By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Berel and Chani Majesky have always planned on moving out on Shlichus, to do the Rebbe’s work in some far-off community where spiritual help or Jewish programs were needed.
Instead, they will remain living in Crown Heights. Still, if asked what they do, both will answer in unison: “We are on Shlichus.”
The couple has recently been appointed to direct Friendship Circle of Brooklyn, a branch of the international volunteer organization that pairs teens and children with special needs.
“This is definitely the last place I thought I’d end up living,” admitted Chani Majesky (nee Procel) who grew up in Melbourne, Australia and has been heavily involved in community and educational work.
After pursuing various Shlichus options around the world, “we decided that we belong right here,” says Berel Majesky, a Crown Heights local who helped organize The Great Parade for Lag BaOmer, develop the Great Jewish Big Rig traveling exhibit and was the new exhibit manager at the Jewish Children’s Museum.
Unlike their friends, the Majeskys are staying in the Crown Heights neighborhood to work with local families with special needs children.
“It may not be the popular thing to do and definitely not as ‘glamorous’, but we feel that this is what is needed,’ he said. “Our community is bursting at the seams and the amount that can be accomplished is endless.”
Established 7 years ago, Friendship Circle Brooklyn creates true friendships between teens and special needs children and engages them in a variety of Jewish, social and educational activities.
“Under the direction of Chayale Eckhaus, together with Chaya Chein, so much has been done already. We are excited to take this program to the next level,” said Chani Majesky.
While many organizations address the issues of children with special needs, most are focused on goal-oriented therapeutic care. Through weekly home visits, programs and events, this organization run by Shluchim around the North America brings another dimension – unconditional love, friendship and fun.
Rabbi Majesky says the teenage volunteer learns the value of giving, the art of caring and a strong sense of responsibility and trust. “The family is provided with much needed respite, support and are able to bask in the joy of seeing their child become a part of the community.”
While operating under the auspices of the Jewish Children’s Museum, the organization will be self-funded relying on local donors to cover the budget, Majesky said.
To help out, visit fcbrooklyn.com/donate