Rank and File

Tom Berman Matej Minac

Tribute: Some 150 friends and family members paid tribute on Wednesday to Prof. Tom Berman, the scientist and poet who died in a hiking accident in the Galapagos Islands last year, at a memorial service on Kibbutz Amiad. “We are glad that despite the tensions in our area so many came to celebrate and remember Dad’s life,” said his daughter, Rena Berman. Tom Berman, who was brought out of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to Scotland in the Kindertransport, was a world-renowned researcher of aquatic ecosystems and past director of the Kinneret Limnological Laboratory. He was also known within the English-speaking community for his poetry, including the award-winning poem “The Leather Suitcase.”

The female perspective: In an effort to offer a women’s perspective on an era in history recorded mostly by men, Canadian writer Janice Weizman gave voice to a ninth-century Babylonian Jewish woman in “The Wayward Moon.” The novel was awarded a gold medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Weizman, a Toronto native, discussed the experience of writing this woman’s medieval “Odyssey” through the Middle East with an audience of nearly 20 at Wednesday’s ESRA event in Givatayim. Weizman, a graduate of Bar-Ilan University’s Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing, first had to discover “what a woman thinks or feels in the Middle East, when she’s an Ashkenazi in the West,” said ESRA’s Honey Stollman. “She read cookbooks, went to museum, visited churches and mosques and studied Islam.”

Undaunted: Despite the rockets, Nefesh B’Nefesh is still expecting some 2,000 North Americans to immigrate to Israel this summer. “The Super Bowl of Aliyah” marks the peak season when some 2,000 North American Jews move to Israel, from July 21 to August 11. “Our live webcast enables the friends and families of the new Olim to share in the emotion and excitement of their first steps as new citizens of Israel,” Yael Katsman, NBN director of communications, told Haaretz yesterday. “The webcast is an additional way for us to help those who want to be a part of the aliyah experience feel closer to the actual event by leveraging advanced technologies.” Follow the webcasts at www.nbn.org.il/live.

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