I am about to make a request I hope to never make again, but a request I feel compelled to make, in the hope that you may help.
Over the course of the last few weeks I learned about the tragic story of a Musmach of the Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva who was living in Las Vegas, together with his wife and three sons, and learning in a Kiruv Kollel, while also moon-lighting as a Mashgiach. A little more than a year ago, he was diagnosed with liver cancer, a disease he fought, I am told, with tremendous Mesiras Nefesh and Bitachon, but a disease to which he ultimately succumbed, leaving behind a widow and three sons ages six, four, and two.
When the initial treatment attempts in Las Vegas failed, he relocated to Kew Gardens Hills in order to undergo a new experimental treatment at Montefiore Medical Center, which unfortunately was not successful. During this time period, he and his family were hosted by an extremely generous family in Kew Gardens Hills where his family still resides as they attempt to pick up the pieces.
On the financial side, the deceased did have a life insurance policy, however, due to some prior unrelated health issues, he was unable to obtain a significant policy that would endow his family's future. In addition, neither the deceased nor his widow comes from families of significant means on whom they can rely.
As a result, some wonderful people have taken upon themselves to raise money so that this man's children will be taken care of. This means living expenses, tuition, Bar Mitzvahs, Weddings etc. Raising funds will remove some of the massive weight this widow now bears, allowing her to sort things out while coming to terms with this tragedy. The process of overseeing these funds and making sure they are handled prudently is being overseen by family and friends of the deceased, as well some very generous community members that include Rabbonim and lawyers. I personally know people in all three of the aforementioned categories, all with deep knowledge of the circumstances, and have had detailed conversations with them.
I became aware of this situation through my son, who is classmates with this man's nephew. As a result, I met this classmate's parents days before the Petira, and, in the days that followed, learned the scope of the situation.
While I never met this man, and only know his brother and sister-in-law a short time, I can only assume that this story resonates so powerfully with me because I too have a wife and three children almost identical in age to his orphans. And what has been haunting me every night is how I would do anything to ensure my children's future, and how there was a person in Klal Yisroel who I am sure would say the same if he were able - but he can't - and his children have almost no one to fend for them, other than people like yourselves. While I share my personal sentiment with you, I don't think you have to be in the same shoes to imagine the indescribable pain this family is currently enduring. Whether one does or doesn't have children, I think something we can all identify with is the fact that we were all once children, and all children deserve a chance to make it.
So I ask you to join me in opening your hearts and helping by donating to this cause in any way you can. Checks can be made payable to Keren Bnei Yosef and sent to my home as follows:
Keren Bnei Yosef
c/o Zev Aeder
79-25 150th Street Apt. B27
Flushing, NY 11367
This fund is currently a separate account under the auspices of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim so if you prefer, you can send the funds directly to the Yeshiva, provided you indicate they are for Keren Bnei Yosef. However, I will make sure that funds sent to my address, are tracked and delivered to the responsible parties. I assure you that no one is touching a penny of this money other than the intended beneficiaries. There is only one goal: to make sure these children, and, by extension, their mother, are cared for. Keep in mind that with children ages six, four and two, support will be needed for about two decades.
If you have any further questions, I am happy to answer them. You can reach me at 917-692-9118. If I don't answer, please leave a detailed message and I will return you call.
Thank you and Tizku l'Mitzvos.