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Monday, 07 January 2019 08:39

AGM 2018 - ESRA's Annual General Meeting

ESRA is growing, developing and flourishing – and growth often means change.

With that in mind, for the second time in 25 years, ESRA's AGM was not held in Ra'anana, but was hosted this year by the Rishon Lezion branch* in its lovely new venue, a municipal community center. Well attended by members from Nahariya to Eilat, the event offered a plentiful spread of refreshment, and plenty of discussion.

Kicked off by ESRA Chairman, Baruch Tanaman, the first person he invited to speak was Merle Guttman, ESRA Founder and Honorary Life President. She thanked Baruch for leading ESRA with wisdom, vision, and setting an example to other volunteers with his hard work. She emphasized that we are a volunteer organization and the importance of the volunteers – it is what makes our organization special.

In his report of the year's activities, Baruch presented reasons for celebration – new branches opening, and existing branches invigorated and receiving a "home" for meetings through the negotiation efforts of our General Manager, Sunny Marshansky. Bequests have been received that will allow us to continue our vital work in the community, with projects such as Students Build a Community and so much more. And finally, the beginning of ESRA's overseas presence with a London event marking the establishment of UK Friends of ESRA, with thanks to Terry Morris and Richard Stein, instrumental in organizing it. Baruch thanked former regional coordinators Jane Krivine and Janet Keisari, and those taking over from them – Harry Hiller for the north and Cynthia Barmor for the south, and Glenis Bertfield, who is central region coordinator and will also be taking responsibility for overall regional coordination. As for celebration, Baruch promised that next year, ESRA's 40th Anniversary year, will indeed be a year of special celebration.

The finance report from Roger Lavendar, (Finance Committee Chairman), indicated that we are doing well and able to continue funding our important community work. The Financial Statements and Control Committee (Albert Levi, Tami Keidar and Avichai Dahan) were unanimously approved, as was the appointment of our External Auditors, Stark and Stark.

Sunny Marshansky, ESRA's dynamic General Manager who over this past year oversaw the production of an excellent new website, hugely upgraded ESRA's database, and is helping revitalize ESRA branches and establish new ones, kindly kept her talk brief with her report of the year's activities and thoughts about the future.

Next followed an open discussion, led by Brenda Katten, ESRA's PR Chair, on the topic "ESRA as a national organization". Three representatives of local branches, Janet Keisari (Rishon Lezion), Gabriel Meir (Nahariya), and Glenis Bertfield (Raanana), presented their experiences, and then discussion was opened to the floor. Members expressed a desire for more inter-branch and national social activities to get to know each other better.

Elections were quickly dealt with, with the following results:

ESRA Chairman – Baruch Tanaman (for his last year in this position)

Co-Vice Chairs – Terry Morris, joined this year by Glenis Bertfield

Executive Committee – All those nominated to stand for the Executive were unanimously approved:

  • Cynthia Barmor
  • Lawrence Bertfield
  • Neil Davis
  • Avraham Hanson
  • Harry Hiller
  • Stephen Jacobs
  • Brenda Katten
  • Barbara Kliner
  • Susan Kurnedz
  • Juliet Rostowsky
  • Terry Shlomo
  • Sella Yavin
  • Nina Zuck

And so begins our 40th year of doing good for each other, and doing wonderful things for Israeli society.

*In 2017 the AGM was hosted by the Netanya branch.

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