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!