ESRAmagazine

Joining the Seams – A Visit From Sderot

In the Neot Shaked Community Center, the Sderot visitors learn about ESRA's projects. Photos: Varda Mendelsohn and Nina Zuck

What better way to enthuse two groups, one from the North and one from the South, than to bring them together for an afternoon of exchange of ideas, entertainment and chatting?

Adele Rubin, ESRA's coordinator in Sderot, had the great idea of bringing the women from her sewing center to meet with one of the strong Netanya sewing groups, to see how we do it up North.

Thanks to the generosity of Meira and Jack Applebaum who support the Sderot Sewing Center, a minibus was ordered, and 12 people - the Ethiopian women who sew, the sewing teacher, Liat, and the Manager of the Center, Tali, and Adele, visited Netanya. Despite the heat they managed to see Netanya's lovely beachfront, were served refreshments by Patricia Relf – a long time ESRA friend – at her synagogue, and then arrived at the Neot Shaked Community Center, where our women were eagerly awaiting their arrival.

The Community Center put on a lovely "high tea" of salads, pitas and fruit, rounded off with delicious cakes which Rika Meyerowitz, our coordinator for this Center, generously supplied. The two groups were introduced, told about what ESRA does in the Center and given a description of the evolution of the sewing groups from the beginning by Varda Mendelsohn, our sewing teacher who is known by all the groups she teaches as "HaMalach Varda" – Varda the Angel!

Luckily, the sewing group meets on the same day as our Ethiopian Girls Dance Group, so we were entertained with a few dances by the girls to much applause and excitement from the audience.

The main point of the visit was to show the Sderot team how we do the sewing, what we sew and the methods of teaching. Some of the women wore the clothes they had sewn themselves and we had a mini-fashion parade too! 

Models in the mini-fashion parade (from left)  Mazal, Orit and Sara 

The two groups got so involved with chatting to each other and getting to know each other, that it was difficult to tear them away from the reception room and get them upstairs. However, when we did, they were so impressed by what Varda is doing with the group in Netanya, and by the amount of work taking place that they would have liked to clone both Varda and the Center to take home to Sderot with them.

With fond farewells and promises to make this meeting the beginning of something new, the group left, taking with them rolls and rolls of material which Varda had been collecting for Sderot.

Thanks go to Adele Rubin for her brainwave, Avi Faraj of the Neot Shaked Community Center for supplying us with such great refreshments, Rika Meyerowitz for all the work and thought she contributed to the event, Joan Weisman our ESRA volunteer with the Dance Group – and to all the women of Sderot who injected a huge amount of enthusiasm into the day and the project. 

 

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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

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