A presidential 'Thank You'

Latent artist Sara Stern, 78, who lives at Protea Village, a five-star retirement facility, has long been an admirer of President Shimon Peres.

October 25, 2007 10:28
4 minute read.
peres metro feet 88 224

peres metro feet 88 224. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Latent artist Sara Stern, 78, who lives at Protea Village, a five-star retirement facility, has long been an admirer of President Shimon Peres. Following his election she got in touch with Beit Hanassi to offer a portrait that she had painted of him. It was duly sent to Jerusalem, and she was invited to meet the president who expressed his appreciation for the gift that was the product of her creativity. Of the 31 members of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa City Council, few are seen as frequently as Shelly Hoshen, who was elected on a Power to the Senior Citizens ticket. Hoshen is the chairperson of the municipal Tourism Committee and a member of the Assets, Real Estate Allocation, Tel Aviv's Finest, Finance and International Relations committees. Aside from attending numerous meetings, Hoshen is on the guest list of almost every diplomat and of dozens of organizations. With all the commitment that she has to City Hall, the sum total of her interests there cannot compete with her devotion to Yad B'Yad (Hand in Hand), the organization that she founded 25 years ago on behalf of needy children from dysfunctional families. The organization over which Hoshen presides maintains several "warm homes in different parts of the country," to which the children come after school to receive hot meals and do their homework with the help of tutors. Hoshen has also established several Yad B'Yad support groups abroad, and last week held a gala 25th anniversary celebration at the premises of The Council for a Beautiful Israel. What most people don't know about Hoshen is that she is a survivor of Auschwitz. Rather than allow herself to be haunted by that experience, she has devoted her life to helping the less fortunate. Most people who know Zelda Harris know her either as the former Israel representative of BIPAC or as an ardent campaigner for road safety, but there are some who still remember her as a member of the famed 35s, a group of British Jewish women who staged highly publicized demonstrations on behalf of their Jewish brethren in what was then the Soviet Union. Their efforts were among the most powerful factors in the struggle for Soviet Jewry. Harris and many other members of the 35s subsequently came on aliya, and will reunite next Tuesday at Beth Hatefutsoth to mark the 40th anniversary of the start of the struggle, which began in 1967 in the aftermath of the Six Day War when Soviet Jews regained their Zionist aspirations. The event will include an exhibition under the title "Jews of Struggle" - which illustrates the Jewish National Movement in the USSR. Natan Sharansky, whose name was one of the most widely known at the time, and who paid dearly for his courage in resisting the Soviet authorities, did not fade into oblivion after he came to Israel - as did many of his contemporaries who were well-known activists, refuseniks and Prisoners of Zion. Sharansky became a government minister and is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Beth Hatefutsoth. The public orations, of which there will be at least five, will not be anywhere near as interesting as the private reminiscences between those who were part of the struggle on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Cameri Theater actors went backstage - well not actually backstage, but into the kitchen of the Comme il Faut Restaurant in the Tel Aviv Port - to help chef Hadassa Wolf prepare a gala dinner for a fund-raiser for Sadaka Reut, an Arab-Jewish youth organization in Jaffa. Among the guests were Comme il Faut CEO Sybil Goldfiner, Friends of Cameri chairperson Liora Ofer, Cameri Theater Director Noam Semel and his wife Nava who is a well known writer, jewelry designer Aya Azrielant, investor and promoter of the arts - particularly cinema arts - Galia Albin, playwrights Amnon Levi and Rami Danon, and several other well known personalities. The Tel Aviv Port with its many and ever-increasing catering and entertainment outlets is becoming one of the most popular venues for events of almost every description. It's no novelty for Shenkar College when one of its students or graduates wins a prize in an international fashion design contest - still every win brings with it a little new excitement. So everyone at Shenkar was thrilled for Karin Darsa when she was awarded 2,000 Euros and an internship with Elio Fiorucci for a mixed collection that she presented in the Mittlelmoda 2007 competitions. At one stage it seemed as if Darsa was going to miss out, but then an extra last-minute prize - The Love Therapy Award - was added to the many that were presented to contestants from around the world. Darsa's whimsical offerings appealed to the adjudicators and resulted in yet another triumph for Shenkar. Australian Ambassador James Larsen hosted a reception last Friday for members of the Australian Light Horse Association who are in Israel to participate in the 90th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Beersheba, in which the Australian Light Horse Brigade played such a decisive role in the defeat of the Turkish forces. Although the Bible contains many exceptions, in Biblical times the life span was considered to be three score and ten. Whereas that was regarded old as recently as a decade or two ago, this is no longer the case. Israel Prize laureate A.B. Yehoshua celebrated his 70th birthday recently, and the festivities included a tribute at Mediatech Holon, where Haim Beer, Alon Abutbul and others talked about him and read from his works. In an interview with Israel Radio, Yehoshua said that 70 was just another station in life - especially when you have an active President of the State who's 84. He certainly didn't see 70 as a retirement age, and pointed out that writers don't retire, they just go to their desks and write some more.

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