Students in a school.
Students in a school (illustrative). Photo by Ilya Melnikov
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Children's tales

Twenty-five children enjoyed original English stories at the Jerusalem English Language Library for Youth ‏(JELLY‏) story hour on Monday. The stories were read by an unusual group of authors: 11th graders from the Hartman Midrashiya High School for Girls, who penned children’s books as part of their project for the English matriculation exam, or Bagrut. The girls’ teacher, Nehama Edinger, designed the project in conjunction with Deborah Lionarons, who runs JELLY. “The stories turned out very well and I am excited that a Bagrut project done in school can have in impact outside the classroom,” Edinger, who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and has taught English in Israel since 2000, told Haaretz this week. “The 11th graders, jittery at first, engaged the youngsters with their original work,” she added. Two JELLY volunteers participated in the project; Shelly Woolf, a retired school librarian; and Rivka Zablocky. After conducting research for the project and writing their stories, the 11th graders met with children’s book author Debbie Herman to discuss the process of writing for kids.THAT ‘70s REUNION: The London religious social scene was a major source of immigration to Israel in ‘70s, recalls Hashmonaim resident Larry Freedman, who has organized the UK Expats Reunion to be held in Netanya on May 17-18. “We’ve been in touch with a few of these people, usually at smachot [festive occasions], and the idea came up of having a formal reunion,” says Freedman, a London native who moved to Israel in 1980 with his wife Judy Freedman and the first three of his seven children. According to Freedman, the scene of 20-somethings included people from Bnei Akiva and various study groups. “And there wasn’t differentiation between one group and the other,” he adds, noting that they were mostly from London but also hailed from Leeds and Manchester. “Quite a few of the mixture married within the group.” The registration deadline for the reunion is April 24. For more information, call Larry at 054-482-1056.

Adopt-a-safta

More than 200 young immigrants and Holocaust survivors joined together for a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the Fuchsberg Center for Conservative Judaism in Jerusalem. The immigrants were volunteers in the Adopt-a-Safta program, which pairs young professionals with lonely survivors of the Shoah. One of the speakers at the ceremony was Jonathan Josephs, 27, who was born in England, grew up in Montpelier, France, and has lived in Tel Aviv since moving to Israel nine months ago. “Whenever I was walking down the streets of Tel Aviv, I would see these old people and wonder what their story is,” he told Haaretz yesterday. “When I found out about the organization, I didn’t hesitate to join.” He said he meets weekly with Toni Fishman, a survivor from Romania, in her Dizengoff flat. “I tell her about my week, and she asks me when I am going to start eating meat again, even though I’m vegan,” he said, adding she warned him to “never date a kibbutznik.” Other speakers at the ceremony included Miriam Spitz Kahan and Benji Davis. Adopt-a-Safta was founded in 2011 by New York-native Jay Schultz, who said the program has paired up hundreds of young professionals and survivors.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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