Grapevine: Landmark in peril

A round up of news from around the capital.

August 25, 2016 19:01
3 minute read.
Emek Refaim Street

Wrapping trees in color on Emek Refaim Street. (photo credit: TAMAR KLEIN)


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THE REUVENI Nursery, one of the landmarks on Emek Refaim Street, is in danger of disappearing, according to a report in Yediot Yerushalayim. Reading between the lines, the report contains a warning to property holders to check the Tabu (Land, Home and Business Premises Registry) to ascertain that they are indeed listed as owners of their properties. Although the Reuveni Nursery has been operating on the site for upwards of 60 years, the municipality has ordered its closure, and unless some legal loophole can be found, Rahamim Reuveni, 79, and his family will have to leave.

The Reuveni family moved on to the site in 1948, but it took some years before it was decided to establish a plant nursery there. Most of the business enterprises now in Emek Refaim did not exist in those days, and the Reuvenis received several citations in recognition of their pioneering courage to live in what was essentially a wilderness.

When the business of the Tabu first came up several years ago, Reuveni’s lawyer reached an agreement with the municipality that Reuveni could continue running the nursery for the remainder of his life; the land would then revert to the municipality or the Israel Lands Authority. But the way things look at the moment, it seems as if the municipality may not be willing to honor the deal.

KEDUMIM, THE first settlement to be established in Samaria, is celebrating its 40th anniversary year. Founded during Hanukka 1975, by members of the Elon Moreh pioneering group of the Gush Emunim settlement movement, it was previously an army camp known as Kadum. It now has local council status and a population in excess of 4,500.

Local council head Hananel Dorani is inviting anyone who wants to join the central festivities on Tuesday, August 30 at 8.30 p.m. Participants will include Chief Rabbi David Lau, Agriculture Minister MK Uri Ariel, Deputy Defense Minister MK Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan plus other public figures and supporters of the settlement movement. Entertainment will be provided by David D’Or, Yonatan Razel and Hanan Ben Ari.

Firebrand Daniella Weiss, who continues to be one of the most powerful forces in Gush Emunim, and who was one of the leaders in the establishment of Kedumim, was twice elected local council head – first in 1996 and again in 2001. Naturally, she will also be on hand.

ALTHOUGH THERE have been many unflattering reports about the haredi community’s refusal to do national service, when Magen David Adom, Ezer MiZion and the Mehuedet Health Fund put out a joint call for blood donors in Mea She’arim, they had blood donors lining up at the Meuhedet clinic in Shivtei Israel Street and the MDA blood bank received in excess of 150 units of blood.

In haredi circles, saving of life transcends just about everything else, and although the donors know full well that the recipients may not be observant Jews or may not even be Jews at all, what was paramount was making a life-saving gift. To make sure that the donors were not made to feel uncomfortable by the people processing them and taking their blood, the task was given to paramedics from Hatzalah.

Yitzhak Gurevich, who is in charge of the Shivtei Israel branch of Meuhedet, was enormously impressed with the willingness of people to give blood, and several of the residents of the area suggested that the exercise be carried out on a regular basis every few months, because once it happens a few times, the overwhelming majority of residents with healthy blood will want to donate it for the benefit of someone else.

PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, took some time out for romance on Tu Be’av and left their official residence in Jerusalem to go north to tour the Nahal Me’arot nature reserve on the Carmel. In wishing all his Facebook friends a happy Tu Be’av, the PM advised them to devote time to be with people they love and to think about them.

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