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Conquering distances and divides - Northern Region

Our friends in the North

 At the end of October, members of the five branches of ESRA Northern Region met in Ramat HaNadiv Park, Zichron Yaakov. Jane Krivine, Regional Coordinator, welcomed the participants and Brenda Katten, ESRA Chairperson, outlined the reasons for their decision to bring together representatives of ESRA branches. She emphasized the importance of holding such regional meetings in order to promote and expand ESRA membership and its activities across the English -speaking communities of the country.

In order to continue and develop the valuable work carried out through volunteering to assist needy sectors of the public, Brenda said it is now a necessity to encourage this support and is also an important element in bringing Anglos together socially. Through organized activities a means of financing the valuable work done and assistance given is furthered. ESRA was founded in 1979 in Herzliya and it has been proven that one of its main assets was – and is – to make newcomers to Israel feel at home and to give of their abilities to the broader community. The introduction of new, active members across the country conquers distances and divides – and she asked those members, both new and old, who were seated around the table: "Are we connecting?"

The importance of fundraising was stressed – representatives explained the setbacks in each area and there was a request to change the system of dealing with financial income and outlay. It was agreed that regional meetings should be held regularly to assist in the exchange of ideas and to strengthen the cooperation with the main functionaries.

The Jordan Valley group led by Degania Bet talked of the sense of extended family and pleasure in introducing ESRA to the area. Both the North Coast/Nahariya and Carmiel branches said they were attracting a growing number of Anglos to their events. Netanya branch reported that they were extremely active, assisting many groups in the general population, offering a wide choice of projects and doing successful fundraising. Caesarea-Zichron branch said they hoped to increase membership through more events, despite competition from other organizations

ESRA assistance through Befrienders' Projects – training sessions for members who wish to volunteer - was offered to the Northern Branches if there is interest and need. There is also a possibility to have training in counselling for those who are interested.

The final consensus round the table was that ESRA must continue to function and develop, offer friendship and assistance to many sectors in Israeli society and bring its approach to life in Israel to the growing number of new immigrants from English-speaking countries.

 

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Friday, 17 September 2021

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