Rank and File: Bringing the American Barbecue Experience to Israel

Plus, ESRA beefs up its number of English-speaking counselors and a subtitled version of a documentary about a terror attack in an Israeli forest premieres in Jerusalem

Kay Wilson in 2012. Her experience of surviving a terror attack is recounted in the new documentary "Black Forest."
Michal Fattal

MEAT AND GREET: Growing up in Oklahoma and Texas, respectively, Rachel Schonwald and her husband Ben Sack know a thing or two about American-style barbecuing. The couple has loved volunteering at Tel Aviv International’s annual Independence Day barbecue for five years, since moving to Israel, but this past year “decided to take it to the next level,” Schonwald told Haaretz. “We want to educate the Israeli public about what an American barbecue looks like,” she said, referring to smoking meats and slow methods using wood chips. So, the couple launched Israel BBQ, together with New Yorker Eytan White, and held its inaugural event on Wednesday in honor of America’s Independence Day. “We had about 350 throughout the night,” she recounted. “The atmosphere was festive – definitely a street party vibe,” she added, describing it as when “Tel Aviv meets the U.S.” For info on future events, email meat@IsraelBBQ.com.

SURVIVOR'S STORY: When two Palestinian terrorists attacked British-Israeli tour guide Kay Wilson and her American friend Kristine Luken in a forest outside Beit Shemesh in December 2010, she was sure she was living the final moments of her life. Miraculously, she survived 13 stab wounds. (Luken died during the attack). Years later, directors Hadar Kleinman Zadok and Timna Goldstein Hattab have made a documentary about the attack, “Black Forest,” which recounts how Wilson’s survival helped lead to the capture of the perpetrators. This Monday, Beit Avi Chai and The Times of Israel will co-host the English premiere in Jerusalem. Wilson will speak after the screening with journalist Matthew Kalman. Dina Blatt, who lost her daughter to the same terrorists, will also attend. Kalman told Haaretz he is trying to organize a simultaneous Tel Aviv screening for the practically sold-out event.

A HELPING HAND (IN ENGLISH): While it can be hard enough being an immigrant living far away from family and friends, losing a loved one, experiencing relationship challenges or simply encountering the birth pangs of a new location can be especially difficult. For 10 years, ESRA – the English Speaking Residents Association – has provided support services through its professionally trained counselors. The association has now added Prof. Claire Rabin, an American-born professor who recently retired from Tel Aviv University’s School of Social Work. ESRA PR Chairwoman Brenda Katten told Haaretz: “Rabin trains, supervises and gives lectures to the ESRA unit, thereby ensuring a first-class service is available to English speakers in need of support at a trying time in their lives.” Katten, who was born and bred in London, added that a number of psychologists and social workers have also joined the existing team. For more info, contact Susan at (052) 698-9088.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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