On Tish’ah B’Av, the theme of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation videos was to be nosei b’ol chaveiro. This is exactly what our Kew Gardens Hills community did with a beautiful event to support Bonei Olam at the home of Hudi and Orit Newman on Wednesday evening, August 1. A large group of community supporters gathered in the backyard of the Newman home in an elegant tent with candlelight and live musical entertainment from Eli Levin. Seasons and Tevya’s Ranch sponsored the event with a delicious barbecue and other delicacies. Bonei Olam is an organization that provides millions of dollars in financial assistance to cover the costs of fertility treatments and medical procedures. As of today, 7,400 babies were born with Hashem’s help through Bonei Olam. The organization was founded by five volunteer couples and is still run by volunteers.
Mr. Newman welcomed everyone to his home and then shared a poignant letter written by his younger sister, Esti. She was married at age 19, hoping to start a family. At age 21, there was still no baby. Doctors told her, “You’re young and healthy.” At age 23, she and her husband saw four doctors. They all offered different opinions. At this point, all her friends and family were getting married and starting families. She stated that she wanted to share one hundredth of the pain a young frum couple is dealing with, with fertility and genetic issues. “Your pain is unbearable. The looks, the questions. The whispers. Obviously, something is wrong with you.”
Esti wrote, “Finally, we called Rabbi Bochner. He said, “You may be young and healthy, but something is going on.” He sent Esti to a doctor in New Jersey who specialized in a condition called PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which is a genetic condition. She was diagnosed with this, and so they were guided by Bonei Olam and told to call Dr. Chaim Jalas, a genetic specialist. They learned that if they conceived children naturally, their children would have genetic issues, so they needed to perform IVF, in vitro fertilization, to prevent any genetic problems. The next problem was that insurance would not cover this extremely costly procedure because insurance classifies pregnancy as an illness.
With Bonei Olam’s help, they did not have to worry about the financial aspect. They endured dozens of doctor appointments, some at seven a.m., an hour from their home. There were many painful injections that Esti’s husband had to give her but, baruch Hashem, Hudi stated, he has a healthy niece and nephew. “Nobody ever thought they would have kids!”
Esti’s letter concluded, “Hashem sent us Bonei Olam!”
Next, Rabbi Binyomin Kleinbart, one of the founders of Bonei Olam, spoke briefly about the organization. He shared a story about a man named Yitzchok Guttman from Hungary who went to the Kodesher Rav and asked if he should travel to America and settle there. The rav gave him a brachah that his children and grandchildren would stay in the way of Torah and be healthy. He settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and everything went well with his children and grandchildren. At one point, there was a typhus epidemic, but his family was spared. Someone came to him and asked if he would adopt his child. The child had typhus, but this man knew that Yitzchok Guttman had this blessing from the Kodesher Rav that all his children and grandchildren would be healthy. He agreed to adopt the child. After that, many more families brought their children to him, so they could benefit from this brachah. In the end, he opened his door to 100 children and adopted them all. Rabbi Kleinbart noted that there was a reunion of all of these children a few weeks ago. This story proves how one individual can help so many. We should each merit to help Bonei Olam, and so many children will be born because of this help.
Rabbi Kleinbart imparted, “Bonei Olam’s mission is that money should not hold back any couple from having children.” Bonei Olam is a world-wide organization founded by volunteers and run by volunteers. It helps with basic infertility, genetic infertility, pre- and post-cancer fertility help. Its pet project is Bonei Olam Without Borders, which means that twice a year Bonei Olam sends a specialist to Israel to help give special treatments to men with infertility. Out of 15 men recently treated through Bonei Olam Without Borders, 12 were helped.
He concluded, “A childless couple can come to Bonei Olam and, with siyata diShmaya, they can walk away a happy mother and a happy father.” He urged everyone to use the 40 days before Rosh HaShanah to help support Bonei Olam.
For more information about Bonei Olam, call 718-252-1212 (ext. 229), visit www.boneiolam.org, or email email@example.com.
By Susie Garber