Rank and File: Book Launches and Cheesecake Lunches on the Menu This Week

Prof. Gil Troy talks up 'The Zionist Ideas' in Jerusalem and groups across Israel talk about the Shavuot festival

Steve Klein
Steven Klein
Prof. Gil Troy with "Theodor Herzl" at a recent book signing for "The Zionist Views."
Prof. Gil Troy with "Theodor Herzl" at a recent book signing for "The Zionist Ideas."Credit: Gil Troy
Steve Klein
Steven Klein

PITCH UP FOR ‘BIG TENT ZIONISM’: For over 50 years, the seminal work on Zionist thought has been Arthur Hertzberg’s “The Zionist Idea,” which included classic tracts from Theodor Herzl, A.D. Gordon, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Rav Kook and David Ben-Gurion. This year, historian Prof. Gil Troy has released “The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland – Then, Now, Tomorrow,” a follow-up to reflect the diversity of Zionist thought. “Unlike the original, this book includes women, Mizrahim [Jews of Middle Eastern descent], gays, environmentalists, and so many others – not as acts of affirmative action, but acts of historical accuracy,” Queens native Troy told Haaretz. “I am doing this to open up the conversation: Invite us all into a ‘big tent Zionism’ from right to left, religious to nonreligious, in Israel and throughout the world.” Next Wednesday, Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center is hosting a book launch, where Troy will be in conversation with Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and currently deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office. For more info, call (02) 565-2011.

For the Shavuot holiday week, you can choose between cheesecake, book launches and yard sales (or all of them). Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

NOT JUST ABOUT CHEESECAKE: On Saturday night, countless communities across Israel will stay up all night learning Torah or listening to Torah-oriented lectures for the Shavuot festival. And, as usual, there will be a fair share of English-speaking get-togethers. The Tel Aviv International Synagogue will host a lavish dairy cheesecake dinner; Chabad on the Coast will hold “TEDTorah” talks; and ITV’s Shavuot All-Nighter will take place at Shalom La’am Center in Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, the Givat Shmuel Community – a group of English-speaking students, young professionals, soldiers and young immigrants – will host an all-night Shavuot learning event at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan. Details for all these and other Shavuot-related events can be found at www.secrettelaviv.com. Jerusalem will also see a myriad of events, from the OU Center and Pardes to Shalom Hartman Institute, not to mention several synagogues. The full list can be found at www.janglo.net.

BARGAINS GALORE IN JERUSALEM: Yard sales are perfect for two crowds who normally run in different circles: bargain hunters, and people who like to declutter. Next Friday morning, May 25, the Jerusalem AACI (the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel) will host its annual summer yard sale. “The AACI has been doing them for over 25 years,” noted program director Miriam Barth. “We have 25 different vendors selling their gently used goods – including toys, games, clothing, jewelry, books, kitchenware and household wares.” There will also be food and drinks available, including bagels, coffee and challot. Barth said some 200 people usually attend the yearly event. For those who wish to declutter their lives, they can bring donated items to the Jerusalem office from May 20 to 24, to be sold at the AACI table. Proceeds will go to the immigrant-support organization. For more info, call (02) 566-1181.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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