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Night we saluted our amazing volunteers

Music man . . . Simon Deutsch. Photos by Mike Altman

The Culture Committee of ESRA Netanya met for months, planned all the way from arranging for the hall down to the purchase of toothpicks to serve the cheese with and successfully presented the third event in the past year since the committee's inception. And wow, what a success it was!

It was decided that our amazing volunteers from every Netanya project well deserved to be honored with an upbeat, fun and special celebration. That is just what happened on Tuesday evening, July 8, at the municipal Pensioners Hall in central Netanya.

The hall was decorated with beautiful, bright pink bougainvillea branches and colorful balloons hanging from the walls and adorning the tables, giving an elegant atmosphere of celebration.

Everyone gathered in an adjacent room to enjoy one another's company at a reception brimming over with wine, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and all manner of tasty snacks.

The event was filled with great music, wonderful food and wine and especially the company of our volunteers and guests. Well over 120 folks were in attendance as the program began with a heartfelt opening by Mr. Ofer Orenstein, Head of Netanya Community Centers. His very moving words told of his and the municipality's close involvement with ESRA over the past eight years. He related how that progress has made the difference in so many blighted neighborhoods of Netanya. He strongly stated that it could never have been accomplished without the direct involvement of ESRA Netanya and its commitment, the cooperation of its board and the hard work of its volunteers over these years. He closed by saying how much more work we have to do and that he looks forward to the strong partnership that we have developed to continue making important changes together in our Netanya community.

Nina Zuck, head of ESRA community projects, served as master of ceremonies for the event. She welcomed Brenda Katten, Chair of ESRA, as a new Netanya resident. Brenda went on with a very moving presentation. She acknowledged the sadness and violence that Israel was undergoing as we were there together celebrating. She touched us deeply in describing how the volunteer work that ESRA does is contributing to the very growth and stability of Israel and especially to the support and strengthening of our children who are the very building blocks of our country. She recognized Nina Zuck and appreciated her for everything she does for ESRA, which was, of course, followed by great applause from Nina's colleagues in Netanya. 

Super troupers . . . entertainment by young Ethiopian dancers

An uplifting dance presentation by several very young Ethiopian dancers dressed in shiny chartreuse green costumes followed. These children were part of one of the ethnic dance troupes that ESRA sponsors and for whom it provides teachers in order to help preserve Ethiopian ethnic heritage.

A raffle was held with prizes such as meals from local restaurants and artwork and jewelry made and donated by ESRA friends and members.

Now it was time to BOOGIE! Simon Deutsch on guitar and vocals and Daniel Schneerson on violin and vocals took over. They sang and played music from the 60s and 70s, everything from the Beatles through the Rolling Stones and Simon & Garfunkel. We all sang along and some of us even danced, helped by the rollicking sounds of the music and a bit of wine to loosen us up. These amazing entertainers donated their talent and energies to make this special event such a rousing success.

This fantastic evening would not have been possible without the generous donations of the musicians' time and their creativity, the municipality of Netanya for the use of the Pensioners Club, Café Neto, Café Albert, the artists, GAD Dairies, Yoram Saroussi, Borshestein Liquors, and most especially the very hard work, creativity and dedication of the Netanya Culture Committee and the backing of our local board members. And last, but certainly not least, the very dedicated efforts of our volunteers working year round in all of the ESRA Netanya projects which we so wonderfully celebrated and appreciated on this joy-filled night. 

 

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Tuesday, 29 November 2022

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