City Court debuts

In the week leading up to Rosh Hashana, many Jerusalemites found an extensive IKEA catalogue in their mail boxes.

IKEA (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)

FOR MONTHS the commercial complex on the corner of Jaffa Road and Sarei Yisrael Street was little more than scaffolding. The property, now called City Court, which originally belonged to the Balilius family, was sold to an Australian investment group headed by Moshe Katz.

Unlike most malls whose emphasis is on clothing and accessory stores, the general idea is to have fewer of these and more restaurants, fast-food outlets and pharmaceuticals. City Court is just a few meters away from light rail and bus stops. If its restaurants are good, its convenient location can more or less guarantee a steady stream of traffic.

THE THIRD Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art – October 1 through November 16 at sites throughout the city – is supported by the Leichtag Foundation of San Diego, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund of New York, Matthew Bronfman, IKEA Israel, and the Leir Charitable Foundations, along with private donors as well as the Jerusalem Municipality and the Jerusalem Development Authority.

In the week leading up to Rosh Hashana, many Jerusalemites found an extensive IKEA catalogue in their mail boxes. Although Jerusalem has the largest population in Israel by far, there is no IKEA store in the capital. Bronfman, who in addition to being a generous philanthropist, is also the main shareholder of the IKEA franchise in Israel, has been approached more than once about opening an IKEA store in Jerusalem so that Jerusalemites will not have to travel to Rishon Lezion, Netanya or Kiryat Ata to do their shopping – but so far, nothing is happening; or if it is, Bronfman has not yet made it public.

There are many Jerusalemites who would welcome an IKEA store in Talpiot, Malha, or Givat Shaul.

MANY YEARS ago, it was quite common to see women knitting, crocheting or doing needlework on the bus. Today, that’s relatively rare, but there are still women who like to pursue these skills and to make things for members of their families or for charitable purposes.

Knitters who want to join other women who like to knit can do so on Tuesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. in the library of the OU Center, 22 Keren Hayesod Street at no charge. The knitting circle is directed by Verna Gartner, who will be happy to teach new knitters some of the intricacies of fancy knits. She can be contacted at Aside from helping with knitting patterns, she also gives a dvar Torah.

Some knitters who live abroad like to knit sweaters for children from needy families and then bring a large stock of their labor of love to Israel for distribution. One such person is Joyce Raymond of Toronto, who has a charming apartment in downtown Jerusalem. Each time she comes to Israel, her luggage includes a large number of hand-knitted sweaters.

When she arrived last month just in time to spend Rosh Hashana with her family in Israel, she brought with her 100 sweaters that she had knitted. She always gives the sweaters to Na’amat for distribution to low income families.

AFTER A very long wait, the new Sports Center at the YMCA on Jerusalem’s King David Street has finally been completed. It includes among other amenities a gym, exercise rooms, a martial-arts studio, a spa, squash courts, basketball courts, an eightlane swimming pool, space for Zumba dancing and other social events and much more.

Since its opening in 1933, the YMCA has been a place of harmony where people of all faiths and political ideologies have been able to meet and put their differences aside, especially in sport. These areas have been considerably expanded, and taking into account the city’s ever-increasing population growth from year to year, the new sports center can accept a much larger membership than in the past.

YMCA executive director Amos Gil wants the sports center to be open to all sectors of the public and is seriously considering allocating separate times for men and women to use the pool.