June 18, 2024
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Teaneck Bnot Mitzvah Support Zichron Menachem

On June 10, three Teaneck friends celebrating their becoming bnot mitzvah within a few months of each other joined together in a chesed project in support of Zichron Menachem, a unique state-of-the-art facility in Jerusalem which provides medical care as well as dozens of therapeutic and counseling activities for children battling cancer and their families.

Friends from school and summer camp, Sophie Bistrizky and Lea Markovitz, who attend Yavneh Academy, and Katie Weiss, who attends Yeshivat He’Atid, assisted by their mothers, organized a two-part project. They began last summer with the announcement of an opportunity for young ladies in the area to grow their hair over the course of the year with the goal of donating it to the Zichron Menachem’s HAIR4WIGS project, which provides custom medical wigs to young cancer patients. To date, through social media, posters and fliers, the girls encouraged 10 young ladies to grow and donate their hair over the course of the year. Katie herself was one of the early donors.

The next step in the bat mitzvah project was a “beading” gathering during which the girls and their neighborhood friends and relatives strung bead bracelets. One bracelet was designated for a cancer patient through Zichron Menachem and the second was kept by the girls or passed on to others. The myriad, highly attractive beads of all different colors and shapes had been used earlier in the year for making mask chains during COVID. The proceeds from these chains were also donated to tzedaka. The three girls spent hours separating the beads and providing the supplies needed for making the bracelets. Many unique and creative bracelets resulted from the gathering.

Zichron Menachem’s Day Center, located in Bayit Vegan, hosts children battling cancer whose lowered immune systems prevent them from attending regular schools. They can attend Zichron Menachem’s beautiful facilities six days a week and enjoy a wide range of enjoyable activities as well as assistance with their studies. The children can utilize the fully stocked music room and recording studio, computer room, art room, garden and pond. Hot meals are offered throughout the day.

In response to Dr. Reuven Or from Hadassah Medical Center who said, “Children respond to cancer treatment better when they are happy and relaxed,” Zichron Menachem takes groups of children on week-long therapeutic camp experiences three times a year. These extraordinary outings, accompanied by oncology doctors, nurses and recreational experts, give the children a welcomed reprieve from their battle with cancer. Zichron Menachem also hosts birthday parties featuring Israeli celebrities to celebrate with the children and raise their spirits.

In addition to their day programs, Zichron Menachem offers a caring and welcoming after-school program for children whose parents are suffering from cancer. A warm dinner in a nurturing environment is offered daily, prepared by volunteers. Zichron Menachem has also built a lovely guest house for parents to stay close to their children while they are undergoing medical treatments.

Zichron Menachem houses a platelet donor bank to provide fresh platelets to the cancer patients in their care. To accomplish this vital service, they have created an extensive database of donors to assure a constant supply of blood at the ready.

Through planning and executing this worthy project, Sophie, Lea and Katie learned a great deal about the admirable and extensive services of Zichtron Menachem and have it on their list to visit when in Israel. They are proud that their efforts brought in over $2,000 for the organization. As Lea expressed at her recent bat mitzvah celebration, “Our tefilot go out to the children in the care of Zichron Menachem for a refuah sheleima.”

To learn more about the impressive and extensive services provided by Zichron Menachem, contact Esther Kelen at the Children’s Bridge of Zichron Menachem located at 50 West 47th Street, New York, at 212-594-6996, Visit www.zichron.org or call in Israel 972-2-643-3001.

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