Rank and File

Passover Braai, hybrid writers and inside Halfon Hill.

S African picni
Participants in the Telfed Beit Shemesh Regional Committee's 8th Annual Passover Braai. Dorron Kline.

TRADITIONAL PASSOVER BRAAI: The shady central grassy area of Kibbutz Tzora last Wednesday hosted over 100 people -- new and veteran Southern African immigrants who came to enjoy the beautiful weather and fun activities, as they relaxed and ate braai meat under a cloudless sky. Telfed, the South African Zionist Federation, held the eighth annual Passover Braai through its Beit Shemesh regional committee. David Hyde, who organized the traditional South African barbeque, wandered among the crowd and offered samples of his homemade, sticky-sweet taigelach. Other attractions included games of Rolly Polly Balls and face painting, with kids sporting Israeli and South African flags and even the logos of their favorite soccer teams painted on their cheeks, Telfed’s Dorron Kline told Haaretz. June Drezden won this year’s raffle of a bottle of Tzora wine. “What a great present I now have to give to my hosts over the Chag,” said Drezden.

HYBRID WRITERS UNITE: The Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing invites the public to its three-day international creative writing conference at Bar-Ilan University May 11-13. Titled “Second Site: Displacement, Revelation,” program director Marcela Sulak told Haaretz yesterday that its focus is on “hybridity” and “double vision.” She explained the authors “create their own work drawing on different genres,” said Sulak, who grew up mostly in Texas and moved to Israel from Washington, DC, to take over the program in 2010. “Everyone here is also transnationals and translators.” Gabrielle Calvocoressi, the award winning poetry editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, is kicking off the conference Sunday night and will be in conversation with Sulak. The conference will culminate with the eighth annual Shaindy Rudoff Memorial Evening, held in memory of its U.S.-born founding director. Rudoff, who was a specialist in American literature and culture, died after a long battle with cancer in 2006 at the age of 40. Xu Xi, the prolific author and editor who works both in Hong Kong and Vermont, will give a reading and engage in conversation with Evan Fallenberg, the program’s Cleveland-native fiction coordinator, at the Tuesday evening memorial.

INSIDE HALFON HILL: On April 29, the Tel Aviv Arts Council will provide English-speaking immigrants with an insider’s view of “Halfon Hill Doesn’t Answer,” (“Giv’at Halfon Eina Ona”) the 1976 cult classic comedy about an IDF army reserve unit observing the Egyptian border in Sinai, which was a parody of the 1955 patriotic film “Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer.” Characters such as Sergio Constanza, Mr. Hasson, and the huge cook Yosifoun, became cultural icons in the wake of the popular Israeli film “Givat Halfon.” After a screening of the movie with English subtitles, the film’s writer Naftali Alter will give a talk and engage with the audience. Alter studied at the London Film School after completing his army service, and went on to win an Israel Film Academy Award for original music for his movie “Life According to Agfa” in 1992. The Arts Council will present the evening at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque in cooperation with the Cinematheque and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein. Have an idea for an item for Rank and File? Email us at: column@haaretz.co.il