MANY JEWISH children who were born in the 1940s and early 1950s grew up without grandparents, whereas most children born today not only have both paternal and maternal grandparents, but even great-grandparents. It's not at all unusual for synagogue notices to include congratulatory comments to congregants who have just welcomed a first or yet another great grandchild into the family. In this context, it's possible that philanthropist Els Bendheim of Jerusalem and New York may be eligible for the Guinness Book of World Records. Bendheim was recently back in the Big Apple where she celebrated the birth of a great grandson, then returned to Jerusalem where she celebrated the birth of yet another great grandson, as well as the birth of a great great grandson. By the way, the latter is part of a five-generation family twice over. He also has a great great grandfather, Rabbi Jacob Schroit, in New York. The infant's parents are Miriam and Eitan Kupietzky, grandparents are Ari and Allison Kupietzky, great grandparents Rabbi Harris and Dr. Judy Guedalia and Nachman and Elke Kupietzky.
A BIRTH that made an international impact was that of Rafael Lev Shlomo Katchen who was born in New York to singer Neshama Carlebach and her husband Stephen Katchen. Making his initial appearance only a few days prior to the memorial ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the death of his famous grandfather, singing Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, the baby's arrival was hailed with great joy in Carlebach congregations around the world, with many congregations organizing a special Kiddush in honor of the first grandchild of Shlomo Carlebach and his wife Neilah.
THE STORK was no less busy in the vicinity of The Jerusalem Post. David Rudge, the paper's former longtime Man in the North, and his wife Leah became grandparents a month earlier than they expected. Their daughter Sigal presented them with their first grandchild - a boy, who even though he arrived ahead of time, received a royal welcome. Rudge decided to take early retirement around the time that Sigal got married, but he didn't realize that he was going to be a granddad so soon. He might find babysitting more tiring than zipping across the Galilee or into Lebanon.
THE BRIT of their son Izhar Haim was the most recent in a series of eventful experiences in the lives of Daniel and Mirla Kennemer. The proud father was until very recently part of the team on the economics desk of the Post. Looking for something just a little bit more challenging, he took up a resource management position with the Center for Jewish Arab Development, changing jobs only days before Izhar Haim's premiere. On the actual day of the birth Kennemer was at the Motor Vehicle Licensing Bureau, doing the paper work for his driving test. Thanks to the invention of the cellphone, he was able to learn exactly when his wife went into labor and was at her side just in time to witness the birth. Two days later, he passed his driving test.
THE BRITISH Consulate and the British Embassy commemorated Remembrance Day in two separate ceremonies. British Consul General in Jerusalem John Jenkins presided over the service at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on Mount Scopus on Saturday, which happened to fall on the 88th anniversary of the 1918 armistice, when the guns of World War I fell silent on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. British Ambassador Tom Phillips held a similar function on Monday at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Ramle, and later hosted participants at a reception at his residence in Ramat Gan.
Among those attending the Ramle ceremony was The Jerusalem Post writer Gloria Deutsch, who was representing her father, Harry Shieldhouse, a keen Association of Jewish ex-Servicemen member, tragically killed in a road accident on the way to a London Ajex parade.
AUSTRALIAN Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Helen Coonan who was here last week for Telecom 2006 and for the Prime Minister's Conference, was wined and dined by high-tech enterprises, by the Israel Australia Chamber of Commerce and by Australian Ambassador James Larsen and his wife Antoinette. But where she really hit it off best was in Jaffa at the museum of sculptress and designer Ilana Goor, with whom she found instant rapport. Coonan, who is known to be a passionate devotee of the arts, told Israeli audiences as she has frequently told Australian audiences that it's commerce by day and culture by night. Among the guests at the reception that the Larsens hosted for Coonan was Amos Nadai, the Foreign Ministry's deputy director general for Asia and the Pacific, who earlier in the month had led an Israeli delegation to Sri Lanka to engage in the first political dialogue since the renewal of diplomatic relations between the two countries in May 2000.