IRREPRESSIBLE TELEVISION personality and author New York-based Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who is best known as a sexologist who says exactly what's on her mind, is back in Israel and will lecture in English at the Hebrew University's Raphael Magid Auditorium in the Faculty of Medicine on the Ein Kerem campus at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Westheimer, who lived in Israel for several years before moving to the US, is also fluent in Hebrew.
EVEN THOUGH there are more than 50,000 members of the Rivlin family scattered throughout Israel and beyond, there are actually some Rivlins who, until relatively recently, thought themselves to be the only Rivlins in the world. At the family's highly publicized reunion in Jerusalem last week, half a day was given to the screening of Rivlin family films at the Cinematheque, where filmmaker and journalist Lilly Rivlin was mistress of ceremonies. She had encouraged other family members to show films that they had made. One by brothers Jonathan and Joshua Rivlin of Baltimore illustrated how isolated they had felt among Baums, Goldbergs, Cohens and Levys with no other Rivlins that they knew of. Then one day a stranger turned up at their synagogue. His name was also Rivlin and he asked if there were any other Rivlins in town. Imagine the surprise of the Baltimore Rivlins when they learned just how large a family they had.
IT'S BEEN a long haul, but Zionist activist Jane Biran, the London-born wife of Yoav Biran, a former director general of the Foreign Ministry, has completed and published her first novel, Sophia's Version.
Talk about globalization. The author lives in Jerusalem. The book was published in America and launched in London last month. It's the story of hidden truths buried in the minds of five siblings when they attend the funeral of their mother. A fictionalized autobiography about a dysfunctional Jewish family evacuated during World War II, the book deals with the effect of the evacuation on each of the siblings and the relationship that each had with their parents. When she's not writing autobiographical fiction, Biran works as an adviser to an international charity supporting projects for children at risk, music and medical research in the UK, Israel, China, and in the former Soviet Union.
She has worked in public relations, journalism and fund-raising for the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, the British-Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Jerusalem Foundation whose liaison she was to Britain. She has written many articles and reports, and if all goes well, she'll soon start a second novel.
IN AN era of intense competition, it's not uncommon for people to bring work home from the office. But Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein goes one step further and takes his work with him wherever he goes. Rubinstein and his wife, Miriam, who are known to appreciate Yiddish humor, were invited by their friends eminent US attorney Nat Lewin and his wife Rikki to join them at the performance at the Jerusalem Theater of Yiddish fun Alle Zeitn (Yiddish from All Sides), featuring Mike Burstein and Lea Koenig. Rubinstein entered the theater carrying a heavy legal briefcase. He was still carrying it when he strolled out at intermission, and it was still firmly clasped in his hand when he returned to his seat.
REPEATED MORE than once in the Yom Kippur prayers is the plea to the Almighty "Forsake me not in old age." Melabev, the community club for eldercare, came into being to ensure that people in the twilight of their existence - especially those affected by various forms and degrees of dementia and Alzheimer's - would still have quality in their lives. Those intensely involved with Melabev, such as Prof. Arnold Rosin, former director of geriatric medicine at Shaare Zedek hospital, and geriatric social worker and freelance writer Leah Abramowitz, realized after the creation of Melabev in 1981 that there was a serious need for an enrichment program for English speakers. That program has been going on for several years in temporary premises, but last week the English speakers moved into their permanent premises on Derech Beit Lehem.
The opening was a gala occasion with the affixing of mezuzot, lots of song and music provided by international singer and musician Betty Klein, who is Melabev's music therapist, the presence of beneficiaries of Melabev's care, the volunteers who help professionals to give that care, staff members, the National Service corps and several of the donors who give generously to Melabev.
Proudly showing visitors around was Nancy Brown, who chairs and coordinates the volunteers and works as a therapist. Brown was one of this year's winners of the Jerusalem Prize, awarded annually to outstanding volunteers by the mayor of Jerusalem. It is not the first time that Melabev volunteers have been awarded the prize.
The new Melabev complex is a spacious single-story structure with a conference room, activity club, memory club, computer club, relaxation room, snoezelin room, beauty corner, large kitchen, laundry and toilets with wheelchair access. Among those celebrating the start of a new chapter in Melabev's history were Harvey Chesterman, who was rounding up people for Melabev's sixth annual walkathon in the Galilee on December 1-3; Harry Sapir, Dr. Roy Stern, Estelle Fink, Bernice Beare Rosenberg, Jane Klitsner, Joan Lavie, Ruth Harris, Ida Fry, Jan Sokolovsky, Bonnie Segal, Esther Klein, Izzy and Edie Davidowitz and dozens of others who care.
SPORTS ENTREPRENEUR and Jerusalem "goodwill ambassador" Guma Aguiar was in New York last week to try to drum up a little investor interest in the Betar Jerusalem Soccer Club and the Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club, both of which he rescued from the brink of bankruptcy. While in the Big Apple Aguiar, his wife Jamie and their three young children met up with Kristen Dalton, the current Miss USA, who Aguiar's daughter Lilly was convinced was Cinderella come to life. Aguiar invited Dalton to visit both the Holy Land and the Holy City. Dalton said she'd love to visit with the Aguiars and all Israelis and enthused that she'd always wanted to see the beautiful Holy Land. Meanwhile, the Aguiars are back in town. Aguiar was the key sponsor of the Second Presidential Conference, which brought a lot of the who's who to Jerusalem and helped to fill most of the luxury hotels.
WHEN ONE of the 20 richest men in the world and the richest man in France chooses to dine in a restaurant on Emek Refaim, it must have something going for it. Bernard Arnault, who owns the French business newspaper La Tribune and heads the multibillion-euro empire of LVMH, the holding company that inter alia controls brand names such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Moet Hennessy, Celine, Fendi and other luxury labels, paid a lightning visit to Israel with a group of male and female models whose faces and bodies help to promote Louis Vuitton merchandise. Aviram Dotan, the proprietor of Joy, who prides himself on his prowess in the kitchen, was a little daunted at being confronted with so many French palates but apparently rose to the challenge, proving in different ways how tantalizing entrecote steak can be, especially when accompanied by quality wines and champagne.