Project Yedid Delivers Joy with Summer-in-a-Box to Yesomim
22 Jun
Project Yedid Delivers Joy with Summer-in-a-Box to Yesomim
Summer's in the air, and amidst the noise, the yesomim wondered if they too could pick up on the notes of cheer. Now, over 700 yesomim are entering the summer with smiles, ready to face it head-on. Project Yedid of Misaskim delivered an exciting summer package to children in over 10 neighbourhoods— complete with chalk, bubbles, a 3D pen, and a ball with a pump. Project Yedid is always concerned for the welfare of the yesomim—during the year and during the summer. That’s why they also enclosed heartwarming envelopes with “shliach mitzvah money”. This money serves to protect the yesomim, since they’re each designated as a special shaliach. Whether the children spend their summer in camp, home, or upstate with family, their summer takes on a higher note when they know they’re thought about and cared for.
A Game Changer in Autopsy Prevention
24 May
A Game Changer in Autopsy Prevention
There have unfortunately been cases of tragic and unusual deaths, r"l. When that happens, the chevra kadisha and other organizations are thrust into dealing with authorities, as they attempt to preserve kavod hames and get the niftar released quickly. Misaskim has always advocated for the prevention of autopsies in the community and has been instrumental in working with the medical examiners’ offices to preserve the kedusha of countless niftarim. Now, a promising future for autopsy prevention is on the horizon. A new CT scan machine has been installed at the medical examiner’s office in Newark, New Jersey. In many instances, the machine can be used in place of autopsies. This is ground-breaking for our community in the event of a tragic death, r”l, as the machine minimizes the desecration of the mes. Dr. Andrew Falzon, M.D., the Chief State Medical Examiner in New Jersey, is behind this initiative. Dr. Falzon oversees 2 regional medical examiner offices in New Jersey. The first is located in the north—in Newark—and covers Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Somerset counties. The second is located in the South—in Woodbine—and covers Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland
Chol Hamoed Pesach 5782- A Great Adventure!
19 Apr
Chol Hamoed Pesach 5782- A Great Adventure!
Chol Hamoed Pesach sparks joy. Family escapades, museum visits, amusement park adventures, or even a brunch that lingers long into the afternoon. All that joy is traced back to one thing: family. But what if the family is incomplete? What if there's no Totty or Mommy? Can chol hamoed still spark any measure of joy? Project Yedid of Misaskim recognizes that Chol Hamoed can be somewhat colorless for almanos and yesomim. Fun? Trips? Excitement? Why bother? Their pain hits them in the face when it’s a family-oriented time. The families anticipate the Project Yedid Chol Hamoed event each year, knowing they’re in for a treat. This year, they spent an action-packed Tuesday at Six Flags Great Adventure and Wild Safari in Jackson, NJ. They flew on the roller coasters, spun on the Ferris wheel, revolved on the carousels, and interacted with the animals. There was something for everyone, no matter their age or preferences. It was a distraction from their pain. It created warm and fun-filled memories. But most notably, it restored their joy in Chol Hamoed.
Project Yedid of Misaskim's Purim Seudah for Thousands
15 Mar
Project Yedid of Misaskim's Purim Seudah for Thousands
Misaskim recognizes that Purim, the day of joy, is not all that joyful for almanos and yesomim. It's hard to celebrate when they're feeling so alone. And it hurts to always be the guest. In a gargantuan undertaking, Project Yedid packaged and distributed a gourmet Purim seudah with food, drinks, tableware, and decor to almost 500 families. Weeks in advance, invitations were sent out. And in the true Misaskim style, no detail was overlooked. The families were able to choose a menu tailored to their specific needs. Whether it was a certain shechita, a Sephardic menu, or an allergy-related request, Misaskim accommodated it all. On Tuesday before Purim, this massive operation came to a head as the orders were packaged and delivered to the homes—all in one night.
Sparks in the Dark - Misaskim Campaign 2022
06 Mar
Sparks in the Dark - Misaskim Campaign 2022
On February 23 and 24, Misaskim set out on a vital mission-a mission to generate heartwarming sparks for the almanos and yesomim of the community. Shiva's over. Life seems to move on. Yet the family of the deceased feels frozen in time. On the outside, they continue going about their lives like everyone else. You’ll find them doing a grocery run, talking with neighbors, and dropping off the kids at school. But a peek on the inside reveals bleeding hearts, unimaginable grief, and a load of uncertainty. At just the right moment, Misaskim shows up and showers them with heartwarming sparks. To the almanos and yesomim, each spark whispers of comfort, hope, and incredible relief. School supplies. Yom tov meals. Yom tov packages. Chol hamoed events. Camp packages. Emergency funds. With every spark, their hearts are lighter. Someone is looking out for them! Someone cares! Someone remembers about them after all! Those feelings are priceless. But at the same time, those services amount to 4 million dollars annually. Misaskim campaign's mission was to ensure those life-changing sparks can continue being created. With the generosity of over
Shloimy's Bar Mitzvah
01 Feb
Shloimy's Bar Mitzvah
A bar mitzvah should be a wonderful time for the boy and his family. The planning, preparing, practicing… But what happens when the mother was niftar a few months ago? What happens when their heads are just not there? What happens when the last thing they feel like doing is planning a bar mitzvah? Shloimy’s aunt called Misaskim a few weeks ago about the bar mitzvah. She said no one had planned the event and so it did not look like there would even be one. Misaskim sprang into action. By that same night all the details for the bar mitzvah had been planned and paid for, including: -the father's suit -Shloimy's hat, jacket, shoes, shirts, and pants -the girls' dresses -the caterer -the musician -the photographer -the invitations (already sent to the printer) -the Shabbos kiddush -the Shabbos seuda (for 50+ people) Misaskim volunteers then kept in touch with them to check in and see if there was anything else they needed, and even booked a hairstylist for the girls. The family asked about centerpieces for the tables and Misaskim arranged that, too. And finally, last night was Shloimy’s night. There wasn’t a mother on the other
An Urgent Message from Misaskim Regarding A Shocking Saga
18 Jan
An Urgent Message from Misaskim Regarding A Shocking Saga
Eliyahu Elkaslasy was an Israeli native in his 60's living in Las Vegas, Nevada. After suffering a debilitating stroke, it was deemed necessary to put him on life support. Late one Sunday night, a doctor came into the room to discuss a course of action with his wife, Galia. When Galia understood what the doctor was implying, she felt the blood drain out of her face. She grasped the bedrail weakly and stammered, “I must have heard wrong, can you please repeat what you said— and slowly?” “Mrs. Elkaslasy, I am very sorry, but your husband is very ill. He is on life support and there is no hope for recovery. Pursuant to your husband’s wish to make an anatomical gift of his organs, and considering his current state, we will be removing him from life support in several hours. At the same time, we have our surgical team ready and they will be preparing him for surgery to harvest his organs. We are very appreciative of your husband’s selfless donation, and his organs will be going to people who desperately need them. The surgery is scheduled for 3:30 a.m., so take your time to say your goodbyes now.” Galia shook her head, trying to keep the hysteria out of her voice. “There
One Thousand Miles For One Neshama
28 Dec
One Thousand Miles For One Neshama
Imagine the power of several organizations joining forces to work for the greater good. Multiple worlds collided to preserve the kedusha of one neshama, after a man passed away in Toronto last week. Mr. S. lived in Toronto, where he passed away on Friday. He was scheduled for cremation in Toronto, and it seemed there was nothing anyone could do to stop it from happening. Mr. S has two frum nephews who were determined to get involved and stop the cremation from happening. One of the nephews who lives in Eretz Yisroel called Rav Kopelman of the Neshama Foundation for help. Together, they called Mrs. S. to try to talk her out of the cremation. She agreed to stop the cremation and have him buried on one condition - he would need to be buried near his parents in a cemetery in Queens. At this point, Neshama Foundation reached out to a chapel in Brooklyn for assistance. The chapel contacted Misaskim of Lakewood who then looped in the Misaskim Headquarters in Brooklyn to get their assistance. The Misaskim Toronto team was contacted and it was determined that they could not escort the niftar to NY, as that would involve having to quarantine for ten days upon reentering
A Mailbox, A Mother, A Miracle
22 Dec
A Mailbox, A Mother, A Miracle
Have you ever heard of the "Postal Police"? If you haven't, you're not alone. Here's a story about how the Postal Inspection Service helped save the day, with some help from a community organization. Mrs. G. is a woman living in Boro Park who lost her husband to COVID. As if being an almanah at such a young age wasn't hard enough, she now had an engaged child, and the wedding expenses were overwhelming her. It was with great appreciation and relief that she received several checks which would help cover the costs for the wedding. With over $10,000 in checks, she would now be able to celebrate the wedding of her child without the cloud of debt over her head. However, just yesterday, she realized she had made a terrible mistake. While dropping some mail in a local mailbox, she had mistakenly placed the envelope containing all the checks into the mail as well! She noticed her blunder when she was looking for the envelope and realized what had happened. Who would she call? Was there anything she could do? She called Project Yedid at Misaskim, and asked if there was anything that could be done. Immediately, the team at Project Yedid got to work.
Project Yedid of Misaskim Illuminates over 700 Homes this Chanukah
07 Dec
Project Yedid of Misaskim Illuminates over 700 Homes this Chanukah
Do you ever wonder: Who gives the yesomim of our communities Chanukah presents? Who gives them Chanukah gelt? Who ensures they experience the joy of Chanukah like all other children? It’s Project Yedid of Misaskim. And here’s what they did about it this year. Project Yedid is the division at Misaskim that assists almonos and yesomim beyond the week of shiva. This has been the most closely guarded secret at Misaskim for over a decade. In fact, hardly anyone outside of the families themselves is privy to the kindness and assistance continuously offered. Project Yedid began when Misaskim realized that there was no one to hold the hands of almonos and yesomim once the week of shiva was over. They were often the ones filling that void when families reached out for assistance in various matters. Project Yedid now has over 700 families in its roster and provides a variety of services throughout the year. A highlight for Project Yedid families is the Chanukah distribution. Boxes filled with exciting toys, an envelope of spending cash, and gebentched Chanukah gelt are delivered to each home. Chanukah, a time of year that should be filled with simcha, is oftentimes a painful
Misaskim Attends Community Meeting Welcoming New FBI Director
07 Dec
Misaskim Attends Community Meeting Welcoming New FBI Director
On December 6, 2021, a meeting took place with leaders of the Jewish community welcoming the new director and special agent of the FBI in NY. Michael Driscoll has joined the team in New York as the Director ADIC, and Nicholas Boshears has joined as the Special Agent in Charge. Community leaders welcomed Driscoll and Boshears warmly with well wishes and words of encouragement. The topic of discussion at the meeting was current matters and concerns pertaining to the Jewish community. A special presentation was also shown on the recent rise of bank fraud, and ways the community can protect themselves against such threats. Yanky Meyer, founder and director of Misaskim, attended the meeting to represent the local Jewish community. In his conversation with Nicholas Boshears, a memorable interaction ensued. Meyer explained his role at Misaskim and how the organization works with law enforcement agencies whenever needed, or during times of tragedy. Boshears wondered how Misaskim first began their relationship with the FBI. Meyer shared that the previous director, Bill Sweeney, had become an acquaintance and ally when Misaskim worked with his team on the security for Siyum Hashas in
Community Update: Misaskim Aveilim Listing is Now a Seamless Process
07 Nov
Community Update: Misaskim Aveilim Listing is Now a Seamless Process
In their tireless work for those experiencing the loss of a loved one, Misaskim created the aveilim listing directory as a service to the community. The listing is updated daily, and displays the name of the niftar, as well as the information of those sitting shiva. Misaskim’s online shiva listings receive an average of 6,000-7,000 views each day. After much work on developing a user-friendly and seamless process on the Misaskim website, families can now upload all the relevant shiva information at any time, from anywhere. Yanky Meyer, the founder and director at Misaskim, noted that the new system allows families to input information at their convenience at any time of day or night, without having to wait for regular business hours to speak with Misaskim’s office staff. An additional feature that families can choose to add is the possibility of allowing others to leave condolence messages via email. This option is greatly appreciated by families with relatives overseas, who cannot be menachem avel in person. Opening the shiva listings to the public also provides the opportunity to list aveilim anywhere in the world. Those who don’t have access to the website can still
The Misaskim I Didn’t Know Existed
06 Oct
The Misaskim I Didn’t Know Existed
When I lost my husband to COVID, I learnt a lot about people, about myself and about our community. During the shivah I got to know the shivah people; The Misaskim Volunteers who made that life-changing week a tad more bearable. But during the busiest month in the Jewish calendar, I got to know a whole new side of The Misaskim People. I got to know their incredible division known as Project Yedid. I was just looking through the kids’ supplies list when there was a knock at the door. At my foot lay a box filled with school supplies divided by the age and gender of my kids. I started to cry. Who else knew how difficult a new season was without my husband? Who else understood what a simple errand meant? The Project Yedid School Supplies Distribution delivered over 800 beautifully packaged boxes filled with school essentials to children in the Tri-State Area. Packages were also shipped to children in Baltimore, Miami, Cleveland, Los Angeles and many more locations. A fellow widow, a friend I met through a support group, shared with me that when her children’s packages arrived, her daughter said, “You see Mommy, I told you Project Yedid will come through.” When Hurricane Ida
Lakewood Rabbi Credits Misaskim Gebentshte Gelt in Narrow Escape from Danger
21 Dec
Lakewood Rabbi Credits Misaskim Gebentshte Gelt in Narrow Escape from Danger
The "gebentshte dollars" distributed by Misaskim's Project Yedid to almonos and yesomim have become an annual Chanukah tradition, the packet of ten one dollar bills bearing the brachos of some of the most revered rabbonim of today's generation a treasured keepsake. But one Lakewood rabbi is crediting a dollar lent to him by a young yasom for a modern day miracle after being saved from a high speed head on collision on the Garden State Parkway. Speaking on Torah Anytime, Rabbi Binyomin Pruzansky shared the story of Rabbi Moshe Gellis, who was returning home from a wedding with a friend just before Chanukah. Heading south on the Garden State Parkway, Rabbi Gellis and his friend saw an accident just up ahead and were horrified to see one of the cars spinning out of control and barreling down the highway straight towards them. With traffic on the right and a head on collision just seconds away, the driver made a hard left onto the shoulder, narrowly avoiding what was sure to be a disastrous crash, somehow getting safely back onto the roadway. Returning home to Lakewood, Rabbi Gellis said that he has no doubt that malachim carried the car to safety, noting
Quick Response from El Al Will Allow Kohanim to Resume JFK Flights
17 Dec
Quick Response from El Al Will Allow Kohanim to Resume JFK Flights
Just hours after Misaskim issued an advisory at the behest of the Karlsburger Rov, Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, warning kohanim of a change in handling that invalidated a heter allowing them to fly on El Al flights out of JFK that were transporting niftarim, the airline has taken positive steps that will rectify the situation in a matter of days. Misaskim founder and director Rabbi Yanky Meyer was contacted by a high ranking El Al official on Wednesday night who was completely unaware of the situation that affected kohanim. After investigating the matter, he determined that it wasn’t an intentional change in policy but rather the airline had run out of the special boxes that were used to encase aronos, which created the problem that prompted the Rabbi Roth to rescind the heter that had given kohanim the ability to take El Al flights carrying niftarim. El Al is expecting a new shipment of boxes to arrive within 24 hours and no niftarim will be transported out of JFK until after Shabbos. A second shipment of boxes is due to arrive next week and the airline will keep an emergency supply of approximately two dozen boxes in Misaskim’s warehouse in case any further shortages
Change in Handling Invalidates Long Standing Heter for Kohanim on El Al’s JFK Flights
16 Dec
Change in Handling Invalidates Long Standing Heter for Kohanim on El Al’s JFK Flights
A long standing heter that allowed kohanim to fly El Al from JFK to Tel Aviv, even when niftarim are present, has been retracted, effective immediately. The heter had been given by the Karlsburger Rov, Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, and relied on the airline placing the aron into an outer box, creating an ohel that afforded kohanim some leniency on flights that were carrying niftarim. But after being alerted that El Al was placing aronos directly into the cargo hold with no outer covering, the heter is no longer relevant and Rabbi Roth has announced that kohanim should not fly to Israel on any El Al flight out of JFK until further notice. Kohanim flying to Israel on United, which never had the policy of placing aronos into an outer box, should contact the airline directly to determine whether any niftarim are being transported on their flights.
We Lost So Many. What Can We Do In Their Memory?
25 May
We Lost So Many. What Can We Do In Their Memory?
New York----5/25/2020 THE TRAGEDY OF DEATH As hundreds of Yidden continue to suffer the deadly wrath of COVID-19, Misaskim stands on the frontlines, assisting those in need, and witnessing their never-ending pain and grief. So many did not have a chance to say goodbye. So many could not be at their parent’s bedside or pay their last respects. The tragedies have changed the course of our lives and left a gaping hole in our hearts. That is why, Misaskim, a long-standing advocate of the Jewish community, has now set out to create a lifeline of hope and support to properly honor the victims of COVID-19. THE POWER OF RENEWAL Misaskim announced that they will be laying the groundwork for the greatest Hachnosas Sefer Torah in modern Jewish history. The organization will be redefining the meaning of “CHAI” and writing 18 Sifrei Torah in honor of those that have been lost. The initiative, called “V’Chai Bahem”, will be offering numerous opportunities to take part in. Families of the bereaved will have a chance to dedicate a Parsha, Chumash, etc. in honor of their loved ones; Yidden from all stripes and backgrounds will be able to secure a
Misaskim’s Mission to Memorialize Those We Lost During The Coronavirus
25 May
Misaskim’s Mission to Memorialize Those We Lost During The Coronavirus
The Shabbos after Purim is when reality first kicked in that this virus would be a huge problem,” says Yanky Meyer. As a dedicated Hatzalah member and the founder of Misaskim, Yanky is on the frontlines when tragedy strikes. “During the seudah alone there were 42 Hatzalah dispatch calls. We’ve never had that many come in during such a short time, but it was nothing compared to what we would face in the weeks ahead.” By the time Shabbos ended, Misaskim was already working on arrangements for the first meisim. “At first it was bearable, but then even working off two or three phones wasn’t enough. It was impossible to keep up, because every step of the way became a problem. We had to arrange for the proper safety precautions when handling bodies, arrange flights for burials, deal with cemeteries that didn’t want to accept burials because they were already overburdened, work with hospitals to submit paperwork in time for kevurah… We’d get on the phone about one situation and by the time we hung up there were six more waiting. It was all compounding.” Most would recognize “Misaskim” from the labels on the low chairs and aron kodesh at shivah houses. For the organization, though,
Is That Smile a Mask?
