ISRAEL'S HUMAN RESOURCES: The English Speaking Residents Association marked International Volunteer Day on Wednesday by honoring 16 of its 756 volunteers at a ceremony in Kfar Shmaryahu. ESRA founder Merle Guttmann and chairperson Brenda Katten presented awards to five native South Africans (Cynthia Barmor, Shirley Frankel, Lorna Toube, Denise Silverman, Myra Olswang ), three Brits (Glenis Bertfield, Isabel Morris, Jackie Klein ) and two Americans (Jane Kessler, Joan Stein Weisman ), among others. For the first time, two volunteers received lifetime awards: Barbara Blum, from London, who currently serves as chairperson of the ESRA Herzliya branch, and the late Ralph Lanesman, from South Africa, who managed ESRA's finances for many years. Guest speaker Col. (Res. ) Miri Eisin noted that Israel has the highest rate of volunteerism per capita among Western countries. "When we talk about resources in Israel, we have one: not oil, not water, not diamonds. It's the human resource," Eisin said. (Andrew Esensten )

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM: Uri Leventer-Roberts, a native-born Israeli, has been appointed to head the operations of the UJA-Federation's Israel office, the philanthropic organization announced this week. He will return to Israel from New York, where he currently lives with his family, to assume the role of executive director in the Jerusalem office, effective July 1, 2013. Leventer-Roberts, who has an M.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, has been serving as a planning executive in UJA-Federation's Commission on the Jewish People since 2010. "Uri brings extraordinary leadership, experience and wisdom to his new role as executive director," said Alisa Rubin Kurshan, senior vice president of strategic planning and organizational resources for UJA-Federation of New York. (Steven Klein )

THE ANGLO VOICE: Voices Israel recently launched three poetry publications at the David Yellin College in Jerusalem and at Beth Hecht in Haifa. For the launching of the 38th annual Voices Israel anthology, compiled by Johnmichael Simon and Ezra Ben-Meir, members traveled from all over the country to read their published poems. "Every year we have an anthology in which an editorial board anonymously judges every member of Voices. This year we did something extra," Wendy Blumfield, the president of Voices Israel, told Anglo File yesterday. In addition to putting together the regular anthology, Ben-Meir - who was born in Liverpool, grew up in London and lived in Israel for decades - also compiled "a collection of 10 years from the best of the best, called 'The Second Decade of Voices,'" said the London native Blumfield, who moved to Israel in 1974. Voices editors Simon - who was born in England, moved to South Africa at age 7 and has lived in Israel since the 1960s - and North American Mark Levinson also put together "Culled from My Roses," a collection of Voices Israel founder Reuben Rose's poems, letters and essays, according to New York-born Helen Bar-Lev, the group's secretary. (Steven Klein )

HOLLYWOOD IN THE HOLY LAND: Prepare to laugh, cry and dance at the Jerusalem Film Festival, which opens on Sunday with a screening of "Hava Nagila," a documentary by Roberta Grossman about the controversial origins of that beloved folk song. On Tuesday, the American-Israeli director Paula Weiman-Kelman will present her film "Fringes," which explores the lives of young Jewish innovators at the Secular Yeshiva in Ein Kerem, the Ghetto Shul in Montreal and an organic farm in rural Virginia. "I think that nowadays, especially in Jerusalem, there's a tendency to see divisions and not to see unity," Weiman-Kelman told Anglo File. "I hope people walk away from my film with an openness to enrich their lives with connections to other people." Later that evening, the festival will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the relase of "Dirty Dancing" with a performance by drag queens Talula Bonnet and Diva D and an interactive screening of the cult classic. For the full list of films and to buy tickets, visit jer-cin.org.il (Andrew Esensten )

 

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