Rank and File: Whiffenpoofs and 'The Wandering Israeli'

Yale University's renowned a capella choir are giving a special concert with the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Choir in Jerusalem on Sunday

Steven Klein
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Kelly Odes, center, the winner of the Maurice Ostroff Scholarship.
Kelly Odes, center, the winner of the Maurice Ostroff Scholarship.Credit: Courtesy
Steven Klein

BOOLA BOOLA: Yale University’s renowned a capella choir, the Whiffenpoofs, are giving a special concert with the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Choir in Jerusalem on Sunday. Proceeds from the performance will benefit the choir, which Bethesda, Maryland-native Micah Hendler founded in 2012. Hendler, who sang in the Whiffenpoofs in 2011, told Haaretz that the inspiration for starting the not-for-profit chorus was his “many years of work with musical communities and with Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.” He said the Israeli-Palestinian choir, which has performed abroad, is both a chorus and a dialogue program. “Dialogue can be a tool for interpersonal and intergroup transformation in the sense that it’s often through that facilitated encounter with the other that you can learn more about yourself, the world and your relationship with the other, supported by the safe space music creates,” he said. For tickets, call *6119.

Micah HendlerCredit: Seeds of Peace

TRAVELIN’ MAN: L.A.-native Elad Shipponi’s journeys did not end with his move to Israel at the age of 17. After doing the kibbutz adoption thing and three years of army, he spent three months as a backpacker in Amman, Jordan, where he became close with a hostel owner. That experience became the basis for his traveling show “The Wandering Israeli,” which he originally performed in Hebrew but now does in English as well. He has since performed the show, a mix of theater, storytelling, live music and humor, over 600 times in Israel and in Jewish communities abroad. “I just meet amazing people with a special connection to Israel,” he said of the experience of his performances, which often include discussions with the audience before and after the show. “It’s different every time.” Shipponi’s next performances, in English followed by Hebrew, will be Monday at Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theater. For tickets, call (03) 606-0960.

IT’S AN HONOR: Truth Be Told, which promotes engagement in public diplomacy, has awarded Bar-Ilan University’s Gerald Steinberg its second annual Maurice Ostroff award for outstanding service in the field. Ostroff, one of the co-founders of the group, died in 2015. Co-founder and director David Kaplan told Haaretz that at the event this month Batya Shmukler, the chairperson of Telfed, the South African Zionist Federation, also presented the Maurice Ostroff Scholarship to Kelly Odes, a first-year student at IDC Herzliya from Johannesburg. The evening was also an opportunity to have a panel discussion on the legacy of the Balfour Declaration. The panel included Steinberg, Dr. Elana Heiderman, executive director of Israel Forever Foundation and Dr. David Breakstone, vice chairman of the Jewish Agency. Zvi Green, another Truth Be Told co-founder, said that while there was consensus on its historical role, “the contentious issues were where the country is headed from here.”

The YMCA park in Jerusalem.Credit: Emil Salman

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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