July 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Libermans of Teaneck Host ‘Just One Life’ on Eve of Yomim Noraim

As they so graciously opened their home in 1994 and 1996, Sheryl and Aaron Liberman once again hosted an evening of support for the “Just One Life” organization on Sunday, September 10. With more than 120 in attendance, the evening portrayed the unceasing activity of the Yerushalayim-based tzedaka that has brought more than 17,000 births to completion over the past 30 years. It is estimated that of these Just One Life babies, there are currently thousands who are married and have children of their own and who have contributed to the country through military service and professional productivity.

The Libermans, together with their co-hosts including Rayzel and Ronn Yaish, Fraidy and Stuart Forgash, Cindy and Elliot Forgash, Carole and Jack Forgash and Executive Vice President Rabbi Martin Katz, welcomed their guests warmly.

Rabbi Yissocher Frand, who has been a powerful spokesman for the organization for close to 30 years, focused upon the concept of “empathy” in his address to the assembled. We can learn a lesson from the two adjacent Jewish communities in Houston,Texas. The one that was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey was taken in and assisted by the second not-as-affected community in an act of empathy.

Rabbi Frand continued his message. Just as we open our hearts with empathy to those with terminal diseases or those wracked with financial struggles, so too we must open our hearts to women of child-bearing age whose life situations prevent them from anticipating the joy of childbirth. For many of them, the fear of an additional mouth to feed, the pain of a sick child or disabled husband or often the absence of a family breadwinner make their situation frightening. In comes Just One Life, under the chairmanship of Madelaine Gitelman and the team of social workers trained by Senior Social Worker Chaya Katzin, to assist these women financially, to advise them and to refer them on to agencies that can allay their financial and emotional trauma. Recently, the organization was recognized by both Hebrew University and Bar Ilan University as an exemplary training program for the students in their Master of Social Work programs.

Jack Forgash, one of the original founders and a strong supporter of Just One Life, asked the audience what they would consider their greatest asset. All were in agreement that our children are our most precious resource. So too are the children of Israel. In saving 17,000 lives, which will eventually number in the hundreds of thousands, we have been helping perpetuate the population of Israel. Forgash went on to cite cases where Just One Life removed women very advanced in their pregnancies from crowded shelters and transferred them to Haifa and Tel Aviv to have their babies in a safe environment. Similarly, during the War in Lebanon, expectant mothers from Haifa and Rosh Hanikra were taken to safe havens in Be’er Sheva to deliver safely and securely.

For those who missed this evening of support for Just One Life, Rabbi Frand will be addressing the community once again on September 26, during Aseret Yemei Teshuva, at the Young Israel of Flatbush, as he has done for the past 28 years. To learn more about their vital work and to contribute to its efforts, call (212) 683-6040 or visit www.justonelife.org.

By Pearl Markovitz

 

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