Thanks to Zebba's article, I learned more about Anna Wildikann
Dear Dr. Sam Zebba,

You are the first author ever from whom I’ve heard more about Anna Wildikann than from any other (ESRA Magazine #152, Dec 2009/Jan 2010, p. 62-65). I am researching her life as well as that of other Jewish doctors and nurses who worked with Albert Schweitzer during WWII. My impression is that he did not regard the cause of their plight and fate as high rank priority - he almost never referred to this issue after 1945 when he could have. Anna Wildikann´s immigration to Israel and the way he mentioned her in his diaries has struck me as casual - perhaps it was only discreet. But also the story of his wife’s Jewish family did not seem to occupy large space in his concerns. I might be wrong – I’d just like to know more and better. Now, I wonder whether you know who inherited Anna Wildikann’s pictures, her writings etc. and how I might get in touch with whoever it may be. Sorry for being so forthright about my scepticism regarding Schweitzer. My deep impression is that he could have and should have been more outspoken about Germany’s barbaric history after 1945. Few people have spoken up about this so far, especially in Germany. I, born in 1958, have been conducting research on this whole issue since 1990. I hope one day to publish my findings and I am grateful for any additional information.


Caroline Fetscher M. A.

Motzstrasse 5210777 Berlin,Germany

Tel. 0049 (0)30 21 7691 Mobile: 0049 (0) 172 305 3802


Editor's note: This letter was posted recently in the magazine's website in the comments under Dr. Zebba'a article "Anna and I" (ESRA Magazine number 152, December 2009/January 2010),




In the article Queens in a Jeep (ESRA Magazine #158, Feb/Mar 2011, page 39), the first column, the first sentence should read: “One of the five major circles of latitude that map the Earth, 66033’ north of the Equator, defines the Arctic Circle.”

The second column, lines 8 and 9, should read: “…open. Temperatures averaged about 80C. ”

Joan Frankenthal

Ramat Hasharon


Festival of Dangerous Ideas by Rolly Kohansky


I just want to say that I read this extraordinary article. I can clearly imagine what it must have been like to attend what Rolly saw, and the people she heard.

Not to mention the style and writing which is really super !- Kol Ha Kavod.


Grace Bartur



Keeping the Kibbutz – a film


I'm a US-based documentary filmmaker who recently produced a documentary film, entitled Keeping the Kibbutz. The film chronicles the changing Israeli kibbutz through the eyes of some of its most devoted members. While some members faced hardship, others found opportunity, and the kibbutz marched toward an inevitable end.

A story about nostalgia, the effects of communal living and the hope for what lies ahead, Keeping the Kibbutz captures the lingering ghost of a movement now celebrating its 100th anniversary. DVD screeners of the film are available for review and both directors (myself and Israeli-born Ben Crosbie) are available for interviews. You can view a trailer and learn more about the film at


Tessa Moran, Director/Producer

Eidolon Films LLC


Hot Meals for Students


Thank you for your generous donation of NIS 20,000 for hot meals for students. Thanks to your support, students will benefit from hot meals on a weekly basis and thus will have the peace of mind to concentrate on their studies.

May you continue to support people in need.

Zahava Glanz, Assistant to the Dean

Dean of Students Office

Bar Ilan University


INSIGHT MEETING 2011                                      


I hasten to put pen to paper having just arrived home from the ESRA Insight meeting held in Raanana for all those interested from every ESRA branch.

The meeting was a real eye-opener as the new groups told us about their achievements – which are truly remarkable. It was socially enjoyable meeting old faces and seeing so many new ones from all over Israel.

There used to be regular branch meetings and these are sorely missed. Please could they be reintroduced – three or four times a year would suffice, giving the volunteers a new "insight" more often into ESRA achievements, therefore giving a boost to their efforts.

Thank you for today's meeting which was well organized, and good luck to all those ESRA volunteers.


Rennie Rafaely

Tel Aviv


Knitting Circle Caption

Lt. to Rt: Margaret Bernstein, Daphna Shemesh and Sue Donner.


