Rank and File: JewishFiction.net Celebrates Chai Issue

Leket Israel is planning to feed over 175,000 people this High Holiday season; Tel Aviv’s North Central Synagogue will host its annual Erev Rosh Hashanah Young Community Dinner on Sunday.

Author Ricky Rapoport Friesem
Asher Friesem

‘CHAI’ TIME: For several years, Jewish Fiction.net has served as an English-language journal devoted exclusively to publishing Jewish fiction. The journal is celebrating its 18th, or “chai,” issue with an anthology of 33 works of fiction, originally written in English, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish or Yiddish. Among the featured authors are two immigrant Israelis — Ricky Rapoport Friesem and Gershon Ben-Avraham. “Writing in a foreign language in Israel is not an easy thing,” said Rapoport Friesem, who hails from Toronto. Her story, “Just the Jasmine,” is loosely based on her aunt Sara Katz, who lived in Tel Aviv in the 1930s, returned to Belarus and disappeared in the Shoah. “It’s a wonderful outlet,” she said of Jewish Fiction.net, noting that the latest issue also includes prestigious Israeli authors like Nava Semel and Gadi Taub. The stories are available at http://www.jewishfiction.net/index.php/current-issue/.

THOUGHT FOR FOOD: Leket Israel, the national food bank in Israel, has announced that it has increased its activity to secure food for the needy this High Holy Day season, and is planning to feed over 175,000 people, including children and Holocaust survivors. More than 1,200 tons of fruit and vegetables are expected to be rescued, one quarter of which will be apples to meet the holiday custom of dipping apples in honey. “According to Leket Israel’s Food Waste and Rescue Report, 2.5 million tons of food go to waste each year at a cost of 18 billion shekels [$4.80],” said Joseph Gitler, Leket Israel’s founder and chairman. Some 1.3 million tons “can be rescued to benefit those in need,” he adds. Manhattan native Gitler moved to Israel in 2000 and founded Leket in 2003.

CH-CH-CHANGES: Tel Aviv’s North Central Synagogue will host its annual Erev Rosh Hashanah Young Community Dinner on Sunday. The event will be in partnership with White City Shabbat, which organizes gatherings for Tel Aviv’s young English-speaking community. “This year the subject is going to be [looking at] what I can personally change,” said Rabbi Shlomo Chayen, who will again lead the evening. “It’s special because we will have immigrants and sabras [native-born Israelis]. It’s such a beautiful unity,” added Chayen, who was born in New York but moved to Israel with his family as a toddler. “It’s a good spring off to a new year.” He added that usually 120 to 150 people, or more, attend. To go, RSVP to 126roshdinner.eventbrite.com.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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