Beitar up for grabs

Who will be the savior of Beitar Jerusalem?

Beitar Jerusalem 311 (photo credit: Beitar Jerusalem Website)
Beitar Jerusalem 311
(photo credit: Beitar Jerusalem Website)
■ Who will be the savior of Beitar Jerusalem? When Arkadi Gaydamak came to the rescue of the financially ailing team in 2005, local fans hailed him with something akin to messianic fervor. Gaydamak poured millions of dollars into the team, brought in new players, showed up at the games, and for a while was a genial and generous boss. But then came the global economic crisis, coupled with his humiliating defeat in his bid to become mayor of Jerusalem. His fortune dwindled and he felt betrayed. His largesse, which had extended way beyond the football team, was unappreciated by the electorate of the Holy City.
Gaydamak returned to Russia and let it be known that he wanted to sell the team. Moshe Dadash, the legendary former long-time chairman of Beitar Jerusalem, was given the task of finding a buyer. At one stage there was a rumor that casino mogul and big-time philanthropist Sheldon Adelson, who owns the freebie tabloid Yisrael Hayom, was interested in buying the team, but this rumor was quickly squashed by Adelson’s representatives in Israel.
Then there were repeated stories that the somewhat eccentric oil tycoon Guma Aguiar, who had invested some $4 million in the team, was willing to take it over. But in the final analysis, this did not happen.
Now there’s a potential new buyer in the picture in the person of Leon Edery who, with his brother Moshe, is one of the biggest investors in Israel’s film industry. The Edery brothers, who have built Cinema Cities in Pi Glilot (Ramat Hasharon) and Rishon Lezion, received a license in February to build a Cinema City in Jerusalem in the vicinity of the buildings that comprise the National Government Complex. They are also building a Cinema City and Disney-style park in Haifa. Leon has his eye on Beitar Jerusalem, and after talking to Dadash is now seriously looking into the pros and cons.
■ It's no secret that Israeli technology is a leader in the field in many spheres, but it’s always pleasant to hear it reiterated. Thus some 150 people attending the annual Jerusalem Internet Marketing Convention at the Jerusalem College of Technology (Machon Lev) heard Ariel Hochstadt, Google marketing manager for Israel, declare that at Google’s world headquarters, the Israeli branch is thought to be the most innovative of all.
Google Israel has adopted the slogan of the Palmah, said Hochstadt, quoting from the Palmah anthem, “We are always the first.” Addressing hi-tech marketing managers, Hochstadt also outlined the latest in Google services, products and apps.
■It used to be in Jewish circles that in expressing birthday greetings, one would say “till 120,” which was the longevity of Moses. These days, with increasing numbers of people living beyond their 100th birthdays, “till 120” is not such a stretch.
At the upcoming inaugural meeting of the English-speaking Tamar Chapter of Hadassah-Israel on June 21, Dr. Anna Woloski- Wrubel of the Henrietta Szold Hadassah Hebrew University School of Nursing will discuss “Sexual Intimacy Till 120.”
“This is an event that no one will want to miss,” says Tamar membership chair Sarah Tacher. Also attending the event will be the effervescent Marlene Post, a former national president of Hadassah whose boundless energy and enthusiasm win over even the most reluctant of potential volunteers.
■Tickets for the upcoming 28th annual Jerusalem Film Festival go on sale on June 24. The festival, which keeps growing from year to year, will be held from July 7-16. Festival founder Lia van Leer, who will celebrate her 87th birthday a month after the festival, continues to be a guiding presence and is seen at most major screenings at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, which she founded.
Dressed in her signature colors of shades of lavender and pale pink, she is also seen at many of the city’s cultural events and continues to travel abroad to other international film festivals.