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Nina weaves a magic spell

 Nina Zuck is a magician. She finds the most wonderful projects for her friends, acquaintances and ESRA volunteers, and makes the shidduch. All projects are a work in progress, each year is a learning process, and the results just get better and better.

The concept of the project for the second year running was to bring together outstanding students from junior high schools in the Netanya area and form a group that would not only write the articles for the "Like Netanya 2014" magazine, but, jointly with ESRA volunteers, would also act as the editorial board of the magazine.

Disadvantaged learners get help from their schools and a cadre of ESRA volunteers. We wanted to broaden the horizons of the outstanding students and let their imaginations take them to other places, in English – doing not just grammar exercises and tests, but enjoying a completely English-speaking environment for the 90-minute session.

Due to budget considerations, it had been decided that the 2014 magazine would not be printed. So we turned it into a website and launched it on the Internet, making it available not only in Netanya but to everyone.

The group was made up of students from four Netanya junior high schools. In addition to meeting once a week at the East Netanya Community Center, the Center funded two outings for the students and volunteers. The first was a visit to the printing facility at the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in Rishon Lezion, where we were taken on an official tour and the students were given the task of creating a front page for the newspaper in four minutes. What an experience.

Their second outing was at the end of their activities. The students and the volunteers were treated to a "behind the scenes" visit to the Netanya Police headquarters and had an in-depth look at the problems the police face on youth issues and in enforcing the "Town Without Violence-" policy. They also saw the police robots in action and Leor, a student, got to wear the protective headgear of the unit.

This year's group was simply brilliant - the interaction between students and volunteers was a reciprocal learning curve, with the students learning from the volunteers and the volunteers (including yours truly) learning from the students.

It was a pleasure to send the students to the computers to research and write. They had so many ideas, and we learned so many new terms. The students came from different schools and backgrounds, and the volunteers brought with them diverse life experiences. The results were amazing. I believe that this group could continue writing for fun as a hobby, a career or whatever – the sky is the limit. It was my privilege to help create and lead this group, and hopefully this project will continue next year.

Our grateful thanks go to: East Netanya Community Centers CEO Smadar Drory,Neot Ganim Community Center manager Shahar Elbaz, Magic English Center manager Inbal Cohen, and Magic English Center secretary Miri Karubi, as well as to volunteers Phyllis Emanuel, Toni Green, Gillian Heron, Linda Kaye, Jonathan Safran, Joyce Serlin, Nina Zuck and Graham Horwich, who took the magazine and made it into a website :



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Tuesday, 07 February 2023

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