A Tribute To Someone Who Is Just Like Us

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He was just like us. When he walked into shul, no one stood up for him. He sat in the middle with the rest of us.

He didn’t regularly get shlishi. He didn’t regularly get maftir. In fact, to everyone who knew him, Rav Reuven Weinreb seemed like just another member of the congregation.

Fifteen years ago, Rav Reuven was a successful business man leading a proper Torah life, something that is not unusual in New York. Nothing more, or at least that is how it seemed. He didn’t like to talk about his “hobbies”. He is like his father in that regard.

His father, HaRav HaGaon Gershon Weinreb, Tzadik Livracha spent his life quietly as a humble magid shiur; first in the Yeshiva of South Fallsberg and later in Yeshiva Chaim Berlin.

Very few people knew that he repeatedly turned down offers to become Rosh HaYeshiva, preferring to maintain direct contact with his talmidim to the prestige of a more visible position.

So like his father, Rav Reuven avoided public recognition. A successful businessman by day, he quietly pursued his “hobbies” in his free time. His “hobbies” included being a leading fundraiser for Ptach, the international program for special needs children, providing funds for young couples in need to get married and privately supporting Torah scholars.

Even after Rav Reuven left to pursue his dream of raising his family in Eretz Israel he continued to help our community. He left his business behind, but he still had his time, which he used to help the elderly in his new country.

You see Rav Reuven is just like us. He is committed to the life of Torah and to serving others in our community. He gave of his money and he gave of his time.

That was almost ten years ago.

Now it is clear that Rav Reuven Weinreb was never really like us, only no one knew. Even he didn’t know.

He was born with a condition called Arnold Chiari Malformation Type 1. This is a rare structural deformity of the brain and base of the skull, which in his case has been getting progressively worse in the past several years.

He can no longer walk across the street to shul without help. He has boughts of dyspnia and respiratory distress and requires oxygen at night. He has one paralyzed vocal cord, a common consequence of the brain surgery he had for this condition.

Unfortunately, a man who once was so active in helping his community is now unable to support himself.

But there is more. Arnold Chiari Malformation is an inheritable condition and this has been transmitted to his 2-year-old son and his 6-year-old son. His older son has the expected balance and coordination problems. He also suffers from ADHD, learning disabilities, and a speech delay.

The condition of the younger son is more serious. Arnold Chiari Malformation in young children is associated with hydrocephalus and as a result his son required brain surgery and has a seizure disorder. Recently he was placed on a second medication and everyone is hopeful that this will control the seizures. He is also plagued with severe speech delay, balance and coordination issues.

His 4-year-old daughter has not yet been diagnosed with Arnold Chiari Malformation, but she does have balance problems and speech delays. She also suffers with an autoimmune disease called celiac disease.

Other than that the family has some more normal problems. The mother and one of the daughters has a gluten intolerance and that daughter has Tourettes.

In most families these would be considered serious conditions, but having Arnold Chiari Malformation, hydrocephalus and epilepsy in the family changes your perspective.

Rav Reuven Weinreb, a man who once did so much to support our community, now relies on our community to help him. And for the past several years our community has done just that.

He gets financial assistance from Matan b’Seter. The doctors in the community understand the family’s conditions and are ready to treat them as needed. Hatzolah knows the family well and always knows exactly what to do if there should be an emergency.

The neighbors know the family and the situation. They know each child’s situation and are ready to jump in the first sign of any emergency. And the neighbors can tell when Rav Reuven is having a breathing problem and are ready to help.

Most importantly, the schools and the special education teachers know each child and give them exactly what they need. This was a huge hurdle the Wienrebs were finally able to conquer with Hashem’s help.

The result- with all the rounds of medical appointments, the emergency trips to the hospital and the medical and financial hardships, the children are growing up as normal children. They laugh and they play and occasionally fight with each other.

In spite of the seizures and the medical emergencies and the financial hardship, Rav Reuven Weinreb and his wife are raising a normal family in Eretz Israel. He and his wife rise to these challenges. And that is exactly what you would expect, because Rav Reuven is one of us and that is what we do.

However, the situation is about to change. The Weinrebs rent their apartment. Their landlord must increase their rent, which is beyond the reach of the family and their very limited income.

There is a very specific challenge NOW, to help them acquire a permanent place of dwelling.

HaRav HaGaon Shienberg, shlita, wrote that moving out of their immediate neighborhood will put the Weinreb family in clear and present danger.

They cannot have the constant, added pressure of having to relocate to a new apartment every year or two with everything else going on within the home.

For any family, having to move every year or two is a difficult and stressful situation. But for Rav Reuven Weinreb and his family it is much more serious.

Because they have no means to acquire the extra money required for the constantly increasing rents in the community, they will be forced to move to a place where the community does not know them.

That means no one may notice when he starts to have difficulty breathing in shul. If his son has a seizure the neighbors will not know what to do. The new schools will not know what the children need and the Hatzolah in the new area may not be equipped to handle the emergencies.

For this reason the community has started a fund to raise $500,000, with Hashem’s help, to buy the apartment the Weinrebs are renting or one in the IMMEDIATE area if the landlord will not sell. For them this is a necessity.

For this reason we ask you for your support. Rav Reuven Weinreb has spent most of his life helping our community in both the USA and Israel. Now it is time for our community to help him.

There are almost 51 billion WebPages in the world today.

You came to this page because Hashem knows that you can make a difference. Meaning either you and/or someone you know is able to help this family. Hashem has made this opportunity available to you. Now it is time for you to make a difference.

PLEASE copy the URL of this article and/or the donation link and sent to all your friends, business acquaintances and family. Please help us get the Weinreb story out to be seen.

Time is of the essence.

Thank you in advance for your generous donation and sending this article to anyone you feel can help. Hashem shall surely bless you for this chesed.

For all countries, the link to donate by credit card, using our secured server is:
https://thechesedfund.com/donateab?c=1931

Contributing within the USA:

Make checks out to:

Congregation Supporters Of Torah
(on the bottom of check, in the memo, write Rav. Reuven Weinreb

Mail check donations to:

Reuven Weinreb c/o Bubby Weinreb
860 East 13 St.
Brooklyn, NY 11230

All check donations are tax deductable. ALL money will go to the Weinrebs.

Contributing within Israel:

Here are the details of the Weinreb Family Fund that has been established by Matan B’Seter ofKiryat Sefer:

Contributions may be made by credit card by dialing 1-800-234-566 at any time, 24 hours a day.

To contribute by check, cash, or bank transfer, or to set up a banker’s order, use the following information:

beneficiary: “Korat Gag Fund”, #460
Account # 804401
Bank: Poalei Agudat Yisrael
Branch: 180
Institutional code: 53891, “Karnot Kiryat Sefer”
***be sure to indicate Fund #460

Institutions: the receipt is recognized according to Par. 46 of the Tax Law

Contributions cannot be made using the “Nedarim Plus” device.

The fund’s expenses will be dealt with according to the decision of the Rabbis.

Sincerely,

Moshe Kershner
Siyata — Matan B’Seter

1 COMMENT

  1. hi there is a mistake in the number to call for credit card donations – what is the complete number please? it was posted as:
    Contributions may be made by credit card by dialing 1-800-234-566 at any time, 24 hours a day.

    thank you