Rika Meyerowitz has been coordinating the hand distribution of the ESRA Magazine for 11 years, since 1998. For each of the 55 magazines she has been organizing over 325 volunteers – packers, bundle distributors, postmen - to distribute 6000 magazines in 20 towns. An amazing industry by an amazing organizer. No hitches, no glitches, just ultimate smooth sailing as all problems are solved along the way by Rika.

But Rika’s volunteering career in ESRA was not restricted to magazine distribution. She started volunteering some 20 years ago with the influx of the mass Russian immigration. She collected and packed household items for the new immigrants. A resident of Herzliya, she also volunteered at the ESRA Techuson for children with special needs and set up on a formal basis, and chaired ESRA’s Herzliya branch till she moved to Netanya. She also served for several years as a member of the ESRA Executive Board.

In Netanya, Rika organized the coffee mornings in aid of the blind and for (the late) Cecilia Kriss’s project. She got involved in the distribution of knitted garments for (the late) Ita Weiner’s project - before the winter the knitters are invited to Neot Shaked in Netanya and given a party by the children of the Kat Gan nursery school where ESRA gives each child a beautiful jersey and a parcel of sweaters for their siblings. Rika started the Netanya music evenings with Barbara Blum presenting the programs and hosts these evenings in her home. In 2003 Rika, together with three other ladies in Netanya, started the ESRA Hand in Hand Food Pantry project for needy families. Rika calls herself a “shlepper”: when items have to be collected in Netanya for the second hand shop, she and her husband Willy take the goods to Raanana.

Rika was born in Ficksburg in the Orange Free State in South Africa. She was educated at Eunice in Bloemfontein and then at the Teacher’s Training College in Johannesburg. She taught at King David school in Johannesburg prior to leaving South Africa in 1967, and at Rosh Pina junior school in Edgware, in the UK. She came on aliyah in 1969. In Israel Rika went into the fashion business, promoting the sale of Israeli products to major stores in Europe and the USA.

Thank you Rika for your incredible volunteering in ESRA – for running the distribution of the ESRA Magazine and for the many other roles you have fulfilled and projects you have created or been involved in.


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Merle Guttmann

Merle Guttmann was born and educated in Zimbabwe and immigrated to Israel in 1962. She is well-known in Israeli Anglophone circles and Israel’s social and volunteer fields. A social planner, ...

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