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ESRA Haifa Gets Help During Times of War

Shachar Neeman, director of The Golda Meir Mashav Carmel Training Center (MCTC), describing their activities to ESRA Haifa

Almost immediately after hearing the incomprehensible devastating news on October 7, the people responded. While shocked and grieving, the citizens of Israel organized themselves into relief groups providing donations and essential supplies to soldiers and displaced populations.

ESRA has an impressive track record in normal times, so all the ongoing projects were fast-tracked. As bombing continued from Gaza and in the northern towns and villages, the population of our tiny country was taking refuge in hotels, hostels, private homes, and kibbutzim around Israel's cities. Apart from the logistics of providing accommodation, clothing and essential items to traumatized evacuees, priority was also given to continuing education for the children.

The Haifa branch of ESRA took an active role in these relief efforts with a huge fundraising campaign as well on-site visits to evacuation centers, supplying the needs of families who had hastily escaped from disaster areas. Volunteers in the well-established ESRA Tutoring Program made sure that local children as well as those who had been displaced would not have their education totally disrupted during these darkest times.

However, Haifa members needed a place to meet, to continue their activities, to provide peer support to each other. The regular meeting place attached to a school was closed and it was essential to find a venue with a safety room.

The Golda Meir Mashav Carmel Training Center (MCTC) came to the rescue. Free of charge they offered the use of their beautiful spacious building near Carmel Center to ESRA and other community groups. Each year there are delegations to this Center's residential seminars and courses from the developing countries. In the current situation, their programs were cancelled and the management generously allowed us to meet there.

In this way, Haifa ESRA could continue their weekly Meet and Greet mornings where new and veteran members could get together and discuss how best to support each other and how to contribute to the community. The spacious rooms made it possible to hold lectures and special interest groups.

Our grateful thanks to Mashav.

 

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Sunday, 19 May 2024

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