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The Judy Fund

The Judy Fund has raised and invested over $8 million to support the research, care and advocacy efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Read a message from Elizabeth

Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns has a personal message for family, friends and supporters.

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Marshall M. Gelfand and his family established The Judy Fund at the Alzheimer's Association in 2003 in loving memory of his wife, Judy Gelfand. Since its inception, this family fund has raised and invested more than $8 million in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association with one clear mission: To help create Alzheimer's survivorship for future generations. Through the generosity of families, friends, business colleagues and corporations, The Judy Fund, now chaired by Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns, remains the fastest and largest growing family fund at the Alzheimer's Association.
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How You Can Help

Please join the Gelfand family in their efforts to advance the mission and vision of the Alzheimer's Association. Your gift will help create a world without Alzheimer's disease.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

— Margaret Mead

The Judy Fund News

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Support from The Judy Fund has sponsored 13 Alzheimer's Association peer-reviewed research projects to pursue answers to important scientific questions about the causes of Alzheimer's disease, strategies for prevention and detection, and the best approaches to treatment and care. The Judy Fund is also a member of the Zenith Society, the highest level of giving at the Alzheimer's Association.

Read a summary of the research sponsored by The Judy Fund and learn more about how some of these grants are impacting the Alzheimer research field.

A world without Alzheimer's — let's make it happen! Donate to The Judy Fund to help accelerate research.

"Our father has shown us all what one family can do to help change the world. Our father's ultimate battle, his fight against Alzheimer's disease, is a very personal one — it's one that honors our mother and is a way to protect us, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the future generations of our family. His fight is an example of leading from the heart."

                                                                        — Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns


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As Alzheimer's disease threatens to bankrupt families, businesses and our healthcare system, scientists are coming closer to finding better treatments that could drastically alter the course of the disease.

Alzheimer's advocates speak up for the needs and rights of people with Alzheimer's and their families, and help persuade Congress to increase funding for research.

The Judy Fund recognizes advocacy as a critical area where funds and strategic efforts are needed to increase federal dollars for research and to advance important legislative policies for families living with Alzheimer's.

As a result, we invested in the Alzheimer's Association's Ambassador Program, helping support the creation of a network of 507 ambassadors (and growing!) who maintain a conversation with their legislators year-round. The Judy Fund supporters have fueled this program, which helped usher in the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA), one of the key tools to frame federal funding of Alzheimer's in the United States.

2017 was our 12th year at Forum, and this year had the largest number of attendees ever, with 1,300 from all 50 states. One of the session speakers shared with the crowd that many members of Congress consider the Alzheimer's Association Ambassadors and advocates among the best-trained, most effective voices on Capitol Hill. The Alzheimer's Association Ambassadors, who advance our mission year-round by working with their legislators to educate and advocate, are in the vanguard of the call for change. Thanks to your support, The Judy Fund has championed the Ambassadors program from day one, and the impact has been incredible: The program has grown from a small pilot program of 24 people in 2010 to 507 Ambassadors today! 

2018 marks our 13th year at the Alzheimer’s Association AIM Advocacy Forum

With your help, we can grow the number of Alzheimer's ambassadors!


The Judy Fund is Walking to End Alzheimer's

Whether you live in California or Connecticut, or somewhere in between, you can join or start a Judy Fund Walk Team in your community. Visit alz.org/judyfundwalks to learn more about your local walk.

In 2017, The Judy Fund National Walk Team garnered support from participants across the country. With over 556 members, 27 teams in 21 cities across 16 states and over $56,000 raised! Thank you to all of our participants for helping us reach and exceed our $50K goal!

In 2016, The Judy Fund fielded an enthusiastic team for the Santa Monica Walk to End Alzheimer's and with the support of employees and Associates from Partners Trust and Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman LLP — the team came in number one with over $10,000 raised. The Judy Fund also had a team of over 40 family, friends and supporters of Dave Berry and his family at the Chicago Walk to End Alzheimer's. Together they raised over $7,000. Congratulations and well done!

