Rank and File: 'Pygmalion' in Jerusalem and Interviewing the 'Youth of 1948'

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New immigrants arriving at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv in the summer of 2017.
New immigrants arriving from North America to Ben-Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv, in the summer of 2017.Credit: Shahar Azran/Nefesh B'Nefesh

A SHAW THING: While countless theater fans have enjoyed the musical “My Fair Lady” over the decades, some may be unaware that it’s based on a play by George Bernard Shaw. Starting next Wednesday, J-Town Playhouse will present that play, “Pygmalion,” at the AACI’s Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center in Jerusalem. “The director, Yardena Buxner, stuck closely to Shaw’s version, but she made Eliza a very strong character,” producer Jennifer Fleischer tells Haaretz. “She’s captivating throughout the entire show. It’s what I love about it,” adds Fleischer, a professional archaeologist who grew up in Connecticut and moved to Israel in late 2015. Shiri Berzack will portray Eliza Doolittle, while Nachum Hackett will play the part of Prof. Henry Higgins. Fleischer is part of a team of three producers with Layla Schwartz and Aviella Shapiro, who have replaced J-Town’s longtime producer Rafi Poch, who left at the end of 2016. The show runs through September 7. For tickets call (02) 561-1181, ext. 311.

CAPTURING THE VOICES OF ’48: With Israel’s 70th birthday approaching next year, Belgian-born Noémi Schlosser felt the urgency to collect stories from the 1948 generation. Since November, she has interviewed 70 such people for her project, entitled “The Youth of 1948,” and still wants to do another 50. “This is something that cannot wait to be done,” she says. “I just lost a person who is 100 before I could interview her.” Schlosser says her project differs from other documentaries because it gets into “the personal little story that is not in the history books,” which she feels people connect to more. People she met included a former neighbor of Menachem Begin and a couple married 70 years who met on an Etzel underground mission. Her subjects include native English speakers Ruth Stern, Hoshana HaCohen and Zippy Porath. The project has become a full-time mission for the playwright-director, so she has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Jewcer to help complete the project. For more information, visit Theyouthof1948project.com.

NEW IMMIGRANTS TOUCH DOWN: The latest group flight of 233 immigrants from North America touched down at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Tuesday, among them 70 young adults planning to join the Israel Defense Forces. “With the second Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight of the summer, Israel is gaining several medical professionals, future lone soldiers and individuals committed to reinvigorating the country’s periphery, along with hundreds of other dynamic Olim,” the immigrant support organization announced. NbN noted the flight was facilitated in cooperation with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, the Jewish Agency, JNF-USA and Tzofim-Garin Tzabar. The group included 26 medical professionals. There were 20 families in all, with 64 children. “Today’s Olim, all from diverse communities and backgrounds, are Israel’s 21st century pioneers, helping to build the country, using their individual strengths and talents,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, NbN’s co-founder and executive director.

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

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