JOINING THE concerted effort to bring home kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit,
Kanyonei Yisrael (Israel Malls) will on Friday release 18,000 yellow balloons
with a green imprint that translates as “Dedicated with love to Gilad Schalit.”
The balloons are intended as a means of raising national consciousness on the
fourth anniversary of Schalit’s incarceration, and hopefully some of them may
find their way to the place in Gaza where he is being held. One never knows how
far the wind will carry anything.
Kanyonei Yisrael marketing manager
Ilanit Grayowitz-Berger says it is company policy to work for and with the
community and to be involved in social issues that are part of the national
ethos and affect national morale. The balloons will be released between 10 a.m
and 1 p.m. in malls across the country, including those in areas close to
■ THERE WAS cotton candy, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in a choice
of flavors, freshly made popcorn, balloons in many colors and – probably
important – lots of babies, toddlers and children younger than 10 who
the backbone of the country’s future, and who for the most part will be a
between North America and Jerusalem. The occasion, two weeks ago, was
groundbreaking ceremony for the new Shir Hadash Center for Jewish Life
will be located in part of the forest area bordered by Rehov Dubnow and
Graetz in Talbiyeh on the edge of Jerusalem’s German Colony.
2000 by Arizona-born Rabbi Ian Pear and his New York-born wife Rachel,
after they came on aliya, Shir Hadash is a modern Orthodox community and
educational center dedicated to bringing Jews closer to Judaism and to
another in a spirit of love, mutual respect and the shared expansion of
Shir Hadash already runs a synagogue, nursery school and vast
array of educational programs and aims to emphasize the positive
Judaism. Pear, who in addition to his rabbinical degree from Yeshiva
holds a law degree from New York University and a degree in
politics and security from Georgetown University, was previously
director of the
Hillel Foundation on the Tel Aviv University campus.
Bob and Diane Abrams were on hand for the celebration and have been
supporters – both morally and financially – of Shir Hadash since its
Local couples who are also strong supporters include Alan and Leya
and Sharon Brown and Harvey and Judy Kasdan. Bob Abrams was the New York
attorney-general for 18 years. Guests of honor at the event were
Nir Barkat and one of his deputies, Naomi Tsur, who was delighted to
Pear that Shir Hadash will be the first green synagogue in the
Barkat, who had met the community before, described it as
“fascinating” and called it “the most hugging community in Jerusalem.”
It was a
community that was very active in taking responsibility, and giving new
immigrants a soft landing on arrival, he said. He also commended the
tolerance and its inviting environment.
“Your community will pave the
road for other communities in the future.
You with all the young children
are exactly what Jerusalem needs to strengthen the city.” Donning a blue
hard hat as a workman’s symbol, Barkat was the first of many to dig the
into the earth.
■ THE NATIONAL Day of the Federation of Russia and
Independence Day of the Republic of the Philippines both fall on June
previous years, ambassadors of both countries held receptions on the
with one in Herzliya Pituah and the other in Tel Aviv. But now they seem
reached an accommodation, with neither hosting a large function on June
The Russians had their mega get-together on June 14, and Petronila
Pena Garcia, ambassador of the Philippines, in a departure from the
a luncheon at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv instead of an evening reception.
also invited fewer people than in past years, but what didn’t change was
she and all her staff were attired in national costume.
Both Garcia and
National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau spoke of the long
has existed between the two countries. Garcia heard Landau talk about
friendship included visas for Jews escaping Nazi Germany. One of her
predecessors had labored long and hard to get Israel to publicly
debt to the Philippines, but died without having succeeded. Landau also
congratulated President-elect Benigno Aquino III as well as outgoing
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who has been in office since January 2001.
RESIDENT OF Jerusalem, native of Bamberg, Germany, and citizen of the
Werner Loval, who has led an extraordinary life on three continents and
actively involved in numerous organizations and enterprises, decided to
12 grandchildren an illustrated history of his life, which he put
together in a
series of scrapbook-style vignettes that evolved into an intriguing
Were Europeans, that he launched last week at Beit Avi Hai in Jerusalem.
of his popularity and many contacts was evidenced in the fact that the
auditorium was more than half full way before starting time.
