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 2007

Vera Freudmann
Vera and her husband Joey have lived in Ra'anana for most of the thirty years
they've been in Israel.  She remembers the start of ESRA and is delighted to be
involved with its magnificent work.  Her four children are all married and three
of them live in or near Ra'anana so she spends a lot of time with her seven
grandchildren.  Vera was with the Sharon Players for many years, worked in drama
for children and, more recently, has taught English to adults.  She says that
giving her an award for volunteering the bookshop is like rewarding a child for
working in a sweetshop.

Ruth Gelbrun
Ruth was born in the UK and after qualifying as a radiographer, came to Israel
under the first PATWA scheme.  She spent 6 months in Beersheva, then worked for
6 months and decided to make her home in Israel.  Ruth also spent many years
working for the British Council in Tel Aviv.  Ruth has two children who now live
in the UK.  After retirement, Ruth started lending a hand at the ESRA shop in
Kfar Saba.

Annice Grinberg
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Annice made aliya from Columbus, Ohio in 1980, with her
husband Ira and two of their three children.  In Columbus she worked as a
computer programmer.  In Israel, Annice was employed as a computer programmer
and user consultant at the Weizmann Institute until her retirement in 1999.  
Since then, she and her husband have been traveling fairly extensively – to the
U.S. to visit their children and 8 grandchildren and to other countries and
continents.  Annice has been a committee member of the ESRA Rehovot-area branch
since its inception, and has served as secretary and publicity chairman.  She
gives lessons on request in using popular computer software with the proceeds
going to ESRA.  She is also the Assistant Editor of the Rehovot Reporter, a
publication of the Rehovot English-speaking community and writes an Internet
column and restaurant reviews for that periodical.

Bess Hoffman
Bess was born in Cape Town, South Africa and made aliya via London in 1969 with
her husband Eddy and 3 young children.  After a few years settling in to life in
Israel and going from ulpan to ulpan to learn Hebrew, she decided to learn
subjects in Hebrew. She studied to become a tour guide and subsequently worked
as one for 20 years.  The two intifadas brought her guiding work to an end and
she turned to volunteering at ESRA.  She is on the programs committee, using her
guiding skills and on the Herzliya committee organizing events to raise funds
for ESRA projects. She also helps with distribution of the magazine. Her
greatest "claim to fame" are her 5 wonderful grandchildren.

Carl Hoffman
Carl grew up in Boston and was educated in New York and Philadelphia. He
has worked as a university lecturer in the United States, an anthropologist in
Indonesia, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines – followed by a
series of odd jobs with the U.S. State Department Refugee Programs, the
Philippine Department of Education, and the Japanese Embassy in Manila. Carl
made aliyah to Israel with his wife and two children around ten years ago. He
currently spends his days as a freelance writer, an English teacher, and as an
ESRA volunteer.

Shirley Kantor
Shirley made aliyah from South Africa in 1969.  Having felt the warmth from many
volunteers who helped her to successfully integrate Israel, she too wanted to
respond and volunteer and give back as much as possible.  Shirley says that
volunteering in itself is most rewarding, especially when you see the
satisfaction and positive results of the efforts."   She represented Israel in
the World Bowls Championship and in the Maccabiah Games and says she is blessed
to have all her children and grandchildren in Israel.

Ariel Kerem
Ariel grew up in the UK and is a graduate of Leeds University and the Institute
for Youth Leaders in Jerusalem.  He was active in the IUJF Jewish students
organization in the UK and later as Foreign Affairs Secretary of the World Union
of Jewish Students, Foreign Affairs Officer of the National Union of Israeli
Students and Member of the Executive of the International Student Movement for
the United Nations.  He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1971 and  
served as a diplomatic officer for 32  years, including 10 years as Israel's
ambassador to Ethiopia and various other African countries, as well as several
stints in Israel's missions to the United Nations.  He retired in 2003 and moved
to Ra'anana where he became active in ESRA as Founder and Coordinator of the
Photography Group and as a volunteer teacher.

