Rank and File
A tenth anniversary celebration for a program that sends young Israelis around the world to serve as public diplomats; a nonprofit that assists immigrants fulfill professional aspirations celebrates 'brain gain,'; a former Jewish community leader in China passes away at age 88.
YOUNG DIPLOMATS UNITE: Over the past decade, Israel at Heart has sent more than 1,000 young Israelis all over the world to engage in public diplomacy on behalf of their country. On Saturday night, the founder of Israel at Heart, Joey Low, brought nearly 1,000 of them together at Hangar 11 at the Tel Aviv port to mark the program’s 10th anniversary. Low, an American philanthropist from Westchester, New York, says he started the program because he felt “that if American college students could meet their Israeli contemporaries, they would better understand and relate to what life is really like in Israel.” Low, who first encountered Israel doing his junior year abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1971-72, has not only brought over Israeli students, but also musicians such as Idan Raichel, and Israeli basketball teams. The young Israelis at the festive evening also heard from Gideon Meir, who just returned from serving as Israel’s ambassador to Italy to work as deputy director-general for public diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry. (Steven Klein)
THE ISRAELI BRAIN GAIN: Gvahim, a nonprofit that helps immigrants fulfill their professional aspirations in Israel, is celebrating what it calls “the Israeli Brain Gain” at a gala event at Tel Aviv University on August 1, the organization announced this week. The evening highlights “the fantastic contribution made to Israel’s spirit, economy and culture” by highly qualified immigrants, according to Gvahim. Canadian-born Kathleen Reiter, winner of “The Voice” program on Israeli television, will perform live at the event. Guests of honor include keynote speaker Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, and Michael Golan, the French-Israeli who founded Golan Telecom, which is one of the sponsors of the event. Lt. General (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, although a sabra, will be there as chairman of the Rashi Foundation, which established Gvahim. The organizers have billed the gala also as an opportunity to network “with a new generation of academically educated olim, Israeli mentors, CEOs and executives of some of Israel’s largest companies.” The nonprofit says it is expecting about 700 attendees. TheMarker is one of the sponsors of the event. For more information, or to register, visit gvahim.org.il. (Steven Klein)
FROM MANCHURIA TO TEL AVIV:One of the beloved sons of the Jewish community that once called China home, Theodore “Teddy” Kaufman, was laid to rest in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Kaufman, 88, died Sunday in Tel Aviv. A former chairman of the Tel Aviv municipal employees union, Kaufman served until his passing for 50 years as chairman of the Association of Former China Residents in Israel. He was born in Harbin, Manchuria, a part of China then in the Russian sphere of influence, to family of Dr. Abraham Kaufman. The elder Kaufman was an active Zionist and leader of the Jewish community in the Far East who later joined his son in Israel after being imprisoned in the Soviet gulag for 11 years. Teddy represented the Maccabi youth movement as part of an illegal committee to encourage Harbin’s Jews to move to the newly founded State of Israel, moving there in December 1949. Kaufman is survived in Israel by his wife of many years, Rasha, and his brother Isai Kaufman, who lives in the San Francisco area. (Ronen Shnidman)
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