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All the fun of the fair

At the pre- Chanukah fundraiser ... Left: Susan Kurnedz with the mountains of homemade cakes donated by Netanya branch. Above: Nancy Kramer acting tea lady. Right: Ros Ben Ezra setting up the knitted doll stand. 

Way back in early summer when a few of us proposed sponsoring an Arts and Crafts fair as a pre-Chanukah fundraiser, we had no idea how much planning it would involve and no idea how much coordination and what a well-oiled and cooperative machine our small subcommittee would evolve into. We met every two weeks, planning and making notes and lists. We also met frequently with the manager of the space we were using, negotiating and bargaining the rules and what we could and could not have access to. We are most thankful to the Yona Apartments, their management, staff and residents for the donation of their community room for the fair. We made a decision early on that we would sell only handmade arts and crafts and new "white elephants". And lo and behold we pulled it all off with great success and panache!

The planning committee waited with bated breath as opening time approached, wondering if anyone would show up. Of course we were hoping upon hope that it would be a huge success but we also adopted a very philosophical attitude to it - if it weren't successful, we would have learned from this experience to do it even better next time. As the doors opened and the guests started flooding in, we looked at each other with relief, but mostly with great joy and excitement as we greeted the public who were enjoying this wonderful event.

Local ESRA members brought carloads of wonderful new items for resale and loads of homemade cakes to sell at the event. The artists and vendors who participated were amazingly creative, warm and friendly. They presented knitted baby items and crocheted scarves, collages and paintings, plants and home-made jams, mosaics and quilted items, delicate handmade fine jewelry, original costume jewelry and ceramics.

Some of the most successful vendors were from two ESRA Netanya sponsored projects. Bayit Cham, an after-school center for Ethiopian girls in crisis, had a table laden with their delicious homemade baked goods, plants in pots which they had decorated and woven tote bags, all made by the girls in the program. They worked in the room like experienced professionals, selling their wares to everyone, cajoling and convincing the attendees to buy just one more thing! The other very successful table sold beautiful embroidered Ethiopian handicrafts, including shoulder bags, eyeglass holders and much more of their bright and delicate handiwork.

Busy buying and selling on the day

One of the most uplifting experiences of the event was the growth of our small committee into an efficient, caring and creative working group. There was no ego involvement, no competition and no arguing … just getting done whatever needed to be done for the fair and to benefit the ESRA Netanya projects. I would want this group in my corner for anything that I needed to undertake. Our executive board and other members of ESRA Netanya came together to work at the event and contribute to its success.

The exhaustion, aching backs and sore feet the next day paled in comparison to the joy we all shared at having made this wonderful event come to fruition from the mere germ of an idea hatched several months before. 



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Saturday, 30 September 2023

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