Audiobook Project for Kids With Reading Difficulties Eyes Exciting New Chapter

Plus, 'Parsha Points: More Torah from the Land of Israel' book launch in Jerusalem, Festive Israel Irish Vintage Cinema event in Ra’anana and Crossroads night run in Jerusalem

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Rashi Kuhr speaking at the TedX event in Modi'in, December 17, 2019.
Rashi Kuhr speaking at the TedX event in Modi'in, December 17, 2019.Credit: Liel Zang/TedX Modi'in

BY THE AUDIOBOOK: For the last four years, the Israel Audiobook Project has enabled Israeli children with reading difficulties who have “only experienced frustration” to quickly learn to love the world of books, according to project co-founder Rashi Kuhr. This Saturday night, the project will hold a fundraiser in Modi’in with the aim of taking its work to the next level.

“We’ve been focusing until now on acquiring the rights to books, producing them and making them available for free,” he told Haaretz. “This year, we are working on a technology platform that will enable teachers to track all their students, and to encourage students through gamification to read more.” Kuhr, a school psychologist who is originally from Dayton, Ohio, and grew up in Monsey, New York, gave a TedX talk in Modi’in this week, explaining how the project grew out of his own frustration as a slow reader and how he found a solution. For more info, call Rashi (before Shabbat) at 052-263-8606.

TORAH, TORAH, TORAH: Ever since she moved to Israel 15 years ago, Sharona Margolin Halickman has been sending out a weekly email connecting life in Israel today with the weekly Torah portion. Next Thursday, she will give a lecture to mark the launch of her new book “Parsha Points: More Torah from the Land of Israel” at Holzer Books in Jerusalem.

“I have selected three short sermons per weekly portion to include in the book,” said Sharona, who was the first religious mentor at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in New York. “It has been a challenge to always find something new to write about each week, but the well-known concept that there are 70 faces to the Torah has inspired me to keep going, always finding something new to keep the Torah relevant to our lives today.” For more info on the book launch, call Sharona at 058-656-3532.

A VINTAGE FILM NIGHT: The Israel-Ireland Friendship League will screen the first locally produced movies in Israel and Ireland, “Irish Destiny” (1926) and “Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer” (1955), at its Festive Israel Irish Vintage Cinema event in Ra’anana’s Yad Labanim on Monday. “‘Irish Destiny’ – the first-ever movie set during Ireland’s War of Independence – was, ironically, produced and written by medical doctor and pharmacist Isaac (Jack) Eppel, a leading member of the Jewish community,” IIFL Chairman Malcolm Gafson told Haaretz.

One of the film’s protagonists is James Finnegan, an Irish member of the British Mandate forces. Gafson observed that the real-life person Finnegan is based on, Mike Flanagan, commandeered a Cromwell tank from the departing British forces in Haifa and handed it over to the Haganah (the pre-state underground Jewish militia). The evening will also include lighting the second candle of Hanukkah. Irish ambassador to Israel Kyle O’Sullivan is scheduled to be one of the guests of honor. For more info, call Malcolm at 050-822-1732.

NIGHT FUN IN JERUSALEM: Crossroads is holding its annual night run next Thursday in Jerusalem to raise funds for its work with at-risk English-speaking teens in Israel. “The night run has become a yearly tradition for many who come out, have a great time with friends and family, and run with Team Crossroads,” Crossroads Director Robbie Sassoon told Haaretz. He stressed that the team “supports kids who are on the same streets we run on.”

Registration will be on the spot, followed by a warm-up and the run itself. Janglo, the immigrant-oriented English-language website founded by Zev Stub, is co-sponsoring the event. For more info, call 02-624-6265.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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