ANSWERED THE CALL: The Friday before U.S. President Barack Obama's visit
to Israel, local singer Adina Feldman got a call from the American Embassy
telling her that she was a candidate to sing the U.S. National Anthem for him.
"Saturday night I thought, 'Hey, maybe this is not real,' so I actually looked
up the person who called me. Then I saw everything was legitimate," Feldman
told Haaretz yesterday. Indeed it was, and the New York native went on to sing
the Star Spangled Banner at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.
She said it was tough but she was able to bring along her husband Yorai
Feldman and her daughter-in-law, and security was so tight they had an escort
every time they left their dressing room. Her husband spotted Obama outside
their door after the presidential speech and they went out to greet him. "He
gave me a hug and asked me how long I lived in Israel, and I told him 22
years," says Feldman. "He asked me, 'Would you like a picture?' He was
very personable."

MOTHER OF ALL EXPOS: An expo in Jerusalem next week will enable immigrant
mothers to connect in real time with each other through workshops, a jamboree
for kids, and music. The Brand New Mamas Expo, organized by Brazilian
immigrant Carol Dweck Goldman, is an outgrowth of the Brand New Mamas Facebook group initiated by new immigrant Dalit Rosin, who told Haaretz yesterday that two years ago she found herself nursing "at some unearthly hour wondering,
'How is there no Facebook group for mamas to communicate?'" Her husband,
Chanan Rosin, helped her come up with the name, and the group has expanded
from 20 Jerusalem-area friends to 1,300 members, including some from abroad.
Rosin, the daughter of a Yemenite from Tel Aviv, grew up in Essex and moved to
Israel in 2007. Dweck Goldman, who grew up in England, told Haaretz that the
event next week is in memory of former member Ayala Pamela, an immigrant from
the United States who died of cancer, "leaving behind a baby and a toddler,
not to mention a husband, family and friends." For more info, visit their Facebook page.

PESACH BRAAI: More than 130 people enjoyed a traditional South African
barbecue at Telfed's 7th annual Pesach Braai, the immigrant organization's
deputy director, Dorron Kline, told Haaretz this week. Moved to the second day
of Chol Hamoed to accommodate visitors from abroad, the crowd assembled as
always in the grassy area of Kibbutz Tzora. Volunteer David Hyde from the Beit
Shemesh regional committee organized this year's event. Hyde, a Johannesburg
native who moved to Israel eight years ago, told Haaretz yesterday he fell
into the role of steward because the event's founder, Jonny Klompas, wasn't
available to put it together. "I had some friends coming from overseas and
it's a wonderful opportunity for them to see a kibbutz and have a nice time on
Chol Hamoed in a rural setting," he explained. "I took over for this year to
try and fill that gap. Truthfully I'm getting a lot of credit for very
little," he said. The event included wine-tasting at the winery, a petting
zoo, and an exhibit by painter Caryn Yavin, a fellow South African immigrant.