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Photo: Zev Brenner, host. Rabbi Marty Katz, Excec V.P.

Photo: Zev Brenner, host. Rabbi Marty Katz, Excec V.P.

2010 Historic New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Transformed into Center for Hatzolas Nefashos

Hamodia Staff - Edited

MANHATTAN – Presumably the most important investments ever made at the New York Stock Exchange took place recently at an unusual time: after the institution that powers Wall Street had closed for business. Unparalleled returns are guaranteed for the long term – eternity, really – and will benefit not just the investors, but the entire world. The assets to be generated? Thousands of Jewish neshamos and their descendants. On Monday evening, Dec. 13, one of the economic capitals of the world was transformed into a center for saving lives.

Just One Life, a non-profit social service organization that provides expectant couples and women in Israel with the support and services they need to overcome crisis and carry their children to term, held an historic event right there on the Exchange trading floor. Over 500 people attended “An IPO Evening” (Inspiration, Promise and Opportunity) to support JOL’s crucial work. 

While non-industry and charitable functions have been held at the NYSE before, JOL organizers said “AN IPO Evening” was the first kosher one.

JOL’s name is based on the Gemara in Sanhedrin 37a: “He who saves just one life in Israel is one who has saved an entire world.” Teaneck businessman and JOL Chairman Jack Forgash founded the agency in 1989 after reading an article about an alarming trend of desperate parents- to-be and babies at risk in Eretz Yisrael. “Israel’s main resource is its children,” Mr. Forgash was quoted as saying in a recent Jewish Standard article. “Each child our organization helps bring into the world multiplies our people a hundredfold.”

The results were impressive, and 17 executives, were presented with “One Angel” awards. The master of ceremonies was Guy Adami, vice chairman of TradeMonster and featured commentator on CNBC’s Fast Money.


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As in years past, the founders and supporters of “Nefesh Achat B’Yisrael” or “Just One Life” will join together for its annual benefit evening in Teaneck during the Nine Days, on Wednesday, August 7. According to founder and American Chairman and Israeli Co-Chairman Jack Forgash, “This time of year marking the churban of both of our precious Batei Mikdash can best be memorialized by supporting an organization that has effectively helped to recoup the loss of Jewish lives. It has been statistically proven that there were more Jewish children born in the State of Israel during its brief 71-year history than in all of its prior 2,000 years of history in the land. We can modestly attest that the work of Just One Life has been an important component in that impressive statistic.” Included in its ever-increasing services to mothers in Israel who are beset with challenges before and after giving birth, Just One Life offers supportive counseling, financial stipends, home visits, referrals to government and private agencies and advocacy. Their headquarters are in the beautifully renovated offices near Rechov King George in the center of Jerusalem. According to new Director Chaya Katzin, who serves as well as the chief social worker and supervisor of the team of social workers, this past year has seen an impressive increase in services offered. Through an expanded program of workshops, clients are provided with multi-session courses in parenting skills, psycho-dynamic approaches to dealing with the past, present and future, mind-body techniques for dealing with stress and anxiety, and identifying behavioral techniques for achieving happiness and comfort. These multi-session workshops are subsidized and often result in creating support groups among the attendees. Interns from both Shaare Zedek Hospital and Hadassah College in conjunction with Hadassah Hospital work alongside the Just One Life social work team. In appreciation of their work, Dr. Uri Chen, of the Hadassah School of Medicine, wrote a letter to Katzin: “There is no doubt that your assistance brought about circumstances that were optimal to helping women and couples during their difficult predicaments and brought about beneficial outcomes.” Upon her retirement last year, Madelaine Gitelman, who served as the director of social work at Just One Life for over 30 years, became chairman of the board, which she now co-chairs with Jack Forgash. Upon her retirement, Gitelman received a congratulatory letter from Ambassador Danny Danon, permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations, who shared: “I would like to extend my appreciation to Madelaine Gitelman in recognition of her incredible leadership of Nefesh Achat B’Yisrael. Bringing Just One Life to Israel brought the issue of raising Jewish children straight to the heart of the Jewish world.” Rabbi Martin Katz, who has served as the executive vice president of Just One Life for close to 30 years, commented upon his recent “awesome” trip to Israel: “I spent many quality hours with Chaya Katzin and her team of social workers. I visited with new mothers and their happy babies. I listened to the testimonies of women who had overcome difficult times and situations with the help of Just One Life. I saw baby triplets born with our assistance as well as Yael, our former client, mother to now 20-year-old quadruplets. On occasion I am asked how it feels to be doing such holy work. My response is that I am simply a messenger. In turn, I would like to thank the generous communities of Teaneck/Bergenfield for being our special partners in this holy work.” The community is invited to attend the evening of tribute to Just One Life to be held on Wednesday, August 7, at 8 p.m., at the home of Rachel and Azi Mandel, 60 Westminster Avenue, Bergenfield. Co-hosting the evening are Sheryl and Aaron Liberman. Organizers include Rayzel and Ron Yaish, Fraidy and Stuart Forgash, Cindy and Elliot Forgash and Carole and Jack Forgash.The speaker for the evening is the internationally renowned inspirational Torah scholar Rabbi Y.Y. Jacobson. For more information and to reserve, please call 347-996-7751 or visit www.justonelife.org.   Article originally appeared on The Jewish Link.
Aug 1st 2019