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Readers' Letters 210

More about Lapid ceramics

I want to thank ESRA Magazine for including Sharyn Weizman's engaging article on her collection of Lapid ceramics in your last issue (June 2021). The short piece brought back many memories. I still have a Lapid stoneware sugar bowl, which I bought when setting up house in Israel. I was delighted by the ceramic figure of Srulik* on the cover, which captures the innocent hope and sense of adventure that accompanied me when making aliyah. The article gave me some insight into how the company's name, which means a torch or guiding light, came to be reflected in its operations, especially in its first decades.

Quite frankly, it was new to me that Lapid had maintained a department for producing ceramic art, which got me talking to my partner, who had worked in the firm's technical department in the early 1970s. Memories from that period still enchant him.

He described the plant's comfortable ambience despite the amazing amount of dust and noise resulting from the production process. Instead of spending time only with electric cables and machines, he was able to observe, for the first time, how clay, paint brushes, pottery wheels and ovens heated to 1,250 degrees Celsius could produce beautiful works of art when handled by talented people. It seems that Lapid ensured its aesthetic quality by recruiting its designers, primarily women, from Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Some of the staff, such as Maude Friedland and Zehava Goshen, would acquire reputations as independent artists in other media. Others would continue creating new designs for Lapid dinnerware and vases.

Thank you again, Ms. Weizman and ESRA Magazine for a lovely entry into an unknown part of Israel's history.

*Srulik is a cartoon character symbolizing Israel. He was created in 1956 by the Israeli cartoonist Kariel Gardosh, known by his pen name Dosh. Srulik appeared for many years in countless cartoons published in the daily newspapers Maariv and Haaretz.

Nina Reshef
Tel Aviv

Anthem of the Diaspora

I am pleased to see the debate on Hatikvah is continuing as I feel this does need to be discussed.

The last correspondent remarked on how Hatikvah is shared by everyone across the Diaspora. Changing the anthem for Israel would not need to affect that. I believe that a new national anthem is needed for Israel but Hatikvah could remain as the anthem for the Diaspora. This may help to combat the accusations levelled at Jewish people in the Diaspora that they have split loyalties. Singing an anthem of Jewish people would be entirely compatible with singing a national anthem of a country of residence.

Peta Singer
Degania Bet 

Tortelier kissed my hand

Jennia Ganit Chodorov's article "Perfection at the Philharmonic" (ESRA Magazine June 2021), ends with the moment when, as she writes, Zubin Mehta "kissed my hand. I didn't wash it for a week."

This brought back vivid memories of a similar moment at the opening, in 1977, of the new Conference Center in Wembley, immediately next to the Stadium. Living locally, we had been involved in a small way in helping check and adjust the acoustics as the Center was being constructed. So when tickets were allocated for the opening Gala Concert, my husband and I found ourselves privileged to be seated in the very middle of the front row.

The concert was a spectacular success and included a masterly rendering of Dvorak's Cello Concerto by Paul Tortelier. While the enthusiastic audience was giving him a lengthy standing ovation, Tortelier moved to the front of the stage. Because this was really designated as a "conference" center and not a concert hall, there were naturally steps at the front – and down came Tortelier, directly towards us. Seizing hold of my applauding hands, he planted on one of them a magnificent kiss and continued to smile graciously at those around us. I also didn't wash my hand for a week.

Judy Frankel
Bet Shemesh 

Embroidery project started in ESRA

After I gave my sister placemats from the Ethiopian Arts and Crafts Center in Sderot, she contacted the designer and gave a donation for a showcase. I was surprised that they turned a thank you for my sister into a 90th birthday party for me.

I started thinking about how the embroidery project started in ESRA 30 years ago when on a visit to the Kfar Saba Absorption Center, where the Operation Shlomo had brought a group of' Ethiopian olim, a volunteer of ESRA said, looking at the strips of embroidery done by the Ethiopian women, that they would be perfect for mezuzot. That was the beginning of ESRA's embroidery project wherein Ethiopian women embroidered mezuzot and other items. Tens of thousands of embroidered mezuzot were sold all over the world. I have one on my front door from then.

