Project of the Month

These programs allow talented underprivileged teenagers to fulfill their potential by providing them with a challenging program of enrichment and leadership training at the Ruppin Institute of Marine Science. Talented 7th graders from all backgrounds of Israeli society in the lower socio-economic levels are chosen - programs run for 2 years.

Message from the Chairman of ESRA


“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? and if not now, then when?”

אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי? וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, מָה אֲנִי? וְאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁיו, אֵימָתַי

This famous sentence is attributed to Rabbi Hillel in Pirkei Avot "Ethics of the Fathers", a compilation of the teachings of the Rabbis of the Mishnaic period. It is a constant source of pride and wonder at how very clever our Rabbis were and how exceedingly relevant such a statement still is today.

In fact, it is the very philosophy that drives ESRA.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

ESRA was first established as a self-help organization, by and for new immigrants to Israel from English-speaking countries. Its aim was to provide a social framework, in English, to help with the acclimation and integration of the new olim.

As it grew, ESRA began responding to new waves of immigration, offering help to other immigrant groups including Russians and Ethiopians. From there ESRA activities spread to helping any needy sector of Israeli society. But as the saying goes, we must not forget to help ourselves.

That is why our 20 ESRA branches are constantly busy organizing a range of social and cultural activities in English for our members. In fact, anyone who likes can enjoy these activities, but members get significant discounts.

So what kind of activities are we talking about? The range is impressive and includes:
Hikes and trips: hikes around the country, trips to museums, geographic and other attractions, and guided visits to historic sites. All organized and led by volunteers, the trips are suitable for any age group, from families to octogenarians.
The Audrey Goodman ESRA Cinema Club: interesting films and documentaries on a wide variety of topics are screened regularly, usually in the presence of the director who leads a discussion following the film.
Guest Speakers: These include lectures and courses given by experts on a wide range of topics. They take place at branch meeting halls, private homes or museums and universities.
Special events and social get-togethers: These include major fundraising evenings such as celebrity performances, a golf tournaments or our Annual National Quiz night, but also local BBQs, picnics, games nights and more.

But if I am only for myself alone, who am I?

ESRA firmly adheres to the belief that it is good for your country, good for your surroundings, and good for your soul, to do good for others. A great deal of ESRA’s budget and our members’ efforts go toward offering opportunities for volunteering and running its welfare projects aimed at promoting education, supporting weaker sectors of society and rehabilitating whole communities.

And if not now, then when?

And finally – what better time than now?

So, do yourself a favor and join us – become an ESRA member, treat yourself to our variety of activities, do good for others through volunteering, and do it now!

With warm regards and wishing you all interesting and entertaining activities, satisfying volunteering, and a happy New Year, blessed with peace and fulfillment.

Baruch Tanaman