by yossi | May 31, 2019 2:28 pm
In the early hours of Monday morning, Ches Iyar, May 13, 2019, the world lost a beautiful neshama. Shmily a”h was known for being kind, generous and selfless, but sadly Shmily is no longer with us.
Shmily was a regular at 1225, a haven for teenagers —mostly from Chassidishe backgrounds—with three nights for boys and one night for girls, who need someplace to go when being at home just doesn’t feel comfortable.
1225 was started in response to a persistent crisis in our community. Through different events of hashgachah, the Jewish Heritage Center of Queens and Long Island (JHC) was introduced to a group of teenage boys who hailed from Chassidishe homes that were in tremendous emotional and spiritual pain. The JHC hired Rabbi Ozer Babad to work with these boys. After a year and a half of organizing shabbatons, summer getaways and restaurant outings for this group and many of their friends, the JHC, with Rabbi Babad, rented a space at 1225 39th Street to start a program for them. Over time, this special place came to be called “1225.”
In order to make 1225 suitable for the teens, a construction project was undertaken. Shmily was involved from the get-go. Shmily, an electrician by trade, brought his talent to the forefront. Though he had a full-time job during the day, after his long shift he would come to 1225, eat a quick dinner and then work late into the night volunteering his time to do the electrical work. That was Shmily. Selfless. Giving of himself to benefit those around him. Many of the parties at 1225—Super bowl parties or events for other occasions—were organized by Shmily. He was an essential part of 1225, known by many, friends with all. Shmily had very warm feelings toward 1225.
In one of his last communications to Rabbi Babad, Shmily said that 1225 “is my home.” Just as it was for Shmily, for so many others 1225 is their home away from home.
1225 is providing so much, a place to be accepted, chill and call home. There are GED classes, job placement, shabbatonim, career placement, trips, Kumzitses, torah learning and so much more… However, there is a lot more that is needed. In particular, mental illness is an area that is under-addressed in our community. Therefore 1225 is undertaking to start Project Shmily. Project Shmily will strive to accomplish three “A”s: Awareness, Acceptance, and Assistance,
There are a lot of stigmas about mental illness in our community. However, the truth is that mental illness is common and treatable. 1225 will provide a safe place for teens to learn about mental illness through a clear lens, without misconceptions or shame.
Through group meetings and group therapy, the teens will work on processing and understanding mental illness and its ramifications. With this foundation, they will be open to exploring pathways to healing and recovery.
1225 will provide an in-house therapist, and create a referral system to outside therapists, rehabs and other professionals, to coordinate an appropriate treatment plan for each individual and situation. A mentor program will be implemented as well.
As we all know, treatment for mental health issues is not cheap. Many therapists are not covered by insurance, and sometimes further costly interventions, such as rehab, are required. To get Project Shmily off the ground, 1225 aims to raise $300,000, the operating budget for the first year of the program. We are asking you to choose to be a part of this campaign. Your tzedakah can help save young people’s lives. While this program has been in the planning stages for some time, after Shmily’s untimely petirah, 1225 decided to undertake it in his name and through this program, he will have chiyus.
May Shmily’s neshama have an aliyah, yehi zichro baruch
Written and composed: Sheya Bernstein – Tuli Brull – Moishy Klein – Shuky Klein
Music Produced: Moishy Klein
Video Produced: Chaim Moskowitz
Performed: Schneur Spira, Tuli Brull and Moishy Klein
Background vocals: Moishy Klein
Awareness. Acceptance. Assistance.
Expanding Mental Health Intervention @ 1225
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