So what began as an ESRA project has taken off in Sderot. Today it is organized by a group from the kibbutzim led by Dr Gili Zivan from Saad who originally bought embroidery from ESRA's project to attach to her paintings. Today the embroiderers are "old timers" and help run the Center with the kibbutz members. And I can retire.

Adele Rubin
Sderot 

Follow up on story of Hazel Levy 

Rachel Rashbash read Gail Loon-Lustig's story on her aunt Hazel Levy in the June issue of ESRA Magazine. Rachel then contacted Gail to tell her that her own sister Barbara had been one of the three physiotherapists that Gail had written about. Below Gail writes of her visit to Rachel.

I so enjoyed my meeting with Rachel Rashbash in her cosy apartment at Neve Efal, Ramat Gan. We sat opposite a window with a view of trees in the distance. On the table was a superb arrangement of flowers that Rachel had made.

I was amazed at the story of Barbara, Rachel`s sister, who was one of the threesome who accompanied my aunt, Hazel Levy to Israel in the early 1950s. The three of them worked with children with polio and had a fascinating time all round in Israel over those months.

What was so touching is that Barbara actually described many aspects of living together near the hospital, their visits to Tel Aviv, their difficulties with the language which they overcome and the ultimate successful visit it was.

After studying both nursing and physiotherapy in England, Barbara travelled to South Africa at the invitation of her cousins in Johannesburg and it was there that she met the group leaving for Israel which she joined.


Rachel herself has a fascinating life`s story. She has always been interested in her family`s history, her father being a GP in London in the 1930s. He left Lithuania for London and was very successful at integrating into the community soon after qualifying at Medical School in England.

Remarkable in this story is that both Rachel and Barbara met my parents in the retirement home all those years later.
So it goes.

Gail Loon-Lustig,
Givatayim

South African physiotherapists in Israel in the late 1950s

I was absolutely delighted to read the article on Hazel Levy by Gail Loon-Lustig in ESRA Magazine (June 2021). It caught my South African, Wits physiotherapist's eye. Firstly, I too clearly remember being vaccinated for polio as a child, I remember the miraculous discovery by Dr. Salk; I remember treating post-polio patients as a physio student in Johannesburg between 1958 and 1961 and here in Israel from time to time throughout my working career.

I never knew this admirable person Hazel Levy and one can only wonder at her noble contribution to those children suffering from polio and to the early days of physiotherapy in this country.

I did know of Sandra Saber who was the head of the Physio school at Asaf Harofe Hospital when I immigrated in 1962. In 1956 My brother, Herman Hirschman, who had volunteered to serve in the Israeli army at the age of eighteen, was seriously wounded in the head. He was treated by physiotherapy students at Tel Hashomer. This under the guidance of Sandra. They did wonders for him and I, who was at the time a student in South Africa, heard of her from him and my parents who came to be with him for the several months of his early rehabilitation.

I thank Dr. Gail Loon Lustig for this article which I have read three times.

Richelle Shem-Tov
Kiryat Ono

ESRA Magazine Doing the Rounds

My sister lives in a retirement home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Not being able to see family during Corona, sometimes not for six months and when seeing them it was through a glass pane.
How could I cheer her up? She's a reader and I decided to give her a subscription to ESRA Magazine which covers so many diverse topics. She is enjoying it so much and now she can't get it back! She lent the magazine to one person which spread it to dozens of others. ESRA is doing the rounds… She eagerly looks forward to the latest magazine. 
From her sharing it's brought immense pleasure to so many others.
Thank you Merle for producing a first class magazine where one can escape to so many different topics, so well written as you leaf through each page. Opening one's mind to pages of creativity and knowledge. It's no wonder that my sister Marcia asks me so eagerly when the next ESRA Magazine is due.
Fonda Dubb

Eilat 

Boring cover

Great, great compliments for the contents of the latest impressive ESRA Magazine (June 2021). But I have tears in my eyes, when I see the boring grey-dark front cover of a very uninspiring figure. Would it not be possible in coming issues to find some real colorful and happy pics reflecting the contents? Most people I have spoken with share my depressing impression.

