Grapevine: Hanukka song

Hadassah fundraiser; Teddy Kollek; Emuna Witt Friedman Halevie.

portrait of kollek _521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
portrait of kollek _521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
■ HADASSAH HAS a big fund-raiser planned for Tuesday, the last night of Hanukka. This time it’s Hadassah Israel, not a particular chapter, and it’s a relatively big-money soiree at the home of Shoshana and Martin Gerstl, who live a hop, skip and a jump from Bikur Cholim Hospital on one side and Hadassah College on the other. This event, at NIS 800 per person or NIS 1,500 per couple, is in honor of Prof. Ehud Kokia, the incoming directorgeneral of the Hadassah Medical Organization.
The entertainment is geared to opera lovers, and speeches will be kept to a minimum. Proceeds will go to HMO’s Michaelson Center for Low Vision.
■ MOST OF Israel’s performers have at one stage or another – sometimes quite often – given their services gratis to a worthy cause. High on the gratis list is Variety, because that’s the pet project of the entertainment industry.
Children’s wards in hospitals and the Schneider Children’s Hospital also tug at the heartstrings of the stars, as do nearly all the organizations dedicated to bringing joy into the lives of children with cancer.
But it seems that the spirit of generosity does not quite extend to The Association of Disabled Veterans – at least not where all entertainers are concerned.
According to reports in various Hebrew media, Yehuda Poliker, who is among the most popular singers today, received a fee of NIS 280,000 for performing for disabled veterans at the Jerusalem International Convention Center last Wednesday. Admittedly, it’s not all for himself. He had to pay the 11-member band, but even so, it’s a little steep for a one-night gig.
■ IN HIS lifetime, Teddy Kollek, the legendary, longtime mayor of Jerusalem, was known as the city’s greatest builder since King Herod. He was also the founder of the Jerusalem Foundation, which has done so much in so many fields of endeavor to enhance the city’s beauty, its cultural, recreational, educational and sporting facilities – and thereby the quality of life of the residents of the capital.
It is understandable, therefore, that the Jerusalem Foundation has a Builders of Jerusalem Award. It was bestowed on philanthropist Sylvia Hassenfeld, a generous supporter of Jerusalem Foundation projects, and on Israel Museum director James Snyder, a walking symbol of culture, at a gala celebration that was held not in the capital nor in Kibbutz Ein Gev, of which Kollek was a founder, but at Sotheby’s in New York City.
The occasion was the 100th anniversary celebrations of Kollek’s birth, which began in May of this year. The highlight of the event, aside from the awards, was the opening of an Israeli and Judaica art exhibition. New York was an appropriate place in which to pay homage to Kollek because it was his stomping ground as a procurer of arms for the Hagana and subsequently as the head of Israel’s first defense mission in the US and then as head of the first Israel Bonds fund-raising campaign. He was back in the Big Apple several times in the years that followed.
Proceeds from the gala event were earmarked for The Jerusalem Season of Culture, which began as an initiative of the Schusterman Foundation-Israel in cooperation with the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Foundation, and is committed to cultural openness that makes room for all and to supporting creative endeavors in every sector of the city. The cocktail reception and dinner that were part of the event gave Mark Sofer, the Jerusalem Foundation’s new president, the opportunity to meet some of the Foundation’s American key supporters in New York.
■ FOLLOWING A successful lecture tour in the United States, Emuna Witt Friedman Halevie, one of the most knowledgeable transmitters of the teachings of Shlomo Carlebach, has returned to her home in Jerusalem’s Old City. She will be at Moshav Meor Modi’im, the home of many of Carlebach’s followers, on Monday December 26, the sixth day of Hanukka, for the annual women’s Rosh Hodesh gathering for the Hebrew calendar month of Tevet.
Other lecturers include Mira Ra’anan, Chaya Sara Brand and Lea Golomb. The main theme of the gathering is learning how to heal anger and to connect with one’s higher self. As always, there will be a pot-luck lunch and the singing of Hallel to Carlebach melodies with musical accompaniment.
■ OF COURSE, because Teddy Kollek grew up in Austria, the Austrians are always ready to claim him as their own and support various projects in his memory. One such project is the Teddy Kollek Artist in Residence Program at Mishkenot Sha’ananim. This week, at a candle lighting ceremony on the second night of Hanukka, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, in conjunction with the Austrian Cultural Forum Tel Aviv, hosted a reception in honor of Austrian artist Carolina Dertnig, who will be the first Teddy Kollek Artist in Residence Fellow sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Culture and Arts in conjunction with Mishkenot Sha’ananim.