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.
THE STORY OF A SEPTEMBER 2017 GRANT RECIPIENT:
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: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/
We at the Lemonade Fund often see how cancer can devastate a family financially in no time. E., a 73 year old Russian immigrant, lives with her unmarried daughter in a small apartment in a development town in the south. Until E. was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, the salary from the daughter’s factory job supported the two women. Subsequently, E.’s daughter lost so much time from work caring for her mother, accompanying her to doctor appointments and treatments, that the family slid into financial crisis. Despite assistance from Bituach Leumi, (National Health Insurance,) eviction was a possibility. The Lemonade Fund awarded E. a generous grant, and E. and her daughter can breathe again and turn their focus back to E. and her health. We are, as ever, grateful to all of our donors, who help us make this kind of assistance possible.
To donate: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/
(Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, 1630, Rembrandt van Rijn)
Five years ago, on July 20, 2010, which coincided with the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The day of fasting to remember collective tragedy became the anniversary of the day my life changed forever as well. My personal feelings of desolation and destruction mirrored the words of the scroll of Lamentations, read on Tisha B’Av,
“Your ruin is as vast as the sea; who can heal you?” (Jeremiah, 2:13)
At the time, my ruin felt as vast as the sea. And yet…here I am. Five years renders no guarantee, and none of us, not those of us who’ve traversed the fields of illness nor those who’ve been left unscathed, know the future. But five years is five years. Years of raising children to adulthood, of love and of professional and personal fulfillment. Five very full years during which time I’ve healed, and witnessed much growth and happiness. Reconstruction borne out of destruction, for which I am ever grateful.
In another fine twist of fate, I’m privileged to reach my fifth year of health during a Sabbatical, a Shmitta year, here in Israel, also a message of healing. The Sabbatical year is agricultural in practice (land must lie fallow once every seven years, to replenish itself,) but the philosophy is one of social justice. Land is deemed ownerless, debts are forgiven and everyone partakes freely of the bounty of the land. We are all only borrowers of the land, and once every seven years we relinquish control and all stand together, as equals. The medieval scholar, Maimonides, writes that the commandments of the Sabbatical year are ‘meant to lead to pity and promoting the well-being of all men, as the Torah states, “That the poor of your people may eat.” (Shemot 23:11)
One of the highlights of these last five years has been the creation and growth of the Lemonade Fund, www.lemonadefund.org, the Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund. In less than four years, the Lemonade Fund has helped many impoverished Israeli breast cancer patients with emergency financial aid during their illness.
The world has rarely seemed so perilous from the outside. This Tisha B’Av, talk of complete destruction (the nuclear kind) is up close and personal here in Israel. Antisemitism is epidemic throughout the world. Yet Talmudic sources claim that the cause of the downfall of Jerusalem, and all subsequent tragedies, came from within. We were not caring, even worse, we were hateful to one another. We followed the letter of the law but we cared not for justice, fairness or kindness.
The joint lessons of Tisha B’Av and the Sabbatical year are that we must be worthy of this national home we are fortunate to have after 2000 years of exile. We must work to maintain a society that is just and kind. To be inclusive rather than rejecting; reaching out to others who are different than us. To listen. To be patient. To be kind. To help those who are more unfortunate in a way that preserves their dignity. To be concerned about the welfare of those living within our borders. To reduce socioeconomic disparity. To avoid humiliating others, to avoid senseless hatred. …There are limitless ways to build a better world.
Just as the body can heal, societies can be repaired. Jeremiah rings hopeful at the end.
“I will bring them back to this place and cause them to live in safety. They will be my people and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one path, that they may always honor Me, and that all may go well with them and their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing them good, and I will inspire them to be in awe of Me, never turning away from Me. I will rejoice in doing good for them; and will assuredly plant them in this land with all My heart and soul.” (Jeremiah, 32:37-41)
Wishing you all an easy fast and many years of health and happiness.
Women’s Health Awareness Event (in English) Monday, May 12, 2014.
Come to Lemonade Fund’s Women’s Health Awareness Evening (in English) to hear about the latest controversies about screening.
