Rank and File

Rare Chance to Hear Recital of Holocaust Diary in Jerusalem

Plus, a chance to listen to classic hits from 'The American Songbook' and Shavei Israel to open English-language conversion classes in Jerusalem

From left, "The American Songbook"'s Aviella Trapedo, Eric Guth, Paul Salter, Alona Cole and Hanan Leberman.
Hanan Leberman

Holocaust diary reading

We will never know how many Holocaust-era diaries were lost, so when one emerges it is a precious window into that dark period. One such account – by Reb Chaim Yitzchok Wolgelernter, who was killed in Poland – spent 20 years in a drawer before it was sent by his brother to Wolgelernter’s son, Feivel Wolgelernter, in 1964. “It’s a firsthand eyewitness [account] of what was going on,” said the WITS Alumni Association in Israel’s Les Glassman, which will co-host Feivel (with Telfed) for a talk in Jerusalem on Sunday. “He wrote the diary while in hiding, in Polish Yiddish. Every page is incredible. It’s as if you are there with him,” Glassman added. The book is called “The Unfinished Diary: A Chronicle of Tears,” in a nod to the title Chaim Yitzchok had for his memoir. Holocaust scholar Alan Rosen will introduce Feivel. For more info, call Les at 052-552-2438.

Sounds familiar

Many people know the songs of Harold Arlen – they just don’t know they’re his, according to singer Eric Guth. In fact, Arlen penned one of the most covered songs of all time: “Over the Rainbow,” as heard in “The Wizard of Oz.” On Tuesday, Guth, Hanan Leberman, Alona Cole and Aviella Trapido, accompanied by Paul Salter, will sing that and other familiar numbers by Arlen, Richard Rodgers and more in “The American Songbook,” at the AACI’s Glassman Family Center in Jerusalem. The show is the brainchild of Guth, who told Haaretz he grew up on the likes of Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. Guth, who moved to Israel from Denver with his wife and two children 20 years ago, added that the concert – the first in a three-part series – is an “opportunity to introduce the American songbook to younger audiences.” For tickets, call AACI at 02-566-1181.

English-language conversions

Shavei Israel, which reaches out to “lost” and “hidden” Jews around the world, is set to open English-language conversion classes in partnership with the Rabbinical Council of America, the Jerusalem-based organization said. “We felt it was the next logical step: To open an English-language institute that would provide a warm, supportive and welcoming environment for those who wish to tie their fate with the people of Israel or return to their roots,” founding director Michael Freund said. “The RCA was the perfect partner for this undertaking.” Shavei Israel’s conversion institute, Machon Miriam, already offers preparatory classes in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Freund added there is a growing need for such a place where few English-language options exist. RCA is represented by its Israel region director, Rabbi Reuven Tradburks.

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