Grapevine: Dual celebration

The Jerusalem Municipality will for the second time host the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for Cancer.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat 521 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat 521
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
■ THREE GENERATIONS of the Behar family were in attendance at Jerusalem’s Hazvi Yisrael Congregation in Talbiyeh last Saturday to celebrate the birth of Ra’anana Zelda Behar, who represents the fourth generation of the family, although she’s certainly not the first member of the fourth generation. But in her case she arrived as a 60th wedding anniversary gift for her great-grandparents Rivka and Moshe Behar. Her grandparents Esther and Danny Behar were obviously delighted, as were her parents Elisheva and Moshe Behar. Most of the family were in synagogue for the double load of congratulations.
■ ALSO PRESENT at Shabbat services at Hazvi Yisrael was president of Yeshiva University Richard Joel, who was publicly told by synagogue board member and veteran congregant Reuven Asch that when he graduated from Yeshiva University 50 years ago, aliya was not encouraged. In fact, it was discouraged.
Asch said he was glad to see a change of policy under Joel’s presidency.
That was not the only rule that Asch broke in his student and immediate post-graduate days. For a whole year, he kept a monkey in his room at YU before it was discovered. The same defiant Reuven Asch, in the course of his career in Israel, spent several years as the Education Ministry’s chief psychologist in Jerusalem.
Defying YU policy on aliya was apparently par for the course among students of his generation and later, even prior to Joel’s taking on the presidency, because the number of YU alumni living in Israel is in excess of 3,000.
In addition to its four campuses in New York, YU has for several years maintained an Israel campus in Bayit Vagan and also recruits Israeli scholars to teach at YU in Jerusalem and New York.
■ IT IS customary at Hazvi Yisrael, as it is among some other congregations, to honor congregants who have reached milestone round-figure birthdays from 70 onwards by planting trees in their honor on Tu Bishvat. It’s not so difficult to find out when men have reached these ages, said Reuven Asch, but the problem is finding out when female congregants qualify for the trees because women still tend to be coy about their age.
■ MOST WOMEN are fond of beautiful lingerie, especially in an age in which it doesn’t matter if your slip is showing. Acquiring some new sexy lingerie and helping children with cancer at the same time becomes a win-win situation.
That’s why Eilat and Marco Barda, proprietors of Whispers Lingerie in the Mamilla Mall, are holding a special benefit sale from 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1. Total proceeds from sales will be donated to Zichron Menachem, which is dedicated to helping children with cancer enjoy life through a multitude of fun activities. Zichron Menachem also maintains support services for the families of children with cancer. Several stars of reality shows have promised to be in attendance at the benefit sale.
■ ALTHOUGH THE Jerusalem Municipality will for the second time host the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for Cancer, it was Beverly Barkat rather than her husband, Mayor Nir Barkat, who last week represented Jerusalem at the kick-off for the campaign at the Herzliya Pituah residence of US Ambassador Dan Shapiro, whose wife, Julie Rachel Fisher, is chairing the campaign this year. Also present was Rhoda Fischer, wife of the governor of the Bank of Israel. The first Jerusalem race for the cure in 2010 attracted some 5,000 participants. Organizers at the kick-off event were optimistic that this year’s three-kilometer race on May 3 will attract even more.
■ IN AN effort to create new jobs that will stem the exodus from the city, Mayor Nir Barkat has appointed a special team to carry out what he calls a national mission to bring the offices of all government ministries and state-owned companies to Jerusalem.
He believes that the move from Tel Aviv will create at least 3,000 new jobs in the capital as far as direct employment is concerned and many more indirect work opportunities. The government is cooperating with city hall in this endeavor.