Global unity: new online project brings together thousands to recite Tehillim

Jewish New Yorker Sharona Avraham sparked a Tehillim project for matchmaking, fertility and healing spanning continents, based on the timeless phrase from Jewish tradition ‘whoever prays for his friend is answered first’

Three requests from Sharona Avraham, a Jewish New Yorker and mother of three, have sparked the launch of a major Psalms (Tehillim) project spanning continents. What began as a manual distribution of names and chapters of Psalms through personal and group WhatsApp messages to friends and women in the Jewish community of Great Neck, Long Island, where Avraham resides, has evolved into a global initiative for matchmaking, fertility and healing. This project now reaches beyond the U.S. and Canada, extending to Europe and Israel.
Recently, an English-language website called Tehillim for Life was launched, offering Psalms readings in both English and Hebrew.
Tehillim for life

Avraham, 53, the daughter of an Israeli and an Afghan Jew who married in Israel and immigrated to America, is enthusiastic when discussing her new initiative, which is based on the timeless phrase from Jewish tradition: "Whoever prays for his friend is answered first."
“I have always read Tehillim and witnessed the miracles and wonders, as well as the wonderful and unique feeling I get when I read them. Today, I want to share this with the entire Jewish world, not just my friends or neighbors,” she said at the beginning of the interview.
"The desire to share this with everyone is something that burns within me. When my children were young, we would read Tehillim together. We learned to be grateful for the bad as well as the good. Yes, even for the bad because now, in mid-life, I understand why I had to go through all the things I went through and how everything is connected like a domino effect. Through Tehillim, we learned how important complete faith is and knowing that God hears our prayers, even if it sometimes takes time, even if one has to make an effort, even if it brings us to tears.”
In the project, which is based on groups of 18 people divided into three themes – matchmaking, fertility and healing – participants pray in rotation for the name given at registration. Each day, the names change, as do the chapters read until the 18-day cycle is completed, covering all 150 chapters of Tehillim, with participants praying for themselves.
“What started small with one group quickly grew to hundreds wanting to join, and I couldn’t keep up. I took in as many as I could and informed the rest that the groups were closed and they’d have to wait for the next round. This was voluntary, alongside my household and work duties. Requests to join came from all over the world, and it warmed my heart. Jews from Australia, Canada, England, France and even Israel," she said.
"In the first group, there was a girl from Florida. Two months later, she texted me that she got engaged. I remember her well because I was invited to a cousin’s wedding in Florida and, after the wedding, she texted me again that she had gotten married two weeks earlier. I congratulated her and she sent me a wedding photo, and I was in shock. She had married my cousin. We were both in shock. I immediately sent her a picture I had taken at the wedding and said, ‘Look at the picture of me with you.’ It was incredible. Since then, over a dozen women have gotten engaged or married, and it’s wonderful to be part of that. It motivates the work.”
Avraham, a warm and passionate Jew who has strong support for Israel and a deep sense of pride, shares that she is in the process of making aliyah and frequently travels between Tel Aviv and New York. Her daughter, Daniella, 26, who inspired the prayers for healing, is currently studying at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. Additionally, she has rekindled a great love after a 36-year separation.
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Tehillim
Tehillim
Tehillim for Life
(Photo: Screnngrab)
In the meantime, she mobilizes the Jewish community to support IDF soldiers, which she says adds much meaning and goodness to her life. “I’ve always loved volunteering. For me, this initiative and all the support for Israel is not just a way of life but also the fulfillment of a dream.”
Avraham's deep connection with Psalms began 20 years ago, a year before her youngest daughter, Tehila, was born after seven years of unsuccessful attempts.
"It started with a friend who decided to create a Tehillim group for me. That year, I read Tehillim with all my might, from the soul, with great tears. By the end of that year, I was pregnant,” she shared.
“Since then, I have experienced many miracles and wonders. During the seventh week of my pregnancy, I had a scare. A blood test indicated that I had lost the baby. I cried my heart out and turned to the Tehillim, pleading with God to restore the embryo. I said, 'Just as you performed many miracles for Jews before me, perform a miracle for me and return her to my body.' After two weeks of nonstop reading Tehillim, I was urgently sent for lab tests due to severe abdominal pain.
