The old adage that time goes quickly when you are enjoying yourself is something I most certainly can identify with as I write, this, my final "Chairperson's Message".
It was Adele Hunter, who first approached me back in the autumn of 2011, and asked whether I might consider taking over from her and Nina Zuck in the May of 2012 and here we are in June 2016 when I will have completed four years in this esteemed position –sharing the honors this past year with Baruch Tanaman.
Having served in numerous organizations both here and in the United Kingdom I can safely say that the uniqueness of ESRA lies in its volunteer soul. Whether it is this Magazine compiled entirely by volunteers, for volunteers and distributed by volunteers; whether the hundreds involved in our English Tutoring Program; whether those who volunteer in Gan Rashal and Raanana; those who work in our projects; those involved in our branches – committee members or not- all contribute towards making ESRA the great organization it is.
What has been particularly gratifying has been the expansion of our organization.The initiation of regular Regional Meetings has encouraged meaningful participation for all.Having had the pleasure of being present at virtually each gathering I have witnessed the importance of bringing our branches together.Our three Regional Coordinators – Jane Krivine (North), Janet Kiesari (South) and Glenis Bertfield (Center) have contributed greatly to the success of the Regions. The dynamic initiatives and excellent programs carried out by our branches nationwide is something of which we can be enormously proud.
There can be no doubt that ESRA's strength lies in its branches and, specifically, its members.What I have come to appreciate is that each branch has its own identity and chooses a program to suit its composition. What works in one does not necessarily work for another. It is this personalized approach that breeds success.For sure ESRA produces the most exciting programs for us to enjoy.Whether it is a question of attempting to catch up with our grandchildren via the iPhone and Facebook – learning from the experts - or whether it is increasing our understanding of the complex and challenging part of the world in which we live or simply having fun on those excellent tiyulim and hikes - ESRA produces a program to suit.
Ours is an organization that not only gives pleasure and satisfaction to each of us but we can also take pride in the incredible projects supported by ESRA. We are making an enormous difference in the lives of so many children and youth. We are contributing greatly towards a better tomorrow for the individual child and simultaneously for our beloved State of Israel.A special word of appreciation must go to our Projects' Chair, Nina Zuck – whose days (and nights) are filled with giving to our ESRA projects.
As I write down these thoughts ESRA's First National Conference is about to take place – no doubt reported onwithin these pages. The conference heading is "Moving forward together". How apt this is for together we have achieved so much yet there is still much to do.
Our deep appreciation goes to ESRA's founder, Hon. Life President and editor of this great Magazine – Merle Guttmann. Her sense of pride in what has been accomplished since 1979 must prove most gratifying for her as it does for us all.
To conclude – my thanks goes to you all for making ESRA the amazing organization it is. It has been a privilege and pleasure to have worked with you and I am confident, that under the guidance of chairperson elect Baruch Tanaman, the organization will continue to go from strength to strength
Hag Shavuat Sameach to you and your dear families