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Ruth’s ‘pearler’ of a 101st birthday

Birthday treat . . . Ruth Reuven with her great-granddaughter and granddaughter

 "Would you like to come to this?" Ruth asked as she handed me a letter. It was from Anat Chen, the cultural coordinator of the Nofei Hasharon Retirement Center, inviting Ruth and the knitting circle to visit kindergartens in the Neot Ganim area of South Netanya.

It has become a tradition that each year the ladies of the ESRA/Nofei Hasharon knitting circle donate the sweaters they knitted during the year to the small children of the Kat-Gan, Neot Ganim, Gan Irit and Zehavit kindergartens in Hefzibah. "Of course," I answered, excitedly. I had had the privilege of meeting the late Cecilia Kriss when I joined the ESRA family seven years ago, and of hearing so much about this joint knitting project that she had established. Since I've come to know Ruth, I've never ceased to marvel at the beautiful sweaters that she and the other ladies make.

Ruth (back row, third from left) with her friends young and old at the nursery school

So on December 31, a clear, crisp, winter morning with a blue sky, four cars left Nofei Hasharon carrying Rosemary Fainick Prutci, Shoshana Gil, Miriam Weiss, Raya Bergman, Elka Vizel and Ruth Reuven together with staff and a big pile of sweaters – gifts of perseverance, achievement and love. The Kat-Gan kindergarten was the first port of call. The warm welcome extended to the ladies by the nursery school teachers and children was truly moving. As the ladies settled down with a "cuppa", the organizers sorted out the sweaters by size and put them on display for the tots. All aches and pains were forgotten as the cute tots sang, danced and then rushed to pick out sweaters. Each knitter then helped to dress the child with the sweater she had knitted and was rewarded by a hug. What joy! Of course it all had to be documented, so everyone posed for photos. After visits to the other nursery schools with older children we returned to Nofei Sharon with that special glow that comes with "giving".

This visit, plus the visit to the President's home in October 2012, were the highlights of Ruth's year since her 100th birthday last June. On June 17, 2013 Ruth celebrated her 101st. birthday with her family, and later that week with residents and the pupils who love and admire her.

Ruth, my friend, the ESRA family joins me in wishing you a very happy and healthy birthday. May you continue to knit, teach English, collect second–hand goods for the ESRA shop and inspire me for many years to come. 



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Thursday, 06 October 2022

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