Putting His Left Foot Forward.jpg

It isn’t every day that I get the chance to speak to a perfect stranger who automatically feels like an old, long lost friend. But that’s what happened last week when I dialed Egbert Holden Chandler’s number on New York’s Long Island.

Egbert 1.JPGI always look forward to interviewing our featured donors and hearing their life stories and learning about what motivates their generosity. What never ceases to amaze me is that no matter where they are geographically, regardless of their profession or station in life, their age or ethnicity, they have a common goal; to pitch in and help the girls at the Rubin-Zeffren Children’s Home in Netanya. This is Egbert Chandler’s quest and his very unique story.

Egbert, a carpenter by profession, tells us that he learned about the Home and Lev LaLev more than five years ago through an online news source. At the time, he explains, “I was going through one of the worst financial times I can recall.” He continued by adding, “…but after donating to Lev LaLev, somehow, in a short time, my heavy financial burden was gone.”

Quoting a passage in Deuteronomy, Egbert Chandler recites, “Israel is the apple of His eye”. He remarks that it means a lot to him to ‘sow seeds in Israel’ since another biblical quote from Genesis states, “Those who bless Israel will be blessed.” This is his major motivation for contributing for the well being of our precious girls.

More than two years ago, Egbert felt a horrible recurring pain in the heel of his left foot. He went to many doctors, but not one of them could take care of his problem. He went to the smartest doctors and to the best hospitals, he recalls, but to no avail. He could hardly walk or even stand, without suffering excruciating pain. This was totally debilitating for this active hard working man who built a home from the ground up on a property he purchased in Pennsylvania. As an outdoorsman who loves communicating with nature, this challenge was a tough pill for Egbert to swallow.

Finally, through a friend who worked in the insurance business and his research, Egbert Chandler was recommended to contact a podiatrist/surgeon in New Hyde Park – a Dr. Zevi W. Isseroff, who was affiliated with Long Island Jewish Hospital. The doctor and Egbert connected. The patient was finally diagnosed with a deep rooted tumor in the heel of his left foot – the likes of, Egbert explains, the doctor claimed he had never seen before in his practice. An operation was needed to remove the growth – a procedure that was eventually viewed by student doctors as part of their learning experience at L.I. Jewish.

After surgery, Egbert returned to Dr. Isseroff’s office for three follow-ups. The first one was to remove his stitches. When he received an invoice for the surgery, Egbert thought it would be the maximum amount that the doctor had estimated, since the procedure was tedious and therefore more complex and lengthy. But, to his surprise, the bill was for the minimum amount Dr. Isseroff had originally quoted. In the blink of an eye, Egbert decided to donate the sizeable difference to the Children’s Home. He dedicated his gift in honor of Dr. Isseroff, who told us that in his 30 years of practice, this was a first! 

Speaking to the good doctor was another great bonus afforded to this interviewer. In the context of talking about Egbert Chandler’s generosity, doing good deeds ~ mitzvot, versus the acts of evil that destroy, Dr. Zevi quoted Tehilim, Psalm 89:3, “Olam Chesed Yebaneh – The World is Built on Kindness”. Additionally, the doctor told us that he was also familiar with Lev LaLev’s work, since he read about the original founding of the Children’s Home in the book “The Klausenberger Rebbe: The War Years.”

Today, Egbert Chandler, whose heel is completely healed, is back on track, jogging virtually every night, with his left foot forward.

More interesting and historical data about Egbert Holden Chandler, III

Family facts:

It’s in the Bag! His grandfather, who hailed from Connecticut, was a talented entrepreneur who was a renowned paper bag designer.

Giving is in his blood! His grandmother, Lillian, a philanthropist, was involved with an old N.Y. Irish organization, Anonymous Angels. She traveled to Rome and met with a pope and to Egypt, where she was photographed in front of the pyramids.

ZachariahChandler.jpgEgbert’s sister, a history teacher, did some family sleuthing and dated the family back to Zachariah Chandler, who was born in New Hampshire in 1813. He eventually opened a general store, became a wealthy businessman and banker, investing in land speculation.

From his youth, Zachariah had strongly been opposed to slavery, and he desired that the Northern Whig party would be able to stop Southern slave power from spreading slavery into the Western Territories. Chandler financially supported the Underground Railroad in Detroit that assisted fugitive or run away slaves find safe haven. He served as a senator in Michigan.

Janet And Me Eating Dinner.jpgEgbert, whose family is of English and Irish descent, is a young 55. He was born in Glen Cover, NY and was raised in Syosset. He is ‘semi-retired’, having worked in the industrial carpentry trade in Manhattan. His hobbies, besides walking/jogging, also include foreign coin collecting (he owns some Israeli silver) and trap shooting. His significant other is Janet, who shares a lot of time with him.

In the early 1980s, Egbert was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. A sharpshooter, he was in Search and Rescue and Drug Enforcement. He even made the headlines in Long Island’s Newsday. While on a 2-week tour, out in waters 200-300 miles from the coast, he and his detail busted a drug deal  - boarding a boat that was engaged in smuggling an illegal substance.

IMG_0123.JPGEgbert purchased a 5-acre property in Milford, PA where he and his father, and his dog Bingo (a dingo) proceeded to camp-out on the lot, living in a tent for 2 weeks, clearing the land by cutting down trees with a gas fueled chain saw. With help, they buried the wooden stumps in the ground. Then, on his own, it took Egbert 4 years to build a house on the property, where he lived like a woodsman, in the rough, without running water, electric, or phone services.

More about Dr.-Rabbi Zevi Isseroff

North Hempstead-20130111-00171.jpgDr. Zevi Isseroff is a Podiatric Surgeon practicing in New Hyde Park, NY. He is an attending surgeon at Long Island Jewish Hospital and North Shore University Hospital. He specializes in treatment of the Diabetic foot and wound care. He received his Rabbinical Ordination from Rabbi Israel Chait at Yeshiva B'Nei Torah in Far Rockaway, NY. He also serves as President of the Rambam Mesivta, an all-boys high school located in Lawrence, NY.

Simple words of thanks can never be adequate to show appreciation to Egbert Holden Chandler, a righteous man among men. The Lev LaLev team and all the girls at the Rubin-Zeffren Children’s Home say a collective “Todah Rabbah” to Egbert for his big heart and long time benevolence.

 

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