Many jews who don’t necessarily observe the Sabbath, in one way or another
observe Yom Kippur. In most cases, this is a private matter between the
individual and his or her creator.
But when it comes to people like Avram
Grant, the former coach of the national soccer team and the current manager of
Britain’s West Ham United, it enters the public domain and becomes headline news
on the sports pages of major British dailies.
Although this is not the
first time that Yom Kippur has fallen on Saturday, it is the first time that it
fell on a day that clashed with Grant’s obligations as a team manager. Grant has
certain lines that he will not cross for any football team or any football game.
One, as the son of a Holocaust survivor, is his annual participation in the
March of the Living, and the other is choosing the synagogue over the soccer
field on Yom Kippur.
He wasn’t the only Israeli sporting personality who
made that choice. West Ham’s talented and greatly admired defender Tal Ben-Haim,
who is currently on loan to the team, also put faith ahead of soccer and did not
play in last Saturday’s game against Stoke City, which ended in a 1:1
■ BRITISH AMBASSADOR-designate Matthew Gould, whose status is not
yet entirely official, has made the trip to Jerusalem to present his credentials
to the Foreign Ministry, but will be able to drop the designate from his title
only on October 5, when he presents his letters of credence to President Shimon
Peres. Gould and his wife Celia attended Yom Kippur services at Beit Daniel in
Tel Aviv, but on the morning before Kol Nidre made a point of visiting with
Aviva and Noam Schalit at their tent around the corner from the official
residence of the prime minister.
Prior to that, Gould had a busy week
meeting embassy staff and section members for whose families he and his wife
hosted a barbecue at their Ramat Gan residence. Their first official reception
was a dinner celebrating scientific and academic cooperation between the UK and
Israel and the second year of BIRAX, the British Israel Research and Academic
Exchange. As if this were not enough in the first week of his arrival, Gould
visited with political, business and media personalities and participated in a
Q&A on the embassy’s Facebook. Not only is he the first British Jew to serve
as ambassador here, but before completing his first year, he and his wife will
become parents to a sabra baby. They are expecting their first child in
■ RELATIONS WITH Poland are constantly improving. Yet another
example is the opening at the beginning of October of a Polish Consulate in
Haifa in tandem with the appointment of Oded Feller as honorary consul. The
event will take place under the auspices of Polish Ambassador Agnieszka
Magdziak-Miszewska and Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav.
JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:
■ POLISH AND Israeli
diplomats, former diplomats and academics agreed this week that the relationship
between their two countries is unlike that of any other bilateral relationship
either country enjoys.
Speaking at Jerusalem’s Inbal Hotel at the opening
of the conference marking 20 years of the resumption of bilateral relations,
Prof. Shlomo Avineri, addressing participants in his capacity as a former
directorgeneral of the Foreign Ministry, said that it was very difficult to
write the history of Poland without recognizing the Jewish component on every
level. So much Jewish history since the Middle Ages has focused on the
Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth and so much of Israel’s political structure is
based on traditions coming from Poland, he said. On a personal level, he added,
relations between the two countries were important to him because he was born in
Ambassador to Poland Zvi Rav-Ner, who was among the conference
participants, will be back next month, not in a diplomatic capacity but as
father of the groom to attend the wedding of his son.
conference event was dedicated to the local launch, at the Menachem Begin
Heritage Center, of a book Rafal Lemkin: A Hero of Humankind published by the
Polish Institute. Rafal Lemkin, a Polish-born Jew, was a brilliant lawyer who
managed to escape to Sweden and then to the US during the early years of World
War II. With the exception of his brother, his entire family was
It was Lemkin who coined the word “genocide.” He also
drafted the UN resolution for a convention on the prevention and punishment of
the crime of genocide. Unfortunately he died before the treaty was
Dr. Agnieszka Bienczyk- Missala who co-edited the book said
Lemkin was her hero, but confessed that as a high school student she had never
heard of him until assigned to do an in depth project on genocide. When she
learned of his work in initiating human rights laws, she was amazed that he had
all but disappeared from the annals of history. That lacuna was amended, at
least as far as Poland was concerned, by Adam Daniel Rotfeld, a former Polish
minister for foreign affairs. The two, along with political scientist Yehonatan
Alsheh, discussed Lemkin’s aims and achievements.
Veteran journalist Lily
Eylon, who had actually met Lemkin when she was a young correspondent working at
the UN, was critical of the fact that only his work was being honored instead of
the man himself.
