Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Four and a half years ago, Renewal made a decision to reach out to the Teaneck community for help in finding more altruistic (living) kidney donors. With the help of the Hain and Sarna families, we were immediately welcomed with open arms into the community to educate and raise awareness about the importance of altruistic kidney donation.

The response has been nothing short of amazing. With Rabbi Rothwachs leading the way, many more members of the community signed up for testing to become kidney donors, and many of those who were tested were ultimately successful in donating.

With the overwhelming support of the community, this effort to raise awareness culminated in a magnificent event, where close to 1,000 people showed up to support Renewal and to be makir tov for the health, baruch Hashem, of Rabbi Adler, himself a kidney recipient.

At that event, 90 people were tested on the spot to see if they could become kidney donors. b”H, 18 transplants have come out of that one event, Renewal’s most successful program ever!

That response is a beautiful testament to the sense of kindness and altruism that lives within the Teaneck/Bergenfield/Englewood community.

But there is an additional story that needs to be told here. From the very beginning, Renewal recognized that if we were going to educate and inspire the community, it was going to take a partner from within. We found that partner in The Jewish Link of New Jersey. The entire staff, and, specifically, Moshe Kinderlehrer together with Elizabeth Kratz, has gone above and beyond to promote these wonderful individuals and further inspire others. Moshe, Elizabeth and the staff embody the ethos of chesed mindset that runs through the Teaneck community. Not everyone is able to become a living kidney donor, but we can all contribute to the effort to save lives in our own way. I mean this wholeheartedly when I say that The Jewish Link of New Jersey has a real share in the transplants that have come out of the Teaneck community. Hashem should reward them for their partnership in saving lives. For us it is an opportunity to simply say, on behalf of so many kidney transplant recipients, thank you to The Jewish Link!

Rabbi Josh Sturm