Chareidi Founder of Ezer Mizion, Ponovezh Alumnus, Given Honorary Doctorate By Bar Ilan University


rabbi-chollak-ezer-mizionThe chareidi alumnus of Ponovezh Yeshiva sat draped in a collegiate cap and gown alongside a former Supreme Court Justice, the advisor to the Queen of England, two Chemistry Nobel Prize winners and others who have made history in their fields. Each was honored for their achievements with a doctorate from Bar Ilan University.

“I never planned to make history,” says Rabbi Dr. Chananya Chollak, founder of Ezer Mizion. “I feel good when others feel good. It all began in 1979. I was just married and my father-in-law was ill. He was in and out of hospitals during that first year and I got to see what life is like for the ill. I met a dialysis patient who had to pay for ambulette transportation three times a week. He couldn’t afford it, but what could he do? Dialysis was his lifeline. I got a few friends together and we outfitted a van with the professional equipment that he needed and we all took turns driving him. There was a young girl hospitalized with a life-threatening disease whose parents were running themselves ragged staying at her bedside. I got a few friends to volunteer shifts to give the parents a break. The original eight volunteers have grown to 11,000.”

rabbi-cholak-ezer-mizionRabbi Chollak’s Honorary Doctorate, given at The Annual Congress of Bar Ilan University Board of Trustees, was conferred by Professor Moshe Kava, Bar Ilan University President, and Dr. Mordechai Katz, Chairman of the University Board of Trustees.

The University stated, “Bar Ilan University is proud to confer an honorary doctorate upon Rabbi Chananya Chollak, in recognition of three decades of kindness, selfless giving, and mutual responsibility, in the spirit of our Jewish heritage, as Founder and International Chairman of Ezer Mizion, and as a figure who continues to radiate a personal example of dedication to thousands of volunteers.”

Ezer Mizion is one of Israel’s largest non-profit organizations, assisting hundreds of thousands of ill, handicapped and elderly people in Israel together with their families. In addition to medical treatment for the patient, there are many needs and challenges that cast a heavy burden on the shoulders of family members. Ezer Mizion is there to meet these needs with a broad scope of professional services and programs.

Ezer Mizion responds to about 650,000 requests for assistance every year and coordinates activities of some 11,000 devoted volunteers throughout Israel. The organization distributes about 50,000 hot meals a month. The transport division operates a fleet of 18 ambulances to transport frail, elderly patients and mobility impaired individuals for medical treatments and other purposes, in addition to over a thousand volunteers who drive patients in their private vehicles.

Rabbi Chollak, who, with his wife, Leah, raised sixteen children, four of them adopted, continues to be available at any time to every caller and provides a gleaming, personal example both to his professional staff and to his cadre of volunteers.  

 {Yair Israel}


  1. This is an example of the koach of one person — what one person in a state of chizuk can accomplish. May Hashem bless him with kol tuv selah.

  2. This is an enormous kiddush hashem on all possible levels. Rabbi Chollak is a role model for all that is possible in the Jewish and larger world. This is certainly something beautiful to talk about at the Shabbos table, rather than the un-Shabbos’dik subject of politics. May he and his family continue building zechusim for us all.

  3. As with Rabbi Grossman of Migdal Haemek, shlita, people realize and appreciate when one is acting out of pure ahavas Yisrael.