09 Mar
Is That Smile a Mask?
Power of Sadness Chaim held his brother Moishy by the hand. As they walked through the lively Purim streets, loud music mobiles filled the streets and costumed children swarmed about. Smiles were on everyone’s faces. Clutching a big cellophane package, the boys happily approached their first destination. Their mother had arranged an elaborate Mishloach Manos to deliver to Moishe’s Rebbi. Heading up the steps, Moishe met 3 other boys from his class who were standing outside the door. Their fathers were with them, holding onto their hands as they delivered their own packages. Chaim and Moishe watched as the rebbi warmly greeted the children and chatted with the fathers animatedly, before handing them their colorful arrangements in return. Moishe stopped in his tracks suddenly, his eyes glazed with tears. “I’m embarrassed, Chaim.” he whispered. “I don’t have a father to go with.” Chaim stopped short too and sadly looked his little brother in the eye. All the excitement faded away and he did not know what to say. Power of Grief As Purim comes around, Yesomim experience a great void. As Klal Yisroel celebrates in joy and jubilation, the grief of their loss gets
PREVENTION & SAFETY - Misaskim Coordinates Security
10 Feb
PREVENTION & SAFETY - Misaskim Coordinates Security
Months leading up to the Dirshu World Siyum in Newark, Misaskim was called upon to coordinate the security detail for February 9, the largest Dirshu Siyum in North America. Founder of Misaskim, Yankie Meyer, utilized his expertise and agency connections from his many years of community service. The result was the collaboration of over 30 law enforcement agencies who came together to keep Klal Yisroel safe during such a momentous night. “We simply couldn’t be cautious enough. We couldn’t afford to overlook even one detail,” says Mr. Meyer. After lengthy meetings a rigorous protocol was developed to ensure maximum security. From heavily armed guards, to K-9 units, from thorough inspection of all transportation lines and entry points to evacuation and lock-down plans, every detail was pre-planned to ensure that the thousands of yidden in attendance would enjoy the evening worry-free. Misaskim would like to thank the 300 police officers, sergeants, sheriffs, and Misaskim and Hatzolah volunteers who worked tirelessly to keep all the guests safe. May Hashem keep watch over all of us and may Misaskim’s services only be called upon for prevention.
Project Yedid Chanukah Gifts
30 Dec
Project Yedid Chanukah Gifts
This Chanukah, Project Yedid sends a reason for joy and celebration to families that have been overshadowed by grief. As the songs of Maoz Tzur resonate through our homes, a special warmth is felt in the cold winter air. Singing, good food, and celebrating with family and friends, is what makes this Yom Tov so special. At Misaskim’s Project Yedid division, we work hard to shine that glow into the homes of Yesomim and Almanos. Working tirelessly, our dedicated Misaskim volunteers create hundreds of gift packages that are sent to children of families that have lost a loved one. “The impact of these presents are truly heartwarming,” says Project Yedid founder, Yankie Meyer. “For many of the kids, Chanukah would be just like any other day, shadowed by their loss. But this display of true care and love adds a layer of meaning to the Chag, and fills them with the feeling of not being forgotten. Around the world, Jewish families are busy with exciting preparations for the Yom Tov. Lavish Chanukah parties and exciting presents are what every kid is talking about. But for some children, the shadow of grief and uncertainty does not allow light to shine through. With a budget of
MISASKIM RESPONDS TO ANOTHER TRAGEDY. Philadelphia, New York, Lakewood
31 Jul
MISASKIM RESPONDS TO ANOTHER TRAGEDY. Philadelphia, New York, Lakewood
Hearts are broken. Spirits are shattered. A young neshoma has been lost. It started out as a fun summer day, when 750 children from numerous Boro Park day camps drove out to Sahara Sam’s Water-Park. Down the slides, riding the waves, campers ran around happily under the sun. As the children were getting ready to leave, one camper was getting dressed and noticed a kid at the bottom of the pool. Horrified, shocked, lost. What happens next? Within a few moments, Misaskim stepped in. A volunteer from Misaskim Baltimore was dispatched to the Hospital in Vorhees, NJ. He established contact with the staff at the water-park and simultaneously arranged for a minyan from the Cherry Hill community to join the victim's bedside and say Shema Yisroel for him. While all this was happening, the 749 other campers weren’t allowed to leave the premises, pending investigation. A Misaskim truck from Lakewood was dispatched, loaded with water, danishes and snacks. In addition, R’ Yossi and R’ Mendy Carlebach, chaplains for various NJ police departments, were sent by Misaskim to serve as a liaison between the investigators and the children - to allow them to be able to leave.
INCREDIBLE! Misaskim Volunteers Sift Through Mountain of Trash And RECOVER LOST TEFILLIN!
14 Jan
INCREDIBLE! Misaskim Volunteers Sift Through Mountain of Trash And RECOVER LOST TEFILLIN!
Thanks to the incredible work of the Misaskim Organization, a Chaim Berlin Yeshiva Bochur has been reunited with his Tefillin. Rabbi Jack Meyer, founder of Misaskim received a call from a family member that their son’s Tefillin had been lost, and it appeared they were accidentally thrown into the garbage. Making matters worse, today was trash pickup on that Brooklyn street, and the garbage truck had long left the area. Meyer quickly contacted local elected officials, including Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who convinced the Department of Sanitation to allow the truck to be isolated, and a team of volunteers to sift through the entire truck of garbage. As can be seen in the photos, the volunteers wore haz-mat suits for the non-envious task. The truck dumped tons of trash onto the floor at a Sanitation facility, and the group began painstakingly searching through each bag of trash. Bichasdei Hashem, the Tefillin were found! A tweet from the NYC Sanitation Department said “AMEN– lost religious items are recovered from transfer station by Coney Island resident and his friends. Items were mistakenly tossed in trash and found. Divine intervention with an assist from
CONGRATULATIONS. . . AND THE WINNER IS. . .
02 Jan
CONGRATULATIONS. . . AND THE WINNER IS. . .
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR PAYDAY RAFFLE WINNER - YOCHEVED GERBER - FROM BROOKLYN, NY! The lucky winner of $52,000 - $1,000 a week for a FULL YEAR!!
TRAGEDY IN BORO PARK: Elderly Jewish Man Struck & Killed By Truck on McDonald Ave
12 Dec
TRAGEDY IN BORO PARK: Elderly Jewish Man Struck & Killed By Truck on McDonald Ave
An elderly Jewish man was R”L struck and killed by a truck on the border between Kensington and Boro Park, Wednesday morning. Pinchos Kreiner, 71, was crossing McDonald Avenue and Cortelyou Road at around 7:30AM when he was struck and pinned under a truck. Paramedics were unable to save his life, and he was Niftar on the scene. The Niftar Davened at Rabbi Bluth Shul on East 2nd Street and Ditmas Avenue, as well as the Shomer Shabbos Shul on 13 Avenue. He may have been returning from Shacharis when the accident happened. Misaskim tells YWN that the Niftar was not married and never had any children. They request if people can please learn or Daven for the Neshama of Chaim Pinchos Tzvi ben Mattisyahu Z”L. Levaya information is unknown as an NYPD investigation is underway. Misaskim is working closely with the NYC Medical Examiner and Police to ensure proper Kavod HaNiftar. Boruch Dayan HaEmmes… (Yossi Taub – YWN)
Misaskim’s Chanukah Distribution Turns Darkness into Light For 2,100 Yesomim
10 Dec
Misaskim’s Chanukah Distribution Turns Darkness into Light For 2,100 Yesomim
The Festival of Lights became infinitely brighter for the nearly 2,100 yesomim and almonos who received Chanukah gift packages distributed by Misaskim containing Chanukah gelt, toys and a packet of dollar bills and coins bearing the blessings of the most prominent gedolim of our generation. Understanding that yomim tovim can be particularly difficult for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, Misaskim began distributing Chanukah gifts several years ago with a relatively modest budget of $36,000. The project has grown exponentially over time, and this year Misaskim raised $150,000 to benefit 476 families in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin, in addition to Montreal and Toronto. In addition to arranging two toys for every family and $50 for each child, Misaskim founder and director Yanky Meyer personally visited with ten revered rabbonim, asking each one to give his blessings to dollar bills that would be given to every recipient. Meyer traveled through the New York area and made a whirlwind 48 hour trip to Eretz Yisroel, bringing massive stacks of singles
Unacceptable Burial Delays Ahead Unless DOH Takes Immediate Action
09 Oct
Unacceptable Burial Delays Ahead Unless DOH Takes Immediate Action
Flawed System Has Yet to be Fully Tested Say Insiders Despite a previously released report and multiple meetings held with the New York City Department of Health over the past three months about problems with its soon to be rolled out system to produce all burial permits as well as birth and death certificates, members of the Jewish and Muslim communities say that their concerns have been almost completely ignored, prompting them to issue advisories about expected burial delays due to the agency’s failure to heed numerous warnings about systemic flaws. The DOH attempted to replace the current Electronic Vital Events Registration System, known as EVERS, with its new $5.8 million eVital system last October. Multiple failures had the agency disabling eVital within 40 minutes, ultimately taking it down indefinitely just three days later, with massive burial delays taking place during that time. Efforts by Misaskim and Councilman Chaim Deutsch, chairman of the New York City Council’s Jewish Caucus, had the DOH successfully postponing the 48 hour long rollout of the new system from Shemini Atzeres to the weekend of October 12th in addition to reaching an agreement to issue
And the WINNER is...
24 Jul
And the WINNER is...
Congratulations to our 2018 Early Bird Raffle Winner, Jana Cohen from Brooklyn, NY, upon winning two round trip tickets to Israel. It’s not too late to enter. Visit our website today at www.misaskim.org/tickets for a chance to win up to $25,000 cash. Misaskim is a volunteer organization which provides support services and assistance during times of crisis and tragedy. Misaskim is a source of compassion, encouragement, light, warmth and direction. Help Misaskim continue its vital work by entering our raffle today.
Saved From Cremation
18 Jul
Saved From Cremation
Fortunately, it is not often nowadays that the mitzvah of burying a meis mitzvah presents itself, yet this is exactly what happened in Stamford Hill last Tuesday afternoon when Mr. Phillip Mark Berman was buried at the Western Cemetery in Broxbourne by Misaskim of Stamford Hill. Mr. Phillip Berman of London Fields, Hackney, in London, was unknown to the Jewish community. He was discovered to be Jewish just days before he was set to be cremated by Hackney Council. He merited coming to kever Yisrael through a chain of incredible hashgachah pratis events, in which the heroine is the 30-year-old proprietress of a café in London Fields, Hackney, Ms. Louise Brooks. On Sunday evening, coinciding with what would be the end of the shivah for the man who doesn’t seem to have had any relatives to sit shivah for him, a gathering took place arranged by Mr. Yisroel Kahn of Misaskim to honor Louise and present her with the Jewish community’s heartfelt thanks for her efforts. The Kahns kindled a yahrtzeit candle for the neshamah of the meis mitzvah, about whom the halachah says hakol krovav — everyone is his relative. After hearing the story again, a minyan davened Minchah and
INTERFAITH COALITION RALLIES TO PREVENT ROLLOUT OF FLAWED NYC DEATH/BIRTH CERTIFICATE SYSTEM  Councilman Mark Levine Tapped to Advocate for Improvements
17 Jul
INTERFAITH COALITION RALLIES TO PREVENT ROLLOUT OF FLAWED NYC DEATH/BIRTH CERTIFICATE SYSTEM Councilman Mark Levine Tapped to Advocate for Improvements
Nearly ten months after the New York City Department of Health had to retract its newly released life events registration program because of widespread system failures, an interfaith coalition is lobbying city officials to prevent the rollout of an updated version of the same program citing numerous concerns. The DOH replaced its existing Electronic Vital Events Registration System, known as EVERS, on October 9th 2017 with its new eVital system designed to provide easier access, higher quality birth and death certificates and a simplified sign in process that included facial recognition. Plagued by problems from the day it launched, many found that the $5.8 million system did not work, preventing users from printing death certificates and mandatory burial permits. As a result, morticians found themselves running all over the city, first to pick up hand written death certificates and then bringing them to the DOH’s downtown offices, to obtain burial permits a process that found multiple families delaying their loved ones’ funerals, some by several days. The DOH temporarily disabled eVital within 24 hours of its launch hoping to correct its
Funerals Rerouted: As EL AL Prepares to Change its Cargo Area, Misaskim Hurries to Accommodate the Changes
11 Jun
Funerals Rerouted: As EL AL Prepares to Change its Cargo Area, Misaskim Hurries to Accommodate the Changes
A levayah. Synonymous with loss and tragedy, it’s always a difficult thing. But when taking place in airports, often confusion and disorder compound the picture, and levayos can prove far more difficult to get through than they already are. This coming Motzaei Shabbos, June 16th, EL AL Airlines is instituting a change that could potentially create a hassle for bereaved families. True to form though, Misaskim is already on the case, meeting with officials to discuss the best-possible plan of action, so that things can continue to run smoothly. (This change will not affect EL AL’s long standing policy that it will only accept an aron from JFK; the airline policy is not to take an aron from Newark Airport at any time.) The airline will be switching its Kennedy Airport cargo area from Cargo Building B23, where it is currently located, to cargo area D, Building 75. Until now, drivers would take the Nassau Expressway, Route 878, and get off at the Kennedy Airport Exit. With the new change in place, however, drivers must continue down Route 878 until Exit 3, North Hanger Road, and follow the signs to Building D75. The new EL AL Cargo Building,
Lend Your Voice Offering Words of Comfort
10 Apr
Lend Your Voice Offering Words of Comfort
Over Pesach, Klal Yisroel has been beset by a number of tragic events. While the loss of every loved one is tragic, there were some that stuck out as a tzarras harabbim; the chosson and kallah killed in a car accident from the Levin & Kaplan families, the 3 month old Renov baby that suddenly passed away on the first seder night, and the Bernath family that lost their mother just 8 days after she gave birth, having both her levaya and his bris the same day. There has been an outpouring of support and emotion from the community at large who are feeling for the families struck by these tragedies. Many have contacted Misaskim wanting to offer their divrei nechamah, words of consolation and comfort, to these families. Realizing the critical hour and the need to unify and express ourselves, showing the families that we are one with them -- tzarras rabbim chatzi nechamah -- we have set up a service whereby an individual can offer a private condolence message by accessing our site at https://www.misaskim.org/aveilim and clicking on the name of the specific family they wish to give words of chizuk. It is a small gesture that can mean a great deal to our brothers and sisters who
Record Breaking: Over 800 Participants join Misaskim's Chol Hamoed Trip
03 Apr
Record Breaking: Over 800 Participants join Misaskim's Chol Hamoed Trip
As Pesach arrives each year without fail, so does Misaskim’s Chol Hamoed Experience for yesomim. This event is eagerly anticipated by families throughout the tristate area who await the invitation all year long, wondering what Misaskim has planned next. This year, Misaskim’s free Chol Hamoed Pesach event took place on Tuesday at Six Flags Great Adventure and Wild Safari in Jackson, NJ. Due to the inclement weather, Misaskim had a tent set up all day for the families to enjoy snacks and drinks and have a comfortable place to eat lunch. Over 800 people joined Misaskim for a full day of fun and excitement. Although the forecast predicted a rainy day for Tuesday, most of the day was dry and rain-free, allowing everyone full use of the amazing rides and amenities the park has to offer. From terrifying roller coasters speeding through the sky, to gentle rides for young children to enjoy, to carousels and Ferris Wheels for the whole family, there was something for everyone. On top of all that, the thrilling 350-acre Safari tour among the coasters had everyone eagerly waiting their turn in line. After boarding the military open-air trucks, an incredible tour of over 1,200
Living Higher
28 Dec
Living Higher
A fire like the one that decimated the Azan family home immediately takes on the status of a “crime scene,” until criminality is ruled out. So along with dealing with the crushing pain and loss and making logistical arrangements, there is also a need to educate the various agencies on the scene in matters pertaining to kevod hameis — which in this case included the New York Fire Marshals, NYPD Arson and Explosion Unit, NYPD Detectives Force, and the NY Medical Examiner. Misaskim, which assists during crisis situations and provides services for the care of the deceased and their families in accordance with halachah, requested and obtained extra personnel to assist the examiner in expediting identification and subsequent release for the levayah, in record-breaking time. And in a show of respect, the firemen lined the walkway as the bodies were removed, so as to offer some degree of privacy and respect. Ironically, Monday, December 18 — the day of the tragedy — was the scheduled Misaskim Day of Appreciation to the New York Fire Department. Although the date was postponed, it will soon be held with a fresh appreciation for the mutual cooperation and
A Study of Tefillah: The Ultimate Chesed and Misaskim
27 Dec
A Study of Tefillah: The Ultimate Chesed and Misaskim
Time flies. We are now ending sefer Bereishis , which describes the development of our forefathers and their lives and character traits, which are signs to us. Maaseh avos siman labonim. Parshas Vayechi forces us to ask: What is life? The Hebrew word chaim is in the plural. In fact, it is impossible to say the word life in Hebrew in the singular form. Why? One answer is that life is written in the plural form to teach us that life can only be truly experienced when it is shared with others. A person who lives in a vacuum is not truly alive. The gematria of Vayechi is 34. Our sages teach us that, from this posuk , we learn that Yaakov had seventeen peaceful years at the end of his life, and we learned earlier in the Torah that he also had seventeen peaceful years at the beginning of his life (up until fleeing from his brother). We find the number of peaceful years Yaakov had in his lifetime. In addition, Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch zt”l points out that the fact that the parsha has no physical break from the previous parsha indicates that the troubled years of his life - with the unrelenting tests he endured - led to Yaakov meriting to be worthy
Misaskim Gives 2,000 Yesomim And Almanos Chanukah Gelt Blessed By Gedolei Hador
25 Dec
Misaskim Gives 2,000 Yesomim And Almanos Chanukah Gelt Blessed By Gedolei Hador
Just days before Chanukah, the president of the Misaskim Organization flew to Israel for a 48-hour whirlwind trip to obtain Brachos from six Gedolei Hador on behalf of the close to 2,000 yesomim and almanos (orphans and widows) on the Misaskim roles. Taking with him $10,000 in crisp, new, one-dollar bills, the Gedolim hovered over this money (see photos) and gave tear-felt berachos to the eventual recipients of these “g’bentched” dollars. The six included Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, The Mekubal Rabi Dovid Abuchatzeira, HaRav Tuvia Weiss, Ga’avad of Yerushalyim, the Rachamstrivka Rebbe of Yerusalyim, the Mekubal HaRav Gamiliel Rabinowitz, and Hagaon HaRav Yechezkel Roth, the Karlsberger Rav, who had just finished sitting shiva in Meron. Every single dollar bill was then inserted into plastic sleeves, before distributing these 6 single dollar bills, on Chanukah, to over 1,500 orphans, together with a crisp $50 bill for additional Chanukah gelt. The impact was immeasurable: During Chanukah, Misaskim received a phone call from a teacher who said she had just received a call from a yesomah, saying she dreads Chanukah. She said that while Chanukah is so exciting for
The Inside Story of Kovod Hameis:  Misaskim’s Behind-the-Scenes Efforts at the Fire
19 Dec
The Inside Story of Kovod Hameis: Misaskim’s Behind-the-Scenes Efforts at the Fire
