Tag Archives: financial relief

Two Recent Thank You Letters to the Lemonade Fund from Grant Recipients

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.)

Profile: Veronica, May Lemonade Fund Grant Recipient

Veronica, 40, a 2012 immigrant from the Ukraine, was diagnosed with stage IIIB breast cancer soon after her arrival in Israel.  She is fortunate to  have a devoted 16 year old daughter who came to Israel a few years earlier as part of high school program for lone students from the Former Soviet Union (FSU.) Veronica’s plans for learning Hebrew and starting a new life in Israel with her daughter were cut short by her diagnosis. She is in the midst of intensive treatment without Hebrew language skills or any family support other than that of her daughter, who translates for her and assists her mother with all of her needs. Veronica is unable to work and she and her daughter have been living off of her new immigrant benefits which are almost depleted. Social services will provide some assistance, but we at the Lemonade Fund can help this mother/daughter team cope financially during this difficult period in their lives.  We wish Veronica a speedy recovery and send love to her and her wonderful daughter. Thanks to all of you who support the Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund (The Lemonade Fund.)

To donate to the Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund via the ESRA site:


Nina’s Story

Her youngest child committed suicide while in the army. Two other children are mentally handicapped. One of these children was adopted by a family in Jerusalem when Nina became unable to care for him. Her adult daughter helps her, but she is a widow herself, with four young children. Years ago, Nina’s own husband was murdered due to a rift in the family.

How could things get any worse? This past summer Nina was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. Aside from her other worries, Nina can no longer work and she is subsisting on the small sum she receives from National Health Insurance (Bituach Leumi.) She is now, quite simply, desperately poor.

Lucky for Nina that her Social Worker had heard of the Lemonade Fund (Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund.) Last month she helped Nina apply for a grant, and this week, a generous grant was approved and sent directly to Nina.

As she continues treatment and awaits surgery, it is our hope that this grant will give Nina respite from her financial crisis so that she can concentrate on the important work of getting well.



Requesting Facebook Page LIKES and here’s a Cool Lemon Latke Recipe

Can we ask you to please LIKE our page, http://www.facebook.com/IBCERF? Thanks!


The Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund, IBCERF, was founded to provide short-term and immediate financial assistance to Israeli breast cancer patients during their first year of treatment. (aka The Lemonade Fund, as in, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, long story…to read more, you are invited to visit my blog, http://www.lemonadefund.org)

Most don’t know (and hopefully will never know) how expensive it is to be seriously ill.

Did you know that:

¨       1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime

¨       Average treatment lasts 6 months

¨       In 6 months, a health crisis can throw a family into bankruptcy or homelessness


By quickly and compassionately delivering direct financial aid, the Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund (IBCERF) is able to ease some of the financial burdens that accompany breast cancer so that patients can concentrate on the more important challenge of getting well.

Read the latest letter received from S., a grant recipient from Beer Sheva:

“I very much want to thank you for the help that you gave me. Your grant arrived during a particularly difficult time for me, while I was dealing with breast cancer. This was the hardest time I’d ever had in my life and for this reason I can’t thank you enough for the help you sent me during this time. I hope that you can continue your work, which I see as holy, and that you can continue to help many others.”

The fund is need-based and is administered by ESRA, an Israeli-registered non-profit organization (No. 580037455), which for more than 20 years has been involved, in Israel, in providing help for those in need, regardless of race, creed or religion. The Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund operates under the umbrella of ESRA’s Crisis Welfare Fund and applicants are carefully screened by social workers at hospital Breast Centers as well as at ESRA.


Wishing all of us peace and good health during this holiday of light. Happy Channukah!


