Project of the Month

These programs allow talented underprivileged teenagers to fulfill their potential by providing them with a challenging program of enrichment and leadership training at the Ruppin Institute of Marine Science. Talented 7th graders from all backgrounds of Israeli society in the lower socio-economic levels are chosen - programs run for 2 years.

breast cancer

Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund (IBCERF) - The Lemonade Fund

Description of the Project : 


To quickly and compassionately deliver direct financial assistance, easing some of the financial burdens that accompany breast cancer so that patients can concentrate on the more important challenge of getting well.


How the Project Works : 
We provide grants to cover illness-related expenses, providing a financial and emotional boost during a time of confusion and devastation. Social service assistance exists, but takes time to implement, time patients often don’t have. There is a compelling need to provide immediate direct financial assistance to help cover expenses not covered elsewhere. A few examples of these out of pocket expenses:
  • Transportation to doctor appointments or extra medical care and treatments. Hospital parking.
  • Second opinions, prescribed medications, not covered by insurance
  • Costly special clothing, wigs, prostheses.
  • Extra childcare, household help and other  family support
About the Participants : 

We work with social workers and staff at local hospitals and breast centers to identify and screen applicants based on demonstrated financial need.


“The donation helped me buy drugs to alleviate the symptoms of chemotherapy, items that weren’t covered by my insurance.” The donation also let me be more relaxed about the needs of my daughter and we are less worried now. It gave me strength to continue and cope” – M, a single mother.

“I will not be able to forget this first push, this first step that you gave me, IBCERF, in your financial support that you granted me that enabled my first step toward winning. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget this. “Anyone who saves a single soul of Israel, it is as if he has established an entire world.” – Z. , retired widow.


“We would like to express our sincere appreciation and thanks for your significant  activities in the area of providing personal help to patients with breast cancer. The “Lemonade Fund” has, to date, assisted many patients at our center, by granting immediate financial aid to women suffering from breast cancer who find themselves in very stressful situations..”

The Partners : 

YOU, the Social Workers involved, and ESRA Welfare Committee.

Additional Information : 

Why the nickname, ‘Lemonade Fund?’

'A few months before my 50th birthday, in July 2010, I went for a routine mammogram and learned I had breast cancer. What followed was difficult, but words cannot describe how grateful I am that it was caught early and that I am feeling fine. During the first year after my diagnosis, I was shocked to learn how expensive it was to have a serious illness,  and I decided to start a fund to assist needy Israeli breast cancer patients as they were going through treatment. By alleviating financial stress we can help breast cancer patients and their families to focus on recovery.

Life threw me some lemons, and out of them came lemonade, thus…the Lemonade Fund. The Lemonade Fund has grown, and is now helping impoverished Israeli breast cancer patients, recently diagnosed with breast cancer, from all over Israel, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.'

Shari Greenwald Mendes
The Costs : 

donate_now.jpgThe fund is need-based and is administered in coordination with ESRA, a non-profit organization (Israeli Amuta No. 580037455), which for more than 20 years has been involved, in Israel, in providing help for those in need, ESRA is an extremely efficient charity with only 8% of donated funds going to administrative costs.
To contact us:

Grants awarded as direct help for women in need.
To apply for assistance: Contact Anat at ESRA  09-950 8371 or email  An application form will be sent to you.

To Donate: Your donation, for which you’ll receive a tax deductible receipt, can be made in the following ways:
  • Online:
  • By Telephone: Call the ESRA office and make your donation by credit card (+972) (0)9-950 8371.
  • By Mail:
    • In Israel: checks should be made payable to ‘ESRA.’ Please attach a note earmarking the donation to ‘The Lemonade Fund.’ Please mail checks to: ESRA, Lemonade Fund, POB 175, Raanana, ISRAEL, 43101-01
    • In the US: American Checks should be made payable to ‘PEF.’ Please attach a note earmarking the donation to ‘ESRA/The Lemonade Fund.’). Please mail checks to: P.E.F. Israel Endowment Funds, Inc., 630 Third Ave., Suite 1501, New York, NY 10017. Tel: 212-599-1260.
    • United Kingdom and other countries: Please contact Irene at the ESRA office to find out the best way of making your donation to ESRA from your country. Call ESRA +972-9-950 8371 or email:
project of the month
project of the month?: 

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Crisis Welfare Assistance - ESRA’s helping hand to those in need in the community.

