Ezrat Achim was founded in 1997 by Avraham Kopp of Beit Shemesh. Beit Shemesh is a city that is a vibrant mosaic and has attracted immigrants from all over the globe, ranging in affiliation from secular to Orthodox, who despite all the media hype, share a common goal of respectful coexistence. As a trained paramedic and local head of ZAKA, Kopp is often first on the scene in any crisis and he is the kind of person who is undeterred by even the most tragic and complicated circumstances. Kopp observed that many residents of Bet Shemesh, who were dealing with illnesses and chronic medical conditions, did not have access to the medical equipment they needed. He decided to establish an equipment loan center out of his own home, and he started off with two humidifiers and a set of crutches which were kept in the storage room (machsan) of his apartment. He hasn’t looked back since!
Ezrat Achim, as its name (which translates roughly as Brothers Helping Brothers) suggests, offers relief and assistance to all city residents thus creating a chord of unity and brotherhood between all residents regardless of culture, origins or religious affiliation. Today, the Ezrat Achim Center is located in a 200 sqm building and boasts a warehouse housing up-to-date medical equipment, worth tens of thousands of dollars, which are loaned free of charge to residents throughout the city. In addition we offer other medical services such as Shabbat/weekend clinics, Bilirubin testing, burn treatment with the revolutionary Breitman method, transportation to hospitals, as well as a Meals-on-Wheels service, which provides daily fresh cooked food to alleviate suffering from families facing the challenges of illness. with a plethora of medical and social services to meet the ever growing needs of the Beit Shemesh community.
Our social and community services have grown to include an after school Special Needs center, as well as a Safety and Prevention Project with the goal of reducing home accidents citywide. Beit Shemesh residents, from all walks of life, join together to give of their time and resources to participate in these invaluable communal activities. In response to the growing needs of our community, we continue to widen our scope by including more medical and social services, and have become a large and professional support network, servicing hundreds of residents weekly. Yet throughout, we have managed to remain true to our founding vision: With Ezrat Achim at your side, you are not alone in your struggle.
“For none is closer than a brother in time of need.”