The Judy Fund Salon Series

Mind&Heart — Keeping Your Brain and Heart Healthy​

During the past decade, we've learned that women are not only disproportionately affected by Alzheimer's, they are also the engine of the fight against it. As a result, we started The Judy Fund Salon Series Mind&Heart in 2013 targeting women of the baby boom generation and raising awareness of how brain and heart health may be connected.

The Judy Fund Salon Series is a gathering of women with the intent to increase knowledge about the connection between brain health and heart health. Through stimulating conversation, our professional speakers share their expertise "to please and to educate".

Alzheimer's Association Zenith Society Donors Gather for Lunch and Mind&Heart Discussion

At their October 24 luncheon in New York City, donors at the Alzheimer's Association Zenith Society, the organization's highest and most involved level of philanthropy, enjoyed a panel discussion from Mind&Heart, The Judy Fund Salon Series designed for women of the baby boom generation to raise awareness of how heart and brain health may be connected. The panel was led by Dr. Maria Carrillo, Chief Science Officer at the Alzheimer's Association, and Dr. Jill Kalman, System Medical Director, Patient Experience, Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, part of the Northwell Health System. 

Dr. Kalman said, "I'm a cardiologist, so I'm the 'heart,' and the wonderful Dr. Maria Carrillo is the 'mind'." Dr. Kalman and I met at summer camp as young teenagers, and our friendship has not only endured, it has synergized to exert powerful force in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.


Your gift to The Judy Fund will help us reach and educate more people about the brain-heart connection.

Donor Spotlight

The Eliashar and Hurwitz Family

Judy Gelfand and our mother, Rina Eliashar, had a special friendship. They weren't just friends, they were in-laws. It started in 1974. Liz Gelfand was having a swim party, and Judy suggested inviting "that nice Hurwitz girl" because Judy had a nice son, Todd. Thirty minutes later, Doreen arrived at the Gelfand front door with swimsuit in hand. Judy and Rina exchanged promising glances, and 40 years later, Doreen and Todd Gelfand celebrated the arrival of their first grandchild.

We adore our mother. She has a big heart and deep compassion for those less fortunate. She has been generous and charitable her entire life — a trait she learned from her parents and continues to instill in her children and grandchildren.

In early May 2014, we received an email from her: "Kids, Mother's Day is coming and I'm seeing all the commercials on television. Do NOT send me flowers or gifts. Instead, please make a donation to charity. Give to The Judy Fund." And of course, that's what we did. In doing so, we were able to honor two mothers: Rina Eliashar and Judy Gelfand.

Donate to The Judy Fund now and help protect the future of those you love.

Thank You Donors!

Thank you for your generous support in the fight against this devastating disease. Because of family members and friends like you, you help us strengthen our efforts to advance Alzheimer’s research, care and support.

Judy Fund Donors


Your Donor Dollars are Making a Difference

$8,000,000+ DOLLARS GIVEN BY OVER 2,000+ 



Sigma Alpha Mu

Fraternity Raises Over $500,000 for The Judy Fund

The Judy Fund is excited to report that ΣAM fraternity fundraising has totaled over $500,000 in cumulative giving over the history of their partnership with The Judy Fund and the Alzheimer's Association. We are so proud of the Sammys and their work to help end Alzheimer's.

In November 2013, for the first time, the men of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity put away their razors in order to grow facial hair, awareness and funds to end Alzheimer's disease. The fraternity adopted No Shave November as its signature fundraising event for The Judy Fund at the Alzheimer's Association, its national charity of choice since 2005. Since its first year in 2013, Sammys have raised over $130,000 during No Shave November alone!

Fraternity chapters host other philanthropy events in addition to No Shave November throughout their academic year. Sammys also join in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s near their campuses nationwide. During the 2017 Walk season, Sammys raised $22,891.

The Judy Fund is very grateful to the young men of Sigma Alpha Mu and also to its alumni leadership and staff, who got into the spirit of the partnership with their own No Shave November teams. Thanks to these men of high character we know that it is only a matter of when, not if we will find the cure to Alzheimer's disease.

Show your philanthropic spirit and support The Judy Fund today.  

Thank you Sigma Alpha Mu for your support!

