How I tracked my parcel - to a gift shop

I received a notification(petek)from the post office the other day informing me that a parcel had arrived for me to collect. To be honest, I didn’t bother to look at the address of the post office, assuming that as usual it emanated from the one in OpsterlandStreet in Raanana where one normally goes to pick up parcels and registered mail. This was my first mistake.

When I got to the counter, having endured an interminable wait until my number came up, I was informed that I had to go to 11 HatzeiraStreet in the industrial area - see, on the petek, can’t you read the address?

So I went to 11 Hatzeira Street, only to discover that it’s an office building with no signs of a post office. I went around the back, and met someone coming out who confirmed as much, and looked at me as if I was some kind of lunatic for asking such a stupid question.

Undeterred, I thought,“well, there is a post office in the Renanim Mall, surely that must be the place.” So I drove to the mall, and got to the post office just as it was closing. They wouldn’t let me in but I managed to extract from a clerk through the window that it’s not there anyway, but that there isa parcel collection point in the supermarket, behind the manager’s office. “He has to be joking”, I thought–“a parcel collection point in a supermarket?”

But ok, in for an agora in for a shekel, the supermarket was just around the corner, “I’ll give it a try. And yes, the supermarket does have a parcel collection point, but guess what?”“You’ve come to the wrong place, mate, chaver,”“Can’t you read? It says here on the petek 11 Rehov Hatzeira.”“But I’ve been there,” I said,“and there’s no post office!”

“Well, you weren’t looking in the right place,” says a lady in the line. “It’s in the gift shop at the front of the building.” -“The parcel collection point is in a gift shop?” -“Yes of course,” she says, looking at me like I ama lunatic for doubting her.

So, gritting my teeth and silently expressing my feelings about this latest example of Israeli bureaucratic madness, I set off for 11 Hatzeira once again. I immediately noticed that there is indeed a gift shop at the front of the building. It was so obvious, how come I didn’t notice it? And yes, there is a room inside for the collection of parcels. So I gave the lady my petek, and whilst she was wrapping a gift, she found my parcel. Simple really, why didn’t I think of that in the first place?

So the next time you get a petek informing you of the arrival of a parcel, try your local gift shop first. It’s so much more reliable than the post office!

Laurence Lebor


Are there any debs in Israel? It would be delightful if we could all meet up . . .

Re ARTICLe Gelvandale Toynbee Ballet School (ESRAmagazine #182).

It would be remiss of me not to mention Dulcie Howes, the Director of the University of Cape Town Ballet School, who had a vision and a dream that “Coloreds” would teach ballet in schools as a matric subject. In 1986 Shirley Dickson, from the Gelvendale Toynbee Ballet School, was the first to achieve that goal when she was appointed as the senior ballet mistress at St. Thomas HighSchool in Port Elizabeth, teaching ballet as a matric subject. She had four Std. 6 pupils studying underher direction.
I received many phone calls with regard to the article,asking howI had overcome the obstacles, such as having to change costumes in the wings of stages where my pupils performed, as we were not allowed to use the change rooms which were designated for "Whites only", having to use outside toilets etc., My reply was that these "obstacles" were my "challenges"!
Another question was, why did I choose to do a debutantes’ball as a fundraiser? I had previously trained debutantes from the Jewish Theodore Herzl School in Port Elizabeth for a debutantes’ ball which was very successful. Your very own Lily Rose Michaelovsky’s* daughter, Diane, was one of the debs! I've often wondered if there are any more debs living in Israel?
If there are I would love to meet you!
Thank you, Merle, for your professional editing of this fine magazine.
I have kept every copy! Whenever I go up north I always take an ESRAmagazine with me, always finding it an interesting read.
Like my Facebook - the ESRAmagazine is my constant companion!

Fonda Dubb


*Lily Rose is a longtime volunteer in ESRA’s Beit Fisher office in Raanana.


Thank you with all my heart for your grant, which will help me to continue my studies, and even more, enable me to succeed in life in Israel. Receiving this grant will allow me to bridge a most difficult time in my life, my student years, by making me financially stable and giving me the independence to achieve my dream in Israel. The grant is not just about the money, for no less important is the support and hopefulness I feel because of you. Bless you for your deep generosity, your involvement, and your concern. You have made me deeply happy with this grant. Receiving this grant has given me so much strength and faith that I can succeed despite the difficulties. I see your aid as a golden opportunity not to be missed. 

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you. There are no words to express how grateful I feel. 

Ella V. 

Tel Aviv 


I am a student at Sapir College, Sderot, majoring in industrial control management engineering. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for granting me a second chance to advance my knowledge, and for providing me with a shoulder to lean on. The financial burdens of a student are not easy to bear. I am privileged to receive from you not just a one-time grant, but a second annual allocation to allow me enough breathing space to press on toward my goal. 

