PHOTOS: A Glimpse into Pesach with Chai Lifeline

cllStores are bustling, vacuums are humming, and homes are being scrutinized for Chametz in every corner. Yet, for some families, the pre-Pesach rush is the furthest thing from their minds. It’s not by choice or lack of interest. It is one of the many challenges of having a family member diagnosed with a serious illness. The list is endless; new clothes and shoes for the children, cleaning and koshering the home, haircuts for the family before sefira. So much needs to be done in such a short period of time. However, when parents’ focus is on test results and treatment schedules, Pesach can approach without the necessary and usual preparations in place.

Enter Chai Lifeline. An organization that lives up to its name- literally a lifeline. This Yom Tov, with the help of the wonderful staff, selfless volunteers and generous donors, Chai Lifeline has helped ease the burden and enabled families to feel the Yom Tov atmosphere permeate their homes.

The season started with a special surprise in the mail. Every mother was treated to a gift card to French Press Coffee Roasters, allowing her to take a few moments out of her hectic schedule to relax and settle down with a cup of coffee. In addition, over 300 volunteers were treated to a danish and coffee from Heimishe Bake Shop in recognition for all the hard work and effort they put in year round.

To ease the frenzied pre-Pesach cleaning, Chai Lifeline targeted every need. Their team of respite volunteers became personal shoppers, taking the children to buy clothing, shoes, and robes, and making sure all the new clothing was tailored to perfection. Cleaning crews were sent to scrub the homes, while a team of young men arrived to tackle the chometzdig cars. Volunteers were sent to Kosher sinks according to each family’s minhag. Chai Lifeline orchestrated all this while continuing to provide their usual year-round assistance with endless hours of support from the dedicated case managers, hospital transportation, chometzdig meals, and so much more, without missing a beat.

Chai Lifeline’s mantra is not only to assist with the obvious and big needs, but to recognize the small details that can easily be overlooked. With this in mind, Snip & Smile debuted. It’s always a last minute rush to ensure all the children have a fresh haircut in honor of Yom Tov, especially with sefira quickly approaching. Esther Gerber Hall was thus transformed into a bustling hair salon, with skilled barbers and hairdressers gathering from around town. Entertainment was provided while the children waited. Over 70 boys and girls went home thrilled with their new Yom Tov cuts.

Parents are faced with a double challenge when school is over before Pesach. Not only do they have to care for last minute Yom Tov arrangements, but they must do so with bored children in desperate need for some entertainment. Chai Lifeline was there again to step in and provide a solution. With thanks to the incredible volunteers and counselors who generously gave of their time, Chai Lifeline offered a two day pre-Pesach day camp to keep the children busy and out of the house. The days were jam-packed with games, projects, activities, and a pizza lunch for all the kids to enjoy.

“Get the kugel out of the oven!” is the standard battle cry of the Pesach Kitchen. But for a family dealing with illness, the kitchen is silent. With many meals needed over the course of the Yom Tov, arrangements were made to ensure every family had delicious, home-cooked food, catered to their specific needs and recipes. Dozens of volunteers throughout the community cooked and pickups were arranged to bring all the food to one central location, where it was re-packaged and prepared per each family’s preference, and delivered directly to the doorstep of every home.

The first night of Pesach represents royalty and freedom. However, there are some who do not have the privilege of sitting at home in front of an exquisitely laid table. To spend Yom Tov in a hospital hosts numerous challenges. In order to ease the stress of having to pack all the seder requisites, beautiful packages were sent to every patient complete with all the necessities for a full seder. The packages included everything from tablecloths to matza, salt water to cutlery. Numerous trips were made by devoted volunteers throughout Yom Tov to both the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Robert Wood Johnson ensuring the Kosher Pantry and Chai House were fully stocked with food and Pesach necessities. Although the hospital rooms may have been dimmed and bleak, Chai Lifeline infused a warm glow to accompany and match the spirit of z’man cheiruseinu.

Chol Hamoed, too, was thought of and planned by Chai Lifeline. For the first time, Chai Lifeline produced a beautiful Chol Hamoed kumzitz, hosted and led by R’ Abraham Danziger. The men and boys danced and sang to the moving melodies and returned home feeling uplifted from the beautiful experience.

Each family was thrilled to receive an invitation to the much anticipated Chol Hamoed family outing. Courtesy of Chai Lifeline, families were able to spend the day at the Bridgewater Sports Arena, and enjoy the 2 NHL sizes ice rinks, laser tag, a soft play for the young children and toddlers, and a variety of arcades. The trip accommodated all families, with every member finding one of the many activities to their liking. Despite the chill on the rink, families were warmed by the achdus and camaraderie, and of course the beautiful custom Chai Lifeline ski caps.

Chai Lifeline would like to extend a tremendous thank you to all those that enabled these past few weeks to run smoothly and efficiently.

[TLS – Press Release]


This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 15,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. I’m amazed at the scope of help that chailifeline provides! I am truly proud of being part of a community that has such wonderful organizations!

  2. BH I no longer receive the services of Chai Lifeline, but as someone who once did, I can say that what they really “do” cannot be expressed. No words will describe the holy work that they do every single day. Mi kiamcha…

  3. Thanks you very much to all volunteers but a big thanks goes to shloime M. Avrumi M. Moshe K. Lipa R. Moshe H. Nut G. Never can forget COD for all what they do throughout the year.

Comments are closed.