husband who joined us for part of the trip, for her elderly mother who was waiting at the doorstep and perhaps… even for herself. It was an act she put on after every chemo session to convince those around her that everything was fine. She did it so well that she almost fooled even me. But I saw the in-between times. From my rear view mirror, I could see when she let down her guard, not realizing that anyone was there to see. I saw the fear in her eyes, I saw the tear that was immediately wiped away in the privacy of the back seat. I saw her clenched fists as she got ready to leave the car and I heard the catch in her voice as she brightly asked her mother how the babysitting had gone.  I heard her mother joke about little Moishe who ate everything but his peas which he used to paint the kitchen wall. For one tiny instant, her mother’s smile faltered but it was immediately put back in its place…that brave lady. Mother, daughter: each one trying to be strong for the other.


I’m told that her compromised immune system does not allow her to use public transportation but even if she could, she is far from healthy enough to do so, in spite of her wonderful act. We at Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life can’t cure the cancer patients that we meet daily. But we can certainly make things easier for them and relieve their suffering at least a little bit. As we provide practical support, we also keep the conversation supportive, offering the proverbial shoulder to lean on. It gives them a feeling of being taken care of which strengthens their spirit and enables them to better fight the battles ahead. We get a lot of feedback about how cared for they feel when riding with us so I guess we’re doing a good job. And so, my dear fellow Linked to Life members, when we hear that beep on our phones, that’s our cue to join the drama and play our roles, offering our own strength and compassion, our arsenal of weapons in the war against a monster named Cancer.


Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.


For further info:        5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219       718 853 8400


Because of You My Children Have an Abba

September 6, 2017

pr pix bmr cells168_ne_photo_b90aaIsn’t every child supposed to have both an Abba and an Ima? Two year old Naomi and her baby brother almost didn’t. Now their mother stood there in tears of joy when she met Aryeh. “Because of you, my children have an Abba,” she cried over and over again.

Who is Aryeh? We’ll let Abba tell that story.

“I was a strong, young man with my whole life ahead of me. I was successful, ambitious and ready to take on the world. Nothing could stop me, so I thought. That was before I heard of those three little letters that could destroy the strongest of men: AML. I was diagnosed four years ago and my life fell apart. I couldn’t even leave the house without assistance.  I felt helpless. Like a newborn infant. A successful day was being able to eat a portion of food and keep it down. My days centered around chemo treatments and blood levels. My future, that had looked so bright, now might not even be…at all. A bone marrow transplant was advised. My doctor contacted Ezer Mizion, the largest Jewish registry worldwide, to see if there was a genetic match for me. I was one of the fortunate ones. They searched through a database that had over 850,000 registered and one was perfect for me.

But things began to look up. The blood levels began to look better. I was told I wouldn’t need the transplant after all. No one can imagine what I felt like. Like ropes that had been tying me to the walls were suddenly loosened. I was free! I could go on with life! I began studying for a B.A. in Machine Engineering, something I had always been interested in, and the world looked bright again.  There would be a future. I would be part of my children’s lives. The sun shone!

Two months later, I was deep into my studies when the bomb fell. My count was up again. The bone marrow transplant would be necessary. Without it…without it…I would…

That’s when I met Aryeh. Not really. I met his bag of stem cells. The hospital had cancelled his first appointment when my count had been good but he dropped everything when he heard that I did need the transplant and made a second appointment.

International law does not allow us to meet for a year or two so the picture in my mind of this very special human being was that of a bag of stem cells. I’m healthy now. We met for the first time, appropriately at Ezer Mizion. “It’s you,” I whispered. “ You have a face, a voice…” and then we fell into each other’s arms, two grown men weeping with deep joy as my wife stood there , her face streaming with tears, crying over and over again, “Because of you, my children have an Abba!”

For further info:              5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219             718 853 8400

She Opened My Heart

August 23, 2017

pr wedding

The gentle, loving glance of a freshly-minted chasan to his kallah as they sit on their new couch together, sharing their innermost thoughts. A special moment made even more special by the newlyweds themselves – two young people born with Downs Syndrome.


Marriage? Impossible, the naysayers had said. How will she…? How can he…?

But with the right kind of assistance, it became possible and many have found the ultimate in fulfillment with several organizations in Israel holding their hand.


How many times did she cry to her mother, I want to marry and have a home like my sisters and brothers. How many times did he look longingly at couples who had a closeness found only in marriage. They both ached to achieve what seemed so out of reach until a phone call was made. And the impossible became not as impossible as their families had assumed.


