A family affair

I am blessed.  I come from a loving family, the youngest after my elder brother and sister, and therefore the most spoiled child.  However, recent events have brought home a rather awkward realisation.  I am the runt of the litter. Now, thankfully, I did ‘OK’ at school, married my amazing wife, have been blessed with two gorgeous children, made Aliyah and enjoy an interesting career working in both government and the private sector… I am even the tallest of my siblings.  So what could possibly cause this rather disturbing revelation?

It arrived as an email from my sister Abi. No, it did not read, “Dear Jason, we have all had a chat and decided you are the most rubbish out of all of us”, though it may as well have.  Instead, it said:

In June last year I decided to trek up to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Chai Cancer Care with 22 other women.

A moment of context if I may. Last year my older brother Daniel, at the age of 39 completed a full ‘Ironman Triathlon’ raising money for Emunah and their incredible work helping Israel’s children in need. Not satisfied with his 2012 escapades, he is now on his way to running four marathons in as many months – having completed Tiberius in January, he is set to run in Jerusalem next week, before competing in the Tel Aviv and London marathons, once again raising money for Emunah.

Now I hear, my sister is to join him in the ranks of having undertaken insane endeavours in the name of good causes, and scale Africa’s highest peak in the name of Chai Cancer Care.

With such physically achieving siblings, one can certainly begin to question one’s worth.  And so instead, I turn to my keyboard and employ the blogger’s code…. If you can’t beat them, or indeed join them – then write about them.

You see, aside from being commendable that my brother and sister should choose to exert themselves to such an extent for the benefit of others, I am also deeply touched by the causes they have chosen.  For my brother to run four marathons for Emunah, is another link in a long chain of family members who have dedicated themselves to the work of this important charity.

Notably, my late grandparents Libie and Louis Taub led missions, donated funds, supported committee meetings and undertook with fervour all that so many of us saw our parents and grandparents do as the archetype Diaspora Zionists – helping to build from afar, a new home for our people. Today, there are Emunah projects across Israel, helping in particular, children who need that extra bit of help that their families cannot give them, and in some cases offering them a family all together.

For my sister to have chosen Chai Cancer Care is also vastly moving for me, as after just six months following our Aliyah to Israel, my wife Yael was diagnosed with Lymphoma, which then returned a year and half later. The impact on our lives was gut wrenching, but we made it through. Not just because of that special blend of prayer and medical care, but because of the endless support we received from family and friends – a system of specialized support that meant we did not just deal with the situation but each of us, as a family, emerged stronger and closer because of it. Chai offers the same holistic approach to those it cares for, and with the help of people like my sister, God willing, they will be able to offer that care to many more in need.

So, I may not be able to climb the heights of the African mountains, nor run the length of Israel’s and Europe’s cities… but I can tell you how much it means to me that my siblings can and do.  And I know that if you are able to support them… you will too.

For information or to sponsor Abi – click here.

For information or to sponsor Daniel  – click here.

About the Author
Jason Pearlman is a strategic consultant and media advisor specializing in communications and campaigns.