From the very first police and fire dispatch, Misaskim’s staff knew that there would be multiple fatalities. And they were on the scene before 3:00am, coordinating alongside the many, many city agencies involved. What many don’t realize, is that a fire like this immediately takes on the status of a “crime scene”, until criminality is ruled out. Thus, multiple agencies on the scene must be educated in matters pertaining to Kovod Hameis and how to minimize any unnecessary zilzul. (disgrace). Some of these agencies on the scene, yesterday, included the NY Fire Marshall, NYPD Arson and Explosion Squad, NYPD Detectives Force, and of course, the NY Medical Examiner. The sensitivity shown by all members of the NY Fire Department, from the Commissioner on down, was exemplary. At Misaskim’s request, FDNY members formed a human wall, and shielded the view of the removal of the niftarim from the hordes of press photographers, enabling the bodies to be transported, with dignity, to the Medical Examiner’s office by Hatzalah of Flatbush ambulances, rather than in the standard, coroner’s vehicles. Further, at Misaskim’s request, Hatzalah also transported the severely burned father from
TRAGEDY IN FLATBUSH: Mother And 3 Children Killed In House Fire, Others Critical {Adapted from YWN}
18 Dec
TRAGEDY IN FLATBUSH: Mother And 3 Children Killed In House Fire, Others Critical {Adapted from YWN}
Tragedy struck the Flatbush community early Monday morning, when a mother and three children — an 11-year-old boy, 7-year-old boy, and a 3-year-old girl — died in fast-moving house fire R”L. FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro says the woman and children were killed around 2:30 a.m. Monday at 1945 East 14th. The 45-year-old father, his teenage son and a 16-year-old cousin were critically injured, officials said; seven others, including five firefighters and two boys, had minor injuries. Please say Tehillim for Shilat bas Aliza (16) who is critical, Daniel ben Aliza (15) who is critical, Avraham ben Aliza (13) stable, and Yosef ben Ahuva Masuda – the father who is critical. All critical patients have been transported to Staten Island Burn Unit and have been placed on respirators. Tragically, sources have confirmed that some of the children are classmates with the Sassoon children who were R”L killed in a tragic fire in Flatbush. Nigro says firefighters arrived about 2 minutes after getting the call from a neighbor and the fire was already “consuming” all three floors of the building. He says the fire was accidental but the cause has not yet been pinpointed. It’s a terrible
Boro Park Senior Citizen Suffers Bruises in Police Confrontation
01 Nov
Boro Park Senior Citizen Suffers Bruises in Police Confrontation
BORO PARK - Community Leaders are expressing concern, and the NYPD is investigating, after a Boro Park senior citizen was bruised Sunday night during an arrest by police officers who had initially stopped him for using a cellphone while driving. The 71-year-old man says that he pulled his vehicle over at the corner of 18th Avenue and 53rd Street around 8:00 p.m. Sunday in order to take a call, when he was approached by police. The man, who does not speak English well, said that one male officer and one female officer of the 68th Precinct approached each of his windows and shined a flashlight at him, demanding his license and registration. He tried explaining as best be could to the male officer, Officer Singh, that be could not look into the glove compartment for his registration as the female officer's flashlight was shining right in his face. He said that Officer Singh then dragged him out of the car and shoved him into the ground, and the officers tried handcuffing him. The officers told him to put his band behind his back, but be tried explaining to them that be was unable to put one hand behind his back because the arm had previously been injured in an accident.
LIVING HIGHER
25 Oct
LIVING HIGHER
On Shemini Atzeres, the Misaskim hotline rang, answered by a non-Jewish dispatcher. The caller, a frantic relative of a man who had just passed away, explained that the next of kin was demanding that the Jewish niftar be cremated, as he was not a religious man and never requested a Jewish burial. As the cremation was scheduled for Simchas Torah, this next of kin was contacted by Misaskim to see if the cremation could be stopped. The family member couldn’t understand why it was so urgent and asked if she could speak to a rabbi. Under the guidance of poskei hador, a Misaskim rabbi contacted her and shared a story. “A few years ago, in North Carolina, a non-Jewish medical examiner was preparing a body for an autopsy, when he noticed the numbers tattooed on his arm, an “eternal” souvenir of his stay in Auschwitz. The examiner frantically searched for, and found, a rabbi to ask his counsel on what to do. The rabbi was able to track down the niftar’s next of kin who protested that the niftar himself requested to be cremated so that he could meet his parents and other family members who were murdered, and then burned, by the Nazis in a crematorium. The shocked rabbi
How to Make 600 Yesomim Smile
20 Oct
How to Make 600 Yesomim Smile
Below is an actual letter just received by Misaskim from one of the 600 yesomim/yesomos who were entertained and enthralled with an entire day dedicated just to them on Chol Hamoed Succos. This event was not open to the public and received no publicity (any faces in the photos were purposely blurred). To the Amazing People at Misaskim amu"sh, Thank you for such a special chol hamoed trip. You went all out to make the day extra special. My family was looking forward and counted down the days from when the reserve-the-date invitation arrived. Starting from the warm welcome we got in the morning until after the fireworks show, was just so special. We really appreciate all the kochos and resources you put in – you really gave us a day to remember. All the kids from big to small had an enjoyable day. One of my younger sisters made $19 by the money-blowing machine — she was so excited! My younger brother air brushed a fuzzy sandwich that he sleeps with every night. The Binyan Lego box provided exciting entertainment for the second days of yom tov. The generous gift certificate to Toys4U is still being decided on how to be spent. What a beautiful simchas beis hashoeva
Record-Breaking Demand Empties Misaskim’s Warehouses
17 Oct
Record-Breaking Demand Empties Misaskim’s Warehouses
In the first 48 hours since the end of Yom Tov, Misaskim trucks, vans, and SUVs, manned by volunteers and staff, fanned out across the tri-state area, delivering shiva-related materials to over 86 homes, encompassing more than 434 new aveilim, r’l. Although it was not totally unexpected, as this post-Yom Tov demand occurs every 6 months, it nevertheless pushed Misaskim over the limit, both in terms of materials and Sifrei Torah, as well as manpower. For the very first time, Misaskim’s warehouses were bare to the walls. In addition, there were several unexpected deaths that required Misaskim interaction with the Medical Examiner’s office, to ensure their burials in record-breaking time. And all of this while “recuperating” from a massive Chol Hamoed outing arranged for over 600 yesomim and their surviving parent, including the building of, and then dismantling and storage of, a massive Succah that was constructed for that event. Misaskim alleviates tragedy with compassion, coordinates crisis with expertise, and provides a multi-faceted array of services for the bereaved.
HAMODIA: Misaskim Holds Asifas Tehillim for Tinokos Shel Beis Rabban
27 Sep
HAMODIA: Misaskim Holds Asifas Tehillim for Tinokos Shel Beis Rabban
The 23rd annual Asifas Tehillim for children took place at the Bobover beis medrash in Boro Park on Tuesday, 6 Tishrei/Sept. 26. The children, who represented a variety of New York-area yeshivos, were joined by many Admorim, Roshei Yeshivah, Rabbanim and askanim. Held annually during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, the gathering is coordinated by Misaskim, known for its outstanding work in providing support and assistance with compassion and professionalism to those facing crisis or tragedy, R”l. The asifah began with the recital of pirkei Tehillim led by Harav Moshe Tuvia Lieff, Rav of Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyamin. Minchah was led by Harav Leibush Rubin, Glogover Rav and Menahel of Spinka Yeshivah. Harav Yitzchak Isaac Tirnauer, Rav, Khal Shomrei Shabbos, led Avinu Malkeinu, which was followed by the piyut of the Yud Gimmel Middos Harachamim led by Harav Yechezkel Roth, shlita, Karlsburger Rav, and Kabbalas Ol Malchus Shamayim led by Harav Mattisyahu Salomon, shlita, Mashgiach of Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, who participated in the asifah with mesirus nefesh in view of his delicate state of health. While the purpose of the asifah is to enable the tefillos of tinokos shel
30,000 School Children Scream “S’hma” at Misaskim's 23rd International Tehillim Asifa
26 Sep
30,000 School Children Scream “S’hma” at Misaskim's 23rd International Tehillim Asifa
More than thirty thousand tinokos shel beis rabban around the globe, gathered in various locations to beseech the sha'arei shamayim with tefillah on behalf of so many cholei Yisroel, and others facing the most terrible troubles one could imagine. In a very pleasant and welcome surprise, Harav Matisyahu Salamon shlit’a, mashgiach ruchani of Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, drove in to lead the children in Kabalas Ol Malchus Shomayim. Other notable Rabbanim who attended and led the children in various forms of tefilah, included: Rav Moshe Tuvia Lieff, Agudas Yisroel Beis Binyamin; Rav Leibish Rubin, Menahel Spinka Yeshiva; Rav Yitzchak Tirnauer, Khal Shomrei Shabbos; Harav Yechezkel Roth, Karlsberger Rav, and the Matesdorfer Rav, shlit’a. Misaskim coordinated this poignant event Tuesday, Aseres Yemei Teshuvah to infuse strength and hope into all those in urgent need of a yeshuah. Children from more than 35 Brooklyn yeshivas assembled in the Bobov Shul in Boro Park, which served as the host location. Thousands more joined via satellite hookup across the nation and around the world, crying "Shlach Refuah Shleima L'Cholei Amecha!"
Misaskim’s 23rd International Tehillim Asifa this Tuesday @1PM EDT
19 Sep
Misaskim’s 23rd International Tehillim Asifa this Tuesday @1PM EDT
Wherever you are at 1pm this coming Tuesday, STOP! Stop and say Tehillim, together with tens of thousands of tinokos shel beis rabban around the globe, who will beseech the sha'arei shamayim with tefillah on behalf of so many cholei Yisroel, and others facing the most terrible troubles one could imagine. Misaskim coordinates this poignant event during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah to infuse strength and hope into all those in urgent need of a yeshuah. Children from more than 35 Brooklyn yeshivas will assemble in the Bobov Shul in Boro Park, which serves as the host location. Thousands more will join via satellite hookup across the nation and around the world, crying "Shlach Refuah Shleima L'Cholei Amecha!" The International Tehillim Asifah was initiated in response to the many tzaros which Klal Yisroel and Misaskim confront daily. Surely the fervent pleas of the thousands of children will penetrate the Heavens and will secure a shana tova for all of klal Yisroel. If even one child's pure prayer is a heaven-piercing arrow, how much more so, then, is the awesome power of tens of thousands of tefillos emanating from the innocent mouths of tinokos shel bais
Misaskim: Answering the Cry
12 Sep
Misaskim: Answering the Cry
Misaskim volunteers go beyond the call of duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, during life’s most devastating moments. Now they need your help. Every year, thousands are left stranded in the wake of crisis and tragedy. And Misaskim is there for them. Now, Misaskim needs you. Misaskim volunteers offer guidance, support, and direction during life’s most devastating moments. Services include a 24-hr emergency operations center, disaster relief, missing persons search coordination, Jewish burial advocacy in conjunction with autopsy and cremation prevention, and Gemach Nichumim, which furnishes grieving families with necessary shiva-related items. In the past year alone, Misaskim has brought over 100 mesei mitzvah to kevurah, serviced 2,240 shiva homes, comforted some 8,000 aveilim, delivered thousands of meals to grieving families, and much more. Misaskim is held in the highest of esteem, and is often called upon by government bureaus to provide assistance, consultation, and advice in safety and security matters concerning the Jewish community. To this end, the organization frequently works together with local, state, and federal law enforcement
Aha! Moments - THE FINAL KINDNESS
06 Sep
Aha! Moments - THE FINAL KINDNESS
AMI•LIVING | SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 | 15 ELUL 5777 I By Rabbi Yoel Gold I Chana and her siblings coordinated their schedules to drive out to Beth Israel Hospital in Brooklyn to visit their ailing father. Generally, they found their father Rabbi Lowy in good spirits. Their father’s roommate was Jan Hurtis, an older Jewish man fighting cancer, and Chana couldn’t help but notice that his side of the room was always empty of guests. As it turned out, Jan had never married and had no children. He had faithfully cared for his parents until they passed away. He had two cousins in Florida and no one else. Children and grandchildren trooped into the room to visit Chana’s father, doing their best not to disturb his roommate, but with each guest, Jan’s eyes widened even further. One of the Lowy brothers saw the forlorn look on his face and drew him into the conversation. He was smart and funny, and they all enjoyed talking to him. Visits with their father were now visits with Jan too. After a few weeks, Jan reported that he had told his cousin in Florida about his roommate’s children, who had drawn him into their family circle. “You know what he said? He said, ‘Why would they be so
Misaskim Constructs Shiva Area For Family Of Boro Park Couple R"L Killed In House Fire
30 Aug
Misaskim Constructs Shiva Area For Family Of Boro Park Couple R"L Killed In House Fire
As reported by YWN, an outstanding couple from the Boro Park community perished in a tragic, fast-moving fire. Misaskim was intimately involved in many aspects of the tragedy, including ensuring the release of the niftarim in record time (two and one half hours), thanks to cooperation of the FDNY fire marshals and the NYC Medical Examiner’s Office. Adding “insult to injury”, upon returning to Brooklyn from the Kevura in New Jersey, the large family found they had no suitable place to sit Shiva; they certainly couldn’t sit in the charred wreckage of the house. Their only other option was a house currently under construction. See what Misaskim staff and volunteers accomplished in just three hours’ time! May the family know of no more pain or sorrow. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)
TRAGEDY IN BORO PARK:  Frum Couple R"L Killed In House Fire On 44th Street
28 Aug
TRAGEDY IN BORO PARK: Frum Couple R"L Killed In House Fire On 44th Street
Boro Park is in mourning today after word spread of a horrible tragedy which took the lives of a Frum couple. The 3-alarm fire broke out at about 4 a.m. in a two and a half story house at 1174 44th Street early Monday morning. Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and flames on the first floor. By the time they got into the home, the fire had spread to the second floor. The victims, a 61-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, were found unconscious in a back bedroom. They were rushed to the hospital by Hatzolah, but both were unfortunately pronounced dead at Maimonides Hospital. Their 17-year-old daughter was also pulled out of the home, but Boruch Hashem is in stable condition. The cause of the fire is to be determined by NYC Fire Marshall. Misaskim has been on the scene since the fire and is working closely with the NYC Fire Marshall, the NYC Medical Examiner and the NYPD to ensure proper Kavod Hames. The couple has been identified as R’ Chaim Eluzer Shulem (ben Tuvia Gedalia) Gluck Z”L and Mrs Faigy Gluck A”H. A person who Davens with the Niftar every morning called him an extremely special person. He tells YWN that R’ Chaim was the one who
THE BEFORE AND AFTER - Misaskim means a lot
16 Aug
THE BEFORE AND AFTER - Misaskim means a lot
In reference to “Finding Light in Darkness,” Ami Magazine Issue 328 Dear Editor: When chesed organizations become the norm in our community, we forget what it was like beforehand and we may take them for granted. Both of my parents passed away prior to the founding of Misaskim. Let me describe the scenario of an Isru Chag Pesach levayah, probably the last one of the day, and a Friday to boot. There were no “shivah chairs” to be had anymore. Anywhere. We were given corrugated boxes to sit on. My elderly father and uncles sat on my couch without the pillows to make it lower. It was not very comfortable with random springs poking up. I was in my fifth month. We made the best of it. Finally my cousins ran off to Home Depot and found only three white plastic chairs, because it was before the summer season. They borrowed a saw and sawed off half the legs to shorten them. Someone called a chair rental place to deliver chairs and a coat-rack for a mechitzah. Someone else knew someone who knew someone who had a small sefer Torah. After shivah, the chair rental place handed me an invoice. “Oh...I have to pay… Okay...where’s the checkbook?” I know Misaskim isn’t
TRAGEDY IN BROOKLYN: Orthodox Jewish Man Murdered By Neighbor Who Blocked Victims Driveway
14 Aug
TRAGEDY IN BROOKLYN: Orthodox Jewish Man Murdered By Neighbor Who Blocked Victims Driveway
Police arrested the man they say is behind the deadly stabbing of an Orthodox Jewish man in Brooklyn, all over a parking space. Djem Jean-Paul, 41, was caught at JFK Airport trying to escape to Haiti, according to the NYPD. He has been charged with manslaughter, assault 2nd, and criminal possession of a weapon 4th. As YWN reported earlier, Omari Dahan Z”L, 23, was stabbed in the chest at 11:30PM Sunday night, and was R”L pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital. The (unnamed) brother, 29, was stabbed in the arm and was in stable condition. Police say Djem Jean-Paul had blocked their driveway, and after the brothers had honked their car horn for some time, Jean-Paul walked out of his ex-wife’s home, and attacked the brothers. Volunteers from the Misaskim organization have been on the scene for hours, and have volunteers placed at the hospital as well – working closely with the NYPD as well as the NYC Medical Examiner to ensure proper Kavod Hames. In a sad twist to this story, YWN previously reported in 2009 that the father and brother of today’s stabbing victim were both killed in a terrible accident at a waste transfer station in Queens. Shlomo Dahan
 WHAT MISASKIM REALLY MEANS
09 Aug
WHAT MISASKIM REALLY MEANS
A bereaved father describes In reference to “Finding Light in Darkness,” Issue 328 of Ami Magazine Dear Editor: We are reserved individuals who relish our discreet lives and go about our business in an unassuming way and shun publicity. However, man does not control his destiny and as our forefather Yaakov discovered when he sought to settle in peace, so, too, did we lose our Yosef (Yosef Shmuel), except that our son won’t be returning in 22 years as a viceroy in Egypt. As an unfortunate protagonist of your feature article on the Misaskim organization, I feel duty-bound to share with your readership details that were omitted in your exposé. When Hatzalah appeared at our door to inform us of the bitter news that fateful Thursday evening, Yanky Meyer slipped into our house, and like a well-oiled machine, he followed a script that he must have performed countless times before. The first order of business was to identify the immediate next of kin and close family and dispatch social workers accompanied by Hatzalah members to inform them of the tragedy before they get the news from social media. The next order of business was to get nearby relatives and family friends
Ami Interview With Yanky Meyer
28 Jul
Ami Interview With Yanky Meyer
Any of the stories my esteemed guest shares with me are not for the faint of heart. “One of the things Misaskim takes care of,” Yanky Meyer, its benevolent founder, tells me, “is burying amputated limbs. We got a phone call about a young mother who had to have her hands and feet amputated. As tough as I am, I cried for a week. Her son’s bar mitzvah was coming up, but she said that she couldn’t make one because she just couldn’t face it. The bar mitzvah ended up being held in a beautiful hall and Avraham Fried came to sing. Who put that together? We did. “I’ve stood at the exit ramp of airplanes many times waiting for people to come off so I could give them a besorah that wasn’t good. Whenever I have to tell a family that they’ve lost a loved one, all I can think is that in the next 30 seconds I’m going to turn their lives upside-down forever. It’s something that can never be undone. It hurts a lot, and there’s nothing you can do to comfort yourself when doing it.” “And you walk around with that pain inside you?” I ask him. “I sure do,” is his candid response. “Sometimes I see people on the street and I immediately recognize them and think, I was the one who informed them.
