By: Jacques Doueck D D S

Still in the prime of his life, Joe died suddenly, leaving Jane with a $2500/month mortgage, tuition bills and countless other debts and expenses… But the biggest problem was that Joe didn’t have any life insurance. He was busy paying off his mortgage and thought that since he was so young, he would worry about it later.

I am not an insurance agent.

But I nevertheless feel compelled to write this article, as I consider this issue important enough to warrant departing from my usual focus on dental subjects.

No one likes to think of tragedy, but if, haas veshalom, the worst were to happen, who would provide for the family? How would the family manage without its breadwinner – or even the homemaker? More often than not, the surviving parent cannot work, as he must concentrate fully on the family. Facing reality is harder today than ever given the weighty financial burdens that so many families bear. Yet for many, while health insurance is regarded as a necessity, life insurance is simply not on the must-have list.

We think it can’t happen.

But unfortunately, it does. The number of young breadwinners and homemakers dying at an early age has increased. Literally every week, full-page ads are taken out in Jewish publications soliciting funds for families in this very situation. Everyone has seen the letters that begin with the bold headline: “A Terrible Tragedy.” Each letter or email includes a heart-wrenching story about a young parent who passed away suddenly, leaving a spouse and children with an empty refrigerator and not enough money to cover future expenses.

In virtually every case, the deceased parent had no life insurance. So the family is left without any recourse other than to turn to the already overburdened community, and to ask strangers to open their hearts and purses. With the economy tightening and salaries decreasing, it is becoming increasingly difficult to put together the necessary funds to provide even the basics for these orphans, widows and widowers.

The current system is not working.

In spite of the valiant efforts of fundraisers, the money that is collected is almost never enough. Areivim, a worthwhile charity recently introduced in the community, helps put aside money for wedding costs when orphans are ready to get married. But the fund does not address the years of ongoing expenses incurred raising these orphans until they reach marriageable age.

If you don’t have life insurance…

Whether you are newly married; if you have any unmarried children; whether you are a husband or a wife – don’t delay. At a cost of less that $15 per month, a 30-year-old healthy male, can purchase a $500,000 term life insurance. That is less than the average family spends on newspapers per month. A healthy 45-year-old male can buy the same coverage for $30 per month – less than many people spend on their morning cup of coffee.

Some of our community yeshivot, have taken the initiative to provide its rabbis with a basic amount of term life insurance. If you are a rabbi who receives this free insurance, increase your coverage; the cost is usually minimal. If your yeshiva does not provide its rabbinical staff with free term life insurance, then now is the time to start.

“Over the years I have seen families become destitute and forced to depend on relatives and the community, who cannot always help.” Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst of Agudath Israel once lamented. “And it is not just because a parent was taken away; it is because the couple did not buy life insurance.

If you know someone who is struggling to make ends meet and you want to really help,give the gift and security of term life insurance. Even if a woman is not the main breadwinner, she needs to have life insurance.

Take the next step.

Just a few dollars a month can make all the difference to preserve the dignity and financial security of a grieving family. For many years, a Flatbush businessman named Albert Kahn has been working to inform people of the necessity for every young couple to purchase low-cost term life insurance.Though he is not an insurance agent and receives no financial benefit, Mr. Kahn has been at the forefront of the campaign to spread this important message – and he can help you figure out what you need and get the best rates from your insurance agent. All it takes to get started is a simple, no obligation phone call. Contact Mr. Kahn at 718-436-0022.