Rank and File

New take on family history.

S NEW TAKE ON FAMILY HISTORY: Elisa New, a Philadelphia-born poet and academic, will read from her new book next Thursday in Tmol Shilshom, a bookstore-cafe-restaurant in central Jerusalem. “It is an evocative and emotionally resonant detective story in which the author investigates her family’s origins,” said Linda Zisquit, a New York-born poet and translator about “Jacob’s Cane: A Jewish Family’s Journey from the Four Lands of Lithuania to the Ports of London and Baltimore.”

The two became friends when New was working on her doctoral thesis at the Hebrew University. New, 52, is coming to Israel together with her husband, Lawrence Summers, the outgoing director of the White House’s National Economic Council. Summers, who served as U.S. treasury secretary under Bill Clinton and later as Harvard president, will attend the Eleventh Annual Herzliya Conference, which will be held February 6-9 on the campus of the Interdisciplinary Center.

Young Judaea
Young Judaea

S SINGING FOR A CURE: Seventy-five years after Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook died of cancer, Ha’Orot, a musical project blending the poems of the famous Jewish thinker with smooth jazz rhythms, is launching a nationwide tour raising funds for the Israel Cancer Association. The tour is sponsored by the charity Pioneers for a Cure: Songs to Fight Cancer. “The project began with an American philanthropist who knew of too many people suffering from cancer and wanted to help raise money creatively through the power of music,” said Rabbi Itzchak Marmorstein, a Canadian-Israeli who last year teamed up with veteran Jewish jazz musician Greg Wall and his band The Later Prophets to create Ha’Orot. Last summer, Wall, who is the musical producer of Pioneers for a Cure, recorded 16 different Israeli artists including Yeroham Gaon, David Broza, Ilanit and Shai Gabso doing cover versions of pre-state pioneer songs, which belong to the public domain. The tour runs February 1-8. For more information, call ‏(050‏) 347-4733.

S BRITISH-ISRAELI CHEMISTRY: A high-profile delegation of British scientists visited Israel this week for the inaugural meeting of the U.K.-Israel Life Sciences Council, which met Monday at the Israel Academy for Sciences and Humanities in Jerusalem. The council, first announced by U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague during his November visit to Israel, aims to promote UK-Israel scientific collaboration. The council consists of 21 members − 12 British and 9 Israeli − including four Nobel Prize laureates, two from each country. “The UK and Israel are both global superpowers when it comes to science and research,” said British Ambassador Matthew Gould, who chairs the council. “So it makes sense that our scientific communities should work closely together. It also sends a powerful and positive signal about how our countries see each other, and about the sort of relationship we want between us. The British government is opposed to boycotts of Israel and this council is an expression of that.” The council is co-chaired by Raymond Dwek of Oxford University and Rivka Carmi, president of Ben Gurion University.

S HEAD HUNTING FEE: The Young Judaea Year Course program is offering $500 ‏(about NIS 1,800‏) to alumni who recruit new participants for the upcoming season, the organization announced this week. “Think about it, if you’re an alumnus of the program and you can get somebody to join this year, it’s nice to make $500 dollars,” Adam Jenshill, the London-born director of the program, told Anglo File this week. Alumni are eligible for $500 for each applicant recruited, but only a total of 50 referrals will be awarded, according to Year Course’s website. The 2011-12 academic year will be the second time that Year Course − one of the leading Israel programs for Diaspora high school graduates − will offer financial incentives for alumni referrals. Last year, 10 alumni received the bonus, Jenshill said. Currently, 315 teenagers are in Israel for Year Course. About 250 participants hail from North America, 50 are from the U.K. and other European countries and 15 are native Israelis.

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