Wonderful arrangements for Aida evening

Congratulations ESRA on the wonderful arrangements made for attending AIDA last night at Masada. Everyone had a great evening and everything went so smoothly and pleasantly.

Please thank all those responsible for making sure that we all had such an enjoyable, relaxing evening.

Barbara Blum



Stairway to Heaven Review

I thank you so much, Mr. Mike Porter, for your very keen review of my book The Stairway to Heaven (ESRA MAGAZINE # 160). Just imagine how hard it was on me to write this book and especially to interview the parents of the victims. However, we are a very strong nation - and despite our many enemies and threats, we will survive and flourish.

Therese Zrihen-Dvir

Beer Yaacov


Every Ex-Libris has its own History
As relatives of Betty Rosenbaum, we thank her for sharing this moving story of the EX LIBRIS of her father (ESRA MAGAZINE # 160). Brave people inspire us all. 

The Duldig Family



Magazine - a symbol of ESRA

ESRA MAGAZINE  is well read in our family and is discussed with friends and neighbors.  It is an outstanding symbol of ESRA, its values, its interests and its talented volunteers. You are doing a remarkable job.

Debby Lieberman



Looking for Jewish Holocaust Survivors who received visas to Portugal 1939-1940 

The Embassy of Portugal in Israel is searching for people living in Israel thanks to the actions of the Portuguese Consul, Sousa Mendes.

So far no survivors have been traced in Israel, but we are certain that some of the 30,000 Jewish survivors are living here.

If your family includes persons who, at the beginning of WWII (1939-1940), had fled from Germany, Holland, Belgium or Luxemburg to France, and in Bordeaux had received an entrance visa to Portugal - it is important that we get in touch with them. 

Please contact me. Thank you.


Avraham Pe'er, Chairman of Israel-Portugal Friendship Committee

Tel: 050 528 8509 

Not a good idea…

Congratulations on a great magazine. This is the first time I have seen it. I am not so sure that having an advertisement on the In Memoriam page (ESRA MAGAZINE #160 p.83) that states "This space could be yours" is such a good idea.  

Stanley Canning 

Kibbutz Kfar Hamaccabi 


Quite Contrary cont.

Unlike the many praiseworthy letters usually appearing in these columns, I was interested to see one of the opposite kind. My article, “Quite Contrary” (ESRA MAGAZINE #159) was controversial and that was its purpose, to get readers to think about their attitude to various human and medical situations, which carry with them reasonable doubts.

However the comments by Yehuda Nygate (#160) are somewhat exaggerated, since I have never claimed to be a doctor and the title of the article makes it clear that what is to follow is indeed controversial. I too have mild forms of these two complaints, and it is with doubts and disbelief that I use the prescribed medicines, the adverse side-effects of which are sometimes noticeable and have caused me pain and reduced my capacity to fully function properly.

So, much as I would like to accept the medical treatments served out by our general practitioners (who don't seem to be given more freedom than to act as pill-pushers), and having examined the pros and cons of these treatments (including a talk with one friendly retired lady doctor who is strongly opposed to the anti-cholesterol one), and having explored this subject on the internet in much detail, my situation is different from that of Yehuda Nygate. And if indeed he has found a regular doctor who has the time and patience to explain the advantages and disadvantages of his particular drugs, then he has achieved a breakthrough of the most extraordinary kind. 

David Chester

Petach Tikva


Being a Tutor in English without Borders
I had always been involved in teaching in the UK, in Cheder, adult literacy and adult Jewish education. Not long after making aliya I volunteered to help students in schools with their English lessons. I attended some training.
I was given a couple of schools in which to help out with the younger ones, and I enjoyed it very much. What I hadn’t counted on was the tremendous buzz I got when talking to the students and I always came away feeling high, as if I had been on some stimulant.
Then one year I was asked to help with students who were taking Bagrut in English and needed practice in the spoken language. It is not my job to teach but to tease out their use of English for the oral part of the exam. I am always so bowled over by the standard of their English, and if I had 20% of their English knowledge in Hebrew I would be well satisfied.
I can’t explain the pleasure that I and my fellow volunteers get when chatting to the students and finding out their interests and knowing at the same time that we are helping them to obtain good grades in their exams.
Their sense of humor, understanding of the world and their commitment to the State of Israel are quite incredible and I look forward to going each week.
One can volunteer for as much time as one wants and I help in two schools but have been promised that I can take on a third school for the next scholastic year. The only downside is that we really miss it when our work has finished after the students do the oral exam which takes place in April.

