Hatzolah is always there for everyone. Day and night, its members are ready to drop everything — eating, sleeping, family time, learning, davening, working — to serve the klal.
This past weekend the community showed up in droves, proving that we are there, too, for Hatzolah. The long-anticipated Hatzolah auction event, the only fund-raising of the entire year, was held, with something for everyone.
The event began Motzoei Shabbos Parashas Behar-Bechukosai with the men’s program. It was a heimishe, hartzige gathering, with singing, divrei Torah, a fascinating presentation and words of inspiration. The Ateres Golda ballrooms were filled to capacity. Downstairs, a lavish melave malkah was set out; there was even a special room for bachurim. Upstairs in the main ballroom, was the auction display.
The well-known badchan, Mr. Shaya Fuchs, was emcee. The Nirbater Rav, one of the Rabbanim of Hatzolah of Boro Park, opened with divrei brachah, followed by Harav Shlomo Bochner, Mashgiach, Maor HaTorah, representing his father-in-law and the Teitelbaum family who sponsored the melaveh malkah in appreciation to Hatzolah who saved Mr. Teitelbaum’s life.
Music was provided by the Yedidim choir with Reb Shlome Taussig, featuring Yitzchak Rosinger, “the wonder child.” A moving presentation, “Kol Nidrei Night,” was the riveting story of a man who became ill Yom Tov night and was unable to bentch his children or daven in shul.
This was followed by a presentation about Hatzoloh’s wonderful work, the dedication each member feels for the klal, and how this impacts upon members’ families.
The presentation was the story of a child who had been chosen as Purim Rebbe and who excitedly prepared his costume and songs. However, on the way to the party, his father got a call from Hatzolah, and ultimately the boy missed the party. Living with such disappointment, he said, was part of belonging to a Hatzolah family — and he expressed pride in his father and his gratefulness to have a role to play in supporting the klal. The video also showed the extensive equipment Hatzolah has on hand.
The guest speaker was Harav David Olewski, Rosh Yeshivah of Mesivta Bais Yisroel of Ger, whose powerful message told how much we all depend on Hatzolah.
Many special guests came to show their support: almost all the local Rebbes, Rabbanim and Roshei Yeshivah in Boro Park participated. Mr. Greenberger, Hatzolah director of Stamford Hill, England and Rabbi Avrum Reichman, director of Hatzolah of Yerushalayim, flew in. Many prominent doctors were present, including Dr. Steven Rudolph, director of the Jaffe Stroke Center at Maimonides Hospital. Councilman David Greenfield was also present to show his support.
Nobody could tear himself away until the program finally wound down at 2:00 a.m.
Sunday was for the children: Nonstop programming ran all afternoon. Children clapped and sang along to Cousin Nochum’s songs. The puppet show by Avremel was delightful. At the parrot show, the birds flew around the ballroom before roosting on their perches, to the wonder of the children. Sam Jacobs’ magic act was mesmerizing. The circus from Yerushalayim featured Sir Jugglie’s amazing feats.
Children, all well-behaved, streamed in and out all afternoon; the seats in the auditorium were always filled. All who came got a reflective vest as a door prize; expect to see many of those over the summer months, as more than 11,000 were distributed.
Monday night was the final segment of the auction. A women’s program provided “moments” of all kinds. The ballroom, showcasing the 175 artfully-arranged prizes, valued at over $350,000, was itself a work of art, with tapestries and magnificent carpets. A dazzling waterfall brought glamour to the room. A delectable buffet was set out downstairs, and there was a separate venue for high school girls.
The evening was dedicated in memory of Reb Nuchem Mordechai Mittleman, z”l. In his quiet, special way, he touched hundreds of lives, listening to troubles and offering assistance. His family continues his legacy.
Mrs. Leah Esther Paneth, principal of Bais Brocho High School, said that when the Hatzolah office called to ask her to speak, they began by saying it wasn’t an emergency. “But it was,” she continued. “Whenever Hatzolah calls us, whatever they need us for, it truly is an emergency.”
The Legacy Award was presented to the family of Reb Pinchas ben Yosef Tzvi, z”l. Reb Pinchas Konig personified joy and positivity, and possessed a deep love of life. His daughter, Mrs. Debby Altman, discussed coping with grief after the tragic loss of her young child. How she found joy in moments of nisayon was uplifting for all.
Well-loved Boro Park pediatrician Dr. Israel Zyskind, lauded Hatzolah’s wonderful work. His personal message to the community was how much illness could be prevented by living a proper lifestyle. He discussed the role of a mother in setting a good example and providing her family with healthy foods and opportunities to exercise.
Mrs. Chana Werdyger, principal of Bais Yaakov d’Gur, gives seminars titled “The Gift of Life.” She contrasted how we all carry heavy loads of judgment with how Hatzolah members handle calls — never asking about the frumkeit or wealth of their patients. We need to act more as they do, she concluded.
Rifky Kahn expressed her hakaras hatov to Hatzolah who succeeded in saving the life of her father, Mr. Lefkowitz, when he went into cardiac arrest during sheva brachos. They refused to give up, and he survived.
Mrs. Marion Fine’s skit transformed — respectfully — the moments of drama and sacrifice into moments of entertainment.
The Hatzolah video from Motzoei Shabbos was then screened for the women.
The program, months in the planning, was not only riveting for the crowds who atteneded, but took into account their safety, security, and convenience. The support of the community — volunteers, ushers and, of course, participants — was heartwarming. Everyone, from young children to venerated seniors, enjoyed a feast for the eyes, heart and stomach.
Mr. Yossie Glick, Mrs. Esther Rosenberg and Mrs. Goldie Gross and the entire devoted team spend months anticipating and preparing every detail that culminated in the successful event. Hatzolah of Boro Park reached out to every family in Boro Park, just as they are always there for every single family. The massive turnout for all the events is proof that they were successful, and their gratitude to the community is immense.
Everyone who participated knew they were supporting a most important cause. We all live more securely knowing that Hatzolah is there for us.