And in spite of my perfect eyes the very small text under most of the illustrations is difficult to read. WHY? There is plenty of space to make them friendly readable!

Bob Bachman

Raanana 

209, Wonderful issue

Many thanks for the wonderful new issue of ESRA Magazine (#209), filled as usual with fascinating and informative articles.

Kudos to the Editorial Board and the contributors for their dedication and talent.

Ruth Sobol
Ramat Gan 

Every article was elevating

This is one time I felt I had to write to you to say thank you to you Merle and your team for the most elevating and inspiring magazine. Every article I read was so uplifting. Every story made me feel so proud to be part of the fabric of this most amazing country that all of us, from wherever we have come, feel is our only home. Every article introduced us to just a fraction of the amazing and truly good people this country is made up of. Each article was also so well written.

We really needed the stories of the people you found after the past year the country has gone through and with all the negativity it created, health wise and politically.

I happen to be writing on the day of the swearing in of our new government.

Merle thank you again for a wonderful June 2021 Magazine.

Norma Altman
Netanya 

Thank you Joe and Sue Gilad

ESRA, and in particular ESRA NETANYA, want to thank Joe and Sue Gilad for their dedication to ESRA for many, many years.

They have been involved in the ESRA Magazine delivery almost from the beginning of distribution of the magazines in Netanya, over 20 years ago. Joe has joined in the packing at the YONA APARTMENTS and together with his wife Sue have delivered a very scattered bundle.

Joe has a very quirky sense of humor and is always ready with a joke. He is a very interesting man and loves to talk. The kind of person who makes ESRA what it is.

Joe and Sue it is a pleasure to know you both.

Thanks for everything.

Sheila Keshev
Netanya 

Sharing feelings about aging and death

One more way that Judith Edelman-Green shares her gift (see "Providing Spiritual Care during Corona - ESRA Magazine June 2021): she offers classes where participants can examine and share their feelings about aging and death, their own or of people close to them - two subjects that are often taboo in Western cultures. What a relief!

Rinah Sheleff

South African physiotherapists in Israel in the late 1950s

I was absolutely delighted to read the article on Hazel Levy by Gail Loon-Lustig in ESRA Magazine (June 2021). It caught my South African, Wits physiotherapist's eye. Firstly, I too clearly remember being vaccinated for polio as a child, I remember the miraculous discovery by Dr. Salk; I remember treating post-polio patients as a physio student in Johannesburg between 1958 and 1961 and here in Israel from time to time throughout my working career.

I never knew this admirable person Hazel Levy and one can only wonder at her noble contribution to those children suffering from polio and to the early days of physiotherapy in this country.

I did know of Sandra Saber who was the head of the Physio school at Asaf Harofe Hospital when I immigrated in 1962. In 1956 My brother, Herman Hirschman, who had volunteered to serve in the Israeli army at the age of eighteen, was seriously wounded in the head. He was treated by physiotherapy students at Tel Hashomer. This under the guidance of Sandra. They did wonders for him and I, who was at the time a student in South Africa, heard of her from him and my parents who came to be with him for the several months of his early rehabilitation.

I thank Dr. Gail Loon Lustig for this article which I have read three times.

Richelle Shem-Tov
Kiryat Ono

Thank you ESRA Magazine

Thank you for including an article about us and our Jewish Heritage Travel App in the latest issue of ESRA Magazine (June 2021). Due to the article, someone reached out and personally introduced us to the head of a large network of European Jewish Heritage organizations. We share the same values with this network and the connection has the potential to be very fruitful for us to further our app. Without the article, this connection would never have happened so quickly. Thanks again.

Irit Sherman
Raanana

Shame on ESRA

I have been a proud member of ESRA for many years and have recently volunteered to join ESRA's summer tutoring program. I was quite taken aback when I was asked if I would be willing to talk to an Arab student via Zoom. If one substitutes the word Jew for Arab then one could be accused of anti-Semitism. An individual has the right to refuse to talk to a particular person, but ESRA as an organization should not condone or accept racism in any form. Shame on you ESRA!

Barbara Resnick
Tel Aviv 

 

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Sunday, 24 October 2021

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