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A Word from the Editor 195


My life has changed. I have had to start a new life, a different life. It is a life without Gert, my husband of 59 years, my soul mate, my closest friend, my confidant, my lover, the father of our daughters. Gert, who encouraged me and supported me in everything I did, especially in the creation and development of ESRA. When I was feeling down or discouraged, he would pull me out of it. When I needed advice, good wise advice, he gave it to me. When I needed the meaning of a word, he would know it – he had a vast vocabulary. When I needed someone to look critically at what I wrote, Gert would do that. When ESRA needed an office, he transformed our storeroom and some of our bedroom into a work space for me and ESRA volunteers. When after many years we needed larger space, Gert designed the warehouse I found in Gan Rashal into offices for us. He was always there for me, and there would be no ESRA today if it hadn't been for the unbelievable support and help Gert gave me, and ESRA.

It is always exciting for me when you our readers write to us - whether it be an error you spot and correct (several of you saw that one of our 70 Amazing Facts was repeated twice), whether it be to tell us how much you enjoy and appreciate this magazine, or you respond to an article, or write one. It is your response, your feedback, that encourages and energizes us to go on.

I also marvel at how ESRAmagazine website connects people all over the world with our ESRA members and volunteers. A small example in this issue is how a former "nanny" who lives in the UK discovered online the family she had cared for over thirty years ago.

And ESRA has just launched a new dynamic website where you can do all your ESRA business, bookings and donations, online. It is worth trying…

In these pages you can read about two recent significant ESRA events – our bi-annual awards celebration for our exceptional volunteers and our Annual General Meeting where we elected our new executive and also heard the voices of local leaders in branches around the country about the difficulties they encounter being far away from ESRA's epicenter. Indeed, a heartfelt eye-opener of the problems an organization faces when it grows geographically.

I am sure you know that ESRA is a great place to volunteer in. At the moment we really need you in our shops where you can have fun, or you can take on leadership positions which are challenging and where you can grow personally in new directions. If you are interested, we recently held a very successful leadership course, and we would be happy, say Brenda Katten and Juliet Rostowsky, to organize a new course if you would like to be reinforced on becoming a leader.

Of course there are other ways of spending your surplus time as retirees – read how Nadav Shadmi creates aides for people with physical handicaps or Stephen Schulman has taken to baking breads.

We always feature at least one article on the Holocaust which must not be forgotten. You can read here the amazing story Werner Bachman writes about how the Danes saved almost their entire Jewish population including him and his family. Or the poignant memory of Debbie Morgenstern, then a mere nine-year-old, who was left alone for endless long hours in an abandoned property in the hope she would survive.

The struggle for our Jewish homeland started long before the founding of Israel seventy years ago by the United Nations, on the outcome of the Holocaust. One of the many stories appears here when Irish friends held an event "Apologizing for the Brits" behavior to the Jews in Palestine.

In our world of intolerance, and in Israel too, here and there are incredible ventures, oases, like SodaStream in Rahat where Jews, Arabs, religious, non-religious, immigrants, all work together harmoniously and creatively. On the other side of the coin there is a distressing story about the frequent smashing of a reform synagogue in Netanya.

For these summer months you surely will enjoy lighter food – read the 10 pizza places which Buzzy Gordon recommends, or summer foods and tarts by Janine Levy and Nitzan Krivine. And even a home-made granola recipe by Marion Lupu.

If you are planning to travel inland, you'll find ideas in ESRA's trips to the Negev or north to the Hijaj train, and trips to be. Or overseas ideas – Uzbekistan, Dharamshala, Cardiff Castle in Wales, the Postal and Rail Museum in London.

Do you think you or your family have "abandoned property" in Israel – Deborah Opolion gives you advice on how to go about discovering it.

Please use our advertisers' services – you will find their adverts throughout the magazine, also in our Classifieds and in the Advertisers' Directory. They support our magazine.

Finally, congratulations on your 70th  anniversary, in unison with Israel's, to two couples, both of whom are outstanding ESRA volunteers - Betty and Ed Wolfe of Kfar Saba, and Joyce and Mervyn Lasovsky of Rehovot. 



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Monday, 06 February 2023

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