This week in Jerusalem: Deep breath

As of September, no vehicles that pollute the air will be allowed to circulate in the city center.

June 20, 2019 13:07
4 minute read.
This week in Jerusalem: Deep breath

A BROADWAY producter’s philanthropic foundation has made a generous donation to the Khan Theater.. (photo credit: PICTURED: BROADWAY BILLBOARDS IN NEW YORK CITY’S TIME SQUARE; BROADWAY TOUR/FLICKR))


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Deep breath
As of September, no vehicles that pollute the air will be allowed to circulate in the city center. This is the result of intensive work done by city council member Dr. Laura Wharton (Meretz) to obtain the necessary budget for this project. The plan is to extend the new ordinance to the whole city soon, and to offer a subsidy to cars owners to upgrade their vehicles to non-diesel. As of September, diesel vehicles will not be permitted in the city center. The project is financed and promoted by the Environmental Protection Ministry. The cost of the project is NIS 10 million. More than 100 cameras are to be installed across the city to monitor and stop violations of the new ordinance. Some of these cameras are to be used also to enhance the security in sensitive neighborhoods, such as East Talpiot.

Generosity on stage
The Khan Theater has received a generous donation from the New York-based Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation. The ceremony marking the $300,000 donation from the philanthropic foundation – founded by Broadway producer Jeffrey Sellers and partner Josh Lehrer, a prominent photographer and documentarist – was held last week in the Khan’s picturesque courtyard, which was named after the renowned American theater producer Manny Azenberg for his 30 years of generous support for Israel, during which he brought more than 600 Americans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, from the Broadway theaters and productions to visit the country and get to know it better, including the local theater scene – or as he put it, “to get to know the real Israel.”
Azenberg said that it was his aim all these years to ensure that “the show business community in the USA would have an opportunity to see and understand Israel beyond what appears on the news and TV.” He told about his own father, who dreamed about making aliyah but never realized his dream, and added that now that his name is engraved on a bench in the Khan courtyard, it seems that this dream is finally, in a way, accomplished.
Elisheva Mazya, executive director of the Khan, said the generous grant will be used, in the spirit of the Azenbergs, “to raise awareness of the culture and arts of Israel.”

Water, water
Jerusalem is about to get a water reservoir that will ensure a steady supply of water for the coming years. The expected rise in the number of residents and consequent increased water needs, especially in the new business area at the entrance to the city, required a prompt and serious answer. The new reservoir, the 19th in the city, will be equipped with all the modern devices and pumps, at the cost of NIS 65 million (provided by the Hagihon Company). The new reservoir will be built under the Kraft Family Stadium in Sacher Park.

Young and gifted
Yelena Rothenberg has been awarded the 2019 Osnat Moses prize for a young artist. The Jerusalem Artists House chose Rothenberg for her accomplishments in the arts of drawing and painting. She will receive a NIS 10,000 grant and will be rewarded with a solo exhibition of her works at the House’s gallery, which will open on September 7. Her works attracted the attention of the jury for her capacity to express, through her art, typical situations in Israeli society. Rothenberg was born in Russia in 1991, made aliyah in 1993, and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art from Shenkar College and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, respectively.

On the eastern front
Despite many objections from archaeologists, architects and Arab residents, the National Infrastructures Committee last week approved the cable car project, planned to link the First Station to the Western Wall, eliminating the need to stroll through the Old City. The plan was fast-tracked through the committee, presented by authorities as a public transportation project to facilitate access to the Western Wall and Old City, channeling thousands of people a day and diverting tourists from the traditional Old City entry points via Jaffa and Damascus gates, which will be a blow to the Palestinian businesses from one of their main sources of income.
Another plan presented to the district planning and construction committee is the Uziya Promenade, designed to connect the Beit Hahoshen Jewish compound with the Beit Orot Yeshiva, both located on the Mount of Olives in the Arab neighborhood of E-Tur, a full-length promenade intended to extend into the Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery.
Objections to this project were submitted by Arab residents and by the Custody of the Holy Land, which asserts that the plans will require expropriation of land owned by the Catholic Church. An additional session at the District Committee has been scheduled for June 25 to allow those who have submitted objections to respond before the committee makes its final decision on the plans’ approval.

Special and loved
A special token was given earlier this week to Raphael Cohen for his extraordinary efforts to promote the integration of disabled persons in activities on all levels of society. Cohen, who has Down’s syndrome, is a graduate of Shalva, a national organization that supports the needs of the disabled. This token is given to those who, despite their handicaps, work to help other disabled to develop their abilities to reach the highest level possible of integration in society.

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