Formed as an offshoot project of a widely popular Frum divorced singles support group, Jewish Divorce Helping Hands was initially formed in response to a single parent’s lament that she was unable to provide Tefillin for her son’s upcoming Bar Mitzvah.
After our founder was able to procure a set of Tefillin for her, he decided to create a gemach for divorced families to turn to when making a Simcha such as a Bar Mitzvah, etc. Once the project was underway, the ongoing needs of the Jewish Divorced Community became apparent, and we have been working to identify resources and provide assistance ever since. As a self-formed ‘grassroots’ organization, we are the friend one turns to when the pain and shame of asking anyone else would be too great. When having an empty refrigerator is better than asking for handouts, the friend who has been there too can reach out and make that huge difference. As members of the Divorced Community ourselves, we know firsthand the difficulties facing single parent homes, as well as the extreme reluctance many feel in asking outsiders for help, and how dire must be the need once the request is made. We know the quiet fear of making it through to the end of the month, the strain of carrying financial obligations alone, the basic status quo at play before being hit with larger expenses. While initially formed as a gemach loan organization to be repaid, the simple truth is that while our beneficiaries would be grateful to have the means to repay loan made, the ongoing deficits of most single parent homes make rapid repayment unlikely. At the same time, as our base grows, more families have begun to turn to us for help, often as a last resort, not knowing where next to turn if we are unable to assist. While ideally, we would like to provide a loan/gift combination, with the major percentage of the amount dispersed being returned by the beneficiary, the current burdens of maintaining a single parent home make this much less likely, at least for the short term. G-d Willing, with time, we look forward to less precarious times, as individual situations change, and our beneficiaries are once again able to be in a position to give. Your friend, your neighbor, perhaps a family member. Divorce takes not just an emotional toll but a huge financial toll as well. Even in the best of divorces, the basic reality is that the resources that once sustained one household must now sustain two. Today’s cost of living, tuition expenses, not to mention the extreme difficulty of making a living while simultaneously caring for children without a second parent around, all make for precarious living. Every story is different, yet the bottom line is the same; households in constant struggle to make ends meet, either in continuous deficit, or with very little wiggle room should unexpected situations arise. As such, we are turning to the larger community to help us help our brothers and sisters as they go through this most difficult of life stages. First, by sharing this email with your family and friends, to broaden our support base as we grow. And Second, by your generous donation to our cause. On behalf of ourselves and the divorce community we serve, we thank you.
Mission: Helping Jewish divorcees and single parents feel supported through community mobilization, advocacy, and direct financial assistance.
For anyone who has ever felt broken...
Chanukah can be an especially difficult time for those experiencing the loss of divorce. It can also be a time of great personal growth and introspection. This year, consider sharing your story to encourage and inspire others traveling this path.
Does suffering make you more compassionate or just bitter? What determines the response?
Wishing you a wonderful Pesach, Chag Kasher VSameach!
Wishing you an easy fast and Freilichen Purim!
How do parents cope with being denied access to their children? Looking for positive stories to help others...
In commemoration of our dear friend Annette Turner's birthday, let us today be braver than we think possible and kinder than we believe we can. Because no matter how hard you think your life, day, year is going, no matter how strained and financially pinched you feel, chances are high that she had it so much harder. And she faced it and triumphed over it with bravery and laughter and generosity to all. Her memory will always be a blessing.
It's HERE! Social Media Marketing Agency (SMMA) course, available FREE to Friends of JDHH. This is a four month, go-at-your-own-pace training course, which teaches how to run your own social media marketing agency (or work for ours!). A vital skill for any business, this has the potential to allow single parents the ability to earn significant side income while working on a completely flexible schedule.
This course normally costs anywhere between $200-$400, but we have received express permission from the course creator to offer mp3s of the classes to our friends for free.
Join our group to access the classes:
To access the FREE training mp3s, join our group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1144349205591769/learning_content/
Classes will posted at the pace of learning.
Wishing you a blessed holiday of light wherever you may be.
In-depth social media training course, a huge opportunity for single parents to earn income on a flexible schedule. PM for details...
This past week I happened to be at shul for Mincha when a father in the community came bringing the two older sons of a recently departed member of the community. I couldn't help but think of all those complaints I, we, have had and heard, about not having anyone at shul notice or help our sons when they are at shul on their own. And then came kaddish. Two boyish voices that shouldn't have to be doing that saying that so young. We have our own sufferings, and yes, 'the struggle is real'. But let's not go to the extreme of begrudging someone who is suffering quite differently... On behalf of myself and perhaps others, my apologies for this past mindset.
Wishing you all a wonderful peaceful Shabbos.
The divorce to do list is Not Fun!
here are links for change of address with the IRS, separate from USPS...
Wishing you a joyous Simchas Torah. May the love of Torah enter our hearts and the hearts of our children and last all year long....
For a little pick-me-up...
11 Quotes To Remember When You Feel Lost In Your Life
May this Tisha B'Av be the end of our tears...