Loval is best known as the driving force behind Anglo Saxon, the
largest real estate agency.
But he was also one of the founders of the
Reform Movement here, and likewise one of the founders of Jerusalem’s
neighborhood, a cooperative housing development for American and
Descended on both sides from affluent and influential Jewish
families, he spent his adolescent years in England after being thrown
school in Germany, later fought with the US Army, came here, became
the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, and met his future
Pamela Sabel, with whom he continues to share a charmed life.
wedding on September 2, 1956 was the first kosher wedding at the King
Hotel, and was attended by Moshe Dayan, Moshe Sharett, US ambassador
Lawson, Foreign Ministry directorgeneral Walter Eytan, director-general
Prime Minister’s Office Teddy Kollek, Jerusalem mayor Gershon Agron,
of the Jerusalem area Chaim Herzog and a host of other dignitaries. They
celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at the King David with
including some of the people who had been there 50 years earlier.
becoming a real estate guru, Loval worked as a diplomat, and very soon
marriage was posted to Guatemala. As a member of the Foreign Ministry’s
Jerusalem, he often took care of visiting dignitaries, and the book
photographic evidence, including photos taken with Eleanor Roosevelt.
have been associated with so many facets of the development of
Jerusalem, and to
some extent of the country, that it’s hard to believe that all this was
in a single lifetime. What’s even more amazing is the extent to which
is documented in an easily readable and visually appealing manner. The
are written more or less the way that Loval speaks, and each is a story
itself, so they don’t necessarily have to be read in sequence. Although
intended the book for his grandchildren, its contents hold something for
■ AND WHILE on the subject of books, Betar Jerusalem soccer
player Shimon Gershon, who has authored a children’s book called Noam’s
Secrets, has discovered that he has fans way beyond the capital.
was in Ashdod’s C Mall recently for a book launch, and was pleasantly
to have youngsters standing in line to have him autograph their books.
WHO WOULD have imagined 20 years ago and more that Russian Jews would
together in a fancy Moscow hotel to donate money to a cause in Israel?
that’s what happened this month – and not for the first time. The hotel
Ritz Carlton, and the cause was the Sheba Medical Center in Tel
held its initial Moscow gala and raised the equivalent of half a million
Admittedly there were several Israelis of Russian background
present – most notably Lev Leviev, whose AFI Development Company earlier
year opened another luxury hotel in Moscow – the Aquamarine.
considerable real estate and diamond interests in Moscow, and it was
announced that his daughter Zvia, who was in charge of the Ramat Aviv
before it was sold to the Ofer family’s Melisron company, has relocated
Moscow to oversee the opening of the Mall of Russia which is due to
operational around September-October.
Other people at the gala event at
the Ritz Carlton included Berel Lazar, chief rabbi of Russia, Anna
musical oligarch Yosef Kobzon, Russian pop star Lima Vicula, Russian
Congress president Boris Spiegel and Merab Elashvili, who with his
an enormous chain of restaurants throughout the Baltic states.
his wife Olga are keen supporters of Sheba and donated the Lev Center – a
on words – in that Lev, in addition to being Leviev’s first name, also
heart in Hebrew.
■ PRIZE-WINNING Australian director, producer and
screenwriter Robert Connolly, who has screened his films at more than 30
international film festivals, was in Jerusalem this week for the opening
of the seventh annual Australian Film Festival sponsored by the
Cultural Exchange. Speaking at the screening of Balibo, the powerful
film, Connolly, who is here for the first time, said that one of the
of making a film is the travel involved in the first year following its
Although the main character in Balibo is veteran investigative
reporter Roger East, played by Anthony LaPaglia, who goes to Balibo to
what befell five young Australian journalists who were murdered by
militia during the invasion of East Timor and is subsequently murdered
Connolly advised the audience to take note of another character in the
movie – a
24-year-old man who survived, and who wanted his role to be played by
Clooney. Connolly opted for Oscar Isaac. The survivor, who spent many
exile as his country’s spokesman, and won a Nobel Prize for his efforts,
Ramos-Horta, who today is president of East Timor.
