The Ezra LeMarpeh Association, founded by Rabbi A. E. Firer, provides assistance to the sick and needy.
Israel Prize - "Rational"
The body of judges who elected Rav Firer as the Israel Award laureate for a Life's Work for 1997, presented its rationale as follows:
"... Since [Ezra Lemarpeh's] inception, Rav Firer has been investing great efforts on its development and growth, sparing himself nothing, helping tens of thousands in all fields of medical help, while activating an extended framework of volunteers.
For all those who call on him for help, Rav Firer himself serves as a source of inspiration: He has unusual levels of energy, accompanied by patience, cheerfulness and serenity, which are essential conditions for working with the sick, the elderly and the needy, who more than anything else need
The Ezra Lemarpeh Organization assists each and every person who turns to it for help, without any discrimination. Jews and non-Jews, religious and secular - all of them people who were created in the image of G-d - are welcome with an equally warm and loving attention. This point is especially worthy of mention, considering the Israeli society nowadays.
From the crack of dawn till well past midnight, the people at Ezra Lemarpeh are working to fulfill the needs of those who turn to them for help - the sick, the needy and others. Among them are also doctors, who usually accept the Rav's suggestions and referrals.
Rav Firer established and built a system for medical assistance to the sick, who come from the entire social spectrum. For years, he has been dedicating all his time and strength to acts of lovingkindess, of a scope and variety that are noteworthy, with unparalleled determination and devotion.
He serves as a loyal and trustworthy address for anyone who needs medical assistance of any kind whatsoever.
Rav Firer is a model of loving your fellow man, devotion and cheerfulness, as is manifest in the way he welcomes each and every one who comes to his office for consultation and advice, at all hours of the day and night.
His continuous work, on a purely voluntary basis, without thought for any kind of remuneration, has become famous across Israel and also outside the country. Many tens of thousands of people who needed and need his help, found and still find in him a loyal support. Rav Firer is an outstanding person, head and shoulders above the average man, in his own actions and those that are carried out through his power and inspiration, for the benefit of the individual and society in general.
For all of the above, Rav Firer is worthy of the Israel Award for 1997 for a Life's Work - A Unique contribution to society and to the country."