From left to right: Vera Freudmann, Shirley Kantor, Ariel Kerem, Mignon Lubinski, Annice Grinberg, Esther Rabinowitz, Juliet Rostowsky, Lynette Sackstein, Charles Seligman, Ilan Shahaf, Tzivia Teutsch, Ivy Schwartz, Cyril Solk, Merle Shewchuk          



Vera Freudmann

Vera and her husband Joey came to Israel from the UK and have lived in Raanana for most of the years they have been in Israel. Vera was with the Sharon Players for many years, worked in drama for children and more recently has taught English to adults. She volunteers in the ESRA Bookshop.


Ruth Gelbrun

Ruth was born in the UK and after qualifying as a radiographer, came to Israel under the first PATWA scheme. She spent six months in Beersheva, then worked for six months and decided to make her home in Israel. She also spent many years working for the British Council in Tel Aviv. Now retired, Ruth lends a hand at the ESRA Nearly New Shop in Kfar Saba.


Annice Grinberg

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Annice made aliyah from Columbus, Ohio in 1980, with her husband Ira and two children. She was a computer programmer and user consultant at the Weizmann Institute until her retirement in 1999. Annice has been a committee member of the ESRA Rehovot branch since its inception, and has served as secretary and publicity chairperson. She gives lessons on request in using popular computer software with the proceeds going to ESRA. She is also assistant editor of the Rehovot Reporter and writes an Internet column and restaurant reviews.


Bess Hoffman

Bess was born in Cape Town, South Africa and made aliyah via London in 1969 with her husband Eddy and three children. She studied to become a tour guide and subsequently worked for 20 years. The two intifadas brought her work as a guide to an end and she turned to volunteering at ESRA. She is on the Programs Committee, the Herzliya Committee organizing events to raise funds for ESRA projects and also helps with distribution of the ESRA MAGAZINE.


Carl Hoffman

Carl Hoffman grew up in Boston and was educated in New York and Philadelphia. He has worked as a university lecturer in the United States, as an anthropologist in Indonesia, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines – followed by a series of odd jobs with the U.S. State Department Refugee Programs, the Philippine Department of Education, and the Japanese Embassy in Mania. Carl made aliyah to Israel in 1998 with his wife and two children. He is a freelance writer and an English teacher, and is a member of the ESRA MAGAZINE editorial board.


Shirley Kantor

Shirley made aliyah from South Africa in 1969. Having felt the warmth from many volunteers who helped her to successfully integrate in Israel, she too wanted to respond and volunteer and give back as much as possible. She represented Israel in the World Bowls Championship and in the Maccabiah.


Ariel Kerem

Ariel grew up in the UK and is a graduate of Leeds University and the Institute for Youth Leaders in Jerusalem. He was active in the IUJF Jewish students’ organization in the UK ad later as Foreign Affairs Secretary of the World Union of Jewish Students, Foreign Affairs Officer of the National Union of Israeli Students and Member of the Executive of the International Student Movement for the United Nations. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1971 and served as a diplomatic officer for 32 years, including 10 years as Israel’s ambassador to Ethiopia and various other African countries, as well as several stints in Israel’s mission to the United Nations. He retired in 2003 and moved to Raanana where he became active in ESRA as Founder and Coordinator of the Photography Group and as a volunteer teacher.


Jane Krivine

Jane made aliyah in November 2003.

She was quickly drafted onto the new ESRA Caesarea branch committee of which she is now the co-chair. In the UK she began her professional career as a classical concert promoter, later running a specialist classical music PR company and finally in the early 1990s turning to arts festival management. She was director of the Windsor Festival, the Hampstead and Highgate Festival and director of the Jewish Arts Festival. She writes articles for the ESRA MAGAZINEand is currently Chair of the 30th Anniversary Committee, planning celebrations for ESRA’s big birthday event taking place on Wednesday October 29, 2008.


Mignon Lubinski

Mignon was born in Stephney, London and, after completing her schooling, she worked in London for a few years and then moved to Zurich, Switzerland where she married. Her daughter made aliyah in 1972. In 1985, Mignon and her husband also made aliyah. With her good command of German, Mignon found work with a company dealing with restitution from Germany. She retired after 19 years and, having heard of ESRA, became a volunteer performing secretarial work in the Gan Rashal office. Mignon has one granddaughter who recently presented her with a great grandson.


Liz Morris

Liz made aliyah from Manchester, England in 1984 with her husband Terry and their children Adam and Debbie. In England, Liz worked as a designer for a raincoat manufacturer, then as an art teacher and, before making aliyah, she  established and run a Jewish nursery school. In Israel she has taught ceramics, made home furnishings and currently works at Beth Hatefutsoth as a guide and coordinator for volunteers. Her involvement in ESRA started with delivering the magazines in the first year of aliyah and has continued to this day. For the past two and a half years she has been the co-coordinator for the ESRA project Bayit Cham, an after school club for teenage girls from distressed families in Netanya.