Sigma Alpha Mu has reached $550,000 in cumulative giving to the Alzheimer's Association through The Judy Fund. We are so proud of the Sammies and their work to help end Alzheimer's.

A Family Affair

Gelfand-McBride Wedding Hashtag Inspires $1,500 Gift to The Judy Fund

Judy Gelfand would be proud of her granddaughter Ilana, Todd and Doreen Gelfand's daughter, who made The Judy Fund the focus of the registry for her May wedding to Marcus McBride. Guests traveled from 21 states as well as Israel, Germany and the UK to attend, and the Eliashars won the prize for longest distance traveled of 7,567 miles! “The Judy Fund is so close to our hearts. The gift of a donation towards a cure for Alzheimer's is far more substantial than any pot, pan or fork we'll ever receive,” Ilana says. But the bride and groom didn't stop there. “Since we knew our guests would be quick to post wedding photos to social media, we asked in the wedding program that they use the hashtag #TheMcBrideandGroom,” Ilana explains. “For each use of the hashtag, we made a $5 donation to The Judy Fund.”

Ilana and Marcus' creative idea encouraged guests to take photos of precious moments the couple might otherwise have missed while inspiring a fun, new way to make a meaningful donation to The Judy Fund. “With about 300 uses of the hashtag, we made a donation of $1,500 to The Judy Fund, and we now have a whole photo album on Instagram of everyone's photos!” Ilana says. What a beautiful way to start a new life together and give back to the cause! Thank you, Ilana and Marcus! After the wedding celebration, the Eliashars, Hurwitzes and Gelfands gathered for the annual family reunion. This year, the reunion was held in Rancho Mirage, California, allowing the families to remember Judy with a group photo in front our childhood home in Palm Springs.


The Impact of The Judy Fund Grows From Generation to Generation

Nothing brings a family together like a wedding, and no mention of family would be complete for the Gelfands without the Hurwitz and Eliashar families. Tamar Hurwitz, who as many of you know is the daughter of my mother's dear friend Rina Eliashar (and sister to Doreen Hurwitz Gelfand, my amazing sister-in-law) married Drew Fleming on Oct. 15, 2016 in San Francisco. Tamar's family came in from Israel as well as both coasts of the U.S. for the wedding. In the couple's honor, the families donated $24,000 to The Judy Fund. What a lovely and lasting gesture. Thank you, Tamar and Drew, and congratulations on a beautiful start to your life together!

Still Alice and My Brain™

The Alzheimer's Association women's initiative, My Brain™, inspired by Maria Shriver, called on 1 million women to use their amazing brains to help wipe out Alzheimer's. The disease is one of the greatest threats to women's health, as women are more likely to develop Alzheimer's, and they also are more likely to care for someone with the disease.

Within My Brain was Maria Shriver's Wipe Out Alzheimer's Challenge. In partnership with A Woman's Nation, the Alzheimer's Association and a global community of empowered women, the challenge enlisted women to take "The Pledge", helped raise funds to research women's brains and challenged other organizations to make women's brain research a priority. All funds raised in the Challenge supported research on women and Alzheimer's through the Alzheimer's Association Women's Alzheimer's Research Initiative (WARI). The Judy Fund is also significantly supporting WARI as well.

The amazing women of the movie Still Alice were also featured in the My Brain campaign: Julianne Moore (Academy Award® for her performance), Maria Shriver (executive producer), Kristen Stewart , Sandy Oltz (early-stage Alzheimer's advisor), Lisa Genova (Still Alice author), Dr. Maria Carrillo (Alzheimer's Association Chief Science Officer) and Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns (co-producer and The Judy Fund Chair).

By giving a frank and open portrayal of just how devastating Alzheimer's is to a person's emotional and physical well-being; family and career; and all other facets of life, our hope is Still Alice moved more people to join the fight against Alzheimer's.

My Brain and Still Alice are inspiring women to join the movement and raising awareness across so many different platforms.



Let's end Alzheimer's for future generations.

The Judy Fund donors are making progress in the fight. We continue to move closer to breakthroughs that may change the course of this disease — every day, together, we're changing the future of Alzheimer's.

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