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“Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless.”

ESRA has over 1300 volunteers engaged in a wide range of activities, from finance management to law, copywriting, graphic-design, photography, administration, magazine distribution, committee membership, coordinating, English tutoring, or manning secondhand shops. Volunteers' work time is flexible, at their convenience. If you would like to find a volunteering opportunity that suits you, please contact us. | 09-9508371  


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ESRA (11)

Tuesday, 26 December 2017 09:42

Message from ESRA's Founder & Life President

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Welcome to our ESRA website! 

I know that after browsing through the site, you will feel - as I do - that we have something in ESRA for YOU!

You will discover that ESRA is a dynamic, pluralistic, multi-faceted community organization - and it is run by English speaking volunteers. Its flexibility and innovativeness allow it to pinpoint and respond quickly to the current needs of the people that ESRA serves.

Participation in ESRA's activities enhances the integration of English speakers into Israeli life, and gives them an opportunity to express their own unique abilities and interests. Thus, the talents and culture that they bring with them from their native countries find fertile ground in Israel, and result in ESRA's broad range of cultural, social, educational, and support programs in English, which the volunteers both create and enjoy.

Furthermore, ESRA's caring and humanistic philosophy translates into the belief that helping others is meaningful for all involved - those doing the helping, as well as those being helped. This philosophy is implemented by reaching out to immigrants from distressed countries and others in disadvantaged sectors of the Israeli society, and in the tens of community projects we have developed.

ESRA’s credo, that volunteers are capable of creating and carrying out projects in a professional manner, offers encouragement and empowerment to the 1000 versatile and talented people who accept the challenge eagerly.

Come join us in this exciting and fulfilling enterprise. Together, we can help ourselves and others - and enjoy and grow in the process.                                                    

MERLE GUTTMANN                                           
Honorary Life President of ESRA

Tuesday, 26 December 2017 09:12

Message from the General Manager

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February 2017

I would like to say THANK YOU for choosing me to become a part of the ESRA family, and what a remarkable and devoted family it is. For over 38 years ESRA, driven out of the pure goodness and spirit of giving, has embraced and fulfilled the social needs of immigrants as well as supported the less privileged in Israel.

ESRA's ongoing ability to champion its goals is made possible by the wonderful volunteers assisted by partnerships developed with municipalities, foundations and private donors, and by professional management structure in the administrative and financial fields.

It is an honor for me to be part of this esteemed organization and I pledge to justify your trust by working to ensure that all our important goals are met and that together we reach new heights.

Briefly about myself: I immigrated to Israel from the United States when I was a child. I live in Givatayim with my three marvelous boys (20, 16, 9). I hold a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Management, and have accumulated vast experience in the management of companies and NGO engaged in incoming tourism, cultural and educational activities in Israel. I believe in transparency, setting clear and attainable objectives and teamwork. I strive for excellence and realize that success has no shortcuts.

I share the values and purposes of ESRA and strongly believe that it is our individual and collective responsibility as a society to take care of one another; especially the weaker and less fortunate.

I'm learning about ESRA's many activities and projects, structure and culture, goals and objectives, challenges and opportunities. I am especially interested in you, dear individuals, who together are the beating heart of ESRA. I encourage you to address me directly with your thoughts and ideas as I come with a clean slate.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Yonit Gurfinkel, my predecessor, for the warm welcome, endless assistance and wish her great success.

I'm excited!

Sincerely yours,

Sunny Marshansky    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
General Manager, ESRA
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 17:37


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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 17:35


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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 17:34


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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 17:33


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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 01:24


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ESRA currently has 19 branches, with new ones being formed wherever the need arises. Click on the Branch link to find out about ESRA in your area. 