Harvey Green



Wall painting a great cover – Magazine 160

It was a great cover – certainly a breakthrough from the usual.

Jennia Chodorov, Herzliya

Thought the cover surpassed all previous ones.

Linda Silverstone, Herzliya 

Thank you ESRA Community Fund


Celebrating Pesach

This is the sixth year that the very generous contribution of the ESRA Fund has facilitated the Pesach Seder at the Netanya community center - Neot Shaked. Led by Rabbi Moshe Amar, participants were new immigrants, soldiers and invalids - a true ingathering. For many this was their first celebration of a Seder and the experience was made even more meaningful by the volunteers from Wingate College and Chabad who arranged the tables and served. The contribution of ESRA continued into the following day with a post-Seder meal. My deepest thanks to Rika Meyerowitz who worked unceasingly, together with the ESRA Fund, to financially assure this Pesach Seder. My thanks on behalf of the 250 participants and the wish that we all share in next year's Seder.

Avi Farag

Director, Neot Shaked Community Center, Netanya 


Crucial assistance

My deepfelt thanks for your meaningful assistance of NIS 2,000. I am a BA chemistry student in my final semester. Your assistance was crucial for the completion of my studies; it allowed me to finish my degree rather than leave in order to support my family. My wife and daughter also add their thanks. Should any member of the ESRA Fund happen to be at the Technion, I happily extend an invitation to visit with my family at our home.

Shimon M., Technion, Haifa


Marching forward

I am a single mother and have a daughter in 1st grade. I am a 3rd year student, studying for a B.A. in social sciences at Sapir College. I also work half time in the field of education, mostly with Ethiopian youth in Sderot. Thank you for your generosity and desire to help me and ease my difficulties. You have helped me march forward so that my money problems will not be the main hindrance to my success.

Beitshish K., Sderot


Helping youth

My sincerest and deepest thanks for your significant financial help in strengthening youth. You have always helped us whenever we have turned to you.

Shulamit Chen

Social Worker for Youth, Beersheva


Significant scholarships

Your scholarship has enabled me to concentrate on my studies – it is a great help for me. Thank you.

Banchy K.

Words cannot express my appreciation for the scholarship which enables me to continue my studies.

Yehudit L.

Your scholarship will enable me to complete my degree and will ease my life at this stage. My deepest thanks.

Igor P., Ariel College

You have helped me financially to get over my difficult period, thank you.

Alexander B.


Manna from Heaven

I am 30 years old and am so happy that you have given me a scholarship. I am studying for a masters degree in gerontology at Ben Gurion University. My first degree was in behavioral sciences at Ariel College. We are 11 children in our family and our parents brought us up with tremendous efforts, and of course we were not spoilt, for which we are grateful and thank them for everything. My financial position is terribly difficult and your help is like manna from heaven. I sincerely hope that in the future I will be able to help others as much as possible and bring up a family in Israel. Thank you for this opportunity.

Asmariyahu, Ben Gurion University


Finishing with dignity

You have given me the opportunity not only to pay my tuition fees, but to finish my degree with dignity, to contribute to society and to work in a field that I love. From the moment I came to Israel I dreamed of a profession that would realize my potential and enable me to contribute to the society. I did everything I could to come closer to my dream, and your donation has brought me even closer – thank you for that opportunity. What you do is blessed and significant to our Israeli society and the Zionist movement. You give hope and belief that our society is not indifferent to the difficulties of others, and at hard times there is somebody that will extend a helping hand to overcome the hardships. I cannot thank you enough and hope that one day I too will be able to help others as you have done for me. I want to believe that as a social worker I will be able to spread the message of giving to my clients. You have given me a personal example and a model for imitation.

