Rank and File: Arava Institute Honors Its Founder, Alon Tal

Plus, an election primer in Tel Aviv for noncitizens living in Israel and runners competing for two charities founded by English-speaking natives in the Tel Aviv Marathon

Alon Tal, left, Eyal Heller and David Broza playing at Tel Aviv's Tzavta Theater, February 12, 2019.
Omri Mesika

ARAVA INSTITUTE FOUNDER HONORED: The Arava Institute, the environmental studies center based at Kibbutz Ketura, honored its founder, Alon Tal, at its second annual awards ceremony in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. “The Arava Institute for 22 years now serves as a ‘proof of concept’ that indeed much more unites us in this troubled neighborhood than divides us,” Tal, a native of North Carolina who is now chair of Tel Aviv University’s public policy department, told Haaretz. “The remarkable leap of faith, especially by the extraordinary Jordanian and Palestinian students, reminds us that there are no shortage of partners in our efforts to bring about a bit of harmony between humans and this corner of the Earth.” Mira Awad and Rivka Michaeli were also honored. David Broza gave an acoustic performance, during which he invited Tal to accompany him on the fiddle during a rendition of “Mitachat Lashamayim.”

RUNNING FOR CHARITY: Marathons have become a traditional occasion for dedicated runners to fundraise for their favorite charities, and the Tel Aviv race next Friday is no exception. Many of the charities involve groups started by native English speakers in Israel, and two such causes are Jeremy’s Circle and Beit Issie Shapiro. The first is named in memory of Jeremy Coleman and is dedicated to creating a supportive community for children growing up with cancer in their families or who suffered a cancer loss. Find the team of six runners to support by visiting www.jgive.com and searching for “Tel Aviv marathon” (in English). Over a dozen employees of publisher Eric Cohen Books have committed to run in the name of Beit Issie Shapiro, which develops and provides innovative therapies and services for children and adults with disabilities. Donations can be made at www.beitissie.org.il

ELECTION EXPLAINER: For internationals living in Tel Aviv, the upcoming Knesset election on April 9 provokes myriad questions: How it works, who are the candidates and, in general, what’s going on with them? Enter Haaretz journalist Omer Benjakob, who will be giving a talk on the election at Ulpan Bayit on Tuesday. “It’s like an election explainer but in person,” Benjakob, who hails from New York City, told Haaretz. “It’s for people who follow Israel and are into this, but are missing the foundational terms. This talk gives a chance to learn the fundamentals of Israeli politics to level the playing field in a safe, educational space.” Hebrew teacher Yaron Sivan, who founded the independent Hebrew school in his living room, first brought Benjakob in for an election talk in 2013 after the political parties weren’t interested in speaking because of the predominantly noncitizen crowd. For more info, email neta@ulpan.co.il

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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