Phyllis Bloch was born in Brooklyn, New York. She studied at Mills College of Education and received a degree in Early Childhood education. Her Masters degree was from Queens College, majoring in special education with an emphasis on the gifted and talented. In Israel she worked for Israel Television (ITV) in the children's department of Channel 1, selecting cartoons at first and finally produced a program for young children called Marzipan and another program called Sod Camus...and had a wonderful experience. She was also an English teacher for the Israeli Ministry of Education.
Phyllis came to live in Israel for the first time in 1976, and again in 1989 when she returned with her family after an extended stay in Washington at the Israeli Embassy where her late husband, Danny, served as the minister for labor affairs. When they settled in Herzliya in the early 1990’s, Phyllis “found ESRA”. At that time a large group of Ethiopian immigrants were brought to the Absorption Center in Kfar Saba. It was there that Phyllis, together with another volunteer, started the ESRA Ethiopian Embroidery Project with the women producing embroidered mezzuzot. The project has expanded into many other products and is still growing...in Phyllis’s words: “for me a true labor of love” Adds Phyllis: “As I look back in the years that have passed, I feel so enriched by the opportunities afforded me. I have served in many different positions in ESRA, have made wonderful friends and feel a sense of pride in the beautiful and unique embroidery that we have helped preserve for the 50 women and men that are part of this project”.