Grapevine: Growing legacy

Updates on locations and events in Jerusalem

Grapevine 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Grapevine 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
■ TEDDY PARK, named in memory of Jerusalem’s legendary long-term mayor Teddy Kollek, will be officially dedicated on May 2, about three weeks prior to the 102nd anniversary of his birth. Located in Mitchell Park, across from Jaffa Gate, it is a project of the Jerusalem Foundation, which was founded by Kollek as a vehicle for the ongoing development of reunified Jerusalem. Over a period of 45 years, the foundation has initiated some 4,000 projects, including schools, parks, cultural institutions, and cultural and leisure time activities. These have been funded by generous donors from around the world, whose connections to the capital have deepened as a result of their involvement with its growth. Some of these dedicated donors will be presented with Teddy Kollek Awards in recognition of their significant contributions to life in Jerusalem. The presentations, during the dedication ceremony of Teddy Park, will be made to the Hassenfeld family of the United States, Julia and Henry Koschitzky of Canada, and Sonja Dinner and the Dear Foundation of Switzerland. A special Life Achievement Award will be presented to Ruth Cheshin, who was the co-founder with Kollek of the Jerusalem Foundation. She has been the foundation’s guiding light since its inception and as president emeritus continues to sit on its board of directors.
■ ONE OF the many Jerusalem landmarks with which the foundation is involved is the Jerusalem Cinematheque, founded in 1973 by Lia Van Leer and her late husband, Wim. It was originally located in Beit Agron, and because it was open on Friday nights, there were many protests by members of the haredi community.
It moved to its current location just outside the walls of the Old City in 1981. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the cinematheque is a permanent fixture in Jerusalem, and the fact that it is open on Friday nights and Saturdays is now taken for granted and doesn’t seem to bother anyone – possibly because it is in a non-residential area. The cinematheque contains some of the most valuable historic film archives that go back to early cinematography, especially in recording the prestate era, in addition to world classics. Through its various film festivals, the cinematheque also attracts filmmakers, actors and actresses from many parts of the world, and is often their introduction to Jerusalem.
■ THE JERUSALEM branch of the Cinema City chain owned by brothers Leon and Moshe Edery is due to open within the next few weeks, but despite demands from secular activists within the city, particularly Hitorerut chairman Ofer Berkowitz, it is unlikely to operate on Shabbat even though it too is in a nonresidential area. Because it is located in the city’s national precinct, which is home to several government ministries, it cannot for reasons of political correctness be open on Shabbat, especially because the complex also contains coffee shops and other commercial enterprises.
■ NEXT MONDAY, Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers, Prof. Judea Pearl – father of the late Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped by Pakistani terrorists and murdered by al-Qaida in February 2002 – will join Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky in lighting the memorial flame in the Jewish Agency courtyard. The ceremony will also honor the memories of Jews killed abroad in acts of terror and anti- Semitism, as well as IDF soldiers who fell in the line of duty.
Daniel Pearl’s last words were “I am a Jew,” and in his memory his parents set up the Daniel Pearl Foundation to promote crosscultural understanding. Judea Pearl, who is a world-renowned expert on artificial intelligence, was born in Tel Aviv, graduated from the Haifa Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and in 1960 went to America for post-graduate studies. He remained there and is currently a professor of computer science and statistics, and director of the Cognitive Systems Laboratory at UCLA.