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Chai Lifeline’s crisis team providing support to Cleveland community after plane crash

“Chai Lifeline is here to help, and we encourage anyone in need of support to reach out,” the organization stated following a plane crash that claimed the lives of two members of the city’s Jewish community.

A Chai Lifeline Hanukkah gift drive. Credit: Courtesy.
A Chai Lifeline Hanukkah gift drive. Credit: Courtesy.

In response to a plane crash which claimed the lives of two members of Cleveland’s Jewish community, Chai Lifeline’s crisis team has been providing immediate and ongoing support to local organizations and schools.

Two Cleveland-area men—Ben Chafetz, 45, of Beachwood and Boruch Taub, 40, of Cleveland Heights—were killed on Jan. 19 when the plane being piloted by Taub developed engine trouble and crashed about one mile from Westchester County Airport.

“As soon as the terrible news broke, several community leaders and heads of school reached out to Chai Lifeline for assistance,” said Rabbi Shlomo Crandall, director of Chai Lifeline Midwest. “The Chai Lifeline Crisis services team has been working around the clock with various organizations and individuals to provide resources, consultations and guidance.”

Rabbi Dr. Dovid Fox, director of Chai Lifeline Crisis Services, presented a community-wide webinar on “The Challenge to Be Supportive to Others and to Care for Ourselves and Our Children During Tragic Times.” The webcast was organized by Naaleh, a nonprofit focused on emotional and mental wellbeing in the Cleveland Jewish community, in conjunction with Yeshiva Derech HaTorah, Hebrew Academy of Cleveland and Chaviva High School for Girls.

“A traumatic event such as this can have a wide-reaching and long-lasting impact on a community,” said Fox. “We are working together with the Cleveland communities rabbanim and educators, as well as Naaleh, to coordinate an effective response that is sensitive to the specific needs of their children and families.”

Rivkah Recht, LPC of Chai Lifeline Midwest, also spoke to students and educators at local schools, providing individual consultations and counseling.

“Balancing the needs of the individual families and a community reeling, requires a lot of coordination, triage, and a level of sensitivity that our team is known for,” said Rabbi Mordechai Gobioff, MSW, Chai Lifeline national director of client services. “Chai Lifeline is here to help, and we encourage anyone in need of support to reach out.”

Chai Lifeline is a leading international children’s health support network, which provides support to children with life-threatening and lifelong illnesses and their families. Chai Lifeline’s crisis services provides families, schools, synagogues, camps and community organizations around the globe with a wide range of resources and support services. In 2022, Chai Lifeline led 2,317 crisis and trauma interventions to more than 10,000 people.

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