Lets visit a bit and watch them on their first shopping trip together. Such joy. Such togetherness as they choose the appropriate items from the shelves. Home again. To their own home. Delight as they turn the key and unlock their front door.  They’re hungry and prepare supper. He slices the cucumbers. She slices the egg. The pot is washed clean. The counter sponged to perfection.


But marriage is not about clean counters, you question. Can they relate?


Watch. Watch as she pours the Kiddush wine for her new husband. Their joy is palpable. Watch as they laugh together over the wedding pictures, sharing their own private jokes.  “She worries about my health. She cares about me,” their devoted glance at each other says so much more than his words. He becomes sensitive to her needs and brings her the perfect present to make her happy. She speaks about her marriage and he cannot resist planting a tender kiss on her forehead. He captures the essence of their marriage with the fond words: She opened up my heart.



All parents dream of the day they will accompany their child to the chuppah and see him found a family of his own. But for many parents, bringing that dream to fruition can be a nightmare! When the young man or woman has a condition that casts a shadow on his or her matrimonial future, the path to the chuppah may be strewn, not with rose petals and confetti, but with tears and frustration.

A few years ago Ezer Mizion decided to take up the challenge of advancing matches between people with medical issues. Its tremendous success has led the division to undertake the next step: Special Marriages.


Many such marriages have already been made. The sensitive caring provided by several organizations in Eretz Yisroel have made them a remarkable success. These organizations care for the couple after marriage. They operate and supervise apartments for special needs and provide mentoring for the couples. While these organizations assist after the wedding, none of them deal with the matchmaking, from beginning to end of the process. Ezer Mizion’s Strike A Match Division has recently partnered with them in creating shidduchim between special people.


Penina Raziel directed a Special Ed school for many years and has recently retired. But full retirement was not for a capable, energetic person like Penina and she began looking for a volunteer opportunity that would dovetail with her experience.  She discovered the perfect ‘match’ in heading the Special Department of Ezer Mizion’s Strike A Match Division.


Under Mrs. Raziel’s direction, Ezer Mizion recently held two introductory events, in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. The response was overwhelming.  Although the events were minimally advertised due to the high advertising cost, over 200  attended in Jerusalem and more than 250 in Bnei Brak, participants coming from all parts of the country.


We look forward to sharing many ‘mazel tov’s ‘ with you , our good friends, as the special kol sasson, kol simcha reverberates among the streets of Eretz Yisroel.


To share their joy:



For further info:    5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219         718 853 8400

August 9, 2017

pr pix bmr cells168_ne_photo_b90aaAt 61, Betzalel N. was just beginning grandfatherhood. He had three children and several tiny grandchildren. His drawer was filled with lollipops and his mind was filled with future plans: trips to the zoo with Grandpa, graduations, dancing at their weddings…until the day it all came crashing down. Leukemia. There would be no holding the hand of a grandchild as she gingerly feeds a baby goat at the zoo. Weddings would take place but there would be no glowing Zeidy to dance with the chassan (groom). It was over. He’d be gone. The doctors had tried everything and there was only one procedure left. A bone marrow transplant. If a genetically matching donor could be found somewhere in the world, he’d have a chance. If not, …

Genetics is based on ethnicity and Jews will match other Jews. Ezer Mizion is the largest Jewish registry in the world and has saved over 2400 lives. But even the largest registry is not large enough and for too many, no match is found. Would there be one for Betzalel?

Many years before, Yoni H. had registered with Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry. He had been a young man, still in his late teens. Too young to fully realize what that registration meant. Now his cell phone rang. “This is Ezer Mizion calling. You have been found to be…” Yoni was a mature man now. He fully understood what was at stake. He had questions about the procedure, of course, but never for a moment did he entertain the possibility of saying no.

Yoni and Betzalel met recently at Ezer Mizion. Betzalel brought his children and grandchildren who all wanted to meet the angel who had saved the life of a person he didn’t even know. Perhaps their next meeting will be at the zoo, helping the little ones to feed the goats and sharing the joy of being alive.

Mordechai H. was only 70 when diagnosed with lymphoma. He was active, leading a full life, never thinking that it could come to an end very soon. His family was very worried but he himself didn’t allow his mind come near the truths that had devastated his family. He couldn’t think about it. He just couldn’t. He was paralyzed with fear.

His physicians were aggressive in their battle for Mordechai’s life. Chemo. Various treatments. Nothing helped. In a saga similar to that of Betzalel, with one last chance to survive, Mordechai’s life was saved when a successful bone marrow transplant took place, donated by David P., another Ezer Mizion hero. Two years later, Mordechai enveloped David in a giant bear hug, now allowing his mind to dwell on what could have been had David not taken the few minutes to register so many years before.

For further info:              5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219             718 853 8400