Category Archives: Profiles

Profiles in Courage – January 2018

This month, several of our applicants were young mothers who are balancing the challenge of parenting young children while undergoing chemotherapy.

E., the mother of an 18 month old was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. E. has had to stop working as a caretaker in a nursing home.  Her husband has lost time from work due to the demands of taking care of an ill wife and a young child. The family has incurred considerable debt. Their social worker turned to the ESRA Lemonade Fund on their behalf, requesting help for basic living expenses.

T., 33 years old, is the married mother of a toddler. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in the early stages of a second pregnancy, and she had to make the difficult choice to terminate the pregnancy. Due to the side effects of treatments – chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and soon, radiation, T. had to leave her job as a kindergarten assistant. Her husband is a teacher, making a modest salary. Due to her medical and financial situation, T. is, understandably, quite stressed and depressed.

The Lemonade Fund awarded financial grants to E. and T., as well as special food coupons supplied by our inestimable supporters at Myisrael. The money for the food coupons  was raised during Myisrael’s Channuka campaign. The coupons for the Lemonade Fund were designated specifically for young mothers with breast cancer. The coupons will be used to purchase diapers, formula and food for these young families. Thank you, Myisrael!

Each food coupon costs NIS 300 ($88) This is a magical way to help these young families.

Let’s keep this going!!!!!!

To donate:


November – Profiles in Courage

A. is a 67 year old mother of 7 from a Druze village in the north. Since 2013 she has been suffering from cancer, most recently breast cancer. A. and her husband, a disabled veteran of the IDF, have been living on pension and disability payments alone, and they are falling short each month. Through their hospital social worker they’ve applied to the Lemonade Fund for financial help. We were happy to award them a grant to help them pay for extra household help and transportation costs.

Some stories defy belief, they are so shrouded in misery. O. is a 47 year old ultra-Orthodox married mother of 3 children with Stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her bones. She is primarily bedridden with difficult-to-control pain, and can only get around with a walker. Her husband has longstanding mental health issues and has accumulated so much debt that the family cannot secure housing and has had to move often. Their youngest child, age 7, has serious learning and behavioral difficulties. The oldest son is in a pre-army preparatory school; the middle child still lives at home. This family is in crisis on many fronts. The Lemonade Fund application, vetted by the breast center social work staff, requested help for day to day living expenses, additional childcare and transportation assistance. We approved an emergency relief grant to help O. and her family.

To donate:

Thank you.


Imagine you are a mother of 7 children, ages 9-19, and your husband suddenly loses his eyesight due to a rare genetic disease. Your salary from the Beit Avot (Nursing Home) where you work as a caregiver, suddenly becomes the sole family income and you take on extra shifts. The stress in enormous, but you manage. Then you find a lump…

You decide it must be nothing, a side effect of all of the stress, and you wait, hoping it will disappear. You delay getting checked; you can’t take time off from work. And if something happens to you? Then what? It CANNOT be anything!

This is a story taken from an application for a Lemonade Fund grant. By the time this young mother made it to a doctor, she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. Now imagine that she knew that there is a safety net here in Israel, an Emergency Relief Fund, to supplement lost income during treatment. Perhaps she would have gone to get checked sooner. She was awarded a Lemonade Fund grant which is helping her family while she is in treatment. Despite the delay, her situation is not hopeless, and we wish her a speedy recovery.

The ESRA Lemonade Fund gives one-time emergency financial grants to the neediest breast cancer patients in Israel, so that they can focus on getting well.

It is a simple formula. Donations from you go straight to carefully vetted applicants within a month of approval. Donations are tax deductible.

To Donate:


September – A Simple Formula

No one should have to be very ill and very poor at the same time. If you’re sick, you shouldn’t be worrying about how you can’t afford to put food on the table or pay your electric bill.

The ESRA Lemonade Fund gives one-time emergency financial grants to the neediest breast cancer patients in Israel, so that they can focus on getting well.

It is a simple formula. Donations from you go straight to carefully vetted applicants within a month of approval. Donations are tax deductible.


M., an immigrant from Ethiopia, is a mother of 7 children (the youngest is 9 years old,) from a town near Haifa. Her husband has become visually impaired and can no longer work. M. was a hard worker, supporting her family as a nurses’ aide in a senior citizens home. She was laid off a few months before she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and now she cannot work during a long course of treatment, first chemotherapy, then surgery followed by radiation. The family is getting some disability assistance from the National Insurance Institute, but a grant from the Lemonade Fund will tide this family over until they can get back on their feet.

This is what we do.

M. is one of 11 applicants this month. We are asking for your help.

“If any of your fellow citizens become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner or a stranger, so that they can continue to LIVE among you.” (Leviticus 25:35)

To Donate:

Thank you!