Lemon potato latkes with gingered avocado creme


Here’s the recipe, slightly modified by me to (1) veganize (2) include the onion, (3) half the lemon zest and salt, and (4) sub canola for olive oil for frying:

Lemon potato latkes with gingered avocado
Adapted from Celia Brooks Brown’s New Vegetarian

(Serves 4, so the recipe claims, but I ate it all myself with no problem whatsoever)


2 large potatoes (about 750g / 10 1/2 oz)
1 small onion, minced
1/2 lemon, zest only, grated
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tbsp plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Canola oil, for frying

For the gingered avocado crème:

1 large ripe avocado, halved and pitted
1 lime, juice only
1-2 tsp finely grated ginger
½ tsp crushed garlic
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped, or 1 tbsp chilli sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp tofu


1. To make the latkes, peel the potatoes, then grate them on the coarse side of a box grater or in a food processor.

2. Transfer to a sieve, with the onions, and let drain. Squeeze handfuls of the potato/onion mixture to release some of the moisture.

3. Add the lemon zest and juice, flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.

4. Heat about 4 tbsp canola oil in a large frying pan. Add rounded tablespoons of the mixture and flatten slightly; don’t overcrowd the pan.

5. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on crumpled kitchen paper. Keep the latkes warm in the oven while you cook the rest.

6. To make the avocado crème, scoop the avocado flesh into a small food processor or Magic Bullet; add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth, then serve with the latkes.

Note: Latkes make excellent canapés. Fry teaspoons of the mixture as described above, then serve topped with the avocado crème and coriander leaves.


Evidence that supporting each other saves lives.

Recipients of Lemonade Fund grants say that money is not the only good thing about being getting a grant. Many have said that they love knowing that there are people ‘out there’ who care about them. We could even say…this is our own brand of medicine.


Social Network, Early Breast Cancer Prognosis Link Explored

Last Updated: November 13, 2012.

For women with early-stage breast cancer, large social networks predict better prognosis, and this association varies based on social support and burden, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) — For women with early-stage breast cancer, large social networks predict better prognosis, and this association varies based on social support and burden, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.Candyce H. Kroenke, Sc.D., M.P.H., from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., and colleagues examined how the levels of social support and burden influence the association between larger social networks and lower breast cancer mortality. Data on social networks were assessed from 2,264 women from the Life After Cancer Epidemiology study who were diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer between 1997 and 2000.During a median of 10.8 years of follow-up there were 401 deaths, 215 of which were from breast cancer. The researchers found that social isolation was not associated with recurrence or breast cancer-specific mortality. Socially isolated women had elevated all-cause mortality and mortality from other causes (hazard ratios [HRs], 1.34 and 1.79, respectively). The associations were modified by levels of social support and burden. Higher all-cause mortality was predicted for those with low, but not high, levels of social support from friends and family, lack of religious/social participation (HR, 1.58), and lack of volunteering (HR, 1.78). In a cross-classification analysis, compared with women with large networks and high levels of support, women with both small networks and low levels of support had significantly increased mortality (HR, 1.61), while those with small networks and high levels of support had no increased risk of mortality (HR, 1.13; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.74 to 1.72).”Larger social networks predicted better prognosis after breast cancer, but associations depended on the quality and burden of family relationships,” the authors write.

Not Your Usual Lemonade…Driving to the Doctor under Fire

Yesterday evening, David and I were driving to a doctor’s appointment in Rishon Letzion, a suburb of Tel Aviv. I wasn’t anxious about the appointment, nor was I nervous about venturing out of our relatively sheltered northern community. Life in the center of Israel (as opposed to the South, where rocket fire has been relentless and terrifying) has been intentionally ‘business as usual.’ Sirens have sounded in Tel Aviv a few times, and citizens take them seriously, all running to shelter, but then it’s back to work and school. Just a few minutes ago, news came in about a bus bombing in Tel Aviv; early reports are of twenty-one injured. Everyone is jittery, but Israelis are a tough lot; resistant to giving in to terror. Even after this latest event, people will quickly be back at their desks.

