Rank & File: Young Immigrants Celebrate Yom Ha’aliyah, Israel's Newest Holiday

Holiday falls on the biblical date when the children of Israel crossed the River Jordan into the Land of Israel.

An immigrant speaking with MK Michael Oren at the Yom Ha’aliyah event in Tel Aviv.
Jay Shultz

YOM HA’ALIYA: Young immigrants in Tel Aviv celebrated on Sunday the enactment of Israel’s newest public holiday, Yom Ha’aliyah, at an event with MKs Michael Oren, Miki Zohar and Hilik Bar, who sponsored the bill passed by the current Knesset. The group’s founder, Jay Shultz, told Haaretz that the holiday falls on the biblical date when the children of Israel crossed the River Jordan into the Land of Israel. Black Shabbos, an immigrant band, provided most of the musical entertainment, while immigrant a capella group Upstage also performed. The immigrant-owned Buster’s Beverage provided drinks. “The aliyah story is unique in human history, and a thread that connects every Jew in the world,” said Shultz. He said the holiday, which honors the contribution of immigrants to Israeli society, officially goes into effect next year.

KIBBUTZ HAGGADAHS: Historic haggadahs from kibbutzim around the country will be on display at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel on Monday, sponsored by Kol HaOt, which produces interactive, Jewish educational visual and performing arts programs. “This extraordinary exhibit of images and texts is a journey through the modern-day freedoms of the ‘New Jew’ of the kibbutz, who struggled for freedom and independence in Israel, as well as for freedom for all humankind,” said Elyssa Moss Rabinowitz, Kol HaOt’s executive director and co-founder along with fellow immigrants Rabbi Matt Berkowitz and artist David Moss. (Rabinowitz made aliya at age 8 from Berkeley; Moss, from Ohio, is her father.) “These historic haggadahs are a testimony to their authors’ vast knowledge of Jewish sources,” added Hila Zeira-Weinstein, the exhibit’s curator. “They use biblical quotes that aren’t in the traditional haggadahs, and add original Zionist and socialist poems and content.” Admission is free.

WOMEN OF VALOR: “Beyond Rubies,” the new exhibition by artist Ruth Schreiber opened this month at the Agrippas 12 gallery in Jerusalem. The exhibition displays “the courage and autonomy of women figures in the Bible and traditional Jewish texts,” according to London-native Schreiber, who first moved to Israel in 1976 but has been back since 1995 after a decade-long stint back in the U.K. For example, she portrays God as a woman in her rendition of Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam.” “I’ve always been a bit of a feminist, but I’ve been working on the last year and a half in this direction of looking at Jewish sources in this way,” said Schreiber, one of the newest members of the art cooperative. The exhibition, which includes sculpture, photography, video art and fabric art, is open through May 7. For more info, call Ruth at (054) 442-9996.

Rank and File was compiledby Steven Klein. Have an idea about an item for Rank and File? E-mail us at:column@haaretz.co.il