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Sunday, February 15
SUPERSONIC BOOMS is the subject of a lecture in Hebrew on shock waves, explosions and incendiary bombs. Prof. Asa Lifshitz of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will speak at 5 p.m. at the Wise Auditorium, Edmond J. Safra campus at Givat Ram. The lecture is part of the "Why?" series of lectures and musical programs sponsored by the Hebrew University Authority for Community and Youth. Admission is free.
THE OPENING ceremony of the 24th Jerusalem International Book Fair and Jerusalem Prize Award will take place at the Jerusalem International Convention Center at 6 p.m., in the presence of President Shimon Peres and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. This year's laureate is Haruki Murakami of Japan. The opening event is by invitation only. The fair will continue until Friday. It includes daily programs for children and adults, with the participation of authors from many countries and in the presence of ambassadors from those countries. Some of the programs will be in foreign languages.
THE HANASSI Synagogue Young Israel Rehavia Congregation in Jerusalem will host a lecture by Dr. Rael Strous, director of the Be'er Ya'acov Mental Health Center's Chronic Inpatient Unit and associate professor and director of the New York State/American Program at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, who will speak on Hitler's Psychiatrists: Healers and Researchers Turned Executioners and What Happened to the Jewish Mentally Ill.
Several powerful and influential doctors who provided the energy, scientific expertise and legitimacy for the process leading to Nazi crimes against humanity gained professional prominence in Germany. These psychiatrists played a critical role in the genocide, viewing individuals with mental illness as "life not worth living." Psychiatrists involved included highly intelligent, distinguished and respected leaders from the field, many with respected international reputations.
The question of how highly educated medical professionals came to participate in these crimes remains unresolved. Several explanations may be suggested. The Nazi view of Jewish mentally ill patients was unique in that they embodied both "hazardous genes" and "racial toxin." Strous, who has engaged in extensive research into the fate of the Jewish mentally ill, will describe intriguing ethical dilemmas.
Monday, February 16
THE ANNUAL Itzhak "Elitzur" Friedman Lecture will be delivered by Prof. Moshe Arens, whose research into the role of Betar in the Warsaw ghetto uprising has shed new light on the history of that period and has resulted in recognition by the Polish authorities of the heroism of Betar leader Pavel Frankel. It is sponsored by the Friedman Family, in conjunction with the Begin Heritage Center, and will be in English at 6 p.m.
AN ACADEMIC launch of Dr. Galia Sabar's new book We Didn't Come to Stay, detailing the bureaucratic and other hardships endured by Africans working in Israel, will take place at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in the Rotem Hall of the Students House at 4 p.m. The book will be discussed from various academic perspectives by scholars from BGU and Tel Aviv University. Also commenting on the book will be Alusine Swaray, from Sierra Leone, who is director of the African Workers Union in Israel. The event will be opened by Tamar Golan, a former ambassador to Angola who currently teaches in BGU's African Studies Department.
CONCERN WITH image is an Israeli preoccupation, but the three-day conference being held at TAU is not about how Israel's image is perceived in the world, but how a subject is seen by a portraitist. The conference will include some 40 presentations in 14 sessions. One session will be devoted to Israeli portraiture from 1920 to 1950 and the theatrical influences of dress and movement. It will be held in the Yolanda and David Katz Faculty of Arts building.
Tuesday, February 17
THE INTERNATIONAL Renewable Energy Conference will take place at Eilat's Herod's Hotel over three days. The conference offers government decision makers, leaders of commerce, scientists, bankers and investors an opportunity to share information and take measures toward a post-fossil-fuel economy. The conference will focus on formulating strategies to fight the global energy crisis. Examples of successful industrial or governmental strategies will be presented. Networking will be conducive to transforming specific threats into business opportunities. The event will enable participants from abroad to get acquainted with Israel's burgeoning clean-tech industry, driven by more than 600 start-ups and enterprises.
ISRAEL'S WATER crisis has prompted the Kinneret Academic College in the Jordan Valley to organize an urgent conference on Water Policy. It is at the initiative of Prof. Ya'acov Bar, dean of KAC's School of Engineering. The conference will begin at 9 a.m. at Beit Gavriel on the shores of the Kinneret. Experts on water will discuss the crisis from a variety of aspects. Among the participants will be Prof. Uri Shani, head of the Water Authority; Noah Kinarty, former advisor on water to the prime minister and the defense minister; Dan Peri, former director-general of the Nature Protection Authority; Prof. Hanoch Lavee, president of KAC; and Australian Ambassador James Larsen, who will compare Australia's policy with that of Israel. Advance registration is required. To register contact Nurit Boger-Yanai at (04) 665-3762; e-mail email@example.com; or directly through the KAC Web site www.kinneret.ac.il.
THE ANNUAL three-day conference of the Israel Landscape and Gardening Association will take place at Eilat's Princess Hotel. Gardening and the Environmental Crisis will be the central theme. The conference will be accompanied by a flower exhibition in a modern landscape setting.
Wednesday, February 18
UP UNTIL Election Day the electronic and print media focused ad nauseam on election campaigns, statements by party leaders and the results of pollsters' surveys. But it isn't over yet. In the post-election period - at least until the formation of a government - the media and politically oriented organizations and institutions will come up with umpteen coalition scenarios and lots of guesswork as to who will occupy ministerial positions, and whether new positions will have to be created to accommodate the demands of coalition partners.
There will also be considerable public debate about where the peace process is going, responses to the Iranian threat, relations with US government, et al. IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, has invited Yossi Alpher, co-editor of the Bitterlemons.org Family of Internet Publications, and Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, to discuss "The Israel Elections and the Peace Process." The event will take place at Jerusalem's Ambassador Hotel at 3 p.m.
YAIR - A memorial evening devoted to Lechi founder Avraham "Yair" Stern, who was shot by a British officer in 1942, corresponding with the Hebrew calendar date of Shvat 25, will be held at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. The event will be in Hebrew and will include a lecture, interviews, films and underground songs. According to the Begin Heritage Center, the event is fully booked. For people who don't mind sitting on the stairs, it will be a chance to get swept up in the emotions of some of the people who fought the British Mandate authorities.
Thursday, February 19
THE ISRAEL Ireland Friendship League, in association with the English Department of the Open University, will host Marilyn Taylor, award-winning author of Irish historical novels of Jewish interest. She will discuss an author's perspective of Jewish Ireland. Taylor, who lives in Dublin, will be in Israel for the Jerusalem International Book Fair. Her lecture will commence at 8.00 p.m. in the Neudorfer Auditorium of the Open University, 108 Ravutski Street, Ra'anana. The lecture will be accompanied by the screening of the documentary Banks of the Liffey, which contains rare historical footage of Dublin Jewish community life.
Saturday, February 21
THE JERUSALEM Great Synagogue's monthly Saturday night lecture series will deal with what the future holds after the elections. The speaker will be Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. His address will incorporate both the American and the Israeli elections. The event begins at 8 p.m. Admission is free.