This week in Jerusalem

Beit Hillel, on the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus, is inquiring into the media’s responsibility for the dissonant tones used in regard to haredi issues.

Nespresso cafe (photo credit: courtesy)
Nespresso cafe
(photo credit: courtesy)
Responsible journalism or journalism responsible?
Beit Hillel, on the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus, is inquiring into the media’s responsibility for the dissonant tones used in regard to haredi issues. To what extent are the haredi and secular press to be held responsible for the polarization of the two communities in Israel, mainly in Jerusalem? These and other questions will be addressed by a panel, which includes scholars who specialize on the matter, as well as representatives of the haredi and secular media. Moderated by Avishai Ben-Haim of TV’s Channel 10. June 4, beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Details at 050-868-3006.
Torah topics
As part of the annual Hebrew Book Week, at Center One from June 3 to 16 dozens of stands will offer books on Torah-related topics in Hebrew and English, for all levels of knowledge. While the adults are busy perusing the latest commentaries on the sacred texts, children will be invited to listen to a story (read from a book, of course) each day of the fair. More details can be obtained at 538-3445 or
AIDS awareness exhibition
AIDSIsrael, an organization that is working to combat AIDS, is hosting a cartoon exhibition depicting different situations, such as coping with AIDS, fighting the shame and the ignorance associated with it, and the need for comfort of those suffering from the disease. The exhibition is being held in the foyer of the Jerusalem Theater, with the support of the city’s Culture Department and under the auspices of Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalu (Meretz), who inaugurated it last week. The exhibition, which includes works by such artists as Michel Kishka and Uri Fink, runs until the end of May.
Amharic translation of the Torah
The first official translation of the five books of the Torah into Amharic, the native language of the olim from Ethiopia, has been published. The work also includes the five Megilot and the Psalms. Until now, the religious books used by Ethiopian Jews were translated from Hebrew into Geez, the ancient Ethiopian sacred language that only a few understand. Thanks to a grant from the International Fellowship of Christian and Jews, the Torah was translated and published by Koren, to enable the members of the Ethiopian community to pray in their mother tongue and to fully understand the meaning of the Torah portions read on Shabbat. The first translated books were presented at a ceremony held at the City Hall, in the presence of Mayor Nir Barkat. Some 1,000 books will be presented as gifts from the IFCJ by its founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, to members of the community living in Jerusalem.
Enough is enough
A group of residents who felt they had been unjustly fined by the company are suing the directors of CityPass. The lawyer representing the group is Yossi Havilio, the legal adviser of Hitorerut B’yerushalayim on the city council and former legal adviser to the municipality. The suit is for NIS 45 million, based on an estimated NIS 2.6m. in fines unfairly imposed on passengers. To this sum is added NIS 42m. for damage caused by the fines themselves, which were given to passengers who didn’t understand the rules or were given tickets with incorrect codes when transferring from Egged buses to the light rail.
In an interview with In Jerusalem a few weeks ago, CityPass director Yehuda Shoshani said that his company would refund the fines to people who didn’t try to avoid paying but inadvertently used the wrong codes. Meanwhile, a tremendous number of complaints has reached the offices of Hitorerut, and its representative, Merav Cohen, said the situation could not continue unresolved. So Havilio was asked to look into the legal aspects of the matter. Once he declared that there were grounds for suing CityPass, the decision was made and the claim was presented to the district court.
Protesting their lot
Residents of the Jewish Quarter are seriously considering a complete boycott of the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter. Last week, without any warning, the company responsible for the administration of the Old City neighborhood issued a ruling raising the fees that the residents pay for use of its only parking lot. According to members of the local committee, the fee was raised from NIS 350 to NIS 700 a month per car. The residents say they were given no reason for the change in price. Tensions between residents and the company, which has been directed for the last two years by former deputy mayor Shlomi Atias (Shas), are not new and burst out from time to time. This time, activists in the residents’ committee are saying there must be a harsh reaction, including an eventual boycott of all payments to the company for services that include cleaning and gardening.
We’ll drink to that!
A coffee shop, fancy as it may be, is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a romantic moment. But a few days ago, when new immigrant Cedric Bollag chose the Nespresso cafe in Mamilla as the perfect location for for a wedding proposal. Why that particular place? Nespresso was where Bollag had his first date with the young lady, and apparently it was a good choice because she accepted. While Bollag was down on one knee, the staff and customers, sincerely moved, cheered and applauded the young couple.