The “pleasure of paper”, said Arthur Gerbi, Merci’s managing director, who on a recent 13-hour flight to Tokyo from France preferred “to lug along magazines” rather than download anything onto his iPad.

It spoke to me forcibly, both on a personal level as I enjoy reading the newspaper whilst I eat breakfast, and on an ESRA level as we have tremendous positive feedback from you our readers that you enjoy reading and appreciate the ESRAmagazine. Thank you for that, your enthusiasm is what keeps us going with enthusiasm. It is also evident from our ESRA bookshops which you frequent that you get pleasure from reading in paper format.

To quote Lydia Aisenberg, a regular contributor to ESRAmagazine: “Just call me old-fashioned but when I want to read a book I want to do just that.  I am hooked on books; the real McCoy and not the present day thin, reflective in a different way electronic version of a good read.”

Modiin’s Books Bus is a great success bringing books in English to places where we don’t have bookshops. Read about it in “Have books! Will travel”, this time to Ramat Beit Shemesh.

Talking of the magazine, and books, we are launching another Short Story Competition – “Serendipity, Unexpected Luck”. We look forward to reading your submissions, so please see the guidelines in the announcement.

Our cover features Marsha Goldstein who underwent a kidney transplant and has a new lease of life. You can read about a recipient, the donors of kidneys, and how to donate a kidney if you are desirous of doing so. Another amazing story is how Keren Mohnblatt Nahum bore a child to give to her childless friend.

It is part of our DNA that we Jews are always looking for the Jewish theme, wherever. You will find it in the articles on the medieval ShUM communities in Germany, Amsterdam and the Holocaust, Honolulu and its End of the West synagogue, the inspiring Abayudaya Jewish community in Uganda, how a Shomer Hatzair “ken” got together to do a trip to Mongolia, a Jewish music duo in the States, the “Chapel of the Seven Maccabees” in Cyprus.

ESRA’s new challenges to help those who need it include knitting boobies for women with breast cancer, a preparatory summer intensive program for pre-school Ethiopian children, a story-time in English for kids in Ramat Aviv, a “car rally” in Netanya and a program of evening lectures there.

Our Six-Day War feature in magazine #190 has brought other stories in its wake – this issue Siri Jones-Rosen writes about her experience as a teenager in a youth village during the war.

Places to visit in Israel – the Atlit Detention Camp, the first Knesset building in Jerusalem, the Galilee with its blue sea and green lush areas.

For light stuff read Mike Porter’s furry tales of a holiday with three dogs and two cats; speaking 40 languages in his retirement home by Leon Moss; Cooking, Mum couldn’t care less by Zipporah Porath; how Savta’s feet featured in a Sophia Loren film by Marion Lupu; and Jennia’s humor page.

Enjoy Chanukah and try out Janine Levy’s Chanukah delights  

Merle Guttmann

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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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