Shapiro
Ambassador Shapiro speaking at the inauguration of The Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies. Photo by Gil Hadani/Allpix
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FROM GLASGOW, WITH LOVE: The Jewish community of Glasgow, over 200 years old, has produced its share of personalities. They range from Lady Hazel Cosgrove, the first woman to be a High Court Judge in Scotland, through ambassador Neville Lamdan to David Hillman, not only the uncle of former president Chaim Herzog but also designer of stained glass windows for many British synagogues.

On Sunday, a group of former Glaswegians will launch their new guide “Jewish Glasgow: An Illustrated History” at Beit Hatfutsot, the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv. Both Stephen Kliner, the project manager, and narrative editor Kenneth Collins moved to Israel during the five-year production process, Collins told Haaretz Wednesday. “The book made aliyah, too,” he said. “The story is told with a lot of illustration; you can read through the book just looking at the pictures and some vignettes” penned by Chaim Bermant, said Collins, adding that Azriel Bermant will read passages from his late father’s vignettes at the launch.

The guide was designed by former Scot Jacqueline Speyer-Friedman and printed in Israel. Kliner conceived the idea for the guide 17 years ago, but did not work on it in earnest until he, a lawyer, and Collins had retired.

LOUISIANA SHINDIG: It’s time to tap into your inner Cajun! Jacob’s Ladder is celebrating its 10th anniversary winter weekend at Nof Ginosar on December 6-7 by bringing in The Creole Brothers, a British band specializing in the southern music style. “They will do creole dance workshops, so we are opening the festival in the sports hall with Cajun dancing for everybody,” said Leeds native Yehudit Vinegrad, who moved to Israel with her husband Menachem Vinegrad in 1967 and founded Jacob’s Ladder in 1976.“We’ve never done this before, opening with a dance workshop,” she noted in a conversation with Haaretz.

Yehudit said Phil Underwood, the lead player, will give a talk and demonstrate the Louisiana French style of accordion playing on Saturday. Other performers include first-timer Gabriella Lewis, a London-born singer who performs primarily in the Tel Aviv area - “I sing anytime I think there’s a good performance option,” she told Haaretz - Judi ‘N’ Lynn Lewis (originally from the UK) with Dvir Cafri, and Jokers and Thieves, a hit at the 2013 summer festival, featuring South African Jonathan Shmukler and Natan Bergman, originally from Newcastle, making their winter event debut. For more info, call (04) 685-0403.

AMERICAN JEWRY IN FOCUS: Ambassador Daniel Shapiro, the US emissary to Israel, was the keynote speaker at the University of Haifa to mark the inauguration of The Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies on Wednesday. Over 100 people, including 5 students in the M.A. program and former MK Ronit Tirosh, who headed the Israel-United States relations caucus in the last Knesset, came to hear the ambassador. Also present were Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, and university president Amos Shapira.

“The program for American Jewish Studies will help develop Israeli leaders who understand what it means to be a Jewish American, improving the communication and understanding needed to deepen and strengthen the close relationship between Israel and the United States,” said Shapiro.

The foundation, which focuses on fostering Israel-Diaspora relations, seeded the program with a million dollar donation that the university matched. “Until now, no Israeli university had a concentration dedicated to studying the American Jewish community, which is probably the most important community affecting the future of Israel,” said Ruderman, who now lives in Rehovot with his wife Shira Ruderman.

Rank and File was compiled 
by Steven Klein.

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