Shimon Peres congratulates311.
(photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
THERE WAS a glut of presidents at the President’s Residence this week when President Shimon Peres hosted members of the National Board of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.
Peres was honoring outgoing national president Nancy Falchuk and welcoming incoming national president Marcie Natan at a changing of the guards reception.
Also present were past national presidents Bonnie Lipton and Marlene Post, as well as Miki Schulman, who will chair the National Convention that will take place in Jerusalem next year to mark Hadassah’s 100th anniversary, and national board member Judy Swartz, who is a long-standing donor to Hadassah and chairwoman of its Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower campaign.
The tower will be officially inaugurated during the centenary celebrations. There was also a changing of the guards representation among the Israelis attending in the personas of outgoing Director General of the Hadassah Medical Center Prof. Shlomo Mor Yosef and his successor Prof. Ehud Kokia. Peres said that
Hadassah, at almost 100, made him feel young, because he was only 88.
Peres was full of praise for what Hadassah has done in its decades of
service to Israel and the Jewish People.
Falchuk, who praised Peres for his vision of Israel as a bridge to
nations, said that Hadassah had helped to fulfill this vision. She also
noted that after the government, Hadassah was the largest employer in
Israel. The implication was that Hadassah not only contributes to the
health of the nation but also to the economy.
MORE THAN 80 people participated in the Society of Polish American
Travel Agents (SPATA)’s 53rd annual convention in Israel this week. Each
year SPATA organizes an international convention and this year came to
Israel for the first time, touring the length and bredth of the country.
The convention opened in Jerusalem with an ecumenical and tri-national
dinner sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, represented by
director-general Noaz Bar-Nir, and with the participation of Polish
Ambassador Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska.
The dinner began with prayers by an Orthodox rabbi and a Catholic priest
and the national anthems of Israel, the United States and Poland, and
continued with a keynote address by Dr. Laurence Weinbaum, executive
director of the Israel office of the World Jewish Congress. Outside of
Jerusalem, the Polish ambassador, who makes no secret of her own
fondness for Israel, hosted a reception at her residence in Kfar
Shmaryahu for the SPATA people, who were all enthusiastic about what
they had seen and heard.
DURING A recent visit to Kishinev in Moldova where he was born, Foreign
Minister Avigdor Lieberman on the second day of the new school year
visited the Rambam and Herzl schools operated by ORT.
Lieberman was accompanied by a delegation that included Israeli
Ambassador to Moldova Oren David, Foreign Ministry staff members Lia
Shemtov, who chairs the Knesset subcommittee on immigrant absorption and
the deputy mayors of Migdal Ha’emek and Nahariya. There are 320
students at the ORT Rambam School and close to 400 students at the ORT
Herzl School. Both schools welcomed the delegation with Hebrew songs and
a prominent display of Israeli flags at both schools.
At the Rambam school, the delegation, in addition to sitting in briefly
on a Hebrew lesson, was escorted around the school’s Holocaust museum,
which tells the story of a centuries-old Jewish community that was
almost totally destroyed.
Lieberman, who was raised under the Communist regime, was impressed with
the visible changes in the school system –especially at the Herzl
Technology Lyceum where students are taught state-of-the art information
Here he also sat in on a Hebrew lesson and said that when he was at
school, the learning opportunities that are available today did not
exist. The study of Hebrew and other languages is now not only possible,
but is encouraged. As for technology, it has made giant strides since
Lieberman left Moldova in 1978. The Kishinev Jewish community is
strongly connected to Israel.
IT’S NOT certain that Alexander Zvielli is the oldest person to ever
apply to the Government Press Office to have his press card renewed, but
he’s probably the most mentally and physically agile of nonagenarians
to do so. Zvielli, who celebrated his 90th birthday this year, continues
to come to work at The Jerusalem Post
on a daily basis, and took to the
computer like a duck to water. But this may be because printing methods
are in his genes. His father owned a printing press in Warsaw and
printed the works of leading Yiddish writers including Isaac Bashevis
Singer who went on to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
Zvielli has worked for the Post
for almost 66 years and knows its
history and the history of the nation in encyclopedic detail. No-one
alive today can better tell the story of the paper, and there’s little
doubt that he will be the one assigned to do so when the Post
its 80th anniversary in December 2012.
AS MOVING a composition as it is, “Amazing Grace” is generally not part
of the repertoire of Israeli singers. Among the exceptions is David D’Or
who accompanied by the New York Symphony Orchestra, sang it last
Saturday at the United Nations General Assembly’s commemoration of the
10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack by terrorists.