Rank and File: 70 Years of Education and Searching for Purpose in Life

Machon honorees and current participants on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.
Machon honorees and current participants on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Ron Afek

MACHON GRADS MARK 70 YEARS OF PROGRAM: Over 200 graduates of the Jewish Agency’s Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad Program gathered in Jerusalem on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the youth leadership training program. Leaders of the South African Jewish community helped to establish the program, known by all participants as the Machon. Some 16,000 youth leaders from around the world have participated in the year-long program, which has produced many notable immigrants, including native English-speakers such as New Yorker Yisrael Meidad, of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, and Prof. Gideon Shimoni, a South African-Israeli at Hebrew University. Five veteran graduates were honored with a special citation: Ruth Stern (South Africa), who participated in the very first program, Moshe Inbar (Argentina), Avraham Shomroni (United Kingdom), Yehudit Kugelmas (United States) and Ben-Tzion Shapira (Canada). The current director is Sarah Mali, originally from London.

SEARCHING FOR PURPOSE IN LIFE: J-Town Playhouse has brought the Tony Award-winning “Avenue Q” to the Jerusalem stage, adding an Israeli twist at the end. “The play is really about searching for one’s purpose in life, couched in the idea of Sesame Street for adults,” J-Town director Raphael Poch told Haaretz, noting that Muppets perform in half the show. “It talks a lot about adult-style topics looking for a job, loneliness marriage, sex and racism,” he said of the performance, which opened on Wednesday. He advised parental discretion for teenagers and said he didn’t think the play was suitable for children under the age of 14. He added that the last song has room for improvisation and was adapted to Israel. The show continues tomorrow night through December 17. For tickets, call (02) 566-1181 ext. 311.

CHARITY NIGHT RUN IN JERUSALEM: For the third year in a row, Janglo and Crossroads Jerusalem are teaming up for a Night Run benefit on behalf of teens at risk in Israel. Janglo founder Zev Stub told Haaretz that his online website started promoting Team Crossroads for the Jerusalem marathon, but when he heard in passing that they wanted to do a night run for the people they work with, “my eyes lit up – night run, I want to do that.” A few hundred people joined the first two 5-kilometer runs. “This year we are having a 10km also,” added the Chicago native. The run will start at The First Station in Jerusalem on Thursday. Crossroads Director Robbie Sassoon called the race a “powerful” collaboration between staff, teens and community. “We’re just one group running together to support teens in Israel who are vulnerable,” he said of the Crossroads-Jango Night Run. Emailmarathon@crossroadsjerusalem.org for more info.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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