Addressing Crisis in Jewish Communities Worldwide, Amudim Unites to Heal in Annual Fundraiser
By: Sandy Eller
57, 469, 500,000, 0.
That seemingly random string of numbers won’t unlock a safe, nor will it identify an overseas bank account. Instead, that sequence of digits represents a seismic change in our communities, measuring Amudim’s global impact since its initial launch eight years ago.
As of early fall, Amudim has stepped up to the plate for families in 57 countries worldwide and 469 United States cities by answering over 500,000 calls for help, providing zero-cost lifesaving assistance. While Amudim’s reach as a global entity is noteworthy, its presence in virtually every Jewish community makes it an organization that is relatable to nearly everyone on a personal level, particularly given the monumental increase in issues of mental health, abuse and addiction in recent years.
Amudim’s Unite To Heal campaign, a 36 hour fundraiser whose previous livestreams have drawn millions of worldwide followers, will be returning for a third time on December 11th and 12th. More than just a program that entertains and inspires with segments on mental health, community, religion, comedy and Jewish music, Unite To Heal raises the lion’s share of Amudim’s annual budget, which this year totals $9 million, serving those struggling with critical issues in Jewish communities near and far.
This year’s livestream benefit will feature multiple unique thought-provoking segments. Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm and Pastor Michael Fisher will discuss building bridges between the Jewish and African-American communities in a segment titled Black Americans and Jewish Americans – How Do We Heal?, while Rachie Shnay will moderate a discussion with Joyce Azria and Charlene Aminoff on how frum female entrepreneurs strike a balance between business and family titled Three Blondes Walk Into a Business. Well known personalities Rabbi Shais Taub, Rabbi Simon Jacobson and Rabbi Manis Friedman will address important issues in a feature moderated by Eda Schottenstein and Rivkah Krinsky called Unlocking Healthy and Happy Relationships: From the Inside Out, while Rabbi Shay Schachter will moderate a conversation on difficult questions between Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, Rabbi Daniel Feldman and Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz titled They Asked What!?! Mental Health and it’s Real Life Implications on Psak Halacha. Drawing support for mental health issues and crisis from both inside and outside the Jewish community, Unite to Heal will also feature many others, including Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Jonathan Pollard, Ishay Ribo, Hillel Fuld, actor and comedian Tom Arnold and former NBA star Eddy Curry.
More than just 36 hours of high quality programming, Unite To Heal is the oxygen that helps Amudim continue its operations, which in turn provides lifesaving help to thousands each year. Amudim saw its call volume increase by 64 percent after the 2021 Unite To Heal livestream, further illustrating the need for public support in order to help those in crisis.
For Amudim CEO and co-founder Rabbi Zvi Gluck, donations to Unite To Heal are an investment in people, communities and futures, one that comes with a considerable price tag.
“From day one, we did not want anyone to be afraid to call us for help because they couldn’t afford it,” said Gluck. “Our money comes from the public – it is the people who support us.”
Gluck emphasized that while Amudim does receive grants, those funds are just a drop in the bucket given the organization’s multimillion dollar budget, with all monies raised during Unite To Heal going directly to servicing clients.
“We need partners in the community to help us to raise that money,” said Gluck, adding, “Know that by supporting Amudim, you are saving lives.”
Donate to Unite To Heal and support Amudim’s lifesaving work at https://rebrand.ly/AmudimUTH_Shiezoli
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