Grapevine: Reuth has a lot to celebrate

Founded in Tel Aviv before World War II, the aim of Reuth was to assist new immigrants who had not found employment and had little or no financial resources.

Evyatar Banai (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Evyatar Banai
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
REUTH, ONE of Israel’s more veteran social welfare organizations, is continuing its 75th anniversary celebrations which started last year with gala events in Tel Aviv and New York. Because Reuth is also active in Jerusalem, it is likewise holding a gala benefit affair in the form of a concert at Zappa on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. with Etti Ankri, Evyatar Banai and Erez Lev Ari. Tickets are NIS 150, and doors open at 7:45 p.m.
Founded in Tel Aviv before World War II by a group of women immigrants from Germany, headed by Paula Barth, the aim of Reuth was to assist new immigrants who had not found employment and had little or no financial resources. Starting with a soup kitchen, Reuth expanded to include a nursery school, housing for new immigrants, retirement homes in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for elderly immigrants, and a hospital for the disabled and chronically ill. Over the course of time, the latter was extended and modernized and today is a state-of-the art medical and rehabilitation center with numerous activities for its patients and their families.
BEING IN the right place at the right time or just in time has saved many lives. United Hatzalah of Israel volunteers live in many parts of the country and in many parts of Jerusalem, which means that volunteers on ambucycles can get to any neighborhood in record time. The organization is particularly concerned about having volunteers in neighborhoods in which there are many infants or senior citizens.
The Sha’arei Hessed neighborhood is amply endowed with both, and to ensure that instant lifesaving services are available in this area, United Hatzalah is inviting potential volunteers to a parlor meeting at the home of Dr. Dovid Friedman to introduce and recruit volunteers for a new United Hatzalah training course. The date is Monday at 8 p.m. The venue is 6 Kahanov Street, Sha’arei Hessed, and the speakers will be Eli Beer, founder of United Hatzalah; Dr. Shalom Friedman, attending physician, Hadassah Medical Center; and Dr. Doron Spierer, attending physician, Wolfson Medical Center. Anyone who wants to attend should contact Lieba Brezak at 500-2020 ext. 69 or lbrezak@
WOMEN IN the Rehavia neighborhood and environs will be delighted to know that after being closed for several years for renovations, the mikve (ritual bath) at the Yad Tamar Synagogue at 5 Ha’ari Street (off Aza Road) has reopened. It can be used from Sunday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m; on Fridays for one hour beginning a half hour after candle lighting, and on Saturday nights for two hours beginning an hour after the conclusion of Shabbat.
The renovated facility, which is much more modern and attractive than before, is under the auspices of the Jerusalem Religious Council and Rabbi Aviad Goldvicht, who worked on the project with Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Segal.
SLIGHTLY LESS than a year ago, French entrepreneur Laurent Levy raised the hackles of Jerusalem’s secular activists when he refused to renew the lease for the legendary Resto-Bar, previously Café Moment, unless the lessees were prepared to make the kitchen kosher and to close on Shabbat. Levy’s reasoning on this and other eateries that he owned was that people who don’t observe kashrut can eat anywhere, including a kosher restaurant, whereas those who do keep kosher are limited. He also thought it was wrong to have a business operating on Shabbat in Jerusalem, the holy city.
Now Levy wants to revolutionize Jerusalem’s café industry by devising a means whereby cafés can be open on Friday night and Saturday without desecrating Shabbat. All food would be prepared in advance and warmed on hot plates, which is permissible. Patrons of the eateries would pay in advance so that there would be no financial transaction on Shabbat itself. That way, he believes, secular people can still go out to restaurants and coffee shops on Shabbat, and religiously observant people can go the same restaurants and coffee shops, which will be a great boon for those religious people who have not been able to go out to dinner with secular friends on Shabbat.
However, there is one snag as far as the rabbinate is concerned. Up until now, only hotels were permitted to operate dining rooms on Shabbat. Restaurants whose proprietors may have wanted to do what Levy wants to do could not get approval because they had only diners and not lodgers. If Levy can add on a guest room so that he has at least one temporary accommodation facility, the Chief Rabbinate will be inclined to give him the green light. He anticipates that other restaurants in Jerusalem will opt to get on the same bandwagon and will find space to rent out on a temporary basis for people who want a room in which to sleep for a day, a week or perhaps a little longer.
HEBREW UNIVERSITY of Jerusalem doctoral student Yossi Kabessa has brought home the top prize from the Global Young Scientists Summit in Singapore. Kabessa, who received the award from Singapore’s president Tony Tan Keng Yam, returned to Israel with the Singapore Challenge gold medallion and a check for $100,000.
Kabessa is the Bryant and Lillian Shiller Fellow at the Hebrew University’s Peter Brojde Center for Innovative Engineering and Computer Science, which focuses on applying scientific discoveries to groundbreaking technologies. Organized by Singapore’s National Research Foundation, the five-day Global Young Scientists Summit brought together 350 post-doctoral fellows and PhD students from around the world, along with internationally eminent science and technology leaders, among them 13 Nobel laureates. The young researchers were encouraged to submit proposals to address challenges related to urban development and sustainable cities.
Kabessa’s winning proposal was for the use of biosensors based on genetically engineered bacteria to monitor the presence of pollutants and hazardous materials in the water supply system of large urban areas. In 2013, Kabessa was part of a team that made headlines by building the world’s tiniest hanukkia, the size of a speck of dust, to demonstrate the revolutionary abilities of the Nanoscribe system based at the Brojde Center.