GRAPEVINE: Father’s daughter

Fervent Yiddishist and occasional actress Bella Bryks Klein premiered her one-woman show, My Father’s Daughter, in June in Tel Aviv, which she is gradually taking on tour.

September 12, 2019 11:39
3 minute read.
GRAPEVINE: Father’s daughter

Sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, whose parents were murdered in the Holocaust, with Bella Bryks-Klein at the Tel Aviv Cinémathèque. (photo credit: YOSSI SHARON)

Fervent Yiddishist and occasional actress Bella Bryks Klein premiered her one-woman show, My Father’s Daughter, in June in Tel Aviv, which she is gradually taking on tour. The show is in tribute to her late father, Rachmil Bryks, a Holocaust survivor and well-known Yiddish writer and poet. Nearly all his writings were about his experiences during the Holocaust years both in the Lodz Ghetto and in Auschwitz. Bryks Klein grew up – along with her sister – on these stories in New York. She came to Israel as a university student and stayed but maintained a strong connection with Yiddish culture, literature and theater, and now works with various Israeli and international organizations and institutions engaged in the perpetuation of Yiddish.

She will perform My Father’s Daughter on Monday, September 16, at 5 p.m. for the Yiddish Club that meets regularly at the Jerusalem Na’amat headquarters, Shalom Aleichem St. 10, Talbiyeh.

■ THE KEREN OR Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities has a new director, Shira Reifman. On September 1, Reifman succeeded Tamara Silberberg who is retiring after nearly 13 years at the helm. Given the nature of Keren Or, members of its staff must be particularly caring and dedicated individuals.
Silberberg, who is originally from Melbourne, Australia, certainly fits that description. To all intents and purposes so does Reifman, who hails from New York.
Prior to taking up her present position, Reifman spent seven years as director of development at Kibbutz Kishorit in the Galilee, which helps adults with special needs discover and develop their full potential and take pride in their accomplishments.
Prior to making aliyah in 2007, Reifman was with the Orthodox Union, working in its Youth and Special Needs Divisions. She served as the coordinator of national projects for the OU’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities. She also served as coordinator for Junior Yachad, a youth group that brings adolescents with special needs together with their peers in the same age group for weekend retreats, summer camps and a broad range of social and educational programs
Reifman has master’s degrees in social work and business administration from Columbia University and was selected by the Wexner Foundation as a Wexner graduate fellow.
She is married to Rabbi Daniel Reifman, a teacher at the Pardes Institute and the Bar Ilan Kollel, and they are the parents of five daughters. To allow for a seamless transition, Silberberg will remain on board till the end of the year.

■ HISTORY BUFF Steve Sattler, who has a diverse range of interests and is particularly keen on the history of public transportation, sent out a message on Friday morning following the successful run of the new electric train from Tel Aviv’s HaHagana Station to the Navon Station in Jerusalem. Sattler noted that 127 years earlier the first steam train left Jaffa Station for Jerusalem. Of course, that journey took much longer than the electric train, which will hopefully begin full, regular service in December, with the trip taking 27 minutes. Car and truck drivers who have been stuck in early morning traffic between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem might flock to the train, depending on its frequency. It will have to run a little more often than every half hour as the train to Ben-Gurion Airport does now.

■ THE JERUSALEM College of Technology, aka Machon Lev, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Perhaps that’s no big deal considering there are other educational institutions which are older. However, taking into account disputes over whether ultra-Orthodox students should be exposed to secular education, this is quite a coup. Many of the college’s graduates, both from the men’s and separate women’s campuses, have found a way to successfully combine Torah and technology and have gone on to make admirable achievements.
The college will celebrate its jubilee on Thursday, September 19, at the Lev Campus in Givat Mordechai, with the participation of Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and Prof. Yaffa Zilbershatz, chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education. Guest of honor will be Kurt Rothschild, the 98-year-old Jerusalem-based philanthropist who is president of the Canadian Zionist Federation, chairman of the World Mizrahi movement, and a board member of several global Jewish organizations.

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