TOP SECRET PRODUCTION: Jerusalem-based, English-language theater company Encore will recount the tale of a daring group of Zionists led by Aaron Aaronsohn in the production “Intrepid: The Saga of the NILI Spy Ring.” “It’s the centenary since the days of NILI and the important contribution they made to the eventual establishment of the state,” Encore’s Robert Binder told Haaretz. “It is a very exciting chapter of early Zionist history that we have dramatized.” Paul Salter composed the music for the new work, while Binder – who was born in Schenectady, New York, and lived in Canada for 11 years – supplied the libretto. The cast includes Aviella Trapido, Rafael Apfel, Michael Sacofsky, Hanan Leberman, Maya Ben Yaacov and Claire Greenfeld. Roxane Goodkin-Levy has created a series of paintings of historical sites that will be projected on stage to set each scene. Encore will perform the show on Wednesday and twice on Thursday at the Hirsch Theatre. For tickets, call 054-578-9006.
FROM PAGE TO STAGE: Tales of a Jewish widow in gold-rush Alaska, fireflies and mourning, and IDF reservists will all be performed at Jerusalem’s Tmol Shilshom café this Wednesday. The three selections all come from “Necessary Stories,” the latest book by freelance journalist Haim Watzman. Necessary Stories is also the name of his Jerusalem Report column, which was originally commissioned by editor Eeta Prince-Gibson. “A short story column used to be standard but today is almost unheard of,” Cleveland-native Watzman told Haaretz. Watzman, who helped founded Jerusalem’s Yedidya congregation, said the idea to perform stories from the column came when he was looking to do something to mark the 100th column last year and two friends said they were “stage worthy.” He started out as a playwright at Duke University and said he tends to see his stories as “actors moving on a stage, so it was flattering someone picked up on that.” For more info, visit southjerusalem.com.
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RAIE GURLAND DIES AT 96: Raie Gurland, a former staffer at Telfed – the South African Zionist Federation, Israel – died at 96 on Sunday. Telfed’s David Kaplan told Haaretz Raie worked for Telfed from the mid-1970s through the early ’80s as a secretary, but was much more than that. “She was just such a well-known and warm personality that people visiting Israel would invariably want to see Raie.” He noted that her husband, Barney Gurland, took her to Israel “screaming and shouting,” but she became a “great Zionist.” For Raie, joining Telfed “was much more than acquiring a job. Rather, it was a mission enabling her to contribute to the Southern African community in Israel,” recalled former Telfed Director Sidney Shapiro. “The fact that she had so many friends and acquaintances in our community enhanced our ability to reach out to the community as a whole,” he added.
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