As an ultimate expression of Kibud Av V’aim, Judy and Robbie Schoenfeld established the Ossie Schonfeld Memorial Toy Fund nine years ago to bring joys and smiles to children with serious illnesses throughout Israel. In memory of Ossie’s Fish Store founder Ossie Schoenfeld, originally based in Borough Park, the toy fund visits and distributes toys to many locations such as the Tel Hashomer Medical Center, Migdal Ohr Youth Center, Sanz Laniado Hospital, Hadassah Hospital and Ichilov Children’s Hospital.
Additionally the fund reaches children of Gush Katif evacuees, Beit Sefer Oun for Individuals with cerebral palsy, Alyn Hospital, Tel Hashomer Hospice, the SOS Children’s Village, and youth centers in Hebron and Bat Ayin. Toys are also provided to the siblings of the sick child. Delivered by the gleeful and dancing Lev Leytzan Clown troupe, the toys bring a much-needed light to a dark situation, consistent with the miracle of Chanukah.
Local supporters enjoyed an elegant and delectable display of sushi this past Saturday night at the melava malka held at the Schoenfelds’ Woodmere home to benefit the toy fund. Endearing pictures of elated children touched by the deeds of the toy fund , artfully displayed, graced the walls throughout the Shoenfeld home and into the kitchen where an elaborate chocolate lovers Dessert buffet took center stage.
Guest speaker Rabbi Moshe Weinberger of Aish Kodesh, spoke of the connection between the miracle of Chanukah and the mitzvah of bikur cholim. “Sometimes there are certain tzedakahs that’s need no explanation. Sometimes, just the picture of a child, as a parent or grandparent, you know what it feels like.”
“The Ossie Schonfeld Memorial Toy Fund is not complicated, it’s a no brainer. The family gets on the plane and schleps toys.” Rabbi Weinberger added in good humor that the business existed solely for the purposes of helping other Yidden, Shabbos, Yontif.
Many people in attendance smiled recalling Ossie Shoenfeld, describing his unbelievable dedication to families in need. Woodmere supporter Carol Pearlman knew Ossie for many years. “He was tough in business, and helped so many people throughout the years who couldn’t afford to make Shabbos, yontif,” Pearlman said. “He loved children, and would stop what he was doing whenever kids en route home from school would come in the store, especially in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, he’d show the kids the fish.”