Rank and File


The Israel Ireland Friendship League bid a formal good-bye Wednesday to outgoing Irish Ambassador Breifne O'Reilly and his wife, Eavan Doyle, by planting a tree in the couple's name. O'Reilly wraps up his four-year posting at the end of this month. The ceremony was held in association with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-JNF in the Aminadav Forest next to Yad Kennedy Memorial in the Jerusalem Hills. The ambassador and his wife planted trees in the VIP area of the forest, and Friendship League chairman Malcolm Gafson told the assembled crowd of over 50 visitors that "this special ceremony organized by the IIFL in association with the KKL is in special recognition for and in tribute to their deep-rooted... strengthening of Irish-Israel friendship." He added that during the past four years the couple had not only endeared "themselves to the Irish expat community but also to every sphere of the wider Israeli public." Also paying tribute to the couple were Zvi Gabay, former Israel ambassador to Ireland, and David Rosen, former chief rabbi of Ireland.


ESRA Magazine is accepting submissions for a short-story competition based on the theme "A Fateful Moment," the English Speaking Residents Association announced this week. The competition is open to two age groups: youth (15-18) and adults. "Somebody I know wrote about a crow that landed in his kitchen one day and caused havoc. It [the story] can be humorous or serious," ESRA chairwoman Brenda Katten told Haaretz Wednesday. "It's our fourth literary competition over a period of years. I just felt it was time again to do one," said Merle Guttman, the editor of the magazine, as well as the Honorable Life President and founder of ESRA. "Our readers like it and it's a different opportunity for people to write something. The others have all been about aspects of Israel and this was a departure to something personal that changed your life." The deadline for entry is August 29, 2013.

105 YEARS YOUNG: Helen Olivestone has been sent a signed birthday card from Queen Elizabeth II for her 105th birthday. Olivestone, who moved to Israel as a whippersnapper at the age of 99, earned her second birthday card from the Queen in five years, who also recognized her 100th birthday. Helen was born in Antwerp, Belgium, on July 10, 1908, but had lived in London since the beginning of World War I. "They were a very well-known couple in the London Orthodox Jewish community," Helen's son Cedric said of his mother and her late husband Bernard Olivestone. Cedric, who immigrated to Israel about 45 years ago, paid Helen a birthday visit along with her other descendants at her home in Kibbutz Lavi. "She was really in fine form, indeed," noted Cedric. "She's all there. It's incredible, absolutely incredible - very sharp."

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.


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