As we approached Rishon Letzion, I noticed people stopping their cars on the side of the road and leaving them. We didn’t realize what was happening at first but then I heard the siren, warning of an incoming Gazan rocket. Fifteen seconds to take cover. We stopped the car, got out, and crouched nearby. Time is suspended during such moments as one helplessly waits for…what? The overwhelming feeling was one of profound helplessness. Prayer, as usual, was a good option, and I imagine God is getting quite an earful lately. We soon heard a large explosion and saw the sky light up, not very far off in the distance. There was no way to know if the new Iron Dome Defense system had intercepted this incoming rocket, destroying it before landfall, or if it had hit a mark. We all got up, shakily, climbed back into our cars, and continued on our way.

 Within minutes the radio was reporting a direct hit on an apartment building in Rishon, casualties, unknown. We soon learned that the top three floors of an apartment building had been destroyed, however, miraculously, no one had been killed.


People are heeding the siren alerts, and this is saving countless lives, but the internal cost of living under such stress is incalculable. Reports are of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) in as much as 75% of the children in the south. Having experienced a ‘Tzeva Adom’ (red alert) even once, I’m not sure why the number isn’t closer to 100%. Who can live like this?


The Lemonade Fund (www.lemonadefund.org) aka, the Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund, is more important than ever during these difficult times. It was created to help reduce external stresses on seriously ill breast cancer patients so they can concentrate on the all important task of getting well. Because no one should have to be very sick and very poor at the same time. Grants are given during the immediate post diagnosis period to worthy applicants from all over Israel; from all races, religions and nationalities.  

Five grants were awarded this morning. Coincidentally, all of the applicants were from Tel Aviv or south. One of the applicants, M.M., 53, is a single mother, newly diagnosed with breast cancer, who hails from Netivot, a community in the near the Gaza border that has been especially hard hit by rockets. The letter from her social worker describes a woman who has been very strong even after the recent death of a daughter (who had Down’s syndrome.) She has another daughter, 18, who helps her, but M.M. has a long road ahead. She is currently receiving neoadjuvant therapy to shrink her tumor so that she can have surgery. After that she’ll need 6 weeks of daily radiation.  She is unable to work, and they are in severe economic crisis. How fortunate that the Lemonade Fund exists and is able to help her.

I remember that it was hard enough to be sick during peace time, when appointments are kept and treatments stay on schedule. It is impossible to imagine the stress on the seriously ill, in war time. Health and social services are taxed to the limit. All but emergency care is curtailed. Even if appointments are not cancelled, leaving the house and going to the doctor is dicey (as I saw last night.) Lessening the financial burdens on these patients right now is an act of incredible kindness. Please consider making a contribution to the Lemonade Fund.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.


To donate:

Online:  http://www.esra.org.il/donation-form

By Telephone: Call the ESRA office and make your donation by credit card (011 972 9-950-8371).

By Check:
Tax Exempt Donations in Israel: Mail checks to ESRA, POB 3132, Herzliya 46104 (include cover letter designating IBCERF.)

Tax Exempt donations from the United States of America:
P.E.F. Endowment Funds, Inc., Room 607
317 Madison Avenue,
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212-599-1260.

Make check out to PEF but please include a covering letter stating that your donation is earmarked for ESRA, specifying IBCERF.

Tax Exempt donation from the United Kingdom and other countries:
Please contact the ESRA office to find out the best way of making your donation to ESRA from your country.





Thank you from Gila


I want to thank you with all my heart for the help that you gave me (1500NIS grant.) The grant helped me to pay for a breast prosthesis, a special post-mastectomy bra, as well as for transportation to treatments and visits to the two hospitals where I am being treated. My pension is 2400 shekels per month, this is at 100% disability, therefore the grant helped me a great deal.

In gratitude,

שלום רב,
אני מודה לכם מקרב לב על העזרה שנתתם לי באמצעות מענק בסך 1500 ₪. המענק סייע לי בתשלום עבור פרוטזה לשד, חזייה מיוחדת, נסיעות לטיפולים ולביקורות בשני בתי החולים בהם אני מטופלת. הכנסתי הקבועה היא 2400 ₪ – זהו סכום הקצבה של נכות 100% שנקבעה לי, לכן, המענק מטעמכם סייע לי ביותר!