Rank & File

Washing a car with an MK, an art-filled Passover, a seder for soldiers

Miriam's Cup
A view of a Miriam's Cup, a key element at the Passover seder. Matthew Berkowitz

MORE THAN A CAR WASH: A group of kids and young adults with special needs spent time Monday at a five-day pre-Passover camp to wash cars and raise a little spending money, Shutaf’s Karen Emmanuel told Haaretz. “We’re always looking to have the older kids, in particular those 13 to 21, do things that are enjoyable and get them out of camp and into the greater community,” said Brooklyn-native Beth Steinberg, who co-founded Shutaf with Miriam Avraham. Shutaf, based in Jerusalem, provides year-round programs for children and young adults with special needs. “The whole idea is about choices — being allowed to have a choice and then being able to decide what to do with it,” said Steinberg. “The day also got them thinking about questions like “how do I wash the car? What are the steps to do it properly? How do I save water?” MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), a friend of Shutaf and “a car-wash expert from his childhood days in Baltimore,” according to Emmanuel, helped out. “It was nice to see him arrive, take off his fancy clothes and get with the kids and really enjoy himself,” added Steinberg.

A PESACH FOR ART FREAKS: Aficionados of Passover-related art can get their fill on Thursday at Kol HaOt’s Illuminated Haggadah Fair, featuring works by Israeli Judaica artists including David Moss and Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz. The fair — at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem on April 17 — will be styled after a Jewish art salon. Jewish art experts will explain artistic themes in illuminated Haggadot, according to Kol HaOt’s Fern Allen. Kol HaOt uses the arts for Jewish education programs. Noam Zion, a Shalom Hartman Institute scholar and author of “A Different Night: The Family Participation Haggadah,” told Haaretz he’ll discuss the art of the four children. “Franz Rosenzweig suggests the structure of the holiday begins with the youngest child, who is setting the agenda for the evening, instead of the parents being the boss,” said Zion, a native of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, who came to Israel as a volunteer during the Yom Kippur War and stayed. Shira Friedman, an Israeli curator and researcher who got her M.A. in Jewish art from the Jewish Theological Seminary, said her session will be on Miriam’s Cup and understanding how Miriam developed in Jewish art, “how we create new rituals and how we try to make it work.” Call (050) 790-4964 or http://www.kolhaot.com/

LONE SOLDIERS NO MORE: Some 420 lone soldiers from 35 countries are slated to participate in the largest army seder ever at the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers center in Givat Olga on Monday night. Benzion Sanders, who serves in the Sayeret Matkal special-operations force, told Haaretz why he picked this option offered to him by his army social worker. “My younger brother Ezra was just drafted into the paratroopers in March, and I just thought it’d be a good way for us to be able to spend a Pesach seder together,” said Sanders, who grew up in Manhattan, moved to Israel in 2011 and was drafted in 2012. “It’s supposed to be a really special event. The chief of staff comes and lots of soldiers from all over the world,” said Sanders, who hopes no unforeseen security developments will keep him away. “Everything’s last-minute here.” Also on hand will be Avi Kollel, who like Sanders serves in the Nahal program that mixes military service with the establishment of agricultural settlements. The event will be hosted by Maj. Gen. Orna Barbivai, the head of the Israel Defense Forces’ personnel directorate; Wilf Shiff, president of the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association, which is underwriting the event; and Avigdor Kahalani, chairman of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers.   

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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