Mikveh for vessels? or How to divide the community further?


This essay (ESRA Magazine #158, Feb/Mar/2011) is a perfect example of "How to divide the community further". I get a distinct feeling that Mr Abrahams has a personal agenda in that he needs to criticize the orthodox section of our community. I believe he has not researched his "facts". He makes statements which show that his knowledge of our laws, customs and practices is rather limited. For instance his statement about the rabbis telling the bochrim to only eat Glatt Kosher meat when they go home, when I have found the opposite to be true. The respect for parents is and has been one of the most important commandments that we have to keep. I believe the rabbis in the yeshivas emphasize this kind of commandment.
It is articles such as these that are actually the cause of divisiveness. In these times when we have a worldwide media onslaught against Israel and the Jewish nation, this is not the kind of article we need.
I believe we need to try and find ways of bringing all Jews together as one nation. It does not matter if one is orthodox or not, we need to take positive cohesive steps and make suggestions as to how to improve our behavior towards each other, and to publicize our common beliefs and values, and not where we differ. After all we have one Torah for all of us. If it was not for the Torah there would not be any Jews, or land of Israel.
A humorous side, Dunk Street is an apt name for where the Mikveh is located!
Ralph Loewenthal

Kochav Yair


More about Danish


It was good to read Geoff Tollman's article (ESRA Magazine #158, Feb/Mar/2011, p.26) especially about the 60's in Israel when he started his Danish furniture business. I was one of his first employees. We were neighbors in Beit Yannai and when he asked me to join the company I did so willingly but with a certain amount of trepidation. Those were really thrilling times but since we were not living in any kind of luxury at the time, to be a part of such an innovative and creative enterprise was magic.

I also learned a great deal from him and the architects and designers whom he had on board, which stood me in good stead for the rest of my life.

Zelda Harris

Tel Aviv


Passing on ESRA magazines brought joy to my life


l read a letter in the Nov/Dec issue of the ESRA Magazine from Sybil Sadowski, stating that she disposes of old issues of the amazing, fantastic ESRA Magazines!

l appeal to everyone, "DON'T DO THIS!"   It’s because somebody gave me one of her old copies that l first heard about ESRA.   Then l passed on one of my old copies, and that person started the wonderful ESRA branch in Nahariya.   So you never know where your copies might lead, in addition to helping people through the incredible articles and information  and hopefully inspiring them to join the ESRA family like l did, which has brought so much joy into my life.   So please, keep passing them on!


June Kemp 



Plants for sale


Hannah's ESRA Nursery, although officially closed, still has many plants for sale. Most are for the garden, therefore requiring little water. Some however, are for pots or tubs, some for sun, some for shade. In pots, all plants require water, but not copious quantities. We have a small selection of plants very suitable for small gifts, this includes a few cymbidium orchids.

The bulk of the plants must be sold by mid-May, when the weather starts to heat up seriously.

The nursery is in Moshav Ein Vered, and I can be reached at 052 306 4113.

Hannah Wende

Tel Mond


Pride and Prejudice in Wadi Ara


Many thanks for yet another wonderful issue of the ESRA Magazine (#158) which is full of fascinating and relevant articles.

I was particularly moved by Lydia Aisenberg’s article “Pride and Prejudice in Wadi Ara” which tells the story of Arab Israeli Muslim citizens who have died whilst serving in the IDF or Border Police.    I can only imagine the difficulties faced by Yousef Jujah whose son Sa’id fell in the line of duty in Gaza whilst fighting Palestinian terrorists.   He and his family deserve the respect of us all for their brave stand which has been made at great personal cost.