Monday, 04 December 2017 08:03

ESRA shops

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ESRA shops work on many levels. Everyone can donate their unwanted items in good condition for recycling and resale at our Second Hand Shops and at our Bookshops. Volunteers collect and sort the items at 5 centres in Raanana, Kfar Saba, Modiin and Binyamina (see details below) and goods and books are offered for sale at very reasonable prices. The general public, native Israelis, new immigrants and foreign workers, can buy pre-owned goods at cheap prices for their own use or for sending to their families abroad. Profits made in the shops are a most welcome supplement to our fundraising efforts to ensure the continuance of our Community Projects.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017 03:33

ESRA Executive Committee

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ESRA AGM and Executive

The ESRA Annual General Meeting 2017, held on 13th June at the Kiryat HaSharon Community Center in Netanya, ‎was very well attended and we were delighted to have members there from all over the ‎country, - even from the rejuvenated branch in Eilat, our southernmost outpost (at least until ‎ESRA Friends is established in South Africa).

Unfortunately, our Life President and Founder, Merle Guttmann was unable to attend our ‎AGM due to the illness of her sister in the USA. We send her and her family our warm wishes ‎at this difficult time.‎

Following a short film showing some of ESRA’s wide-ranging activities, Baruch Tanaman ‎gave the Chairman’s Report. Roger Lavender presented the Finance Reports with his usual ‎aplomb and these were approved, as were the appointment of the Control Committee and the ‎External Auditors, Stark and Stark.‎

A lively discussion on Membership and Volunteering was led by Stephen Jacobs. All points ‎raised and discussed will be considered by the new Executive.‎

Sunny Marshansky gave the General Manager’s Report. ‎

Richard Stein ensured that the Elections for the new Executive were run efficiently.‎

We owe thanks and appreciation to outgoing Executive members, Rene Goldstein and Ed ‎Wolfe, who have contributed so much to ESRA during their years of volunteering.‎
Rene Goldstein has been a stalwart of the Fund-Raising Committee, an Executive member ‎for several years and spends countless hours contacting lapsed and new members. ‎
Ed Wolfe has been active with our ESRA Nearly New stores since 1997, together with his ‎wonderful wife, Betty, and has been a member of the Executive for many years. No praise ‎is enough for his hard work. We wish Rene and Ed many healthy years of volunteering.‎

Sam Kirsch, a long-standing member of our Internal Control Committee, recently had an ‎operation and has decided not to stand for the Committee again. Thanks for all the volunteer ‎hours, Sam, and get well soon.‎
Janet Kiesari, our Southern Branch Coordinator, has also been unwell and we wish her a full ‎recovery and that we will soon see her attending Executive Meetings again.‎

We are extremely pleased that Terry Morris will be continuing as Vice-Chairman and Chair ‎of the Media Committee; his support is invaluable. ‎

Thanks to all who attended and contributed, and thanks to the ESRA Netanya Branch for ‎hosting an enjoyable, well-organized meeting.‎

Baruch Tanaman, ESRA Chairman

Wednesday, 22 November 2017 03:32

Why ESRA? and What are ESRA's aims?

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ESRA is an independent non-profit organisation run by volunteers.

A group of English Speaking residents of Herzliya and Kfar Shmaryahu formed ESRA in 1979, primarily to fulfill a social need and assist their integration into Israeli society.

The new 'English Speaking Resident's Association', known as ESRA, soon expanded to include other towns in the Sharon area such as Ramat Hasharon, Kfar Saba, Hod Hasharon and Raanana, and, over the years has spread to areas wherever the need has arisen, providing a framework for English speaking activities in the community.

ESRA's aims are threefold:

  • Helping integration of English speaking families and new immigrants by providing social, cultural, educational and civic activities.
  • Encouraging English speakers to volunteer in the community, thereby helping others and at the same time becoming a useful part of Israeli society.
  • Initiating and running projects in the community via the ESRA Community Fund (E.C.F.) to aid immigrants from distressed countries and other disadvantaged sectors of Israeli society.
ESRA has contact with the other immigrant organisations, and also with the local municipalities and the various government bodies responsible for immigrant absorption and social welfare.

In 1992 ESRA, and its President and Founder, Merle Guttmann, was a recipient of the President's Award for Volunteering for its contribution to the absorption of immigrants. In 1999 Merle was presented with the Volunteer Award of the Year for outstanding leadership by the National Council for Voluntarism in Israel.

ESRA's president has received five additional awards for both her and ESRA's contribution to the community. Many of ESRA's volunteers have also received individual awards from their local municipalities for their volunteering activities in their communities.  Click to see some of ESRA's numerous awards