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New Beginning Takes Us Back

At the ESRA Ramat Hasharon Branch relaunch evening (from left) Steve Linde, Hertzel Katz, Ramat Hasharon Mayor Avi Gruber and his mother Irene Gruber. Photos: Barbara Slater

 Hertzel Katz' efforts to arrange an evening of former Ramat Hasharon ESRA members, potential new ESRA members, other interested persons and guest speakers, successfully resulted in a full house of persons gathered, despite the inclement weather, at Yad Lebanim in Ramat Hasharon, on the evening of January 25, 2018.

The focus of the evening was to discuss renewed interest in restarting an ESRA Branch in Ramat Hasharon. Due to the natural dynamics of population changes and aging of its early members, this branch of ESRA had become inoperative over the past couple of years.

Prior to the speeches and the more formal part of the evening, guests and all those present were invited to partake of the beautiful, delicious hors d'oeuvres trays and drinks Lola Katz and her volunteers had prepared and laid out for all to enjoy.

Merle Guttmann (right) chats to a new immigrant at the Ramat Hasharon event

In her opening remarks, Merle Guttmann, Founder and the Life President of ESRA, emphasized the fact that historically, Ramat Hasharon was the first local ESRA branch founded on March 13, 1984, five years after the founding of the organization ESRA in Herzliya in 1979. On a personal note, this writer remembers well the talk Merle delivered at that time in Neve Magen. It was then and there at that meeting that Merle explained to her audience about her visions for the ESRA organization and her hopes for a 'start up branch' in Ramat Hasharon, which were then successfully realized shortly after this meeting. Hazel Camron, a Ramat Hasharon resident at that time became the local coordinator and chairperson of this early historic branch of ESRA.

Avi Gruber, the current mayor of Ramat Hasharon, welcomed the audience with his best wishes for a successful renewal of a local ESRA branch in the city. He also praised the English tutorial program ESRA organizes to help local high school students with their English language and studies programs. He indicated too, that as a youth, he could well have benefitted from such a program.

Steve Linde, the former Editor-In-Chief of The Jerusalem Post, and now the current Editor-In-Chief of The Jerusalem Report, was the guest speaker of the evening. The anecdotes and stories he related as a journalist for many years were amusing, very interesting, and informative.

Answering questions from the audience after his talk, Linde's answer to one of the questions posed, which many of us are so often confronted with and puzzled by: 'How should we respond to questions people ask regarding 'Israel's Situation?' was 'Tell the truth". His answer resonated.

Bernice Meyers, nationwide coordinator of ESRA's English Tutoring Program in the high schools, introduced herself to the audience, as well as Lola Katz, who for many years has been the Ramat Hasharon coordinator of this program.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a tutor in this program in Ramat Hasharon can contact Lola at 052 265 3447.

Praise indeed goes to Hertzel Katz and all those persons who helped him in arranging this very special, successful and stimulating evening, with great hopes that a renewed ESRA Branch in Ramat Hasharon will be fully realized. 

Ramat Hasharoniks enjoying being together at the ESRA evening on January 25 in Yad LeBanim. In the foreground are Shimshon and Joan Frankenthal and Avi and Joan Gover.
 

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