During the ultrasound, the technician asked, 'Could you be pregnant?' I replied, 'I don’t think so. I lost my baby and I wanted her so much.' She smiled and said, 'I have a surprise for you. Look at the screen.' I heard a heartbeat. She said, 'That’s not your heartbeat.' I was in shock. She continued, 'You have a perfect pregnancy with a very good heartbeat.'
“I continued to read Tehillim with all my might until the day of her birth. She was born on the 24th of Kislev, during Hanukkah, the festival of miracles, and I felt it was a message from God saying, 'You wanted a miracle? Here is your miracle.' With this miracle, thanks to the Tehillim, it was clear to me that her name would be Tehila."
You mentioned earlier that Daniella is the reason for the prayer for health. Can you share more? "My middle daughter, Daniella, was diagnosed with cancer about five years ago. She recovered, thank God. During that time, I read Tehillim with great intention for myself and my children. I noticed once again that everything I ask of God comes to me, even if it doesn’t come easily.
“I’ve cried a lot in my life, but I’ve always known that, in the toughest moments, God will save me. He always answered and saved, thanks to the Tehillim. Speaking of miracles and salvations, do you know what’s most amazing? I read the Psalm chapter corresponding to one’s age plus a year. When Daniella was 23, I read Psalm 24, which includes the verse, 'He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully.' At age 24, she became engaged to a man named Daniel Bar Levav. His name is part of hers, and his surname is from the Psalm. It’s amazing, and I believe it’s not a coincidence."
These were the seeds that led to the creation of the group project about a year and a half ago, which started with friends and neighbors from the community. This time, the request was for her own matchmaking. "I had been divorced for 14 years with three grown children. They say, 'He who prays for his friend is answered first,' and that was the idea. When each person prays for the other, the blessing is much more powerful."
At that time, a rabbi from Israel who reads mezuzahs arrived in New York and suggested she reconnect with the Israeli partner she had met 36 years earlier. Back then, at the age of 18, she had come to study at Bar-Ilan University and met Moshe, a 21-year-old Tel Aviv native serving in the military. At the end of that year, she returned to the United States, and they hadn’t been in touch until that phone call at the rabbi’s request.
"I was shocked by the rabbi. He immediately asked if I had lived in Israel, then asked for the name of the guy I had been in contact with, and said, 'I suggest you call him. Reconnect with him.' It felt strange, but I thought, 'Okay, I have nothing to lose,' and besides, it was a great opportunity to catch up on Moshe’s life. I had no way to contact him, but I remembered his father had an advertising agency in Tel Aviv. I found the number and called without much expectation. To my delight, Moshe answered the phone. He recognized me right away. I introduced myself, and he immediately responded, 'I know.' The conversation flowed as if we had parted just the day before. The day before, I had returned from a family Passover vacation in Dubai and had made a stopover in Israel. I told him I had a night flight to New York, and he immediately suggested, 'Let’s meet for coffee.' That’s how it all started."
Moshe Blumenkrantz, a 56-year-old Tel Avivian, owner of an advertising agency, divorced with two children, is eager to share his version of their reunion and equally enthusiastic about supporting her project, which he helped develop into a website while maintaining its originality with 18 participants per group.
During this part of the interview, they were on their way to the Carmel Forests to celebrate Moshe's birthday. When the topic arose, he immediately jumped in to share his side of their story.
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Moshe and Sharona at the Tomb of King David in Jerusalem
Moshe and Sharona at the Tomb of King David in Jerusalem
Moshe and Sharona at the Tomb of King David in Jerusalem
(Photo: Courtesy)
"I recognized her voice right away. I was surprised but went along with it. We had a brief relationship that lasted almost a year, which ended because of the distance, but we parted while still in love. Each of us lived our lives, got married, had children, divorced and then met again – the rest is history."
Speaking about the project, Moshe is full of praise and admiration for his partner. "She is doing a great kindness. It's holy work. She is all about giving. How can you not be impressed by that?"
Avraham smiles. "One day, he asked me what I was doing, and I shared with him about Tehillim. He was very excited about the idea and said it was amazing. I was supposed to visit my daughter in Israel, and he immediately said, 'Come and we’ll talk. I have an idea for you.' That’s how the idea for the website came about. Since then, he has only been supportive, doing everything he can to make it succeed."
Blumenkrantz, a formerly religious man, adds: "I believe in her, and I believe in this. We even went to the Tomb of King David, who composed the Psalms, to get his blessing. We prayed that everything would go smoothly and work out."
They emphasize that the Psalms are intended for both men and women, though they acknowledge that the percentage of female readers is higher. "Women have more sanctity; you connect more directly and quickly to God, more than men. You are much more spiritual and connect to these things better than we do," he concludes with a smile, "Your souls are on a higher level."
Regarding the website, which Avraham is currently working on to include her personal stories and anecdotes ("It's a bit difficult for me, but it's in progress"), she says, "Everything will go to charity. When my daughter was sick, an American organization called Chai Lifeline, which helps children with cancer and their families, helped us so much that I want to give back to them. To return the favor. It’s just one organization, but the idea is for the website to be a charity and contribute to organizations representing matchmaking, livelihood and health."
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Sharona and Moshe in their youth
Sharona and Moshe in their youth
Sharona and Moshe in their youth
(Photo: Courtesy)
Blumenkrantz explains: “What was once a painstaking manual task of assigning chapters and names and sending personal and group WhatsApp messages to participants has become a simple and user-friendly mission through the website. You enter the site, choose a group based on the topic you wish to pray for, and the system registers you.
“When 18 people join that group, the system goes into action. The entire process lasts 18 days for a fee of $18, inspired by the number 'chai,' which holds significant power and strength in Judaism. Every day, the system automatically sends you a set of Tehillim to recite, so by the end of 18 days, each participant completes the entire Book of Psalms. This is a closed group where, every day, someone prays for you or for the name you provided at registration.
“In Judaism, there is the saying 'He who blesses will be blessed.' Because in this community, all 18 participants focus on the specific topic chosen by an individual, the name rotates until, on the 18th day, the person’s name returns to them. This amplifies the power of the prayer and is incredibly powerful for everyone in the group. Different chapters are recited each day, and the names change daily, with all 18 participants praying for the same chosen topic over 18 days for $18. That's a dollar a day, and all the money goes to charity, except for the costs of maintaining and running the site.
“You see, the website was created out of a need that arose from grassroots volunteer efforts, which grew and attracted many participants. The demand was and still is so great that Sharona struggled to keep up with the manual method. Now, more and more people can benefit from and participate in this beautiful activity through the website.”
He recalls the pivotal meeting when the website idea was born. “When she told me what she was doing and how more than 12 people had gotten married because of it, I fell in love with the concept and what it did for Sharona and for others. I told her, 'Let's create a website without limitations on space or participants.' She immediately agreed. She is a true philanthropist who loves to volunteer and contribute. The connection with dedicated individuals is crucial because participants must commit to all 18 days, and you can see how much it benefits everyone. I loved it. I also saw the messages and responses from people. Then the war came, and I saw other initiatives from Sharona that didn’t stop at Tehillim for matchmaking, health and fertility. She also created groups for the protection of IDF soldiers and the recovery of wounded soldiers.”
Avraham listens and smiles. She admits, “I've always had this urge to help people. I always sought to volunteer and do good for others. The projects for Israel began when I visited my daughter for Rosh Hashanah, and when I wanted to return home to New York, flights were canceled due to the war, and I got stuck in Israel. October 10th impacted me like it did everyone, and I couldn't sit idly by. I felt I had to do something for the people of Israel and the soldiers. I started raising funds from Jewish communities in Long Island, mainly from my neighborhood in Great Neck and the nearby neighborhood of Fire Island. Everyone's hearts opened, and donations for the soldiers kept pouring in. Then came additional projects, and there are more plans in the works,” she says with a smile.
Just before Israel’s Independence Day celebrations last month, she called me excitedly to share the news she received from a newly engaged woman and asked in a glowing voice: “How can you witness this miracle and not be excited? How can you not want more people to experience this magical wonder and the profound impact of faith in God and faith in general, especially in light of the challenges we face today? I believe that sharing these miracle stories and the lessons I've learned along the way can inspire and uplift people, especially in times of uncertainty and division. Tehillim for Life was created to provide hope, strength and faith in miracles for myself and others through the reading of Tehillim, and I am here to tell even the skeptics among us: Try it. It works!”
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