Chai Lifeline Families Set Sail into Chanukah Spirit with Simcha Cruise

Children with serious illness and their families got into the Chanukah spirit with Chai Lifeline’s first-ever Simcha Cruise on Sunday night, November 21. More than 1,200 participants from across the tri-state area enjoyed delicious food, exciting games and activities, and breathtaking Hudson River views of the New York skyline and Statue of Liberty aboard the three-story luxury yacht. The Chanukah Party was sponsored by Cross River Bank.

“One of the messages of Chanukah is about bringing light to the darkness,” said Rabbi Simcha Scholar, CEO of Chai Lifeline. “The mission of Chai Lifeline is to help bring light to those that are in the darkness. To bring joy, happiness, and support to those who need it most. This Chanukah party exemplifies all that our dedicated staff and volunteers do throughout the year on behalf of our families.”

Following a buffet dinner, children took part in arts and crafts, face painting, magic and bubble shows, prize giveaways, and more. Yitzy Haber of The Shnitzel Guys emceed the jam-packed party, which featured a comedy stunt show by Wacky Chad and a rocking concert by Yoni Z.

“We all had a great time!” said one Chai Lifeline mother. “The kids—and us—enjoyed the loads of entertainment. They were so happy with all you had in store for them. There was something for everyone. Our kids look forward to this all year. They may be little, but they are not too little to feel your love!”

“Not only did all my children have such a great time but they also came away from this with a more meaningful look on life,” said another mother. “Thank you for making Chanukah so special for our entire family!”

Chanukah parties and events will take place across Chai Lifeline’s various U.S. and international regions and more than 50,000 toys will be distributed to children and families around the world this Chanukah season.

Chai Lifeline is a leading international children’s health support network, providing critical support to children with life-threatening and lifelong illnesses and their families. To learn more or to make a donation, visit www.chailifeline.org

Chai Lifeline West Coast to Celebrate A Night of Champions at December 15 Virtual Gala

Chai Lifeline West Coast presents its first-ever virtual gala on Wednesday, December 15 at 8 PM. The program, titled “A Night of Champions” will honor Los Angeles residents Drs. Atara and Dael Geft and the Ellman family, and will pay tribute to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The online event will feature guest appearances by comedian Elon Gold and Jeopardy! Host Mayim Bialik. 

“The story of Chai Lifeline and the tremendous impact we have on children and families dealing with illness and loss is one of community,” said Director of Chai Lifeline West Coast, Randi Grossman. “This Gala is a tribute to our community of champions who make the life-changing work of Chai Lifeline possible.”  

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Cancer Survivor Runs For Charity

While tens of thousands of runners prepped and waited for the NYC Marathon on Sunday, November 7, one runner, 28-year-old Jonah Adelsberg, looked forward to a special milestone just three days later.  

November 10 marked 20 years since Jonah was diagnosed with non-Hodgins lymphoma at age 8, and when he began mentally training for a marathon.

Now managing a music studio in Brooklyn, NY, Jonah dedicated his marathon run to raise funds for Chai Lifeline, the international health network that provides a network of support services for children and families facing serious illness and other challenges. Over the years he and his father ran numerous half-marathons with Team Lifeline, Chai Lifeline’s endurance training program, raising over $100,000 for the organization that he credits with helping him get through his personal health crisis. This was Jonah’s first full marathon, and where better to run it than at the famed NYC Marathon, a bucket list item for Jonah and millions of others.

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Camp Simcha Alumnus Runs Marathon

Among the thousands of runners in the New York Marathon, there are countless stories of courage and motivation that bring them to the starting line.  But for 24-year-old Yitzi Teichman, the path to this moment has been nothing short of miraculous and motivated his run with the Chai Lifeline team, the organization that he says helped him get through his personal ordeal.

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Former and Current Camp Simcha Campers and Staff Celebrate Alumni Day

More than 500 former Camp Simcha campers, counselors and staff, along with their families, celebrated Alumni Day on Sunday, July 29 at Camp Simcha’s Glen Spey, New York campus. Participants enjoyed an array of interactive activities and programming with current campers and staff, as well as the opportunity to catch up with old friends and familiar faces.

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Chai Lifeline’s Annual Report Summarizes What We Do Every Day

Our 2017 Annual Report is more than a summary of numbers. In language and design, the Report clearly and succinctly describes the impact that our programs and services have on more than 5,400 children and families around the world.

Read it here.

Camp Simcha Prepares for Its Largest Season Ever

Camp Simcha gets ready for its biggest season ever.

Camp Simcha gets ready for its biggest season ever.

In the words of a well-known politician, “It’s going to be HUGE!”

That’s the advance word on this summer at Camp Simcha/Camp Simcha Special, the overnight summer camp designed to meet the medical and social needs of children and teens with a wide variety of serious illnesses. read full story

“It Could Happen To Me”: When the Volunteer Becomes the Client

boy 2When Nechama Greenberg* was 13 years old, she began taking care of a young cousin who had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. He lived in her area and Nechama quickly learned all aspects of his medical situation, sometimes sleeping in his room in case of an emergency. It was through him that she first became introduced to Chai Lifeline. She would often shadow him at their events, and constantly met volunteers who would visit while he was in the hospital. Eventually, the summer after seminary, Nechama spent her first of three summers as a Camp Simcha counselor and she became involved through-out the year as well. read full story

Chai Lifeline Brings Chanukah to 10,000 Across the Globe

There were latkes and sufganiyot, desserts and delightful gifts at every Chai Lifeline Chanukah event this year. But what people came for – and found in abundance – were the distinctive Chai Lifeline friendship, camaraderie and support that will help them cope with the crises and challenges of living with illness or loss in their homes.

“Chanukah is a joyful season that we all look forward to,” explained Rabbi Simcha Scholar, the organization’s international executive vice president. “Unfortunately, there are myriad situations that affect the joy that families expect to experience. Some children will be in the hospital, which means that their siblings will be forced to celebrate without them. Others will be ill, but at home. Some will be saddened by the illness or loss of a sibling or parent.  Our mission this time of year is to make sure that no child is forgotten, and every child’s celebration is enhanced.”

The organization goes all out this time of year. Chai Lifeline offices around the globe put their distinctive spin on the holiday. read full story

1100 Show Support for Chai Lifeline at 2017 Annual Gala

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The 2017 Annual Gala celebrating the work of Chai Lifeline internationally was an evening of laughter and tears, amazement and awe.

Master Mentalist Lior Suchard astounded us with his abilities. At one point, two members of our audience multiplied several numbers important only to them. When they revealed the number on their cellphone, he revealed the number on a huge scroll. when the scroll was turned upside down, the numbers spelled out “Chai Lifeline.”

We were brought to tears by the hauntingly beautiful “We Are Strong: The Faces of Hope,” written by Malky Storch, Bracha Goldstein and Miriam Storch. They sang the song to their beloved sister, Hudis, as she lay dying. It was sung publicly for the first time by 8th Day at the Gala. read full story

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