April 12, 2024
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April 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Sincere Thanks to ‘Just One Life’

Dear Rabbi Katz and Jack Forgash,

Thank you for your continued support and for reaching out to hear how we’re doing. While we all continue to follow the developing situation and struggle to come to terms with our new reality, the ongoing difficulties give our staff a tremendous amount of motivation to keep working hard so we can help mitigate some of the difficulties and challenges families are facing in these trying times.

To date, Project Chai financial support has been provided to about 200 families, from cities including Sderot, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kfar Maimon, Kiryat Shmona, Ofakim, and multiple kibbutzim. We have also been very busy delivering baby gifts to hospitals and hotels housing evacuees.

We are so very grateful for the many suitcases we receive filled with beautiful new baby clothes. Thank you to our donors, Luggage for Israel, Yeshiva of Flatbush families, Yad Leah, and to Jack Forgash and family. Thank you also to the Aish Hatorah seminary girls who helped us with the packing. You should all know that we have received a lot of positive appreciative feedback from these gifts. They make the mothers feel very cared about.

We are happy to announce that we recently launched a program in partnership with the Jerusalem municipality facilitating support groups for evacuated mothers placed in Jerusalem hotels and we’ve already filled our first group. They have started meeting in Just One Life’s offices on King George Street.

To give more of a feeling for what we’re dealing with, including aspects that we don’t realize until we become intimately familiar with the details, I would like to share the story of one of the women we are supporting:

We all understand that the evacuees placed in hotels are not on vacation and their long-term hotel stays are very different from our experiences when we go to a hotel. Malka (not her real name) from Sderot explained to me this week that the hotel where she is staying has allowed the evacuees to use the hotel washing machines, and she described how challenging she and the other evacuees are finding it sharing just four (!) washing machines between the 70 (!) families staying in the hotel. Malka’s baby was two months old when the war started and is now four months old. She still has no idea when she will be able to return to her home.

Meanwhile, her husband is also in miluim and she has lost her job and her family has no source of income. And with all this, fear for her husband’s safety and for their family’s future, hanging over her, Malka’s current daily struggle for existence is how to keep up with and care for her four children who are not in school. And how to juggle life with her newborn with somehow managing to get a time slot to use the communal washing machines so that her family will have clean clothes to wear.

Sadly, this is the reality of many many families. Dealing with so much overwhelming sorrow and fear with every aspect of their lives, from the largest to the smallest, impacted by their being displaced and removed from their homes and their usual support systems.

On behalf of the many families who have been calling to thank us for the support of Just One Life I want to thank our incredible donors in the U.S. who have given us the opportunity to financially and emotionally help families whose lives were turned upside down by terrorism and war. In this most difficult time for so many families, it simply can’t be overstated how very meaningful and impactful it has been for these families.

I also want to thank you on behalf of our professional staff. More than ever we feel grateful and humbled to be part of Just One Life and to serve as your emissaries in this critical mission.

עם ישראל חי!!!

All the best,

Chaya Katzin

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