Grapevine: A dream come true

The number of buses lined up from the end of Emile Botta Street all the way to the entrance to the Sultan’s Pool was indicative of Jerusalem’s import of patrons of culture.

July 2, 2015 12:40
3 minute read.
Hapeol Jerusalem

The Hapeol Jerusalem team celebrates its hard-won victory on the court.. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)


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ALTHOUGH THERE were some empty seats at the Sultan’s Pool last Thursday night, the size of the crowd indicated that not everyone in Jerusalem was at the Pais Arena rooting for Hapoel Jerusalem or glued to their television set watching the close-up shots of Hapoel Jerusalem’s historic triumph against Hapoel Eilat, which was sometimes more exciting than it was for fans sitting in the grandstands at the arena.

On the other hand, many of the opera buffs who had gone to see Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore were either tourists from abroad or had been bused in from other parts of the country. The number of buses lined up from the end of Emile Botta Street all the way to the entrance to the Sultan’s Pool was indicative of Jerusalem’s import of patrons of culture. The enthusiastic audience response to the talented singers, musicians, conductor and dancers, especially key soloists Alla Vasilevitsky, Alexei Dolgov and Ricardo Novaro, was expressed through bursts of spontaneous applause throughout, plus cheers and cries of bravo. At the end, there were also appreciative whistles.

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It goes without saying that the excitement could not compete with that at the arena and subsequently at Safra Square. Mayor Nir Barkat was on hand in a red Jerusalem Hapoel T-shirt, while Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev looked a lot more vivacious in the ambience of the arena than in the culture halls of Tel Aviv. President Reuven Rivlin was not present at the game because he was attending the graduation ceremony of trainee pilots in the Israel Air Force in another part of the country, but he did write on his Facebook page that night that after years in exile, the Championship Plate came for the first time to Jerusalem, the capital.

“Although I’m a Beitari in my soul, I congratulate Hapoel with all my heart on the historic win of the National League Championship. We have love, and it triumphs,” wrote Rivlin.

THERE ARE many native English speakers at the Hazvi Yisrael Congregation in Talbiyeh, and the common accent is American, more often than not with a New York twang. But last Saturday, the dominant accent was British, and the congregation was enhanced by both foreign and domestic tourists. The reason for their presence was a triple celebration.

The congregation’s veteran stalwarts Anne and Stuart Dove were each celebrating an 80th birthday, in addition to which they were celebrating the 40th anniversary of their aliya from London.

The festivities to mark all three celebrations brought in visitors from London and Manchester, Ra’anana, Herzliya Pituah, Petah Tikva and Maccabim, as well as people from some half dozen other congregations in Jerusalem.

Stuart Dove has been involved with community work and synagogue congregations for the greater part of his life. Prof. Adrian Becker, a fellow ex-Londoner and former president of Hazvi Israel, noted that Dove’s father, who had been on the committee of London’s Marble Arch Synagogue, had died prematurely 60 years ago and that Stuart Dove had inherited his mantle and had been a very active committee member.

When they settled in Jerusalem 40 years ago, Dove recalled, he and his wife knew hardly anyone; but as a result of friendships made through the congregation, they had acquired a large network of friends beyond the synagogue itself, and they are happy that their children and grandchildren also live in Israel.

Becker noted that the Doves are great philanthropists who give to numerous causes modestly and quietly. Some of the many organizations and institutions with which the Doves have been and in some cases are still associated include the Jerusalem College of Technology, the Hadassah Neonatal Unit and Melabev.

In honor of the occasion, Dove read the Haftara, and after the service he and his wife welcomed relatives, friends and congregants to a kiddush in the best style of British tradition, including topquality Scotch whisky, which Dove provides at every kiddush, not just his own. Dove has the distinction of having been the longest-serving president of the congregation, having served three separate terms.

Anne Dove was very active in Keren Klita, an organization established by fellow Londoner the late Delysia Jason, and was responsible for providing furniture and other household items for new immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

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