The Healing Power of Hakhel: Women of Crown Heights Gather at Bikur Cholim Breakfast

In a true display of unity and compassion, over 500 women of all ages came together for a Hakhel Breakfast aimed at celebrating the remarkable Bikur Cholim community. With inspiring speakers, a heartfelt video presentation, beautiful decor, and an outpouring of generosity, this event was as uplifting and meaningful as it was enjoyable.

The event commenced with an emotional tefillah for the grandson of devoted Bikur Cholim volunteer Devoirie Vishedsky. Harnessing the power of Hakhel, notable volunteers Devorie Zeitlin and Rochi Ehrentreu led the crowd in giving tzedaka and reciting tehillim in honor of Refael Chaim Meir Ben Sima Chasha as well as all Bikur Cholim families who need healing. Each guest received a kapitol chof card with a coin to take home and continue the chain of mitzvos done in the little boy’s honor.

MC Yaffie Begun warmly welcomed the crowd by sharing her personal experience with Bikur Cholim from when her sister was ill and came to Crown Heights for treatment. “Illness can be the loneliest place on earth.” Yaffi said, “How lucky are we to live in a community where Bikur Cholim is here to tell us, ‘You are not alone!’” She explained how the very act of Hakhel- coming together as a community and drawing on each other for inspiration and support- is healing.

The stage was then given over to those who make up the core of the organization: the Bikur Cholim families, volunteers and supporters. A standout moment of the breakfast was a touching video showcasing the impact of the organization’s work. The video highlighted heartwarming stories of women whose lives had been transformed by critical illness or a catastrophic accident, and how Bikur Cholim’s services and support proved vital to their recovery. The featured women, Daniela Halevy, Chaya Recu, and Shevy Blesofsky then came onstage and personally thanked the audience for their role in their healing. A profound sense of unity filled the room as the attendees felt the tangible difference that collective support can make. Each speaker offered a deeply personal narrative of resilience and triumph over illness. The words resonated deeply with the audience, sparking a sense of motivation to strengthen Bikur Cholim’s work in the community. One guest remarked, “what touched me most is the “hug” that ppl feel from us.”

To complete the circle of healing, Elisheva Van-Halem, a longtime volunteer, and Shoshie Ben-Abou, a volunteer and a supporter, spoke about Bikur Cholim from their perspective. Elisheva’s experience driving patients to appointments inspired her to eventually become a kidney donor. Shoshie and her husband Shimmy a”h were extremely passionate about Bikur Cholim and continued to support its mission even when they were dealing with illness themselves. The message of both their talks was resounding: giving is receiving!

As the event drew to a close, Bikur Cholim board member Naomi Pinson presented Mrs. Phyllis Mintz with the first-ever “Hadassah Lebovic Partner In Healing Award.” Mrs. Mintz, one of the organization’s founders, has been a pillar of community service and chessed. The award served as a heartfelt expression of gratitude, recognizing and thanking her for her decades of service to Bikur Cholim and the well-being of the community.

As the women left the breakfast, they carried with them a renewed sense of purpose and determination to continue building a community of healing by volunteering and giving to Bikur Cholim, supporting one another, and making a difference in the lives of those who need it most. This year’s auction* was drawn after the event on Instagram Live by Shulamis and Mendy Pellin.

The beautiful event was made possible by the tireless efforts of the Bikur Cholim Breakfast Committee: Yael Brummel, Rivka Bryski, Musia Kirschenbaum, Rosie Levertov, Chana Marinovsky, Chani Markowitz, and Bella Pliskin.

The Bikur Cholim Board of Directors, consisting of Esther Blau, Esther Blum, Shaina B. Ezagui, Grunie Grossman, Ruthie Kirschenbaum, Rochie Korolitzky, Esther Lebovic, and Naomi Pinson, express their deepest appreciation to the event sponsors, generous supporters, and dedicated volunteers. Their unwavering contributions and belief in the organization’s mission enables Bikur Cholim to continue providing invaluable services and care to the community.

To volunteer, to donate or to request services, please visit

*Auction Winners:
Yaffie Begun Wig by Leah Loksen- Doba Richler
Everything But The Baby- Roza Mink
Tzfasman Jewelers- Aviva Rosler
L. Laine Jewelers- Elisheva Blecher
Cancun Vacation- Miriam Krinsky
$1,800 Cash Card – S Schapiro
Home Organization by Happy Home – itta Wolvovsky
Fine Dining Experience- Elisheva Blecher
Rivkah Krinsky Art – SJ
Color Palette Analysis with Jessica – Moshe Zirkind

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