Rank and File: Organizations Help Internationals Find a Seder Far From Home

TheHive accelerator drives immigrant startups to success in the Israeli market ■ Friendship Circle holds third annual matza bake

A Shabbat meal in Tel Aviv, 2017.
Avi Noo / Chabad on the Coast

A SEDER FOR EVERYONE: Passover Seder is practically synonymous with family, but for immigrants and internationals in Israel it can be a reminder of how far we are from our loved ones. Luckily, several organizations have stepped into the seder void. In Jerusalem, KeepOlim, founded by LiAmi Lawrence, is placing immigrants with hosting families as it has done for hundreds of people over the past two years. For more info, visit keepolim.org. In Tel Aviv, Chabad on the Coast with Rabbi Eli and Sara Naiditich, Inspired Tel Aviv with Rabbi Raphael and Rachel Raiton, and 126 Ben Yehuda Synagogue with Rabbi Shlomo Chayen will all host English-language seders. Find them, respectively, at chabadonthecoat.com or the Facebook pages of the ITV Young Professionals Pesach and 126BenYehuda. For those proficient in Hebrew, the Gay Center will hold a seder for the LGBT community while Pele will hold a vegan seder.

BOOSTING IMMIGRANT STARTUPS: TheHive accelerator, which supports entrepreneurs who are new immigrants or returning Israelis, held its eighth startup competition on Monday. “The Hive took my MBA and made it real,” said Adam Starrfield, who grew up in Tempe, Arizona, and moved to Israel right after graduating Duke in 1993. “I got incredible mentorship. I learned how to run a startup, how to raise venture capital and how to work with a small group of people in a tough dynamic situation.” His company, Bed.Link, aims to facilitate the transfer of patients between hospitals, with a focus on psychiatric patients whom he has seen struggling to be placed. “Our goal is to find them a bed in six hours,” added Starrfield, who worked for Apple and Ford in the United States but returned to Netanya in 2014. TheHive is a branch of Gvahim, a nonprofit organization aimed at providing new immigrants with the tools to succeed in the Israeli labor market. Gvahim is a subsidiary of the Rashi Foundation.

A MAMMOTH MATZA: Friendship Circle, which celebrates the individuality of children and young adults with special needs, held its third annual matza bake in Jerusalem last Thursday. The First Station buzzed with excitement as over 300 guests and dozens of volunteers kneaded and rolled out the dough. “Children of all ages and abilities worked together with the volunteers to race the clock and create one enormous unity matza,” Friendship Circle’s Esther Adler told Haaretz. “With pizza and ice cream in hand, all stood around in awe as the biggest matza they had ever seen was lifted up and blowtorched to a perfect crisp.” She noted that each child also made their own personal matza that was baked on the spot. The Friendship Circle was founded by London-native Chanie Canterman.