Rank and File / English Speakers, Head to Yokne’am

Maureen Lipman to talk in Israel on Tuesday, Italian lone soldier receives special honor.

Evan David Lang

ESRA OPENS IN YOKNE’AM The English Speaking Residents Association last week founded its latest chapter, in Yokne’am. The coordinator will be Mimi Semuha, a relative newcomer to Yokne’am but a 50-year veteran in Israel. “Since a lot of us are old timers and know our way around, we can be of great help to new immigrants, and I think Yokne’am has immense potential for English speakers with all the high-tech industry and closeness to Haifa,” Semuha, who hails from Upstate New York, told Haaretz Wednesday. At the first committee meeting this week, the group decided that Grace Milstone, a Floridian, will lead a weekly mah jong group starting May 11; Elisa Katten will host a champagne brunch in June; and Semuha will host a monthly game night starting May 20. For more info, call Mimi at (052) 564-2174.

BUT DOES SHE HAVE AN ’OLOGY? Actress and columnist Maureen Lipman stirred up the British-Jewish community last October when she publicly denounced Labour Party leader Ed Miliband for supporting a symbolic motion in favor of a Palestinian state. On Tuesday, more than 200 attendees will have a chance to hear Lipman when she delivers an address to the Israel, Britain and the Commonwealth Association at the residence of Ambassador Matthew Gould in Ramat Gan. Prof. Alex Deutsch, the chairman of IBCA, told Haaretz Wednesday that her stance makes her an interesting choice. “That put her to prominence, but she is in fact a very good lecturer,” said Deutsch, a native of Westcliff-on-Sea who spent many years in Liverpool. The evening is a benefit for the John Furman Memorial Scholarship. For more information, call (052) 545-5634.

LEA HONORED FOR IDF EXCELLENCE When Lea Calderoni visited Israel for the first time in July 2013, as part of a 10-day Taglit-Birthright trip, little did she know her journey would take her to the President’s Residence within two years. Calderoni, a native of Rome, Italy, ended up moving to Israel and enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces last year. On Independence Day, President Reuven Rivlin awarded her a certificate of excellence as part of a group of 120 outstanding soldiers, all recommended by their commanders for significant service and outstanding contribution to the army and State of Israel. Cpl. Calderoni, 21, was one of 22 lone soldiers honored at the ceremony, including three from North America – Chelsea Dyan Gober and Suzanna Jenny Flaster from the United States, and Joel C. Ejchental from Canada.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein. Have an idea about an item for Rank and File? Email us at: column@haaretz.co.il