• AUSTRALIANS USUALLY prefer Australian rules football to soccer, but many of those permanently or temporarily in Israel right now got together at two venues – one in Jerusalem and the other in Tel Aviv – to cheer the Socceroos in the World Cup, to down a few beers and to fly the Australian flag, as well as the green and gold colors of Australia’s national sports teams – not to be confused with those of South Africa. In Jerusalem, at the initiative of Aussie olim Elise Best, Danny Brill, Aryeh Gluck and Iain Levy, screenings were organized at Hagov Sports Bar, otherwise known as the Lion’s Den in Nahalat Shiva.

    It was Germany last Sunday, and the Socceroos got a painful beating. It’s Ghana this coming Saturday and Serbia on Wednesday June 23. The Tel Aviv venue is the Arthur Irish Bar and Beer Garden at Hangar 23 on the Tel Aviv Port. Aussie T-shirts were on sale, and proceeds went to Jewish Hearts for Africa, a nonprofit organization that brings sustainable technologies to rural African villages.

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  • DURING THE Board of Governors meeting last week, the Hebrew University  honored its associate vice president Eliahu Honig, who has been with the university for 54 years. The Melbourne-born Honig came to Israel in 1950 for the Third Maccabiah Games as a one-man Australian team. He competed in tennis and didn’t do too badly. He returned to Australia to complete his studies and made aliya in 1955. He joined the university soon after his arrival – and he’s still there!


  • STUDENTS AT the religiously oriented Sha’arei Hamishpat Law School in Hod Hasharon get a good grounding in both civil and Jewish law, but it’s not every day that they get a chance to discuss some of the finer points of Jewish law with one of the chief rabbis. This week, together with Rabbi Avihai Katzin of Ra’anana, they were the guests of Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar at his office in Jerusalem.

    Amar spoke about the challenges confronting them in their future roles as lawyers who seek a balance between business and Halacha. While in Jerusalem, the students also visited the splendid Belz synagogue and the Eretz Hemdat Kollel. Katzin said the tour symbolized the unique quality of Sha’arei Hamishpat, which gives the next generation of jurists the tools to use in both the civil and religious courts.

  • INDEPENDENTLY OF City Hall’s determination to bring more cultural events to Jerusalem, the Ginot Ha’ir Community Council, which represents the neighborhoods of Rehavia, Talbiyeh, the German and Greek colonies, Katamon, Kiryat Shmuel and Nayot, decided to bring some Friday culture to Rehavia and enlisted the services of well-known multilingual singer Betty Klein, who accompanies herself on a variety of instruments. It was a traveling road show, with Klein performing throughout the morning and part of the afternoon in different sections of Rehavia.

    Performances by other entertainers are also scheduled for today and next Friday.

  • A JERUSALEM Municipality take on Sallah Shabati has been officially approved, though it’s doubtful whether the Committee for Approving Street Names was aware of the connection. At least two of the city’s streets will have name changes so they can be renamed after famous rabbis. The two deceased spiritual leaders to be honored are Rabbis Yitzhak Barashi, whose name will go on what used to be Rehov Hayarkon in Nahlaot, and Rabbi Yosef Kapach, whose name will put paid to Rehov Lod.

    The committee had also planned to split Rehov Habukharim and name part of it after kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, but it yielded to protests by neighborhood residents who said that such a move would only create havoc.

  • AFTER 23 years of active membership in the Hazvi Yisrael congregation, Rabbi Eddie Abramson and his wife, Miriam, are leaving because they are moving out of the neighborhood. At a kiddush that the synagogue board held in their honor last Shabbat, Miriam Abramson was telling people that she realized when packing and discarding how much nostalgia is fading from our lives. She gave all her children the material pertaining to them specifically, such as their school report cards, but there were boxes of greeting cards, thank-you notes and other messages penned by numerous senders that she could not bear to throw away. The art of writing and of keeping written messages is disappearing, she said. “Today you send an e-mail – and nobody keeps those for very long.”

  • GROWING UP in Jerusalem and being one of the key representatives of the capital’s Bohemian society, veteran television personality, bar proprietor and accordionist Dan Biran has acquired a huge number of friends and acquaintances, which may be a mixed blessing. Biran, who made a more than unsuccessful bid for mayor in the last elections, is known to have a short fuse.

    When he worked in Israel Television and was a union leader, he once physically assaulted then director-general Uri Porat. The fuse was equally short a couple of years back when he attacked municipal inspectors who were trying to slap him with a fine for setting up tables and chairs on the sidewalk near his bar without a permit. The matter went to court, but the case has been dragging on for far too long. The reason: Three magistrate’s court judges have recused themselves on the grounds that they know the accused.

  • QUESTION: WHAT is the link between geriatrics and aerospace medicine?
    Answer: Dr. Yehezkel Caine, director of the Sarah Herzog Memorial Hospital for geriatric and mental health care.

    Caine was this year’s recipient of the Won Chuel Kay Award for his contributions to international aerospace medicine. The award, sponsored by the Korean Aerospace Medical Association, was presented last month in Arizona.

    Caine is well known internationally and is highly respected. He has been most effective in collaborations in aerospace medicine policy and has been a guest lecturer at various professional forums worldwide. He is president of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine.

    While serving as chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine, Caine established a new format, procedures, and protocols for peer review that improved the scientific content of the program and led to collaboration with other European aerospace medicine organizations to improve their academic programs.

  • JUST RECENTLY Dana Olmert, the gay daughter of former prime minister Ehud Olmert and his wife, Aliza, became the biological mother of a baby girl. Her life partner, Daphi Bar-Zvi, is also the biological mother of a little girl, who has now been given the role of big sister.
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