Birthright Israel
One thousand Taglit-Birthright Israel participants from the United States gathered on December 23, 2013 in Tel Aviv’s Beit Hahayal to salute entrepreneurship in the Jewish world. Photo by Yael Shachar
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Yael Shachar
Miriam and Sheldon Adelson Photo by Yael Shachar
Emil Salman
Irwin Cotler Photo by Emil Salman

JERUSALEM NIGHTS: With the weather turning colder, Anglo artists are providing some warm, indoor entertainment. Jill Rogoff will perform in Jerusalem Saturday night, making up for the concert that was postponed due to the recent snowstorm. Rogoff, a singer-songwriter and harpist who was born in New Zealand, specializes in traditional music,  particularly British/Celtic and Jewish. The program will include rare songs, including some Christmas melodies, from a number of different countries. On January 6, the AACI in Jerusalem will host an interactive presentation by local artist Tanya Fredman, whose work is on display there now through January 9. Fredman will discuss the connection between her experience volunteering at a youth village in Rwanda and Israel, she told Haaretz on Wednesday. “I discovered something I didn’t know about my own Jewish identity,” said Fredman, a St. Louis native who moved to Israel in 2011. The exhibition combines “traditional Western techniques with fabric collage I brought back from Rwanda” and includes elements of dance and movement, “which were a way to connect with people without a common language,” she added. For more info, call AACI at (02) 566-1181.

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS: One thousand Taglit-Birthright Israel participants from the United States gathered Monday evening at Tel Aviv’s Beit Hahayal to salute entrepreneurship in the Jewish world. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson were the guests of honor, and participants included former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren. The Adelsons ran a panel on innovation and entrepreneurship. Sheldon Adelson told the audience he has founded more than 50 successful companies. “We want you to experience Israel today, while you are still young and full of health,” he told the audience. Students also heard from Nir Zohar, the president and chief operating officer of Wix. The company, which raised $127 million in an initial public offering and was listed on Nasdaq last month, enables non-techies to easily create websites. “We work hard to promote Israel’s image as a leader in the field of entrepreneurship, and therefore Taglit-Birthrigh Israel offers many projects relating to this,” said Taglit-Birthrigh Israel CEO Gidi Mark. More than 350,000 young Jews have participated on Birthright’s 10-day educational tours of Israel since 1999.

IRWIN COTLER IN RA’ANANA: It’s not every day you can recruit a high-profile supporter of Israel to speak to your organization, but former Telfed chairman Maish Isaacson was in the right place at the right time to land Canadian MP Irwin Cotler. “I was at a wedding in Montreal for the daughter of a very good friend, and he is very, very good friends of theirs,” Isaacson told Haaretz yesterday. “Very simple.” Telfed helps immigrants from Southern Africa integrate into Israeli society. Cotler, professor emeritus of law at McGill University as well as a former justice minister and attorney general of Canada, will discuss the Iranian threat in a Telfed event at Ra’anana’s Yad Lebanim auditorium on Thursday, January 2. Very active in the international human rights scene, Cotler is cochairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran and the Iranian Political Prisoner Global Advocacy Project. “He is an amazing man, extremely modest, extremely friendly ... and an amazingly good friend of Israel,” Isaacson added. For more information, call Sharon at (09) 790-7801.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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