One of the bereaved mothers showing off her work.
One of the bereaved mothers showing off her work. Photo by OneFamily
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Debbie Director
Ira Director Photo by Debbie Director

POETRY IN THE CAPITAL: Tmol Shilshom, the iconic Jerusalem cafe named for S.Y. Agnon’s classic novel, is the setting for the 11th annual poetry reading held by alumni from Bar-Ilan University’s Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing. Students, alumni and friends of the program will be reading selected works of contemporary English poetry. The event features BIU poets Leah Gottesman, Rena Yechieli, Ira Director, Merav Fima, Jillian Jones (of Haaretz), and Channah Magori. Poets representing the poetry group Voices include Steven Sher, Ruth Stern, Avril Meallem and BIU alumna Ruth Fogelman. “This year, we’re doing for the first time something very special,” said Director, the program’s Chicago-born alumni poetry coordinator. “We will ask the audience to participate in two creative writing exercises that Channah Magori and I will be facilitating. Usually audiences just listen, but this year they get to listen and participate,” Director explained. For more info, click here.

SWEETNESS AND LIGHT: Sara Katsoff of Monsey, New York is an exceptional teen that recently teamed up with terror victims support organization OneFamily to spread a little holiday spirit. Katsoff, who runs her own online specialty kosher bakeshop, worked with the charity to hold a class in cake decorating for 25 Israeli terror victims and mothers who have lost children to terror attacks. Katsoff, who is studying at Midreshet Tehila in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood. told Haaretz that is was her father, Irwin Katsoff, who brings groups to Israel and has them meet with OneFamily, who made the connection. “He suggested I get involved in volunteering,” she said. “I was all for it.” Katsoff taught herself the basics of cake decorating before opening “Sara’s Sweet” at the age of 17. Over the course of three hours, Sara taught the class the basics of working with fondant and helped them to create individual masterpieces, according to OneFamily. “It was really great the fact that I could share something that I love and make a difference and bring happiness to people was something really special,” said Katsoff, 18, who added she would love to do more.

YOUNG IN RISHON: Esra’s presence in Rishon Letzion has grown tremendously since Janet Kiesari founded the local branch six years ago, and the immigrant organization’s age base broadened Wednesday night with the launch of its new initiative. E.N.G., or Esra New Generation, in collaboration with the city’s absorption department, held its first meeting on Wednesday night. “It was absolutely amazing. People stayed until they were literally kicked out of the building and then talked out on the street,” Kiesari, who originally hails from London, told Haaretz yesterday. She noted that many of the participants once felt isolated as English-speakers in Rishon but no more. Naomi Sharan Gazit, whose position as E.N.G. facilitator the town council recently voted to fund out of the municipal budget, has already planned out a host of events “with content” through February, said Kiesari, who has lived in Israel for 47 years. The next one will be an “Early New Year’s Party” on December 25. Kiesari added that the city also agreed to pay for an English-speaker at the town hall who will help out new immigrants. For details on events, call Janet at (054) 733-5055.

Rank and File was compiled
by Steven Klein.

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