Rank and File: An Aussie-Israeli Festival, a Changing of the Guard and a Yacht Race

Australian Embassy gets new envoy | New head for International Women’s Club | Oxford joins Israel’s annual Ivy League yacht race

From left: Outgoing Australian Ambassador Dave Sharma, the embassy's Helen Zhang, Michael Dickson of Stand With Us, the embassy's Nicholas Cooper and Patrick Mayoh at Ozrieli 2 in Tel Aviv on Sunday, June 11, 2017
Ariel Besor

Hooroo to the ambassador: The Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv hosted its second annual Ozraeli event in Tel Aviv on Sunday, taking the opportunity to say goodbye to outgoing ambassador Dave Sharma.

“I did want to say a few things from the heart” in Hebrew, he told the crowd of some 350 people, a mixture of diplomats, Australians from the community and Israeli dignitaries. Switching to Hebrew, he declared, “I can say honestly that Israel will always be in our heart and Israeli will always be in our blood.”

Embassy representative Nicholas Cooper told Haaretz that the event, which featured Australian foods and wine, was “really just a celebration of mateship” between Israel and Australia.

James McGarry, the deputy ambassador, roasted the ambassador, who says he runs or bikes the 16-kilometer commute home to Herzliya a few times a week, with a video showing Sharma getting into a car just a few hundred meters from the embassy. Chris Cannan is Australia’s next ambassador to Israel.

Changing of the guard: The International Women’s Club, which is made up primarily of long-time immigrants as well as members of the diplomatic and international business communities, had a change of leadership last week. Louise Beschoor Plug, the wife of Dutch Ambassador to Israel, Gilles Beschoor Plug, replaced Tsippi Ben-Sheffer as president.

“It is a huge honor and great pleasure to be president for next year,” Beschoor Plug, who came to Israel with her husband in October 2015, told Haaretz. She explained that the IWC, which promotes friendship and close ties between Israelis and internationals in Israel, made “my landing here a very soft one.”

“I love the idea that Israeli ladies in a warm and friendly way show Israel to international ladies,” she said. “We’ve been to quite a few places but I’ve never met such a close knit and warm community as here,” added Beschoor Plug, who has been abroad off and on with her husband since his first posting in Moscow in 1989.

Oxford joins the ivies: On Thursday, Israel’s annual Ivy League yacht race will add a British element, as Oxford will have a delegation at the regatta to be held off the coast of Herzliya. “Each university gets a yacht and Champagne and then chases each other around the Mediterranean,” Dov Hoch, the president of the Penn Club in Israel, who organizes the event, told Haaretz.

“We always have it at the latest sunset of the year, one of the fun activities the organization gets involved in. Hoch said there about 5,000 Ivy alumni, mainly from Harvard, Yale, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. He said about 100 people will be on the yachts, and expects some 200 people at the beach party to follow the 10th annual regatta. The yacht race is oversubscribed but there is room at the beach party for interested alumni. Hoch said the event builds connections that lead to Ivy League alumni getting involved in projects for the greater good. For more info, contact Dovhoch@clarityholdings.com.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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