New York – Emotions ran high Sunday at the Inspirational Evening to Celebrate and Benefit Chai4ever as hundreds of members of the Monsey community, led by their rabbonim, came together in support of this vital organization. The event, held at the home of Warren and Amy Katzman, was attended by community leaders from every Monsey neighborhood. Attendees enjoyed a high-end wine tasting from Baron Herzon Wineries and an exclusive performance by singer Mendy J.
Rabbi Shmuel Zaks, Executive Vice President and founder of Chai4ever, explained the unfortunate reality that families face when a parent is diagnosed with a life threatening illness. He described Nechama, a mother of six from Passaic, NJ as “one of my heroes, waging a multi-year battle with cancer. Every time I meet her, she always has a smile on her face.” Prior to her family’s involvement with Chai4ever, Nechama’s 12 year old son would get nervous and literally turn pale each morning when it came time to leave for yeshiva. Nechama told Rabbi Zaks, “I asked him ‘Chaim, what is the issue?’ He responded, ‘Mommy, I am afraid that when I come home today, you will no longer be here.’But you and Chai4ever,” Nechama continued, “have made it okay. Chai4ever’s help and support gives my children the feeling that they are not alone, and that somehow everything will be alright.”
The sentiment was echoed by Rav Yehoshua Horowitz, Rav of the Bostoner Kehilla of Monsey who expressed hakaras hatov, “Thank you Chai4ever for always being there to hold our hands. You have been with my family every step of the way, providing the support we so desperately need with compassion and care and working together to figure out what is best for our family.”
Rav Dovid Weisberger, Mashgiach of Yeshiva Bais Mikroh, described the toll that illness is taking on his family and how Chai4ever makes the struggle easier to bear. “This organization is more directly aimed at being mechazek a person’s spirit than any other organization. I have never seen anything like it. Chai4ever gives what the Torah says can sustain a person through a machla.”
Incredibly inspired and moved by the plights of families in their community, attendees took immediate action by increasing pledges, many even doubling previous commitments.
“Chai4ever is now facing an immense challenge,” implored Rabbi Zaks. “We must ensure that each Chai4ever family has what it needs to not only make Pesach but to appreciate cheirus despite parental illness.”
Over 500 families currently benefit from Chai4ever programs and services throughout the United States and Israel, including 37 families from the Monsey community. This event gave chizuk and support to these patients and their children.
Boruch Hashem, tens of thousands of dollars have been raised thus far, and hopefully more will be forthcoming, so that the devoted Chai4ever professional staff can continue providing hope, strength and spirit to families suffering through parental illness.