Rank and File / Dutch Journalists Launch New Guidebook on Israel

Two leaders of Interfaith Encounter Association win prestigious award, and the ‘Summer Improv Show’ hits Jerusalem.

The Nana Winery at Mitzpe Ramon.
The Nana Winery at Mitzpe Ramon. Malka Nihom

GOING DUTCH: A new guidebook in Dutch and English aspires to take travelers beyond Israel’s traditional tourist spots. Freelance journalist Joanne Nihom and Esther Voet, editor-in-chief of the Dutch Jewish weekly NIW, launched the book, “HotspOTs Israel,” which portrays Israel as “hip, hot, and trendy.” Nihom, an Amstelveen native living in Israel 10 years, told Haaretz the collaboration began over lunch three years ago while Voet was visiting Israel. “Esther said, ‘We went to a restaurant last night in Tel Aviv. It could have been in New York, Paris or London. I want you to start writing next week about special places in Israel,’” Nihom recalled. A successful series for the NIW became the basis for the book. For more information, visit www.hotspotsisrael.com.

Victor J. Goldberg (center) presents Salah Aladdin (left) and Yehuda Stolov with their prize
Daniel Obst

INTERFAITH GROUP LEADERS HONORED: Yehuda Stolov and Salah Aladdin, two leaders of The Interfaith Encounter Association, received the 2015 IIE Victor J. Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East for leading grassroots interfaith dialogue and cross-cultural study groups to bridge religious and cultural divides. Stolov is executive director of the association, which brought together 4,000 Israelis and Palestinians in various projects last year. Aladdin serves as the association’s assistant director. Goldberg, a former IBM executive from New York who presented the award along with a $10,000 prize on Monday, said he created the prize in 2004 because, having seen the failure of political leadership in the Middle East, he hoped that perhaps “work at the grassroots level could form the basis of lasting peace and justice down the road.”

FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY: First City Improv and the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel are continuing their tradition of bringing English improvised theater to Jerusalem, with their “Summer Improv Show.” First City Improv is a production of J-Town Playhouse, whose director is Canadian-born Raphael Poch. The team promises “a night of fun, laughter and completely unscripted improvised theater that you will never see again anywhere.” This year’s edition features a mostly American crew of Michael Herman, Rafi Di, Tobie Harris, Hannah Z, Mike Mintz, Lauri Donahue, Helen Gottstein, Shira Katz and special guest Amir Atsmon. The performance will be at the AACI’s Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center. For more information, call 02-566-1181.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein. Have an idea about an item for Rank and File? Email us at: column@haaretz.co.il