Project of the Month

These programs allow talented underprivileged teenagers to fulfill their potential by providing them with a challenging program of enrichment and leadership training at the Ruppin Institute of Marine Science. Talented 7th graders from all backgrounds of Israeli society in the lower socio-economic levels are chosen - programs run for 2 years.

Volunteer Awards 2004

Meira Applebaum
Meira came on aliya from the US in 1967 with Jack and their four children. She founded ESRA’s second hand clothing shop in Zahala and served as Branch Chairman for three years, coordinating branch activities. Meira has volunteered teaching and organized many volunteer workshops and training sessions. She was instrumental in organizing a program in Yavne for gifted Ethiopian children to study at the Weizmann Institute. This year Meira headed the ESRA Soup and Salad Cookbook project.

Freda Berman (ז"ל)
Freda was born in London and worked as a social worker in a Manchester hospital before arriving in Israel in 1959. After retiring from her job as an office manager at the American Embassy, she devoted her time to volunteering. Freda found her niche in ESRA organizing the Rehovot Garden Club.

Judy Birkan
Judy arrived from Cape Town in 1989, joining her two sons who had made aliya earlier. Her third son joined the family in Israel soon after. Judy began her volunteering in ESRA as a magazine distributor and helping in ESRA’s offices. Judy has been instrumental in reorganizing the English Tutoring Program in Kfar Saba.

Ishai Boneh
Ishai is a member of Kibbutz Givat Brenner. He has devoted many years to teaching at the Open University and Seminar HaKibbutzim. He is a source of inspiration to the ESRAVision team. His expertise is photography, television production and video. He is married and the father of four children.

Creo, a pre-press publishing company, opened its doors to welcome seventeen teenage immigrants from Ethiopian families for a dynamic program involving some thirty volunteers from amongst their staff. With full support from the management, the volunteers introduced the youngsters to the world of hi-tech and shared their experience and enthusiasm to encourage them to reach for new horizons. Creo has shown, by example, that it is a company with a heart toward the community and is pro-active in challenging today's youth.

Shiphra Davis
Shifra made aliya from the USA with her husband and children ten years ago. In response to the urgent needs of the hungry, she began the Hand in Hand Food Pantry in Netanya, along with Hadassah Birnbaum, Marian Burk and Rika Meyerowitz. It is based on a similar organization in her native Chicago. They prepare food parcels for 120 families with 800 people. She is the proud grandmother of 14 grandchildren.

Kitty Dobry
Born in India, Kitty, as many Jews of her generation, left for Hong Kong where she met her late husband. They had three daughters and a son. She has always been involved with children, whether running her own preschool or teaching in the Jewish community. She dedicates herself to the ESRA Szold afternoon program and English tutoring. Kitty also volunteers in the children’s Oncology Ward at Tel Hashomer hospital.

Fonda Dubb
Fonda originally from South Africa, taught ballet there for many years. She was nominated for the American and Canadian Women Association for her work with the colored ballet in the Eastern Cape. In 1988 she made aliya with her family and in 1989 opened “Fonda’s Catering” in Ranaana, catering for the South African Embassy as well as many other events. Following her husband’s death, Fonda founded the ESRA Widow- Widowers Support Group in which she is still deeply involved. She has moved to Eilat where she volunteers as an English teacher to Ethiopian children and helps at a soup kitchen. Fonda collected recipes from Eilat chefs for the ESRA Soup and Salad Cookbook.

Hadas Dubler
Hadas was born in Switzerland and spent her childhood in Barcelona. Hadas made aliya 27 years ago after having volunteered at a kibbutz. She worked for 16 years at the Gottex Company. In 1986 she received an award as the "outstanding employee in Israel Industry" at a ceremony held in the Knesset. Hadas volunteers with the Esra Embroidery Project, collecting food for the hungry and teaching English to children with social problems.

Neville Friedland
In 1961 Neville left South Africa to serve in Machal – the IDF unit for volunteers from abroad. He has been in Israel ever since. He worked at TWA for 36 years. Upon his retirement He began volunteering with ESRA. Today Neville works with the magazine and its distribution and advertisements. He is also a vital member of the Esra Welfare Fund project. He is the proud father of two daughters and 4 grandchildren.

Gitty Glazer
Gitty, originally from Montreal, Canada, made aliya in 1964 with her husband and late daughter. Since then she has devoted her career to education. She has worked in various English teaching programs in Israeli high schools. Gitty joined ESRA in 1995 and today volunteers as an English tutor coordinator and chairperson of the Ramat Hasharon branch.

Joe Goldberg
Joe, his wife Chana, and their three children, made aliya from Australia in 1972. Upon retiring as a dentist, Joe served as secretary of the Lawn Bowls and represented Israel at World Bowls competitions. He participated in three Maccabiot and won three gold medals. Joe has been a member of ESRA for the past twenty years. He has been an outstanding volunteer at the Gan Rashal office for the past two years.