Description of the Project : 
To assist immigrants from distressed countries and other persons in need who find themselves in temporary crisis due to health, unemployment or other difficulties and who can benefit from financial help.

From June 2011 this fund also includes Breast Cancer Emergency Relief.

This aid, though the amount is not large, often enables the individual or family to overcome their immediate problem.

How the Project Works : 
The Welfare Fund started operation in 1990. Every month we receive 40-50 applications, together with a social worker’s report, from needy families or individuals requesting financial aid. These are assessed once a month by ESRA's Welfare Committee, a team of volunteers including professionals, who discuss each and every application and decide to whom to allocate the funds.

Our criteria are:
  • EMERGENCY MEDICAL AID  (not including medical equipment)
How to apply?

Contact Anat at ESRA  09 950 8371.  You will be sent an application form to be completed and returned to our office, together with a report from a social worker.

From the time we receive your application, you will receive an answer in approximately 6-8 weeks.

The normal amount of aid is NIS 1000, sometimes more in certain circumstances.

About the Participants : 
More than 8,000 people have been assisted since April 1990.
We help families who find themselves in severe financial difficulties and cannot get help from anyone else. Subsistence is given for health, education, scholarships, training for professionals and short-term supplementary income.
Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund  aims to help breast cancer patients in need by providing direct and immediate financial assistance for non-medical expenses. By quickly and compassionately delivering direct assistance, we hope to ease some of the financial burdens that accompany breast cancer so that patients can focus on the more important challenge of getting well.
The Partners : 
ESRA, and the generosity of the donors.
Additional Information : 
“A Life Turned Round”  is the story of Alice, one of the recipients of Welfare Assistance from ESRA. This article can be read on p.64 in Issue 155 of the ESRA magazine. Click here to read the article online.

Below is a selection of “thank you” letters from recipients of aid, and other relevant offices.

I would like to thank the ESRA Welfare Committee for your kind assistance in the names of 4 students who are participating in our program of training in Excellent Leadership in Education amongst Ethiopian immigrants with a low socioeconomic background. 
Dr. Shalva Weil, Program Manager, Hebrew University.

We would like to thank the ESRA Welfare Fund for what you have done for us.  The money you gave us was sorely needed and helped us with important items, like clothes, shoes and school books.  We very much hope that there are more good people like yourselves that will help us as you have.    Rivka & Rachel, Kiryat Gat

We at the Orthodontic Department would like to thank the ESRA Welfare Fund ourselves and also in the name of Elinor G for the NIS 1000  donation which you made that provided the necessary orthodontic treatment for Elinor.  There are not enough words to express the importance of this subject (this treatment was given to a very sick child).

A few months ago I sent your organization a request to assist me with financing my studies.  This week I received a positive reply.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your great help.  Alexander R., Ariel.

Meir Hospital would like to thank the Welfare Committee for  the continuous assistance given to the children’s section.  The toys, blankets and sweaters which you donate help us to give a personal warmth to the children.  The smile that each gift brings is worth everything.

Thank you for your donation of NIS 1000 . We are new immigrants looking for relevant job opportunities, have language restraints and do not yet have a source of income.  Sometime in the future we would like to be part of your social activities and community project.  Raisa S., Sderot

Your quick and generous help of NIS 1000 worth of food vouchers will get us over a difficult period.  Thank you so much. 
Gila A, Ashdod.

Thank you for your many good deeds which we greatly appreciate. 
Irit Hadani & the Social Services Staff, Municipality of Gedera.

A week ago I was in a very bad state.  Just now I managed to sort out the payment in my daughter’s school only with the financial help received from the ESRA Welfare Committee.  Many, many thanks.  Milna GM.

The Costs : 
The ESRA Welfare Committee is a volunteer body.
The only costs involved, in addition to the grants themselves, are administrative.
project of the month
project of the month?: