Rank and File: 40 Young Immigrants Arrive in Israel, Ready to Serve in the Army

Steven Klein
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The lone soldiers at Ben-Gurion International Airport, June 27, 2018.
The lone soldiers at Ben-Gurion International Airport, June 27, 2018.Credit: Nefesh B'Nefesh
Steven Klein

SOLDIERING ON: A group of 40 young immigrants from the United States landed in Israel on Wednesday, and all plan to volunteer in the Israeli military in the coming months. “I have lived my whole life in an area with a very small Jewish population. Growing up in the type of town that I did, I learned very quickly that a Jew can very easily become an outsider,” said one of this week’s newcomers, Jordan Cooper, 19, from Garnet Valley, PA. “My reason for wanting to move to Israel is that I wish to serve in the IDF. I feel it is my responsibility as a Jew to protect future Jewish generations so they can live in their homeland without fear of persecution,” he added. The immigrants arrived through Nefesh B’Nefesh, the immigrant support organization, in cooperation with the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, the Jewish Agency, KKL-JNF and JNF-USA.

A HELPING JAZZ HAND: After learning about a little boy in Jerusalem who did not bring anything to school to eat and lived on the leftovers of his classmates, Dutch immigrant Marion Kunstenaar founded Yad Elie to “provide healthy meals to Jewish and Arab kids wherever they are in Jerusalem and its environs,” she told Haaretz. A lover of classical music, Kunstenaar has helped fund her NGO with charity concerts. This Monday, Yad Elie will host Doctor Jazz, a New Orleans Mardi Gras-style parade band, at Migdalei Hayam Hatihon. She said she asked them to play after hearing them. “I’m a very classical person, but I could jump around it was so fantastic,” she recalled. Regarding Yad Elie, named after her late partner, she said, “We also have projects where Jewish and Arab youth work together in the Jerusalem Forest.” For more info, call Marion at (052) 346-6901 or visit yadelie.org.

HOW TO MAKE A NETANYA QUILT: Among the many artists in the English-speaking community in Israel, a small group of quilters have displayed their works in the Netanya area for years. Some of them are now headed to Jerusalem as part of a broader exhibition that the AACI (the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel) will host from July 1-26. “I heard a lot about them for a while and we finally decided to bring the majority of these pieces to Jerusalem,” said the AACI’s Donna Grushka, who is curating the exhibition. “We have some other people who heard about it and also wanted to exhibit work, so there are two women each from Be’er Sheva and Jerusalem.” She said the central figure in Netanya is Susan PelOr, who hails from Queens, New York. Some of the artists will be on hand for a special reception this Monday. For more info, call (02) 566-1181.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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