Cecily Hanson
Cecily, born in Capetown, South Africa, made aliya in 1970. She received a music degree from the University of Cape Town and continued studying here in Israel, specializing in music therapy and psychotherapy. She worked for many years in special education with children and youth with severe developmental and physical handicaps. Through her hobby in gardening she has become an outstanding leader of ESRA’s Garden Club.

Yitzchak Har
Yitzchak was born in 1922 in Czechoslovakia. During the Second World War he was interred in Nazi Work Camps until his escape to Budapest. In 1949 he made aliya with his family and settled in Bnei Zion. He ran the makolet there for 28 years, opening afterwards a clothing shop near ESRA’s Nearly-New Shop in Raanana. He often donated clothes to the shop. Today the shop benefits from his expertise as a full time volunteer.

Shlomo Harosh
Shlomo, born in Israel in 1950, completed his army service and ran a successful carpentry business for 22 years. In 1992 Shlomo became blind due to a hereditary disease. He then studied alternative medicine at Reidman College continuing his education at Wingate College taking special courses to assist the blind. Shlomo now devotes his time volunteering at ESRA’s Kadima project for disabled young adults, Yad Sarah, and the Laniado Nursing Home.

Judy Hurwitz
Judy and her late husband, Aubrey, leaders in the Bnei Zion movement in South Africa, made Aliya in 1958 and became members of Moshav Shitufi Timorim. Judy went to South Africa on Shlichut between 1972 – 1975. She has been involved with ESRA since her retirement, volunteering as a tutor at Ostrovsky High School and knitting for the Raanana knitting group. In addition, she uses her administrative skills as a faithful volunteer at the Gan Rashal office.

Shirley Kirsch
Shirley made aliya from Johannesburg in 1964. She began her study of ballet at the age of four and it is has been her lifelong love. She is an active member of the Tel Aviv branch. She has organized the ESRA Tel Aviv knitting group which has produced many knitted items for people in need in her city and elsewhere. She is the proud mother of four children and six grandchildren.

Leonie Klugman
Leonie was born in South Africa and studied music at the University of Capetown. She made aliya in 1974 and prior to moving to Kfar Vradim lived in Ramat Hasharon and Jerusalem. She taught music and also worked as an interior designer. She and her next door neighbor, Shirley Stein, founded the ESRA Kfar Vradim group. They created a unique project of playing scrabble with mentally challenged people.

Madelyn ( Maddy) Levine
Madelyn and her family made aliya seven and a half years ago and settled in Raanana. She worked for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals until two and a half years ago. At ESRA she uses her expertise in public relations for ESRA and created ESRA's mentoring project.

Bella Lipman
Bella has been involved in volunteer work all of her life. In South Africa she helped found Toastmistress International and served as a Council President. In 1995 she made Aliya from Cape Town. Her specialty at ESRA is gift-wrapping presents for all our special events. She has three children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Elliot Lindell (ז"ל)
Elliot was a devoted treasurer and active member of the ESRA Rehovot branch. In spite of his serious illness, he served as an inspiration to all. He will be sorely missed.

David and Adele Margolis
David began his volunteer work more than five years ago when he answered an ad requesting volunteers to aid the blind in Netanya. Today the couple volunteer six days a week on a variety of projects, including collecting items for ESRA’s nearly new shops and the magazine distribution for the Netanya area.

Varda Mendelsohn
Born and raised in Israel, Varda studied arts and crafts and spent her career teaching carpentry. Upon retirement nine years ago, she became involved as a worker with the immigrant services teaching Ethiopians sewing. The project expanded and ESRA took over under the leadership of Nina Zuck. Varda has become personally involved with the progress of her students and has helped tremendously with the Ethiopian embroidery project.

Lily Rose Michalowsky
Lily Rose became involved in ESRA soon after making aliya in 1994 from South Africa. She has volunteered in the Raanana office since that time. She also tutors English in Raanana and sewing to Ethiopian immigrants in Kfar Saba. Her motto for retirees is: ‘go out there and see for yourself how much you can do for others and reap the benefits and satisfaction you get from volunteering’.

Avraham Nussbacher
Avraham made aliya with his wife Ruth in 1998 from New York where he managed luggage factories for prestigious companies. In Israel he has offered his expertise to the Netanya Ethiopian sewing center. His talent in maintaining and repairing ESRA’s sewing machines has allowed this project to grow from strength to strength.

Maxine Palti
Maxine is originally from New York and made aliya with her late husband 46 years ago. Together they raised two sons on Kibbutz Hazorea where she still resides. She is a semi-retired clinical social worker who specializes in individual and group therapy. She facilitated the ESRA Widows and Widowers therapy and support group.

The Raanana Knitting Group
Renee Lees and a committee comprised of Esta Azouz, Ethel Goldberg, Edie Sherman and Hettie Hyams founded the Raanana Knitting Group. The group began knitting for children who arrived with the first Ethiopian Aliya. Today, under Wendy Goldstein's leadership, the group consists of over 40 members aged from the mid-fifties to Esta Azouz, who is now 102. The group knits more than 1,000 articles yearly. The elderly, wheelchair bound, premature babies, and other people in need benefit from the Raanana Knitting Group’s products.

