Rank and File: Documentary Shows One Man's Personal Connection to Herzl

New community center opens in Tel Aviv with exhibition on South African Jewry; Tu Bishvat seders around the country

Tu Bishvat seder with Chabad on the Coast in Tel Aviv. People are seated around a table set with candles and small potted plants.
Avi Noo / Chabad on the Coast

IF YOU WILL IT: Theodor Herzl is considered the father of modern Zionism, and Toronto lawyer David Matlow says Herzl still has the power to inspire. “He is an example of believing in the impossible, and making it come true,” Matlow, who has collected over 5,000 pieces of memorabilia connected to Herzl, told Haaretz. On Thursday the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel will host a screening of “My Herzl,” a documentary that tells Matlow’s story and his project to inspire new generations, at the Glassman Family Center in Jerusalem. Matlow, whose collection began with a portrait of Herzl that had hung in his grandparents’ living room, produced the film together with Israeli filmmaker Eli Tal-El. For more info or to register, call (02) 566-1181.

A PLACE TO GATHER: Telfed, the South African Zionist Federation in Israel, opened its Leonard Lazarus Schach Community Center at the Amishav residential building in Tel Aviv last week. Schach, born in South Africa, was an acclaimed international figure in the theatrical world who maintained a home in Israel for many years, Telfed announced. Gordon Bloch, a cousin of Leonard and a long-time Telfed volunteer, discussed Leonard’s achievements, which included directing for Habima and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, at the opening. “This was an unusable bomb shelter which can now be used not only by our members but also people in the neighborhood,” Telfed’s Dorron Kline told Haaretz. The center’s first event is Goldene Medina, an exhibition of dozens of posters reflecting history of 175 years of Jewry in Southern Africa. The exhibition runs through Wednesday. For more info, email Dianne Sher at savannahsher@hotmail.co.uk.

TREE TIME: Tu Bishvat seders, marking the transition from winter to spring, have become more popular in Israel and the English-speaking community has jumped on the bandwagon. In Tel Aviv Tuesday, options run the gamut from the progressive Beit Daniel with rabbis Tamara Shifrin and Gregory Kotler, to Chabad with Rabbi Eli Naidtich and Sara Naidtich. For more info, call Beit Daniel at (03) 544-2740 or Chabad on the Coast at 054-808-6420. English-speaking seders in Jerusalem include Shir Hadash, led by Rabbi Yaakov Kermaier. If you would rather celebrate by planting trees, on Wednesday you can join Nefesh B’Nefesh in Jerusalem near Mount Herzl or Telfed in Ra’anana, in the garden. To register, visit nbn.org.il or call (09) 790-7800, respectively. For more Tu Bishvat options, check out the calendar on www.janglo.net.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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