The phones rarely stop ringing at Agudath Israel of America’s Constituent Services Department, which takes calls from all over the world on a wide variety of issues. Over the past few weeks Constituent Services has been instrumental in:
- Writing resumes for 30 clients. Those resumes were emailed to Agudah’s Professional Career Services division which will hopefully enable those clients to find jobs in their chosen fields.
- Raising funds for an Israeli couple whose baby was born with serious medical issues. The baby boy, a twin, suffers from intestinal atresia and a severe cleft lip and palate. He has, so far, undergone five successful surgeries, and still requires several more. To date, a GoFundMe page created by Constituent Services has raised more than $6,300 for this family which will pay for both medical and basic needs.
- Preventing a Romanian man from being exhumed. A woman called Constituent Services hoping to safeguard the remains of a deceased relative after being informed that the relative was going to be disinterred. She was put in contact with Rabbi Edgar Gluck who was able to use his vast connections in Eastern Europe to prevent the exhumation from taking place.
- Helping arrange proper medical care for an elderly cancer patient with no family. Constituent Services was able to sign the woman up for Medicare, arrange placement in a reputable hospital and, working together with the hospital social workers, set up a transfer to a quality rehabilitation facility.
- Helping interested parties establish a branch of Chayim Aruchim, which offers end of life advocacy and services, in Toronto, by putting them in touch with Chayim Aruchim’s main office in Brooklyn.
- Referring numerous individuals who experienced religious discrimination either at work or in school to appropriate legal counsel. In one instance, a psychiatry professor found himself facing serious discrimination because of his yom tov observance at a very well known hospital.
- Providing assistance to a Monsey rebbe who was being sued and was facing significant consequences because of a large, unpaid medical bill. Constituent Services contacted several bikur cholim organizations and, working jointly, they were able to pay the bill, putting an end to the rebbe’s legal woes.
- Advocating for a group of first class passengers who were served non-kosher food despite having requested kosher food. Constituent Services contacted Norwegian Airlines to inform them of the problem in order to prevent similar mishaps in the future.
- Preventing the eviction of a talmid chochom with serious medical issues by obtaining a government rent grant of $14,000.
- Assisting clients with Medicaid, food stamp and social security applications and re-certifications.
- Arranging free fish for both Shabbos and yomim tovim for a destitute family in Boro Park.
- Referring clients with housing issues to the Agudah’s Southern Brooklyn Community Organization Office.
The Agudah motto, “working for Klal Yisroel and Reb Yisroel” is as true today as ever. Helping the individual has always been a high priority for Agudas Yisroel. The Agudah’s constituent services department helps close to 2,000 people each year. Highly trained caseworkers listen patiently and guide clients through a myriad of life challenges. Some of the areas where people are helped include religious discrimination, end-of-life situations, medical referrals, legal issues, government assistance, educational consultations, and almost any other problem that an individual or klal yisroel may face. Some of the most complex challenges are addressed, all handled with extraordinary warmth, dedication, and sensitivity.
The Agudah’s Constituent Services department can be reached by calling 212.797.9000 Ext. 335 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Author: Sandy Eller)