Rank and File: Helping English-speaking Teens on Their Gap Year Programs

Plus, British ambassador David Quarrey bids farewell to Israel; Wine on the Vine partners with the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin

Steven Klein
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Robbie Sassoon, left, and Danny Brom at the Crossroads-Masa training day in Jerusalem on April 30, 2019.
Robbie Sassoon, left, and Danny Brom at the Crossroads-Masa training day in Jerusalem on April 30, 2019. Credit: Jenny Sassoon
Steven Klein

BRIDGING THE GAP: While gap year programs in Israel are overwhelmingly popular, individual participants at times struggle with emotional issues while on them. In order to address that challenge, Crossroads — which supports at-risk English-speaking teens in Israel — partnered with Masa Israel Journey to hold a training day for over 100 people representing Israel-based programs. “We partnered with Masa as a way of helping all the gap year administration staff and counselors with education tools and resources on mental health,” Crossroads Director Robbie Sassoon told Haaretz. “I think people are realizing that the mental health and safety of their participants should be the first priority, even before any education happens,” the Bronx native added. “It was a fantastic day that dealt with trauma, depression, anxiety, sexuality and more.” Expert speakers included Dr. Danny Brom, former Crossroads Director Caryn Green, Joanne Zack Pakes, Dr. David Ribner, Dr. Jonny Krug and Dr. Hillel Davis. (Steven Klein)

AMBASSADOR’S FAREWELL: Around 90 members of the Israel British Commonwealth Association formally bade goodbye Tuesday to British ambassador David Quarrey, who is to complete his four-year term this June. Speaking at a reception held at his official residence in Ramat Gan, Quarrey described the time that he and his partner, Aldo Henriquez, had spent in Israel as very fulfilling, highlighting several areas. He praised growing research cooperation between British and Israeli universities, noting that a call for joint grant applications had attracted 90 candidates, encompassing 34 British universities and 12 Israeli institutions. He declared that bilateral trade has broken records in each of the last three years, exceeding $10 billion in 2018. He spoke of security cooperation as well, although he said he was not at liberty to discuss details. Personally, he and Aldo thoroughly enjoyed Tel Aviv’s restaurant scene, Quarrey added. Britain has named former ambassador to Somalia Neil Wigan as Quarrey’s replacement. (Elkan Levy and Andee Goldman)

VINE MEMORIES: Wine on the Vine, the flagship project of The Israel Innovation Fund, aims to connect donors to Israel by allowing them to both support Israel’s wine industry as well as local charities. In honor of Memorial Day next week, the NGO is partnering with the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin. The center “is one of our top partners and one of the top organizations people choose to donate to,” Wine on the Vine Director Tatiana Hasson told Haaretz. “You can donate in someone’s memory and we share fallen soldiers’ personal stories, so you are not only planting vines but also doing something meaningful,” noted Hasson, who moved to Israel from Boston. The nonprofit was founded in 2017 by Adam Bellos, who hails from Cincinnati, combining “his passion for wine and knowledge of business investing,” Hasson added. To help plant a vine and support the center, visit wineonthevine.org. (Steven Klein)

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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