Grapevine: A presidential olive branch for Israel Singer

The sour note on which he left the World Jewish Congress does not appear to have done any permanent damage.

October 18, 2007 15:01
4 minute read.

  • THE SOUR note on which he left the World Jewish Congress does not appear to have done any permanent damage to Rabbi Israel Singer other than to make him a little less cocky than he used to be. Singer, who was the longtime deputy to former WJC president Edgar Bronfman, was fired under a cloud that threatened to besmirch his reputation. Currently in Jerusalem, Singer showed up at Beit Hanassi for the 25th Jerusalem Conference of Mayors with President Shimon Peres. While he was there, Yona Bartal, the deputy director-general of Beit Hanassi, took him aside and told him that she wanted to sign him up for the prestigious conference of leaders of world Jewish organizations that will be held under the auspices of the president in mid-May 2008 as part of the nation's 60th anniversary celebrations. It seems Singer is still in the good graces of Israel's high echelons.
  • THE ATTENDANCE at Beit Tovei Ha'ir for a meeting of Democrats Abroad in support of Hillary Clinton, was sparse, to put it mildly. Nearly half an hour after the designated starting time, there were just over a handful of senior citizens, not all of whom were residents of the BTH retirement facility. However, Meryl Frank, the dynamic mayor of Highland Park, New Jersey, who is also national co-chair of the Hillary Clinton for President Jewish Leadership Council, was not bothered by the size or nature of the turn out. Senior citizens are consistent voters, she said, and since most of the people sitting at the meeting had voting rights, she was happy to tell them all the reasons that they should vote for Clinton. Just as she was about to start, a small group of American yeshiva students joined the meeting. When she asked everyone to introduce themselves, one of the young men explained that they were Hassidim and didn't talk to women. However once Frank got into her spiel describing the Highland Park Jewish community and Clinton's positive attitude toward Jews and Israel, the yeshiva students enthusiastically joined in the discussion.
  • ONE OF the honorees at the annual gala banquet of Emunah Jerusalem that is scheduled for January 9, will be Toby Willig, a former national president of Emunah in America. Here in Jerusalem, she chairs Emunah's Seminar Committee and attends scores of lectures and conferences held by other organizations. It doesn't matter whether she arrives late or early, she always manages to find a seat in the front row, and is always one of the first to ask a question. In fact, many chair people of such events choose to recognize her before they recognize anyone else in the room. Willig is an avid letter writer, and her letters to the editor frequently appear in The Jerusalem Post. She also makes regular calls to editors and reporters of English-language news outlets to tell them how she feels about a particular issue of the day or to complain about the way it was handled by their news teams.
  • FOR MORE than half a century, Suzy Eban was the woman at the side of Abba Eban, Israel's most articulate statesman. She was privy to all his secrets and shared his joys, his sorrows and his frustrations. Since his death five years ago, she has been busy sorting his papers and writing her own autobiography, which is no less fascinating than her husband's biography. A British publisher has already expressed an interest in the project.
  • IN Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit's family, they take turns celebrating. Last Saturday night, Ruth Sheetrit, successful business woman and socialite, hosted a 59th birthday party for her husband at a restaurant in Ashdod, and on Sunday night, he accompanied her to Beit Hanassi to watch her receive a special citation for her work on behalf of the Israel Cancer Association. The Sheetrits, who established the Miri Foundation 15 years ago in memory of their teenage daughter who died of cancer, have been heavily involved in helping child cancer patients and their families, and have regularly been sending such families to Orlando for fun-filled vacations.
  • ALWAYS EXCITED when their daughter Racelle Weiman visits Israel, Millie and Paul Rosenblatt of Haifa are particularly keen to welcome her in November, when she will not only visit with her parents but identify Israeli academics and institutions for possible participation in future international dialogue conferences. Weiman is the executive director of the Temple University Department of Religion Dialogue Institute, which is dedicated to inter-religious, intercultural and international dialogue, with a special emphasis on developing leadership and creating opportunities for successful community building. Weiman's position and reputation have generated invitations all over the world, most recently to Macedonia and Jordan. The Rosenblatts, who are well known in Haifa's English-speaking circles, will host a luncheon in her honor at a Haifa hotel where Weiman will speak about her work and the global possibilities for transformative change.
  • The Jewish Daily Forward is known as the oldest and most influential Jewish newspaper in the US. Founded in 1897, the English- and Yiddish-language weekly is currently celebrating its 110th anniversary. On November 9, it will join forces with the Yiddishpiel Theater to put on a gala matinee performance at ZOA House, including an appearance by prize-winning entertainer Mike Burstyn.

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