The new school year opened with a get-together of volunteers involved in English for Schools at Beit Fisher, Raanana on September 4, 2007.
It was an opportunity for Gill Teicher, Esra’s volunteer who coordinates the English tutoring program, to meet the local volunteer coordinators from Raanana, Kfar Saba, Herzliya.
Gill welcomed Esra chairperson Debby Lieberman and paid tribute to Joanne Grozovski, the previous Esra coordinator for the program nationwide, and to Judy Birkan who has done a wonderful job in Kfar Saba, and is now stepping down.
The intention this year is to extend to Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, Givatayim and Holon and possibly to other locations.
The local coordinators introduced themselves and updated us on their activities. Judy Birkan has handed over to Denise Silverman and Naomi Reznik in Kfar Saba. Ruth Wood from Raanana takes great care to match the volunteers to the job. Ivy Schwartz is expanding the program in Netanya, where Esra is cooperating on the project with AACI, under the header “English without Borders”. Ivy is a fairly new immigrant from the United States and works in Netanya with Nina Zuck.
Lola Katz gave a most entertaining talk on the cultural differences inherent in languages, and the need to incorporate this element when meeting imminent school leavers who will soon be using their English at work and on their travels. She specifically mentioned the way English speakers tend to introduce themselves using first and last names. This created a lively discussion amongst the participants. Lola offered to be on call to answer any language problems that might crop up.
Amy Zehavi, who teaches English at Tel Aviv's Tichon Hadash School (an integrative school), and is the Esra contact there, expressed her appreciation to all the volunteers for their invaluable contribution, and mentioned that this school also hosts a project to help 9th grade pupils.
Good luck to all volunteers – old and new.
To join the English for Schools program contact Gill Teicher 03 6021008 firstname.lastname@example.org