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From the Editor

It is unbelievable how time flies, New Year is here again. And talking of flying, we are excited to announce that we will be holding our first-ever fundraising event in London on December 10. So if your visit to the UK coincides with the 'Canapes and Conversation' evening with prize-winning author Howard Jacobson, we'd love to see you there. You'll find full details on page 25.

As I look over the features awaiting you in this issue, I see that there is a numbers theme to many of them . . .

We celebrate the life of Meira and Jack Applebaum who made aliyah 50 years ago and have contributed so much to ESRA projects. Read about ESRA's flagship Students Build a Community project, which marked its 10th decade with an event in Netanya.

Seven years ago, Shari Mendes was diagnosed with cancer, but in the years since she's kept positive and creative, and in an uplifting piece tells how ESRA's Lemonade Fund can help financially those with breast cancer.

At what age did you stop playing with your toys? At 59, Jeffrey Levy still hasn't. But then it's not surprising as he owns a toy gallery in Tel Aviv. A serious collector of trains, planes and automobiles, Michal bar Shachar profiles him.

One devastating figure is the number 151. Out of 1,522 Jews who lived on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes, only 151 survived the horrors of Auschwitz, as Andee Goldman vividly reports. And if Its figures you're after, then you won't find

one bigger than 5,000 in this edition. That's how many years the detox dates back restaurant reviewer Buzzy Gordon put himself through to maintain his weight and health.

Jewish survival in harsh times is the subject of Lydia Aisenberg's feature centered on a 68-year-old handwritten Yiddish language magazine which was prepared by survivors of Bergen-Belsen after World War II. The Holocaust is also the theme of Yael Meyer's report on an ESRA trip to Jerusalem, which included a visit to Yad Vashem.

How well do you think you know someone? Herb Hahn tells the fascinating story of his late friend Howard H. Schack who secretly worked for the Israeli Mossad. Not even his family knew of his clandestine work.

Talking of discoveries, Itzik Maron tells the moving story of a visit to Lithuania he made where he finds a member of his family he didn't know existed and who has photos of Itzik's parents.

Rosh Hashanah is a time for fresh starts, and regular writer Eli Libenson has done just that. With romance in the air, he tells us about the new life he's carving out in Chicago. Like crooner Frank Sinatra, Eli can also say that the windy city is 'my kind of town'!

New beginnings are important for children in their formative years, and Lucille Cohen was impressed when she visited the Waldorf nursery school, a lively and enriching kindergarten near Netanya, she describes as an 'island of contentment'.

Bedouin women who want to study have tremendous ongoing hurdles to overcome. Read about how Mai Maizarieb succeeded to become a doctor.

When we think about New Year, food is certainly an important aspect. The Rosh Hashanah table isn't complete without the challot – and at 4am, Karen Maoz is busy in her kitchen baking, as Marion Lebor reports. Meanwhile, we have delicious, timely recipes from Janine Levy, and Nitzan Krivine has the perfect cake to eat at Succot.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 5778, and thank you for your support and encouragement.



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