In loving tribute to our dear friend Annette Turner, who passed away Friday afternoon. Please post pictures, videos, and comments below. Baruch Dayan HaEmes
*Today is Lag B'Omer, which is the Yahrzeit of Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai.* The Gemara in Masechet Shabbat (33b) tells us that Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai went to hide in a cave with his son to save himself from death at the hands of the Roman government. They remained in that cave for thirteen years. Every day they would bury themselves up to their necks and learn Torah. They didn't want to wear out their only pair of clothing, so they only put the clothing on for Tefila. The Gemara in Masechet Baba Metzia describes their experience in the cave with the words צער מערה-meaning it was a very painful experience. They ate the same carobs and water every single day, trapped, away from society. Rabbi Gamliel Rabinowitz said that we can imagine what their prayers were like in that cave, three times a day, "Please, Hashem, allow us to get out of here; save us from this painful experience." Imagine, a holy Tanna praying for thirteen years, without seeing an answer to his Tefilot. He must have cried and begged Hashem for mercy, but he still did not receive the Yeshua he was looking for. He could have easily thought, "Where are all my prayers going? Why isn't Hashem answering me?"
But now in hindsight we see that during those thirteen years, Rebbe Shimon elevated himself to the highest levels, discovering and revealing to the world all of the hidden secrets of our Torah. He authored the Zohar, the Sefer from which all of Kabbalah stems. He has hundreds of thousands of people coming to his grave to pray every Lag B'Omer, and all the prayers are credited to his Zechut. It appeared that for thirteen years his prayers were not being heard, but Hashem was listening to every one of them. And He used them in a different way, in a way in which he is still reaping the benefits.
Everybody has their own cave experience to deal with-tough situations that we beg Hashem to take us out of. And after a while it gets hard to continue asking for salvation. We must always remember that our prayers are being heard and Hashem will use every single one of them to benefit us in one way or another. He knows what's best, and sometimes remaining in the difficult situation is the best. It's incumbent upon us to never despair, no matter how bleak things look.
Wishing you a Happy Lag BaOmer!
Wishing you all a wonderful Pesach!
The week before Pesach is stressful, no matter what life situations you find yourself in. And some life situations feel completely overwhelming. Try to remember that it will all work out somehow, and that the most important thing is to be kind to yourself and others. Things get easier when you give yourself permission to NOT have everything taken care of, at least not right this minute.
So take that break, whatever it may look like for you, rejuvenate yourself so you'll be better able to tackle the tasks ahead.
"In this life, you only got what you got, so give it all you got"...
Some days what you got is needing a time out breather so take it!
Pesach is coming and it's not easy! Please post resources below, with contact info/location. Wishing you a low stress pre-Pesach season!
Copied from a friend:
Friends. Purim is in a week. For those of you hosting a seudah, have you invited an individual who is not yet observant and/or a single, divorce', widow/widower to your seudah yet? As Rabbi Shalom Baum once said, "inviting your friends to a Purim seudah, Seder, Shabbat/Yom Tov meal is not chessed; at best, it is fulfilling the commandment of V'Ahavta Lrayecha kamocha." Chessed is inviting the person who won't be eating at a seudah or will be eating alone. Food for thought friends.
A Welcome Relief for Yeshiva Parents?
Yeshiva tuition is a huge burden on the community as a whole, and especially difficult for those maintaining single-income homes. The new federal tax laws may provide some needed relief....
(Check with a knowledgeable adviser to see how this can impact you)
“Tovim haShnaim min haEchad…….Ki em ipol haEchad hasheni Yakimo...“Two are better than one; For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow"
Have a friend, Be a friend....
Helping others is good for you... It can feel especially life-changing to contribute your efforts once in awhile to something bigger than yourself...
Chanukah, I think, can be one of the most difficult yet potentially inspiring holidays of the entire year. A Chanukah night without one's children/family feels especially empty, making the darkness ever more present in one's heart than the light. And yet, the strength and courage and soul of the flames can reflect in us when we're open to let it in. Then comes the awareness that being alone does not have to be synonymous with being lonely. One is an objective state, the other a state of mind. And both can be changed.
Chanukah is about the strength of the spirit, the individual light that shines brightest in the darkness. Savor the lights and hold onto them, cherish them and cherish yourself, because while the darkness will G-d Willing pass, the illumination of heart and soul it brought out doesn't have to.
Wishing you all a year of blessing and light, from this Chanukah through next.
Wishing you and yours a happy Chanukah!
Post your menorah pics below!
"Don't worry, everything will be ok." Sometimes those words are exactly what we don't want to hear, feeling that others minimize the stress and anxiety and general toll that difficult times place upon us. And yet, when it seems that nothing will be okay, those are the thoughts and words we need to be able to tell ourselves, and to truly believe.
There are experiences in this world that may seem to us to be outside our capacity to manage. But when you're up against that wall of 'I don't have the resources to deal with this', then outside is exactly where you need to go, to others who can help with emotional or material support, and of course, to Hashem. We know that only good comes from Hashem. Sometimes we're in positions where our troubles are coming from others, but either way we must trust that these difficulties have a purpose, will somehow get better, and above all, that Hashem is watching over us and taking care of us every minute of every day. Which ultimately means that everything will be okay....
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