By Yehudit Garmaise
A 6-year-old boy who was visiting Boro Park for three months for medical treatment returned to Israel yesterday with songs of hope and strength ringing in his heart, after a troop of volunteers from Tanzers, Kanfei Chayim, and Boro Park Hatzolah created a lively guitar-led kumzitz in the shul at the John F. Kennedy Airport from 9:30 to 10am.
Since Purim, the family of Duvid Mendel ben Elisheva Rivka, who needs many tefillos, stayed in a Boro Park hachanas orchim apartment, provided by Kochavim, as he received treatment at Columbia Hospital, where he stayed since Pesach.
From the moment Duvid and his family arrived in Boro Park, Sruli Glassman, who has volunteered with the Mekimi Cheer-Up Squad for seven years, connect families with sick children to the many chesed organizations that work tirelessly to provide support and whatever help is needed.
While Tantzers creates fun and relaxing events to take patients and families out of their houses and hospitals, the Mekimi Cheer-Up Squad, which performed for Duvid 20 times in the past three months, visits patients in their homes with live music and magicians.
“Duvid loves music,” Glassman said. “He really enjoyed it.
“It was hard for him to talk, but he always gave big smiles and two thumbs up.”
Yesterday, Boro Park Hatzolah and Kanfei Chayim picked up Duvid, who is medically fragile, at Columbia hospital and transported him to JFK, where Rabbi Yossi Rapp, the rabbi at JFK provided the airport’s shul for the chevra to sing lively songs of faith, such as “Ani Maamin” and “Abba, Abba,” by Avrohom Fried.”
“Everyone was emotional: the father, the patient, the Hatzolah members,” Glassman recalled. “The father, who repeatedly thanked Glassman for all the kindness his family received, said in parting, ‘Thank you very much for everything, there is no way I could pay you back.’”
While Duvid’s mother returned to Israel after Pesach with her other children, she repeatedly told the many volunteers that they were overwhelmed with all the chesed that the New York Jewish community provides.
In addition to expressing gratitude for the simcha and support, Duvid’s mother was thankful to Lehisaneg for delivering weekly beautiful Shabbos packages that included a platter from the Nuttery, popcorn, and treats for the children.
Also, the family flew on miles that were collected from donors by Kanfei Chayim, which provides flights for patients who need transportation with doctors and medics on board.
“From every side,” said Duvid’s parents, who are still wishing and waiting for a nes, “there is another organization here and there to ease the pain.”