This week in Jerusalem

The Sam Spiegel Film and Television School is launching a special DVD of its students’ best films to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

A concert for camp 250 (photo credit: Courtesy)
A concert for camp 250
(photo credit: Courtesy)
An accurate ETA – finally?
The light rail will begin operating on August 19, a result of the arbitration between the Transportation Ministry and the CityPass consortium, according to Jerusalem Transportation Master Plan spokesman Shmuel Elgrabli. To overcome the difficulties in installing and testing the traffic-light system – which CityPass had said could delay the project until October – the ministry has committed to helping the consortium with the process to bring the completion date forward. The accompanying bus changes will be introduced gradually during the first few weeks of operation, Elgrabli said.
Time to pay the price
Remember the story about nine employees in the haredi education department who were suspected of reporting false working hours and were suspended a few days before Pessah? Municipality director-general Yossi Heimann declared that they would be fired within 72 hours, but for some reasons the matter had remained unresolved. Last week, two were found guilty of the charge, namely having used paid working hours to attend to their personal affairs. The investigation is still going on for the remaining seven. The war against falsely reporting working hours has become a priority at Kikar Safra, so the two may not be the last.
Women working together
Three women facing different challenges have joined together to raise money for a unique initiative.
Talented musician Odelya Berlin, who won’t perform in front of men for religious reasons, will appear with her ensemble, Tefilat Hederech, at a concert for women only to raise money for Shutaf, a year-round inclusion program for children with special needs. Shutaf was founded by Miriam Avraham and Beth Steinberg, mothers of children with Down syndrome, who wanted to create a framework of social activities for their children, including a summer camp. On Monday in the Beit Avi Chai courtyard, a benefit concert will highlight the power of women and the importance of taking an idea and bringing it to fruition to help change lives. Tickets:
Toxic results
An inordinate level of pollution has recently been detected in the soil of Beit Hakerem in an area where the municipality is slated to build a small neighborhood. Until 14 years ago there was a military industrial factory there, but preliminary work done in the area shows that the soil is 2,000 times more polluted than the regulation requires. The area is on the east side of the valley, where part of the Begin Highway runs, facing the newly built Ramat Beit Hakerem neighborhood.
Residents and environmental organizations are mobilizing to prevent the construction project, which includes 240 housing units.
The major fear is that after the construction is completed, toxic gases buried in the soil will escape into the atmosphere and harm the residents. It is still too early to know what the municipality will decide to do, as no tender for construction has been published yet.
Screening talent
The Sam Spiegel Film and Television School is launching a special DVD of its students’ best films to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The launch will take place in Tel Aviv, and the DVD will be distributed to 250 art schools in Israel and abroad by the Third Ear studies, not the Spiegel school itself.
End of an era
It seems that the sweet little old-fashioned neighborhood on Sderot Herzl known as Hamekasher has run its course. Modernity, development and skyscrapers are on the horizon and will change the face of that part of the city. A plan to vacate and build has been approved by the municipal planning and construction committee, and though some tough opposition from the residents is to be expected, the plan will be implemented.
According to the plan, 62 of the old twostory houses will be demolished, and two 25-story towers, with 262 units, will be built in their place.
Also in the project are a branch of the Kiryat Moshe community center, green spaces and 1,000 square meters of public buildings, such as kindergartens. The project will be promoted by Naot Mekasher and the Jerusalem Municipality.
The young ones
A new initiative by New Spirit, the student organization that seeks solutions and projects to keep university graduates here, was launched this week. This time it’s a hi-tech track for interns that will enable new graduates to gain some experience in the city’s hi-tech facilities before they start their own careers. The government has invested NIS 4 million in the project, which will run with the full collaboration of Intel.
Some 500 students participate every year in one of the association’s projects aimed at finding them good jobs and development opportunities.
According to a New Spirit source, there are more and more students – original residents of the city or those who came here to study – who find what they’re looking for and decide to stay here.
New Spirit is also involved in an arts project. On Monday evening at the Yellow Submarine, a Jerusalem artists’ association was launched, which will serve as an umbrella organization to facilitate contacts, engagements and collaboration between cultural institutions and artists living here. Another of the new association’s tasks is to find adequate and affordable locations for studios for these artists, who are all graduates of local arts schools and want to stay here.