Profiles in Courage – August 2017

This month we are paying tribute to the husband of a breast cancer patient and a group of volunteers who are helping this family with the gift of cooked food. A. is a young mother from Azerbaijan, living in the center of the country with her husband and three children, ages 7-14. A.’s breast cancer has spread to her brain and her husband quit his day job and took on night work, so that he can care for his wife himself, during the day. A social worker called us to ask if we could help with cooked meals, as there was no one preparing food for the family. Within ONE HOUR of posting the request on our website and Facebook page, 2 months of every other day dinners (including delivery) were covered! The family is overwhelmed by the kindness that they are witnessing. The children now have cooked food and the husband is a bit more at peace. This is a powerful way to give.

The Lemonade Fund wants everyone to know that charity can come in many forms. Emergency financial grants are always needed, and we welcome your donations to allow us to continue our standard mission, but know that people in rough situations often need more than what money can buy.

You are welcome to sign up to be part of the “mealtrain” list, currently in the Sharon area. Because we have so many volunteers, most people do not have to cook more than once a month, if that.

We would love to expand our reach to other areas of Israel. The meal delivery schedule is run by a remarkable computer program and it is very little work to set up a calendar that sends reminders and has all the delivery info for volunteers.

If you’d like more info about starting a Lemonade Fund meal delivery effort outside of the Sharon area, or to sign up for our list in the Sharon area, please write to:

To donate to the Lemonade Fund:


Profiles in Courage – May 2017

H., 37, married and the mother of a toddler, is from Jerusalem. Her husband, completely blind from a degenerative disease, is employed by a non-profit organization. H. worked as a teacher until she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. She can no longer work due to her illness and the side effects of her treatments. The family has expenses that now exceed their income and they have little support from family, (H.’s mother is also being treated for cancer.) Their neighbors pitch in but they can’t provide as much assistance as this young family needs right now. The Lemonade Fund awarded H. an emergency relief grant which we hope will ease her financial pressure during this difficult time. Our wish is to lighten the load on seriously ill breast cancer patients so that they can concentrate on health and family.

D., 60, lives in the south with her husband and one of her five adult children. This son has been living at home with his parents since he was injured in a terror attack. D. was diagnosed with breast cancer and has used up all of her sick days from her work and is now waiting for her disability payments from Bituach Leumi, National Insurance, to come through. In the meantime, the family is living on her retired husband’s small pension and is having trouble making ends meet. They were awarded a Lemonade Fund grant to tide them over while D. is undergoing treatment.

Please help alleviate the financial pressure of disadvantaged Israeli breast cancer patients. Please donate to the Lemonade Fund:

Reaching Out to One Another on a Painful Day.

Memorial Day in Israel (beginning at sundown tonight, April 30th,) is a somber time that is almost universally observed. Most people know someone who has been touched by loss in this young, small country. Businesses will shut their doors tonight, and a siren will sound throughout the land at 8:00 PM, during which all traffic will stop and people will stand still, heads bowed, at attention. The wail of the siren reaches down deep, sounding like a visceral cry. In this Jewish country it brings to mind the shofar, the ram’s horn, that is blown on the holiest of days. The shofar is meant to focus our thoughts and the siren does the same in a unique, simultaneous, national way. In our unity, honor is paid to those who have lost their lives, on the battlefield of war or in an act of terror.

We at the Lemonade Fund are currently helping several women who are battling breast cancer while their children are serving in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF.) In Z.’s family, Z’s son, a soldier in an elite unit, is our only family contact, as his mother is too ill to speak or provide information. He calls us during his breaks and we are touched by his dedication to his mother. We often are in touch with families who are juggling army service and a difficult home life. A., a divorcee in her mid-forties has end-stage breast cancer and is in hospice. Her daughter is in the army, with special conditions. Our assistance gives A. and her daughter peace of mind. Recently we gave a grant to a woman whose son had been badly injured in a terror attack in the 1980’s. The stress of caring for him for many years led to her precarious financial situation and poor health. A Lemonade Fund grant helped stabilize her family while she underwent chemotherapy.

By helping breast cancer patients who are in financial distress, we are helping their families as well. We are grateful for your donations, allowing us to contribute to the support of our country’s soldiers and their families.

May we all merit peace and good health.

To donate to the Lemonade Fund:


April Profile in Courage and Some Passover Lemony Recipes

A. is a 60 year old single woman, originally from Morocco, currently from Beer Sheva, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is, like many of our applicants, living on a small, fixed pension, in subsidized housing. Breast cancer patients like A. are often referred to the ESRA Lemonade Fund by hospital social workers because they have little money and no support systems. No family, no friends, no community. They live solitary lives and can manage on society’s margins until something tragic occurs. And then it all falls apart. That’s where the Lemonade Fund steps in. We are here as in financial emergencies for Israeli breast cancer patients, to get them through crunch time, so they can focus on recovery.

During this season when most of us will be celebrating holidays with our family and friends, it is hard to imagine that people exist in our midst, who are very alone. One of the oft refrains we hear from our grant recipients is that receiving our grant made them feel cared for, made them feel less alone.

This season, may our doors be open to invite all who wish to come celebrate with us. May we be in a position to always help each other.

Please make a Passover Donation to the ESRA Lemonade Fund. Thank you and Happy Passover!