Misaskim Welcomes New Head of Medical Examiner’s Office In Brooklyn
18 Jul
Misaskim Welcomes New Head of Medical Examiner’s Office In Brooklyn
Leaders of the Misaskim organization, along with several other community organizations, warmly welcomed the appointment of Dr. Mellisa A. Pasquale as the new Deputy Chief of the Medical Examiner’s Office responsible for Brooklyn. Dr. Pasquale who served previously in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Atlanta Georgia, is extremely knowledgeable with many Jewish customs and laws that relate to her office. Misaskim officials noted that the new head of Brooklyn’s Medical Examiner’s Office had worked closely with Misaskim in previous years. During Hurricane Sandy, in which the Bellevue hospital morgue was flooded, her sensitivity to the needs of Misaskim helped Misakim facilitate access to a niftar who was in need of immediate burial, as required by Jewish law. In welcoming Dr. Pasquale, Misaskim also congratulated the outgoing Brooklyn Deputy Chief, Dr. Jennifer Hammers, on her new endeavor, and noted that both the outgoing, and incoming examiners were two seasoned professionals who “demonstrate extreme sensitivity to families of all faiths”. “We have absolute confidence in Dr. Pasquale’s responsiveness to our community’s concerns, particularly in the largest Jewish community
Misaskim's Special Services Unit Constructs Air-Conditioned Tent for Large Family
05 Jul
Misaskim's Special Services Unit Constructs Air-Conditioned Tent for Large Family
This past week saw an unusually high number of aveilim sitting shiva in the Tristate area, stretching Misaskim's inventory to the limit. Many of the sites serviced were averaging over ten aveilim per site, but in one instance, in Lakewood, New Jersey, there were 24 aveilim sitting in one home, and the house was literally bursting at the seams. Misaskim’s Lakewood Division went above-and-beyond the call of duty by erecting an air conditioned tent (see photo) for some of the aveilim to sit, as well as provided heavy-duty air conditioning for the house itself, which, due to the warm weather, could not handle the massive crowd of visitors. This was in addition to 24 sets of essential shiva furniture, a Misaskim sponsored Sefer Torah and other adequate tashmeshei kedusha for the many aveilim and nechumim. Misaskim provides support and assistance to individuals experiencing the loss of a loved-one by providing them with vital bereavement services, including physical and moral support, to assist the grief-stricken with their many challenges during times of crisis or loss.
Misaskim and NYPD Visit Grieving Brooklyn Mom In Show Of Communal Support
08 May
Misaskim and NYPD Visit Grieving Brooklyn Mom In Show Of Communal Support
In an outpouring of support for the family of an eight year old Marine Park boy who was killed in a freak accident a week and a half ago, representatives of both the NYPD and Misaskim showed up at their home yesterday, loaded with gifts, as a gesture of good will. Kevin Reilly was playing outside on April 27th when his basketball landed in a ceramic planter attached to the exterior of the family's Ryder Street home. As the eight year old climbed the bars of a lower window to retrieve his ball, the heavy planter affixed to a higher window came loose and fell on top of him, crushing him and pinning him to the ground. Kevin was rushed to Coney Island Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Kevin's tragic death had resonated throughout Brooklyn and beyond, and in response to helping the family cope with their devastating loss, several members of Misaskim and the NYPD's Community Affairs Bureau showed up at the family home on Monday with bags full of gifts for Kevin's mother and two sisters. ‘We wanted to show Kevin's mother that we are a community and we are all in this together, said Misaskim founder Yankie Meyer.’ Meyer was accompanied by
Misaskim's Busiest 24 Hours
21 Apr
Misaskim's Busiest 24 Hours
For most families, Havdalah after the last day of Pesach signifies the mad dash to turn over the house from Pesachdik to chametz...or perhaps the start of the trek to returning home after being away for 8 days. But not for Misaskim. In the first 24 hours since Motzoei Yom Tov, Misaskim trucks, vans, and even SUVs manned by volunteers and staff (see photo), fanned out across the tri-state area delivering shiva-related materials to over 42 homes, encompassing more than 170 new aveilim, r’l. Although it is not totally unexpected, as this post-Yom Tov demand occurs every 6 months, it nevertheless still pushes Misaskim to the limit, both in terms of materials and Sifrei Torah, as well as manpower. Misaskim would like to thank the wives of the volunteers for sharing in this great chessed; it is not easy...but is greatly appreciated by all who have been helped with this unique Mitzvah. Misaskim alleviates tragedy with compassion, coordinates crisis with expertise, and provides a multi-faceted array of services for the bereaved.
Misaskim Manchester Bury a Meis Mitzvah, Finally Brought to Rest After 14 Months
15 Mar
Misaskim Manchester Bury a Meis Mitzvah, Finally Brought to Rest After 14 Months
A man's body was discovered on Saddleworth Moor at Dovestone reservoir on December 12, 2015. There was no identification on him. He had no wallet, mobile phone or other identification. All police could find were three train tickets and £130 in cash. An empty thyroxine sodium medicine bottle, a drug produced by GlaxoSmithKline for the treatment of hypothyroidism, emblazoned with Arabic writing, was found nearby. Detectives know he was poisoned by a dose of strychnine, a highly toxic odorless alkaloid used as a pesticide, particularly used to kill rodents. Greater Manchester Police were unable to identify the elderly man for over 14 months. He remained unidentified despite numerous public appeals and the release of CCTV footage of his last known movements. Detectives from Manchester traveled to London and visited hostels, hotels and pubs in their quest to uncover his identity. Investigators painstakingly checked CCTV of the train stations of the tickets he had on him and traced his movements backwards from Saddleworth, to Manchester Piccadilly, then Euston and back to Ealing Broadway. A post mortem examination revealed that he had had an operation to insert a mid-femur
Misaskim's Chanukah Programs Alleviate Pain for Over 1,000 New Orphans
07 Mar
Misaskim's Chanukah Programs Alleviate Pain for Over 1,000 New Orphans
Over 1,000 children who were r"l orphaned over the past few years, received a multi-blast of happiness from Misaskim and their trove of dedicated volunteers within the past two weeks. Without any let-up in their well-known services of dispatching first-response teams when tragedy strikes, as well as for providing shiva materials for current aveilim, these young yesomim and yesomos were treated by Misaskim to Chanukah gelt in the form of $50-$75 VISA gift cards, as well as several plastic-encased dollars and coins with messages of encouragement and beracha from leading Admorim and Rabbanim. And, without any advance fanfare or publicity, many of them were treated to private gala Chanukah parties, and entertained by leading Jewish celebrities, including Avraham Fried and the Yedidim choir. This writer questioned the expense and effort put into these events until he saw the looks on the faces of these children as they sang, danced, ate Chanukah treats to their heart's content, all-the-while winning game show prizes and having loads of fun, something that was sorely missing for these families over the past many months. In fact, the surviving parents of these
Misaskim Volunteers Dig Grave with Bare Hands
22 Jan
Misaskim Volunteers Dig Grave with Bare Hands
This week's snow storm wreaked havoc on the entire region and even forced Misaskim volunteers to remove mountains of snow in a cemetery just to make sure that burial would take place the same day. The story began with the passing of a woman in Long Branch NJ during the height of the storm. But while the family desired immediate burial, the cemetery refused to bury the deceased because of the large amount of snow and inclement weather. When informed of the dilemma, Misaskim volunteers and family members used shovels to remove the snow from the plot and opened the grave, thereby assuring that the woman would have kvurah the same day.
 Asai L'man Tinokos Shel Bais Rabban: Join Misaskim's  Tehillim Asifah
10 Sep
Asai L'man Tinokos Shel Bais Rabban: Join Misaskim's Tehillim Asifah
If one child's pure prayer is a heaven-piercing arrow, then a minyan of children's tefillos is an invincible army. How much more so, then, is the awesome power of tens of thousands of tefillos emanating from the innocent mouths of tinokos shel bais raban and ascending heavenward! For the past eighteen years, Klal Yisroel has had the zechus of having tens of thousands of children davening on our behalf during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, the most auspicious time of the year. This Tehillim Asifah is coordinated each year by Misaskim and will once again take place, September 10th, at 1:00 p.m. EST. Regardless of your location, your tefillos can join with hundreds of thousands of others as the sha'arei shamayim are opened wide at 1:00 p.m. The program will begin with the recitation of the following kapitlech of Tehillim: 13, 20, 79, 121, 130, and 142. This will be followed by Minchah, Avinu Malkeinu, Selichos of Shlosh Esrei Middos, and Kabolas Ol Malchus Shomayim. Click hereto submit your cholim to be included for a special mishebeirach in the Bobover Bais Medrash. Information will be posted at a later date about listening and/or watching the event
01 Jul
Misaskim Cares Summer Safety Edition
Misaskim has just released the latest edition of Misaskim Cares - Summer Safety Edition. The magazine was distributed throughout the tri-state area and can also be viewed online by clicking here Misaskim volunteers provide numerous community-related services throughout the year. These services include providing assistance for grieving families, and, if needed, dealing with families in crisis, and communicating with law enforcement personnel. Frequent performance of these services has led the organization to recognize that it possesses a unique understanding of the numerous safety and security gaps within the community that need to be addressed. Misaskim Cares is comprised of gentle reminders, useful tips, and pertinent information that can be instrumental in safeguarding your family's wellbeing this summer season. In addition to exploring the factors that most commonly lead to motor vehicle accidents r"l, this issue of Misaskim Cares clarifies newly enacted laws and how abiding by them can prevent a summer trip from metamorphosing into a traumatic experience. While summer beckons us outdoors, Misaskim Cares firmly establishes a set of safety
13 May
Misaskim Loses a Friend
Misaskim was notified this morning about the sudden passing of Mr. Errington Albert Bailey, a dedicated and compassionate staff member at the NYC Medical Examiner's Brooklyn Office. Mr. Bailey was found deceased in his apartment by authorities after failing to show up at work. He was 57 years old. Misaskim is deeply saddened and would like to express our sincerest condolence to Mr. Bailey's family and to the entire staff at the Medical Examiner's office. Misaskim representatives began interacting with Mr. Bailey in 1986 - many years before the organization was officially established. Mr. Bailey has been a dear friend to Misaskim and to the community since then. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate families who have experienced a sudden and tragic lost. This included traveling back to his office after working hours on Motzei Shabbos or Yom Tov so that a levaya can be made on time. Hundreds, if not thousands, of niftarim came to kvura in timely manner due to the intervention of Mr. Bailey during the past 25 years. He readily agreed to come back to the office after working hours to complete the proper paperwork so that a niftar
A Week at Misaskim
23 Apr
A Week at Misaskim
This week marked an unusual range of activities at Misaskim's headquarters. In addition to the more than 35 families that were being serviced as part of the organization's daily operations, Misaskim was involved in several other situations. Thursday, April 11th - Misaskim representatives were invited to the New York Medical Examiner's office to make a presentation that would enable Medical Examiner borough chiefs and their emergency planning staff to understand the Jewish traditions that are related to death. The objective of this presentation was to explain the need for Misaskim's services and indicate how they are delivered to the Jewish community. The topics discussed included: - How Misaskim assists families to ensure kavod hameis should they have to deal with the Medical Examiner's office. - How Misaskim handles a meis mitzvah, and the importance of addressing such a situation properly - How Misaskim operates as a support system for other chevra kadishas should they need technical assistance - How Misaskim's Disaster/Recovery team operates, and how their actions prevent nivul hameis - Misaskim's preparedness plans in
24 Jan
Special Mention - NYC Medical Examiner's Office
Misaskim would once again like to make special mention of the incredible sensitivity shown by the NYC Medical Examiner's office towards the Kishik family who suffered the tragic loss of their daughter, Sara A"H. Sara A"H was nifter on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and the family opted to catch the 11:50 p.m. flight to Eretz Yisroel to bring her there to kvurah. However, most of the staff at the Medical Examiner's office had already left for the day and their services were needed in order to release the nifteres on time. Key personnel including the clerk and x-ray technician agreed to be brought back to the office after hours to take care of all legal matters and arrange for the nifteres to be released. Misaskim commends the Medical Examiner's Office for its assistance in enabling the family to provide a lasting comfort to the nifteres under these tragic circumstances. Misaskim representatives have expended a great deal of effort over the years to ensure that these arrangements with the Medical Examiner's Office are operative. With siyata dishmaya, the system functioned well on Tuesday night and the nifteres along with family members were able to make the
Misaskim Hosts NYPD School Security Conference
24 Jan
Misaskim Hosts NYPD School Security Conference
On Wednesday, January 23rd, Misaskim hosted an NYPD conference for yeshivah and Bais Yaakov school principles and administrators at the Hod V'Hadar hall in Boro Park. The meeting was called by NYPD's Brooklyn Borough South Assistant Chief Thomas Chan in light of the tragic school shooting in Newton, Connecticut. The objective of the conference was to formulate a preparedness plan for our schools in the event of a shooting emergency. In attendance were members of the local law-enforcement community, New York City Councilman David Greenfield and other community leaders. In his welcoming statement, Rabbi Yanky Meyer of Misaskim told school administrators that while we are all tempted to rationalize that an incident similar to the one in Connecticut is unlikely to occur here, it is our responsibility to our children to take the steps to address this issue. He recalled that last summer there were two incidents that involved police officers and Shomrim members pursuing bank robbers in the streets of our community. In one of these incidents, the perpetrator was armed. How would school officials react should such a perpetrator decide to take shelter in a school? Councilman
Misaskim Assists During Hurricane Sandy
30 Oct
Misaskim Assists During Hurricane Sandy
Misaskim representatives began preparing for Hurricane Sandy early in the weekend. Misaskim ensured that all its resources and emergency equipment were in good working order. Then, on Sunday Misaskim launched its School Notification System by continuously notifying school administrators and other school personnel in Brooklyn South with information they need as the storm progressed. The notification system was also adapted during the storm to dispense important safety information to tens of thousands individuals in our communities. "Thank you so much for your constant updates," one recipient wrote to Misaskim. "It gave me a sense of security in this sea of chaos." Misaskim's Emergency Operations Center was activated late Sunday night with its generators set on standby so that the center can continue to operate in a black-out. The Emergency Operations Center served as a communications hub so that Misaskim can work in concert with other community organizations such as Hatzolah, Chaveirim and Shomrim. Misaskim representatives were in touch with the commanding officers of Brooklyn South police precincts throughout the storm, coordinating communications
28 Oct
Misaskim: Hurricane Sandy Preparedness Update
As local law-enforcement are preparing for Hurricane Sandy, Misaskim is urging everyone to pay close attention to all announcement and heed all warning in order to ensure the safety of all. Misaskim will be activating its Emergency Operations Center tonight. The Emergency Operations Center is equipped to serve as a communications hub for emergency and law-enforcement organizations in case the storm wrecks community-wide damages. The Emergency Operation Center will run of generated power in the event of a power outage. Misaskim's School Safety Notification System is currently operating in Brooklyn South by disseminating information to families via school administrators and other school officials. The School Safety Notification System allows school administrators to quickly and effectively receive information from the Governor's office, the Mayor's office, the Office of Emergency Management and local law-enforcement personnel. Misaskim is also releasing school closing information through this system. UPDATED: Monday, October 30, 2012 - 7:30 a.m.: The following schools have confirmed that they will be closed on Monday. Bais Brocha all divisions
 Tishrei:  Misaskim's Marathon Month of Chesed
16 Oct
Tishrei: Misaskim's Marathon Month of Chesed
Each year, the month of Tishrei heralds a season of intense preparation as Klal Yisroel gets ready for the Yomin Tovim. It is precisely during this hectic time of the year that Misaskim is bombarded with urgent requests for help from nearly every Jewish community. As the urgency surrounding Yom Tov intensifies, so do the calls for assistance. Misaskim representatives always make every effort to anticipate the particular services that will be needed each year so that Yom Tov can be observed without any hindrances. Much has been happening at Misaskim during this past month. As Rosh Hashanah neared, Misaskim sent Sifrei Torah to be used on Rosh Hashanah to individuals who are currently in prison. Misaskim representatives were faced with a bitter and heartrending situation on Rosh Hashanah when they were summoned to a home in Boro Park where a young child had drowned tragically. Misaskim volunteers remained on the scene to support the family while the detectives and other law-enforcement personnel completed their investigation. Then, together with Misaskim's non-Jewish Shabbos assistant, volunteers escorted the niftar to the Medical Examiner's office
Misaskim Assists with Deceased El Al Passenger
16 Oct
Misaskim Assists with Deceased El Al Passenger
Misaskim was contacted by airport personnel on Tuesday morning at 3:30a.m. about the tragic death of Mrs. Sabrina Kalker, A"H. Mrs Kalker was traveling on El Al flight 001 from Israel back to New York after spending the Yomim Tovim in Israel with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. During her flight home, Mrs. Kalker passed away from natural causes and was pronounced dead mid-flight. Airport officials contacted Misaskim for assistance with handling the nifteres since she was of the Jewish faith. Misaskim representatives were tasked with doing the death notifications. Volunteers assisted the family in navigating the legal system and escorted the niftar to the Medical Examiner's office to ensure kavod hames. The levaya for Mrs. Sabrina Kalker A"H, a Flatbush resident, is scheduled to take place on Wednesday morning, October 17th at the Midwood Chapel.
