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From the Editor - 213

It's all about people

I often wonder if we realize how many people are involved in bringing out ESRA Magazine. It's hard to believe that some 430 volunteers rally together to produce and deliver this community publication. Be it writers, photographers, editors, proofreaders, translators, those postpersons who pop your magazine into your mailbox, even our adverts are handled by a volunteer. Yes, it is all about people, and I thank and applaud all of you who help produce and deliver this unique magazine for English speakers.

In fact, the world is about people and it is a shame that world leaders lose sight that it is not power that is important, but the welfare of human beings.

Just look at some of the amazing people featured in this issue: Ruth Berman, a former South African, recipient of the Israel Prize 2022 for her groundbreaking research in Modern Hebrew, in first language acquisition, and language development. Her work has placed Modern Hebrew on the map of current linguistics. Then there is lively Lillian Jacob, born in Bombay, who performed in Bollywood, India's movie industry. The late Nellie Goodvach, in whose memory her family sponsored our Young Writers Competition, was born in a forest to partisan parents and was entrusted to a Polish peasant while her parents took the fight to the Nazis and their collaborators in the Polesie Forest of Belarus. Nellie grew up as a refugee in Paris, later lived in Australia, and immigrated to Israel with her family, where she became an active ESRA tutor who fell in love with her students. Carole Rosenblatt, originally from Miami, made aliyah to help build Yamit, and after its evacuation settled in Beer Sheva where she opened a restaurant. She later became a dynamic and ever-optimistic Chairperson of ESRA Beer Sheva, from which she recently retired. Menorah Charney, originally from South Africa, started Meditation for Peace and Harmony and Creative Living, and her spirit lives on, writes her soul-mate husband, Leon.

Not just for a gap year, but for real, students from abroad are coming to Israel to study in English as you can read in Pamela Peled's article on the American School in Even Yehuda, and Ayala Raz writes about South African students at Raphael Recanati International School in Herzliya. Whilst on the subject of youth, talented kids from ESRA-sponsored Volume Center organized a concert to collect funds for Sunrise Camp for children suffering from cancer.

From youth to aging – indeed the days, the years race by. Marian Lebor asks herself "Am I aging?" after she is called "savta" by a stranger in the street rather than "mami". Eli Libenson puts his take on it, quoting from Psalms 90:12: "Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Growing old does offer one last chance, he suggests, not of recapturing our youth; rather it is the last chance to get it right – acceptance. But with some people, growing old brings unfortunate health decline: Uri Cohen, a colonel in the army, developed dementia and wrote poignant poems on how he felt. For the future of health, read Dr. Morton's Leibowitz' article on "Whither Medicine 2022?"

The plight of asylum seekers in Israel is harsh and sad. Here and there are pockets of help from nonprofit enterprises trying to find solutions for these stateless people who are not allowed to work. Kuchinate, in Tel Aviv, offers courses to 300 women in sewing and crocheting: baskets, handbags, aprons, book covers, jewelry and much more, perfect for gifts. The women are paid by the piece so their remuneration is not dependent on the sale of the item they make. The Jerusalem African Community Center, in addition to helping with rights, welfare aid, emotional counseling, and enrichment activities for the children, also provides training for adults in language and computer skills, carpentry, sewing and hairdressing, giving them ways in which they can support themselves.

Do you love to read and discuss the books you read? Then join ESRA Magazine's dynamic online book club run by Carol Novis and Pamela Peled and held on the last Thursday of the month – There are several book reviews in this issue which can also give you ideas of books worth reading.

Are you looking for an interesting shopping mall, a mall with a difference? Read Lisa Starr's "Let's go shuking" on Fridays in Rosh Haayin. And for consumer tips, enjoy Siri Jones-Rosen Consumer Watch. I was really happy that Alan Caplan, our bridge correspondent, enlightens us on Roman Keycard Blackwood, as I must admit it is one of my weaknesses.

There are summer recipes by Sharyn Weizmann and a wine review by Martin Sinkoff. And ideas for sites to visit by Lydia Aisenberg – Qumran National Park and the Basalt Canyon; ESRA's trips in the "Here and There Series"; the communities of Naveh, Bnei Nitzarim, and Shlomit are part of the miracle in the Negev Desert known as Halutza which have made the desert thrive, writes Frank Mecklenberg. ESRA provides wonderful lectures online, so keep your eyes open for announcements.

Enjoy the summer.



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Thursday, 25 July 2024

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