Chai Lifeline Programs and Services

When serious illness strikes a child, the entire family is affected. Chai Lifeline's extensive network of free programs and services is designed to help every member of the family cope during this time of crisis.
Below is a listing of programs available from Chai Lifeline. For assistance or more information, please call 1-877-CHAI-LIFE.

Camp Simcha (dedicated in memory of Dr. Samuel Abraham)
Named in memory of Dr. Samuel Abraham
Situated on the Jack and Moishe Horn Campus

The foremost kosher summer camp specially designed to suit the needs of children with cancer and other serious illnesses.
Solomon’s Children’s Initiative
Responding to the growing needs of today’s young clients and planning for the next generation of seriously ill children and their families. In memory of Solomon Obstfeld.
Project Chai Program and Services

Advocacy and Case Management
Assistance, information and support in identifying appropriate physicians and treatment centers as well as expediting their services and availability.
Ari Adler Adventures in Art
A unique program for children with illness to express their innermost feelings through art.
Ariella Horenstein Music in Our lives
Integrates music into the lives of our children and families by offering year-round opportunities to express the wonder and magic of musical expression. To donate directly to Music In Our Lives, click here
Bernard and Lucille Katz Chailine Telephone Support Groups
Chai Lifeline maintains a number of teleconference support group programs for parents of children living with a wide range of serious medical conditions. In addition, an "Information ChaiLine" brings current psychoeducational information directly to parents of seriously ill children by connecting them via teleconference with experts in the health field. All teleconference support groups are facilitated by clinical social workers and psychologists.
Bernice Rimberg "Our SIBS" Program
(Specially Important Brothers and Sisters)

Under the guidance of doctors, social workers and mental health professionals, the our SIBS program offers siblings counseling and vital information regarding their brothers’ or sisters’ illnesses. The program also features annual two-day retreats for siblings as well as special trips and events.
Bryna Fertig Volunteer Training Program
Special workshops and training sessions for Chai Lifeline volunteers to enhance their understanding, sensitivity and practical skills in volunteer endeavors
Chai Family Centers
Community-based counseling centers to assist patients, parents and siblings in dealing with serious illness.
Disney World Trip, sponsored by the Ohr Meir Foundation
Sponsored by the Ohr Meir Foundation.

Every year, Chai Lifeline organizes a four-day Disney World winter retreat for children battling cancer or other serious diseases. Sponsered by the Ohr Meir Foundation, the medically supervised, fun-filled excursion offers participants a much-needed break from the routine of serious illness.
Donald Alan Harris Healing Hearts Bereavement Program
When tragedy occurs, Chai Lifeline offers telephone counseling and support groups, as well as special weekend retreats to help families cope with their loss.
Elimelech Moskowitz Homebound Educational Learning Program (tutoring services)
Tutoring programs that enable hospitalized or recuperating children to keep up with their school work.
Hartman Family Foundation Wish at the Wall
Wish-at-the-Wall takes children and teens from across the United States who have survived cancer and other life-threatening illnesses on an unforgettable trip to Israel. For these very special tourists, every moment in the Holy Land is immeasurably enhanced by being shared with others who have waged and won the war against cancer.
Honey Engel Toy Drive
Each year the Honey Engel Toy Drive collects and distributes thousands of toys to hospitalized children throughout the United States. Many of these children receive their gifts at hospital parties sponsored by Chai Lifeline. At a separate annual gala, toys are presented to children who have been or are currently being assisted by Chai Lifeline as well as to their siblings. Families who are unable to attend the party receive the gifts by mail.

i-Shine Teaneck
In memory of Ilana Schwartz

Insurance Support Service
Assists families in processing health insurance claims and obtaining reimbursement.
Joan and Shael Bellows Family Day
Kids and families spend an exciting day at Six Flags Great America Amusement Park in Illinois.
Leon & Zipporah Goldstein Simcha Program
Decorated, delicious food packages raise the spirits of children hospitalized during holiday periods.
LH Financial Services Annual Winter Retreat
A weekend of unprecedented support that enables families to better withstand the challenges of illness
Louis Wertenteil Heart-to-Heart
The Louis Wertenteil Heart-to-Heart Project provides "big brothers" and "big sisters" for seriously ill children and, when appropriate, for their siblings. In addition to supervising special trips and organizing annual Purim carnivals, big brothers and sisters arrange birthday celebrations and group outings to ball games, concerts, and other recreational events. By staying in frequent contact with their assigned youngsters, big brothers and sisters also serve as vital links between Chai Lifeline families and the organization.
Martha Prince 6 X Chai Volunteer Program
Six options for volunteers to help make a difference in the lives of children and families.
The Joseph & Elsie Listhaus ChaiLink webcam connections and laptop loans
Hospital or home-bound children can be connected to their classrooms through Chai Lifeline’s technically sophisticated teleconferencing system.
  • State-of-the-art equipment loaned by Chai Lifeline to children and, if needed, to their schools.
  • Technical assistance available.

