WHO WE HELP
At the Jewish Family Centre we often meet people who tell us heartbreaking stories. When we first heard these stories, we wondered why, in a country like Australia, the Government didn’t provide more assistance. We realised that if the Government couldn’t or wouldn’t help, the community must.
I asked the people directly involved, as well as members of my staff, to find out the maximum help they could get from Government and private benevolent organisations.
The answer was frightening.
There are minimal resources for short-term assistance for these people.
Why We Must Help
3-year-old Danny born with limb deficiencies
Danny was born with deficiencies in both his feet. His right foot is a lot more deficient than the left, as he is missing metatarsals. He has no toes on either foot. As if this weren’t enough, Nurit’s husband left a month after Danny was born.
We were able to arrange a visit from a specialist physio once every week, to provide occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy.
But this wasn’t enough. To bring some stability to the crisis Nurit and her family are going through, an experienced nanny needed to be hired immediately for 3 hours every evening, to do the exercises prescribed by the specialist.
A widow’s hardship
The second story relates to the tragic death of a man in his 50s. His wife and children were, naturally, distraught. Although heartfelt sympathy was being expressed to the family, cold hard cash was desperately needed: to pay the rent and medical and other essential expenses.
This widow has 2 daughters, 5-year-old Sarah and 7-year-old Talia. Both were, of course, traumatised and shocked by the death of their father.
Sarah had developed a fear of losing her mother as well, so she needed to be next to her mother at all times. If the family received financial and emotional support over the next 6 months, we believed we could bring stability and tranquillity back into their home.
Urgent dental treatment and other help
A 7-year-old boy who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome needed urgent help: he needed dental treatment and a teacher’s aide. The parents, who have 4 other children, needed financial support so that they could hire some help and calm the chaos in the house.
The Jewish Family Centre is one of the few Jewish organisations in Sydney or Melbourne that offers cash assistance to families and individuals in crisis. In many cases, we succeed in helping people avoid more painful and costly situations.
You could really make a difference to the lives of these people by supporting them in their darkest hour.
Please use this opportunity to express your thanks to G-d for your own good fortune. I hope you will decide to share the blessings G-d has bestowed on you by opening your generous heart and kind hands to assist the three people I have written about and other people in similar situations.
In return for your kindness, we offer you the blessing the Torah bestows on people like yourself:
‘If there will be a needy person among you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand against your needy brother.
But rather open your hand to him or lend him enough for whatever he needs. Give to him again and again, and do not regret in your heart when you give to him.
For because of this thing the Lord your G-d will bless you in all your works and in all your undertakings.’ (Deuteronomy 15:7–12)
Together we can truly transform the lives of these suffering families.