As a Savta (grandmother), there are few joys more precious than watching my grandchildren grow. Viewing life from that perspective, one can only imagine the anguish of a woman (and couple) who are faced with a decision regarding an unplanned pregnancy and the thought of a termination of pregnancy due to financial considerations. This is exactly the case for many thousands of Israeli woman (and couples) for whom termination would not be even a remote option if they knew there were helping hands to support them every step of the way during pregnancy – emotionally, physically, and most of all financially.
I became acquainted with such “helping hands” in the form of a non-political non-profit organization Efrat who since its inception has assisted in saving the lives of over 74,000 children by providing “love packages” to parent(s) in the form of emotional, physical, and equally important material support. One visit to the warehouse and you feel like you are walking into the “Gan Eden” of Baby Land as you witness volunteers packing packages at the rate of 3,000 per month containing every wish list you need for a baby’s first years of survival!
What is the most heartwarming about this organization is its commitment to provide assistance to Jewish prospective parents regardless of background or affiliation – and the packages continue for two years! The testimonials say it all – with comments from the beneficiaries such as the following:
“Without your support, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself. You didn’t just save the life of my wonderful child, you also saved my life.”
“Your support has been life-changing. Here is my baby sitting on top of one of your amazing packages. Thank you!!”
Organizations like Efrat reinforce for me the adage that as Jews we are each responsible for the other. Extending assistance to individuals who face such tortuous decisions is the hallmark of our people and to me akin to the highest form of chesed – and the proof comes in the form of witnessing these beautiful souls grow up in Israel to celebrate every milestone in our history – one baby at a time.