Grapevine: Seven years of plenty

If anyone had told the Rozenmans that they would have six grandchildren in less than seven years, they would have laughed in disbelief.

Outgoing Hadassa dir. Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Outgoing Hadassa dir. Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
IF ANYONE as recently as seven years ago had told Elana and Tzvi Rozenman of Abu Tor and formerly of California that they would have six grandchildren in less than seven years, they would have laughed in disbelief. None of their three children were married, so grandchildren were the last thing they were thinking about. But then their daughter, Shira, and their son Noam got married in fairly quick succession and wasted little time in getting ready to welcome the next generation of the family. Shira had a daughter, Noam had twins, then Shira had twins, and last week Noam and his wife, Chaya Libbi, celebrated the circumcision of their second son, Neriah Chaim, who was born the day before his grandparents’ 43rd wedding anniversary and whose brit mila took place two days before his grandmother’s birthday.
Every new baby is a joy to its parents and grandparents, and in this case also to a great-grandfather, but for the Rozenmans, Noam functioning as a father is little short of a miracle. In September 1997 he was seriously wounded in a terror attack in Jerusalem and he was hospitalized for a long time. For his mother, who is a veteran peace and interfaith activist, this was perhaps her greatest challenge. Her adolescent son was lying gravely hurt in hospital, and she had to remind herself that only the perpetrators of the terrorist attack were guilty, and not a whole people.
To give herself strength, she organized silent vigils in Kikar Zion, where mostly women but also a few men of different faiths but mainly Jewish, linked arms and stood in silence.
■ THERE’S A popular myth that regardless of all the talk about breaking through the glass ceiling, when push comes to shove, women don’t vote for women. Taking a slightly backward look at Hadassah the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, this appeared to be the case in the selection of a successor to Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, the outgoing director-general of the Hadassah Medical Organization.
Pundits had long been saying that the final choice among the candidates would be Prof. Tamar Peretz, who heads Hadassah’s Sharett Oncology Institute and is regarded as one of Israel’s most outstanding cancer specialists. But in the final analysis, Hadassah looked beyond its own experts and selected obstetrician and fertility specialist Prof. Ehud Kokia, who was present at the celebrations in Tel Aviv last week when Hadassah launched its centenary year.
■ MANY JERUSALEM landmarks such as the famous Fink’s bar and restaurant in the heart of town have disappeared. Fink’s, which was older than the state, operating from 1932 to 2005, was a favorite hangout for diplomats, visiting dignitaries, film stars and journalists.
Its owner Dave Rothschild knew them all; and his son-in-law Muli Azrieli, who joined him in the business in 1978 and kept it going after Rothschild died, learned to know them too. The establishment next door to Fink and still going strong after more than three decades is Pinati, a Middle Eastern-style eatery owned by Meir Micha. Although Fink’s and Pinati were neighbors, they had nothing to do with each other – not even the borrowing of the proverbial cup of sugar. But both were in a nostalgic Micha Shagrir documentary Strudel in Tehina that was shown this week at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.
Another documentary screened on the same night was A Price Is a Price, produced at the initiative of the Association of Central European Jews and directed and filmed by Eli Abir and Aliza Eshed. The film focuses on the Yekke businesses – the most famous of which was the Atara coffee shop – that were part of the downtown triangle.
■ IT WASN’T all that long ago that one of the selling points utilized by real-estate agents handling properties in Jerusalem was “the view all the way to the Judean Desert.” There are still a few places from which one can see the Judean Desert, but these are rapidly disappearing as the city skyline becomes increasingly permeated with high-rise buildings that obscure the view.
Believe it or not, there was once a rule in Jerusalem which limited construction other than hotels to four stories. Supermarket tycoon Rami Levi, who is also heavily invested in real-estate development, has received a permit to build an 18-story business and commercial tower flanked by two residential towers that will contain a total of 150 units. The project on Derech Hebron at the intersection of Rehov Moshe Baram will be known as The Southern Gate.
Levi announced last week that he was cutting the multi-million-shekel bonuses due to him and his wife in half so that his Hashikma chain of supermarkets could continue to sell products at the lowest prices. Aside from making his chain more competitive, Levi knows what it means to live on the cusp of the poverty line. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and his empire is rooted in a stall in the Mahaneh Yehuda market.
■ THE INTERIOR Ministry’s Jerusalem District Committee last week also approved a plan for the construction of a 12-story residential complex comprising 288 units on land that is part of the Israel Broadcasting Authority complex in Romema. In recent years, Romema has undergone a dramatic change of image with the growth of numerous residential, commercial and educational building projects and others still under construction. The neighborhood, which once had a mixed population, is now overwhelmingly haredi.