Our Update #32
This year’s Shabbaton hosted by Dror, was truly an unforgettable and uplifting experience for all. We enjoyed, laughed, danced and sang together in high spirits – spending a beautiful Shabbos as one. This memorable weekend brought together families from all different backgrounds who share the hardship and pain of having a family member incarcerated. Meeting others who are going through similar circumstances, gave guests tremendous Chizuk and support.
The Shabbos provided a well needed getaway for the families with a powerful message of strength and hope. Dror prepared an amazing program which included dynamic speakers, gourmet food, and soul stirring song that was simply unforgettable.
The Shabbaton gave Dror families the ability to carry on with a renewed strength and a spark of hope.
Additionally, there were two articles featured in the Hamodia describing in detail the beautiful Dror Shabbaton experience. These emotional write-ups were read across the globe, touching many people and spreading awareness of the tremendous work that Dror provides for Yidden behind bars and their families in despair.
Dror Shabbos in Meron and Warsaw
The Dror family Shabbaton not only had a remarkable impact on the families but they left our devoted volunteers heartbroken – the stories we heard and families we met facing such hardships, really shook us to the core. Realizing that Yeshous were so desperately needed, our volunteers arranged a trip to Europe and Eretz Yisroel to Daven at Mekomos Hakdoshim for all those in desperate need.
Dror’s Legal team, headed by Chaim Freund, traveled to Europe and Dror’s Family support team went to Meron on a trip led and arranged by our Board Member Shloime Torn.
May their heartfelt Tefillos bring speedy Yeshuos for all those who are awaiting good news.
A Mother Once More
With Hashems help, Dror’s legal team was successful in shortening the sentence of a woman. Thank you to our dear friend George Farkas, esq. for advocating her early release. It is hard to describe and comprehend what it means for a mother to be reunited with her children two months early.
Transportation for Girls
After receiving many requests for woman drivers to transport young girls visiting relatives in prison, we got the word out, and BH received a great response from volunteers. We are working on setting up a fleet of volunteer female drivers to accommodate this need. We thank all that have already joined and urge anyone willing to join to please contact us at 718-704-0618 Ext. 101 and leave a message.
Dror was invited to Albany by the Commissioner of State Prisons to discuss some vital changes that would affect anyone currently incarcerated in state prisons.
The first major change was implemented due to an increase of contraband being smuggled into prisons through food packages; the prison would now only allow sending food through specific vendors. This change would pose an issue to those wanting to send strictly kosher food which is something Dror will be addressing.
Another important issue that was discussed was the impending visitation changes. Due to budget cuts the prisons discussed cutting mid- week visitations privileges and keep visitation to strictly weekends. This would be a difficult adjustment that would limit frum visitors because of short Friday’s. Some other issues that were discussed were adding kosher items in prison vending machines as well as overall prison accommodations to Jewish prisoners.
BH the prisons decided to not cut visiting. A special thanks to thanks to acting Commissioner of NYS Department of Corrections Anthony Annucci, , as well as Assemblyman David Weprin and Assemblyman Dov Hikind for their support and advocacy.
Baruch Hashem there were quite a few releases recently and Dror assisted the newly released individuals with the re-entry and adjustment process. Our volunteers picked up inmates from prison and helped them with placement, making sure they are properly settled. There are very few words to accurately express how beautiful it is for us to see a prisoner upon release.
Words of a Broken Heart
After the publishing of a woman’s heart wrenching letter in the ‘Word Unspoken’ column of Mispacha Magazine, many had gotten a small glimpse into the unbearable pain of a wife whose husband is in prison.
People had their eyes opened into the lonely world of a mother and wife living trying to pick up the pieces of a life in upheaval. The unbearable trials and tribulations that face a family left to fend on their own are almost too difficult to bear. But they are not alone. Dror is here for them.
The constant and unyielding support that Dror offers helps them not only survive, but get through this difficult period with their dignity intact. Dror is there every step of the way – from legal guidance to emotional and family support. The outpouring of support from the community allows Dror to continue its vital work for the broken Yidden suffering behind bars and their broken families that await their return every day.
Boruch Dayan H’emes
Sadly, the Dror family recently lost a great and devoted member, Reb Yisroel Meir Ginsberg.
Reb Yisroel was known to all as a tremendous Baal Chesed who assisted our volunteers every step of the way in helping hundreds of Yidden in prison. He was also very involved in supporting the unfortunate families left behind and worked tirelessly to make sure that Yidden in prison always have proper kosher food.
His void is truly felt by all, but his work and sacrifice on behalf of Dror lives on. May he be a Meilitz Yoisher for all of us and for the families in need of a Yeshua B’korov.
Mazel Tov Wishes
Bentzy Lebowitz upon his daughters’ engagement
Yossi Itzkowitz upon the wedding of his daughter
Yoeli Selko, one of our first devoted volunteers, upon his wedding
Bentzy Goldberger upon his son’s wedding
Naftuli Steiner upon his daughter’s wedding
Tuli Tessler upon the birth of a baby boy
Shua Brook upon the birth of a baby boy
Sruly Hager upon his son’s engagement
Mendy Hager upon his daughter’s engagement
Pinchos Leitner upon his daughter’s wedding
Meyer Fischel upon the birth of his first grandchild
Yanky Hertz upon the birth of his first grandchild
Mr. & Mrs. Laniado upon the birth of their baby girl
Leibel Lederman upon the wedding of his granddaughter
Dror would like to wish everyone a heartfelt Chag Kasher V’sameach.
May the time of year that we commemorate the freedom from our oppressors spread Hashpahas Tovos and bring about the ultimate freedom for every individual and the entire Klal Yisroel.