A visit to Knitting Club

At the beginning of May 2010, the members of the Tel Aviv Knitting & Crochet Social Circle had a most enjoyable and informative meeting. All because Merle Guttmann visited us. She spoke about the beginning of ESRA. But before she began she set a friendly atmosphere, by asking each member to state her name,  here she was born, and what she did when she immigrated to Israela brilliant idea because this immediately drew us all together. During her talk questions were asked and clearly answered and so the time passed far too swiftly another hour would have been most appreciated, but time had unfortunately run out. We all thank you Merle for so much pleasure, and hope that you’ll visit us again - the door is always wide open. Hopefully we won t leave it too long.

Shirley Kirsch

Coordinator of ESRA Knitting Club &

Crochet Social Circle

Tel Aviv


Thank you for the generous scholarships

  • 1. Your scholarship helped me a lot in my daily life and definitely lessened my financial worries. It helps me give more time to my study for my degree and it takes a lot of pressure off me in different ways. I pray there will be more people like you. Thank you very much.          Irena M., Rechasim 
  • 2. I wish to thank you very sincerely for the financial aid I received for my studies. I really appreciate the effort and attention you gave me with my daily problems and I want to add that your help has given me hope and motivation for the future. As you know, my family has serious financial problems and the base you helped me with is something I will never forget, my family will remember it forever too. May there be many like you in Israel!          Michal N., Netivot
  • 3. I came to Israel on my own from the former Soviet Union in March 2003 in the framework of the Aleh Program. I decided to go for academic studies.  I have completed two and a half years with financial aid from the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Absorption. This financial help ended – when I have only one semester left to study. For lack of funds, I was considering leaving my studies. I owe ESRA a huge thank you – because of you I will realize my dream and complete my studies. I will never forget the help, I will never forget where it came from. So thank you with all my heart.          Yulia B., Beer Sheva
  • 4. I wish to apologize in advance about the length of my letter.  The reason is that I have a lot to say, a lot to thank you for and it seems almost impossible to find the words to thank you. My story is similar to that of most immigrants : aliyah, adjusting, difficulties and many challenges to face. From the moment I decided to study, I knew I had not chosen an easy path. I knew I would have to survive my three years of studying for my degree, I would need to work to sustain myself, I would have to live in the dorms with strangers as my flat-mates, I would have to share notes with Israeli students. I hoped I would get some help, not necessarily money, but good recommendations for the process of getting a degree. I am sorry to say that I had to learn the hard way, all by myself. I moved along with a lot of trial and error.  On the financial side, I submitted many requests to different funds each year and all I was lucky to receive was from the Students' Council in my first two years and a one-time scholarship from the College. I convinced myself that I will not lose hope.  I volunteered in the community, I took part in the PERACH program.  I also helped students with mathematics and statistics. Despite all this, I went through a difficult time and couldn't understand why all my efforts weren't appreciated, why couldn't I get some financial help. I began asking myself what I am doing in Israel.  I would get so much love and support if I would go to my parents and I wouldn't have to face all the problems I have here. I am still in Israel because I didn't choose the easy way. In our meeting I discovered that there are people who care, I felt the listening and true concern, your will to help others. I found people who dedicated their time to others, listened to each one and discussed each one's requests and difficulties. I felt I was appreciated and this gave me strength to continue and progress.  I also felt that I wasn't alone and someone cared about me. In short, all my gratitude and appreciation to you! I wish you happiness and feel you deserve the best for all the good you did for me and for others. Thank you very much.          Ella F., Ariel
  • 5. I want to thank you for the NIS 8,000 scholarship. This scholarship has allowed me to pay for my last year of studies to receive my first degree.  It has helped me to realize a dream and that is to finish my first degree in mathematics which I find interesting and love.  Later on I hope to work in the sciences, an area which interests me. With thanks to ESRA many students get the chance to realize their dreams and aims. ESRA is helping students to continue their studies when they don't have the possibility to pay for themselves.  By doing this, you are improving the Israeli society. I have high aims for myself and hope to work in the development of science in Israel. For all those you have given scholarships, for all those to whom you will give scholarships and for myself, thank you very sincerely.            Louisa K., Rishon Lezion
  • 6. This letter is to thank you very sincerely for the scholarship you gave me.  I feel I want you to get to know the person to whom you gave the scholarship. I was born in the former Soviet Union and came to Israel with my parents and sister when I was 11 in 1996.  We started off in Hadera, moved to Afula where I finished elementary school and we then moved to Haifa. I adjusted pretty well.  I befriended older “new” immigrants who helped a lot with the language.  Soon after the move, my parents got divorced and I lost contact with my father.  I finished school with good grades in 2003 when I enlisted to the army. I completed my army service in 2006, did my psychometric test and registered that same year to start studying nursing at the Haifa University.   I didn't realize how hard the studies would be and how much time and effort would be necessary. I am now in my 4th year.  My sister is studying chemistry at the Technion – she has a scholarship from the army and will be enlisted when she gets her degree, my mother works as a domestic helper.  I hope I will succeed in being a good professional and in this way help my patients. Your help has been very good for me in my final year of studies, I can definitely study more and work less.          Dennis Z., Haifa
  • 7. I am 3rd year student in Social Science at the Ashkelon College. For the last two years I have faced a difficult time in my life, and it isn't over.  I want to thank you with all my heart for the opportunity with my difficult studies.  I have been given new opportunities which I believe will bring out the uniqueness in me and help me achieve my academic degree. Your scholarship has made it easier for me to study and finance myself with pride.  I feel an inner peace as a result of receiving the scholarship.  This period of my life is not easy and it constantly bothers me how I will finance myself. Again, thank you for your help, my Angels. With a lot of love.          Tagnia P., Yavne
  • 8. I wish to thank you for the help you give people like me. There is no doubt that through your dedicated work you help many people. The work done in ESRA is “holy”. Well done and continue.
    Mila T., Gival Shmuel
  • 9. I want to thank all the people in ESRA who helped me to get a scholarship for my studies in 2009-2010. It is with thanks to you that I'll be able to study another year and then start working in my field. It is important to me to be an engineer, and to be an example to my family.          Stanislav Y., Or Akiva
  • 10. I am studying electrical engineering at the “Sammy Shimon” College in Beersheva. I want to thank you very much for taking my case into account and deciding to grant me a scholarship which allowed me to spend more time studying and not worrying about finding more work. I am amazed that you could meet me and decide to help me – something that one cannot take for granted.  You have in fact pushed me on my way to success in life. I hope that someday in the future when my financial situation is more stable, I too will be able to help someone – just like you have helped me. May you be blessed – you are doing “holy” work.          Alexei F., Beer Sheva 



