Help for tenants:  Mazeh 9, the center provided by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality for the city’s young residents, has launched a new service: legal consulting for international renters. “We all know how hard it is for internationals to deal with landlords in Tel Aviv,” Michael Vole, of the municipality, announced by email on Sunday. “After the big success with the Hebrew-speakers we want to start promoting the English service to the internationals.” Haaretz reported on the case of Canadian immigrant Carmel Tanaka last year, who in February won her lawsuit against a Tel Aviv landlord for failing to return her and her roommates’ security deposit. Tanaka was awarded NIS 24,500 in damages. The city first announced plans to launch the service to help international residents in May. Vole said the aim of the service is to better prepare renters who do not know the language and lack knowledge about the local real estate market who may fall prey to exploitative landlords. For more info, write mazehnine@gmail.com.

Israel contest for South Africans:  Telfed’s deputy director, Dorron Kline, presided over the Israel Quiz for South African high school Jewish youth recently. Close to 100 pupils participated in the quiz, organized by the local Israel Center, with 15 finalists competing in Sandton, South Africa, to a full-capacity crowd. Beitar Shaliach Ori Leizer set the questions, together with Israel Center director Shimon Shamila, Bev Goldman and Kline. While the judges deliberated the points to be awarded to contestants, Kline entertained the crowd with anecdotes of Israeli life. While in South Africa, Kline interviewed more than 100 potential immigrants in Johannesburg and Cape Town at two Israel Expos. “I am very happy that I had the opportunity to meet with a Telfed representative,” said one of the Expo participants. “I now feel much calmer about my planned klita [absorption] process once I arrive in Israel.”

Singing for chesed:  J-Town Playhouse, one of the capital’s English-language theaters, has revived its Open Mic night, but with a twist. “Open Mic night is something we did a couple years back, and it was successful,” J-Town director Rafi Poch told Haaretz this week. “We decided this time to make it a fundraiser together with Carmei Ha’ir, which is a soup kitchen in the shuk. It has a restaurant atmosphere so people can eat with dignity.” One of the 28 performers was Maayan Sarig, the daughter of an Israeli father and American mother who usually sings in English. “I actually did a musical [“Grease”] with Rafi a couple of years ago and he’s been trying to get me to perform in things” since then, Sarig told Haaretz Wednesday.” I have original songs and it’s harder to find venues to perform them, so I found out about the event on Facebook and I went,” added Sarig, who lived in L.A. and Boston for six years as a child. AACI’s Chesed Fund also benefitted from the evening. “We are going to try to do it on an annual basis and hopefully it will get bigger each year,” noted Poch.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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