Our update # 26
Teaching them young
It was Chesed Week at Yeshiva Darchei Torah, and the Yeshiva’s administrators called upon Dror representatives to provide students with a glimpse of what goes on behind the organization’s front. Dror’s Eli Moskowitz and Yoel Asher Labin stressed on the power of chessed and what it means for inmates and their families to have a parent behind bars. The speakers were a source of motivation to the young listeners, many of whom wrote letters to inmates. The response from young cheder age children to the Dror cause was amazing. The children were avid listeners who wanted to help and were encouraged to collect cans for the Jewish prisoners.
The miracle is in the giving
This Chanukah, Dror provided dvds for children to watch during Chanukah vacation. Their father wasn’t able to accompany them on outings, nor to bring them a lovingly picked jelly donut ‘with sprinkles on top’. While their fathers didn’t light the menorah with them this year, Dror’s children were included on the Chanukah giving list. ” Thank you Soooo much for the package. My kids LOVED it and it bought them much JOY! Tiskeh L’Mitzvos!” “ We just came home from visiting my father and we got your box. thanks for the DVDs and pics! I can’t wait for the shabbaton!” The gifts provided a tremendous boost so that the kids felt someone out there was caring for them. During a time which is so family and giving oriented, we hope it made them feel a little less alone.
Dror goes live
In light of the Parsha, during which Yosef was imprisoned, Kol Mevaser approached Dror with a request to conduct an interview with Dror’s representatives, stressing on the tremendous mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim. Yanky Einhorn, a Dror coordinator of rides for family members visiting their fathers in prison, was present at the interview. He validated the cause with references voiced by Dror recipients. “If not for the rides, these women wouldn’t have the capabilities of visiting their husbands, nor the children for visiting their fathers. The trips are too costly, and these women don’t drive. Dror encourages the visits since it’s so important for children to see their father, in every situation. Dror covers the gas and toll fees, waits for them the entire duration of the visits, and takes them back home.”
Eliezer Shimon Haltovsky actually visits prisoners and spoke words from the heart, encouraging anyone out there to visit an inmate. He reiterated just how much it lifts their spirits and that, in a sense, for the duration of the visit, it’s an actual act of Pidyon Shvuyim, when the inmate is allowed to leave the cell to a visiting room with a vending machine. There is a small sense of normalcy while a visitor is present, and it’s such a simple way to conduct an amazing act of chessed. He urged anyone, even Dror’s drivers waiting for their passengers in the prison parking lot, to step out there and lift a person from the depths. His message was that “on the way to Canada or another destination during which you pass a prison en route, make the stop to do this great mitzvah. Just a few minutes that can mean the world”. Dror’s Chaim Kahan further explained how Kosher food in prison is obtained, outlining the efforts of Dror in action.
Prison meals on wheels
The food vending machines at Fort Dix were constantly malfunctioning, causing food to spoil. For the many Jewish inmates at the facility, there was no other available source of Kosher food in the visiting rooms. Dror was instrumental in providing new vending machines, filled with Glatt Kosher meals, so that Kosher food would always be available and operating properly The ‘Dror machine’, as it was dubbed, is the source of daily nourishment for the Jewish inmates, providing food for both body and soul. Being cared for, even in the worst predicament, lifts their spirits. Mi Keamcha Yisroel.
Appreciation is key
Dor conducted its volunteer party as an appreciation event for all dedicated drivers. Driver volunteers received a scarf as a gift of thanks, since they brave the cold to go warm the hearts of others in their darkest hour. They light a candle in those brokenhearted, spreading warmth which infiltrates the bleakest of prison cells.
Of giving and goals
In preparation of Dror’s annual Shabbaton, one which requires much work and funding, the Charidy campaign was launched. Dror conducted a meeting with Yidel Lichtenstein, the benevolent donor and matcher. Mr. Lichtenstein was ever so giving and his warmth was evident throughout his efforts to help. He witnessed the Dror Shabbaton firsthand before and understood the tremendous impact it had on the Dror families. With prayers and bated breath, we passed the 24 hour All or Nothing campaign. Special thanks to all of you who participated in making the campaign a success. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Click here for a recap of Dror’s dinner, which took place this past September.
Prevention is key
Dror is pleased to announce the upcoming Prevention Event which will take place on February 4th in Ateres Golda. It is our hope that this enlightening program will mitigate the need for Dror’s assistance in legal and prison matters, since many people behind bars are simply paying the price of the uninformed. To expand Dror’s prevention department, we will provide monthly advice from lawyers and accountants affiliated with Dror.