At a special gathering of rabbonim at the home of HaRav
Yehuda Silman in Ramat Elchonon, the Bnei Brak rabbonim who
are involved in raising tzedokoh throughout the year
decided to establish a central tzedokoh fund to be
called "the City Fund (Kupas Ho'ir)," which will
centralize activities on behalf of families in the city who
The following rabbonim attended the meeting: HaRav Mordechai
Gross, HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein, HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern,
HaRav Menachem Mendel Shafran, and the host HaRav Yehuda
A City Fund -- The Need Of The Hour
HaRav Yehuda Silman, one of the foremost rabbonim in Bnei
Brak, spoke with us regarding the City Fund and its aims:
Q. HaRav Silman, why was the City Fund established just
A. Despite the many chessed institutions with which
Bnei Brak is blessed, various cries for help reach the
rabbonim, whether from neighbors, from communal workers, or
from relatives, about this family or that, with great
difficulty in bearing the financial burden of the home,
usually due to some special crisis or tragedy.
Q. What do the rabbonim do when receiving such a cry?
A. We contact the communal workers and tell them the
Q. Who are these "communal workers"?
A. These "communal workers" are sincere young men who can be
included in the Rambam's category of "well-known and honest
people" who it is an obligation to appoint "in every city
where Jewish People live." We turn to these young men whether
at 3.00 a.m. or at 2.00 p.m., and never have we received a
reply: "Not now, later."
Q. What do the communal workers do?
A. They organize a emergency money-raising-campaigns amongst
the many people who all give readily for the needy of the
city, each according to his pocket.
Q. Maybe you can give us an example?
A. Certainly. Not long age we received an urgent telephone
call from a grocer, who related that one of his customers who
is considered well-off and had always paid on time has long
stopped paying his debts, and that his debts have now reached
a very considerable sum. The grocer, himself an established
person of means, drew out the debt for a long period of time,
but he had gone as far as he could. Meanwhile, he tried to
inquire about the situation. It transpired that one of the
children in the family was seriously ill and as a result the
house became paralyzed financially, since the parents were
busy almost all the time with the child and found no time for
parnosso. As a result we, the rabbonim, came into the
picture. We managed to raise the required sum and have
supported the family ever since.
Q. This really is hatzolas nefoshos!
A. Certainly! And this is only one example of many. Very
often the communal workers, at the directives of the
rabbonim, pay off tremendous debts which have accumulated in
vegetable stores, or meat and fish stores. Shlomo Hamelech
writes in Mishlei: "There is he who seems rich but he
has nothing," which means that there are people who make the
impression of being wealthy but the truth is that they have
There are people in our city who make the impression of being
distinguished and honorable, whilst in their home, there is
no food to eat.
I will bring a further example of the wife of a kollel
person, who worked as a teacher and suffered a breakdown
after the birth of her ninth child. The doctors ruled that
she must have complete rest. This being a delicate situation,
they were embarrassed to tell others about their difficulty,
but suddenly their checks began bouncing. This grocery store
closed the door on them, the other grocery store began
presenting difficulties -- and the house literally was about
One of our community workers went to see the situation for
himself and he could hardly believe what he saw: eleven
people crowded into a two room apartment, everything
neglected. Immediately the family was transferred elsewhere:
two children were sent to one family, three to another and so
on. Meanwhile the apartment was renovated and slightly
expanded, the beds and bedding were exchanged and the color
came back to the children's cheeks. This is a typical story,
which, to our regret, is repeated all too often.
Q. Do these activities not hamper the regular activities of
the city rabbonim?
A. As long as such cases were rare, it didn't really
interfere. Recently, as we are called in much more frequently
it has changed. HaRav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky zt"l once
said towards the end of his life: "In my youth, I thought it
was more important for a person such as myself to be involved
with chidushei Torah and writing seforim. Now I
see writing seforim as child's play compared to the
urgent need to support widows and orphans, the poor and
Q. What are the plans for this new fund?
A. This new fund will centralize all the activities of the
rabbonim and the community workers. The City Fund will be run
by those rabbonim who are raising the tzedokoh funds
all year round, with the cooperation of the dedicated
communal workers who are in daily contact with us. The
rabbonim are the only ones with the power of signature for
the bank account of the fund, and all activities of the fund
are carried out by a majority of the rabbonim.
Visits to Great Rabbonim
Members of the Bnei Brak Tzedokoh Fund paid a most inspiring
visit to HaRav Shmuel Wosner, gaon and av beis
din of Zichron Meir Bnei Brak, who received them with
especial warmth and gave his warm brocho to each and
every one of the donors and to the organizers.
HaRav Chaim Kanievsky wished the City Fund brocho and
hatzlocho and stressed that it is an excellent and
prominent cause and doubled his brocho therein. This
was reported by his dedicated secretary, HaRav Eliahu
The Admor of Vishnitz stated that it is "a very great
undertaking." The Admor transferred a sizable donation to the
fund and stressed that the community has an obligation to
donate generously. He concluded with a warm blessing for
brocho and hatzlocho to all who are involved
and to those who assist this lofty undertaking.
How Can We Donate To The Bnei Brak City Fund?
1. With a credit card by telephone: 1-800-39-47-47
2. Send your donation to P.O.B. 49, Bnei Brak.
3. Deposit your donation in our account in Bank Poalei
Agudath Israel 42 Chazon Ish St. Account No. 105-366-145.
4. Call the above telephone no. and ask for the list of the
rabbonim in your area to whom you can give your donation.