No words are sufficient to describe my gratitude and appreciation towards all of you. Being given a second year of support is not something I took for granted, and it will help me achieve my dreams.  

Your generosity serves as an example to me, and strengthens my desire to pay it forward. I hope that someday I will be able to express my thanks by becoming a donor. 

Etti F. 



I would like to express my thanks to all of you and to say a few words in appreciation forselecting me as a recipient of your aid. 

I am studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in industrial engineering and management at the Holon Technical Institute. Last year I was impeded by my dire financial situation, and because I am self-financed and self-supporting it caused my studies to suffer. Without a doubt, your aid will help me survive and succeed because I will be able to concentrate on my studies. Without your grant I’m certain that I could not have managed. 

Your support for needy students is wonderful. The work you do is heartwarming and uplifting, bringing hope to the students who are the recipients of your aid. 

Tatiana R.  
Tel Aviv 


I would like to sincerely thank you for your generous donation to the ESRA scholarship program. Thanks to your donation I was able to receive a scholarship that will help me continue to meet my needs while I am a second degree student at the University of Haifa. My level of Hebrew and my class schedule do not allow me to work, and making ends meet is hard. However, your generosity will allow me to complete my studies without fear that I will go without food or be unable to participate in my program’s mandatory activities. It is because of you, and people like you, that olim students such as myself, can pursue their dreams without interruption. I am eternally grateful for this chance to continue to pursue my degree. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for making my dream possible. 

Elizabeth S. 



English? No call for it

I believe that English is on the curriculum at Israeli schools. So why is it that when these pupils matriculate and some get jobs in call centers answering phone calls from customers (some of them Anglos), they’re no longer able to speak English?

Anthony Green



Magazine ‘is on a par with People or Vogue’

Thank you Merle for helping me educate and encourage Americans living in Israel to vote.

We are making a difference.

You do an excellent job creating ESRAmagazine. I would put it on the same level as People, or maybe Vogue! I look forward to reading Jennia Ganit Chodorov's "A Bit of Humor". Not only does it make me laugh, but it is educational:-the new word for the month is PARAPROSDOKIANS.

My latest Times of Israel voting blog is

Andee Gold



A glimpse of Warsaw in pre-war years

The cover of Jewish Warsaw Between the Wars

I am delighted to announce that after a long (2-year) “pregnancy”my latest book of translations has emerged.  It is by an author who is little -known in the English world, but I fell in love with him and his fine short story writing. 

Ephraim Kaganovski's book of 20 short stories is called Jewish Warsaw Between The Wars...... a glimpse into the exciting, productive, fast changing life of the pre-war years.

The book is self-published and sells for $18. It is available through, or at

Bracha (Beverly) Weingrod 



New group PRIMER’s aim is to pluck out the truth from all the lies

The talk on March 22 in Netanya by Ben-Dror Yemini, "The Industry of Lies," given as part of ESRA's bi-weekly lecture series, was truly excellent. Yemini presented numerous examples of the way supporters of the Palestinian Arabs make use of the "Big Lie" technique. Particularly impressive was the way Yemini was able to show Mahmoud Abbas' earlier writing proving that something else Abbas later wrote was a blatant lie.
One question for the rest of us is: what can we do?
Not many people can do what Ben-Dror Yemini is doing, but those of us who read ESRAmagazine, the magazine of English speaking residents of Israel, can still be powerful voices responding to the lies and distortions which so frequently appear in newspapers (and other media) outside Israel. One doesn't have to be a great writer to produce an effective letter to a newspaper. Almost all of us still have ties to the countries from which we came and hear about newspaper items which demand responses. Who better to create effective responses than us?
To help encourage those responses, I've started a group called PRIMER-Israel, for Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting.
About once a week, on average, we pick out an item whichappeared outside Israel to which we believe a response from someone living in Israel can be particularly effective. We distribute that item via our email list, generally along with an analysis which points out many of the lies and distortions, and the contact information which may be used to send letters.
PRIMER is a totally volunteer initiative which complements and does not compete with the work of CAMERA ( and HonestReporting (, since we specifically concentrate on items where letters from English-speaking Israelis can be more effective than letters from others.
You can get on the PRIMER-Israel email list by contacting me ( or submitting a form on the PRIMER website (
You may feel you can't write good letters, but almost everyone can, and PRIMER can also help you develop the skills you may feel you lack.

Alan Stein



57 people are walking the Nordic way –and a sciatica sufferer tells her story

This is an update on the effect of the article I wrote in ESRAmagazine #182 about my personal experience with Nordic Walking for my back pain. As I wrote then, my back pain on walking and the distance I could walk without feeling back pain improved and this has persisted for the past year.

