Rank and File: One of Johnny Carson's Favorites Performing at Comedy for Koby

Plus, Ricky Rapoport Friesem holds an evening of poetry and music to celebrate the launch of her latest collection, and the annual Reuben Rose international competition celebrates the legacy of its founder

Poet and documentary filmmaker Ricky Rapoport Friesem

REMEMBERING KOBY AND YOSEF: This month marks 18 years since the tragic murder of Israeli teens Koby Mandell and Yosef Ishran. Since shortly after the killings, comedian Avi Liberman has worked with the Koby Mandell Foundation to bring top entertainers from the United States to Israel on the Comedy for Koby tour. “Comedy for Koby has become one of the major events on the calendar for English-speaking Israelis,” said Seth Mandell, Koby’s father. “It both supports the children of Camp Koby and keeps our son’s memory alive.” LIberman noted that Maryellen Hooper is returning for a third visit. Regarding the others, he told Haaretz that Bobby Collins has “performed at the White House twice” and that Steve Mittleman “was one of Johnny Carson’s favorites, and it’s easy to see why.” The show’s 23rd run closes in Jerusalem on June 3. For information and tickets, call 054-659-7796.

POETRY LAUNCH: Poet and documentary filmmaker Ricky Rapoport Friesem is holding an evening of poetry and music to celebrate the launch of her latest collection, “Gimme Shelter,” in Rehovot this Tuesday. The evening will include readings in English by Rapoport Friesem and fellow poet Karen Alkalay-Gut. “Karen is a great performer and reader,” Rapoport Friesem, who is originally from Toronto, told Haaretz. Rapoport Friesem said her collection, which spans 40 years, is a “reflection of my own need to express and comprehend the insane reality of our lives in Israel, but not only in Israel. In every area of armed conflict.” She said she reposted her “Gimme Shelter” poem on Facebook, which she said seemed to “hit a responsive chord” in the wake of the latest flare-up in fighting in the south. There will also be a short presentation in homage to Rinna Samuel, the late author and ghostwriter for Golda Meir’s “My Life.” For more information, call the Milta Bookshop at 08-649-8979.

AWARD-WINNING POEMS: The annual Reuben Rose international competition celebrates the legacy of Rose, who in 1971 founded Voices Israel, a small group promoting English poetry. “Today, there are 10 groups all over the country plus one in Berlin and one in London, whose organizer incidentally is one of the honorary mentions in this year’s competition,” Voices Israel’s Wendy Blumfield told Haaretz. This year’s winner is John Gallas of the United Kingdom. Donna Bechar, who is originally from Long Island, won second prize, while Australian native Wendy Dickstein took third place. The award ceremony will be held in Ramat Aviv next Thursday. The winning poems will be read at the event and the prizes will be presented by two visiting academics, Prof. Martin Nakell and Prof. Rebecca Goodman of Chapman University in California. For more information, contact Susan Olsburgh at olsburgh.susan@gmail.com

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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