Cookie Rabban
Cookie, born in Milwaukee, taught school in the US until her aliya in 1964. She was a regular volunteer for many years in the ESRA office, is a magazine distributor, English tutor at Rishonim High School and a Techushon helper in Herzliya. Cookie organizes music evenings and short story group in Herzliya. In addition she has volunteered for over 16 years at the Herzliya public library.

Renee Rafaely
Renee, originally from London, made aliya in 1967. Since 1969 she has been involved in volunteer work. She visits homebound people and is a volunteer English tutor at the Open University. Renee also opens her home to needy youngsters who need help in English. She is an active member of the Tel Aviv branch.

Rani Catering
Rani Kfir has supplied thousands of hot, nutritious and comforting meals to the children in ESRA's Learning Centers. Each portion represents his caring and concern for the children's welfare as he has demonstrated on many occasions. Rani is an example of how commerce and welfare may come together for the benefit of all concerned.

Noga Raz
Noga is Israeli born and educated. After serving in the army, she became a teacher, married and spent time in California. Upon her return to Israel with her family of four children, she continued her education at Tel Aviv University. She worked with schizophrenic patients in Abarbanel hospital for 10 years. She heads ESRA's very unique social group project in Kfar Shmaryahu, joining disabled children with students from the Rishonim high school in Herzliya.

Eve Resnick
Before making aliya in 1972, Eve worked at the Kibbutz Aliya desk in New York. In Israel, Eve and her family settled on Kibbutz Kfar Haruv. She works with special needs students as an English teacher. She joined the Support Group for Parents of Children with LD looking for advice in dealing with her own child. Eve has been active in securing guest speakers for monthly lectures. She edits the support group newsletter.

Eddie Scott
Eddie was born in Cardiff, Wales. He was an avid student of Bridge and achieved many successes, eventually reaching the British National Finals. Together with his wife Gloria, they made aliya in 1982 and settled in Netanya. He began teaching bridge at Beit Fisher in Raanana, where he founded the ESRA Bridge Club that celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Cynthia Shapiro
In 1980 Cynthia and her husband, Stanley and their four children, made aliya from Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1999 she began volunteering at the Gan Rashal office. Cynthia proofreads the magazine and, together with Dorothea Walters, has contributed greatly to the success of the ESRA second hand bookshop at Beit Fisher.

Aida Sharon
Aida made aliya to Israel from Uruguay in 1977. Having acquired vast experience as an active volunteer in communal activities and leadership, she embarked on her career with the Ministry of Absorption’s Community Involvement Department. She rose through the ranks to become the director of the department’s central region division. She has been an avid supporter of ESRA's activities for new olim.

Marlene Shifrin
Marlene made aliya with her family 17 years ago from Cape Town. Today she lives in Kfar Saba with her husband and teenage children. She is a longtime volunteer with the ESRA Support Group for LD children. She is now an active committee member.

Shirley Stein
Shirley,and husband Itz, made aliya in 1956 from South Africa. They lived in Jerusalem and Shirley worked for the Israel Bond office. They were sent to South Africa on Shlichut. Upon their return to Israel, they settled in Herzliya and Shirley worked at the American International School. On moving to Kfar Vradim in 1999 Shirley joined forces with Leonie Klugman to establish ESRA's northern branch in Kfar Vradim. Today they are involved in several ESRA volunteer projects.

Gill Teicher
Born in England, Gill came to Israel in 1972 and worked for TWA. She was transferred to their world company, Worldspan. Today Gill supervises ESRA's English oral coaching in the Tel Aviv area. This successful project is in 12 schools and Gill's goal is to increase the number to 15.

Norma Vitkofsky
Norma made aliya from England 20 years ago. Together with her husband she opened a chocolate factory in the industrial area of Raanana. Upon retirement she has become a most active volunteer at the ESRA Nearly-New Shop in Kfar-Saba.

Dorothea Walters
Dorothea made aliya twice, the first time in 1964, and again, in 1983. She worked at the Tel Aviv Hilton until her retirement in 1999. Last year when the ESRA second hand bookshop was opened, Dorothea became an active volunteer at the shop. She continually strives to promote the shop amongst the English speaking community. She works at the shop 3-4 days a week and was inspirational in creating an ESRA bookmark containing all the relevant information about the shop. Dorothea proofreads for the ESRA magazine.

Erika Werner
Erika was born in Castle, Germany and was sent to England by her parents in 1939. During WWII she worked as a radar operator until she was able to join her parents in Chile. In February 1971 she made aliya together with her late husband. Erika joined ESRA and began volunteering as an English tutor. She is also very involved in Neve Hanna, an organization that assists children from broken families. She found in ESRA, “all the indispensable ingredients such as morality, help to your fellow beings, tolerance, patience, to which we human beings should be entitled.”