As Nissan approaches, activities have reached a peak at Chaim V’Chessed. The organization has become a household name for English speakers in Israel, and the amount of cases we receive on a daily basis shows just how valuable we have become. This month, we’ve averaged at 116 cases per week, and over 1200 phone calls came in on our hotline. English speakers from around the country have called and received assistance in situations involving Bituach Leumi, psychiatrics, passports and visas and so much more. Additionally, this month Chaim V’Chessed assisted tourists visiting Israel from places including California, Pennsylvania and England. We look forward to continued growth in the coming months, iy”H!
Highlight This Month
A highlight at Chaim V’Chessed this month was a visit by Rabbi Boruch Ber Bender of Achiezer. Achiezer is the umbrella chessed organization of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway. Like Chaim V’Chessed, the organization utilizes their own and existing community resources to guide and assist callers in crises large or small. It was our pleasure and privilege to meet with Rabbi Bender and discuss how to better service the English-speaking community in Israel.
Noted in Sorrow
Chaim V’Chessed notes with great sorrow the passing of the legendary gabbai tzedaka, Rabbi Chaim Goldberg. Rav Goldberg was a member of the founding board of Chaim V’Chessed. In fact, the organization was established as a zechus for Rav Chaim during his illness, and was actually named as a merit for him.
A Chicago native, Rabbi Goldberg spent the last fifty years searching out and assisting the neediest, most downtrodden residents of Jerusalem. He was familiar with nearly every single legitimate case of poverty in the frum world across Eretz Yisrael. His mind held every detail of a situation, often including names of a client’s children, parents and even grandmothers. Some of the greatest philanthropists in klal Yisrael sent the bulk of their tzedaka money to this quiet, unassuming tzaddik. Rav Chaim never had an organization and never took a salary for his work.
For the past several years, Rav Chaim suffered from a debilitating illness, but he did not allow this to stop him. When he became confined to his home, he established a cadre of gabboim working under him, and continued to direct the tzedaka work unabated. When he was particularly weak or suffering, the solution was always tzedaka. His assistants knew that if he was in pain, all they had to do was enter with a checkbook and a list of aniyim, and his condition would immediately improve.
Yehi Zichro Baruch.