Our new venue for English lectures in Netanya

ESRA’s volunteering in projects in Netanya has brought us into contact with many divisions of the municipality. At a meeting of the Students Build a Neighborhood Projects, we raised an unrelated question asking if anyone could help us get a decent hall for our Netanya Lecture Series. Meytal, the Assistant to the Deputy Mayor, said she may have just the place for us.

And so we met the amazing Banai family. Meytal, who has helped ESRA on a personal basis several times in Netanya, introduced us to her parents who own the new Mini-Gan Event and Convention Center in Netanya. They have turned an old, dilapidated building into a Garden of Eden. They rebuilt the hall, raised the ceiling, created a garden and have a little paradise in the middle of Netanya for anyone who wants to celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Shabbat Chatan or any other smaller event.

Mini-Gan is the subject around the table at all their dinners, and is a family affair. Linoy manages the Mini-Gan, her Mom, Ilana, helps in the kitchen, Meytal works on marketing and Shelly, the younger sister comes to the events where she is a waitress and also a photographer. This bonding family project came out of a tragedy, when they lost a son/brother in an accident towards the end of his army service seven years ago.

Their slogan is to do for others.

They are giving us the hall every second Tuesday morning for our ESRA Netanya Lecture Series. This means we can have a lovely, relaxed series which will include coffee and refreshments in a pleasant atmosphere.

However, we are not the only beneficiaries. They provide the hall for other charitable uses as well; they give wonderful payment terms to those who can’t afford to give everything up-front; they provide free transportation for a youth hostel – and all with a smile and much goodwill.

"I love to help and give,” said the father as we were walking out of the hall, “and if ESRA needs the hall for small events or Bnei/Bnot Mitzvah for up to 70 people, I'll be happy to give the hall once a month.”

Is this for real? Yes!

So, see you at our lectures: Mini-Gan Events and Convention Center, 3 Shmuel Hanatziv, Netanya, every second Tuesday morning at 10.00 starting October 30, 2012.

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Joan Weisman

Joan (Stein) Weisman came to Israel in August 1972 and two weeks later started teaching. She lived in Jerusalem but traveled to Kiryat Malachi to work in two elementary schools. After four years of...

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