■ ALL TOO often, in his or her haste to make their mark, a newcomer to an
executive position erases much of what was done by predecessors in the job.
After his first three months as commander in chief of Army Radio, Yaron Deckel,
who has a strong sense of history and a deep respect for people who made
substantive contributions to history, called together his predecessors for a
brainstorming session in the hope that with their combined experience and
knowledge, they could come up with some good strategies to enable Army Radio to
advance and to continue to be a competitive force against public broadcasting
and commercial rivals. Most of the people who went to the station’s studios in
Jaffa were actually old enough to be Deckel’s father, and he was smart enough to
realize that they could give him good advice. Included in the group were Avi
Benayahu, Yitzhak Livni, MK Nachman Shai, Eilon Shalev, Mordechai Naor, Moshe
Shlonski and Yitzhak Tunic.
■ INVITEES WHO attended the reception hosted
by British Ambassador Matthew Gould and his wife, Celia, in honor of the Diamond
Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, could not help but notice the artwork and other
decorations along the fence as they stood in line outside the residence waiting
their turn for their names to be checked off on the guest list. They were the
contribution of Chimes Israel and Akim, nonprofit organizations that provide for
the needs of physically and/or mentally challenged children and
The Goulds, together with the staff of the British Embassy,
decided to launch a volunteer project together with Chimes professional staff.
What this means in essence is that embassy staff will be encouraged to volunteer
for up to half a day each month at one of the Chimes centers in Tel Aviv.
Volunteers can choose activities with which they feel most comfortable, such as
playing with children, helping in the garden or helping with marketing,
translating or fund-raising or anything else that Chimes does.
inside the residence were a series of crowns – some of them decidedly
untraditional – that were created by students of Shenkar College.
100 people, including public figures and leaders of the business community,
congregated on the roof of the Green House in Tel Aviv to bid farewell to the
swifts, which are migrating from the city until next spring. Swifts are
fast-flying birds and cannot tolerate cold temperatures. Their preference is for
They return to Tel Aviv at the same time each year to
build their nests and produce new chicks.
Hosting the farewell flight
were Ronen and Alon Azouri, joint directors of Azouri Brothers; and Amnon Hahn,
chairman of the Friends of the Swifts in Israel. Among the well-known
personalities who said bon voyage to the swifts were Tel Aviv City Council
member Yael Dayan; Gen. (res.) Doron Almog; Prof. Yossi Leshem; former
broadcaster Miki Haimovich and Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur.
TO his death last year, philanthropist Sammy Ofer, who grew up in Haifa and
maintained an abiding affection for the city of his youth, donated $25 million
to the Rambam Medical Center for the construction of an underground hospital to
ensure that patients would not be vulnerable to attacks from across the northern
border. Last week, the underground wing that bears his name was officially
inaugurated in the presence of his widow, Aviva Ofer; his sons Eyal and Idan and
their wives; Udi Angel, the former husband of Sammy Ofer’s niece Liora, who has
remained heavily entrenched in the Ofer business enterprises; Haifa Mayor Yona
Yahav; Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman; and outgoing CEO of Bank Leumi
Galia Maor, among many others.
Sammy Ofer was a generous benefactor to
many institutions. A few months before his death, he attended the inauguration
of the Sammy Ofer Heart Tower at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv; and before that,
he donated $7 million to the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. His
donations to all three medical centers were in excess of $77 million.
TEL AVIV Hilton director Ronnie Fortis is an avid chess fan who was glued to the
television screen during the grueling world championship matches between Israeli
chess grandmaster Boris Gelfand and Viswanathan Anand, his friend and rival who
succeeded in retaining the title. Fortis invited Gelfand to visit the Hilton,
which he did this week. After telling him with what enthusiasm he had watched
every move in the games, Fortis presented him with a kit for the frequent
traveler so it would be easier for him to pack his luggage when flying to future
Among Gelfand’s other fans are Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu, who has played against him; Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky,
who has also played against him; and Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom the
Minsk-born Gelfand – who was junior chess champion of the Soviet Union – met in
Moscow at the end of last month. The two may meet up again during Putin’s
upcoming lightning visit to Israel for the unveiling in Netanya of the monument
to Jewish soldiers who fought in the Red Army during World War II.