 Asai L'man Tinokos Shel Bais Raban
21 Sep
Asai L'man Tinokos Shel Bais Raban
Misaskim marked its 19th international, annual Tehillim Asifa with tens of thousands of children from around the globe. Misaskim coordinates this poignant event during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah to infuse strength and hope into all those in urgent need of a yeshuah. Children from more than 35 local yeshivas were bused in to the Bobov Shul in Boro Park which served as the main location. Thousands more joined via satellite hookup across the nation and around the world. Young voices from London, Manchester, Israel, Toronto, Montreal, Panama, and Mexico City cried out in unison with those in the United States "Shlach Refuah Shleima L'Cholei Amecha!" Rabbonim representing nearly every Jewish community led the participants through the tefillos. Harav Don Segal Shlita, who is currently visiting from Eretz Yisroel, led the children through the recitation of th Tehillim. The Spinka Menahel, Rav Leibish Rubin, davened Minchah and Rabbi Yitzchok Issac Tirnauer took his father's place by leading the Avinu Malkeinu. The Mattesdorfer Rav led the Shlosh Esrei Middos and Rav Yeckezkel Roth Shlita, completed the Asifa by reciting the Kabolas Ol
 Asai L'man Tinokos Shel Bais Rabban: Join Misaskim's  Tehillim Asifah
20 Sep
Asai L'man Tinokos Shel Bais Rabban: Join Misaskim's Tehillim Asifah
If one child's pure prayer is a heaven-piercing arrow, then a minyan of children's tefillos is an invincible army. How much more so, then, is the awesome power of tens of thousands of tefillos emanating from the innocent mouths of tinokos shel bais raban and ascending heavenward! For the past seventeen years, Klal Yisroel has had the zechus of having tens of thousands of children davening on our behalf during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, the most auspicious time of the year. This Tehillim Asifah is coordinated each year by Misaskim and will once again take place TODAY, September 20th, at 1:00 p.m. EST. Regardless of your location, your tefillos can join with hundreds of thousands of others as the sha'arei shamayim are opened wide at 1:00 p.m. The program will begin with the recitation of the following kapitlech of Tehillim: 13, 20, 79, 121, 130, and 142. This will be followed by Minchah, Avinu Malkeinu, Selichos of Shlosh Esrei Middos, and Kabolas Ol Malchus Shomayim. Click hereto watch the event live. You can also listen to the event live through Kol Mevaser by dialing 212-444-1100, and following the appropriate prompts.
02 Aug
Huge Kiddush Hashem at Siyum Hashas
An immense Kiddush Hashem took place on Wednesday evening as law enforcement officials witnessed firsthand the derech eretz and simchah with which the crowd of nearly 100,000 Yidden conducted themselves at the Siyum HaShas at New Jersey's Met Life Stadium. Chief Christopher Trucillo of the New Jersey Transit System shared with Misaskim the positive impression his troopers had of the event, many of whom joined his force after the 9/11 terror attacks. Several reported that this was the first time people came over to them before and after an event to thank them for their services. Tremendous hakaras hatov is due to the law-enforcement community, including the Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Jersey State Police, emergency response teams and transit officials, all of whom demonstrated extreme vigilance. Indeed, Misaskim worked with more than 70 agencies who spent months planning and coordinating security measures for what would turn out to be a capacity crowd There were several situations during the event that appeared suspicious in the eyes of law enforcement that were immediately addressed. In several instances,
Security at the Siyum Hashas
26 Jul
Security at the Siyum Hashas
With the 12th Siyum Hashas just one week away, organizers of the massive event have stepped up efforts to ensure the highest standards of security in and around Metlife Stadium. Agudath Israel of America has enlisted the assistance of Misaskim, which has years of experience coordinating security procedures at large community events. Representatives of both organizations have, over the last several months, participated in dozens of meetings with numerous law enforcement agencies, including the New Jersey State Police, counter terrorism units, federal and state intelligence agencies, New Jersey Transit Police, Joint Terrorism Task Force, FBI, CIA, Port Authority, and the New York State Police Department. Due to the highly unusual nature of the upcoming gathering, the Federal Department of Homeland Security has ranked the event a "#2" on a security-preparedness scale of 6-1, with #6 representing the least stringent level of security and #1 -- generally reserved for events at which the President of the United States is present -- representing the highest. In addition to nearly 600 New Jersey State troopers - all of whom have undergone eight hours of cultural and
Medical Examiner's Office Provides Ground Zero Halachic Insight to Rabbonim
17 Jul
Medical Examiner's Office Provides Ground Zero Halachic Insight to Rabbonim
Recently, Misaskim hosted Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Shlita, Misaskim's rav and the head of the Vaad Mishmeres H'kahuna, together with a large group of rabbonim. The gathering took place at Misaskim's headquarters and was dedicated to the process of determining the halachic status of Kohanim at Ground Zero and its memorial museum. Dr. Bradley Adams, who heads the Forensic Anthropology Department at the New York Medical Examiner's office, which is currently in charge of all recovery operations at Ground Zero, presented an hour-long outline of all aspects of the ongoing recovery operation. His presentation was recently used as an educational tool for coroners and forensic experts from around the world at the International Conference for Medical Examiners in April. Dr. Adams helped the rabbonim understand the scope of the clean-up operations. He explained that about 609,000 cubic yards of material is being sifted through in an effort to recover human remains that may have been missed after the initial clean-up activities at the site. He mentioned that in addition to meticulously examining surrounding roof tops and buildings, the Medical Examiner's
26 Jun
Misaskim Summer Safety Message
Summer is upon us, and although Misaskim is not publishing a summer safety booklet this year (keep an eye out for our back to school issue instead), there are several safety messages that we would like to bring to everyone's attention. Youngsters are now out of school, outdoors much more, and less supervised. This leads to an increased risk of a long list of injuries and potential dangers that include, but are not limited to, drowning, head injuries, and skin infections resulting from bug bites or poison ivy. The best preventative measure without a doubt is competent adult supervision. The following tips will go a long way toward limiting accidental injuries. Water Safety: Probably the best way to stress the importance of supervision at the pool comes from the following story that occurred just a few days ago: On Thursday, June 21st, a family in Lakewood rented a pool to offer their young children a reprieve from the brutal heat that hit the tri-state region last week. There were three adults at the pool keeping an eye on the children in the shallow water. Three-year-old Sruly was playing with a pail at the side of the pool and he wanted to fill his pail with water. So he
12 Jun
This Week At Misaskim
In addition to daily deliveries and pick-ups, Misaskim volunteers had their hands full with other meis mitzvah related services this past week. Misaskim arranged a kosher burial for two meis mitzvaha's and ensured another meis with a Jewish burial. The organization also welcomed two new sefer torahs to its growing family of sifrei torah. It all began with a Misaskim volunteer who works as a manager in an assisted living facility in New Jersey. This volunteer alerted Misaskim about a Jewish niftar that was set to be cremated. The niftar did not have Medicare or Medicaid to cover burial expenses and no family member came forward to take responsibility either. Misaskim took upon itself to arrange a kosher burial, using the services provided by the Hebrew Free Burial Society. Misaskim volunteers from New Jersey and New York coordinated the transportation arrangement and brought this meis mitzvah to kevurah. Later in the week Misaskim ensured a Jewish burial for a nifteres in Georgia. Misaskim was notified about this meis mitzvah from the nifteres' daughter who is frum and lives in Ohio. The nifteres lived in a small community 50 miles outside
21 May
A Kiddush Hashem in the Eyes of Law Enforcement
Misaskim received much praise at the conclusion of the Asifa at Citi Field. The acclaim originated from individuals within the law-enforcement community who has been working hand-in-hand with Misaskim for months prior to the event. One security official expressed his admiration to Misaskim regarding the politeness and respectful attitude of the audience. He remarked that, despite the fact that most of the participants don't normally visit a ball park, "They navigated very skillfully and found their seats with no trouble at all." Citi Field maintains a diverse work force, including its Event Planning Staff. They did a superb job throughout the planning stages. Most of these individuals have had little or no previous exposure to the orthodox community. "Everyone came away with a very positive impression," said one staff member. Members of the more than 28 agencies and departments involved in planning and executing the event echoed similar praise. They were astounded by the respectful and dignified behavior displayed by the attendees. The orderliness was a true Kiddush Hashem. The police department created an inner circle on the field that was
16 May
A Message from Misaskim Regarding Security at Citi Field
Tens of thousands are expected to gather at Citi Field on May 20th to attend the internet Asifa organized by Ichud Hakahillos. While those gathered explore the negative impact technology may have on our youth, Misaskim, along with hundreds of security personnel, will have all their resources available to ensure the safety and security of all attendees. Misaskim was tasked with coordinating the security detail for this event due to its extensive ties with members in the law-enforcement community. Days and weeks of planning were involved in this operation. Misaskim played a key role in communicating and updating law-enforcement personnel with the most recent updates. Chief Diana Pizzuti of Patrol Borough Queens North has given her utmost in ensuring that all that is needed will indeed be available. Citi Field is under the jurisdiction of Patrol Borough Queens North. In addition, numerous other agencies from the NYPD participated in coordinating this security detail. The following agencies participated during a final coordination meeting on Wednesday, May 9th: The Police Commissioner's Office, The Chief of Departments, The Chief of Patrol, The Chief of
Medical Examiners From Around the Globe Converge in NYC
25 Apr
Medical Examiners From Around the Globe Converge in NYC
Hundreds of medical examiners, forensic experts, law-enforcement and military personnel are participating in the International Mass Fatality Management Conference that began on April 25th. The conference is being held at the Medical Examiner's Office in New York in order to bring together international and domestic experts that are leaders in mass fatality management. These experts are exploring past incidents, discussing lessons learned and defining the best practices in order to enhance future responses. Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, New York City Chief Medical Examiner, hosted the event. He explained that while some tragedies are unpreventable, experts can use their skills and technologies to alleviate some of the grief that families feel by returning the victims to them in the most efficient manner. This will allow family members to observe the rites and practices that bring them comfort. Some of the International Mass Fatality Experts present are Pongruk Sribanditmongkol MD PhD; who oversaw victim identification after the tsunami destroyed much of Southern Thailand in 2004, Kathryne Bomberger; who is the Director General of the International Commission for Missing
18 Apr
Miami Chevra Kadisha Instrumental in Preventing a Cremation
Misaskim received a call on its emergency hotline this Chol Hamoed from a women who currently lives in Flatbush. The woman explained that her aunt, who lives in Palm Beach, Florida, had passed away and that the family was planning to cremate the body due to lack of funds. The caller was understandably broken-hearted about the family's decision, as her mother, who was the sister of the current nifteres', had also cremated her father's body years ago for similar reasons. The woman was determined to prevent the cremation from happening this time, but was at a loss as to how to handle the situation. Misaskim volunteers contacted family members and worked with Rabbi Yeruchim Koppelman of the Miami Chevra Kadisha. Together, they did their utmost to educate the family regarding the negative spiritual ramifications of cremation. There were various options available in order to resolve the situation, including bringing the nifteres to New York. In the end, Misaskim offered to take responsibility for the expenses of a Jewish burial and chose to bury the nifteres in Miami since it was most cost effective. Rabbi Koppelman arranged the burial and the nifteres
Misaskim Teams Up with The Federal Bureau of Investigation On Chol Hamoed
17 Apr
Misaskim Teams Up with The Federal Bureau of Investigation On Chol Hamoed
At this year's Misaskim Chol Hamoed outing for children who have lost a parent, participants were treated to a unique program that included exhibits manned by nearly 40 FBI agents. The youngsters had the opportunity to meet the special agents and learn how they work to keep our country safe. They also had a chance to find out about the remarkable tools the agents use to accomplish their mission. "What a great event," Special Agent in Charge, Gerald Rose, told participants at the start of the event. "You are going to see amazing things this afternoon that [most people never see or hear about...]" He urged the youngsters to carefully view the exhibits, ask questions, and use this unique opportunity to interact with agents. Members of the FBI and Misaskim have been planning this event for months, and so it was with great pleasure that Misaskim presented Special Agent Rose with an award to acknowledge his team's efforts in coordinating this very interesting and exciting event. First, the children watched a presentation about Air Force One on a Jumbotron Screen. They were treated to an inside view of the "flying White House" and learned
Misaskim Conducts Law-Enforcement Training in Bergen County
28 Mar
Misaskim Conducts Law-Enforcement Training in Bergen County
On Thursday, March 22nd, Misaskim, together with Rabbi Joel Friedman, a chaplain and community liaison at the Bergen County Sheriff's office, coordinated a law-enforcement training session in Bergen County. The objective of the training session was to inform members of the law-enforcement community about Jewish traditions relating to death. Most of the participants were from the Bergen County Sheriff's Office Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). The BCI is comprised of the Detective Unit, the Crime Scene Unit, and the Firearms Identification Unit. BCI personnel are frequently called to accident and crime scenes, and may be confronted with Jewish fatalities, especially since the Jewish community in Bergen County is continuing to expand. In addition, many Jewish families from Brooklyn spend the summer months in the Catskills and travel back and forth to New York via the highways and roads of Bergen County. Law-enforcement personnel from surrounding towns were also present at the training session, at which many traditions relating to death were discussed. The detectives learned about the sacredness of the deceased's body and the need for a quick burial. They
Desecration at Jewish Cemetery
21 Mar
Desecration at Jewish Cemetery
At the outer edge of The Hebrew Cemetery in Newark, NJ large sections of the rusting fence are missing and many broken tombstones lay strewn around. These remnants of a once vibrant Jewish community now lay sadly in utter neglect. This cemetery was founded by the Landsmanshaftn -- or Jewish aid societies -- of Newark that were comprised of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe who came to the United States from 1880 to the 1920's. Landsmanshaftn assumed the responsibility to help their brethren who left the shtetle in Europe to settle in the America. They were widely known for assisting the sick and providing burial plots for those in the Jewish community in need. The Landsmanshaftn were very active in the flourishing Jewish community in Newark. In fact, it is estimated that the Jewish population there peaked at around 75,000 in the 1930's. Today, however, the area is known for its dangerously high crime rate and few venture out to the cemeteries in this area without police protection. Welco Realty is probably to blame for the desecration of these ageing tombstones. This Company planned a mega redevelopment project in the area and proposed building a
29 Feb
Selichos L'Zayin Adar
Throughout Jewish history, Zayin Adar marked an important day in the Jewish calendar for members of the Chevrah Kadisha. On this day, Hashem himself performed the duties of the Chevrah Kadisha and buried Moshe Rabbeinu on the mountain. It is therefore customary for members of Chevrah Kadisha to fast on this day and ask forgiveness from the niftarim they served throughout the year; lest they inadvertently showed any act of disrespect to a niftar while preparing them for kevurah . In addition, it is a day of reflection on the meaning and importance of Kavod Hames. Most Chevrah Kadisha are familiar with the minhag to fast on Zayin Adar and they also lein V'yachal during Mincha services as it is done on any tanis tzibur. But it is not so well known that there are specific selichos to be recited by the Chevrah Kadisha on this day. Misaskim was able to locate an old siddur that still had the selichos listed in it. In fact, Misaskim found all three different versions of selichos for Zayen Adar; Nisach Lita, Nisach G'chasha and Nisach Puzna. Misaskim would like to make it known that these special selichos exist. The
Misaskim Welcomes FBI Assistant Director in Charge -- Ms. Janice Fedarcyk
27 Feb
Misaskim Welcomes FBI Assistant Director in Charge -- Ms. Janice Fedarcyk
On Monday, February 27, 2012, Misaskim hosted FBI Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office, Ms. Janice Fedarcyk, and members of her staff. The objective of this event was to give Ms. Fedarcyk a better understanding of the Jewish community. Ms. Fedarcyk was introduced to numerous representatives of local and national organizations, so that she could better understand the needs of the Jewish community and how they are met. Some of the organizations present at the event included Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance Corps -- including members of the Monsey Hatzolah -- Agudath Israel of America, the Jewish Community Relations Council, Dror, Ohel, Chai Lifeline, Hebrew Academy for Special Children, Yeshiva Novominsk and representatives from several Shomrim groups. Key law enforcement personnel, including Chief Moran from Patrol Boro Brooklyn South, representatives from local precincts, the New York State Police, the Chief of the New Jersey Transit, the Superintendent of the Port Authority, the Medical Examiner's Office as well as officials from the Sheriff's office of the Ulster, Sullivan and Orange counties, were all present to demonstrate how Misaskim and other
Misaskim Hosts FDNY Commissioner
08 Feb
Misaskim Hosts FDNY Commissioner
On Wednesday, February 8th, Misaskim hosted FDNY Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano as part of an initiative to promote public safety. Misaskim's goal is to coordinate the activities of city officials with those of local community organizations, including Hatzolah, Shomrim, and Chai Lifeline. By having these organizations work together with city agencies, it is hoped that the unique needs of our growing community will be effectively met. Commissioner Cassano has been active in this area, and his ongoing efforts on our behalf were recognized at the meeting by presenting him with a plaque. Representatives from various government agencies and elected officials were present. Attendees included Deputy Inspector Sprague, commanding officer of the 66th Precinct, as well as well as commanding officers of other local precincts. Councilman David Greenfield, Councilman Brad Lander, and Councilman Michael Nelson also participated. Councilman Greenfield thanked Misaskim for taking the lead in public safety and community issues and praised representatives of Hatzolah, Shomrim and Chai Lifeline for their commitment to our community. Regarding Commissioner Cassano, he then told the
 Misaskim Conducts Training Session at FBI New York Field Office
30 Jan
Misaskim Conducts Training Session at FBI New York Field Office
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has implemented cultural-diversity training to provide its agents with the knowledge they need when working with the many and varied cultures present in New York. Misaskim's representatives conducted a training session at the New York office of the FBI to educate newly-assigned federal agents regarding Jewish cultural practices related to death. During the session, the agents gained an understanding of various Jewish traditions, including requirement for a hasty burial and the need to bury the body of a deceased in its entirety. Misaskim explained the reasons for its endeavors to prevent an autopsy on a deceased Jewish person whenever possible. The Misaskim participants also outlined the organization's role of serving as a liaison between law enforcement and bereaved families when it becomes necessary to ensure that legal requirements, as well as Jewish traditions, are upheld. "I learned a lot about Misaskim, and about particulars of how to better extend the appropriate sensitivity in dealing with deceased members of your faith," said Special Agent Tim Chapman. Chapman was among approximately 70 agents who
25 Jan
Misaskim Prevents Another Cremation
Misaskim received a phone call on its hotline last week from an individual who was calling in about a mes mitzvah situation. In fact, the niftar was already at a funeral establishment in Baltimore to be cremated. The caller identified the niftar as his coworker's father who recently passed on. Unfortunately, the co-worker has not been in contact with her father and opted for a cremation upon learning about his death. She chose to spread his ashes over the burial plot that her father had purchased in Saddlebrook, NJ. Misaskim contacted the niftar's daughter and she agreed to allow Misaskim to step in and provide her father with a Jewish burial. Misaskim volunteers worked to release the niftar from the funeral establishment in Baltimore. Then volunteers were dispatched to bring the niftar back to New York where the volunteers completed the taharah and buried the nifter shortly thereafter.
