December 22, 2008
Sometimes It IS All In the Timing
A few days ago I sent an email to my dear friend Zev Birger in Jerusalem. Zev’s late wife, Trudi, was an angel who helped so many families in the very poor neighborhood of Romema. Years ago, Trudi was approached by Jerusalem’s late and famous mayor, Teddy Kollek, who begged her to help these families who had so little. In Trudi, Teddy saw that her fiery determination and drive would help her in this monumental task. Trudi’s goal was to provide the families with food, school supplies, extra funds for medicines…whatever was needed. But, most of all, she wanted to stop the cycle of poverty that was so pervasive and she knew the best way to do that was to help the children in each of these families receive a good education that would lift them out of poverty. Today, "Trudi’s kids" are professionals, teachers, technicians…and they support their own families because Trudi cared.
Sadly, Trudi died quite suddenly a few years ago and left her beloved husband Zev to carry on her work. Though Zev does not believe that he is as accomplished as his late wife, I know differently. He is as compassionate and caring as Trudi was and he has continued her work beautifully.
The email I received from Zev was very sad. As I have heard from so many of our programs, funds are scarce and so many people who have come to rely on Zev cannot be helped. He just does not have the funds to do what is needed. I responded to Zev’s plea by promising to send some funds.
Within a few hours of that exchange I called an old friend Kenny Kodish in Israel to check in on him and his family. Midway into the conversation, he asked me if I knew where his Hanukah tzedakah money could make a big difference. It did not take long to answer that question. I told him to check his email when we ended our conversation, and he would find the answer. I gave him Zev’s contact information and within an hour I learned that he and his beautiful children (all four of them!) would be paying Zev a visit the next day.
And so — I was not surprised when I received the following email from Zev just a few days later.
I met Kenny… he came by with his kids They are a great Mischpoche… wonderfull Children… I was able to finance five pair of shoes and pay something for medication, Kenny is a very nice and friendly person with a good JEWISH smile, His assistance to the families came in time and he and his children made a great mitzvah. May all of them be blessed for that. Me he gave a most wonderfull Gift: A BIG HUG FROM NAOMI !!! thanks my dear… Love Zev
Sometimes, it really is all in the timing…