Despite the fact that he held important legal positions
in America, Lemkin was completely impoverished, but dedicated to having his
convention accepted. Eylon remembered him buttonholing various diplomats in the
corridors of the UN and attempting to persuade them to vote in favor of it. She
was upset that no street here has been named after so great a man.
OUTGOING GOVERNMENT Press Office director Daniel Seaman, who completes his
decade-long tenure at the end of this month, is currently mulling over offers
from various government offices and is in no great hurry to make a decision.
Meanwhile, he’ll unofficially bid farewell to foreign journalists with whom he
has been in close contact at a memorial for Conny Mus, the late chairman of the
Foreign Press Association, to be held on October 4 at Jerusalem Capital
■ AMONG THOSE who came to the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem
to honor the memory of the late Delysia Jayson were people who had worked with
her in the 35s in London at the height of the struggle for Soviet Jewry, and
many more who had worked with her here after she founded Keren Klita, a
welcoming outreach project that gave new immigrants from the former Soviet Union
a sense of belonging. Several of the beneficiaries of Keren Klita were also
Jayson sacrificed her legal career to become and to persuade
others to become the extended families of these immigrants who often arrived
with little more than could be packed into a single suitcase.
raised money and also persuaded people to donate furniture, clothing and
household items. She also organized Jewish identity programs, assistance for
youth at risk, navigation of the bureaucracy, tutoring, job retraining and even
The extent of her influence and inspiration was reflected in
the large number of people in the audience including Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich,
who in 1972 had been captured as a member of a group that planned to hijack a
plane in Leningrad and fly to Israel.
Mendelevich who had known Jayson
well sat and listened to the many tributes that were paid to her, absorbing
stories of her kindness, her tenacity, her determination not to abandon Soviet
Jews, her three journeys to the Soviet Union, her participation in
demonstrations outside the Soviet embassy in London, her familiarity with the
personal stories of Russian immigrants, some of whom she had never met, and
said: “I was aware, but now I am overwhelmed by the capacity of Keren Klita’s
■ IN THE days when he played professional basketball, Tal
Brody often did a remarkable juggling act on the court, but last week he did
even better, juggling commitments and responsibilities. Brody is chairman of the
Spirit of Israel, a nonprofit subsidiary of the Jewish Agency that creates
awareness of the social agenda and raises funds from the public to finance
social needs. It was in that capacity that he came to the elegant Herzliya
Pituah home of Doreen Gainsford to toast the new year with the Lions of Judah,
which in the US represents women who contribute $5,000 a year or more to the
United Jewish Communities and which here is affiliated with Keren Hayesod.
Israeli women are asked to contribute at least NIS 6,000 a year of their own
It doesn’t have to be in one fell swoop, says Dale Ophir, who
chairs Lions of Judah Israel. Anyone earning a decent salary can afford NIS 500
a month, she says, and there are many women who give much more. The funds go to
help women and girls in distress, giving them the tools to improve their lives.
Lions of Judah has been involved in numerous projects with the Spirit of Israel,
which is why Brody tore himself away from the IDC’s annual international
conference on counterterrorism which was between sessions.
explained that the reason he was attending the conference was because last July
the government appointed him as a goodwill ambassador and that he would soon be
going on his first mission to North America to address students and faculty
staff at Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts and other academic
institutions. Brody complimented the women on their strong sense of volunteerism
and said that few things gave him more pleasure than going to Jewish Agency
youth villages and seeing the transformation in youngsters at
Hebrew speakers were treated to a lecture by Dr. Shelly Goldberg,
who spoke about renewal and punctuated her remarks with intriguing,
untranslatable word plays based on the juxtaposition of letters in words related
to year, beginning, creation, new and anything else that could be associated
with renewal and a new year.
Violin virtuoso Sanya Kroytor, who looks
like a gypsy, and plays with the joy and intensity associated with gypsies, held
the women in thrall as he played some of his own compositions as well his own
arrangements of compositions by others.
■ CARTOONS HAVE more anti-
Semitic content than many people realize. Internationally syndicated cartoonist
Yaakov Kirschen, who began his career at The Jerusalem Post in January 1973, now
teaches a seminar at Yale. While researching material for it and looking through
more than a century of cartoons, he realized that regardless of where or when
the cartoons were drawn, they contained a series of codes that stereotype,
dehumanize and demonize specific groups of people. In the case of Jews, they are
also zoomorphic. In all, there are 33 codes which Kirschen has compiled. Other
cartoonists were not aware of the codes until he shared the information with
them – and then they went into shock at the realization, Kirschen told an
audience at the OU Center in Jerusalem this week.
