Most beautiful cover

I have been a subscriber to Esra for many years and although all the covers on your magazines have been outstanding – this latest one (Feb/March 2008, #143) is the most beautiful I have ever seen. In fact I am going to frame it!

You know, with all the unpleasant news in the country these days, it takes a picture – like the one on your latest magazine – to tell us “there’s hope for our brave Israel!”

Rahel Shraga, Etz Efraim


Record year for Tel Aviv Knitting Circle

I wish to apologize to the readers and to the members of the Knitting and Crochet Social Circle of Tel Aviv for an error I made in the last issue of the Esra magazine. We had had a record year in 2007 for the amount of sweaters produced by the 17 knitters. It should have been 348 and not 248 sweaters.

Shirley Kirsch, coordinator of the Knitting and Crochet Circle, Tel Aviv.


Thank you Esra Community Fund

  1. for helping finance a walker for Yonatan who can now realize his parents’ dream of walking independently. We are aware of the tremendous financial burden his family bears and so your help was important. Alick Lariach, Hart-Walker Clinic, Center for Child Development, Sieff Hospital, Safed
  2. for your significant contribution to 15 Ethiopian students in the Outstanding Leadership program who can concentrate on their studies and in the future contribute to the community in the field of education. Dr. Shalvah Weil, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  3. Till today I have not done much with myself. But now I am active, initiating and creating. … With your generous help I have a profession “in my hand” which will be with me wherever I go. Today I can earn my own living with pride and am independent….You have no idea to where you have lifted me up. It is my intention to contribute, from the knowledge I have gained, to young girls. Thank you for it all. Hadas B., Kiryat Gat

I believe that the help you gave Hadas really touched her heart and saved her soul. Since she has received your help she looks happy and is full of hope for the future and full of life. May you continue to give help to young people in distress and to put out your hand to them enabling them to open a door when it was thought that it was too late.

Ruth Vaknin, social worker, in charge of the department for young girls, Kiryat Gat Municipality


My house was burgled

My house was broken into and burgled whilst I was in England last summer. A few months prior to leaving, I upgraded the alarm system by adding additional protection outside the house, all the doors and windows of the house have sensors and the alarm goes off immediately a magic eye is disturbed.

At 04:00 I was telephoned in Scotland to tell me that the alarm had gone off. I received a second phone call a short time later, and asked to be called back in quarter of an hour to advise me what was happening but the call never arrived.

Two days later I felt uneasy that something was not in order. I telephoned from London to the alarm company asking them to send somebody to check my house. They put me on to the mobile phone of the security guard when he arrived at my home. He found that two doors at the side of the house leading to the kitchen were both wide open. Whilst he walked around the house he described the chaos that he found.

There were only two things stolen from my house which were a floor standing safe which had been bolted to the floor and the duvet bed cover which was taken from the bed and used to drag the safe out of the house.

My insurance company tell me that the burglars purposely activated the alarm so that the property would be checked and then do it again a short time later. In between times they make the magic eyes blind and inoperable so that they can break and enter.

The worst part of this incident is the indescribable mess that was created in the house. Every drawer and cupboard in the bedrooms and office had been turned onto the floor. The feeling of violation is very unpleasant.

The police were called and only came because there was a safe involved.

For twenty years the alarm company has received a considerable amount of money to protect my property. I felt as if I might as well have thrown this money away. When the time came for them to act, they were useless.

In my opinion the best protection is an inhabited house where lights go on and off and there is occupancy and activity. A “house sitter” would be the best protection.

House sitting in England is now very common. The companies who organize this work to the highest standards and their employees are very carefully vetted for character and criminal references. The house has to be occupied during all the hours of darkness and the sitter is only allowed to leave the house for a maximum of two hours each day. The times have to vary. The sitters pay for their own food and bring their own linen. They are taught how to answer the phone and what to do if someone should come calling. They are also familiar with emergency phone numbers for plumbers and maintenance etc. The sitters can take care of plants and pets and they are given a complete checklist of all the house details. In other words, the arrangement is highly organized, professional and efficient.

If anyone is interested in discussing the possibility of being a house sitter, or needing a house sitter, contact me, Harold at



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