The Department for Diaspora Activities branch in London’s Shaliach, Nir Cohen, has not become complacent and over the past few months he has held several exceptional “Salon Israeli” (Israeli Lounge) meetings. The first meeting was held last month with the Israeli author Eshkol Nevo. Nevo’s bestseller “Neuland”, engages, inter alia, in the observation of the State of Israel from an external perspective which led to a fascinating discussion during the evening that dealt with Israeli and Jewish identity and the connection of the “Salon Israeli” members, as Israelis living overseas, with the State of Israel. The “Salon Israeli” members told of their feelings and experiences which made the evening both inspiring and fascinating. Eshkol Nevo also shared the process of writing his books with the attendees and he read an excerpt from his latest book "Last Bath in Siberia". Nevo was revealed not only as a wonderful author but also as a warm and sympathetic person and he even joined the group at the local pub after the event, where the conversation continued in a light, social atmosphere. 50 “Salon” members attended the meeting.
35 “Salon Israeli” members visited the British House of Commons, where they met with MP Anne McGuire. McGuire is a member of the British Labour Party and chair of the pro-Israeli “Labour Friends of Israel” lobby in parliament on behalf of the Labour Party. The purpose of the tour was to encourage the “Salon Israeli” members to become more socially and politically active.
McGuire spoke to participants about the structure of the British government, Israel-British relations and about Israel’s image. The meeting lasted nearly two hours, which the MP earmarked especially for the “Salon Israeli” members, which is greatly appreciated.
McGuire is a real friend of Israel and she said that meeting with Israelis living currently in the UK was as fascinating for her as it was for the members of the “Salon Israeli”.
The Federation helped organize this meeting.
As noted previously, the Department for Diaspora Activities branch in London’s Shaliach began to implement the “Tachles” Program to teach everyday Hebrew in Britain, in cooperation with “Habayta” activities in London. During February the Department for Diaspora Activities’ Shaliach and the “Habayta” advocate held a “Tachles” training evening for Jewish Agency Shlichim, in which the shaliach and the advocate presented the program materials in the hope that the shlichim would choose to teach the Program.
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