More than 2,000 members of the Lakewood kehilla filled Ateres Chana Hall last week to show their support for Chai Lifeline and the many services it provides to local families.
Roshei Yeshiva, rabbonim, men and women from Lakewood and surrounding areas came to participate and show support to Chai Lifeline, the organization that does so much for so many in our community.
The evening began with opening remarks by Master of Ceremonies, Harav Yoir Adler, Rov of Khal Shoavei Mayim, Toronto, ONT. He noted that while Chai Lifeline cannot cure illness, its hands-on approach and ability to coordinate details large and small enable those facing serious illness, r”l, to focus solely on getting better. Rabbi Adler introduced HaRav Malkiel Kotler, shlita, who offered Divrei Bracha. He commended Chai Lifeline for attaining the highest possible level of chesed and stressed the organization’s importance to the Lakewood community.
Rabbi Simcha Scholar, executive vice president of Chai Lifeline, thanked everyone in attendance for taking the time to participate in the Reception and cited the vital importance of the organization’s work: providing those who face illness with an all-important lifeline in times of need.
Dr. Mark P. Johnson, Director of Obstetrical Services, Center for Fetal Diagnosis & Treatment at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was honored with the Community Service Award for his selfless devotion and the unwavering dedication he lavishes on his patients. He accepted the award on behalf of the entire team of on behalf of the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit. The unit was the first birth facility within a pediatric hospital for mothers carrying babies with known birth defects. The unit recently celebrated its tenth year and 3,600 th delivery.
Before the Reception, Dr. Johnson met with more than 40 of the community’s leading rabbonim, including Rabbi Shmuel Meir Katz, shlita, Rabbi Moshe Zev Feldman, shlita, Rabbi Meir Reuven Berkowitz, shlita, and Shmuel Blech, shlita. The discussion centered on the laws and cultural sensitivities surrounding the life-saving work of the SDU.
“This was the first time such a large group of rabbinic leaders were able to meet with the head of an important CHOP unit,” remarked Rabbi Sruli Fried, director of Chai Lifeline New Jersey. The rabbis were able to speak in detail about the halachic issues surrounding prenatal and postnatal medical procedures. Their discourse will help CHOP, already very sensitive to the needs of our community,develop an even deeper understanding of the cultural and religious needs faced by patients and families.”
Every year at the Reception, the guests are spellbound by keynote address, and this year was no exception. HaRav Eliyahu Meir Sorotzkin, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Tiferes Boruch in Springfield, NJ, spoke poignantly of how Chai Lifeline serves as the community’s shluchim by providing critical care for the cholim in the kehilla. HaRav Sorotzkin thanked Chai Lifeline for stepping in when a family is in crisis, taking on the many responsibilities of day to day life and ensuring that a family’s emotional and physical needs are being met. He concluded his remarks by stating that when a family goes through such a challenging ordeal and a father can continue with his regular sedorim, it is all thanks to Chai Lifeline.
“We are grateful to everyone who joined us at the Reception,” said Rabbi Fried. “The enthusiasm and the warmth shown to us by the Lakewood kehilla is an inspiration to everyone at Chai Lifeline. The extra burst of energy encourages us to do our best for every single family who reaches out to us.”
Chai Lifeline gives more than 5,400 children and families around the world the tools to meet the crises and challenges of serious pediatric illness or untimely loss.
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