Just as cartoons are
often used to spread anti-Semitism, Kirschen now uses them to fight
anti-Semitism, partially by making people more conscious of the powerful secret
codes they contain, simply because an image remains in the brain much longer
than the spoken word.
■ HE’S NOT the oldest new immigrant, but Phil
Gilbert, who came with Nefesh B’Nefesh in July 2008, is probably the most active
new immigrant of his age. He adjusted rapidly and became a volunteer with the
Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel. He shares the Jerusalem home
of his daughter and son-in-law Dorraine and Barry Weiss, who on Sunday
celebrated his 90th birthday with a surprise party attended by close to 70
people. Gilbert could not believe that so many people had come to join him on
this special day. He also received two special presents. One was a new great
grandson, Israel Noah Neckamayer, presented to him by his grandson Aaron
Neckamayer and his wife Abigail who live in Betar Illit. The other was the
arrival from the US of Aaron’s brother Lee.
The main birthday present
that he received from his daughter was a return flight to the US so that he can
also celebrate his birthday with other members of his family. The new baby,
known as Noah, was named for the late Rabbi Noah Weinberg, the founder of the
Aish Hatorah network of yeshivot and outreach programs.
discovered his Jewish identity at Aish Hatorah and is now among the rabbis on
the teaching staff.
■ MOST WOMEN who take maternity leave divorce
themselves from their places of work for the duration. Not so Ayelet Frish, the
spokeswoman for President Shimon Peres, who is in daily contact with Beit
Hanassi and keeps her finger on the pulse of developments.
up at Beit Hanassi last week for the visit by US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton to moderate the press conference.
She brought her infant
daughter, then not quite a month old, and had no trouble finding a temporary
Every member of the senior staff wanted to give the infant a
■ THE ANNUAL open house at the Beit Hanassi succa will take place
on Monday between 9 a.m. and 12 noon.
While previous presidents used to
welcome guests in the afternoon as well as in the morning, Peres’s staff does
not want to place any additional stress on him. He is currently in the US
meeting with world leaders, Jewish community leaders and the media, and will
require a little rest when he returns home and gets ready for his big meeting
with the public and the many tourists who flock to Beit Hanassi every year
during the festival of Succot. This year’s Open House event will be held in
cooperation with the ministries of Industry, Trade and Labor, Agriculture, and
Science and Technology under whose auspices there will be various exhibits and
Families and individuals will have fun with interactive
robots and multimedia presentations.
There will also be photo exhibits
and a display of recently developed agricultural produce and products,
alternative energy and more.
Dancers and singers will perform throughout
the morning with actress Galit Giat as emcee.There will also be a special area
in which families can be photographed, with the photos being immediately
uploaded to Facebook.
■ FOR THREE days during the intermediate days of
Succot (September 26, 27 and 28) the Begin Center will offer special tours in
Hebrew in honor of the 150th anniversary year of the founding of Mishkenot
Sha’ananim, the first Jewish neighborhood outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old
City, now part of a larger neighborhood known as Yemin Moshe. Tours will begin
at the center and along the way, participants will “meet” Sir Moses Montefiore,
the founder of Mishkenot Sha’ananim, and Avraham Kirshenbaum, a member of the
Jewish underground, who single-handedly defended the Yemin Moshe neighborhood
and was killed by a British sniper.The tour will conclude with a conversation
about life in Yemin Moshe with Avraham’s sister Pnina Kirshenbaum, a life-long
resident of the neighborhood.
JERUSALEM attractions will not come to an
end after Succot and the summer are over.
Following the summer success of
free events such as Thursday night concerts in the Mamilla Mall, Monday night
concerts in the Mahaneh Yehuda market and many other concert series in other
places, comes a new form of free entertainment to usher in the
Under the word play heading of Jerusalem Knights, this magical
experience in the Old City will take spectators back in time to the Middle Ages.
Anyone who ventures inside the walls and traverses the alleyways will encounter
brave knights, ornately gowned princesses, the legendary magician Merlin,
jesters from the royal court and many other fabled creatures.
back in time will also introduce the wider public to music from another long
forgotten era, dazzling fire shows, spectacular dance performances, juggling
acts, acrobatics and theater. The project initiated by the Jerusalem Development
Authority in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Tourism Ministry
and the Jerusalem Municipality has been produced by the Ariel Municipal
Reuven Pinsky, who heads the Old City department of the
Jerusalem Development Authority, says that Jerusalem Knights is part of a
strategic effort to enrich the city’s night life through the investment in
cultural events that will not only entertain, but will enhance the public’s
appreciation of the performing email@example.com
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