Rank and File: New Literary Group Launching in Beit Shemesh

Plus, remembering education adviser Debby Millgram, and Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center's annual benefit concert

Ehud Banai, left, in concert with Yuval Banai in 2015.
David Bachar

LITERARY GROUP LAUNCHING IN BEIT SHEMESH: A new English literary group in Beit Shemesh will launch its inaugural event this Sunday with a unique combination of books, art and cookies. Author Gila Green, who hails from Ottawa, told Haaretz that she launched Beit Shemesh Lit after witnessing a “real lack of literary evenings in general” over the past 20 years. The venue will be the art studio KeramiKli, run by another Canadian, Jesica Backal Myers, where people can create their own pottery. So, attendees will have the option of painting while listening to the authors. On top of that, Amy’s Sweets, owned by Amy Homnick (Schneider), will be providing cookies. The featured authors are Green, Miryam Sivan — who is also director of the overseas program at the University of Haifa — and Julie Zuckerman, a native of Trumbull, Connecticut. To RSVP, email gilagreen@gmail.com or visit the Beit Shemesh Lit Facebook page.

BENEFIT CONCERT IN TEL AVIV: On July 14, the Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center will host its annual benefit concert at Smolarz Auditorium, with Ehud Banai hosting Yuval Banai. Another cousin, Orna Banai, will emcee the two musicians. The evening will begin with two testimonies from sexual assault survivors. “It’s a very big and dramatic part of the night,” Miriam Schler, the center’s executive director, told Haaretz. “This ability to hear firsthand experiences and how the center helped them is very emotional.” The center handles 10,500 calls and treats 1,200 victims directly every year. She observed: “There’s a lot of talk about it in the media, but not a talk with it — and it’s something we want people to understand: What the implications are and what their responsibility is to do something to stop it.” Schler, who grew up in Oceanside, Long Island, said it sounds “ironic that it’s a happy event, but it is because there is a common agenda to do good.” For tickets, call 03-601-1904.

Debby Millgram on her wedding day.
Courtesy of the Millgram family

A TRUE PIONEER: The family of longtime education adviser Debby Millgram marked the shloshim of her passing on Wednesday. Her widower, Rabbi Hillel Millgram, described her as a “pioneer of her family” in more ways than one. She was to move to Israel, in 1971, but virtually all of her 24 first cousins would eventually follow. Rabbi Millgram, who grew up in Minneapolis, told Haaretz that Debby, who was born in New York, became the first high school counselor in Jerusalem at the Havat Hanoar Hatsioni (aka Israel Goldstein Youth Village). “She just walked in and sold herself to the principal,” he recalled. “She explained to him he needed a counselor and why he needed one — which says something about her character.” He said his wife was always community minded, serving on Canadian Hadassah’s national board of directors in the 1960s. After retiring from her position in which she was responsible for testing, evaluating and placing immigrant teens into the Noar Oleh educational system, she served as president of AACI, playing an instrumental role in moving it to its new Jerusalem quarters. She is survived by her husband, her three sons Elijah, Michael and Jeremiah, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

Have an idea about an item for Rank and File? Email us at: column@haaretz.co.il