Rank and File: Celebrating Kibbutz Beit Haemek's British Connection

Plus the Jerusalem Barbershop Ensemble in concert and The Stage TLV offers new opportunities to budding performers

British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey speaking at Kibbutz Beit Haemek, September 25, 2018.
Dana Bernstein / Courtesy of the British Embassy

BEST OF BRITISH: To the casual observer, Kibbutz Beit Haemek is totally Israeli. But it actually has a U.K. connection through the members of British Habonim who helped found it in 1949. In honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary, the kibbutz decided to install a new plaque recognizing this connection and some of the British Jews whose contributions helped build some of its communal facilities. A kibbutz representative reached out to Esther and David Miller, the current and immediate past presidents of Hitachdut Olei Britannia (HOB), the Israel Association of British Immigrants. They in turn invited British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey, who presided over the ceremony on Tuesday. “He spoke about the strength of economic ties and the contribution of British olim,” the embassy’s Dana Bernstein told Haaretz. David Miller, a London native, said the day was topped off with some British games that grandparents said they hadn’t “seen in 40 years.”

PERFECT HARMONY: The Jerusalem Barbershop Ensemble, which has been providing four-part a capella harmony since 1983, will be performing at the AACI’s Dr. Max & Gianna Glassman Family Center on Tuesday. Founded by former Brooklynite Joe Romanelli, the group’s repertoire consists “mostly of humorous and romantic songs, sung mostly in English with some Hebrew translations, and a good scattering of bad jokes and puns,” according to the organizers. “There will be audience participation; an opportunity to sing with a well-known barbershop quartet,” they added. The ensemble also consists of Dani Barkai, who grew up in Toronto; Howard Clapsaddle, formerly from Buffalo, New York; Ian Cohen, who hails from Britain; Roger Friedland, who was born and raised in Florida; native Texan R. Martin Rogovein; and Boaz Feinberg, the only native Israeli. For tickets, call the AACI at (02) 566-1181.

NEW YEAR, NEW OPPORTUNITIES: Anyone seeking a new challenge in 5779 might want to consider The Stage TLV, which is offering several opportunities for community members to find their own dramatic voice. The performing arts organization is launching its fall workshop series “Improv 102” for advanced beginners, starting October 8. Improv practitioner Adaya Turkia, who hails from Australia, will teach the eight-week course. A second, 12-week workshop called “The Artist’s Way,” which follows the method developed in the book of the same name by Julia Cameron, gets underway on October 9. The course will be taught by Udi Razzin, an actor and director who spent 15 years in New York. Finally, The Stage will host a 48 hour act-a-thon, during which participants will write, rehearse and perform original plays in English, from October 11 to October 13. For more info or to sign up for any of these programs, visit thestagetlv.com.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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