Jane Krivine
Jane made aliyah in November 2003.  She was quickly drafted onto the brand new
Caesarea branch committee of which she is now the co-chair.  In the UK she began
her professional career as a classical concert promoter, later running a
specialist classical music PR company and finally in the early 1990s turning to
arts festival management.  She was director of the Windsor Festival, The
Hampstead and Highgate Festival and, prior to her aliyah, director of the Jewish
Arts Festival.  She writes occasional articles for the ESRA magazine and is
currently Chair of the 30th Anniversary Committee, planning celebrations for
ESRA's big birthday event taking place on Wednesday October 29 next year.

Mignon Lubinski
Mignon was born in Stephney, London and, after completing her schooling, she
worked in London for a few years and then moved to Zurich, Switzerland where she
married. Her daughter made aliyah in 1972.  In 1985, Mignon & her husband also
made aliyah.  With her good command of German, Mignon found work with a company
dealing with restitution from Germany.  She retired after 19 years and, having
heard of ESRA, became a volunteer performing secretarial work in the Gan Rashal
office.  Mignon has one granddaughter who recently presented her with a great

Liz Morris
Liz made aliyah from Manchester, England in 1984 with her husband Terry and
their children Adam and Debbie.  In England, Liz worked as a designer for a
raincoat manufacturer, then an art teacher and, before making aliyah, she had
established and run a Jewish nursery school.  In Israel she has taught ceramics,
made home furnishings and currently works at Beth Hatefutsoth as a guide and
coordinator for volunteers.  Her involvement in ESRA started with delivering the
magazines in the first year of aliyah and has continued to this day.  For the
past 2 1/2 yrs she has been the co-coordinator for the ESRA project Bayit Ham,
an after school club for teenage girls from distressed families in Netanya.

Esther Rabinowitz
Esther is from Manchester, England and before making aliyah, she was involved in
social work with the aged and a meals on wheels service.  After making aliyah
with her husband Jack in 1983 to Ra'anana, she worked for 17 years in the Lord
Kitch T-shirt shop.  She now volunteers at the ESRA book shop whilst her
husband, Jack, organizes the mid week ESRA tiyulim.  She has 3 children, 9
grandchildren and is a very on tap savta !

Rosemary Rivlin
Rosemary has lived in Israel since 1985 and is a freelance graphic designer. She
has contributed her professional know-how by designing cards for the Ethiopian
Embroidery project and producing the "ESRA  Works."

Juliet Rostowsky  
Juliet was born in Rhodesia, attended university receiving a Masters degree. She
practiced as a Registered Industrial Psychologist in South Africa from 1983 to
the time of her aliyah in June 2003.  She enjoyed every aspect of her work which
included training, assessment, career guidance & planning, organizational
development and consulting, personnel recruitment and assessment of loss of
earnings and earning capacity for legal purposes. She also has a post graduate
teaching qualification and has trained and worked as a marriage guidance and sex
education counselor.  Married in 1961, Juliet & her husband have 3 married
children (2 in Israel, 1 in Canada) with families that have given them the
pleasure of 9 grandchildren.

Lynette Sackstein
Lynette immigrated to Israel from South Africa in April 2004 and lives in
Ra'anana.  She is an ardent Zionist, has 4 children, 3 of whom live in South
Africa and 8 grandchildren.
Ivy Schwartz
A native New Yorker, Ivy completed a BA degree at Hunger College, NY.,  married,
moved to Chicago, Illinois where she raised 3 children over the next thirteen
years.  From 1967 -74, Ivy was a pre-kindergarten teacher in the Hackensack, New
Jersey Public Schools system and worked on a program for raising educational
performances of inner-city children.  For the next 20 years, as Director of
Early Childhood Programs for Day Care Centers and for Jewish Educational
Institutions, she designed, trained and administered bicultural and cognitive
development curriculum for the centers she directed.  Retiring from education in
1995, Ivy became a Placement Counselor for "head hunting" otherwise known as
Personnel Recruiting and Placement industry in Manhattan.  Finally retiring in
2005, Ivy made Aliyah.  Ivy has 2 sons living in Israel and a daughter in the
USA and recently became a great grandmother.  She is a happy member of ESRA,
which has provided her the opportunity to help out in the areas in which she is
trained and experienced.

