Hadassah of America national president Marcie Natan, Barkat.
(photo credit: Hadassah)
■ EVER SINCE his arrival in Israel, British Ambassador Matthew Gould has been
promoting scientific and technical cooperation between Israel and the UK. Such
cooperation has been in the works for quite some time, but Gould wants to take
it to higher levels. He will be talking about the subject on Monday when he
meets with Tel Aviv University Recanati alumni. The title of his address is
“Israel and Britain: A tech partnership waiting to happen.”
Shimon Peres frequently says that the next decade will produce the most dramatic
scientific discoveries that the world has ever known. One of the reasons he says
this is because when presenting their credentials, almost every new ambassador
listed the strengthening of scientific and technological cooperation either at
the top or very close to the top of their diplomatic agendas. Israel has R&D
agreements with numerous countries in the realms of science and
All that collective brainpower is bound to come up with
things that even science fiction writers haven’t thought of yet.
WILL tell, says the old adage, and in the case of French President Nicolas
Sarkozy it certainly has. It is difficult to imagine that the leader of any
other country would become as intensively involved in matters related to the
Jewish community as was Sarkozy in responding to the murders of Yonatan Sandler,
his sons Ariel and Gavriel, and eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego this week. And
before that, he was greatly involved in trying to secure the release of Gilad
Schalit and in frequent contact with Schalit’s family.
Sarkozy had a
Jewish grandfather and has a halachically Jewish grandson.
■ ALTHOUGH SHE
seems to have faded from the limelight, Daphne Leef, who was one of the leaders
of last summer’s nationwide rallies for social justice, has not been forgotten.
Leef was among the recipients of special citations of recognition awarded this
week at a symposium at the John Bryce Hi-Tech College in Tel Aviv. Among the
other organizers of the symposium, which focused on women, social justice and
the new media, were the Open University Students Association, members of the
Shlomit Lir Network and Young Naamat. This was the first time that awards were
given specifically to women who had used new media to promote social
■ AT THE dry-run dedication this week of the new Sarah Wetsman
Davidson Tower at the Hadassah Medical Center Ein Karem, Chief Sephardi Rabbi
Shlomo Amar had the honor of affixing the mezuza to what Marcie Natan, national
president of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America said was
among Hadassah’s most significant contributions to the State of Israel.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat concurred, saying that the tower was “one of the most
important buildings in the city.” Amar was assisted in the mezuza ceremony by
Sidney Swartz, who with his wife, Judy, had co-chaired the fund-raising campaign
for the tower.
The event, which coincided with the 100th anniversary of
the founding of the Hadassah organization was attended by members of the
Davidson family, former Hadassah national presidents Marlene Post, Bonnie Lipton
and Nancy Falchuk, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro and his wife, Julie Fisher, and
many other dignitaries. Just as Teddy Kollek, the most legendary of Jerusalem’s
mayors, had in 1967 returned to Hadassah the keys to Mount Scopus during the
presidency of the late Charlotte Jacobson, Marcie Natan, in a reciprocal
gesture, presented Barkat with a symbolic key to the tower, which is now
Israel’s most sophisticated medical facility.
■ IN THE spirit of March
being Women’s Month, 240 girls and their mothers will participate in a bat
mitzva ceremony on Sunday, March 25, at the Makabim School in Gan Yavne, in the
presence of Gan Yavne Mayor Dror Aharon. The ceremony, believed to be the
largest of its kind in Israel, is a joint initiative between ZIKA-Gan Yavne and
UJA-Federation of New York,.
“We are elated to take part in this amazing
event that turns the bat mitzva ceremony into a community celebration,” said
Dorothy Tananbaum, chairwoman of UJA-Federation’s Commission on Jewish Identity
and Renewal. She added that her organization is proud to support this project
along with other programs in Israel that promote Jewish identity and renewal.
The 240 girls, from both religious and secular backgrounds, attend schools in
the Gan Yavne area. The ceremony will feature original text composed by the
girls and their mothers over the past month as well as a musical play put on by
the girls, which will showcase heroines in Jewish history.
The event is a
project that was initiated by ZIKA for bat mitzva girls and their mothers in
order to enrich this special time in their lives with significant substance as
well as to follow them as they become bat mitzva, said Orly Kenneth, director of
■ JUST AS Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora believe that
the media presents a distorted image of them, Palestinians feel the same about
the way their own portrayal.
In an attempt to change perceptions and
illustrate the rich cultural diversity of Palestinians, Fadi Kattan, a
Palestinian living in Bethlehem, initiated an ongoing project called “I am
Palestine,” which evolved into a collection of videos and installation pieces
created by Kattan, Karina Goulordava and Sean Neely.
project will have its American debut on March 24 at the Unsmoke Artspace in