Vertigo - to those who see this as just a word, pass on.

For those who have experienced this affliction, don't shudder and turn the page .There is a remedy.

I myself have suffered for many years from intermittent attacks. When I lived in Australia I found no help, but when I came to live here in Israel I read in this very magazine, an article about Oz Tsur. How often, after one painless head manipulation is the vertigo gone? Oz has concentrated most of his working life on vertigo, balance and connected problems.

He has recently returned from America where he completed his PhD and where he presented his new findings on the subject of imbalance, which causes so much distress. The list of his awards and achievements so far is too long to print here.

Over the years, when I have had attacks, although not too often, they have been very severe, so I have decided to undertake a series of  balancing exercises which will hopefully persuade my body that my head is not in fact whizzing round. Oz says that there are about 2,500 balancing exercises of which he himself invented 2,000. There are many forms of vertigo, which is an illusion of movement ‒ the room spinning around when one is actually standing still. Most of the reasons for this come from the inner ear. Normally there are three semicircular canals and two compartments that give information to the brain about the movement of the head. With vertigo the information about head movement is false. This usually occurs because the crystals in the two compartments fall down and enter the semi-circular canals which gives the illusion of spinning around. When this happens there is an independent movement of the eye which shows where the crystals are. With careful movement of the head, Oz removes the crystals to their proper place with no pain to the sufferer and the vertigo is gone. There are actually more than ten kinds of vertigo that he treats and he has found a new condition of vertigo that can begin with visual stimulation without any head movement. This summer he has been asked to present his findings  about dizziness and imbalance at a conference of professionals in the field  to  be held in Iceland.

