Rank and File: Uniting Jerusalem's English-speaking Theater Companies

Plus, a creative writing recital in Jerusalem on December 23 and the Israel Innovation Fund looks to increase awareness of Israeli wines, among other things

C.B. Davies performing in the Starcatcher production of "Singin' in the Rain."
Aharon Manor and Starcatcher The

A STAGE COUP: Jerusalem has long been rich with English-theater companies but short on coordination between them. Enter C.B. Davies, an aspiring director from New Jersey who has built his own website, Jerusalem English Theater Community, to promote the local scene. Davies met with the various companies this year to bring them on board, so his site can include information on all shows. “I want to make something more sustainable and help build the community,” said Davies, who returned to Israel in 2015 after studying theater abroad. “We’re not amateur but we’re community, and we create some amazing work with professionals, trained actors and people who haven’t been trained.” Davies should know – he met his wife, Dena Buckman Davies, through J-Town Playhouse. He has since added volunteer staff like actress Rivka Deray as content writer and technical adviser. Check out the website for show listings and more: https://jerusalemenglishtheater.wordpress.com/

FESTIVE RECITAL: The Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing will host a festive evening at Uri Zvi Greenberg Legacy House in Jerusalem on December 23. The gathering will celebrate several of the program’s most recent graduates, who are slated to read from their work. Alumni will include Joanie Elian and Nicky Blackburn, who both hail from the United Kingdom, as well as Elana Dorfman, who comes from New York. In addition, there will be a book launch for Harriet Levin Millan, the program’s visiting poet, who will read from her new volume of poetry, “My Oceanography.” The program is open to the public and runs from 8-10 P.M. Levin, who is known for combining her writing with activism, wrote her debut novel based on the life of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, which was highlighted on National Public Radio in the United States. For more info, email: barilanwriting@gmail.com

GROWING ISRAELI CULTURE: The Israel Innovation Fund announced this week it has received a new grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation to support its 2018-2019 operations. The Israel Innovation Fund’s stated vision is “to reignite the Zionist spirit and meet the needs of Jewish civilization in the 21st century by connecting people around the world through the vibrancy and creativity of contemporary Israeli culture.” Founded by serial entrepreneur Adam Scott Bellos, TIIF’s current projects include raising awareness of Israeli wines, supporting young artists and promoting other cultural experiences in the country. “We have managed to do amazing things in the past year – doing it almost entirely on our own with a very limited budget,” said Bellos, who grew up in Cincinnati. However, he noted, the new source of support will allow his organization to expand “cultural efforts according to a much bigger vision of sharing Israeli culture around the world.”

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein. 

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