ESRA’s creativity and batteries run on volunteers. Our development over nearly forty years is like Lego – one piece on another, each piece representing a volunteer who has made a significant and colorful addition to ESRA’s kaleidoscope, to our building.

Our volunteers are and have been amazing. Serious, dedicated, hardworking, energetic, doing their jobs/s with professionalism and love. In this issue alone you can read about Nelly Perry, featured on our cover with maestro Gil Shohat, who for ten years has been organizing an outstanding piano recital and reception to raise moneys for our Netanya food pantry; and about Barbara Blum, our musical lecturer par excellence.

Sadly, two exceptional volunteers have passed away: Helene Halle, a former chairperson, a guiding light on our community fund, and a hands-on shop volunteer for twenty years; and Joan Weisman who gave so much of herself to our Ethiopian projects and to our Netanya lectures and outings.

Love of this land of ours is evident in Talya Dahan Dunleavy’s vivid memories of her childhood in Mitzpe Ramon; and in Sue Joffe sharing her photographic experience of capturing the migrating birds in flight in the Hula Valley. Barbara Abraham recalls the early days in Eilat and being part of Arkia’s tourist development. Moshe Feingold, who as a very young man, came from the U.S. to play his part in the establishment of Israel; and Herb Levine’s constructive programs in Sderot to promote and enrich the youth there – he calls on ESRAites to join him in volunteering there.

Places to visit in Israel include the museum in Pardes Hanna and the Via Maris, beautifully depicted in photos and text by Yael Meyer. Abroad, you can be tempted by travelogues on Iceland and on some small villages in Greece; the Scottish Highlands; and special spots to visit – Pollock's Toy Museum in London, with replication of the toys we loved as kids; and the historic Chelsea Hotel in New York with its fascinating stories.

Good health is what we all strive for. Leon Moss tells us that old age is what we feel, not what others tell us. Some useful articles to read are Paddling for Parkinson’s sufferers; don’t ignore the dangers of smoking, and Saba Mike’s story of a suffering stomach. ESRA offers you two new services: you can consult with Prof. Claire Rabin on your problems; and cancer sufferers can receive advice from Carol Lipman in Modiin.

In the Arts, you can read about Operation Wedding, a documentary film worth seeing on Holocaust memories; the Italian poet Primo Levi known to so few; and young Sahar Shomer Levi, the brilliant young budding actor. A serendipity story tells of how an article in ESRAmagazine on a Jewish music festival led to one of our readers discovering that music written by members of her family was also played there.

 Enjoy ESRA activities, please help us by paying your Membership Dues and by volunteering.

Happy Pesach from us all.


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Merle Guttmann

Merle Guttmann was born and educated in Zimbabwe and immigrated to Israel in 1962. She is well-known in Israeli Anglophone circles and Israel’s social and volunteer fields. A social planner, ...

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