Grapevine: Three birds with one stone

As a sidebar to the conference, the Czech Government is donating NIS 2 million to IDC Herzliya.

LIORA OFER with David Rubinger 390 (photo credit: Eliran Avital)
LIORA OFER with David Rubinger 390
(photo credit: Eliran Avital)
THE ANNUAL Herzliya Conference provides world figures with an excellent means of killing two or even three birds with one stone. For instance, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was interested in coming to this part of the world to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the hope of creating a breakthrough in the effort to resume the peace talks, addressed the Herzliya Conference Thursday. While in this part of the woods, he obviously took the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, among others.
The conference, now in its 12th year and held under the auspices of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, has become such a prestigious event that everyone who is anyone wants to be there. As a sidebar to the conference, the Czech Government is donating NIS 2 million to IDC Herzliya for the establishment of the Masaryk Distinguished Chair that will honor the memory of the first Czechoslovak President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk. The inauguration, which took place on Wednesday, February 1, within the framework of the Herzliya Conference, also celebrated the 85th anniversary of Masaryk’s historic journey to the land of Israel.
The purpose for endowing the chair is to encourage the study of eminent Czech scholars and researchers in the fields of social sciences and humanities, including political science, international relations, strategic and security studies, sociology, economics, business, psychology, media and journalism, Jewish studies, history and cultural studies and to promote lectures relating to these studies. The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship League with the Czech Republic MK Doron Avital, president of the IDC Herzliya Prof. Uriel Reichman and rector of Masaryk University Prof. Mikulas Bek. The Masaryk Distinguished Chair is a joint project of the Czech Masaryk University and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. A kibbutz, a street, and a restaurant are among the various landmarks in Israel that bear Masaryk’s name.
■ CONGRATULATIONS ARE in order to veteran journalist Diana Lerner, who yesterday celebrated her 90th birthday. Lerner, who is 90 years young (as distinct from 90 years old), arrived in Israel in 1949 on the last American troop ship that had been converted into a passenger ship. A freelance journalist who is still writing – she had a story about the fabulous jewels that belonged to actress Elizabeth Taylor in last Friday’s issue of The Jerusalem Post’s glamor supplement, Blush – Lerner’s by-line has appeared in the Post and its various supplements for more than half a century.
Lerner has written for the overwhelming majority of daily publications in Israel as well as for various newspapers and trade publications abroad. An intrepid and audacious journalist whose curiosity and sense of adventure have taken her to places in Israel and elsewhere where some people might hesitate to go, Lerner, who has interviewed some of the most celebrated personalities of the 20th century, has lost none of her verve. Her youthful spirit continues to define her personality and to triumph over her biological age.
■ THEIR BOSSES, especially those involved in election campaigns, are unable to travel to Israel right now, and it is most unlikely that all of them would come at the same time, but the executive chefs of US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prince Albert of Monaco and of course Israel’s Shalom Kadosh, who has prepared meals for presidents and prime ministers, were all at Herod’s Hotel in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to participate in the Chef de Chefs Cooking for Peace project organized by Fattal Hotels in conjunction with the Peres Center for Peace. It was once said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
Perhaps they should be cooking for Mahmoud Abbas and some of the other leaders of the region.
■ IT'S DEFINITELY nostalgia time, a feeling that may have been brought on by the popularity of vintage clothing, the screening of old black-and-white movies or features and documentaries about the likes of Edgar Hoover, Marilyn Monroe and John F.
Kennedy. A retrospective photography exhibition in Holon by Mula Eshet, who was one of the great fashion photographers of a bygone era, has been enhanced by an exciting Art of Fashion group exhibition of Israel’s fashion photos from 1950 to 2011.
The exhibition opened this week at the Ramat Aviv Mall, which is run by Liora Ofer and Moshe Rosenblum.
Eshet’s photos are also featured among those of other photographers, including Israel Prize laureate David Rubinger, Moshe Shai, Miri Davidovich, Menachem Oz, Yaki Halperin, Guli Cohen, Ron Kedmi, Yaniv Edry, Tamar Karavan, Ziv Koren and Ido Izak. Among the models featured in these photographs are Pnina Rosenblum, Tzipi Levine Rafaeli (who is Bar Rafaeli’s mother), Bar Rafaeli herself, Yael Dayan, Tami Ben Ami, Michaela Berku, Karin Dunsky, Ilana Shoshan, Keren Mor, Keren Michaeli, Yael Reich, Sandy Bar, Anna Bauman, Nina Brosh, Stella Amar, Shiraz Tal, Mayan Keret, Cheli Goldenberg (who is also a photographer), Galit Gutman, Ronit Alkabetz, Ronit Yudkovich and more. Not all are still alive, not all live in Israel, but most of those who are no longer models went on to make careers in other fields.
The opening was a tightly squeezed fashion happening with models, fashion designers, owners and CEOs of fashion houses, fashion publicists, fashion writers past and present, paparazzi and social media representatives mingling with each other while also trying to view the photographs, some of which were priced in excess of NIS 8,000. Among the photographs was one of Bar Rafaeli as a child, taken by Cheli Goldenberg.