Grapevine: Speedy decision on interchange

Transportation Minister Israel Katz announced Sunday that Highway 16, will be named for Shas spiritual mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

PF OVADIA JFR 370  (photo credit: Sylvie Berg)
(photo credit: Sylvie Berg)
TRANSPORTATION MINISTER Israel Katz announced Sunday that Highway 16, the new Motza interchange via the Jerusalem Road, will be named for Shas spiritual mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who died less than a week earlier. Among the places that the road will pass is the Har Nof neighborhood where Yosef lived.
The decision was arguably one of the speediest of its kind ever undertaken in Israel. When an interchange in east Jerusalem was inaugurated earlier this year in the name of the prime minister’s father, Benzion Netanyahu, it was 11 months after his passing. But when the city finally agreed to perpetuate the name of Sa’adia Marciano, one of the founders of the Black Panthers who later became an MK, it took almost six years from the time of his death – and even then, it wasn’t an interchange but a tiny corner on the Shivtei Yisrael-Hanevi’im intersection.
As for renowned but controversial philosopher Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz, there were so many dissenting right-wing and religious voices in the Jerusalem Municipal Council that it took nine years before an agreement to name a street after him was reached.
A PROMINENT front-page, multicolored clarification appeared in last week’s issue of Torah Tidbits, published by the Israel branch of the Orthodox Union. The notice informed readers that the OU Israel Center and Torah Tidbits are apolitical and do not endorse candidates or parties in national or municipal elections, nor does the publication accept political advertising.
“We do, however, allow candidates and parties to present themselves to our Anglo audiences. We do so as a service to our English-speaking citizens of Israel and Yerushalayim, so that they can be better informed voters.” The notice concluded with an invitation to “responsible spokespersons of parties running for the Jerusalem City Council, who would like to address Anglo Jerusalemites” to contact Rabbi Avi Berman to discuss the issue.
Inside, there were two advertisements: one from Laura Wharton of the Meretz-Labor-Green Movement list, and the other featuring a tripleheader of Bayit Yehudi speakers, including party leader and Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett; Dov Kalmanovitz, who heads Bayit Yehudi in the capital; and Tami Tenenbaum, who is No. 4 on the party’s Jerusalem list. They came with Bayit Yehudi ministers and MKs, to ensure that there was a lot of one-on-one persuasion.
JERUSALEM OPERA musical director Omer Arieli sent out an email last week informing invitees to the performance of Don Giovanni at the Tower of David that to his great regret and simultaneously his great joy, there were no tickets left for sale or distribution.
It was proven long ago by Michael Ajzenstadt, the artistic administrator of the Israel Opera, that Jerusalemites from nearly all strata of society are opera buffs. For several seasons, Ajzenstadt presented singers from the Israel Opera to audiences in Mahaneh Yehuda, and the people came in multitudes and listened with rapt attention. The soldout opera at the Tower of David was yet another indication.
The questions now arise as to who will finance the construction of a permanent Jerusalem opera house, and in which central location? A capital city deserves its own opera house. The reply to the first question is not so difficult – as no one would be surprised if the Jerusalem Foundation took up the challenge. The essential question is: Where? THERE IS a distinct relationship between genetics and genealogy. It’s not just a matter of features and character traits being inherited from one or several generations to the next, but also a propensity to certain ailments. The subject is sufficiently fascinating to have prompted the Nachama English-speaking chapter of Hadassah-Israel to feature it at its opening meeting on Wednesday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m., at Ramot Zion Synagogue, 68 Bar Kochba St., French Hill.
Under the title of “Genetics and Genealogy,” Garri Regev, genealogical researcher, lecturer and president of the Israel Genealogy Research Association, and Prof. Tamar Peretz, director of the Sharrett Institute of Oncology at Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem, will discuss the relationship between their two areas of expertise.
The event will include a book swap with a symbolic fee of NIS 5; the entry fee for the program is NIS 20.