Rank & File

Students compete in a unique debating format; Dutch ambassador and wife host event in honor of country's National Day.

The Ankori Network team celebrating their victory at the
Debating Matters competition in Jerusalem.
Oded Karni

A DEBATABLE MATTER: Some 150 students from 12 Israeli high schools were engaged in a unique format of debating that put substance over style in Jerusalem yesterday in an event organized by the U.K.-based Institute of Ideas Debating Matters Competition. “The debaters have proved to all of the adults in the room that they are capable and confident talking maturely about serious issues,” said Joel Cohen, the Israel coordinator for Debating Matters. Cohen, who lives in London, told Haaretz that Debate Matters expanded to Israel after being approached by Ruth Saunders, executive director of Anglo Israel Association, which promotes British-Israeli relations. Judges included the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Alan Abbey; the British Council Israel’s Helen Sykes; and Haaretz English Edition editor Charlotte Hallé. The Ankori Network team was crowned Israel Champions 2016.

DUTCH DELIGHT: The Dutch Ambassador to Israel Gilles Beschoor Plug and his wife Louise Beschoor Plug will host a reception in honor of the National Day of the Netherlands on Wednesday.  “We expect 450 guests. It’s always a fun party with raw herring, cheese and beers,” the ambassador, who replaced Caspar Veldcamp in November,  told Haaretz, adding: “We are enjoying life in Israel very much. For diplomats, Israel is a wonderful posting — interesting work, challenging given the region and wonderful living conditions.” He said he planned to focus his efforts on three areas: trade innovation, political cooperation and the Dutch community in Israel, in particular Holocaust survivors. 

SEDER FOR THE SOLDIER WHO COULDN’T ASK: White City Shabbat is hosting 200 young Tel Aviv internationals and lone soldiers at its annual White City Seder at 126 Ben Yehuda next Friday. “Seder is one of the rare things in our Jewish observance that virtually every Jew still does, and young immigrants are usually here without family,” Jay Shultz, who organized the event, told Haaretz. “Here the community becomes the family, and that’s the main mission of White City, so seder is one of our preeminent events.” He said White City also sets up young immigrants for family Seder hosting to cover the overflow and for those “who prefer an intimate environment.” The event is free for lone soldiers. RSVP to https://WhiteCitySeder5776.eventbrite.com

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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