Rank and File: Jews Living in a Fear Society, Not a Free One

Barbara Sofer reclaims the Z word; beach cleanups planned in Jaffa, Tel Aviv and Haifa next weekend; and Comedy for Koby with Modi

‘Plastics Free Israel’ activists at Jaffa event.
David Beer-Gabel

RECLAIMING THE ‘Z WORD’: Telfed, the Zionist Federation for southern African Jewry, will host prizewinning journalist Barbara Sofer in Modi’in next Thursday, where she will address the challenges of Zionism. Sofer told Haaretz that Natan Sharansky once wrote, “If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society.” But, she asked, “How many persons would stand up in any crowd today, Jewish or general (except for a group of evangelical Christians), and shout ‘I am a Zionist?’” She added, “Through my usual motivational storytelling style, I will illustrate the need to reclaim the ‘Z word.’” Sofer is Israel director of public relations for Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. To register, email your full name, mobile phone number and email address to mmmoshik@gmail.com.

KEEP THE COAST CLEAR: Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a traditional time of wiping the slate clean. But unfortunately Israel’s beaches can end up full of litter by the holiday’s end. So, Plastic Free Israel is holding three events next weekend, which also coincides with International Coastal Cleanup Day. The first will be in partnership with the European Union and led by EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret next Friday morning on the Jaffa beach. On Saturday, the group is planning simultaneous cleanups in central Tel Aviv and Haifa, using a flash mob format. “The idea is to set an example about not leaving trash behind, taking responsibility,” Plastic Free Israel founder Stav Friedman told Haaretz. One of the surfing schools will join as well. Volunteer Maura Schonwald will organize the flash mob in Haifa. For more info, visit the group’s Facebook page.

COMEDY FOR SUKKOT: For fans of the Comedy for Koby tour, which brings headline comedians from the United States to Israel biannually, the upcoming Sukkot holiday will provide an opportunity to get an extra dose of stand-up humor. This time around, comedian and tour founder Avi Liberman is bringing in Israeli-American entertainer Modi. Liberman told Haaretz the special tour with Elon Gold went very well last year, so “we figured why not try one with Modi as well.” Modi will open with two shows in Jerusalem on September 25, followed by performances in Beit Shemesh two days later and Ra’anana on September 29. “His background of having gone to cheder and having such a wealth of Jewish material makes him one of the best for any Jewish audience,” added Liberman. For tickets, visit comedyforkoby.com.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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