By Larry Gordon
Achiezer was a great and innovative idea of Rabbi Boruch B. Bender four years ago. The idea was simple, to step in and go to bat for people who needed assistance or could not manage or handle some of the basic essentials of the maze that life can become sometimes. And they did great. Whether it was channeling or directing people who needed to find the right type of medical care or a specific physician, Rabbi Bender quickly acquired the expertise to make those things happen both effectively and expeditiously.
I called on him about two years ago for a relative’s young child and the need to see a certain specialist that in June was making appointments to see patients in September. I don’t know what or how he did it, but these folks had an appointment for their child with that doctor a week later.
Working and dealing with Rabbi Bender and the Achiezer staff reminds me of the old saying that, “The difficult gets done right away, the impossible takes just a little longer.” And that reality has been demonstrated repeatedly over these last few years.
And then Hurricane Sandy happened last fall and much of the 5 Towns, Far Rockaway and surrounding communities were thrown in a heretofore unknown desperate and dangerous situation. Government got involved in the form of FEMA, the SBA and other emergency oriented agencies and there was a vital need for coordination and that is precisely where Achiezer stepped in and stepped up.
The restoration or struggle to put people’s lives back together again is far from over. The e-mail blasts and news headlines may have subsided but rest assured the ordeal has not yet come to a conclusion. There were so many problems after Sandy—personal, economic, psychological, sociological and on and on. To each one of these myriad problems there seemed to be one common solution—Achiezer— and that is quite an accomplishment.
On Sunday might June 2nd at The Sands in Atlantic Beach the organization is hosting its first “Evening of Recognition Dinner.” Of course it only makes sense that Rabbi Bender and Achiezer want to say thank you to the people who made this effort possible. But perhaps more importantly this is an opportunity for the communities served by Achiezer to express our gratitude to them for just being there. That idea alone—that they are there—is a comforting and important one.