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ESRA: An Amazing Organization! Chairman's Message 195

A few days ago, a friend read ESRA's new website and sent me an email to say "I want to be a part of this amazing organization! Why didn't I hear about it previously? How do I become a member?" This is the type of reaction that I have been hearing from people a lot over recent years. Well, we are busy making it easier for people to hear about ESRA, become a part of our ESRA family and, yes, become paid-up members! If you have not yet seen our new website, please go to http://esra.org.il/ . Not only can you read about ESRA's projects, branch activities and volunteering, but you can pay your membership, donate, and sign up for ESRA activities, all online through the website. Browse through our site and let us know how you like it.

While we are talking about "Hearing about ESRA", please spread the word to friends and family, in Israel and abroad. Let them know about your organization, where they can read about it and how they can become involved. The ESRA Magazine is also available in an online version and a link which you can send is to be found on the Home Page of our website.

Susan Kernedz, one of the awardees at our recent Volunteer Awards event (see article in this magazine), said that she likes to call our organization 'her ESRA family' because that is how it feels to her. It seems she is not alone, and many of our volunteers have expressed feeling the same way as they work together, helping each other, helping others, and sharing a commitment. There is something bonding and uniquely satisfying about giving for the good of others.

In addition to twelve remarkable volunteers from Nahariya to Eilat who were honored at the recent Volunteer Awards event held on 27th May, two amazing couples received special awards. Adele and Mike Rubin received the ESRA President's Award, and Betty and Ed Wolfe received the ESRA Chairman's Award. These two "young at heart" couples, who have a combined over 360 years, continue to be serious volunteers, contributing many hours each week, the Wolfe's in organizing and running the secondhand shops, and the Rubin's initiating projects. May they continue in good health for many more years. Betty and Ed will have celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary by the time you read this. Adele and Mike have become an important part of the scene in Sderot, where, thanks to their efforts, we are now running two projects.

After several years doing an admirable job, both Janet Keisari (South) and Jane Krivine (North) have decided to step down from their responsibilities as ESRA Regional Coordinators and as members of the Executive. Both will continue to be important and valued members of the ESRA family. As Jane stepped back from active regional involvement in the North, Harry Hiller (Haifa) stepped in taking over as Regional Coordinator and will continue the sterling job that he has been doing. Janet will carry on as Chair of ESRA Rishon LeZion and concentrate on developing the branch activities and projects. I am pleased to report that Glenis Bertfield (Raanana) has agreed to take overall responsibility for the regional coordinators, in addition to being responsible for the Central Region. Cynthia Barmor (Modiin) has agreed to be the Southern Regional Coordinator. I wish them all continued success in coordinating and assisting development of ESRA branches. As I write this, a new branch has been formed in Beer Sheva.

While many in the world seem to be concentrating on death and destruction, we are spending our time on projects that help improve the lives of others. That is why our Campaign this year states boldly that "at ESRA, Education & Welfare are NOT Just BUZZ Words" (see the Fundraising Campaign advert and donation form insert in the last magazine). Your donations will help our volunteers to continue making a difference through our Education and Welfare projects. Support ESRA in working toward a healthier Israeli society.

By the time you receive your magazine, we will have had our AGM and elected our Executive, which, together with all the other dedicated volunteers working in the branches or nationally, will run ESRA, our "amazing organization" for the coming year. Details of the new Executive will appear in the next magazine and on the ESRA website.

To quote Conan O'Brien:Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.

Maybe we should adopt that as one of ESRA's slogans!

Baruch

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Sunday, 05 December 2021

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