One of the biggest secrets in Crown Heights is launching an on-line matching campaign on Sunday!
Keren Yisroel is one of the largest and most active Chesed organizations in our community.
“But,” I’ve never heard of them,” you say.
That’s right, unless you have been one of the many who have been helped, or one of their close relatives or friends, you would not have heard of Keren Yisroel. And even those who were helped never knew the name of the fund.
Who are we? Just a few women who donate their non-existent free time to helping Klal Yisroel avoid crises. We are volunteers without fancy stationery or expensive overhead. In addition, we work without fanfare. Why is our secrecy so strong? Because chazal compare embarrassing someone to killing them because blood drains from their face. The people who turn to us know we can’t be bought. We would rather go door to door collecting as doors slam in our face than divulge a single name. (We were once faced by a test by HKB”H.
There was a donor who was willing to write a very very large check if only he was told who he was helping. Imagine the look on his face when we refused!)
One of our most important principles is being sensitive to the people we help and not hurting their feelings. We started this organization partly because of all the stories we heard about how people who ask for money end up depressed and demeaned by the reaction, unthinking insensitivity, of those they ask. We are determined to treat everyone with respect.
Interestingly is the reaction to our efforts by many of the generous donors in our community. They often send people to us. Why? Because they don’t have the time or ability to deal with everyone who asks them for help, and they can’t check out whether the request is actually a bona fide need. Also, often the need is greater than they can meet on their own. So they send them to us and ask us to do the rest. The rest often means that WE have to raise the money. We go to the donors so that the people in need don’t have to.
We all know people in dire need. This could be everything from evictions, defaulted mortgages, and shut off notices to major simcha expenses not covered by other simcha organizations for some reason. For some it is as serious as losing their home or business, or the opportunity for a needed medical procedure. In the 10 years we have been opened; we have been fortunate enough to have helped in over 400 cases all over the world, including shluchim.
Despite the lack of publicity, our business of helping others in need is, unfortunately, booming – there is so much need! Up until now we have managed without the need for public fund-raising. The need is now so great, we must expand our operations and bring Keren Yisroel to the next level.
Right now we have amazing donors who understand the value of this mitzvah. They together have agreed to match dollar for dollar whatever we manage to raise. They are witnesses to the miracles of this group. Tzedukah tears up divine decrees and only brings nachas to the giver. Please help us raise the funds we need so that we never have to turn anyone away! We recently opened up the Igrot. The Rebbe’s letter was amazing! He even said he would send a check to support our valuable organization. Please join us, be his shliach, and contribute generously.