American Friends of Yad Eliezer/B’ezri is well known as one of the most reliable Jewish charities to donate to, dedicatedly working to carry out countless acts of chesed through our diverse programs. (Thank you, wonderful donors!)
Those who know us know that our most common types of assistance come in forms that include food support (during the year, for holidays and for babies), help for bar mitzvahs and weddings, assistance for single mothers and Almanos, job training, electricity and winter warmth support and others. So many different programs under one roof!
We often get feedback from recipients and the gabbei tzedaka that help us coordinate those programs in cities throughout the country. When we heard from one of them a few days ago, thanking us for helping a needy family in his community we were happy, of course. But as we continued to read his letter, we discovered we had helped them in an especially unique way, one we don’t hear that often-but one that had a vital result: the rebuilding of a family.
I wanted to tell you about a story that happened in our kehilla.
Rav R. and his wife live in our neighborhood. They have several children and were unfortunately separated for months. Many tried to help them work out their issues so they could get back together but after a while, people gave up.
It was suggested to Rav R. that he and his wife go to counselling. He was discouraged, though; he felt nothing could really help them. And besides, he already had a hard time financially and struggled to get by every day. He had no money for therapy and he didn’t want to borrow (again!) from his family. They had already helped him many times.
Around Chanukah time, Rav R. heard that B’ezri was providing support for single parents and those who were separated. Rav R. decided to apply for help, too, and thankfully, he was assisted.
After some thought Rav R. decided to use the funds for something he badly needed but couldn’t afford: therapy - so he could give it - and his marriage - a chance. He and his wife started counselling and found it to be very helpful. Rav R.’s family noticed his enthusiasm and they contributed to the costs, too.
Just last week, I received a slice of cake from Rav R.’s father. I asked him, ‘To what do I owe this honor?’ He happily told me ‘My son and his wife are back together! It’s like the Chuppah day for us!’
And just this morning I saw, with my own eyes, the happy couple taking their son to school. If only I had a camera to capture the moment!”