Rank and File: 239 Immigrants to Israel Arrive on Nefesh B'Nefesh Flight

Son of Nelson Mandela's rabbi friend recalls their relationship ■ British Embassy participates in Ra'anana food drive

Steve Klein
Steven Klein
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A new batch of immigrants arrives to Israel on a Nefesh B'Nefesh flight, August 16, 2018.
A new batch of immigrants arrives to Israel on a Nefesh B'Nefesh flight, August 16, 2018.Credit: Shahar Azran
Steve Klein
Steven Klein

WELCOME HOME: This summer’s second Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah charter flight from North America arrived Wednesday, bringing a wide array of experienced and emerging leaders to Israel. The 239 arrivals included 57 future volunteer lone soldiers, 27 medical professionals, 13 Jewish community professionals and 90 children. The future soldiers will join nearly 1,000 lone soldiers from North America currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces without immediate family living in Israel. “I’m going now, and enlisting in the army because I know that being in the IDF and serving is a very integral part of Israeli society,” said Evan Klein, 22, from West Caldwell, New Jersey. “If I plan on living in Israel long-term and having a career there and being a Hebrew-speaking Israeli, it only makes sense that I do it the right way.”

MADIBA'S RABBI: In his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom,” Nelson Mandela recounted that when he was a law student at University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg in the 1940s, Lazar Sidelsky, a prominent white Jewish lawyer, took him on as a legal intern — “something almost unheard-of in those days” for a black man in apartheid South Africa. It began a lifelong friendship. On Tuesday, his son, Rabbi Dov Sidelsky, will recount stories of the relationship at Jerusalem’s World Mizrachi Center. “I knew about Nelson Mandela when he would come to visit us in our home in Parkwood,” Rabbi Sidelsky told Haaretz. After Mandela was moved from Robben Island to another prison, the elder Sidelsky had the privilege of visiting him. Later, Mandela would visit Sidelsky in hospital, where his son recalled his father saying, “‘You’re the best medicine I could have had.’” The event is co-sponsored by Telfed, Mizrachi and Wits. RSVP to volunteers@telfed.org.il.

FOR FOOD SECURITY: Leket Israel hosted its third annual Bridge the Food Gap event at its logistics center in Ra’anana for British tourists and ex-patriates Thursday. Over 100 volunteers turned up to sort and pack five tons of rescued fresh produce to be distributed to 1,000 needy Israelis. Leket Israel hosted members of the British Embassy, including Ambassador David Quarrey and Military Attache Col. Ronnie Westerman. Another 20 representatives from the embassy rolled up their sleeves to volunteer as well. Leket Israel CEO Gidi Kroch greeted the guests. “It has been a privilege to make a small contribution and to see the impact that Leket has on so many people and communities across Israel,” said Quarrey. “ It was also another reminder of the huge contribution that British olim and visitors make to local communities here.”

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