“Avihem” Announces Substantial Increase In Support to Marry Off Orphans
A momentous gathering took place this past Sunday night in a home that is renowned for chesed.
At the home of R’ Moshe Yosef Tessler in Williamsburg, the supporters and friends of the “Avihem” organization came together to share an uplifting and inspiring evening. In a moving moment, the partners of this distinguished organization that provides for the needs of almanos and yesomim took upon themselves to bring Avihem to the next level by increasing the amount that they spend on simchos for widows and orphans.
As its name implies, the Avihem organization takes on a fatherly role for the orphans of the community. Specifically, Avihem steps up and gets involved at a critically important time in the lives of widows and orphans – when it is time to make a chasunah!
When it comes time to marry off a child, widows often fall apart under the financial pressure. Sadly, this can transform what should be a joyous occasion into a time of worry and stress. At this juncture, Avihem comes into the picture and provides a very generous amount of support to allow the widow and orphaned bride or groom to go to the chuppah with joy and peace of mind.
The communal activists behind Avihem, who have been involved in making weddings for orphans for many years, have concluded that the $10,000 stipend which has been given out in the past is no longer a sufficient amount. That saw that in today’s economic times, $10,000 is not enough to be a serious contribution to help cover the massive expense of marrying off a child. To this end, they began seeking out new partners to join them in the great mitzvah of helping orphans, so that the stipend could be raised to a higher amount.
With Hashem’s help, the right partners were found!
The esteemed Tessler family is renowned for their devotion to chesed of the highest order. When they heard about Avihem’s desire to raise the amount of support they provided, they were eager to come on board. They saw this as an ideal way to memorialize their beloved mother, Mrs. Miriam Tessler a”h, the daughter of the well-known baal chesed, R’ Menachem Yosef Kurtz z”l, and eishes chayil of the family’s father, R’ Moshe Yosef Tessler shlita.
The members of the Tessler family immediately agreed to be the partners to raise the amount provided by Avihem from $10,000 to $15,000, with the increase being dedicated as a zechus and tribute to their dear mother.
Last Sunday’s event in R’ Moshe Yosef Tessler’s home was attended by the founders and leaders of Avihem, as well as the activists involved in the organization, who gathered together with the Tessler children, their friends and other prominent supporters of Avihem, and the news of the family’s commitment to raise the stipend was announced at the time.
The home was permeated with a feeling of both solemnity and joy. It was an incredible sight to see as the family’s patriarch sat surrounded by his children, all of whom are recognized as dedicated people of chesed and who constantly exude pure ahavas Yisroel, and to witness how they displayed their desire to pay everlasting tribute to their late mother in such a beautiful way.
Many of the Tessler family’s friends who attended the event became informed about the tremendous work of Avihem for the first time at the gathering. This is because Avihem always works discreetly, remaining completely under the radar and never looking for fanfare or recognition. They discovered that while Avihem always maintains a low profile, it is literally providing salvation for hundreds of orphans, whom they help to get married in an respectable way. As a result of this support, the orphans are able to enjoy their simcha fully, and the entire family is able to rejoice with calmness and serenity, rather than fear and nervousness.
The distinguished head of the family, R’ Moshe Yosef Tessler, one of the leading chasidim of Sanz-Klausenberg, warmly addressed the crowd and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to do something so meaningful in memory of his dear wife. He also thanked his own children for coming up with the novel idea to undertake this great act of chesed as a fitting tribute to their mother.
The event was graced with the revered presence of one of American Jewry’s leading Poskim, Hagan Rav Michel Steinmetz shlita, Dayan of Skver-Boro Park and author of Meishiv Nevonim, who serves as the Nasi of Avihem.
Rav Steinmetz delivered an impassioned drasha, in which he stated that he can personally testify that hundreds of orphans have received critical assistance from this organization, and that there are hundreds more who will, b’ezras Hashem, be getting married in upcoming years whom Avihem is committed to help as well.
The Dayan affirmed that he is consistently in contact with the respected Rosh Hamossad of Avihem, R’ Shmuel Yoel Feldbrand, and that every aspect of the organization is run under the guidance of a venerable Vaad Harabbanim. In addition to Rav Steinmetz, the Vaad Harabbanim consists of Rav Avrohom Chaim Steinwurtzel shlita and Rav Binyomin Eisenberger shlita.
The Dayan strongly encouraged everyone to continue supporting Avihem so that they have the ability to expand their work even further. He described how, as a Dayan, he has personally seen the perilous plight of widowed mothers and has witnessed how crucial it is to provide them with substantial financial assistant in order to lighten their burden as they struggle with the major expenses involved in making a chasunah.
The Rosh Hamossad, R’ Shmuel Yoel Feldbrand, who has dedicated his life to helping widows and orphans in our midst, also addressed the crowd. On behalf of everyone associated with Avihem, he emotionally thanked the Tessler family for accepting to be the conduit for this great mitzvah. He said that by doing so they have “planted the seeds of a tree of chesed that will produce many fruits for generations to come”, as many families of widows and orphans will greatly benefit from their largesse for years to come.
The climax of the evening was the words of bracha and chizuk provided by the special guest, the renowned gaon and tzadik, Rav Shaul Yehuda Prizant shlita, Rov of Sanz-Union City.
In his powerful style, Rav Prizant brought out the tremendous importance of being “noseh b’ohl im chavero”, empathizing with a fellow Jew and helping him so that he does not have to carry his burden alone. He stressed how this is especially important when speaking about brokenhearted orphans, who are forced to turn to their Jewish brethren for assistance.
The Rov concluded his fiery words with a warm bracha for everyone involved in the work of Avihem.
With the start of this new era in the work of Avihem, this vital organization will reach ever new levels of bringing light and joy into the homes and hearts of the most vulnerable members of Klal Yisroel. With the guidance and blessings of the gedolei harabanim, they will continue to provide hope and salvation during the time of greatest need.