Misaskim Needs  YOU!
08 Dec
Misaskim Needs YOU!
UPDATE: We have not reached our goal yet -- we still need to raise $3000.00. PLEASE HELP US TODAY! Misaskim is calling upon acheinu klal yisroel for urgent help in covering the costs for kvurah for an unprecedented amount of meisei mitzvah. Misaskim was contacted last week by an elderly woman for help in bringing home her son's body. Tragically, this single, young man was found dead in his hotel room by hotel staff. Misaskim volunteers maintained contact with the distraught woman as they began proceedings to transfer her son's body. However, the following morning, volunteers were unable to reach the woman. After repeated attempts, they called upon the woman's relatives to check on her. It was direct hashgacha that another family member contacted Misaskim in the interim to find out whether the organization is involved in assisting this woman. Now Misaskim was able to quickly locate the woman’s relative when they were unable to reach her. Unfortunately, the relative reported that the mother too, was found dead in her apartment. The terrible tragedy of her son's sudden passing was too much for the woman's fragile health and she
Misaskim Hosts School Safety Forum
28 Nov
Misaskim Hosts School Safety Forum
Law Enforcement and Educators in Partnership More than a hundred educators participated in a school safety forum hosted by Misaskim on Monday, November 28th. The educators represented nearly 200 Yeshivas and Bais Yaakovs from the 13 precincts in Brooklyn South. These educators and administrators are responsible for the safety of 52,000 children and 8,000 staff members each day. The forum was arranged by Misaskim upon the request from local police officials, who sought to meet up with educators after several safety issues recently surfaced. Members from Hatzolah and Shomrim were also present at the forum. School personnel were first addressed by Assistant Chief Thomas Chan, who was recently promoted to Commanding Officer of Brooklyn South. Before being promoted, Chief Chan served as the Commanding Officer for school safety in New York City. He stressed the importance of a school safety plan in the event of a fire, medical emergency, flood or any other disaster. "NYC requires every school to have a school safety plan," the Chief told those gathered. Chief Chan also offered several important tips in preventing any mishaps that may endanger the safety
Misaskim Builds Bridges with Waterbury Community
10 Nov
Misaskim Builds Bridges with Waterbury Community
Law enforcement officials from Waterbury, Connecticut, traveled to Brooklyn on November 10, 2011, to meet with Misaskim representatives. Mr. Yitzy Rabinowitz, liaison from the Waterbury Police Department and a community activist, orchestrated the meeting in an effort to meet the needs of the growing Jewish community of Waterbury. Deputy Chief David Jannetty and Lieutenant Scott Stevenson of the Community Affairs Bureau spent several hours at Misaskim to learn about the unique needs of the Jewish community. They were impressed by the stellar working relationship that Misaskim has with the NYPD and other important law enforcement agencies in New York City. The officials explored the various community services Misaskim offers and how it benefits the community as well as law enforcement agencies. After touring Misaskim's facility, Jannetty noted that "Misaskim thinks about everything." He expressed his appreciation to Misaskim representatives and to Mr. Rabinowitz for taking the time to share with him the inner workings of the Jewish community and its successful interactions with the law-enforcement community. "Your operations here exceeded my
New York's Newest Congressman Visits Misaskim
09 Nov
New York's Newest Congressman Visits Misaskim
In what he termed an "eye-opening experience," United States Congressman Bob Turner toured Misaskim's headquarters on Tuesday, November 8th, and met with members of Misaskim's board. Turner, newly elected as congressman in New York's 9th Congressional district, is already considered a rising star on the House Committee on Homeland Security. Turner was visibly impressed as he viewed Misaskim's vast array of supplies and equipment, all of which are used solely to assist acheinu beis yisroel cope with adversity and loss. The Congressman inspected its gmach nichumim, sophisticated lighting equipment and stopped by Misaskim's Emergency Operations Center. He was particularly impressed with Misaskim's fleet of 15 vehicles, including emergency response vehicles and high tech mobile command centers. During his tour of Misaskim's headquarters, Misaskim volunteers described the scope of the organization's free services to the Jewish community and outlined the implementation of its new series of safety initiatives in the community. Congressman Turner was effusive in his praise of Misaskim and its volunteers. "A
A Cremation Prevented
08 Nov
A Cremation Prevented
Last week, a woman contacted Misaskim with a request for assistance in bringing her sister to kever yisroel. The nifteres had passed away in Richmond, Virginia, while living there with her roommate. By the time the woman learned of her sister's passing, the body had already been taken to the Cremation Society of Virginia. Understandably, this individual was greatly distressed by the circumstances as she knew that her sister had desired a Jewish burial. In addition, a Chabad Rabbi in Richmond, who had interacted with the nifteres before her passing, also confirmed this to be true. Misaskim representatives, together with Rabbi Vorst of Crown Heights and a Chabad shaliach in Virginia, immediately began working on the case. They contacted the Cremation Society in an effort to have the body released for burial. However, shortly after Misaskim volunteers from Baltimore were dispatched to retrieve the body, the organization received a phone call from the Cremation Society indicating that the volunteers should not undertake the journey to Richmond. The clerk explained that the nifteres' roommate, who was the designated legal guardian, had requested that the body
Monsey Residents Endure Another Day in the Dark
01 Nov
Monsey Residents Endure Another Day in the Dark
By Hamodia Staff More than forty-eight hours after a powerful snowstorm hit Rockland County, a significant number of Monsey Residents are still without electricity. With the leaf-laden trees felled by the heavy wet snow, and wires down throghtout the area, many streets remained impassible. "Usually when it snows in Monsey we have winter wonderland, but now because we have leaves on the trees it looks different," Monsey resident Gila Hochberg said. "My little four-year-old daughter looked out the window on Shabbos and saw all the trees drooping down to the ground. She said, "The trees were crying. They look very sad." Mrs. Hochberg herself lost electricity only on Sunday for about eight hours. But many other homes in the area are still without power. "There's no one to talk to at because O&R [the local electric company] is over their heads," she said. "They say their first priority is downed wires, and they can’t even give an estimated time of when it's going to be restored." Coping without electricity is proving to be a very challenging task. "Families with 10 kids can't do laundry, and
24 Oct
Hundreds of Yisomim Participate in Misaskim's Chol Hamoed Event
A dozen coach buses carrying more than 600 yisomim arrived in Manhattan Beach last week on Monday, the third day of Chol Hamoed. The children who were traveling on those buses came from a variety of locations throughout the tri-state area, including Boro Park, the Five Towns, Flatbush, Lakewood, Long Island, Monroe, Monsey, New Square, Queens, and Williamsburg. They came to participate in Misaskim's Chol Hamoed Sukkos event, designed to provide a day of celebration and fun for those who have suffered the loss of a parent. This year's Chol Hamoed Sukkos outing took place at beautiful Manhattan Beach, on nearly 10 acres of oceanfront. The children were treated to a unique array of activities in the morning. A jumbotron screen was set up at the arena so that the youngsters could watch several presentations, one of which outlined daily activities at a Coca Cola bottling facility. The children learned how Coca Cola glass bottles are made from sand and they watched Coca Cola cans being filled at the astonishing rate of 1,700 cans per minute! Kiddy rides were also set up at the arena to entertain the younger children. Misaskim then arranged for a fascinating
Comptroller Praises Misaskim's Operation
10 Oct
Comptroller Praises Misaskim's Operation
Misaskim continuously aims to develop positive relationships with officials on all levels of government in an effort to support community needs. Various officials have met with Misaskim representatives since May. Many important issues have been discussed during these meeting and Misaskim representatives hope to soon report the positive results of these meetings. Most recently, New York City Comptroller John C. Liu visited Misaskim's headquarters. The comptroller reviewed the hundreds of items in Misaskim's g'mach nechumim and learned more about Jewish mourning rituals. In Misaskim's Emergency Operations Center, Comptroller Liu asked many questions about Misaskim's Crisis Management capabilities and was visibly impressed with the Center, calling it "state-of-the-art." The Comptroller was also interested in learning about Misaskim's varied and multiple community services, including its school safety initiative and its chaplaincy forum. "It has been a real delight to visit Misaskim's headquarters," Comptroller Liu said toward the end of the meeting. "Misaskim is a world-class operation. There are so many instances
 Asai L'man Tinokos Shel Bais Raban
05 Oct
Asai L'man Tinokos Shel Bais Raban
This afternoon, tens of thousands of children assembled for a unique gathering that marked their participation in Misaskim's 18th annual Tehillim Asifah. Misaskim representatives coordinate this poignant event during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah to infuse strength and hope into all those in urgent need of a yeshuah. The main location of the asifah was at the Bobov Shul in Boro Park where children from more than 35 local yeshivas were bused in. Thousands more joined via satellite hookup across the nation and across the globe. The sweet and innocent voices of children in London, Manchester, Israel, Toronto, Montreal, Panama, and Mexico City blended with the voices of children in the United States to cry out in unity; "Shlach Refuah Shleima L'Cholei Amecha!" The massive audience was led in prayer by many Rabbonim, representing nearly every Jewish community. Many of the participants attested to the purity and intensity that permeated the event. "I have no tears left," commented one participant. "It should be a z'chus for all of Klal Yisroel." Misaskim representatives went to great lengths to coordinate this momentous
 Asai L'man Tinokos Shel Bais Rabban:  Join Misaskim's Tehillim Asifah
03 Oct
Asai L'man Tinokos Shel Bais Rabban: Join Misaskim's Tehillim Asifah
If one child's pure prayer is a heaven-piercing arrow, then a minyan of children's tefillos is an invincible army. How much more so, then, is the awesome power of tens of thousands of tefillos emanating from the innocent mouths of tinokos shel bais raban and ascending heavenward! For the past seventeen years, Klal Yisroel has had the zechus of having tens of thousands of children davening on our behalf during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, the most auspicious time of the year. This Tehillim Asifah is coordinated each year by Misaskim and will once again take place tomorrow, October 4th, at 1:00 p.m. EST. The Tehillim Asifah has been initiated in response to the many tzaros which Klal Yisroel and Misaskim confront daily. It is another way to unite Klal Yisroel - this time, in a magnificent effort to provide us all with a sweeter year. Thousands of children across several countries and continents are united via a live hook-up during the asifah. About 40 local yeshivos gather in the Bobover Bais Medrash in Boro Park, where the main Asifah takes place. The tefillos are led by our Gedolim and Admorim . Together, they implore Hashem to
27 Sep
Misaskim Commends NYC Medical Examiner's Continuous Support
While it certainly is not the first time that the NYC Medical Examiner's office extended itself to accommodate the Jewish community, there is no doubt that it went beyond the call of duty last night. Misaskim would like to publicly thank Dr. Stephen James DeRoux, Acting Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, and Mr. Errington Bailey for their sensitivity and compassion. Unfortunately, Williamsburg is currently mourning the untimely petirah of a young woman who passed away Monday evening. Hatzolah members on the scene feverishly tried to resuscitate her but were unsuccessful. While the nifteres was being transferred to the hospital, Misaskim reached out to the Medical Examiner's office and notified it of the situation. Despite the fact that Medical Examiner facilities were already closed due to the late hour, two offices were opened because of a request made by Misaskim. Misaskim volunteers picked up Mr. Bailey and brought him to the Brooklyn office where he completed the mandatory paperwork. Dr. DeRoux conducted an external exam at the Staten Island office and the nifteres' body was released at midnight. Misaskim representatives have expended a great deal of
Misaskim Hosts Acknowledgment Ceremony   New Misaskim Vehicle Donated  L"N  Leiby Keltzky
19 Sep
Misaskim Hosts Acknowledgment Ceremony New Misaskim Vehicle Donated L"N Leiby Keltzky
On Monday, September 19, 2011, Misaskim hosted an acknowledgment ceremony to honor the recent promotions of Chief Joseph Fox, Chief Thomas Chan, and Chief William Aubry of the New York City Police Department. Chief Fox became the new Chief of Transit for the City of New York, Assistant Chief Thomas Chan was transferred to Commanding Officer Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, while William Aubry was moved up to become Deputy Chief of the Forensic Investigations Divisions. In addition to the distinguished guests from the New York City Police Department, various elected officials attended the ceremony as well, including Councilman David Greenfield and Councilman Michael Nelson. Representatives from the offices of State Senator Eric Adams, Congresswoman Yvette Clark, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, and State Senator Diane Savino joined as well. Many community organizations including Hatzolah, Shomrim, Chaverim, JCRC, and representatives from Maimonides Medical Center came to offer their congratulations. Noramie Jasmin, the Mayor of Spring Valley, and Police Chief Paul Modica of Spring Valley also attended the ceremony. Both these
Borough President Marty Markowitz at Misaskim
01 Sep
Borough President Marty Markowitz at Misaskim
Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, the most recent visitor among a series of officials who have visited Misaskim since August, met with Misaskim representatives on Thursday, September 1st. During the meeting, it became apparent that both parties are in profound agreement - sharing a common agenda to improve the quality of life of the members of our community. In fact, Misaskim has gained much recognition recently after it coordinated the response to several high-profile tragedies. "Wonders never cease," Markowitz exclaimed after a walk-through of Misaskim's warehouse that stores the organization's free-loan society items. The Borough President then inspected Misaskim's fleet of vehicles, its emergency equipment and its Emergency Operations Center. "We're blessed to have this organization serving Brooklyn," he said. "You've got to admire what Misaskim does," he commented, after leafing through Misaskim's safety Magazine, Gates of Chesed, and noting how timely and pertinent its contents are. While Markowitz had previously certainly been familiar with some of the services that Misaskim offers, he said
City and State Officials Visit Misaskim
25 Aug
City and State Officials Visit Misaskim
Misaskim recently hosted New York State Senator Diane Savino (23rd Senate District) and Councilman Brad Lander (39th Council District). Senator Savino paid a visit to Misaskim on Thursday, August 18th. She marveled at Misaskim's positive interactions with the law enforcement community and commended the organization for its ability to anticipate the needs of individuals in crisis. "I'm incredibly impressed," she told Misaskim representatives. Senator Savino was eager to hear how her office could assist Misaskim in the vital community service role it plays on a daily basis. Misaskim volunteers and the senator discussed the type of state legislation that can facilitate the streamlining of legal requirements relating to burial in New York State. In addition, Senator Savino said that she and Senator Dov Hikind expect the Leiby Initiative to be approved as soon as the State Senate gets back into session. This bill will grant tax credits to business owners who install security cameras on their premises. "Once [business owners] do that," Senator Savino explained, "they become more likely to be vigilant themselves." On Monday,
Misaskim Volunteers Assist Halfan Family
24 Aug
Misaskim Volunteers Assist Halfan Family
Although conflicting reports circulated following the brutal murder of Steve Hafon OBM, Misaskim received a call on its 24-hour emergency hotline confirming that the victim was indeed of the Jewish faith. Misaskim volunteers were promptly dispatched to the crime scene and assisted the family to preserve kavod hames. In addition, Misaskim representatives were present at the Medical Examiners Office and expedited the release of the body. The Organization is grateful for all the generous assistance it received from the NYPD and the Medical Examiners office throughout this ordeal.
