TRAGEDY INTO HOPE: Frimet and Arnold Roth, who lost their daughter Malka Chana in the 2001 Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem, have turned tragedy into hope by founding an organization that helps lighten the burden for thousands of Israeli families caring for special-needs children. Social Affairs Minister Meir Cohen recognized their work this week by awarding them the Shield for Volunteerism − Lifetime Achievement Award. The Roths − Australian-born Arnold and U.S. native Frimet − created the Malki Foundation just weeks after their 15-year-old daughter’s murder. Some 3,300 Israeli families of all faiths have benefited from the foundation’s three programs. Services include lending home-care equipment on a long-term basis, providing partial funding for non-medical therapies, and sending therapists to remote areas. “Our daughter Malki’s love for her own disabled little sister, and her devotion, led her to do incredible things in the short and beautiful life she had,” said Arnold. “There was nothing we could do for Malki after the terrorists stole her future from her and from us ... except to remember and honor [her] by doing positive, helpful things in her name.”
HANDS ACROSS THE WATER: South African and Australian Zionists joined forces this week, as Telfed and the Zionist Federation of Australia celebrated the official launch of their new cooperative effort in Ra’anana on Wednesday. Telfed, which helps absorb Southern African immigrants in Israel, has a track record of assisting other communities, including Yemenite Jews who secretly arrived in the 1960s, Jews from the Former Soviet Union in the 1990s, and Iranian Jews last decade. “Our foremost hope is that Australian olim will get better service,” Telfed president David Bloom told Haaretz yesterday. “Philip Chester, president of ZFA, said they were looking to upgrade klita [absorption] services for Australian olim and Telfed was the natural partner.” Bloom said the one-year pilot, which Telfed sees as the beginning of a long-term relationship, has been running smoothly since April. “We see a lot of synergy between the South African and Australian Jewish communities,” he added. “Thirty percent of Australian olim were actually born in South Africa.” The ambassador of Australia to Israel, David Sharma, was in attendance at the ceremony, along with MKs and Absorption Ministry officials.
WORDS WITH FRIENDS: The authors of four recent literary creations will read selections from their works in English at the Tzomet Sfarim bookstore at the Tel Aviv port on Sunday, July 7, the Israel Association of Writers in English announced. The four authors are Karen Alkalay-Gut, Michael Dickel, Jerome Mandel and Lois Michal Unger. Alkalay-Gut, originally from Long Island, will read from “Layers,” a book of poetry. Dickel will draw on his Midwestern roots outside of Chicago and in Minnesota when reciting from his “Midwest / Mid-East March 2012 Poetry Tour.” Mandel, a professor emeritus of English at Tel Aviv University who was born in Cleveland, Ohio, will read from “Covet the Oven,” a collection of short stories. Unger, a New York City native who moved to Israel from Vermont, will read from her novella “How Country Music Helped Me to Make Aliya” as well as a few poems. Anyone who likes what they hear will be able to buy the book directly from the author, Unger told Haaretz yesterday.