Rank and File: AACI Honors Absorption Counselors

International Women’s Club raises nearly $5,000 for an abused women’s shelter in Netanya and two art exhibitions opening in Jerusalem and Haifa

From left: AACI absorption counselors Josie Arbel, Sheila Bauman, Miriam Green, Helen Har-Tal, Carole Kremer and Yanina Musnikow, all honored at AACI's gala brunch in Jerusalem, June 15, 2018.
Yaffy Newman

A WELL-DESERVED BRUNCH BREAK: For over 60 years, the absorption counselors of the AACI (the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel) have assisted tens of thousands of immigrants across Israel through personal meetings, phone calls and emails. Last Friday, the AACI honored the professional staff of this dedicated department – Josie Arbel, Sheila Bauman, Miriam Green, Helen Har-Tal, Carole Kremer and Yanina Musnikow – at a luxurious brunch at Jerusalem’s Inbal Hotel. “I feel honored that AACI chose to recognize the work of our absorption department, who, day in and day out, fulfill AACI’s core mission of consulting with English speakers and offering accurate information and good advice,” said Arbel at the event. The keynote speaker was the former ambassador to the United States and now Deputy Minister Michael Oren. This year’s brunch chairman was Stuart Forman.

OPENING DOORS AND HELPING SHELTERS: The International Women’s Club, a social network for women from abroad to connect with locals, has raised nearly 18,000 shekels (nearly $5,000) for an abused women’s shelter in Netanya. The event was held at the home of the Nigerian ambassador to Israel, north of Tel Aviv. “We bought an industrial refrigerator, bunk beds and two televisions, according to their specified needs,” the club’s newly elected president, Maxine Levite, told Haaretz. Levite, a versatile businesswoman, said she came to Israel “purely by chance” after finishing her studies in Cape Town and “saw a handwritten note offering to come to Israel for a year.” She said the club’s work of opening doors to Israeli society for newcomers through a variety of activities is “critically important, because coming to Israel can be very daunting.” Levite replaced Louise Beschoor Plug, the wife of Dutch Ambassador to Israel, Gilles Beschoor Plug.

SHEER ART ATTACK: When the wtorld around us seems chaotic, art can offer an island of peace and tranquillity. Two such exhibitions by immigrant artists are on display this month in different parts of the country. In Jerusalem, Alejandra Okret will be giving a gallery talk about her exhibition “A Moment Before Words,” at the Agripas 12 art studio next Friday, June 29. “I would like to invite people to share that experience, which addresses all our senses – making it a sort of Zen moment in Jerusalem,” said Okret, who hails from Montevideo, Uruguay. For more info, visit agripas12gallery.com. Up in Haifa, meanwhile, Helen Bar-Lev’s “The Beauty of Jewish Italy” will run from this Saturday through July 14 at Chagall House. For this exhibition, the landscape artist – originally from New York – turned her attention to the country’s Jewish ghettos. For more info, call (04) 852-2355.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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