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From the Editor 209

"If I see a rocket coming, I'll step out of its way".

Since yesterday life has gone back to normal, no more Corona, and I wish I could say "no more wars". But instead of plotting peace, the leaders of both sides prepare for the next round. No vision, no courage, no concern for their people. However, I did have a good laugh when Siri, one of our writers, told me that her young neighbor, Saar, who lives in Eilat in a building with no safety rooms nor a shelter nearby, the fate of thousands of helpless families in the South, said: "If I see a rocket coming, I'll step out of its way".

This time round, the added tragedy was the warring inside our borders, the uprising of our own Arab citizens. We have the story of Cathy Raff's Beit el Fashara in Akko, her small boutique hotel and venue for traditional Arab cooking seminars, which was saved by caring Arab neighbors on May 12, but by May 13 the site was gutted. Cathy's dreams of using food to build bridges between communities seemed to be evaporating with the ashes and the broken glass, writes Nina Reshef. In The Tapestry of Israel Lucille Cohen talks about the rich mosaic of peoples and communities which makes up the kaleidoscope of society that is Israel and how these diverse groups of citizens of Israel self-identify – Muslim Arabs, Christian Arabs, Druze, Bedouin.

One of the after effects of war is combat soldiers who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD or shell shock. Gill Teicher describes Soul Key, a project of the Tel Aviv Conservatory of Music wherein these soldiers are treated through music and learn to play instruments, to sing, to compose lyrics, and more.

Israel evokes such emotion worldwide amongst Jews. Harold Sterne, in a Century-Old Dream of Aliyah, tells the story of Scottish and other British religious Jews, amongst them his grandfather, whose intense desire to live in the Holy Land led them to found institutions that would purchase land, sign up potential pioneering families, and brush aside all obstacles to their goal of aliyah. His grandfather never did make it to Israel, but two of his grandchildren did. There is the story of Hazel Levy, a young physiotherapist from South Africa, who came to fledgling Israel with a team of other physiotherapists to help treat victims of the polio epidemic in the early 1950s and how they triggered the founding of the first school of physiotherapy at Assaf Harofeh Hospital.

Today when immigrants from English-speaking countries come to live in Israel, ESRA, together with Gvanim, helps them get it right personally, professionally and socially. For older people, Protea Home Care delivers prepared meals, helps in managing the members' lives — dealing with bureaucracy, Social Security, Holocaust Survivor Rights, health organization dilemmas, solving service issues with cell-phone and TV companies.

The hatred of Jews has haunted us for thousands of years. You can read two stories of courageous Jews fighting anti-Semitism. Galia Miller Sprung tells us how her grandfather who had a Ford franchise in Sioux City, publicly rebelled in 1921 against Henry Ford's demand that his dealers distribute his anti-Semitic magazine, The Dearborn Independent. Herb Hahn talks about Bess Myerson, a Jewish girl who became Miss America and then went into active politics in New York, to become an active fighter of anti-Semitism.

Carol Novis describes how Judith Edelman-Green from Kfar Saba, a Reform rabbi, treats Covid-19 patients with Pastoral Counseling, a therapy which uses spiritual resources as well as psychological understanding for healing. Mimi Tanaman tells us how ESRA kept kids going in five communities during the pandemic even when the schools were closed.

Our cover photo is of Srulik, one of the ceramic items in Sharyn Weizman's vast collection of Lapid ceramics. The longest piece of graffiti in Israel, painted by artist Dudi Shoval, adorns the wall of Dalyat el Carmel's Soccer stadium.

I am constantly inspired by people and what each person does to contribute to the whole. Ruth Barina volunteers on ESRA's phone and her 45 years of nursing help her to detect loneliness. When she does, she connects the caller with ESRA Befrienders. Lola Katz, an educationalist, has been volunteering for ESRA for almost forty years, training ESRA's volunteer tutors and being our professional consultant in our ETP tutoring project. In our obituaries you can learn about Denis Shifrin who drew thousands of cartoons for ESRA Magazine, on a volunteer basis of course; Dr Harold Brozin, a surgeon, who encouraged thousands of people to run regularly in the Sharon fields; Professor Myron Lieberman who developed the post-graduate department of orthodontics for the Tel Aviv University Dental School; and Gitty Glaser.

Hikers should read Stephen Kliner's account of hiking the infamous Yam le Yam trail, a cross-country hike from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee. If you want an idea of where to travel, Navot Laufer regales us with his camping holiday on the Dalmatian Coast. Or maybe visit Brooklands Museum in Weybridge Surrey, a real adventure park displaying classic vehicles, motorbikes, pedal bikes and even aircraft.

For a myriad of events, read ESRA's Events pages. Bridge columnist Alan Caplan writes about Michael's Cue Bids. Laugh out Loud with Jennia, and Siri Jones-Rosen brings of ConsumerWatch tips.

Please donate to our ESRA Campaign and enjoy this magazine.



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Sunday, 16 June 2024

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