Seven months ago, the RCM Bikur Cholim of Crown Heights community experienced a tremendous loss with the passing of young Hadassah Lebovic OBM (daughter of board member Esther). In the wake of her untimely death, friends and family pledged to memorialize Hadassah’s lively and generous nature and pay tribute to the Lebovic family’s famous hospitality by establishing a Bikur Cholim Hospitality Suite. Since then, an apartment has been purchased, renovated, and designed to be accessible for those with special needs, mobility aids, and medical equipment. The apartment is now available for use for families traveling to NYC for critical care.
Patients from around the world travel to hospitals in the tri-state area for treatment, surgery, or specialized care. While some can stay with family or friends, many don’t have that option or need to stay elsewhere out of a need for privacy during such a sensitive time. For years Bikur Cholim of CH has been helping these families find accommodations—often hard to find and at great cost. The new hospitality suite, a first of its kind in the neighborhood, will ease the burden of finding and paying for lodgings and will provide much-needed respite for critical patients and their families.
This past Sunday, in the week leading up to Chof Beis Shvat, the Bikur Cholim and Lebovic families gathered to dedicate and open the apartment. Before Hadassah’s father Zalman יבלחט״א affixed the mezuzos, he shared a few of Hadassah’s own words, reading from a school assignment where she wrote about her mother’s work in Bikur Cholim. “I think my mother’s job is so special… She and her amazing group of volunteers would constantly send meals and anything to cheer her (a patient) and her children up… My siblings and I get to go around and do the deliveries, and we love seeing how happy it makes them.”
Recalling a family whose mother had suffered through terrible illness, Hadassah wrote, “Bikur Cholim takes care of the whole family, making sure that their new home would have a playground, a trampoline, and the best toys so we can make their home the happiest home in the world. I can’t wait to follow in my mother’s footsteps and help families in need when I grow up.”
The Hospitality Suite’s cheery and welcoming atmosphere is a most fitting tribute to Hadassah’s life and sunny personality. Hadassah’s Place is accepting applications at www.bikurcholimCH.org/hadassah. Reservations will be made on a first come, first serve basis for up to 30 days.
RCM Bikur Cholim of Crown Heights is immensely grateful to the founding donors who contributed toward the apartment’s down payment and enabled Hadassah’s Place to become a reality. Much appreciation also goes out to the local vendors who generously offered their goods and services: Everything but the Baby, Manhattan Comfort Furniture, Modway, True Value, AJ Madison, Zakons Toys, and Yossi the Handyman, among others.
As always, Bikur Cholim relies on the community’s support and participation. Please contribute towards mortgage payments, utilities, stocking the pantry, and maintenance of the apartment (sponsorship opportunities at all levels available). www.bikurcholimch.org/hadassah