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.facebook.com/events/480634542039654/
Friends of the Lemonade Fund:Been out of touch but very busy! The Lemonade Fund,www.lemonadefund.org, has been helping Israeli women with breast cancer at an increased pace since our last update. The following are profiles of some of the women who have received grants:O., 37 years old, married with five children, ages 2-14, from the south. Recently diagnosed with breast cancer, O. had to take a leave of absence from her job as a kindergarten teacher while she undergoes chemotherapy. Her husband has had to take significant time off from his job to help care for O. and their children, and they are beginning to have trouble paying their bills. The Lemonade Fund was created to help families such as this; families that are hardworking and solvent, but who are pushed into financial crisis due to serious illness. It is our hope that our grants assist families with these temporary hardships while they recover physically, until they can get back on their feet.D., 30 years old, separated with two children, ages 2 and 7, from a city in the south. Her disease was diagnosed at an advanced stage and D. is getting chemotherapy to shrink her tumor prior to having surgery to remove it. After this she will need weeks of radiation treatments. Unfortunately, D. has no contact with her extended family and she gets little help from her former husband. She needs extra help and is now in severe financial distress. One of the things most important to D. is that she wants to be sure that her son, who recently started first grade, has enough clothing and books for school. The Lemonade Fund awarded D. a grant and we pray for her recovery.The Lemonade Fund is also now, thanks to amazing volunteers, supplying home-cooked meals to two single Mom’s in the Sharon area who are having chemotherapy.We are a simple charity. Money that comes in goes directly to women who have passed the application process. Apologies that we do not have fancy printed material or events, but know that the money that you donate goes straight to our recipients. Breast cancer in Israel is now striking 1 in 7 women. Please help us help these women.And best wishes for a healthy, meaningful Passover!Shari
photo by Romulo Yanes
Makes 8 to 10 servings
5 hrAlmonds and matzo cake meal make a wonderfully textured crust for this refreshing, citrusy cheesecake. After Passover, instead of pulling out the graham crackers again, experiment with other cookie crusts such as one made with shortbread.
- 3/4 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted and cooled
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup matzo cake meal
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Equipment: a 9-inch springform pan
- Garnish: julienned lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle.
Pulse almonds, sugar, matzo cake meal, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in butter until combined well. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of springform pan. Bake until crust is firm and a shade darker, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool crust completely in pan on a rack.
Make filling and bake cheesecake:
Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
Beat together cream cheese and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs 1 at a time, mixing until incorporated. Mix in zest and vanilla.
Put springform pan in a shallow baking pan and pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set 1 1/2 inches from edge but center is wobbly, 45 to 50 minutes (filling will continue to set as it cools). Transfer cake in pan to a rack and immediately run a knife around edge, then remove side of pan. Cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.
cooks’ note:Cheesecake can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, loosely covered.Shari MendesIsrael Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund (IBCERF)c/o ESRA10 Tsabarim StreetGan RashalP.O.Box 3132Herzliya 46104, ISRAEL972-9-950-8371email: email@example.com apply for assistance: Contact Anat at ESRA 09-950-8371to donate: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/website: http://www.lemonadefund.org/facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lemonadefund
To the Lemonade Fund:
My name is R., and I want to express my deep thanks for your decision to help me financially.at this time.
This grant has helped me enormously to get through this difficult and dark period in my life, in a more optimistic and positive way.Your generousity has been very meaningful to me. Bless you.
With many thanks and blessings,
To the Lemonade Fund:
I want to thank you from the depths of my heart for the financial help that you granted to me. I am very grateful that you considered my request and gave me help. Your grant made it possible for me to pay for rides to examinations, doctor visits and chemotherapy treatments. The help brought me a hopefulness and ease of spirit during this very difficult time.
Thank you very much,
N, (This applicant was referred by a Social Worker who saw N.’s difficulty. Prior to receiving a Lemonade Fund grant, N. had to take several public buses to get to the hospital, a true hardship while undergoing harsh treatments. She applied for a grant to help her specifically with transportation. The Lemonade Fund grant allowed her to pay for private drivers when she needed them.)
C., 45, is a single woman from a small town in the Negev with a history of schizophrenia and heart disease. She moved to Israel from the former Soviet Union in the early 1990’s and has been living in subsidized housing on disability assistance. A recent diagnosis of breast cancer was doubly complex for her, given her medical history. The nearest medical center is in Beer Sheba, more than an hour away, and she is staying in Beer Sheba while she is getting treatment. Her Social Worker, from the Breast Center at Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheba, submitted an application to the Lemonade Fund on C.’s behalf, requesting assistance with cost of living and travel expenses for C. while she is in treatment. A Lemonade Fund grant was awarded.
M., 46, originally from Ethiopia, lives in a town north of Tel Aviv. She is separated from her husband and lives with her adult son who is currently working in odd jobs in order to try to support them. M. had worked as a nanny, but is now unable to work due to a recent diagnosis of advanced bilateral breast cancer. She is receiving neo-adjuvant chemotherapy to reduce the size of her tumors prior to surgery, and she is having a hard time with the side effects of the treatments. M. and her son were living below the poverty line before her illness, and now that they have increased costs due to illness, they are in real financial distress. The Lemonade Fund awarded them a grant to help them get through this difficult time.