Corona is not leaving us. The challenge for the new year is how we, as individuals, learn to live "normally" with the virus, and how our country helps us to do so. Nina Reshef met Ziv Koren who has just brought out his historic book of photographs – To Breathe – which sums up in pictorial form the crazy first year of Corona in Israel and memorializes the period and its heroes.
Israel did itself proud at the 2020 Olympics in Japan by winning 4 medals – 2 gold and 2 bronze plus several of our athletes reaching the finals in their respective sports. Danny Grossman was there with the Israel Baseball Team and tells of their emotional Olympic experience.
ESRA has just published its fourth community cookbook – Food, Wine, Company. All credit goes to Judy Samuel, the author and producer, who initiated the idea, gathered all the recipes, scrupulously compiled and edited them, collected sponsorships, including her own, to cover all costs. Brenda Katten writes about how it all happened. And please buy it – all proceeds go to ESRA.
Holocaust heroes continue to unfold. Judy Frankel, thanks to a Zoom lecture she watched on Holocaust memorial day, discovered that Moritz Hochschild, born in Biblis, Germany, saved at least 9,000 Jews by obtaining for them passports to Bolivia where he was then living. Her second discovery was that Moritz was a relative of her late husband David. On the theme of anti-semitism, read Esther Manewith's account of The Lynching of a Jewish Man in Georgia, 1928, a tragic story. A hero of the Holocaust was the beautiful and famous actress Hedy Lamarr, not only a successful actress, but an active fighter of anti-semitism and an engineering genius who helped invent a sophisticated coding system that revolutionized the transmission of signals during WW2.
An exciting event for ESRA related by Carol Novis – the opening of the Pride House in Kfar Saba in the shelter which ESRA has been using for many years. We are proud to have opened our doors and our hearts to the local Gay population.
Varda Mendelsohn is one of ESRA's many unsung heroes. For 26 years, in her modest and caring way, she has been teaching sewing in our sewing centers to Ethiopian men and women, changing and enriching their lives. Nina Zuck tells us about her.
Congratulations to ESRA Beer Sheva on the great picnic you organized on America's birthday July 4. Carole Rosenblatt tells us that 75 people, including lots of kids, enjoyed being part of new English speaking community in the South, and one can see their pleasure in the photos that Judy Levin took.
Welcome to our new mother-daughter team which we will continue to see in future issues – Reva Mann wrote My Petrol Oven, illustrated so strikingly by Cookie Moon. Reva is the granddaughter of Israel's former Chief Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman, and the author of The Rabbi's Daughter, and we are proud that she has recently joined the magazine's editorial board.
Carol Novis enlightens us on the new ANU Museum, formerly the Holocaust Museum. The aim of ANU is celebrating Jewish diversity and communities and showing how Jewish identity and culture have evolved over time. The result is an image and name change to ANU ("We") Museum of the Jewish People. On the subject of museums, Lydia Aisenberg writes vividly of the crumbling Castle in Gaash. I remember a terrific event we held there, tens of years ago – a Casino evening to raise money for our ESRA community projects.
I found fascinating a little-known part of Israel's history. Susie Aziz-Pam tells us about
Daher el-Omar, a Bedouin Sheik, who was responsible for building the ports of Acco and
Haifa, and many castles, and protecting walls in Tiberias, Tzfat, Nazareth, Tzippori and other places in the Galilee. He was the first ruler to invite Jews to come back and settle the Holy Land in over 1200 years.
You'll enjoy Berry Pinshow's Punctured Tyre story. Kudos to Berry, who until now has only written academic books and articles, for venturing into writing stories. Real fun is Tali Kaplinski Tarlow's hens story and illustrations.
I haven't forgotten the high holidays, in case you thought so! Thank you to all those readers who sent in a New Year Greeting which we very much appreciate. Susie Aziz-Pam recounts a Yom Kippur event in 1970 in Jerusalem - how they were thrown into the Sephardic tradition because they hadn't bought seats anywhere else. So, they went to pray in the Persian synagogue, in the Bucharan Quarter, where tickets for the high holidays were unheard of. In From Alaska to Jerusalem, Joel Grossman provokes us this Rosh Hashanah to think about doing meaningful things and find purpose in our lives and understand our place in the universe, not only to pray to God to forgive our sins and grant us life for another year.
Sima Rolnick opens our eyes to Mothers with Meaning (MWM), a strong, supportive community of women who work together with the goal of influencing the world around them through: learning, empowerment and community action, based on common Israeli values and inspired by Jewish wisdom.
Dr. Guy Carmi enlightens us on how to legally prepare for Death and Mental Incapacity, and Adv. Shavit Ben-Chorin helps us to understand what to do if you have unclaimed funds/lost accounts.
Congratulations to Voices on your 50th anniversary, a great achievement which you can read about in Wendy Blumfield's story.
If you are looking to volunteer, ESRA will help you find something worthwhile – you can tutor English to youth and students who need help, befriend lonely or sick people, help in our shops or in the office, and and…
To learn about two army frameworks through which you can volunteer – read Maia Aron's article on the English speaking branch of Yachad, and Jack Copelovici on Sar-El.
Happy New Year