When Chaya Matisyahu was expecting her eleventh child, she received unexpected news: she was dying of cancer. In the short time that she had left, she said goodbye to her husband Avi, and their many children. This must have been unimaginably painful. Perhaps even more painful, would be if she could see into the future, to their situation in 2019:
In the years that have passed, Chaya’s widower Avi and the children have lived in a 2-room apartment in the Geula neighborhood of Jerusalem. Roll-out beds fill the living room at night, as children use whatever floor space is available to rest their heads. Avi’s health has declined, perhaps due to grief, perhaps due to the weight of single-handedly raising his large family. After a heart attack and hemorrhaging of the brain he has stopped being capable of paying the bills. Their situation became more severe than ever.
Today, with 4 married, 7 children still remain at home. They have received their final eviction notice, and will be homeless any day now. There is no telling the grief that Chaya a”h would feel if she lived to see that her children had no place to live.
There are those who say that the Jewish people are family. If this is true, then the Matisyahu children are not alone: A fund has been opened to repay their crippling debt, and secure them a safe and simple place to live. Those interested in stepping in to honor Chaya’s legacy by saving her children from homelessness can do so here for a limited time.