Rank and File: To Celebrate 71st Wedding Anniversary, Chicago Natives Make Aliyah to Israel

Plus Ilana Kurshan wins Sami Rohr Jewish Prize for Literature and three weeks of Gilbert and Sullivan at J-Town Playhouse

Steven Klein
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Chicago natives Devorah ‘Doris’ Levitz, 91, and Norman Levitz, 93, at the Nefesh B’Nefesh office in Jerusalem, June 6, 2018.
Chicago natives Devorah ‘Doris’ Levitz, 91, and Norman Levitz, 93, at the Nefesh B’Nefesh office in Jerusalem, June 6, 2018.Credit: Lior Hazan and Tomer Malachi
Steven Klein

NONAGENARIAN IMMIGRANTS: Chicago natives Devorah ‘Doris’ Levitz, 91, and Norman Levitz, 93, celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary in a unique way – by moving to Israel. The couple has one son, Ephraim, living in Israel, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. “On each visit to Israel over the last 40 years, Norman kept saying no, we’re not quite ready to make aliyah,” said Devorah Levitz. “However, now was the right time and we finally decided to make Israel our permanent home. We’re finally ready to say yes. It’s such a beautiful country and our aliyah process has been extremely smooth so far,” she said.

SACRED AND PROFANE: Ilana Kurshan of Jerusalem is the winner of the 2018 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, the New York-based Jewish Book Council announced Tuesday. Kurshan’s latest book, “If All the Seas Were Ink,” is a “memoir of seven and a half years of daily Talmud study that unfolded against a backdrop of divorce, aliyah, dating, marriage, pregnancy and motherhood,” the native New Yorker told Haaretz at the Hebrew Book Week fair in Jerusalem. “I want readers to take away from the book the notion that studying Jewish texts can be a deeply personal experience,” Kurshan said. “No two people read a text the same way, and no one person reads a text the same way at two different points in his or her life. I hope readers will be inspired to find themselves in the texts of our tradition.” The award carries a cash prize of $100,000.

CAPITAL THEATER: J-Town Playhouse is turning up the summer heat as it hosts two separate productions in Jerusalem next week, all at the Dr. Max and Gianna Family Center. First up is the Ruby Tuesday Three-Part Series of Innocent Merriment with Gilbert & Sullivan. It will be the first of three consecutive Tuesday nights, which will feature Aviella Trapido, Louis Sachs and Friends, with accompaniment by Daphne Coleman. This Tuesday will focus on “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Yeoman of the Guard.” June 19 will draw from “Patience” and “The Gondoliers.” June 26 will close out with music from “HMS Pinafore” and “Iolanthe.” Next Thursday will be the finale of Adam Gwon’s “Ordinary Days,” directed by Trapido. The musical about making real connections in New York City features Miri Fraenkel, Mordechai Buxner and Daniel Fox. For tickets to any of the shows, call the AACI at (02) 566-1181.

The cast of J-Town Playhouse's "Ordinary Days," which closes at the Dr. Max and Gianna Family Center on June 14, 2018.Credit: Ita Arbit

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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