To Donate:



Lemon roasted chicken FLICKR PHOTO
Lemon roasted chicken 

If life gives you lemons, sweeten them with honey and cook with them! Your taste buds will jump for joy from the juicy lemon and honey tanginess found in the savoury dishes that I am presenting. Serve the three dishes together if you are a real lemon fan, or mix and match them with your other favourite dishes. This Passover is going to be extra luscious.


o 2 tbsp. oil

o 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced

o 1/2 cup unsalted almonds

o 1 tbsp. lemon zest

o 4 garlic cloves, minced

o 1/2 tsp. salt, plus additional salt to taste (optional)

o 1 large broccoli, cut into flowerets

o 2-4 tbsp. water

o 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

o lemon slices for garnish

Process almonds until they resemble a coarse meal.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat for 90 seconds. Add 1 tbsp. oil and the ginger. Sauté until soft. Add in the almonds, lemon zest and garlic. Continue to sauté, stirring often, until mixture is toasted. Remove from heat and mix in 1/4 tsp. of the salt.

Place mixture in a bowl and wipe out the pan. Heat the pan again and add in the remainder of the oil. Raise the heat to high and stir fry the broccoli, drizzling the water, 3-4 minutes or until cooked through but still crunchy. Dust with remaining salt.

While the pan is still on the heat, put almond mixture over the broccoli along with the lemon juice and mix together. Sprinkle additional salt to taste (optional). Pour onto a serving platter or bowl and garnish with lemon slices. Serve immediately.


o 12-14 small potatoes, uniform in size

oil spray

o 4 tbsp. Passover vegetable oil

o 2 tbsp. margarine

o zest of one large lemon

o juice of one large lemon

o 2 tsp. honey

o 2 tbsp. fresh chopped tarragon or 2 tsp. dried tarragon

o 1 tsp. salt

o 1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Prepare a baking sheet with foil and spray it with spray.

Peel potatoes and immerse immediately in cold water. Mix together lemon juice, honey, tarragon, salt and pepper, set aside.

Heat a small frying pan and heat the oil, margarine and lemon zest; continue to stir until mixture turns golden brown. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry. Toss potatoes with lemon mixture and place them on baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. Baste potatoes with lemon juice mixture. Bake for 15 minutes more or until potatoes are golden brown and fork tender. Serve immediately.


o 4 lemons

o 3 tbsp. honey

o 1/2 cup of water

o 5 skinless/boneless chicken breasts

o 1 tbsp. dried rosemary

o 2 tsp. kosher salt

o 1/4 tsp. pepper

o 1/4 cup lemon juice

o 2 tsp. honey

o 1 tbsp. olive oil

o large Ziploc baggie

o extra olive oil or spray

Mix the rosemary, salt, pepper, candied lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and olive oil together in a small bowl. Pat the chicken breasts dry.Using a zester with five holes, remove the zest from the lemons. (A vegetable peeler can also be used, remove zest and then slice it very thin.) To prepare candied lemon zest, place zest, honey and water in a small pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until zest is translucent. Strain and cool.

Brush the mixture onto the chicken on all sides. Place the prepared chicken in the Ziploc bag and pour in any remaining marinade mixture, seal and place in refrigerator for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 450 and put the rack in the middle position.

Prepare a baking dish sprayed or greased with olive oil. Place the chicken breasts onto the prepared pan, along with the remaining marinade. Bake for 15 minutes then turn the chicken breasts. Reduce oven temperature to 350. Continue baking another 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Profiles in Courage – Feb/March 2017

This is the story of the son of a breast cancer patient. F. is a young Israeli soldier in the Golani unit whose mother was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. She is having trouble coping with the disease physically and emotionally. As she is a widow, F., the oldest son, is tasked with all manner of caring for his mother. The family is in desperate straits financially. (They live on disability payments and F’s army salary.)  The Lemonade Fund called the telephone number listed on his mother’s application, and we were surprised to reach F., in the field. Whenever he has a break he deals with his mother’s paperwork, doctor appointments, etc. We often see how caregivers in indigent families of breast cancer patients need help, too. We are happy to send a grant to F.’s mother and we hope it brings the entire family some well-needed relief.

To donate to the Lemonade Fund:

Profiles in Courage – January 2017

A., a 52 year old immigrant from Georgia, lives alone in a housing project in the south. She is divorced with older children with whom she has lost contact. She has long-term issues with drug abuse and mental illness and now she has a new diagnosis of breast cancer. She is very fearful about breast cancer in part because of the financial burden. She lives completely on her small disability pension, with little money to spare. Her hospital social workers reached out to the Lemonade Fund on her behalf, requesting a grant to help A. with extra transportation and basic living costs during the challenging period ahead of her. We hope this grant gives her some peace of mind.

R. has a similar story, divorced with no family support, except that she is older than A., and her breast cancer has advanced and is now terminal. She lives in the center of the country on a small pension. R. is asking for a Lemonade Fund grant to help pay for extra household and nursing help beyond that which is provided by National Health Insurance. She prefers to stay home as long as possible, only moving to hospice care at the last possible moment. Additional financial help will help her achieve this wish.

To Donate to the Lemonade Fund:

Thank you.