25 March 2011

2011 News - Post 3

North Coast ESRA News - March edition

Plans for future events are changing rapidly, therefore, we are doing a limited post this month, in hopes that by late April we will have more definite information to report. Nonetheless, there are four things that should be noted (with more details to come later).

1. Our Branch Inaugural event has been postponed to July 5, in order to be able to book the Shuk as our headliner for the evening.

2. We welcome a new officer to our steering committee, Marsha Ohayon, who is handling membership.

3. In March our English in Schools Program wrapped it up for this school year with a big event at Ulpana High School.

4. We are researching the idea to open a used bookstore selling English titles, and possibly Russian also.

20 February 2011

2011 News - Post 2

In this issue of the North Coast ESRA News ...
  • plans for our mid-May inaugural event,
  • our visit to the National ESRA Insight Seminar, 
  • volunteer program reports (Go-Coast and English for Schools), and
  • improvements to this site.

Inaugural Event:  Save the date! On 19 May we are holding an inaugural event to mark the beginning of the North Coast ESRA branch.  You won't want to miss it. Come for the refreshments. Come for the entertainment.  And most of all, come to learn about ESRA and the schedule of activities we are lining up for this spring and summer.    Our spring/summer calendar is currently being developed, so if there are activities you would like to see included, please click on the Social and Cultural   tab to contact Victor.
Yad Lebanim, Ra'anana

ESRA Insight Seminar:  By Mick Jaron, First Vice-Chair.  Four members of North Coast ESRA attended the ESRA Insight Seminar, at Yad Lebanim, Ra'anana on 8 February.  As the newest branch, we were given a warm welcome by the ESRA Executive Board and individual veteran ESRA members.  At ESRA's request, Tonielle gave a short speech describing our north coast community and our regional focus (which is different from most other branches).  It received an enthusiastic response.   We were inspired as speakers told of the wonderful work being done by ESRA.  We are excited about our future as a part of such a worthwhile organization.

Go-Coast Program:   By Mick Jaron, Go-Coast Coordinator.       Our Go-Coast Program is not unlike a "Welcome Wagon."   We help prospective and new Olim in two ways: Outreach (meet & greet) and Information Sharing (blog group). Outreach begins with contacting prospective Olim. We work closely with NBN and often meet prospective Olim during a NBN pilot trip. We welcome them, field their questions, provide contact information, and direct them to the Go-Coast Blog .  (Visit the blog yourself and you will see that it is both practical and entertaining.)  When they take the plunge and arrive in the North, we are there -  for coffee, lunch, Q & A,  or specific advice: “Where can I find a good acupuncturist?” or  “Let me tell you where the clean public restrooms are.”  In January, we held a get together at which four brand new Olim were introduced: Jon, Dalia, Lenny and Ken.  The pizza was exemplary.    
Go-Coast is a great volunteer program that could use your help.  We need more bloggers.  Let’s say you take a day trip; tell us about it; include a photo; we’ll get you published.  It could mean a Pulitzer; think about it.   Want to volunteer with Go-Coast  -  blogging or meeting and greeting?  Click on the Volunteering tab to sign up.  Are you a new Oleh who would like our help?   Submit the “sign up for services”  form  on the Go-Coast blog.  Whether you want to give help, or receive it, we will focus on your interests and desires (within reason of course).  It’s win-win for everyone.

English for Schools Program:  By June Kemp, English for Schools Coordinator.   Recently l started to be a volunteer, teaching conversational English through our English for Schools Volunteer Program.  We are working with 'bagrut' (mariculation) students, at a local girls school.  Well, words cannot express how much pleasure and satisfaction that I am getting out of it!  It is such a privilege to enter into these lovely girls' lives for just l5 minutes a week (one on one), and give them this very important opportunity they wouldn’t get, otherwise  -  to be able to practice and listen to English, by somebody they know, who really cares, as they have volunteered.   l would recommend that everybody in ESRA does it, contributing to this great little country in such an enjoyable and worthwhile way!  If you are interested in learning more, or registering to volunteer, click on the Volunteering tab.  Shalom and God bless you all,   June 
Improvements to our site:  By Tonielle Reed, North Coast ESRA Chair.  We are constantly working to improve this site. I want to tell you about three recent changes:   1. It is very easy to be our Facebook fan; just click "like" on the newly added Like-Box, located just below the steering committee list in the sidebar.  This will help us achieve the goal of getting 25 fans for our new Facebook Page, which will qualify us for a user name.      2. The newly expanded sidebar list of steering committee members, now shows who does what.     3. This site began with only three tabs across the top: "Home,"  "Calendar" and "Newsletter Sign-up."  Now there are eight!  ESRA is based on volunteering, social/cultural events, and community action programs.  Click on a tab to learn more, or to share your ideas with us.  Have a suggestion or a complaint?  Click on the E-box  -  an easy to use electronic suggestion box for any type of inquiry or feedback.  If you prefer contacting us by phone, our numbers and other contact information can be found by clicking the "Contact Us" tab.  We hope to hear from you soon!

19 January 2011

2011 News -Post 1

Thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in ESRA!   The Steering Committee has been laying the groundwork for starting our ESRA branch. Even though our local ESRA chapter has just begun, and has a long way to go, we would like to show you where we are headed.  As you learned from December's post, ESRA takes a three pronged approach: Volunteerism, Community Action, and Social / Cultural Activities. (If you missed the December 2010 post, you can find it in the post archives.) 

Building our ESRA branch - Building a new branch of an organization of this type is not a piece of cake. Every step takes twice the time anticipated, and three times the effort. Also, since ESRA believes that each branch should develop to suit the needs of the its members, there is no master blueprint for this construction job.

 Laying a Foundation with Volunteering - The underpinning of any structure is in its foundation.  It was an easy decision for us that the foundation for North Coast ESRA will be its volunteering component. 
  • The Go-Coast Blog is now an ESRA project. You can help by being available to meet with new olim or potential olim, maybe having a cup of coffee with them. You can also write for the blog.  We welcome your input!  Click on the Go-Coast Volunteering tab at the top of this page to get more info, or to volunteer. Also, here is the blog link:  http://go-coast.blogspot.com/  
  • Tutoring at the Nahariya Ulpana School will begin on Wednesday the 26th of January.  ESRA has a successful track record for helping high school students prepare for their Oral English Bagrut.  We will have one-on-one 20 minute conversations in English with individual students.  A volunteer may choose either a two or four hour commitment per week,  for each week that he/she is available.  (You need not volunteer every week!)  No knowledge of Hebrew is required.  For more information, or to volunteer, click on the Volunteering tab at the top of this page or email us at  north.coast.esra@gmail.com
    Building the Structure - By taking a three prong approach, ESRA ensures that there is something for everyone.  If Volunteering is not your thing, then consider the Community Action or Social / Cultural aspects of our ESRA branch.  
    • Community Action ......  What are the needs of the community?  How can we work with other community organizations?  How can we help our local government?  Is it environmental; or maybe something as basic as providing the wherewithal to produce an updated city map?  Together we can find out. 
    • Social and Cultural ...... Maybe you just want to get together with other English speakers.  Maybe you'd like to see a movie, play Scrabble, or listen to an entertaining speaker.  How about a wine and cheese night?  The choices are endless and they are yours to make.  
    There are many names on our mailing list. This tells us that you wish us success in developing an ESRA branch, and look forward to being involved with that branch.  We will keep you updated as we progress in building the branch.  If you, however, are one of those special people who wants to get on-board now, please contact us at north.coast.esra@gmail.com, and  Mick or Tonielle will get back to you.  We hope to hear from you soon!