Rank and File

BAR MITZVOT FOR THE DEAF: A group of 63 deaf and hearing-impaired children from Be’er Sheva to Tiberias celebrated their Bar/Bat Mitzvot in Jerusalem on Monday under the auspices of the International Young Israel Movement - Israel in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel. “This very emotional annual event allows deaf children who would not otherwise have the opportunity, to celebrate their special day surrounded by family and friends in Jerusalem,” said Sydney native Daniel M. Meyer, the executive director. Rabbi Chanoch Yeres, who runs IYIM’s Judaic Heritage Program for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, told Haaretz Wednesday that the idea for the program came in 1994 when a deaf boy from Bnei Brak asked him to help him have a bar mitzvah. “His family said they wanted something like a bar mitzvah and he said there is no reason why he can’t have one just like his older brother,” recalled Yeres. The heritage program has multi-faceted yearlong programming in 16 deaf clubhouses in cities throughout Israel.

CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARDS: Anglo-List, a website dedicated to providing practical information for English speakers in Israel, has announced its inaugural Customer Service Award “for professionals who value commitment, service and dedication to the Anglo community.” Suzanne Suckerman, the website’s founder, told Haaretz Wednesday the award grew out of a recent poll that determined that “dealing with unreliable service providers was our biggest aliyah frustration,” surprisingly more so than employment and language issues. Based on the site’s ratings and reviews in its business directory, Suckerman said the award went to Chaistream, a video streaming company owned and managed by Shai Bracha, a Sabra born to an American mother. Suckerman, originally from Johannesburg, said the five-year-old site has 25,000 visitors per month and 3,500 Facebook members. She said the site plans to grant the award every few months.

MICHAEL OREN TO SPEAK: The Tel Aviv International Salon has landed two high-profile speakers for December, so if you missed Alan Dershowitz, there’s still Michael Oren, the ex-Israeli ambassador to the United States. Dershowitz, the world-renowned lawyer and defender of Israel who recently released his memoir, spoke to a crowd of 1,100 young professionals the David Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday. Jay Shultz, the American-born founder of the Salon, told Haaretz Wednesday it was the group’s largest event ever. He said Dershowitz was “incredibly engaging, articulate, energetic and sincere,” adding he “gave them his time because he really cares about young olim and young Zionists.” Ambassador Oren will speak on Monday evening at Shamayim in Tel Aviv. Oren, who wrote New York Times bestsellers on the Six-Day War and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, will share some of his insights from his four-year stint in Washington. “You always want to get [diplomats] on their last week or right afterwards which is when they are less diplomatic and more real,” added Shultz. For more info, write info@TLVsalon.com.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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