Rank and File: Bereaved Mother Starts Organization Empowering Adolescent Girls

Nine Conservative Members of the Scottish Parliament visit Israel for first time; Michael Freund meets Pope Francis in Krakow.

Participants in the DROR summer camp.
Sima Menora

GIRL POWER: After losing two of her daughters in a plane crash with their grandfather in July 2010, Sima Menora founded DROR in their memory to empower adolescent girls through academic and athletic programming. The Beit Shemesh-based program launched its second summer camp on Sunday, mixing girls “who are falling through the cracks be it socially or institutionally” and girls from the community who serve as role models and “are building relationships with them,” Menora, originally from Chicago and Long Island, told Haaretz. “I always picture them just walking to tennis with their rackets slung over their shoulders,” she recalled about her daughters Rikki and Racheli. “They only played for a couple of years but it changed the way they stood.” She noted how the combination of sports and targeted tutoring made an impact in her own family, and she has seen similar results in children in DROR. For more info, visit www.drornow.org.il.

SCOTS IN ISRAEL: Nine Conservative Members of the Scottish Parliament, led by the party’s chief whip John Lamont MSP, visited Israel this week in the first such trip of its kind. The trip was organized by Conservative Friends of Israel. The itinerary included a series of high-level strategic briefings, as well as visits to coexistence projects bringing Israelis and Palestinians together. The MSPs also met with British Ambassador David Quarrey and the Israel-Britain Chamber of Commerce. “There is a lot of interest for us to tell Israelis what Brexit means for Scotland, and we are keen to strengthen ties with Israel,” Lamont told Haaretz. “Brexit gives us an opportunity to strengthen that link.” Tanyah Murkes, head of CFI’s Israel Office, and Ellen Steel, who moved to Israel from London last July, coordinated the visit.

The delegation of Conservative Scottish parliamentarians this week with British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey.
CFI

THE POPE AND FREUND: Founded by former New Yorker Michael Freund, the group Shavei Israel has worked in recent years to help Poles explore their Jewish roots. On Sunday, Freund had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis in Krakow, after being introduced to him by Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich. The two discussed how a growing number of young Poles are rediscovering their Jewish roots, according to Freund. Some observers suggest that thousands more Polish Jews may either be hiding their identities or are simply unaware of their heritage.  “I felt it was important for the pope to know that the Jewish people are indestructible,” Freund told Haaretz. “The phenomenon of hidden Jews in Poland is proof of that.”

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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