  • The Sohacheski Family, Relax, Renew & Reconnect
    In Memory Of Leo Presser

    Weekend getaways for parents of chronically ill or disabled children.
    Boro Park / Kletzky Tragedy

    Coping with the Aftermath of Natural Disasters

    Any occurrence that constitutes a significant break in routine coupled with a potential threat to life and limb can evoke traumatic reactions. Many residents in our community have been exposed to such trauma during the recent hurricane and may be emotionally reeling from its impact.

    The following suggestions for helping your children and family cope with the lingering impact and effects of this calamitous event may be helpful as the entire community comes to grips with the devastating storm.

    • The likelihood of a traumatic or destabilizing reaction on your part and that of your children will partially depend on the extent to which there has been exposure to injury and property damage.

    • Past history of trauma, especially recent, can exacerbate the existence of a stress reaction. This is true even if the prior event was unrelated and different in nature. For example, a child who recently experienced an injury or witnessed a vehicular accident may combine these two events and experience increased trauma.

    • Everyone inherently differs in the extent to which they respond to frightening events. People who are susceptible to anxiety and frightful anticipation will probably respond more profoundly than someone who is by nature less rattled by changes in routine or circumstances.

    • It is not uncommon to have a dormant period with little or no response between the event and ultimate traumatic reaction. This is particularly the case when individuals are preoccupied with the practical life necessities in the aftermath of calamity. It is possible that you will only become cognizant of the storm's emotional toll when life returns to normal and calm is restored. Please do not be surprised if you and/or your child experience traumatic responses weeks later, even long after your daily routine and abode are settled.

    • It is essential, especially for children ages six years and older, that all changes in your surroundings and lifestyle are adequately explained. The rarity of these events should be emphasized.

    • Children under six will probably be more responsive to diffuse demonstrations of safety and security such as holding, soothing remarks, and concrete expressions of affection.

    • Once your children are calmed, it is helpful to keep them busy with recreational and educational activities. Social activities, if available, can be very helpful. Be sure that forms of recreation, learning and other consuming activities can be conducted without electricity.

    • If culturally applicable, it is helpful to account for these events and their aftermath in a religious or spiritual context. Prayer, torah study and good deeds can both empower and distract children during these times. If highlighting G-d's strength and domination, be careful not to sculpt your comments in such a way that He is seen by the child in a destructive or cruel context.

    • Common reactions to trauma that can be observed immediately or at a later juncture include flashbacks, startle reactions, avoidance of reminders, irritability, physical complaints, sleep disturbance, hopelessness, despair and other significant changes in behavior and mood.

    • If you see these changes in your child, ask your child if the frightening images and occurrences during hurricane sandy are on his or her mind. If you do not see any such responses, there is no need (nor is it recommended) to initiate discussions or ask about them.

    • Keep in mind that children, particularly younger children, are prone to expressing emotion, anxiety, or concern at the most unexpected or even inopportune times. Try to immediately respond even if the time or context is inconvenient and unconducive.

    • Elementary school-aged children (and boys in particular) are often fascinated with the details and adventurous circumstances surrounding catastrophes. They are most prone to rumors and exaggerated accounts. Facts should be succinctly and clearly conveyed. The rare and hair-raising stories should be placed in the context of both sorrow and their pronounced unlikelihood to recur. Unfounded and exaggerated rumors or descriptions should be categorically and briefly corrected.

    • If a child is preoccupied with some aspect of the physical destruction of his or her home or neighborhood, it may be helpful to concretely show them the reparative activities and ultimate restoration of the integrity of their home and surroundings.

    • The prolonged absence of electrical power and darkness can also increase irritation, impatience and petulance among children and adults. Try to get out of your home if this occurs. Visit others with normal light and appliances or try to create another type of break or excursion.

    • There are many effective techniques today to address post traumatic reactions in children and adults. Do not hesitate to seek out a professional if anyone if anyone in your family displays ongoing disruptive symptoms in the aftermath of the storm.

    • Chai Lifeline and many of the other reputable agencies and organizations in our community are readily available to assist and advice those who have any such concerns. Please feel free to avail yourself of this help.

    • If you have any further questions or need additional assistance or clarification, Chai Lifeline has set up a help line that is staffed by professionals.

    Rabbi Dr. Dovid Fox
    Director of Interventions and Community Education, Project Chai of Chai Lifeline

    Zahava Farbman, LMSW
    Associate Director

    Project Chai's Response to the Boston Marathon Bombings

    Click here for Project Chai’s Response to the Boston Marathon Bombings.
    Resources on the Midwood Fire Tragedy

    Click here for Project Chai’s Response to the Midwood Fire Tragedy.