OF ALL the museums and institutions in Jerusalem that are visited by locals and foreigners alike, Yad Vashem would in all probability rank higher in numbers than any other. Because Yad Vashem is so integral to Jerusalem, it is fitting that Avner Shalev, the man who stands at its helm, should have been one of the recipients of the Yakir Yerushalayim (Worthy of Jerusalem) awards that were presented on Jerusalem Day, last Wednesday, to individuals who contributed to the city and whose public service has helped to put the capital in sharper focus.Shalev, who was born in Jerusalem, served as bureau chief for IDF chief of staff David Elazar (Dado) during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and was chief education officer and head of the Education Corps. After retiring from military service, he served as director-general of the Culture Authority in the Ministry of Education and Culture, and chairman of the National Culture and Art Council, and was on the board of directors of the Israel Museum. He initiated the establishment of the Jerusalem-based Sam Spiegel Film & Television School and was involved in other cultural institutions.Shalev has been chairman of Yad Vashem since 1993, constantly striving to redefine Holocaust remembrance and education, introducing a far-reaching multi-year redevelopment plan with the goal of preparing Yad Vashem to meet the challenges of Holocaust commemoration in the 21st century. To that end, he has put education at the forefront of Yad Vashem’s activities by opening the International School for Holocaust Studies, as well as enlarging Yad Vashem’s archives and research facilities, and building a new museum complex. He is chief curator of the Holocaust History Museum that opened in 2005.THERE’S MORE to Yossi Heiman, the director-general of the Jerusalem Municipality, than meets the eye. Heiman was one of the participants in a spinning contest at the Alrov Mamilla Mall last week and proved to have more stamina than any of the other competitors. Heiman kept up the rigorous routine for two hours and came out just slightly ahead of Tzachi Katz, who heads the municipality’s licensing department.MOST PEOPLE would agree that it’s nice to have money – even more so when that money can buy an experience that you’re rarely likely to get with or without money. Naomi and Eric Goldberg of Jerusalem’s Naomi Catering take select groups of people to Europe for a kosher culinary experience, with some of the best European chefs adapting their recipes for kosher consumption and cooking for members of the group. Last week the group went to Provence for a week, combining touring with epicurean kosher delights prepared by award-winning chef Marc de Passorio in the specially koshered kitchen of the restaurant situated in the beautiful Vallon de Valrugues hotel. The cost – excluding airfare – for seven days and six nights was 3,250 euros per person.