Rank and File: Hundreds of New Immigrants Celebrate Thanksgiving in Israel

Plus, a new production of 'West Side Story' in Jerusalem and a 5k charity run for Hanukkah

The KKL-NBN Go Beyond-South “Friendsgiving Event” in Be'er Sheva, November 22, 2018.
Ben Gabbai / Udi Even Chaim

AN ISRAELI THANKSGIVING: Hundreds of new immigrants gathered in different parts of Israel last week for traditional Thanksgiving dinners, hosted by immigrant support NGO Nefesh B’Nefesh. The celebrations were held at the NBN Tel Aviv Hub, Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, as well as Haifa and Be’er Sheva, with traditional Thanksgiving turkey and seasonal side dishes being served. “Through our Thanksgiving programming, we are helping Anglos in Israel celebrate this family-oriented holiday in a warm setting with their newfound family of friends and fellow olim,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, NBN co-founder and executive director. “This is a time for olim to reflect and feel thankful for their new lives in Israel, and appreciate the new lives and traditions they have created here,” he added.

A GOOD RUN: This Hanukkah, five is the magic number for Crossroads Jerusalem – the drop-in center that has assisted countless at-risk English-speaking teenagers since 2000. Crossroads will hold its fifth annual 5k run on the holiday’s fifth night (next Thursday), with all proceeds from the event going to support its critically needed programs and social services. English-speaking community website Janglo is also supporting the event. “Janglo is proud to co-sponsor this night run for the fifth straight year, as part of our efforts to strengthen the English-speaking community here,” said Janglo founder Zev Stub. “The challenges we see from the Anglo community affect every possible subcommunity in Jerusalem,” Crossroads director Robbie Sassoon told Haaretz. “Everyone needs to know we are offering therapeutic support and crisis intervention to your friends and neighbors.”

Runners of all ages are invited to the event, which starts at the First Station in Jerusalem. Organizers noted that last year’s participants included experienced marathoners as well as two 6-year-old children. A communal candle-lighting will precede the run at 6:30 P.M. To register, visit http://run4crossroads.com/night-run

NEVER-ENDING ‘STORY’: Some 60 years after its world premiere, the subject matter of “West Side Story” remains vitally relevant, according to Michael Berl, the co-director of a new production for Beit Hillel Theater Workshop. “It is still about racism and intolerance, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in the guise of New York City street gangs. Nothing in our lives has changed much,” said the New York native and founding director of the workshop. The play opens at the Rachel Simon Hillel Theater, Hebrew University (Mount Scopus campus), on Monday, to be followed by matinee and evening performances on December 5, 6, 9 and 10. The cast features Shani Wahrman and Alon Aviv as star-crossed couple Maria and Tony, as well as Shelly Ozeri, Mordy Derovan, Bryan Friedland, Kovi Fine and Michael Eden. For tickets, call Ayelet at 055-937-2156.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein. 

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