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Project of Excellence – End of Year Event

Eileen Alon, together with the Ruppin student leaders, giving the ESRA gifts and certificates to the students

The Ruppin Marine Science Institute, Mikhmoret

Photos by Cynthia Yaakovi

As a relative newcomer to ESRA, I have been chipping in with some volunteering with head office and on the excellent Chat Away Program, yet until recently, I had not fully registered that ESRA is also involved in several projects, raising funds and providing volunteers to support them.

Having belatedly explored ESRA's website, I discovered that ESRA's projects are diverse, interesting, worthwhile and valuablr, focusing on education and excellence primarily for students and young adults, who may not otherwise have access to the support, training and facilities. Here is the link to find out more: https://www.esra.org.il/projects.html

Following a chat with Nina Zuck, the ever enthusiastic and effervescent Chair of the ESRA Projects Committee, I was invited to the end of year event at the Ruppin Marine Science Institute in Michmoret on June 8th. This project offers 38 students in 8th and 9th grade from Netanya, a two-year after-school educational enrichment program in marine science and ecology.

Showing the parents how the youth work in the laboratories
Nina Zuck and Tali Yogev summarising the year’s activities for the parents

I have never visited Michmoret, it is a truly lovely part of the country and marine science and ecology is beyond my spheres of expertise, so I arrived as a blank canvas. We were taken on a tour of the facilities, and they are impressive. The Ruppin Marine Science Institute Campus is large and includes a contemporary building with well-equipped, modern labs. The outdoor space has small wooden buildings and lots of shade that reminded me of old-fashioned school outbuildings. There is also a private beach and a small marina'- dedicated to the Marine Science Institute where several dinghies and large boats are moored. The air is fresh and there is a sense of intrepid adventure and exploration.

After the tour, I was privileged to join the end of year cohort to listen to the speeches and see the certificate presentation, it was quite a boisterous event. All the speeches reflected enthusiasm and appreciation for this project and for ESRA. The 8th and 9th graders were excited and confident. The young local 'instructors' were inspiring and the ESRA team clearly passionate about the project and how it opens opportunities for the students.

If I had to describe this project in one word, I would say that it is 'awesome'.

I set out not knowing what to expect, it just goes to show that you do not really know until you go and see for yourself. 

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Saturday, 26 November 2022

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