Esther Rabinowitz

Esther is from Manchester, England and before making aliyah she was involved in social work with the aged and a meals-on-wheels service. After making aliyah with her husband Jack in 1983 to Raanana, she worked for 17 years in the Lord Kitch T-shirt shop. She now volunteers at the ESRA Book Shop.


Rosemary Rivlin

Rosemary has lived in Israel since 1985 and is a freelance graphic designer. She has contributed her professional knowhow by designing cards for the Ethiopian Embroidery project and the “ESRA Works”.


Juliet Rostowsky

Juliet was born in Rhodesia and made aliyah from South Africa with her husband Rusty in 2003. She practiced as an Industrial Psychologist in South Africa for 20 years. She has a masters degree and also a post graduate teaching qualification and has trained and worked as a marriage guidance and sex education counselor. She is a member of the ESRA Executive and is active in the Volunteer Division training volunteers. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Israel Self Help Center.


Lynette Sackstein

Lynette immigrated to Israel from South Africa in April 2004 and lives in Raanana. She is an ardent Zionist. Lynette volunteers in the ESRA Book Shop.


Nurit Schlezinger

Nurit was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.

Her early adolescence was overshadowed by the horrors of war: banishment from her hometown, life in hiding as an illegal refugee in Budapest, parting with her parents, whom she never saw again, and then her inclusion in the Kastner’s rescue transport. She left Bergen-Belsen to freedom in Israel via Switzerland. She spent her first years in Palestine as a kibbutz member, first as a signals corps private in kibbutz Tse’elim and then in Kvutsat Kfar Hachoresh where she met Yaacov, also a Holocaust survivor. They married and had two boys, Avner and Eran. They moved to Kfar Saba in 1954 where she was active in the Workers’ Council and served as the coordinator of the “Working Mothers Organization”. In the 1960s they moved to Kalmaniya. Nurit ran the post office in Moshav Tsufit until the age of 77. Her husband passed away in 2005 after 57 years of marriage and Nurit, looking for an occupation, found ESRA.


Ivy Schwartz

A native New Yorker, Ivy completed a BA degree at Hunter College, NY, married and moved to Chicago, Illinois where she raised three children. Ivy was a pre-kindergarten teacher in the Hackensack, New Jersey Public Schools system and worked on a program for raising educational performances of inner-city children. For the next 20 years, as Director of Early Childhood Programs for Day Care Centers and for Jewish Educational Institutions, she designed, trained, and administered a bicultural and cognitive development curriculum for the centers she directed. Retiring from education in 1995 Ivy became a Placement Counselor for “head hunting” in Manhattan. Ivy made aliyah in 2005. In ESRA she heads the English tutoring program in Netanya.


Charles Seligman

Charles came from Ventersburg South Africa to Israel in July 1987. He settled in Raanana Fontein and, after overcoming many obstacles, is now enjoying the fruits of his retirement in good health and is volunteering on a daily basis, using his years of experience in accounting procedures at the Raanana ESRA office.


Ilan Shahaf

Ilan was born in Israel. He grew up in Netanya and after his army service he lived in Denmark for five years, where he learned his trade in carpentry and home renovations. He came back to Israel and started his own business. He set up home Netanya with his Swiss wife and four children. During the course of his work, he met many people who were either redoing their homes or moving. They all had furniture, linens and other household goods to donate. He approached ESRA to find homes for these items. From then on, the romance has blossomed. On a volunteer basis he does carpentry work for ESRA Sewing Centers. Ilan advertises in ESRA MAGAZINE and works for many of its members.



Merle Shewchuk

Merle and her husband Jim made aliyah from Toronto, Canada in 2005 where she worked for 29 years with the Bell Canada telephone company. She has been volunteering in the Gan Rashal ESRA office since the Second Lebanon War, sharing the managing of donations, including tracking, creating the donation cards and preparing the donation lists for the ESRA MAGAZINE.


Cyril Solk

Cyril Solk has been a member of ESRA since the first meeting with ESRA’s Founder and President, Merle Guttmann, 29 years ago. He has been an active contributor, helping with coffee mornings arranged by Cecelia Kriss in aid of the blind,  frequently helping the Golden Friendship Club, contributingn to the bridge mornings and very successfully tutoring in English grammar.


Sivia Teutsch

Sivia was born in London, England in 1931 and came to Israel in 1955. She was the Secretary to the Senate, Tel Aviv University and was active in ELEM and the Israel Council for Volunteerism, and in ESRA Ramat Hasharon Committee 1992, initially as Chairperson, and a member of the ESRA Welfare Committee. She also volunteers in Herzliya Municipality with social welfare activities.


Shai Viter

Despite being only 17, Shai has a full resume of volunteer activities, primarily via his involvement in the Herzliya Sea Scouts, Dakar. Combining his enthusiasm for marine sports with his desire to help others, Shai has introduced both young and “older” to the sea, organized social activities on dry land and is recognized as a leader and role model by his peers. 

print Email article to a friend
Rate this article 

Post a Comment

Related Articles


About the author


ESRAmagazine documents and illustrates the life of the English-speaking community in Israel. It keeps readers in touch with the community, with each other, and involves them in life in Israel. Cont...

Script Execution Time: 0.05 seconds-->