Ruth Sobol

Ramat Efal


The South African Machalniks and Telfed


Reading Maurice Ostroff’s interesting article “Machal Story Online” (ESRA Magazine #158, Feb/Mar 2011) with anecdotes from the period of Aliyah Bet on, made me think that the non-South African ESRA readers might be interested in the following story: I worked at the South African Zionist Federation (Telfed) on 109 Hayarkon Street from 1954 for a year or so, and lived at the South African Hostel in Yad Eliyahu which had just opened. I think that both the congenial place of work and a wonderful place to stay helped make my absorption into Israel so smooth. But only very recently my husband Mike, who came to Israel with Machal from the States in1948, told me how envious the American Machalniks were of those from South Africa who were warmly welcomed at the Fed which had a clubroom where they could have something to eat. He also remembered that the South African soldiers received five lira on top of the five they got from the army and added: “I think that is maybe why so many South Africans stayed on after the war or came back later to settle.”

Adele Rubin



Thank you ESRA Community Fund

Help after the Carmel fire


Thank you very much for the donation you sent me after my house was damaged during the big fire – it is helping me a lot.

Dasfina M.

Moshav Eliad  


We are deeply moved by your readiness to help after the last fire in the Carmel which completely destroyed our house and all its belongings. We thank you (and the donors of course) from the bottom of our hearts for the financial donation which arrived exactly at the right time, while we are struggling to get our routine back and restart our life as it used to be.

Meirav, Mikha, Ido, Almon F.


With many thanks for the NIS2000, God bless you.

Lea R.


Thank you for your generosity, your giving, your understanding and sensitivity when your sole intention is to give and to help. We were very moved to receive your help when our home and belongings were damaged in the Carmel fire - help which cannot be taken for granted. As words cannot adequately express our thanks, we dedicate to you Naomi Shemer’s song, “Good people in the middle of the way”.

Goren, Rennana, Ziv, Itamar R.

Kibbutz Beit Oren


Thirty years later a complete success


Thirty years ago, Dr. Michael Adler operated on my badly broken Achilles tendon at Leeuwendaal Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. It was a complete success from day one, and now, 30 years on, it is as good as the day he repaired it. I know Dr. Adler has left SA, and he probably won't remember even doing it, but if you do know  his whereabouts, please pass on my profound thanks for what he did all those years ago.


Bob Soane

Poole, Dorset, UK


Editor’s Note: This message was posted on our website under the article written by Michael Adler “Electric Cars – a new world” (ESRA Magazine #157, Nov-Dec 2010). Dr. Adler lives in Israel.


Tribute to Alec Sadowsky


I would like to add a few words regarding the tributes to the late Alec Sadowsky that have appeared in recent ESRA Magazines.

Many years ago I had to go to the income tax offices. I can’t remember about what, but it was obviously something about my tax payments. (I had a secondhand bookshop in those days). A hefty woman in her mid-40s, with a strong jaw and sharp gimlet eyes which seemed to pierce through me, received me in her office.  ‘Well’, she barked, ‘what is it?’

In my hesitant Hebrew I started my explanations, but she interrupted me.

 ‘Who is your accountant?’

 ‘Alec Sadowsky’, I said.

The most amazing transformation came over her face.  ‘Ah, Mr. Sadowsky’, she said quietly, and the rest of our talk was conducted in a far more cordial atmosphere.

Alec was one of those wonderful people whom everyone knew he could trust and rely on completely – even the toughest of income tax inspectors.


Mike Porter

Tel Aviv


Walk for HaBayit Shel Benji – building has started!


As I stand in HaPrachim Street in Raanana and watch the tractors moving the mounds of sand, I have feelings of pride and sadness. I am proud that with the support of the community here and abroad, HaBayit Shel Benji - Benji's Home for lone soldiers - is now being built. This home will be named in memory of my nephew, the late Major Benji Hillman, who was killed in the Second Lebanon War, so the sadness does not have to be explained. Benji worked tirelessly on behalf of lone soldiers and HaBayit Shel Benji will continue his legacy of helping the soldiers who need it the most.

Our fundraising efforts now have a different focus. We need to ensure there are funds for everything that is required for the home, and then its maintenance. The 5th  annual community walk for HaBayit Shel Benji will be taking place on Friday May 20 in Raanana, so please save the date. Great Shape will be providing a warm-up before the walk, and we hope many members of ESRA will join us once again for a morning out in rural Raanana. More details will be on our website shortly ( or you can email


Ruth Rurka


















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