Z Family, Har Nof

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A Tragic Update:

Baruch Dayan Emes. R’ Avner Z. passed away this morning, Thursday Feb, 9th (13 Shvat) after his long, painful battle with cancer. His wife Tzila has been incapacitated for years due to her debilitating MS and he had been their primary caretaker. Now their children are alone, without either parent to take care of them.  Please help us in this current, critical situation, as we urgently aim to collect funds on behalf of the children who will be dependent on others for the foreseeable future. Without our help what will become of them?


Just a few weeks ago we reached out to you on behalf of the Z. family of Jerusalem. Tzila, the family’s devoted, loving mother has been deteriorating for years as a result of Multiple Sclerosis and can no longer move or speak. And Reb Avner, the family’s dedicated, hard working father, who stepped in to take complete care of their children, was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. The situation was frightening, as the thought of their children losing both parents simultaneously was too much to bear. We reached out to you for help in keeping the family from collapsing, and you answered, generously and quickly. You helped us exceed our financial goal for the Z.’s and we were able to bring some relief to the family. We are so grateful.
Sadly, right now we are forced to reach out to you again. Although we hoped for some good news, as feared Reb Avner’s illness has progressed, and his condition has taken a turn for the worse. The family was able to spend time together this past Motzei Shabbos, but as of yesterday he has been hospitalized in critical condition. There are no new treatments available for him. Reb Avner’s doctors feel he is reaching the end of his life and because it could be a few days or just a few hours, his children and the rest of his family members have been called in to say their goodbyes.
This tragic story is compounded by the fact that if this is indeed the end, Tzila’s and Avner’s children will not be able to remain together. As of now, due to the family’s situation they will be split up among family members, friends and neighbors until they are old enough to get married and live on their own.
We cannot imagine the fear and sorrow these children must be experiencing and we cannot stand by without doing something to help. Their whole world is literally falling apart. So in this emergency situation we must ask for your gracious assistance once more. Please work together with us and help us raise $25,000 which will be used to cover the Z. children’s most urgent needs in the next few weeks and months. As one family friend has said, “The responsibility of taking care of them falls onto our shoulders.”


What must go through children’s minds as they watch their vibrant mother slowly deteriorate from a chronic disease? What happens when their father (the one person taking care of them) starts fading away from a different, deadly disease? Sadly, if the Z. children were asked these questions, they’d be experts at answering.

Tzila and Reb Avner Z. were once living a very happy & productive life. They were building a wonderful family and were working hard to support themselves. They planned ahead, set hard-earned money aside for savings and raised their children in their Torah-filled, Jerusalem home.

Ten years ago, right after the birth of twins Tzila was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and everything began to change. It didn’t take long for the disease to steal Tzila’s life and the lives of everyone around her, as her health began to decline at an alarming rate and she could no longer function the way she used to. Over the course of those ten years she lost her ability to walk, and is now completely confined to her wheelchair. She actually cannot move any part of her body at all. She also lost her ability to speak and communicate with her family.
Throughout that entire time, there was one person who stepped in whole-heartedly to serve as both father and mother to the Z. children, and that was Avner.

Somehow Avner found a way to do it all as best he could:
He continued to work at his teaching job.
He took care of Tzila and looked after her many needs.
He took care of their children. He ran the home.

Avner accepted the situation and didn’t complain. Even though he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders he did his best to keep up with all the physical and emotional demands the family’s crisis presented him. Unfortunately as time passed though, and Tzila’s condition worsened, the physical work in the home got harder, the emotional challenges of the family intensified and his salary just wasn’t stretching far enough. Even with bits of help from neighbors the family had been sliding into poverty for some time and they couldn’t get out.

All this would have been tragic enough for any family to deal with. Children watching their mother’s total decline, while living in a state of substantial deprivation-the scenario is heartbreaking. Unfortunately Rabbi Zthough, it got even worse. About eight months ago, Avner began to feel ill and was diagnosed with cancer. The extent of his illness was severe: it had spread throughout his whole body. He quickly began a course of extremely aggressive chemotherapy to attack the life threatening disease. But while treating it, the medications also severely weakened Avner to the degree that now he can’t even stand on his feet.

Imagine the worry and stress Avner must be experiencing, knowing that as his life now hangs in the balance there is no one else to take care of his wife and children. With no help, there is no way that he can tend to his own needs, let alone keep up with everything his family requires.

What will the Z. family do now? Who will step in to help, this time? The answer, is us. With your help we must work together to bring some relief to Avner, Tzila and their children. Please help us collect $5,000 to save them from complete collapse. This money will help them pay their numerous bills including costs of food, electricity, water, and the most basic medical expenses for both parents-helping them through this heart wrenching situation.

Avner has worked so hard to do his best for his family. We can’t cure him or Tzila but we can show them and their children that we care, and that we want to help take care of them both.

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