Among those attending
the opening was Australian Ambassador Andrea Faulkner, who said the film
festival was the highlight of the Australian cultural calendar in
Faulkner, who seems to spend more time in Jerusalem these days
than in Tel Aviv, was asked at a recent function what she would do with
Australian residence (which is not a rented property) if and when
universally recognized as the capital. Reasonably sure that this would
happen for a long time, and certainly not on her watch, Faulkner said
someone had told her to look on Jerusalem as a suburb of Tel Aviv. If
long enough, it will be Tel Aviv that becomes a suburb of Jerusalem.
ONE OF the major sponsors of the Elton John concert last week was Israel
Discount Bank, and Matthew Bronfman, one of the bank’s controlling
flew in with his daughter Gabriella to be on hand to greet the nation’s
leaders as they took their places in the VIP section. During the
exuberant John announced that he was dedicating a song to Romi on her
People in the audience shrugged and asked each other, “Who’s Romi?” She
daughter of soccer coach Avraham Grant. John, who is an avid soccer fan,
some time with the Grant family before the concert and learned that it
Romi’s birthday – so he gave her his gift in front of 45,000 people.
SOME PEOPLE get married after a whirlwind courtship, find they’re not
suited and get divorced a few months later.
Other people leave the
nuptials on hold, live together and even have a child or two or three
they decide to tie the knot.
Shira Margalit and Ilan Shiloah fall into
the latter category, having first set up house together, then bringing a
into the world and getting married after almost 10 years of being each
significant other. The wedding took place last Friday at their home in
with another round of celebrations on Saturday.
It was the second time
around for Shiloah, who also has children from his first marriage.
that she was glad to be accepted by them. Margalit, executive vice
content and programming at Reshet, on of the two Channel 2 franchisees,
headlines last year as one of the victims of the late Dudu Topaz, who
among others for his fall from grace. Shiloah is the CEO at McCann
■ BUT A long relationship is not necessarily a guarantee of a
happy marriage. Former Miss World Linor Abergil conducted a
romance with basketball star Sarunas Jasikevicius for quite a while
accepting his proposal of marriage.
Her family was unhappy because he
wasn’t Jewish, and radical right-wing activist Baruch Marzel even sent
open letter in 2006, urging her to reconsider. It’s a little pointless
that way to a girl in love, so Abergil went ahead with the wedding and
for the much publicized celebrations. But romance faded quickly, and the
time around, Abergil opted for a nice Jewish boy in the person of Oron
This time it will be a Jewish ceremony in her home town of Netanya.
IT’S A big day tomorrow for Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon,
be celebrating his 60th birthday.
■ THE FACT that a saying is trite
doesn’t mean that it’s not true. Proof of the pudding is Ze’ev Stub, who
certainly lives up to the saying that one person can make a difference.
directly and indirectly influenced the lives of thousands of persons
past nine years. Last week he celebrated the ninth anniversary of
Internet system of connecting Englishspeaking Jerusalemites who want to
things, buy something, are looking for work, are looking to hire people,
publicizing services and events, etc. Janglo was so popular and so
that Stub branched out to form Tanglo for the Tel Aviv Anglos. Today, he
35,000 registered users, 2.200 listings in Janglo’s business directory
120,000 visits per month on his Web site.
■ GERMAN AMBASSADOR Harald
Kindermann joined Adi Stern, head of the Visual Communications
Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, in opening an exhibition
illustrations of love as depicted in children’s books. The exhibition is
Hatahana Complex in Tel Aviv- Jaffa’s old train station. On display till
of the month are works by students of illustration from leading
design and illustration in Korea, Germany, Bulgaria and Israel. There
kinds of love: maternal love, imaginary love, a love for a doll and
love, with each country having its unique cultural vocabulary of images,
traditions and style. A close examination of children’s books, which are
highly illustrated, allows viewers to examine the way in which the
theme of love is explored in so many facets.