Students Build a Neighborhood, Herzliya
On November 20, 2011, ESRA’s Students Build a Neighborhood in Herzliya, held its first public event of the year – a Mini-Bazaar for children and their families. Undaunted by a cold, rainy afternoon, an energetic and enthusiastic team of students and children converted the "coffee shop" of the Yad HaTisha Community Center into a temporary shop to display their wares – clothes and toys mainly from the ESRA Second-Hand Shop – on tables covered with bright red cloths. The children drew colorful price tags for each table. Once the preparations were completed, the doors were opened to customers who had braved the afternoon’s downpours to come and make their purchases. The children had a good time practicing their marketing charm to promote sales.

The Mini-Bazaar was timed to coincide with Mitzvah Day 2011, an international event organized by the charity, Mitzvah Day UK, a Jewish-led day of social action. Around the world, thousands of people take part in hands-on projects, not fundraising events, to support charities and to build stronger communities. The mission is to reduce hardship and poverty, to help our environment and to bring a little joy. It is a way for all of us to make our mark regardless of our affiliation, wealth, age, sex or nationality.

The Students Build a Neighborhood in Herzliya is a joint project between ESRA (project coordinator Annette Lavender) and the Herzliya Municipality, and is run with the cooperation of the Yad HaTisha Community Center. The project, now in its second year, has six students, each of whom work with three children from 5th to 8th grades. Their work is coordinated by Shani, one of the students from last year’s program. In addition to providing mentoring for the children, the students plan to hold activities during the year involving the wider community. This first event enabled all the children to get to know one another and have the experience of working together.

Special thanks must go to Betty and Ed Wolff of ESRA for helping provide the merchandise, and to Eli Reuben, director of Yad Hatisha.

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