Nurit Schlezinger
Nurit was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, currently the capital of Slovakia.
 Her early adolescence was overshadowed by the horrors of war banishment from
her hometown, life in hiding as an illegal refugee in Budapest, parting with her
parents whom she never got to see again and then her inclusion in the Kastner's
rescue transport.   She left Bergen-Belsen to freedom in Eretz Israel, via
Switzerland.  She spent her first years in Palestine as a Kibbutz member; first
as a signals corps private in Kibbutz Tse'elim and then in Kvutsat Kfar
Hachoresh where she met Yaacov, also a holocaust survivor.  They married and had
2 boys; Avner & Eran.  Today, she is a grandmother of five, the oldest being 27
and the youngest is 2.  In 1954, they left the kibbutz and moved to Kfar Saba,
where she was active in the Workers' Council and served as the coordinator of
the "Working Mothers Organization".  In the early 1960s they moved to Kalmaniya
where they reside to this day.  Nurit ran the post office in Moshav Tsufit until
the age of 77.  Her husband passed away in 2005 after 57 years of marriage and
Nurit was looking for an occupation and found "ESRA".
Charles Seligman
Charles came from a "Dorp" (village) Ventersburg South Africa via Johannesburg
to Israel in July 1987 to settle in the country that his son Stanley adopted 6
years prior.  He settled in "Raanana Fontein" and, after overcoming many
obstacles, is now enjoying the fruits of his retirement in good health and is
volunteering, on a daily basis, using his years of experience in accounting
procedures at the Ra'anana ESRA office.
Ilan Shahaf
Ilan is a born & bred Sabra.  He grew up in Netanya and after his Army Service,
he lived in Denmark for 5 years where he learned his trade in carpentry and home
renovations.  He came back to Israel and started his own business.   He set up
home in Netanya with his Swiss wife and 4 beautiful children.  During the course
of his work, he met many people who were either redoing their homes or moving.  
They all had furniture, linens and other household goods to donate.  He
approached someone from the ESRA organization to find homes for these items.  
From then on, the romance has blossomed.  Ilan advertises in the ESRA magazine
and works for many of its members.

Merle Shewchuk
Merle & her husband Jim made aliyah from Toronto, Canada in January 2005.  Merle
retired in October 2004 after a very successful 29 year career with the Canadian
telephone company Bell Canada.  She came through the door of the Gan Rashal ESRA
office during the 2nd Lebanon war full of willingness to help as needed.  Merle
has been sharing the responsibility of managing the donations including
tracking, creating the donation cards and preparing the donation lists for
inclusion in the magazine.  Merle enjoys the time she spends at Gan Rashal and
the friendship she shares with the staff and other volunteers at the office.

Cyril Solk
Cyril Solk, has been a member of ESRA since the first meeting with ESRA's
President, Merle Guttmann, some 30 years ago. He has been an active contributor,
helping for some time with coffee mornings arranged by Celia Kriss in aid of the
blind, his frequent help to the Golden Friendship Club, contribution to the
bridge mornings and very successfully tutoring in English grammar.

Sivia Teutsch
Sivia was born in London, England in 1931 and is married with 3 children and 5
grandchildren.  She has been in Israel since 1955. She was the Secretary to the
Senate, Tel Aviv University and was active in ELEM and the Israel Centre for
Volunteerism,  ESRA Ramat Hasharon Committee 1992 initially as Chairperson and a
member of the ESRA Welfare Committee. She also volunteers in Herzliya
municipality with social welfare activities.

Shai Viter
Despite being only 17, Shai has a full resume of volunteer activities, primarily
via his involvement in the Herzliya Sea Scouts, Dakar.  Combining his enthusiasm
for marine sports with his desire to help others, Shai has introduced both young
and "older" to the sea, organized social activities on dry land and is
recognized as a leader and role model by his peers.