A Tribute to Donny Morris a”h and the i-Shine Community

Submitted by an anonymous i-Shine Teaneck parent

Last Friday, I went for a walk in the rain.  As the rain poured down on me and the wind blew hard against my face, I felt as though the earth was feeling my emotions with me.  And I still was yet to make the even more personal connection to sweet Donny Morris a”h.  In her eulogy, Donny’s mother sought to capture the essence of her beloved son and cited qualities and experiences to be remembered.  Among them was his devotion to i-Shine, Chai Lifeline’s afterschool program for children living with illness or loss in their family.  Donny, it turns out, spent his high school senior year hanging out twice a week after school with my children.  I feel it is befitting to note, from my perspective, what that meant.

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Mothers of Chai Lifeline

Chai Lifeline pays tribute to our heroic mothers in honor of the upcoming Mothers Day

Ora Lasko, Chai Lifeline Southeast

Suspecting that there is something wrong with your child is something that keeps you up late at night worrying. But actually receiving the news that there IS in fact something wrong with your child is enough to break a parent’s heart. 

Getting the news that our son, Jake, had a rare genetic mutation called Hao-Fountain Syndrome at only eight months old completely turned my world upside down. In all the ways I’ve imagined my life, I have never thought having a special needs child would be part of the picture. It was something that I had to quickly learn to process and accept and then we had to figure out how our family was going to adapt to this diagnosis and how we were going to change our priorities.

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In Days Following Meron Tragedy, Signs Emerge of Mental Health Impact in Communities Across the Globe

Chai Lifeline’s Crisis Intervention Team Responding to Hundreds of Requests Per Day

Despite occurring in a relatively remote location in Northern Israel, the global impact of the tragedy in Meron, the most devastating civilian disaster in Israel’s modern history, is like few tragedies in recent memory.  Both the very extent of the losses and injuries and the fact that a beloved annual Lag Baomer celebration turned into a horrific event, is leading to an uptick in requests for mental health support in Jewish communities and schools across the globe.

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Coping With The Tragedy in Meron

Rabbi Dr. Dovid Fox, director of Project Chai, the crisis intervention, trauma, and bereavement department of Chai Lifeline, offers practical suggestions and guidelines following the horrific tragedy in Meron. If you have any questions or are in need of guidance, contact Project Chai’s 24-hour crisis hotline at 855-3-CRISIS or email crisis@chailifeline.org.

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Chai Lifeline Midwest Launches “Community of Hope” Campaign on May 9

36-hour fundraiser will benefit local children with serious illnesses and their families

Chai Lifeline Midwest will launch it’s 36-hour “Community of Hope” campaign on Sunday, May 9 at 12 PM CT to help local children and families confronting illness and loss. The funds raised will benefit Chai Lifeline families in Chicago and throughout the Midwest, providing them with more than two-dozen, year-round Chai Lifeline programs and services, including: case management and counseling, emergency financial assistance, home and hospital respite, transportation to medical appointments, insurance advocacy, big brothers and sisters, i-Shine after school programming, recreational activities and family retreats, peer support groups, Hartman Family Foundation Wish at the Wall trip to Israel for teens, Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special medically supervised summer programs for children with life-threatening and lifelong illnesses, as well as the newly-launched Chicago-based Camp Simcha Without Borders.

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Chai Lifeline Delivers Simcha to Thousands This Purim

While every family looks forward to celebrating Purim, the work involved in preparing for the joyous holiday can oftentimes be stressful. For families living with pediatric illness, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic, this time of year can be especially challenging. Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health network, offers a variety of programs and services to help its nearly 6,000 children and families with their everyday needs and truly enjoy their Purim.

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Jack Tabbush Named Director of Camp Simcha Without Borders

Chai Lifeline welcomes Jack Tabbush as the inaugural director of Camp Simcha Without Borders. Launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, Camp Simcha Without Borders was developed to safely and innovatively deliver the magic of Camp Simcha to children and communities across the country. 

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This Purim, Send Something Meaningful, Convenient, and Safe

With Purim fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about mishloach manos. This year, Purim falls out on Erev Shabbos, February 26. No doubt, we will all be busy getting the kids into their costumes, running to megillah leining, preparing for the seuda, and so much more. In addition, this year we are confronted with celebrating Purim during a pandemic.

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Chai Lifeline Southeast Welcomes Matthew Weisbaum as New Director

Chai Lifeline is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Weisbaum as director of its Southeast Region. Weisbaum, who previously served as the director of the Florida chapter of Yachad – The National Jewish Council for Disabilities and as managing director of Jerusalem U, brings a track record of proven success in the nonprofit world.

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Chai Lifeline Shines Bright This Chanukah

While the COVID-19 pandemic has made the past year extremely difficult, children—and the children of Chai Lifeline in particular—have had to confront their own set of challenges. For many, that meant a rough and tumultuous year of lockdowns, quarantines, Zoom school, and socially distanced activities. Chai Lifeline made sure that our kids and their families would finish 2020 on a much brighter note, with an incredible, smile-filled, action-packed Chanukah season.

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