Jackie Klein at her farewell party in Modiin with (from left) ESRA Chairman Baruch Tanaman, ESRA Modiin Chair Cynthia Barmor and ESRA Honorary Life President and Founder Merle Guttmann
Story by Carol Lipman Photos by Flori Cohen
“Never say goodbye, because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting” (Peter Pan).
But there is no way that Jackie Klein is ever going to be forgotten! Jackie and co-chair Cynthia Barmor have been the driving force behind ESRA Modiin, the branch that in the eight years of their leadership, has become one of ESRA’s most successful and dynamic groups.
Jackie Klein raises her glass as she says goodbye to her friends at ESRA. Right:: Cover of the memento album
Jackie is the quintessential English lady, elegant and understated. Raised in London, she moved to South Africa in 1976 with her husband, Alan and their two children, where she built an extremely successful business in Johannesburg.
Jackie has been an outstanding representative and advocate for ESRA. Those attending her “never say goodbye” party, included ESRA’s Honorary President and Founder Merle Guttmann, ESRA Chair Baruch Tanaman, Vice Chair Terry Morris, Projects Chair Nina Zuck, General Manager Sunny Marshansky, and former General Manager Yonit Gurfinkel.
But just as impressive – and perhaps even more indicative of Jackie’s impact – was the presence of numerous volunteers, both past and present.
Jackie thanked everyone with characteristic charm, including Rhona Berzack who had skillfully compiled a memento album with photos and personal messages, testament to Jackie’s contribution over the years.
Jackie said: “It has been my great honor and privilege to have met you, and to have been part of your lives. Hopefully that connection will not end tonight.
Daughter Georgia, son-in-law Itzik Daniel and granddaughter Shani. Granddaughter Inbal
“In ESRA I found a group of truly selfless people making a difference in the lives of others, giving me a real sense of fulfillment to be a part of it. Simply put, ESRA made my heart smile.
“When ESRA approached me seven or so years ago, I had no idea really what it was all about and what the possibilities could be. As many of you have heard me say before, I told Merle Guttmann, Debbie Lieberman and several others who came through from Herzliya to have coffee with me and persuade me to become chairperson of ESRA Modiin, that I was prepared to build on the foundations that Stella Padeh had started.”
Jackie then thanked Modiin Chair Cynthia Barmor “for being such a great partner.
“Despite the pressures, we have had fun and it has been wonderful to see what we have achieved for the kids at Neve ESRA.
In conclusion, she said: “Like bad pennies, Alan and I will keep turning up in Israel, so this is not goodbye, merely au revoir. Perhaps some of you might consider coming to visit us in South Africa. You will always be most welcome.”
Tellingly, perhaps it was the poem of granddaughter Inbar that moved Jackie the most.
Jackie’s daughter Georgia, husband Itzik Daniel and their other children Shani and Natan participated in the event which paid a well-deserved tribute to one of ESRA’s most committed and efficient contributors.
The “never say goodbye” party was aptly named. Jackie and Alan have returned South Africa, but they will be visiting Israel regularly in the foreseeable future.
Hopefully, she is also going to be continuing her involvement with ESRA through its new Overseas Friends of ESRA program.