Saving JewishMOM Hanit Elbaz

Saving JewishMOM Hanit Elbaz

I assume that not so many of you JewishMOMs reading this are either Yemenite, Bucharian, Georgian, Iraqi, Ethiopian or Kurdish, but I still wanted to tell you about the urgent country-wide ethnic-specific campaign being conducted by Ezer Mizion in order to save the life of a special Yemenite JewishMOM as well as several other cancer patients desperately seeking compatible bone marrow donors.

I am sharing this news with you because I want you to know about the amazing work of Ezer MiZion, Israel’s largest health support organization, which has set up over 100 testing stations around the country to test people of these ethnic backgrounds (I was so moved to see the extensive list of testing stations, what good-hearted people fill this nation of ours!)

And I also wanted you to hear the heartbreaking story of Hanit (whose moving interview I have translated below) since I think that stories of women like Hanit who are unable to live with their children and yearn more than anything to be with them are an important wake-up call for all of us JewishMOMs…I have a child? I am able to raise that child and see her every morning, afternoon, and night? Then I also shouldn’t forget to give her a big kiss and a big hug and to enjoy her, just like Hanit dreams of doing with her own children. And I also should thank Hashem and not take for granted this tremendous privilege of being a JewishMOM–how many women would give anything just to be in my place…

Here is a translation of the video:
Hanit is waiting for a donor from the Yemenite community to save her life.
Hanit: I am 34 years old, an accountant by profession. I have three children. I grew up in Shaarayim, in a nice community.

I felt weak, and I thought that I was simply lazy, and that I wasn’t functioning like I should. But at the hospital, Dr. Luria decided that we should do a bone marrow test, and then they saw it.

A human being who is in a routine, the day by day, doesn’t plan or even think about something like this happening. And suddenly it comes.

My parents took the news hard. And my mother in the beginning would just cry and cry and cry.

Hanit’s mother speaks: What breaks me is the children. From both sides,
we do everything for them. But a mother is a mother.

Hanit: We explained to our children that a medication exists, but that
I can only receive it at the hospital, so I cannot be home. So my child asked me, “So, on what day are you going to come home?” And I told him, “I can’t tell you. I don’t know when.” Now he asked for me to come for his birthday. But I don’t know if that will be possible, his birthday is on Shavuot.

Hanit’s mother: Yesterday I went to my granddaughter’s performance, and she comes close to me and says, “If Eema was here, it would be different.” That was a very difficult moment.

Hanit: Two days ago my children visited me here, and they had warned me that I need to be careful, to keep my mask on and not to hug them and not to kiss them. I told the nurses, “I can’t do that! All I’ve been doing is waiting for them to come so that I can hug and kiss them.” They need it, and I need it.

I want to be with my children, and take them to the playground, to sit with them, to do arts and crafts with them, to read them a story before they go to bed.

My youngest child is 8 months old. A moment before I left my home to be hospitalized, I nursed him, put him to bed, and left. And I knew
that that would be the last time I would be nursing him. I waited so long for this baby, and suddenly to be so far from him…

Hanit’s mother: I beg all of the Jewish people, and especially members
of the Yemenite community, don’t be afraid, come. As many people as possible should come in order to be tested. It’s a simple saliva test.

Hanit: This whole situation just teaches me how many good people I have surrounding me, and that’s what gives me strength, that’s what keeps me focused. Waiting is difficult. It’s difficult because I know my life is dependent on this.


  1. Jenny,
    What is her full hebrew name?

  2. I posted to our yishuv group – applicable to all of us and particularly many neighbors from the listed eidot. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Jenny. I read this while feeding my kids dinner and. frankly, wishing I was somewhere else. A wake-up call indeed. May Hanit have a refua shleima.

    • JewishMom

      right, it’s like the kind of thing we should watch every day, like taking a daily vitamin.

  4. What does she have that she can’t wait at home?

  5. Oy, how painful that was..why is she contagious, what does she have and how is it that only her ethnic group can help?

    • She is probably very sensitive to infection and needs to be in a sterile environment…

      A transplant works best with someone with similar genetic markers. As she is Yemenite, a transfer from a fellow Yemenite has the best chance of succeeding. There are currently a disproportionate number of Ashkenazis on the bone marrow donor lists, and unfortunately very few Yemenites.

  6. I’m so compelled. Absolutely, no one is exempt from getting sick. I’m in tears by listening to Hanit’s story! I’ve got 2 young children myself and can only imagine what she’s going through, her family as well! I live in Florida and wondering how I can help???

  7. Sara, I have the exact same question.
    I don’t understand why she was forced to suddenly abandon a nursing baby as well as her older children. It seems extreme and avoidable. Chana Jenny, do you know more?

  8. What ever happened with this woman, is she back with her children?

  9. Sara- sadly she passed away 5 months later…

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