Rabbanim and communities across Lakewood and its surrounding areas opened their homes and hearts for Chai Lifeline’s children, spreading joy and hope in the face of medical challenges and loss. It’s the consistent outpouring of communal support that enables Chai Lifeline to be there for every family facing illness and crisis. Following are some recent highlights of communities uniting to be there for children in their challenging times.
Achim B’Yachad Shabbaton Hosted by the Fischl Family
Close to 40 children battling illness experienced an unforgettable Shabbos at the Fischl home on December 23-25. The Shabbaton provided the children of Achim B’Yachad, a division of Chai Lifeline focused on supporting Chasidish children and their families, with 72 blissful hours to be carefree children again. Palpable joy and spirited camaraderie defined every part of the 3 uplifting days.
“Watching dozens of children with shining faces forge lifelong friendships and memories was moving beyond words,” said Rabbi Sruli Fried, MSW, director of Chai Lifeline NJ/PA. “Observing the Fischl family, which was intimately involved in every step of planning and running the Shabbos, attend to every last detail was a true inspiration.”
Camp Simcha Shabbaton Hosted by the Frenkel Family and Toms River Community
On January 7-8, Mr. and Mrs. Yechiel Mayer (a.k.a. Franky) Frenkel, along with the Toms River Community hosted an unforgettable Chai Lifeline Shabbaton for 70 Camp Simcha boys and staff. Beautiful baalei tefillah, delicious catered meals and an uplifting musical Melava Malka were highlights of the Shabbos.
“The Toms River community in general and Franky, specifically, are not just hosts, but rather partners,” said Chai Lifeline NJ Director of Community Services Rabbi Aharon Koslowitz. “They were involved in every detail and got to know each individual counselor and camper. They welcomed everyone as extended family.”
L’Chain Pe’er Rabbanus Training
Rabbi Fried trained participants of L’Chain Pe’er, a Rabbanus Training program under the leadership of Rabbi Moishe Katz from BMG, on how to support families in times of illness and crisis.
“It was inspiring to see the next generation of Rabbanim focus on how to reach out to families in need and on the nuances of how to best support them during challenging times,” said Rabbi Sruli Fried, MSW, director of Chai Lifeline NJ/PA. Two hours packed with instructive guidance gave the Rabbanim a practical toolkit on how to be a truly helpful, guiding presence in a family’s darkest moments.