Grapevine: An English rose

The board of directors and the Friends of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens put on their thinking caps and will host an English tea party

tea and lemon 390 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
tea and lemon 390
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
WHAT IS the best way to honor Jose Dent, founder and chair of the UK Friends of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, a tireless supporter of the development of the gardens for the past 30 years? The board of directors and the Friends of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens put on their thinking caps and came up with the most obvious solution – an English tea party. They haven’t announced whether the menu will include scones with cream and jam or paper-thin cucumber sandwiches, but it won’t be long before invitees find out. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5.
OTHER BRITISH connections will be recalled at a memorial concert for Zena and Abe Harman, which will be performed by the Hebrew University Orchestra under the baton of its longtime conductor Anita Kamien at the YMCA auditorium on Tuesday, March 12. In this case, no other orchestra is more appropriate.
London-born Abe Harman, who was a former ambassador to the United States, was subsequently president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the aftermath of the Six Day War. As such, he was responsible for the rebuilding and expansion of the original Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus. After 15 years in the role of president, he stepped down and was appointed chancellor of the university. He was also the founding president of the Public Council for Soviet Jewry, retaining this position until his death in February 1992.
He was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees from Israeli and American institutes of higher learning and was also made an honorary fellow by Wadham College, Oxford, from which he graduated in law in 1935, prior to moving to Jerusalem in 1938.
Like her husband, Zena Harman, who died in January this year at the age of 98, was born in London and graduated from the London School of Economics. From 1943 to 1949, she worked for Youth Aliya as an assistant to Henrietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah, which, through its School for Medicine is closely affiliated with the Hebrew University. In 1951, Zena Harman became a member of the Israel Delegation to the United Nations, where she remained until 1955. During that period, she was elected to the board of UNICEF, serving as Israel’s representative. She served for several terms and in various capacities on the board of UNICEF and in 1965, as chairwoman of the UNICEF board, she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on the organization’s behalf.
Her impressive curriculum vitae includes long years of service in prominent positions in both the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry and, among other public roles, she was vice president of the International Council on Social Welfare and the International Commission on the Status of Women. For 25 years she served as the Israel representative on the United Nations Commission for Refugees, the role for which she is best known.
She was also a member of Knesset from 1969 to 1974.
The Harmans had three children, Dr. Ilana Harman Boehm, director of the Internal Medicine department at Soroka Hospital; Naomi Chazan, a professor of political science, who, like her mother, was a Knesset member; and David Harman, a professor of education.
The concert is sponsored by the department of musicology, the faculty of humanities of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in cooperation with the Dean of Students Office.
NEPOTISM MAY not be exactly the right word in relation to hotels, but whatever it is, it’s nice to see that Ami Federmann, who heads the board of the Israel Hotels Association, does not practice it. Federmann, whose family has control of the Dan chain, which operates four hotels in Jerusalem, chose to bypass all four and instead to this week host a getting-to-know you meeting between the IHA board of directors and the new Knesset members at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel.