Monthly Archives: July, 2020

Even if I Cannot Find the Words…


This year, I cannot find the words.

On 9 Av 5770 (July 20, 2010,) out of the blue, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thank God, I am fine. I remember in 2010 thinking about 2020 as if the number itself was a mirage, a miracle. And, here we are. I am very grateful.

Since then, over the years, I’ve written about getting shocking, potentially life-threatening news particularly on the saddest date of the Jewish calendar. I’ve tried to use the ‘anniversary’ to learn about overcoming destruction, (personal and national,) through healing (personal and national.)

In retrospect, those years seemed quite normal. This year I cannot find the words.

The Book of Lamentations by Jeremiah, read each year on 9 Av, will resonate this year, with its talk of desolation. Those who buried loved ones from afar on ZOOM have lived this word. Illness, uncertainty, fear, hunger, despair, anxiety….these are some of the words of the day.

As we pray for an end to this calamity we can only offer solace and help during this dark time.

When trains and buses shut down (or became too dangerous for immunocompromised patients,) the Lemonade Fund created an additional service, the TAXI RIDES FOR CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA PROGRAM. (Want good news for a change? Click here to read the story of a woman and her taxi.)

Since March, the Israel Lemonade Fund has arranged more than 2000 free taxi rides to chemotherapy for needy Israeli cancer patients who had no other way to get to treatment.

The Lemonade Fund core mission, to award financial assistance to needy Israeli breast cancer patients, is more important than ever with more Israeli citizens pushed into poverty due to the economic crisis. Read to learn more about how the Lemonade Fund is making an impact.

Please consider partnering with us. Your donation will go directly to a taxi grant or to our core Lemonade Fund mission, helping impoverished breast cancer patients so they can focus on recovery.


An average Lemonade Fund grant is NIS 2,100 ($615.) Your support of NIS 2,500 ($730) would pay for one emergency grant and 3 taxi rides (the average cost of a Corona Taxi ride is NIS 120 ($35.)

We may not know yet how to eradicate Covid-19, but Tisha B’Av can teach us about spreading compassion so that we can ease this difficult time for each other.

“You have turned my sorrow into dancing. You have removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may sing to you and not be silent. My God forever will I thank you.”  -Psalm 30

Wishing all of you an easy and meaningful fast, and many years of peace, health and happiness. With many thanks,


Shari Mendes
Founder and Director, Israel Lemonade Fund



  • On March 8, the Israel Lemonade Fund created the TAXI RIDES FOR CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA Program.
  • April- The Inbar and Marius Nacht Foundation joined us, in partnering with GETT Taxis enabling more patients to benefit.
  • 2,300 free taxi rides have already been sent to needy cancer patients so that they WON’T MISS TREATMENT DURING CORONA.
  • They need rides from August onward…

YOU can help the Israel Lemonade Fund reach it’s goal of NIS 180,000 ($52,245.) Funds raised by this campaign will go straight toward TAXIS for needy breast cancer patients in the TAXI program, as well as for the general work of the Lemonade Fund, providing emergency financial grants to breast cancer patients in treatment.


Transportation Ministry ordered all public transport operators to disinfect the buses but failed to enforce the guidelines, instead passing the responsibility to the Health Ministry; 1,032 incidents of exposure to virus carriers on buses in 2 weeks

Asaf Zagrizak|

Published: 07.09.20 , 12:24

Israel’s exceedingly filthy public buses have become a major source of coronavirus infection, according to health officials, but public transport companies continue to neglect the problem while the ministries shift the responsibility.

According to the Health Ministry, in the last two weeks there have been 1,032 incidents of exposure to a confirmed coronavirus carrier on public transport.

The Movement for Freedom of Information group petitioned the Transportation Ministry to respond to the allegation they’ve failed to enforce public health orders on bus operators. The ministry, however, said the responsibility for enforcing health regulations lies with the Health Ministry.

The Health Ministry, meanwhile, said the responsibility lies solely with the Transportation Ministry.

Bus route 7 in Tel Aviv on Thursday

The latest incident occurred in Tel Aviv on Monday, on Line 18 bus operated by the Dan Public Transportation. On the same day, exposures to confirmed virus carriers were reported on Line 7 in Bnei Brak, lines 3,26 and 10 in Tel Aviv, and Line 13 in Hadera.

On July 5, 15 incidents of exposure to verified carriers were reported on public transport: Line 430 from Haifa to Tiberias, Line 434 from Tiberias to Haifa, Line 960 from Haifa to Jerusalem, Line 270 from Tel Aviv to Rishon Letzion, Line 180 from Bnei Brak to Elad , Line 998 from Bnei Brak to Kiryat Ata, lines 18 and 10 within Tel Aviv, Line 20 in Jerusalem, Line 20 in Ashdod, Line 48 in Ramat Hasharon and Line 2 opearting in Kiryat Ata and Haifa.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced at the very start of the coronavirus outbreak in March that all public transport vehicles must regularly be disinfected, with the Transportation Ministry issuing a host of guidelines to the public transport operators shortly afterwards.

THIS LIFE MATTERS – Lemonade Fund June 2020

M. was smuggled to Israel from Sudan in 2011. He had become an activist against the Sudanese government (after witnessing the murder of his parents, siblings and oldest child,) and it was dangerous for him to stay. The resistance helped M. reach Israel, and once here he was detained and then granted political asylum. Despite his rescue he was distraught about abandoning his wife and two young children in Sudan. Finding work was challenging, and then in 2015 M. was diagnosed with breast cancer (1% of breast cancer occurs in men.) He received treatment at Israeli hospitals and was released.

A few years ago, with the aid of a local charity that helps refugees, M. was able to relocate to subsidized housing in Jerusalem where he found work. He suffers from PTSD, nightmares and psychological problems, in addition to a slipped disc and diabetes. He is obsessed with worry about his family.

M. was referred to the Lemonade Fund after being diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer this year, which has made it impossible for him to work. By June, M. had a balance of 23 shekels in his bank account. He will qualify for National Insurance disability payments, but this help isn’t immediate. Until it comes through, the emergency grant M. received from the Lemonade Fund last week will afford him dignity and calm while he undergoes treatment.

The Lemonade Fund gives emergency financial support to needy Israeli breast cancer patients, of any race, religion, age or sex, so that they can focus on recovery.

Your donation will also help us continue our special program: TAXI RIDES FOR ISRAELI CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA.

(Learn more:


Photo of Clinic for Refugees run by Israel Magen David Adom