Sefer Torah in Memory of Leiby  a"h  Underway
11 Aug
Sefer Torah in Memory of Leiby a"h Underway
Misaskim began the process of obtaining a Sefer Torah leilui nishmas Leiby Kletzky a"h. Representatives met with Rabbi Yechezkal Roth, Shlita, to obtain his guidance in choosing the yerios and the sofer for this unique project. The Rav carefully reviewed the samples and consulted with members of his Bais Din and other esteemed sofrim. He then offered his recommendation. The Sefer Torah campaign being written in memory of Leiby Kletzky a"h is being spearheaded by Misaskim in an effort to offer an everlasting comfort to the family and to Leiby's neshamah. People from countless communities around the world have come together to participate in this commemoration project and have expressed their heartfelt condolences to the family. Part of the funds needed for the Sefer Torah have already been raised. To participate, click here.
Pushing the Envelope of Community Service
09 Aug
Pushing the Envelope of Community Service
On Erev Tisha B'Av, Misaskim distributed hundreds of shivah chairs in Monsey, Lakewood, Brooklyn, and Monroe. The chairs were delivered to the elderly or disabled in our communities. Misaskim received a record number of calls before Tisha B'Av set in, requesting the low chairs. The organization first delivered the chairs to those who were in greater need. "We will use our resources any way we can in order to assist those in need," said a volunteer who coordinated the distribution. Misaskim acknowledges that it also received inquiries from many shuls requesting chairs for Tisha B'Av. However, the organization regrets that it was unable to fulfill these requests as priority was given to the elderly or the ill.
Congressman Nadler Tours Misaskim Headquarters
04 Aug
Congressman Nadler Tours Misaskim Headquarters
Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Representative for New York's 8th Congressional District, toured Misaskim's headquarters today. The Congressman's visit was inspired by the vital role Misaskim played during the Kletzky tragedy. Misaskim volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the harrowing ordeal to provide assistance and support to the family and to the community. At Misaskim's headquarters, Congressman Nadler toured the warehouse where all the G'mach N'chumim items are stored. Misaskim's G'mach N'chumimis a free-loan society that offers numerous items that can be used during the traditional seven-day shiva mourning period. Congressman Nadler was overwhelmed by the variety of items available to a grieving family. The G'mach N'chumim provides so much more than shiva chairs. Families in mourning can request prayer books, coat racks, air conditioners, water coolers, cribs, folding beds, cordless phones and even Tylenol. All these items are promptly delivered to the shiva house. On an average, Misaskim completes about 70 pick-ups and deliveries each week. Congressman Nadler also visited Misaskim's Emergency
Special Mention: The NYPD
26 Jul
Special Mention: The NYPD
On Tuesday, July 26th, the NYPD was getting ready to wrap up its nearly two-week-long investigation at the Levi Aaron house on East 2nd Street. Before they prepared to return the house to its owners, members of the NYPD reached out to Misaskim's Disaster and Recovery team to come down to the house for another sweep to ensure kavod haniftar. "The NYPD's sensitivity to our community and to the family of Leiby Kletzky, a"h, is truly remarkable," said one volunteer at the scene. "It will do its utmost to accommodate, despite the intense activity as its investigators prepare to leave the crime scene." Misaskim immediately dispatched the same volunteers who were at the scene when the terrible discovery was made in the wee hours of July 13th. These same volunteers were also the ones who spent that day at the Medical Examiner's Office, working alongside the coroners to make certain that the proper kavod h'achron was given to Leiby a"h and that the levayah could still take place on that day. Misaskim volunteers have undergone the necessary training that enables them to preserve kavod hames in these tragic circumstances.
21 Jul
Special Mention: The New York City Medical Examiner's Office
Yesterday, the news broke that the Medical Examiner's Office had announced the official cause of death of Leiby Kletzky a"h. What didn't make the news, however, was the extreme sensitivity that the New York City Medical Examiner's Office displayed toward the Kletzky family and, in fact, continues to display toward the entire community. Acting Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen James DeRoux was scheduled to release the cause of death, but he first wanted to disclose the sensitive information to the family, due to concern for their wellbeing during this difficult period. The Medical Examiner's Office attempted to contact the family several times, but there was no response. Dr. DeRoux was under immense pressure to make the announcement because law enforcement personnel were awaiting his report. Dr. DeRoux therefore reached out to his contacts at Misaskim and asked for assistance in locating the Kletzky family. Misaskim representatives contacted members of the Kletzky family and transmitted the information they had received from Dr. DeRoux. Only after Dr. DeRoux received confirmation that the family had been notified, did he proceed to announce the
Diary of Deep Distress
20 Jul
Diary of Deep Distress
The horror and grief that has assailed our community over the past week was felt throughout the city and around the globe. People all over the world sighed with disbelief when the shocking reports were released last Tuesday. In fact, Misaskim received inquires and offers of assistance from London, Israel, Australia, South Africa, Germany, and Mexico. Hundreds of millions of people anxiously monitored the news during this tragedy and then grieved, together with the Kletzky family. Politics didn't matter. Neither did nationality or religion. Everyone was impacted in a deep and painful way, including Misaskim volunteers who stood on the frontlines and who were deeply involved in coordinating whatever was needed during this crisis. Monday, July 12, 2011: As soon as Misaskim was notified about the missing child, our dedicated volunteers joined in the search for Leiby a"h. Other volunteers were called in to dispatch Misaskim's light towers to various locations into which Leiby was thought to have possibly wandered in error - such as empty fields, cemeteries, or dark alleyways. A command center was set up at the day camp that Leiby attended and where he was last
In Memory of Leiby Kletzky a"h
15 Jul
In Memory of Leiby Kletzky a"h
It is with a broken heart and spirit that Misaskim, together with all of Klal Yisroel, mourns the tragic loss of little Yehudah a"h ben Nachman. Misaskim volunteers worked tirelessly, offering support throughout this harrowing nightmare. Misaskim pooled all its resources, and much more, in an effort to provide technical and logistical assistance to the search teams and to the grief-stricken parents. In addition, Misaskim coordinated with the yeshiva, with law enforcement, and with numerous government agencies. When the tragic ending came to light, Misaskim was tasked with notifying the family. Misaskim was instrumental in facilitating positive interactions between law enforcement officials, the investigation team, and the Medical Examiner's Office. The organization was also called upon to join with NYC's finest in arranging for the sorrowful levayah that was attended by tens of thousands of people. There is no doubt that these efforts would not have been possible without the respectful and productive partnership that exists between Misaskim, Hatzolah, Shomrim, and Chaverim. Misaskim is also deeply grateful to the thousands in our community who offered
19 Jun
Misaskim Emergency Shabbos System Proves Invaluable
The Misaskim organization, most famous for the daily services that it provides to grieving families, has recently expanded its services by implementing a Shabbos Hotline, staffed by especially-trained non-Jews, to help coordinate any situations regarding k'vod hameis that should arise on Shabbos. This past weekend, true to the Misaskim slogan that reads "Im Hachaim ..." the emergency system played a vital role in a different way. Just hours before the onset of Shabbos, Misaskim was overwhelmed by calls for help involving three separate planes which had been diverted from Newark Airport due to inclement weather. Several hours previously, a yungerman in Eretz Yisrael had received a chilling phone call informing him that his mother had become critically ill and requesting that he return home to Brooklyn immediately. Frantically searching for an appropriate flight to get him back to the United States as soon as possible, he found one that was scheduled to arrive four hours before Shabbos - which would usually ensure more than enough time to travel from Newark to Brooklyn. Before the flight was about to land, however, the pilot was told to change course and land
Misaskim Expedites Security Clearance for Eliyashiv Medical Team
19 Jun
Misaskim Expedites Security Clearance for Eliyashiv Medical Team
On Motzoei Shabbos Shlach, dedicated Misaskim volunteers were again called upon to play a key role in community service. A medical team and their sensitive equipment needed to get through airport security. These doctors are scheduled to perform emergency heart surgery on the posek hador, Maran haGaon Rav Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv shlit'a, at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. About seven years ago, Harav Eliyashiv underwent emergency surgery for a bleeding artery near the heart. Leading vascular surgeon Dr. Daniel Clair, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, was flown in to perform the risky procedure. Just recently, after Rav Eliyashiv had felt some weakness, Dr. Clair was consulted and determined that the same artery had now weakened and a second surgery was needed. Now, as then, Gedolei Torah in Eretz Yisrael turned to Misaskim to assist in expediting the doctors' journey along with their sensitive equipment through airport security. Using its various contacts in the TSA and the Port Authority Police, Misaskim was able to facilitate the passage of two doctors and complex medical equipment from Newark Liberty International to Eretz Yisrael in cooperation with
Opening the Gates of Summer Safety
16 Jun
Opening the Gates of Summer Safety
No need for added stress this summer, Misaskim will see you safely through the summer months with our newly expanded 84-page Gates of Chesed Safety Magazine. The magazine is set to be released next week and will be distributed to 100,000 families in the tri-state area. The magazine can also be viewed online at www.misaskim.org. Gates of Chesed is comprised of gentle reminders, useful tips, and pertinent information that can be instrumental in safeguarding your family's wellbeing this summer season. In addition to exploring the factors that most commonly lead to motor vehicle accidents r"l, this issue of Gates of Chesed clarifies newly enacted laws and how abiding by them can prevent a summer trip from metamorphosing into a traumatic experience. While summer beckons us outdoors, Gates of Chesed firmly establishes a set of safety practices that will create a secure perimeter for your family without impeding the summer experiences that rejuvenate us all each year. You will meet highly-acclaimed safety experts who will share advice on how to safeguard our children and young adults. Various other issues that impact our communities each summer are also brought
Misaskim Hosts Law-Enforcement Chaplaincy Conference
31 May
Misaskim Hosts Law-Enforcement Chaplaincy Conference
More than 50 chaplains from the tri-state area attended a dinner hosted by Misaskim last week. This was the first time that a group of orthodox law-enforcement chaplains has gathered together. The chaplains, who serve in over 45 law enforcement agencies, including military and penal institutions, welcomed the evening of collaboration. "It was truly a Kiddush Hashem and a great networking opportunity," said Rabbi Luzer Weiss, chaplain at Lincoln Correctional Facility and director of N.Y.S. Dept of Agriculture Kosher Law Enforcement. The objective of the evening was to establish a coordinated group of orthodox chaplains, so that members can become acquainted and reach out to their colleagues in times of need. In addition, the chaplains agreed to share information among themselves about the variety of services available to the respective agencies each serves. Most important, however, was the opportunity this gathering offered to the chaplains to share ideas and concepts that will lead to further improvement of the vital services each offers to the communities they watch over. Rabbi Menashe Miller, mayor of Lakewood and chaplain in the U.S. Air Force was
Misaskim Welcomes its 19th Sefer Torah
18 May
Misaskim Welcomes its 19th Sefer Torah
Last week, the Turkeltaub sisters - Brenda Elishis, Paula Kohn, and Cindy Turkeltaub - Grosberg a"h - alongside Misaskim volunteers, welcomed the 19th sefer torah to join Misaskim's family of sifrei torah. A joyous Hachnasos Sefer Torah was held at the Ohr Torah Shul in West Orange NJ. The Turkeltaub sisters donated the sefer torah in memory of their dear parents Shea and Rochelle Turkeltaub a"h. "Our father a"h was the president of his shul, in addition, he took care of the Zawichost Chevrah. He was in charge of making sure that all was in order with minyanim, kedushim and every other aspect to ensure that the shul operates properly," Brenda said. "He would even bring home the silver to make it look shiny and beautiful. His entire being - body and soul - was dedicated to the shul." The sisters explained that donating a sefer torah is truly a very special and beautiful mitzvah and it very much reflects the values both parents instilled in their children. The Turkeltaub sisters proudly honored their parents' memory at the Hachnosas Sefer Torah. However, the poignant overtones at the event revealed the significance of the
13 May
Gratitude Amidst Grief
May 13, 2011 - During these hours of deep sadness and grief over the tragic death of Yoily Englander, a"h, Misaskim feels compelled to wrap up the heartrending task they were called upon to do, by publicly thanking the New York City Medical Examiner's Office. While law enforcement and medics we"h, Misaskim volunteers reached out to their network of relations in an effort to arrange the release of the niftar's body. The grieving family wanted to do all they could to honor their beloved child by bringing him to kvurah as soon as possible, as mandated by halachah. However, the Medical Examiner's offices were closed, since the accident occurred late in the afternoon. At the request of the family, Misaskim immediately activated its resources. Similar unfortunate situations in the past have led Misaskim to establish a procedure with the Medical Examiner's office that came into play last night. As in the past, the Medical Examiner's office once again graciously and compassionately responded when Misaskim reached out to them. An office was especially opened at 10:00 p.m. in Staten Island. The agency even went so far as to send in a doctor from New
Misaskim Sponsors a Chol Homoed Event for Hundreds of Yisomim
21 Apr
Misaskim Sponsors a Chol Homoed Event for Hundreds of Yisomim
On April 21, 2011 hundreds of children from Flatbush, Boro Park, Williamsburg, Queens, Long Island, Monsey, Monroe, New Square, Lakewood, Long Branch, and Morristown participated in Misaskim's Chol Homoed outing designed to provide a day of reprieve for families who have suffered the loss of a parent. Misaskim volunteers also participated at the outing and it was a delight to watch everyone interacting together, creating one harmonious family. The children were bussed in to the Police Academy Rescue Training Academy at JFK early on Thursday morning. The facility, one of the largest of its kind in the nation, is used to train Port Authority Police officers in aircraft rescue and firefighting techniques. Misaskim volunteers expressed their admiration for the level of dedication and coordination that Port Authority officials displayed both prior to, and during the event. In addition to countless meetings beforehand, the agency provided all the technical details and personnel to create a smooth, memorable day for all participants. At the facility, the children witnessed a simulated burn in which the officers battled a blazing engine on the broken wing of a 75-foot long
Police Chiefs Recognized at Misaskim Volunteers' Melava Malka
05 Mar
Police Chiefs Recognized at Misaskim Volunteers' Melava Malka
March 5, 2011 - Misaskim held a Melava Malka this past Motzie Shabbos to demonstrate its appreciation and to encourage its Monsey, New Square, and Kiryas Yoel volunteers who dedicate time and effort to the organization's mission. The number of volunteers in Rockland County and Kiryas Yoel area has increased considerably over the last few years, and Misaskim has become an integral player in community-support services there. The volunteers, along with their spouses, enjoyed an evening of comradeship and chizuk as they were recognized for selflessly spending time away from their families - often facing grueling tasks - sometimes in frigid temperatures, sometimes during the middle of the night, or sometimes in searing heat. It's only because of the utter compassion and selfless actions of these volunteers that Misaskim can continue to stand by our community. In particular, in his address to those gathered, Rabbi Yanky Meyer acknowledged their spouses who stand behind Misaskim volunteers. "When a Misaskim volunteer comes home from a trying scene, it's his wife who gives him the courage - the oomph - to go on the next call." Three local chiefs of
Misaskim Lauds Its Working Relationship with United Hatzolah of Israel
01 Mar
Misaskim Lauds Its Working Relationship with United Hatzolah of Israel
Mr. Moshu Hadaya was last seen chopping wood in his backyard in Staten Island, New York, on Sunday, February 20th. When his friend did not get a response after repeatedly trying to reach him on the following day, he went to Moshu's home to check up on him. Moshu's lifeless body was found in the backyard where he had last been seen chopping wood a day earlier. Emergency personnel were called to the scene and unfortunately, Mr. Hadaya was pronounced dead at the age of 52. Since Mr. Hadaya lived alone, it was the obligation of the Medical Examiner to ascertain whether the deceased had a prior medical history that might have contributed to his sudden death. Local officials, on the other hand, were trying to notify a next of kin. The process turned out to be particularly challenging and the officials did not have much luck with the contacts that they reached. It was at this point that Misaskim was called in. Misaskim dispatched a full crew to Mr. Hadaya's home. While some volunteers escorted the niftar to the Medical Examiner's office to ensure kavod hames, other volunteers remained behind at the scene. The volunteers spoke to friends and neighbors in an
28 Feb
Update: More RIF Soap Delivered to Misaskim
On January 25, 2011 Misaskim reported that Nazi-era RIF soap was handed over to the organization for burial. The incident received much attention as it opened up raw and painful scars dating back to the days when our parents were young and suffered Nazi atrocities. It rekindled a debate and prompted people to question, research, and delve deeper in an attempt to uncover the myths and facts surrounding the RIF soap controversy. Questions and comments received from readers included: "Why don't they test it?" "Is it permissible to test it?" "Can't it just be buried?" These questions along with many others are being carefully evaluated by Misaskim's rabbinical authority, Rabbi Yechezikel Roth Shlita and his Bais Din, to halachically determine what should be done with the soap. More survivors came forward relating what they know about the infamous RIF soap bars. And most surprisingly, more RIF soap bars have been sent to Misaskim. Yoni Marrus from Mequon, Wisconsin recently reached out to Misaskim with 8 more bars that he chanced upon after reading about the RIF story. In addition, 10 more bars from Poland were shipped to Misaskim.
