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Chai Lifeline’s Project C.H.A.I., Mechanchim Bring Emotional Support to Students Facing Crisis and Loss

chai.jpg.jpgBoro Park – When crisis and tragedy affect our kehilos, immediately responding to the needs of the affected children, family, and community can mean the difference between a healthy response and lasting difficulties. This was the message brought to limudei kodesh menhalim in Boro Park by Rabbi Yaakov Dovid Klar, director of community outreach for Chai Lifeline’s Project C.H.A.I. (Chizuk, Healing, and Intervention) on June 22nd.

Rabbi Klar met with the menhalim to review the needs of children during a crisis, detail the assistance Project C.H.A.I. offers to yeshivos, and discuss training local menhalim to help children cope.  The Kosover Rebbe spoke in support of the program at the meeting, which took place at the home of noted baalei tzedaka Mr. and Mrs. Yonason Strasser.

“When a child doesn’t receive the help he or she needs to cope with a crisis or loss, the emotional effects can be crippling,” explained Rabbi Klar.

He told the story of Moshe, whose father was niftar after a long battle with illness. Moshe’s menhal and rebbe thought he was responding normally to the tragedy and learning to cope with his loss.

But Moshe needed help mourning. “He stopped saying the bracha of ‘refainu’ in shemonah esreih, because he saw that it didn’t work for his father,” explained Rabbi Klar. “When Moshe’s school contacted Project C.H.A.I. for help, he was already struggling. Project C.H.A.I. reaches children before they arrive at this point, offering them the help they need to move forward while helping mechanchim reach out to their students.”

“Dealing with the emotional needs of a child during a crisis needs to be done with both das and lev,” explained Rabbi Simcha Scholar, executive vice president, Chai Lifeline. “Even the most experienced mechanchim need special training and instruction to effectively guide their students during times of tragedy and crisis, and Project C.H.A.I. is here to help fill that gap.”

Project C.H.A.I. steps in during the first few hours, days, and weeks following a serious diagnosis, accident, or loss, offering critical emotional support and bringing lasting help into classrooms, camps, and communities throughout the country.  In addition to crisis interventions, which are immediate responses to crisis and tragedy, the program trains volunteers throughout the country to help their communities respond to challenging situations.

For more information about Project C.H.A.I. or to request assistance, call Rabbi Yaakov Dovid Klar at (212) 894-8240 or email [email protected]

2 Responses

  1. Once again chailifeline outdoes itself in helping out families in crisis in a most professional way.we should all show our supportto this heilige organization.

  2. I wish Chai Lifeline was around when I was a child. When I was in 4th grade, a kid in my class father passed away. The rebbe was old school and didn’t really offer any emotional support to the child and the class. We were scared, terrified and had night mares that it will happen to all the kids in the class. B”H Chai Lifeline saw the need in the Heimishe community for Project Chai. I was recently involved with Chai Lifeline. A cousin of mine passed away at the age of 29, leaving 4 yisomim with no mother. Chai Lifeline volunteers came and spoke with the yesomim and their classmates and their teachers etc. They set up a network of volunteers to help the father cope without a wife and without a mother for the children. Meals were send, household help and tutoring for the kids etc. All done with sincere dedication and miseros nefesh and above all, confidentiality as a high priority.

    May we be zoche never to know or be a part of such tragic incidences and that Chai Lifeline should not be needed in Klal Yisroel.


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