Project of the Month

ESRA Computer Centers provide free access to computers and innovative instruction in computer skills for underprivileged children, youth and adults helping to close the cultural and educational gap.

ESRA Executive - Message from the Chair


ESRA is for you! ‎        So, let us know what you want!‎

In August, we set up a new email address – a direct contact to the ESRA Chair - to ensure an open ‎door and attentive ear. I have received a combination of compliments, complaints and suggestions, ‎which hopefully have been dealt with to the satisfaction of the writers. ‎

We want to know what you think and what you want from ESRA, so keep the suggestions and ‎comments coming to

A proud and shining gem in Israel's English-speaking community, ESRA is multi-faceted and, like any ‎jewel, it has its imperfections or flaws. ‎But each so-called “flaw” is perceived differently – what one person finds unacceptable, another ‎may applaud and appreciate.

Even though we are an apolitical organization with no religious ‎affiliation, politics and religion seem to raise more than their fair share of questions in ESRA, as ‎elsewhere.  Our members reflect the whole range of political and religious viewpoints and we ‎endeavor to be inclusive and avoid offending anyone. It seems that this is an almost impossible ‎task, but we do listen and attempt to redress any perceived offence. A case in point, was a recent ‎article in our ESRA magazine on brunches which provided “ten places to enjoy brunch”; however, ‎only one of the restaurants was kosher. The articles in ESRA's Magazine are written by various ‎contributors and the Editorial Board, under Merle Guttmann, do a tremendous job of ensuring that ‎they are of suitable quality and content for the magazine. Merle will comment in the December ‎edition of the magazine on the article in question. ‎

To quote America’s latest Nobel laureate for literature, "the times they are a-changin’ ". ESRA’s ‎Executive Director Yonit Gurfinkel has decided, for personal reasons, to leave ESRA at the beginning ‎of 2017. Yonit has been managing the ESRA organization for seven years, performing her duties ‎with total dedication and greatly improving ESRA’s administration and operations. Yonit will be a big ‎loss to ESRA and whoever takes over from her will have a hard act to follow. I would like to take this ‎opportunity to thank Yonit for her tireless efforts on behalf of ESRA and to wish her every success ‎and happiness in her future endeavors, both personal and professional.

The members of ESRA's Executive Committee do their best to ensure that the organization goes ‎from strength to strength. But our successes are only made possible by the involvement and ‎efforts of our volunteers, our members and our donors. You are invited to become more active in ‎the ESRA family. You too can support our continued success and have a positive impact on Israeli ‎society.

Your local branch welcomes your involvement, either ‎as a Volunteer English Tutor, or as a Befriender, or as part of one of our wonderful projects. ‎Volunteers are always needed to assist in our offices or shops, help deliver magazines or serve on ‎any of our committees where you can share your ideas and help make a difference.‎

Although the ESRA Chairperson may only serve for a maximum of four consecutive years, we are ‎fortunate that our ex-chairs stay in the ESRA family, which means that we continue to ‎benefit from their wealth of experience and their dedication. For example, Adele Hunter is ‎our Chair of Welfare and active in Fund Raising, and Nina Zuck is Chair of ESRA Projects. ‎Back in June, Brenda Katten completed 4 intensive and successful years at the helm of ESRA, 3 ‎years as Chairperson and the last year as Co-Chairperson.  She has been unstinting in her efforts to ‎ensure that ESRA remains a strong organization with new branches, increased funds for our ‎projects and an increasing force of volunteers. We are extremely pleased that Brenda is now our ‎PR Chair where her talent with words, whether written or spoken, is benefitting us greatly both ‎with publicity and fund raising.

On 5th December, our Volunteer Awards Ceremony took place when selected ESRA ‎volunteers receive deserved recognition for their outstanding work and dedication. We are very ‎proud of all our volunteers and every two years we collect recommendations for volunteer awards. ‎The event will be reported in the next edition of the magazine. ‎

Two events are coming up that you won't want to miss! The Annual ESRA Quiz Night will be held on ‎‎27th December, hosted by members around the country. Find out who's hosting in your area and ‎book your place! The second major event is our fundraising concert  on 3rd January 2017. ESRA will ‎present world renowned singer/performer Achinoam Nini in Concert. Her performances are ‎always a joy – book early to avoid disappointment. We urge you not to miss these two events, ‎firstly because they are so enjoyable, and secondly because they help fund the continued ‎operation of our projects.‎

Wishing all of our members, volunteers and donors a Happy Chanukah and a ‎rewarding year of ESRA activity.‎
Warm  regards
Baruch Tanaman

Executive Committee 2016-2017:
  • Baruch Tanaman - Chairman
  • Terry Morris - Vice-Chairman
  • Cynthia Barmor
  • Glenis Bertfield - Central Region Branch Chair
  • Lawrence Bertfield ‎- Fundraising and Shops
  • Neil Davis ‎- Fundraising
  • Rene Goldstein ‎– Membership
  • Abraham Hanson
  • Harry Hiller
  • Stephen Jacobs
  • Brenda Katten – PR Chair
  • Janet Kiesari – Southern Region Branch Chair
  • Barbara Kliner
  • Jane Krivine – Northern Region Branch Chair
  • Roger Lavender – Chairman Finance Committee
  • Juliet Rostowsky ‎ - Volunteering Support Services
  • Terry Shlomo
  • Ed Wolfe - Shops
  • Nina Zuck - Projects
Control Committee:
  • Sam Kirsch
  • Albert Levi