RIF Soap Handed to Misaskim for Burial
25 Jan
RIF Soap Handed to Misaskim for Burial
At Misaskim, unexpected and sad realities of life are unfortunately a daily occurrence. But last week, Misaskim was presented with an even more perplexing question than usual: what to do with a bar of soap that many Holocaust survivors believe contains human remains? This rare bar of soap, engraved with the letters RIF, was recently discovered by the Mermelstein family while cleaning up the apartment of their aging uncle, Yosef Weinberger. Weinberger was a young adolescent who survived during the Holocaust by hiding in bunkers. Of a family of 13, only Yosef and 3 other siblings survived. However, it wasn't only the chilling memories of his youth that shadowed Yosef each day. Tucked away in a faded green suitcase, he kept various items that were a testament to the inferno he survived. Among these objects was a tattered She'eris Hapleitah Siddur, books from the war era, legal immigration documents, and various wartime letters. Mr. Meremelstein, Yosef's nephew, was startled when he also discovered a little package carefully wrapped in brown paper that contained a small, brownish, numbered bar of RIF soap. Many Holocaust survivors believe that the RIF soap was made
18 Jan
The Community Mourns the Loss of a Dear Friend
Misaskim mourns the loss of a dedicated and beloved volunteer and askan - R' Yossi Pressburger ZT"L. R' Pressburger has been involved in various Misaskim projects and has selflessly and willingly given his time and resources to the community. On Tuesday, January 11th, Misaskim received a phone call from Mr. Shmuli Herzog of Kedem Winery, where R' Pressburger served as a senior executive. R' Pressburger was in Detroit on a business trip. He was pulling out of a parking lot when his car veered into a fence. An employee who worked in the area noticed the accident and called 911. Unfortunately, R' Pressburger was no longer with us by the time help arrived. Mr. Herzog informed Misaskim that the niftar was in a hospital in Detroit and requested that Misaskim assist the family during this dark period. Misaskim immediately initiated a response by contacting Rabbi Boruch Levine and Garry Torgow, two askanim in Detroit, and also began working on the technical and legal logistics of returning the niftar to New York. In addition, Misaskim was tasked with notifying the family and coordinating the travel arrangements of various family members living or
Misaskim Volunteers Called In to Assist in Englewood, N.J.
25 Dec
Misaskim Volunteers Called In to Assist in Englewood, N.J.
Misaskim's 24-hotline began ringing shortly after Shabbos was over. This call came from Englewood, N.J., requesting Misaskim's assistance in the aftermath of the tragic death of Dr. Paul Kudowitz, A"H, 57, who was struck and killed on his way to shul on Friday night. Three volunteers from Misaskim's Disaster and Recovery Unit were dispatched to the scene of the accident and immediately began the process of providing much-needed assistance. Misaskim contacted Rabbi Abe Friedman, Chaplain of the New Jersey State Police, who was instrumental in communicating the family's needs to the Bergen County Chief's Office. In addition, Rabbi Moses Vitriol took charge of all arrangements with the Bergen County Medical Examiner's Office. Misaskim is grateful for the assistance of the Englewood Police Department which, despite the frigid weather, stood side by side with Misaskim during this lengthy and cumbersome process. The help of the Englewood Police Department is even more appreciated, because this tragic accident meant that family Holiday celebrations were disrupted for the officers involved.
20 Dec
Volunteers Respond to Fatal Accident
Misaskim volunteers assisted last night at the scene of the tragic accident that took the life of Mrs. Chana Walfish A"H. Despite frigid temperatures and biting winds, volunteers stayed at the scene for over three hours to ensure kavod hameis. The accident happened at about 7:15 last night when a 15-passenger van jumped the curb and fatally struck Mrs. Walfish A"H, as she left a nail salon at 424 Saddle River Road in Airmont. Paramedics and Hatzolah transported the victim to Good Samaritan Hospital where she was unfortunately pronounced dead. At around 7:40 pm a Misaskim volunteer in a nearby store heard the commotion and went to see what had occurred. Upon arrival, Ramapo Police Sgt. Robert Lancia confirmed that, indeed, there was a victim involved and advised the volunteer to mobilize a Misaskim team. Officials from the Ramapo Police Department also requested that Misaskim bring a light tower to the scene. A team of volunteers arrived with all necessary equipment to ensure kavod hameis at the scene. Misaskim's light tower was utilized to assist Misaskim and law enforcement to carry out their duties on the dark winter evening.
15 Dec
Misaskim Works Tirelessly to Offer Madoff a Jewish Burial
The shocking news of Mark Madoff's suicide was followed by disbelief as the Jewish community learned of the family's plan to have his body cremated. Misaskim has been contacted numerous times since the family's decision was publicized in the media, and asked whether anything could be done to arrange a Jewish burial for Mark's body. People from many communities across the nation have called the organization with their concerns, some even offering a free burial plot. According to Jewish belief, cremation is never an option, due to the irreparable trauma it causes to one's soul. Misaskim has pooled its resources and was working tirelessly to offer the family its assistance in arranging a Jewish burial. Misaskim has been in touch with the law enforcement community, the funeral home, the media, and even with individuals who themselves were victims of the ponzi scheme, in an effort to head off an even more tragic turn of events than what has already transpired. "Mark was Jewish, and that's the only factor that is of concern to Misaskim," said the volunteer who is spearheading the effort. At this point, Misaskim is saddened to report that the
Nothing Takes Precedence Over Mes Mitzvah
13 Dec
Nothing Takes Precedence Over Mes Mitzvah
During the week of October 18th, Misaskim was notified that an elderly woman had died at Coney Island Hospital and that her body had been lying in the morgue for a few days. This information led Misaskim to take on the highest Mitzvah of all: Mes Mitzvah. The first course of action was to contact a niece of the deceased-the only lead Misaskim had at that time. A Misaskim volunteer tried to get in touch with her directly numerous times but was unable to reach her. Misaskim was simultaneously in contact with the Hebrew Free Burial Society, which stands side by side with Misaskim in ensuring kavod hames. It was through the Hebrew Free Burial Society that Misaskim learned that the deceased's niece had already approved and scheduled the cremation of her aunt's body. "There is nothing in the entire Torah that takes precedence over Mes Mitzvah" (Tur). And there is certainly nothing that will stop Misaskim from using all its resources to prevent a cremation. Misaskim volunteers left no stone unturned in their efforts to reverse this decision. Through a thorough and painstaking investigation, Misaskim discovered that the surviving niece's employer was a
 HASC Adults Celebrate Hachnosas Sefer Torah at Misaksim
07 Dec
HASC Adults Celebrate Hachnosas Sefer Torah at Misaksim
December 6, 2010 - They danced, they sang, and they rejoiced with every fiber of their being. All, in their own unique way, expressed pure joy as they rejoiced with the Torah. HASC adults, who volunteer each Monday at Misaskim's headquarters, were invited to join Misaskim in a unique Hachnosas Sefer Torah celebration - one that symbolizes the spiritual and physical survival of Klal Yisroel. The HASC adults and their counselors were accompanied on this special occasion by Executive Director Rabbi Shmiel Kahn and Clinical Director Dr. Wakslak. "It felt great to dance with the Torah," exclaimed Chanan, one of the participants. "Everything was great - the latkes, the soda, and the music." Gedalia, another participant, eagerly pointed out his favorite part: "Dancing with the Torah and singing on the mike." This special Sefer Torah was donated to Misaskim by the Eisenberger/Sytner family in memory of their dear parents R' Aryeh Sytner and his wife, Henya Yehudis A"H. R' Aryeh and Henya Yehudis were the sole survivors of their families after the Holocaust. They courageously built a new family after facing total devastation. These
02 Dec
From Our Volunteers: A Misaskim Moment
We have only to open our eyes to realize how often we are presented with numerous opportunities to fulfill our destined roles in Hashem's plans. For Mr. Yossie Margaretten, a longtime Misaskim volunteer, the following story confirmed a role that was uniquely designed for him. Mr. Yehuda Silberstein and his wife and infant rushed to Ben Gurion airport after learning of the tragic passing of Yehuda's father, Moshe Yosef, Z"TL. Confused, desperate, and distraught, he hoped to catch a flight back to Brooklyn so that he could spend the week of shiva together with his mother and siblings. However, before the flight took off, he was notified that the kvurah had already been completed. He urgently needed a minyan before boarding the plane so that he could say kaddish for his father who had been torn away from him way too soon. With the plane only minutes away from departure, Mr. Silberstein reached out to the passengers rushing to board the plane and begged them to join him. Most passengers had already davened maariv and didn't pay much attention to him' while others were too distracted to take notice of the flustered couple. In a last desperate
Misaskim Releases Chanukah Fire Safety Tips For Kids
30 Nov
Misaskim Releases Chanukah Fire Safety Tips For Kids
 Misaskim's First Initiative Gets Underway
30 Nov
Misaskim's First Initiative Gets Underway
08 Nov
Misaskim to Launch New Initiatives
MISASKIM TO LAUNCH NEW INITIATIVES Innovating New Solutions to Community Challenges During Trying Times Misaskim is now gearing up to unveil a series of new initiatives and programs to maximize its efficiency in responding to community crisis and coping with tragedy. The organization is expected to release the details of the first of its initiatives during the week of November 22nd. A report of the remaining programs will be presented to the community in the weeks following the initial introduction. "Misaskim has B"H managed to take advantage of its resources and official contacts to successfully establish a large number of new programs that will be of great assistance to families in our communities who are facing tragedy," explained a Misaskim staffer, who is spearheading the new programs. The organization noted that several of the new initiatives are already in place and are being tested to ensure their effectiveness. Since its inception, Misaskim has successfully tackled unique community service issues such as its gemach nichumin. Now Misaskim's objective is to make certain that its resources are being delivered to the community
Bringing a Chushavah Talmud Chacham to Kever Yisroel
03 Nov
Bringing a Chushavah Talmud Chacham to Kever Yisroel
Europe, 1946. After the incineration of European Jewry, a man turns his sights to American shores. Physically broken, he is forced to turn his back on the ashes of his entire family, his hometown, and the only life he ever knew. Arriving penniless and alone, he clings to his unshakeable faith in his Creator, deriving solace from the precious words of the heilige Torah. Life in America is difficult. Grappling with the nightmares of his past, he marries and strives to rebuild a family. Financial difficulties and secular forces in America make life a daily struggle. However, through it all, his Torah learning sustains him, breathing life into his mundane daily existence. America, October, 2010. Now elderly and alone once again, the man's Torah is still his constant companion and comfort. Although his son has turned his back on his frum upbringing, this talmid chochom continues to spend his waning days laboring over his precious seforim. When this unassuming elderly man fails to show up in shul or in shops around the neighborhood, barely anyone notices. Before too much time has elapsed, an old friend suddenly realizes that he hasn't seen his friend
18 May
A Fire, a Mother's Worst Nightmare: An Amazing Misaskim Story
Written for Mishpacha Calligraphy By Basie Goldman, as told to Azriela Jaffe My husband, Nachman and I were zocher to bring into the world our sixth boy, Tuvia, on Purim, 2007. It was a tremendous bracha, and we were so thankful to HaKadosh Baruch Hu for granting us this special all-boy family. What a special day to receive this gift -- Purim, a day of Nissim. Nissim is what we clearly saw throughout his complicated birth. It took me longer than usual to recover but soon my busy schedule kept me running. At that point I was a preschool director, and a camp director. I was at work early in the morning till late at night, winding down preschool and opening up a day camp for 500 children, all the while, juggling my yummy, delicious newborn baby and his older brothers, ages 2-9, as well as cooking and keeping house. We planned renovations to accommodate our newest addition, and hoped to finish these renovations over the summer, but Hashem had other plans, and we ended up starting construction the day after summer camp ended. We moved our whole family into my parents' house while work was being done. Starting the school year, not in our own home, was
17 Mar
Misaskim on scene of fatal bus accident
A woman was R''L killed after she was pinned under a bus in the East Tremont section of The Bronx, The accident occurred at approximately 8:00AM Wednesday morning, at the intersection of East Tremont Avenue and Crotona Avenue. She was pronounced dead on the scene, and NYPD investigators soon found out that she was Jewish, and Misaskim was requested to the scene. Preliminary reports are that she was driving a bicycle, and swerved to avoid a car-door that had suddenly been opened in front of her. Misaskim dispatched a team of 10 volunteers, and 2 disaster responses vehicles to the scene, and have begun their Avodas Hakodesh. The woman has been identified as 58-year-old Mrs. Megan Charlop A''H, and is a cousin to Rabbi Zevulun Charlop, the Rabbi of Young Israel of Mosholu Parkway. Boruch Dayan Emmes...
13 Mar
Misaskim's Emergency Response
Torrential rains, raving fires, downed electricity and emergency landing - it's mind-boggling to think how many times Misaskim answered calls for help within twenty-four-hours. It started minutes after Shabbos when Misaskim received a call from Teaneck, NJ, that a tree fell and killed two people coming home from shul. When all of humanity huddled indoors and complained about the howling winds outside, twelve Misaskim volunteers and the Chaplain from the Teaneck Police Dept. Rabbi Abe Friedman, stood in the pouring rain for hours to clean up the accident disaster site al pi halacha. Afterwards, Misaskim arranged for the shmira overnight and in the morning a Misaskim team was dispatched to the morgue in Bergen County to have the bodies released in a timely manner, without comprising the kavod hames. B”h, Sunday night, one aron was on the 7:30 flight to Eretz Yisroel and the second levaye took place on Monday morning. While in the morgue, the Director of Public Safety for Kiryas Yoel, Rabbi Moses Vitriol, who was there at the time, to help Misaskim expedite the release of the
02 Jan
Misaskim Meets with Federal Agencies in Washington
Misaskim. It has become a household name. It is an organizational name people use when tragedy R"L strikes. They are reached out to whether it's to prevent an autopsy, or to provide their "avodas hakodesh" at the scene of a tragedy, or for their volunteers to "set up" a house for a family sitting shiva, or for crisis intervention, Chevra Kadisha, or anything else a family might require in their time of need. Although no one wishes it ever happens, the reality is that tragedy does indeed strike, and as history has proven, tragedy strikes unexpectedly, and unpredictably. Based on that reality, Misaskim is constantly striving to perfect their organization, and has proven themselves over and over to be the foremost organization which people reach out to when needed. From California, to Florida, from New York to Canada, Misaskim has been there for fatal car accidents, airplane crashes, helicopter crashes, people hit by trains, cars, buses, and fatal fires etc. On Tuesday, January 19th, a delegation of Misaskim personnel traveled to meet with high-ranking Federal law-enforcement government agencies in their Washington DC
01 Jan
One week. Three Niftarim. 1900 Miles.
When Mr. Richard Blau passed away on Wednesday, December 27, 2009, he should've had an autopsy as part of the standard protocol for all residents in his institution in Buffalo, NY. When the staff Rev. notified the only known relative about the death, the relative was in a quandary. An elderly fellow with limited resources, the relative had neither the energy nor the finances to arrange a burial. Fortunately, an acquaintance directed him to Misaskim. Avrumi Friedman, a volunteer from Misaskim's Toronto division transported the body from Buffalo to Syracuse where it was transferred to Lazer Wohlner & Moshe Yaakov Tessler, volunteers from Misaskim's Kiryas Yoel division. They continued the transport to Kiryas Yoel. Shmulie David & Sruly Hyman, volunteers from Misaskim's Brooklyn division completed the transport from Kiryas Yoel to Brooklyn where Misaskim arranged for a levaye and kevurah. In an ironic twist of Hashgacha, Avrumi Friedman had stopped off at a rest area during the transport, where he met a Jewish family from Toronto with the same last name as the niftar: Blau. After a few moments of discussing Jewish geography, the family members
01 Jan
Misaskim Coordinates meeting for State and local agencies
After working alongside the NYS Department of Homeland Security during numerous occasions to address security, health and safety issues in our community, Misaskim has invited the NYS Department of Homeland Security to tour Misaskim's headquarters and gain a better understanding of the services Misaskim offers to the community and to government agencies. The NYS Department of Homeland Security headed by Thomas G. Donlon, Director, James Sherry, Chief of Staff New York State DOH and Seny Tavers, Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary for Public Safety and Homeland Security were all present. They also brought several additional state agencies to the meeting, such as the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Emergency Management office Representatives. Misaskim extended an invitation to other local organizations of areas covered by Misaskim, such as the New York City Office of Emergency Management, Representatives from the NYPD, Police Commissioners office. NYPD Assistant Chief Joseph Fox from Patrol Boro Brooklyn South along with numerous of his commanding officers from local precincts, a special delegation from the NYPD