Rank and File
S PROVING THEY CARE: A pair of Anglo scientists highlighted their contributions to the field of autism study at an international conference in Jerusalem this week. The conference, held Wednesday and Thursday, explored "top research and technologies that can help families dealing with autism," according to the organizer, New York-based ICare4autism. Andrew Schiffmiller, a New York native who graduated from Johns Hopkins University and is CEO of BioHug, discussed a special vest that his company invented to lower stress levels of autistic people by "applying deep, hug like, pressure." The device has so far received two Israeli government grants. Professor Tamar Weiss of Haifa University, who received her Ph.D. from Canada's McGill University, presented her findings on applying "media and technology to increase social skills, speech, independence and learning for children with autism spectrum disorder," the organization announced. ICare4autism was founded by Joshua Weinstein to act as a catalyst and drive for autism research worldwide.
S A DASH OF ZIONISM, A PINCH OF HI-TECH: It's not every day that a celebrity moves to Israel, so it's a rare treat to see how a public personality prepares for the big day. Nefesh B'Nefesh is showing us just that, with its website postings of "The Joy of Aliyah." The series of videos feature chef Jamie Geller, the former TV writer and producer for networks such as CNN and HBO, kosher cook book author, and host of the joyofkosher.com website. Geller, a Philadelphia native who became Orthodox in her 20s and now lives in New Hempstead, New York, will be immigrating to Israel on August 13. NBN is following the final preparations being made by Geller and her family of seven before they settle into their new home in Beit Shemesh. The latest episode depicts the decisions Geller has to make for what to put into her shipping container, known as "the lift." NBN's Yael Katzman told Anglo File that Geller approached the immigration assistance organization with the idea of documenting her move. "She's extremely excited about coming and she wanted something to be inspirational for other Jews," Katzman said. "It's the first ime we're doing something like this."
S TALKING TALMUD IN ENGLISH: More than 4,000 men, women and children will be celebrating the end of a seven-and-a-half-year cycle of Talmud study on Sunday. They will gather at the Jerusalem Convention Center for a Siyyum Hashas, an event to officially complete the current cycle of Daf Yomi, a worldwide program that has Jews around the world studying one page of Talmud every day. The Jerusalem gathering will be the largest-ever English language Siyyum Hashas in Israel. It will be punctuated with addresses by several rabbinic luminaries "from across the entire spectrum of Israel's Orthodox community," according to its organizers, Jerusalem-based International Media Placement and Kollel Iyun Hadaf. Speakers will include: R. Aharon Feldman, the rosh yeshiva of Baltimore's Ner Yisroel; R. Tzvi Kushelevsky, rosh yeshiva of Heichal Hatorah in Jerusalem; R. Mendel Weinbach (who was raised in Pittsburgh ), rosh yeshiva of Jerusalem's Ohr Sameyach; and Jerusalem-based spiritual leader R. Yitzchak Berkowitz, who was raised in Brooklyn. Some 90,000 people gathered for a similar celebration at MetLife stadium in New Jersey this week.
(Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.) Have an idea about an item for Rank and File? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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