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End-of-Year Happenings

Zuck-Nina_Netanya_IMG_1791 Students and kids: Students Build a Community Netanya
Students and kids

Photos by Richard Halon

Nina Zuck, coordinator of ESRA's community projects, describes the end-of-year celebrations of three groups of people ESRA helps 

The biggest party in town 

Students Build a Community Netanya

After two years of Corona shutdown, it finally happened! 32 students, 120 kids, 120 parents, heads of the Community Centers, ESRA volunteers and donors, all came together in a celebration of the end of the school year and, hopefully, the end of Corona.

The auditorium in Kiryat Hasharon Community Center was decorated with poster-size photos produced by the children in their photography workshop, which they attended throughout the year with the partnership of ESRA and PHOTO: ISRAEL. The finger food disappeared very quickly and the party started.

The event was emceed by two students who introduced the welcome speakers – Ofer Orenstein on behalf of the Netanya Municipality, who spoke very warmly about our 16-year partnership in the project and his admiration for ESRA. The emcees performed little skits to the delight of the kids, interspersed with PowerPoint presentations by students from the four neighborhoods of Netanya.

The ESRA Volume Music Center entertained us with songs and dances amid much clapping and wolf-whistles.

The evening ended with all the kids and students joining the singers on stage for a final song and, of course, Hatikvah.

Looking forward to a Corona-free, mask-free new year with 8 more students adding to the group, making a total of 40 students and 160 kids next year.

A bursting stage of happy students and kids
The PHOTO IS:rael exhibition
Avi Balata with one of “his” kids
A proud mother with her happy son
The Hefziba hip-hop dancers caused a sensation

The Sound of Drumming in Akko

The end-of-year party for the students, children and parents in Akko took place amid great excitement. The Akko Build a Community project has been running for three years, starting just before Corona, during which time the students and children could not celebrate together.

Finally, at the Youth Center in Akko, our partners in this project, everything came together. Eight students, 32 children and their parents arrived to a reception of tasty treats. Two students emceed the event where the Head of the Youth Center gave a welcome, expressing his delight at the great strides forward the project has achieved this year. In fact, so good that next year we will be supporting 13 students and many more kids from the block.

Certificates were handed out to the volunteers and graduating students, followed by a cute song written by the students and sung by the whole group with much enthusiasm.

The highlight of the day came next – a drumming workshop in which the kids and adults actively and excitedly participated. Much noise and banging and so much fun.

The party ended with all the children receiving certificates and with a vote of thanks from the satisfied parents.

Tami Redlich (center), ESRA’s National Coordinator with the project coordinator and students
Proud children showing off their Certificates
“Rhythm of the heart” - drum workshop
Chen with “her” kids

A visit to ANU by the Kfar Shmaryahu "Colorful People" Group

ANU – The Museum of the Jewish People – was a fitting end-of-year event for our group of special needs adults.

The Museum is wonderful and really needs a full day for a meaningful visit. As we had just 90 minutes with a guide, he took us to one floor only. There was much to see – a variety of famous Jewish people from all walks of life, fashion, music and immigrants from so many countries of the diaspora.

Those in the group love to get out and visit places – something they can never do on their own, and to see their interest and enjoyment was very moving for all of the ESRA volunteers attending.

We also had a chance to say farewell to Tal, their much loved group coordinator, before we all said goodbye until October.



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