Rank and File

Making a Drama Out of a Conversion Crisis

‘In a Stranger’s Grave’ production in Jerusalem, plus fall book sale at AACI in Jerusalem and an introductory talk on the RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) approach to child-rearing

Ruth Mason, center, working with parents and their children.
Naomi Altaraz

PEOPLE OF THE BOOK SALE: The AACI, the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, is holding its fall book sale this Sunday afternoon and Monday morning in Jerusalem. “Before the doors open there are already crowds waiting outside the doors, and when we open the doors people just pour in,” said Rolene Segal, the AACI’s librarian for over 20 years. “The early comers bring their carts and fill them up. We really have wonderful titles, all due to the generosity of the people giving us books.” Segal, who hails from Cape Town, noted that people come in to donate books even during the book sale. The selection covers the gamut of fiction and nonfiction titles, all secondhand but in excellent condition. All books must go, with those not sold going to other places like hospitals or the recycling bin. All proceeds benefit AACI absorption counseling services. For more info, call 02-566-1181, ext. 323.

DRAMA OUT OF A CRISIS: Theater and Theology’s production of “In a Stranger’s Grave” just played in Jerusalem, to sold out audiences eager to discuss the ramifications of the story with playwright Miriam Metzinger and scholars Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin and Rabbi Dr. John Krug. “The show is about the conversion crisis in Israel and the [Chief] Rabbinate’s power to revoke conversions,” Yael Valier, the show’s creative director, told Haaretz. “It focuses on the devastating consequences of such an action in the lives of two Haredi sisters who are the daughters of an American convert. Though this happens much less than it used to, thank God, there are still cases of this,” added Yael, who moved to Israel from Philadelphia. Theater and Theology is planning two more performances at Jerusalem’s Khan Theater on October 17. For tickets and details on next month’s scholars, visit theaterandtheology.com.

CHILD-REARING HELP: Renowned pediatrician Dr. Emmi Pikler once observed, “Hands constitute the infant’s first connection to the world.” Pikler’s core values of respect, trust and acceptance have since evolved into the RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) approach that has spread globally over the past 40 years. This Monday, veteran RIE® Associate Wendy Kronick, who used to live in Israel but is now based in Los Angeles, will offer a free introductory talk on this approach, followed by a free class for parents and toddlers on Thursday. Both events are in Jerusalem. “The first time I came into contact with it I was enchanted,” Israel’s first certified RIE instructor, Ruth Mason, told Haaretz of her initial encounter with the method over 30 years ago. “Basically it’s a natural, respectful child-rearing approach,” added Mason, who is originally from LA. For more info, WhatsApp Ruth at 054-811-5580.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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