Just yesterday, we celebrated Lag B’Omer, a day that is filled with joyous festivities throughout the world. But while others associate Lag B’Omer with bonfires, music and other positive thoughts and events, the day is an emotional roller coaster for me as it also marks the yahrtzeit of Amudim’s founder, the incomparable Mendy Klein.
Opening up a crisis center in Jerusalem on Mendy’s third yahrtzeit last Lag B’Omer was a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated every fiber of his being to helping those who were being neglected by the community at large. Since that time, Amudim’s Mendy Klein Crisis Center has become a lifeline for yeshiva and seminary students in Israel, providing them with high quality, non-judgmental mental health care. Currently, the center has 10 clinicians and has served nearly 70 clients, with more than 725 treatment sessions subsidized by Amudim over the past year.
It is with great pride that I was able to announce yesterday that The Mendy Klein Crisis Center will be partnering with Wurzweiler School of Social Work, a collaboration that will expand the center’s reach and allow for triple the number of clients to be served.
All of us at Amudim are incredibly grateful to the Klein family for insisting that Mendy’s vision continue beyond his lifetime, with his wife Ita serving as our board chair and his sons Amir Jaffa, Yoni Klein, Shmuli Halpern and Nati Klein all taking on active roles as members of the Amudim board. There can be no better way to honor the legacy of an individual who was driven by a passion to help those in crisis, a man who saw every achievement as, not an occasion to pause and reflect, but rather as a springboard for the next milestone and another opportunity.
While Mendy is no longer physically among us, he is still very much a part of the fabric of Amudim. His dream, his perseverance and his refusal to take no for an answer remain the impetus for all that we do and the fact that we have been able to help 12,696 individuals (not to mention untold future generations, family members and friends) is a testament to his vision and devotion.
If we learned one thing from Mendy it was this – we don’t just keep going, we keep growing. And today, four years and one day since his passing, we are rededicating ourselves to renewing his commitment and doing everything we can to continue moving ahead, helping more people get the help that they need and keeping Mendy’s flame burning brightly, both in this world and the next.
Each week, Amudim fields calls covering a wide range of crises and addressing various human concerns, including addiction, depression, abuse, health and domestic emergencies and many others. We track the calls and breakdown of issues for many reasons, foremost of which is to consistently improve and strengthen our knowledge and ability to address community’s needs.
Mendy Z”L, hard to belive its 4 years. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you, I hope all of us at @amudim are making you proud. Please fight for us all up there – as we need all the help we can get.