Rank and File

Rediscovered Letters Shed New Light on Israel's War of Independence

Daniel Chertoff's 'Palestine Posts' book launch in Jerusalem, plus a new AACI exhibition in Jerusalem and over 1,000 olim attend a Nefesh B'Nefesh block party

Mordecai Chertoff, whose letters home form the basis of his son Daniel Chertoff's new book "Palestine Posts."
Courtesy of the family

LETTERS FROM THE FRONT LINE: Author Daniel Chertoff will share a rare take on the birth of Israel through the eyes of his father, who was serving as a war correspondent at the time, at the launch of his book “Palestine Posts” at Jerusalem’s Kehilat Nitzanim synagogue on Sunday. “The book is primarily composed of letters my father wrote from 1947 to 1949 to his family in New York,” the author told Haaretz. He said he had helped his father, Mordecai Chertoff (who was also foreign news editor of the Palestine Post, renamed The Jerusalem Post in 1950), write his memoirs and thought he knew everything about him — before discovering the letters five years ago after Mordecai’s death. “All of a sudden, I had a contemporaneous eyewitness account by someone who participated in the seminal event of Jewish history in the last 2,000 years,” he noted. Daniel Chertoff will highlight three events from the book, published by the Toby Press, at the launch. Doors will open to the free event at 7:45 P.M.

FLOWER POWER: Two artists providing a fresh angle on botanical beauty held a gala opening at the AACI — Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, in Jerusalem on Sunday. Both Riki Metz and Gladys Young “start with plants, but don’t give us the usual image we are accustomed to seeing,” the AACI’s Donna Grushka, who curated the exhibition, told Haaretz.

Metz, a photographer and digital artist born in England and raised in India, “takes pictures and makes photoshopped images with them, concentrating on the heart of the flower rather than on masses of flowers and stems,” she said. In contrast, Young, who was born in Brooklyn but moved to Israel from Florida at the tender age of 85 in 2016, makes sculptures mainly out of “dried, mostly palm branches or pieces of palm tree.” Nearly 100 people attended the opening of the exhibition, which will run through November 28. For more info call 02-566-1181.

OLIM BLOCK PARTY: Over 1,000 North American immigrants in their 20s and 30s gathered in Jerusalem on September 12 as Nefesh B’Nefesh hosted a block party event at the First Station. The party provided attendees not only with an opportunity to socialize and network, but also free food and entertainment from popular English-speaking vendors, the immigrant assistance organization said. “Following a successful family-oriented event just a few weeks ago, it is important to our organization that olim [new immigrants] of all ages and stages of life know there is a place for them to connect with other like-minded individuals,” said NbN executive director and co-founder Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “I came here with a group of friends from Tel Aviv,” said Akiva Futter, who moved to Israel in 2016. “This is such a great event, and an awesome opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new people.”

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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