As a result of the article, a total of 57 people, average age 77, with back, hip or knee pain, have started on Nordic Walking. They had been suffering pain in these areas for an average of 10.7 years, but despite combinations of many medications, many operations, physiotherapy, chiropractic therapy, water exercises, regular workouts, Pilates and/or Feldenkrais exercises, they still had these symptoms.

After 6 weeks of Nordic Walking, their degree of pain, on a scale of 1 to 10, (with 10 being very intense pain and 0 being no pain), fell from an average of 6.9 to an average of 2.0, a decline  of 71% in the severity of their pain. In addition, the distance they could walk without stopping because of pain went from an average of 397 meters to 1,496 meters, an increase of almost 4 times in distance walked. Many stated that they can now walk with a wider gait and faster than they did without the poles and felt that they were less likely to fall because of the improved balance provided by the poles.

The reduction in pain is likely due to two things. The poles take a lot of the weight off the back which causes less pressure and pain in the back, hips and knees. In addition, the fact that one pushes the poles back with walking causes the spine to straighten up instead of stooping, which improves the posture and thus also reduces muscle spasm and pain in the back.

In addition, two other people with Parkinson’s also started using Nordic Walking because of poor balance and this has improved with this form of walking. One person with poor circulation in his legs which caused him pain on walking and which reduced the distance he could walk has much less pain and can walk much further since starting Nordic Walking.

If you are interested in learning this technique free of charge, whether or not you have pain, I can be reached at 09 866 5715 or 052 933 0039, or at email

Donald Silverberg



Just a week, and it’s a step in the right direction

Thank you Donald. I felt all that you wrote in your article after 1 week of my Nordic Walking.

Daniel Levy


Nordic walking brought back the joy of walking again

I am 66 years old. I work full time and have always walked and exercised most of my adult life. However, a few years ago, I developed sciatica from several bad falls I had off my electric bike. The disk in my back was filled with fluid and had expanded, putting pressure on my right side, causing pain and discomfort. I could not walk long distances, and walking up the stairs was extremely painful. After the sciatica was gone, my right side and part of the left side of my hips and legs were weaker and became easily tired, especially when I walked up any incline. I found myself stopping every 15 minutes or so along the way, as my legs felt tired and pressured. A few months ago, my sister shared an article in ESRAmagazine from a qualified doctor, Donald Silverberg, doing a study on Nordic Walking, and he wrote about the amazing results he received. Each person was a different age, with different physical challenges, but everyone reported only positive results. I immediately contacted Dr. Silverberg and he connected my sister and me with a distributor and trainer of the Nordic walking poles. He met with us where we lived and after choosing the specific poles that were best suited for us, he walked with us for an hour to make sure we had the proper positioning and feel of the poles. A week later, after walking with my sister on a long walk, I experienced all the positive effects immediately. My legs were not tired and I could easily walk up an incline without breaking my stride. I felt energized and for the first time I did not need to stop at all when walking a long distance. When I came home, I felt that my shoulders and hips were a bit sore, so I knew it was working, as you are working your entire body as you walk. Nordic Walking has brought back my joy of walking again. Alex, the instructor, followed up with us a week later to make sure we were walking correctly, and gave us more hints to challenge ourselves a bit further. I now look forward to a healthier and more active life.

Joyce Kuras

Petach Tikvah


How the wheelchair-bound can give our feathered friends a breakfast feast. By the birdman of Tel Aviv

Home to roost ... a couple of birds having breakfast from a window box at Mike Porter’s apartment in Tel Aviv

I've just fed the birds outside the kitchen window.  There's a lot of satisfaction seeing the sparrows and doves come to the window box for crumbs, but definitely not pigeons – they make an awful mess. I scare them off by clapping my hands.  The other birds fly off as well, but they've learnt – after a minute or two they're back. 

I also chuck crumbs into the air (we're on the 4th floor), and the sparrows "dive-bomb" them.  But the doves won't move - they're a lazy lot and know their rights.  This bird of the Bible ("the voice of the turtle is heard in the land"), realizing its importance, insists on being served.

The bird-breakfast idea might be good for retirement homes. It could be especially exciting for "wheelchair people" to take part in this activity.

The home should choose some open ground, not too close to the building. Every day at the same hour the people in wheelchairs would be brought to this area.  Crumbs and bits of bread left over from breakfast (chopped up into bird-bite size where necessary) would be thrown far into the middle of the circle.  Once the birds start coming, the onlookers could throw crumbs, but this takes time.  Sudden movement usually scares off the birds.

The "breakfast for birds" should always start at a specific time (say about one hour after breakfast). It takes a while, but eventually the birds will get the picture. 

Sometimes one will stay around in hopes of more food to come, but there must be a cut-off point (keeping to the same time each day) if you want to keep control.

Mike Porter

Tel Aviv













print Email article to a friend
Rate this article 

Post a Comment

Related Articles


About the author

Script Execution Time: 0.07 seconds-->