Yulia W.


A chance to breathe

I am studying social work at Haifa University and am grateful that the university gave me this opportunity and opened a door to me to study what I wanted so badly. It wasn’t easy for me to leave my parents as I am the eldest and I helped my family financially. But they believed it was very important for me to study and would not hear of me missing this big opportunity to study and they encouraged me to leave home and to go to study in Haifa. The large distance from my family is not easy for me, nor for them financially and emotionally. My parents would like to help me financially, but don’t have with what, and I can no longer help them. Your scholarship will enable me to cover my overdraft and to start to breathe a bit and to look for work in the summer to pay back my loans from friends and to pay my debt to Bituach Leumi and to pay the down payment for my studies next year and to save for the beginning of my studies. I have no words to express my thanks and emotion for your charity to me and to other students. You are good people who care about the academic education of students in Israel; you look after us and make sure that our financial difficulties will not stop us from succeeding and completing our degrees.

Ilanit A., Petach Tikva


Thank you 

Just recently I read your address, Merle, to the last ESRA AGM, which was printed in ESRA MAGAZINE (#160, July/August 2011, pp.13-14). I simply want to express my heartfelt thanks to you for your clear and eloquent statement which reflects what I and many other longtime volunteers in ESRA have been sensing, that we have lost some of our unique nature. I only hope that your words of wisdom are heeded. Your guidance and leadership are sorely missed.

Leah Esterson



The Jewish Soldier in World War II

In reply to the letter from Ben Friedman, Raanana (ESRA MAGAZINE #160, July-August 2011, page 11) and others who may be interested, the organization and address they need is:The Association for Establishing the Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II

P.O.Box 2451, Kiryat Ono 55122.Phone: 08 922 4764; Fax: 08 923 2786 

They will send forms to be filled in and all details.

Helene Halle


Editor’s Note:  Thank you Helene for this useful information. It led me to their website and I quote from it: “The Museum will bring the story of Jewish Soldiers in World War II, their fighting and their part in the Allied Forces, the Underground Organizations, and with the ranks of the partisans, facing Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan – the ‘Axis Countries’. This chapter has not found its worthy place in the pages of the history of our nation. It is missing in our national consciousness, especially in the most tragic and decisive period of its history. No nation has produced such a percentage of fighters, and there is no nation with such a percentage of fallen sons in the battle of World War II. The objective of the Museum, also, is to shed light on the Jewish fighters’ part in the establishment of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), and in the struggle to liberate and constitute our countryThe museum will be erected on the site of Latrun Yad Lashiryon. They are compiling materials and write: “If you have an unusual item, with an interesting and moving story, if you aspire to memorialize your loved one, please contact us


Thank you Natalie Elgrod

Here I am, safe and sound in my apartment, without another slip of the knee. I am sorry for the worry I caused you... remember, it was I that agreed to come along without my walker. You had no idea how much I depend on it. Silly me!

Thank you for the lovely outing. What a very special treat. I have not been out like that in ever so long, as I told you more than once. What I am trying to say is this, I think you are a very special person and you are becoming a very dear friend

I have found that friendships, real ones, take time to develop. Friendships rushed into are often rushed out of as well. And marriages... well I am a veteran of the old adage, "Marry in haste; repent at leisure”. I have my own saying though, "Good things take time and usually come in small packages”.

I also want to say, I have taken note often, it isn't just for me you do such nice and thoughtful things. You are constantly doing for others. What a lovely and precious soul you are.

Have a good night and only the best always.

Chana Hod Hasharon

Editor’s Note: Natalie Elgrod is one of our ESRA befrienders and she visits the writer in this capacity.


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