Rank and File

Hear Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein Speak About His Time as a Refusenik

Plus, give a pint of blood and get a pint of ice cream, and 2,200 new immigrants attend the first ever 'Aliyah Tovah'

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein
Yitzhak Harari/Knesset

THE KNESSET SPEAKER SPEAKS: While many of his colleagues are gearing up for next month’s election, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein will take a break from politics to discuss his life story at Herzliya’s Ohel Moshe Synagogue — where he is a regular member — next Tuesday at 7 P.M. Austen Science of the Herzliya Cultural Group, a co-sponsor of the free event, told Haaretz that the focus will be on Edelstein’s journey from being a refusenik prisoner in Siberia to becoming the Knesset speaker. “Anyone trying to raise a political question will be asked to rephrase or to stand down,” he stressed. Science said the Likud lawmaker’s story was of particular interest because some members of Ohel Moshe — which was founded by a mix of British immigrants and Israelis in the 1980s — remember visiting Edelstein and his wife before they were allowed to leave the Soviet Union in 1987. Due to security, attendees must bring ID.

BLOOD, SWEAT AND ... ICE CREAM: With the heat sticking around at least a few more weeks, the AACI — the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel — is offering a way to cool off and make a difference with its Pint-for-a-Pint blood donation drive in Jerusalem next Tuesday. “At the last one on May 24, there were at least 78 successful donations,” said Jonathan Friedson, who replaced Miriam Barth as AACI’s new program manager earlier this year. Friedson, who hails from New York and Boca Raton, Florida, noted that there has been a steady increase in donors, such that the AACI now holds the drive, in which donors receive a free pint of ice cream, on a quarterly basis. For more info, call the AACI at 02-566-1181.

GOOD TIMES: Over 2,200 new immigrants attended the first ever “Aliyah Tovah” event hosted by Nefesh B’Nefesh at the Mini Israel park last Sunday. “I can’t even begin to say how much the children and I enjoyed it,” said Leah Limor Weissberg. “I’m a single mom and although I have passed the 10-year marker, living here still has its great challenges. The event made me feel like part of something else, sparked that fire inside of me and reminded me why I’m here and why I should stay.” The event, which included a variety of activities for all ages, was facilitated in cooperation with the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and Jewish National Fund-USA. A similar end-of-summer event for young professionals and lone soldiers and national service participants will take place in Jerusalem on September 13. For more info, visit the NBN website.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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