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From the Editor 217

Each and every one of us can turn the negative into the positive 

With the changing of guards at our helm, I would like to say thank you to our outgoing chairman, Terry Morris. You did give of your absolute, Terry, you even had ESRA in your dreams or nightmares, you always took full responsibility for your job, always with the well-being of ESRA in your heart. You did a great job Terry and we will always be thankful to you for steering ESRA over the very difficult years of Coronavirus.

My guru professor in my master's degree used to say "there are professionals, and there are artists in their professions". Ilana Joselowitz who excels in beadwork and whose sparkling hamsa adorns our cover is one of these artists. We hope that this hamsa will protect you, our readers, against the evil eye and will bring you blessings, happiness, good health and positive energy. Ze'ev and Joseph Bau, writes Ruth Corman, were two of the most inspirational people she ever met. Ze'ev was hailed by The Times as one of the world's finest political cartoonists whose caricatures of Israel's view of world leaders we were privileged to smile at daily for forty years thanks to Haaretz and Maariv. Bau, who survived the Holocaust thanks to the forged documents he made for Oscar Schindler, was the first person in Israel to work as an animator on cartoon films. You can view his artwork and the books he illustrated in Bau House in Tel Aviv.

Photographer Batia Holin from Kibbutz Kfar Aza came up with the courageous idea of sharing photographs with photographers from Gaza so that others could share in the sights and sounds from both sides of the divide. It culminated in a joint exhibition showing how enemies can cooperate. Talking about creativity, multi-media artist Dalia Sinclair won another award, this time for artwork with banana peels.

Each of us cherishes a few vivid memories. The late Isaac London wrote about the founding in 1901 of the Victoria Boys Club in the East End of London; how it transformed the serious disturbances of the Jewish boys into an institution with a high reputation for sportsmanship in gymnastics and baseball, and in draughts and chess – in short channeling the boys' energies from negative to positive activities.

Galia Miller-Sprung met and interacted with Shimon Peres in the late 1970s. She writes with wonder: "When I made aliyah at age 21, I never dreamed that a few years later, I'd be interacting with prime ministers, members of the Knesset, and top journalists." But that is Israel. Neville Berman recalls a farewell event in Kfar Shmaryahu for the American School when it relocated to Evan Yehuda. It was held in the small original house of the Klimans, one of the 56 founding families from Germany, today serving as a museum known as The Founders House.

Israel is a country of many different peoples. In 1957 Israel was the first country to recognize the Druze, a persecuted people worldwide, as a distinct ethnic community. Susan Lurie tells us who the Druze are.

Whilst on persecution, this issue features several Holocaust stories. Carol Novis interviewed 83-year-old Irene Shasher, who has just written a book entitled: "I won against Hitler". It tells her story of how she, then a toddler in the Warsaw Ghetto, survived the war thanks to the courage and determination of her mother. Tali Feinberg writes about the ambitious project of Liora Blum, our Art Director, who is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor from Hungary. She is painting six million small rectangles, one brushstroke at a time, all in vibrant colors, in memory of each individual who perished. Myra Olswang writes about the very moving Holocaust memorial event at the Alon High School in Ramat Hasharon, which she attended with other ESRA English tutors.

With summer upon us, let your kids and grandkids enjoy our Family Fun programs and our activities pages. Do you know about our projects for young children from disadvantaged homes? Nina Zuck describes our 10-year-old First Steps program where we prepare pre-school kids for first grade. She also tells us the story of how one barmitzvah boy from Baltimore USA donated money to ESRA that gave 22 batmitzvah girls and their mothers a wonderful celebration in Netanya.

You too can enjoy summer outings. Some suggestions include a Bauhaus tour of the White City of Tel Aviv, Testimony House, the Judean Desert, the Italian Jewish Museum, the Supreme Court, Kfar Hanasi and field trips organized by ESRA. Our Cinema Club is now back in action and you can see outstanding documentary films in Haifa, Netanya and Raanana. If you are more into indoor activities, try our bridge quiz or crossword.

And of course you can volunteer – we would welcome you as tutors, magazine deliverers, office helpers and more.

Want to be healthy? Frankie Cronin, a pharmacist for over 50 years, has come to the conclusion that many common illnesses can be prevented, and even treated, by changing one's lifestyle. And she describes how.

Lisa Starr stars again – she describes the vibrant English-speaking community of women in Hod Hasharon and recommends that you emulate it in your community.

Have a cool summer and please send in your New Year Greetings 2023 to be published in our next issue. 



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Wednesday, 19 June 2024

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