The Norman and Joan Ciment Foundation

Our Foundation launched the Give A Fridge project ten years ago to provide a stove and/or refrigerator to local and needy families in Israel. The program was launched because local welfare departments and organizations do not provide appliances as part of their mandate. We saw a need that was not being fulfilled and were able to help fill this gap.

Dear Friends,

Over the last 10 years, Joan and I have been literally shocked and surprised when visiting many Jewish homes with families of 6 and 7 children living with 20 plus year old appliances. These yearly trips meeting families in and around Jerusalem have been heartbreaking.

  • We have seen refrigerators that were literally held together by a rope to keep the door closed.
  • We have seen apartments with no stoves, no ovens and just a flame like you’d see at a picnic or school laboratory.
  • We have met multiple families with many mouths to feed cooking meals in old microwaves and on stoves with 1 or 2 burners in total.

And yet, with each family that we would meet, the children were always clean and happy but dressed in depressingly old, hand-me-down clothes. The parents of course did not seem to own much more.

The homes have almost always been furnished sparsely with old broken furniture.

Here’s what we have learned through our work with David Schlessinger at Baruch U’marpeh ( who is our man on the ground in Israel where he runs a free ambulance service.


Though the welfare department does help with food, clothing and shelter.

It is impossible for us to put into words how poor so many people are and the horrible conditions in which they find themselves day after day.

You cannot imagine how much joy is experienced when David delivers a new and working fridge, stove or washing machine.

When David tells (he speaks the best Hebrew) these hard-working people living at the edge of poverty that they are going to receive a new appliance, they always look at us in shock. They begin to cry and then we begin to cry with them. It’s definitely a heart wrenching moment but one that gets transformed into an ultimate chesed.

Often we are asked “who are you, why are you doing this?” We always give the same answer that “we heard you needed help and that you were a fine Jewish family and we want to help you.”

They thank G-d and give a blessing you never heard of in all your life and we all say good bye with tears running down our faces.

Joan and I also thank G-d for the opportunity to help families like these in need who are working every day just to get by and trying their hardest to not just subsist on government handouts or charity. We know that real Mazel and Parnasah are controlled Upstairs and sometimes you can work so hard and still not enjoy the fruits of your labors as much as the next person.

We ask you to join us in this Give a Fridge program and invite you to help us purchase more appliances for more families who need them.

Our family has been funding this program exclusively for the first 10 years of its existence and we know that it works and can continue to work and to grow. In order for it to expand, it needs more contributions. 100% of the contributions (net of credit card fees) will be spent on appliances. There is no overhead.

The need is great. The opportunity is even greater.

We hope you will help us help them

Thank you
Judge Norman and Joan Ciment

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More about the Norman and Joan Ciment Foundation

We work with families who are on welfare where one person at least is working and yet the family still needs and deserves help. Recipients are provided refrigerators and stoves that are not provided by the welfare department of the State of Israel.

And if the machines break down they can get service from local vendors rather than overseas vendors because we are able to get warranties on the local products that can be honored.

The Foundation works through local agenices who have their feet on the ground. We are in touch with the welfare departments in Israel to confirm that recipients are legitimate and deserve to receive the goods.

Give A Fridge is the first of many projects we hope to support.

  • The Foundation looks for institutions that need help to provide scholarships for needy children to subsidize their education budgets.
  • The Foundation gives computers to schools to help educate the children in a modern world. The Foundation helps to establish computer centers in schools.
  • The Foundation also supplies medical equipment to hospitals that don’t have access to the equipment that is provided.

To find out how you can get involved in this most unique and gratifying opportunity, please contact The Norman and Joan Ciment Foundation.