Grapevine: The best-laid plans

This will be the fifth consecutive year in which the bank is sponsoring summer activities for children, including those from minority communities.

A Jerusalem street [Illustrative] (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A Jerusalem street [Illustrative]
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
JERUSALEM IS a work in progress, in which it seems that there will never be a let-up in construction. And just about every neighborhood is destined for a large influx of apartments, meaning that there will be a large influx of cars in already overcrowded roads. If residents of the city are victims of traffic think of what it will be like when every neighborhood gets an increase of at least 200 apartments.
Among several approvals for building applications as well as for master plans that involve major additions of housing units, the district committee for planning and construction, headed by Dalia Zilber, last month approved master plans for Rehavia and Baka.
They include the preservation and renewal of historic buildings, but also the addition of hundreds of new units. In Rehavia, which was once a quiet, low-key garden suburb limited to three- and four-story apartment blocks, the face of the neighborhood will change with the addition of 600 units. In Baka, approval has been given for 760 units.
As for preservation, to date in Rehavia, only part of the original façade of any old building is preserved by real estate developers, but the interior of the building is gutted and the premises are rebuilt from scratch. Sometimes the frontage bricks or stones are numbered and stored in a safe place while the building is destroyed. During the process of building a new edifice, the numbered bricks and stones are reintroduced into the structure as was the case in Mamilla, where the numbers are still visible many years later.
CHILDREN FROM low socioeconomic backgrounds often miss out on what classmates whose parents are in better financial positions can enjoy. But thousands of children whose parents can’t afford to pay for summer camps can enjoy the benefits of Bank Hapoalim summer camps and leisure days.
The bank’s controlling shareholder is philanthropist and businesswoman Shari Arison, who dreamed up and supports many initiatives that help bridge social gaps and add to the quality of life of people who have not been dealt a particularly good hand by fate. Some of the causes Arison supports are directly through the bank, as in the case of the summer camps, and some are through the Arison Family Foundation.
Approximately 9,000 children in Kiryat Shmona, Safed, Hatzor Haglilit, Netivot, Sderot, Kiryat Gat, Yeroham, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Ramle, Lod, Acre, Tel Aviv’s Hatikva Quarter, Shlomi, Ofakim, Tirat Carmel, Hadera, Beersheba, Or Akiva, Elad, Kiryat Malachi, Ofakim, Beit Shemesh, Beit Jann, Shfaram, Usfiya, Daliat al-Carmel, Tuba- Zanghariya, Nesher, Tiberias, Modi’in Illit, Haifa, Baka al-Gharbiya, Ma’alot-Tarshiha, Reina, Kalansuwa and Sakhnin will be able to enjoy summer camps – just like their more affluent friends. Furthermore, a total of some 20,000 children from mostly the same areas will be able to take part in leisure day activities sponsored by Bank Hapoalim.
This will be the fifth consecutive year in which the bank is sponsoring summer activities for children, including those from minority communities.
It’s not just a matter of funding the camps or the leisure days. It’s also teaching the youngsters the fundamentals of money management and savings, so that this young generation will be better equipped than its parent generation to take care of its finances. The bank has a policy of community involvement through both formal and informal education; it’s tantamount to getting interest without having a deposit.
THE YAD Binyamin Center for Jewish Culture was inaugurated last month, and the entertainment line-up this month includes a concert on Thursday, July 20, at which Shlomo Gronich will host Ariel Zilber and clarinetist Hanan Bar-Sela. In the advertisement for the recital, Gronich and Bar-Sela look more or less as they do today, but the photograph of Zilber is one that was taken before he became religious, and before his hair turned gray and he grew a beard. Some of the people who have become acquainted with him only in recent years would be hard-pressed to recognize the person in the photo.