The cover photo of a mother and children huddled in a trench reminds me vividly of our own Six-Day War experiences. We too dug our trench in the field adjacent to our home and each time there was a siren I would rush there with our two daughters aged 7 and 5. One afternoon when a siren screeched we were at the dentist, Dr Ian Froman, in Ben Yehuda street in Tel Aviv, and he in a jiffy made us run to a shelter round the corner. It was also during these six days that our third daughter, a Sabra, was conceived. 

A small notice in the last magazine calling for personal memories resulted in seven stories and photos about the Six-Day War which we are proud and excited to feature in 17 pages in this issue. Thank you our writers for responding and recording Israel’s history through your stories of how the war changed your lives.

Summer is here. You could visit Beth Shean and one or more of Israel’s historical museums which are outlined by Gabriel Mayer. For eating out try Buzzy Gordon’s choices of 10 Asian restaurants. If you are planning a trip overseas, read Rhoda Goodman’s perceptive account of Japan, Lydia Aisenberg’s visit to a little known Holocaust memorial in Canada at Sonoma State University, and Ruth Corman’s amazement at Canary Wharf in London.

A bridge addict? Enjoy Carol Novis revelation of her new love, and glean some insights from Alan Caplan’s bridge column.

There are beautiful efforts of proving we can live harmoniously together, Jews and Arabs. In this issue read about Three Mothers Three Tongues, and the Peace Train.

Maia Aron, a new immigrant from the US, writes about her frustrating encounter with washing the tiled floor - it reminded me of my first job as a new immigrant, trying hopelessly to wash the floor of the children’s nursery on a kibbutz with a rag and a bucket of water. Leon Moss briefly brings into focus the dilemma of whether an old person is dead asleep, or whether he died in his sleep.

ESRA is what it is because of our amazing volunteers. I am deeply moved by how Adele and Mike Rubin brought ESRA to the consciousness, albeit unwittingly, of a long-time friend who bequeathed a very large sum to ESRA; by the tremendous efforts of Cynthia Barmor to track down the owner of a book donated to the Modiin bookshop because she found in it $800 which she wanted to return to the rightful owner; by the significant work of Jackie Klein who sadly for us has gone back to live in South Africa.

Are you a bookworm? And not living near ESRA bookshops? You’ll be happy to read that our Modiin bookshop is now roving even to Rishon, and similarly our Binyamina bookshop is roving in the Five Cities.

Our ESRA 2017 Campaign has been launched and hopefully you will contribute to it to enable us to carry out our excellent projects for disadvantaged people and for English speakers. Please send in your New Year greetings to be published in our next magazine. Enjoy ESRA’S outings, lectures, social activities, groups of knitting, scrabble, bookclubs and much more.

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About the author

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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