Lev Rochel Bikur Cholim

It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a city for one in crisis.

Letter from the Mayor, Rabbi Kaszirer

On a busy street somewhere in the bustling city that is Lakewood, there's a busy office that's a city unto itself.

What everyone knows: "Bikur Cholim's hospital food pantry was a lifesaver when we went into the hospital on Shabbos."

What our extensive network of doctors and specialists know: "I might be an expert in my specialized field, but the medical advocacy and referral staff at Bikur Cholim are specialists in every single field of medicine."

What our clients know: "All I did was call and ask for a ride to the hospital. That was all Bikur Cholim needed to hear. In the short time between my husband's diagnosis and petirah, they just took over. I will never know everything that Bikur Cholim did."

And that's because Bikur Cholim of Lakewood is as multifaceted as the city we proudly serve.

There's no catchy mission statement that easily says what Lev Rochel Bikur Cholim is or does.

But there's a very simple reason that has been the guiding credo for our volunteers and staff since we began packaging tuna sandwiches in a tiny bi-level 29 years ago:

We help in any way and every way we can. There's food, transportation, hospitality and sleeping accommodations, medical equipment, medical advocacy and referrals, and support, care, and heart at every step of the way.

Although some of our work is widely known, we take great pride in our patients not knowing everything we do. We support our patients through intensely vulnerable moments, with tragedy, illness, and desperate need the backdrop to everything we do.

When our patients are reeling from hearing, "You-need-this-test-now," or "This-specialist's-next-appointment-is-in-seven-months," or "You-need-this-drug-that's-not-FDA-approved," it is often too difficult for them to navigate the medical complexities they now face. Bikur Cholim does it for them.

We pull in the connections. We jump through the hoops. We put in the hours. And all our patients hear is, "We got you the appointment for tomorrow." "We flew the drug in from abroad." "We arranged for the second opinion now." They will never know the wrangling with insurance agencies, the search for the only lab in the United States that does this test. That's the way we want our service to the community to be.

When there's an illness in Lakewood, there's Bikur Cholim. The only thing that stands between the cholim of Lakewood and the help they desperately need is funding. Funding for our food pantries and hospitality, funding for our medical advocacy program, funding so that we can continue our lifesaving work.

This January, Bikur Cholim is turning to you. It's your city. Will you take your place and say, "I want to be a part of the empire of chesed that has supported Lakewood residents through decades of triumph and tears?"

Will you be there for your city? "Im Hashem lo yishmar ir, shav shakad shomer" May the true Shomer Ir watch over and protect us as we wait for the day when our services are no longer needed,

Yehuda Kaszirer
Rabbi Yehuda Kaszirer

Welcome to The City Auction

Night and day, sun and sleet, there's action, action, action.

Lights flash, traffic zooms, thruways pulse with energy - a never ending stream of sights and sounds.

Up the elevator. Down the hall. Round the block.

Opening doors, getting things to move, doing the impossible.

The City is real.

Sky-scraping issues. Complex routes. Graffiti-like scribbles in an indecipherable script. And lots of grit and determination.

The City is its people.

First responders dousing flames. Vital workers breathing hope. Support staff that pack and drive and entertain - Multi-skilled and single-minded; a massive force, a common goal: To ease the burden; still the crisis Together.

The City is different.

Under the courage and the muscle and the grit, is a bedrock. Of kindness. Caring. Listening. A foundation Of Ahavas Yisroel.