The Ezra LeMarpeh Association, founded by Rabbi A. E. Firer, provides assistance to the sick and needy.

Flying Patients Abroad


There are situations where it is necessary to fly a patient to a hospital or clinic abroad. In general, these are patients that require medical treatment that is not available in Israel. In other cases there are patients who find themselves in difficult medical situations abroad, and they need to return to Israel for further treatment.  The Ezra LeMarpeh Center Association has prepared an array of professional personnel that aids the transfer these patients to their required destination.


  1. It is important to first check with the patient's HMO or his/her insurance company as to whether "flight" is covered by the policy.
  2. If insurance exists, all arrangements must be made through the insurance company. Operating independently of the insurance company may jeopardize the rights of policy holder and negatively affect the amount of coverage they are entitled to.

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Note: The Association helps only with the logistical aspects of transporting patients and NOT the funding of the flight, the stay abroad or the cost of medical care. Please check in advance as to how these expenses are to be covered. The Association would like to emphasize that payment of any kind is transferred directly to the various service providers.



The Association does its utmost to ease the economic and mental aspects of transporting the patient and his/her family. This includes not only the actual flight itself, but also all the necessary arrangements to ensure quick and safe handling of the patient. This includes:

  • Coordination with the appointments in the foreign country
  • A host family
  • Translation of needed documentation into the local language
  • Flight arrangements, including choosing the type of flight needed: either by commercial airline or ambulance plane. Examples include ensuring a plane with incubator is available in the case where a premature infant is the patient, or a plane with a stretcher option on the fight deck.
  • Installing special medical equipment owned by the Association and approved for use on the aircraft. The Association also sees that this equipment is installed correctly on the aircraft.
  • The transfer of the patient in an ambulance to the plane and from the plane to the treatment destination.



The Association has a number of intensive care kits. This means that more than one patient can be transported with an intensive care kit, on different flights to different destinations, at the same time. These kits are designed and manufactured in Israel and include all the equipment necessary for the air transfer of patients with complex medical conditions. Hundreds of patients use this service every year. This has included members of the Ministry of Defense, hospitals and insurance companies associated with the local HMOs.
The kits include equipment necessary for people of all ages, ranging from newborn infants who need to be transferred in an incubator to the elderly in their golden years. Most of the kits also have electrical backup systems, in the event of an electrical outage on the plane.


From the moment the decision is made that a patient must be flown abroad for treatment or an appeal is made from a third party to aid in the medical transfer, the Association's well-oiled system rolls into action.  Rav Firer and his aide, Rav Raphael Wolf, identify the most appropriate medical center to treat the patient's problem.  They coordinate with both the patient's HMO and the insurance company to determine the appropriate treatment and even manage the negotiations with both the hospital and airline so as to ease, as much as possible, the mental and financial difficulties associated with such a flight.

The Association owes a special thanks to Mr. Freddy Rosenfeld, CEO of "Dikla" Insurance Company, for his substantial assistance and use of his personal relations with the managers of the world's major medical centers. Mr. Rosenfeld assists the clients of "Clalit-Mushlam" and clients of other HMOs, even those not insured by "Dikla".



The Association's volunteers are always in a race against time to save lives. Each volunteer has an important role to ensure a patient's flight abroad goes smoothly and quickly. Some of these volunteers deal with the medical equipment, others with documentation, including passports and visas, while others handle all the logistical arrangements.
The management of the Israel Airports Authority has recognized the magnitude of the aid performed by the volunteers of the Association for patients and their families, and has issued them permits to enter the restricted compounds at the airport.
Once all necessary preparations have been completed is the ambulance dispatched from the Association's headquarters to transport the patient from the hospital directly to the aircraft. When the plane lands, an ambulance is waiting to take the patient to the designated hospital where a warm and welcoming volunteer family will help the patient with all that is needed to overcome the difficulties of being in a foreign country.
Only after the patient's safe return to Israel, will Ezra LeMarpeh update its records to detail the story of another a life saved – records that are daily being updated.



A few years ago the Ezra Lemarpe Association reached an agreement with El Al, allowing "Frequent Flyer" passengers to contribute their points to the Association in order to help the Association defray the cost of the flights for the patients and their families who need to be flown abroad. Since the establishment of the agreement, many of these Frequent Flyers have contributed points allowing the Association to help many people. The decision on the funding of tickets is in the hands of a special committee which awards them in cases where a flight can save a life. Thanks to the generosity of the El Al Frequent Flyers, the Association has helped to save the lives of many people.

Frequent flyers, please note! The contribution of your points to Ezra LeMarpeh can be made only through El Al's website, as follows:
Select the Frequent Flyer tab and then select "redeeming frequent flyer points" >>> Choose the option of contributing the points to Ezra LeMarpeh Association.
Contact the Association's offices if you need assistance making a donation.



Fax relevant medical documentation to: 03-6161177 and then call the offices of the Association,
tel. 03-5777000, and ask for the person on duty dealing with flights.