Volunteer Gillian Heron talking to the young disabled riders at Maggal Therapeutic Riding Center, an ESRA sponsored project.

 

Enjoying today for a better tomorrow

These past two months have been filled with exciting ESRA events. Every two years ESRA honors its outstanding volunteers – this year sixteen were chosen to receive awards (please see page..). Volunteerism remains the essence of what ESRA represents. One example is this superb ESRA MAGAZINE, to the production and distribution of which some 430 volunteers contribute greatly.

At our incredibly successful fundraising evening, “Waterloo” (page 44) where, aside from enjoying the group’s performance, we saw the success of our people-oriented projects, noting that education is the key to a better tomorrow. How proud we can be of the graduates of ESRA’s Right Track Centers, situated in areas of deprivation, where they receive help with their school studies plus the care and warmth that facilitate their growth into well-rounded individuals. These youngsters are educated to become contributing citizens of the State of Israel: serving in Israel’s IDF (Israel’s Defense Forces), carrying out National Service and now committing themselves to helping those who remind them of their own personal journey. 

The late Yigal Allon – a past Minister of Education as well as a military man, once said that the battles Israel wins in the field of war and labor are won in the beginnings we give our children. As parents and grandparents we recognize this to be true. It is equally true, and perhaps more so, for youngsters coming from challenged backgrounds (who might well be either new immigrants or the children of new immigrants) and who are in desperate need of the support ESRA can offer through its varied programs. 

Over the years ESRA has played a vital role in the successful absorption of immigrants of all ages. Each aliyah brings its own gifts and its own challenges. Facing these challenges successfully has meant that we have made a contribution towards the success story that is Israel. Today this little country is a leader in the high-tech industry on a par, per capita, with the United States’ Silicone Valley. In the field of Research and Development hardly a week does not pass by without yet another medical or scientific discovery emanating from our country to help mankind.

 All this has happened in a land devoid of natural resources. As Golda Meir once said, "Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil." This has taught us that we have to rely entirely on our own resources, the basis of which is education.

As we look through this great magazine we can feel enormous pride in what ESRA has achieved and continues to achieve. An example of this is the story of Asneke and Negiste (page 58) Enjoy! 

 

Wishing you and your dear families Chag Purim and Pesach Sameach.

 Brenda Katten

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About the author

Brenda Katten

Brenda Katten was born and educated in London, UK.  She was a member of Bnei Akiva and the Federation of Zionist Youth (FZY). Professionally she worked as a Relationship and Educational C...
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