Jewish ‘Kidney Matchmaker’ Unites New York Rabbi Donor With Needy Recipient
A Jewish “kidney matchmaker” brought together a New York rabbi and a Jewish woman in Queens who was desperate for a new kidney, Fox 5 reported on Tuesday.
Berta Ilizarova, 62, was on dialysis for more than a year before Brooklyn resident Chaya Lipschutz, who calls herself the “kidney matchmaker,” connected her with a donor, Washington Heights Rabbi Avrohom Hoffman, 63. The father-of-nine met Ilizarova for the first time a day before her kidney transplant and Rabbi Hoffman said there was no doubt in his mind that he would donate a kidney.
He told Fox 5, “After a certain age they are hesitate to take people’s kidneys [but] I said as the Hebrew expression goes ‘Im lo achshav ay matai’ — if not now, when?'”
Lipschutz said her life’s purpose was to connect eligible kidney donors and recipients. She told Fox 5, “Since I donated a kidney, I felt bad for all the others who were in desperate need of a kidney and I felt like I didn’t do enough so I decided to start a project to help other people in need of a kidney.”
Ilizarova’s son said about his mother, who only speaks Russian, that she was “grateful” to everyone who has helped her and “she wishes that more people will help each other.”