Mayor Haim Bibas opens Neve ESRA
Neve ESRA is a project for severly risk children aged 9-11
The kids in the choir were bubbling with excitement at the prospect of opening the program at the auspicious launch of Neve ESRA, the new project adopted by ESRA Modiin in the summer. The youngsters, all pupils at the state-religious Shivtei Israel local elementary school, had been invited to perform, alongside other artists, at the evening’s event which was also attended by the mayor and other municipal officials.
ESRA Modiin arranged a delightful program for the event which was preceded by a light supper on the veranda of Business Class in the Azrieli Mall.
Following the choir’s moving renditions of Oseh Shalom and B’Yachad (appropriately selected), guest of honor Mayor Haim Bibas spoke about ESRA’s wonderful contribution to communities throughout Israel and Modiin in particular. He recalled his first meeting with ESRA representatives in his office a year ago, noting that the ladies had left a positive impression on him about their activities and anticipated plans for the city, which have slowly taken root.
Nina Zuck, national co-chair of ESRA spoke highly of its growth over the past three decades from small social groups into a volunteer giant with more than 30 projects ongoing around the country. The emphasis, she said, is on the volunteering spirit of giving that Anglo immigrants bring with them to Israel. MC Jackie Klein, co-chair of ESRA Modiin, introduced the speakers and performers and thanked everyone for their support of Neve ESRA, an afternoon care center for high risk children.
In reviewing the activities of the municipal welfare department, Director Yaacov Almog pointed out that while Modiin was rated 8 out of 10 on the scale of socio-economic status in Israeli cities, there was nevertheless a need for the provision of social services. Modiin has a high percentage of single-parent families and the divorce rate is among the highest in the country due to the average age and education of the population. Seffi Rosenberg, coordinator of Neve ESRA, noted that the children attending the center had all been hand-picked due to difficult circumstances at home. She expressed deep appreciation to ESRA for their support and backing.
Among the outstanding performers who interspersed the speeches were the Clarinet Quartet, led by Sara Elbaz, a teacher of clarinet at the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv as well as at the Faculty of Music at Tel Aviv University. She was accompanied by three young student-musicians, who enthralled the audience with their virtuoso performance; singer Naomi Adler and guitarist Hagai Baron, who left the audience asking for more; and internationally renowned singer and musician, Jill Rogoff, who enchanted the audience with her array of talents.
The event was another milestone in ensuring that ESRA Modiin is firmly on the map in the city. Just a week before, the city’s deputy mayor, Moish Levy, had attended the official opening of esrabooks in the mall. The secondhand bookshop is the third in the country, but the only ESRA bookshop to offer books in Hebrew as well. Within the framework of these ongoing events, ESRA Modiin had rewarding coverage in the local printed weeklies.
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