I suggest that those of you who have suffered from vertigo should keep these details handy.

Oz has his clinic in Raanana.

Leila Share, Raanana


Remarkable, thank you

I was the very fortunate person to win first prize in the ESRA raffle of 2009.

I have just returned from London after spending four exciting days visiting a city that has so many unique and interesting places.  I had not been to London for many years, so this trip was an opportunity to experience again the magic and vibrancy of this amazing city.

It is difficult to express my feelings of joy when I received the call from the ESRA office to inform me of my great win.  I have never won anything like this before.

To the sponsor/s I say thank you so much for giving me and my granddaughter the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate such a great prize. On behalf of the many beneficiaries of the wonderful work that ESRA does, the efforts and commitments exhibited by the sponsors and volunteers help make the lives of the underprivileged so much better.

Your ESRA Magazine is so informative and gets better with every issue.  I so look forward to receiving it and read every issue from cover to cover with great enjoyment.

So to ESRA and your sponsors, once again thank you for this outstanding prize that my granddaughter and I will never forget.

Continue with the great work that you do – it is quite remarkable.

Ettie Stein, Raanana


More on Bernstein concerts 1948

Your article by Mark Rubin "Bernstein Concert 1948" (ESRA Magazine 155, p. 63) brought back a wonderful memory.

I too had the pleasure of listening to his music in 1948, during army service. He performed in a cinema in Haifa, Armon, I think it was called, and played to a full house of troops.

I picture him walking on to the stage, a young guy with slim figure, about the same age as his audience.

Nothing else on the stage except a grand piano at which he sat down to open with Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". With a prolonged standing ovation he had no option but to play it all over again, before carrying on entertaining us.

Norman Spiro, Ramat Hasharon


Better Place

After a recent visit, I can recommend ESRA members to visit "Better Place" at Glilot junction. Anyone interested in the future of the motor car, cleaner air and improving health in the community will be fascinated. At the end of 2011 Israel will be the first country in the world to receive delivery of electrically operated cars. At the center visitors are shown a film of explanation, and are then offered a chance to drive one of the cars. Entrance is free. Pre-booking is essential. (www.betterplc.co.il)

Cynthia Selwyn, Kfar Yedidiya


Leaving Home, Going Home, Returning Home
Thank you, Mike Porter, for the review and mostly liking the book. As a reader of ESRA Magazine it was important that my book would be reviewed there. However, when I noticed that over 100 words of the review were about spelling mistakes, my heart sank and I scrambled to find out how much it would cost to have another edit and reprint the book. So, wanting to correct any mistakes, I looked up some of the examples you mentioned. Well it turns out ECG and German-style EKG are indeed interchangeable. Tiberius is also correct, as is Antipas, or Herod Antipas. There is more than one spelling of many Hebrew locations. Where I lived in Zichron Yaacov, for instance, you could also see signs that said Zikron Yaaqov. The type print number ones in 1991 were the Amazon.com-owned book publisher, not my word processor, and your  "emigrated from Israel" is actually immigrated "to" Israel. Now I mention this because the book was supposed to be positive, and about turning negatives into positives. However, the review – though well intentioned - reminded me of when I was accused in Israel of not speaking English, rather another language: "American". Well, having immigrant parents and speaking Hebrew for 25 years, the English in Israel is different from the American in the USA too. So I wanted the book to have an authentic flavor - sort of like a cowboy saying ‘howdy partner’ or a southerner saying ‘ye'all’. I reckon I now speak Henglish (Hebrew English) or Anglo. Well anyways, the book has to look at negatives in Israel to help bring change for the better, but the book is in no way about Israel-bashing. Rather, the opposite is true:, it is about my many accomplishments here, and about me sharing those experiences.

Jason Mark Alster, Wethersfield, CT, USA








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