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Chairman's Message December 2022

Come Join Us!

Back into full swing again and there's lots of action in ESRA as we push forward to achieve maximum impact through our education and welfare projects.

As lots of action requires lots of players, I want to take this opportunity to appeal to you. To paraphrase Lord Kitchener's famous recruitment poster, Your ESRA Needs You! Volunteers are always needed and now even more so as our activities expand throughout the country. But this time, it is on one particular amazing activity that I wish to focus.

Although ESRA's English Tutoring Program (ETP) already has over 1,000 regularly active volunteer tutors, the Israel Ministry of Education, our partner in the project, is hoping to encourage many, many more volunteer tutors both within Israel and internationally.

It is well documented that the standards of teaching English in Israel are falling behind, with many schools simply not able to fill vacant positions amongst their staff. The role of our volunteer English tutors thus carries huge importance, taking up the slack of overworked teachers, and enabling the youth of the country to succeed in one very important aspect of their education.

ESRA offers three tutoring opportunities. The first is the School Tutoring Program, which operates nationwide. Working in the schools during school hours, volunteers assist teachers with their selected pupils, helping the children improve their English. This requires just two hours a week of your time, tutoring one-on-one or in small groups, in a school near you. Basic Hebrew is helpful, but previous teaching experience isn't necessary, as training is provided by the ESRA team.


Option two is our online tutoring programs, devised and developed by ESRA volunteers who are experts in the field. ESRA Tops is a program in which volunteers help 4th-12th grade students improve in their curriculum-based English studies through a series of 30–40-minute weekly sessions held after school hours via Zoom. In a similar format, Chat Away enhances and improves the English speaking skills of children from 7th-12th grades through one-on-one sessions of 30-40 minute weekly chats after school hours via Zoom or WhatsApp.

The third volunteering option is with Teacher Chat, another online program, this time helping English teachers for whom English is not their mother tongue, to enhance their English oral proficiency by providing them the opportunity to practice spoken English with a native speaker. This is particularly beneficial for teachers who lack the opportunity to practice their English in regular conversations with English speakers. This program, developed together with ESRA tutors, involves a series of 30–40-minute weekly Zoom sessions, based on the BBC 6-minute English website.

Hebrew is not essential for online volunteering. All you need is to be able to offer a small amount of time and the gift of your native English tongue. You will be providing a tremendous benefit to the child or teacher, and to the future of this country. Based on our volunteers' reactions, you'll derive a great deal of personal satisfaction.

Online tutoring is becoming increasingly popular, and our program includes many overseas tutors in the UK, USA, South Africa and Australia, so borders are no barrier! You can be a volunteer online tutor right from your own home and give Israeli children and non-native speaking ‎English teachers a unique experience that improves their English, while you connect to life in Israel and influence its ‎wellbeing.‎

ETP is available to all socio-economic groups and all sectors of society. In a recent survey of teachers, feedback conducted on students in the ETP programs showed over 80% reporting increased confidence and a marked improvement in students' oral English

Our volunteers report a huge sense of satisfaction and belonging, and a feeling of meaningful use of their time. One volunteer, tutoring a Bedouin teacher through the Teacher Chat program, put it this way, "We are generating acceptance and respect for each other, building bridges between communities. It is about coexistence and bridges of peace. My student is an amazing person and I feel privileged to be her tutor. I look forward to continuing in this win/win program."

So why not join us? Be a part of this unique project and help make a real difference. Online registration is easy, just a click away. Simply go to the ESRA website (www.esra.org.il) and click on 'Volunteering Opportunities' where you'll find the registration button. Alternatively you can call our Herzliya office 09-950 8371 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Good luck! I guarantee you will enjoy the experience.

 

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Thursday, 25 April 2024

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