This Week in Jerusalem 258070

Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs.

Jerusalem 521 (photo credit:
Jerusalem 521
(photo credit:
Live exhibits
The Israel Museum is launching a series of artistic events in the coming weeks. On Tuesday, there will be a “Meet the Artist” event with artist Maya Zack, whose work is temporarily on display in the museum’s “Magic Lantern” exhibition. Her piece, Living Room (2009), re-creates the interior of an apartment in Berlin just before it was abandoned in 1938, by means of computer visualization.
Based on the artist’s interview with Yair Noam, the son of the apartment’s owners, and his description of his childhood home, the work addresses such questions as the limitations of memory, the imagination of the artist, and the impossibility of recapturing what has been lost. By bringing the artist to speak about about her work, the event enables the public to share in her artistic experience.
Running with spirit
The Jerusalem-based student organization New Spirit is taking part in this year’s Jerusalem Marathon. Led by Elisheva Mazia, the association’s general manager, the group’s members will be running as part of its message that there are plenty of attractions and activities suitable for the young and educated generation in the city. Since last year’s marathon, New Spirit has established a group to encourage student marathon runners and to prepare its representatives for the race.
Golden years
Beit Tovei Ha’ir, a luxury home for religious senior citizens, will show off the first stage of its new renovation and expansion program on Sunday at 6 p.m. The event will feature public tours of luxurious, designer-decorated rooms, as well as the elegantly enhanced lobby. Following the tour will be a dinner with a keynote address on “The Aging Artist” by Dr. Esther Lee-Marcus, head of the Geriatric Complex Nursing Facility at Herzog Hospital.
Long considered the premier address for elegant senior living among the religious public, Beit Tovei Ha’ir came under new management this past year, and the new owners are proceeding at full speed, turning the residence into a world-class establishment.
There are a limited number of seats available for the event, and attendance is by reservation only, at 054-487-2267.
An offer worth holding on to
If you own a business in the city and the taxes on your garbage were too high, it’s time to smile. The Jerusalem Municipality has issued an announcement that as of this month, this tax is abolished.
The Merchants for Merchants association – which represents merchants in the capital, especially in the city center – reached an agreement with the Safra Square administration after its president, Timor Efrati, and the municipality’s business administration led a serious inquiry into the matter, with the aim of encouraging the business sector in the city. Notably, during the previous mayor’s term, Efrati petitioned the High Court of Justice, arguing that these taxes were a major obstacle to local businesses’ ability to survive and develop. Mayor Nir Barkat agreed to look into the matter and appointed a team, which concluded that Efrati was right and decided to abolish the tax. Hopefully this won’t mean there will be no garbage pickup in the city’s business areas. Next on the agenda – loans and sponsoring to renovate the shop windows in the city center.
Tax-free dorms for all
Following the Interior Ministry director-general’s announcement exempting haredi (ultra-Orthodox) educational institutions from property tax (arnona), student associations are up in arms.
The ministry decision exempts haredi institutions that include student dorms; however, the students are fuming that it doesn’t include dorms at secular academic institutions in the city, and petitioned the High Court of Justice this week. No fewer than nine student associations from different institutions have joined the appeal, which calls on the ministry to take responsibility for all students, not only those in haredi schools.
“It is about time that the government and its ministers put an end to this kind of sectorial policy and considered the interests of all its citizens,” said Itay Gortler, president of the student association at the Hebrew University, who is leading the battle for the dormitory tax exemptions.
A dirty and costly business
The municipality’s Local Affairs Court ruled this week that a contractor who was caught dumping debris from a construction site in a public place must pay the municipality a NIS 100,000 deposit. The municipality had confiscated his truck after the incident, but later agreed to return it in exchange for the deposit, part of which would be considered a fine. In addition, the truck was registered as municipal property until the end of the contractor’s trial.
This decision sets a precedent in the ongoing struggle against entrepreneurs and truck owners who disregard the law and dump debris in public areas, including parks.
Jerusalem’s windmill will turn again
The historic windmill in Yemin Moshe, established by Sir Moses Montefiore some 150 years ago, will undergo a major renovation process next month. The work, conducted and sponsored by the Jerusalem Foundation, will run for about three months and will restore the mill to the way it looked more than a century ago. The restored mill will have a white dome with white blades, and an authentic weather vane at the rear of the building, exactly as it appeared to the first Jewish settlers who ventured out of the Old City’s walls in the 19th century. Experts from the UK and Holland will help with the work on the windmill, which was established in 1857 by the British Holman Company. When the renovations are complete, visitors will be able to enter on the ground floor, view the flour-milling process and watch a short movie about the establishment of the windmill and Jewish settlement outside the Old City. The Jerusalem Foundation raised the funding for the project – about NIS 5 million – with the support of Christians for Israel (Dutch Friends from Holland), the Prime Minister’s Office (Tamar program), the Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem Municipality.
Jazz bassist to perform for Ethiopian children
Celebrated 76-year-old US jazz bassist and poet Henry Grimes will give a benefit workshop and performance in aid of young musicians from the Ethiopian community at the Jerusalem Conservatory Hassadna in the German Colony on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Grimes is coming to Israel mainly to perform at this year’s Tel Aviv Jazz Festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Tuesday, but he will be bringing his trio of saxophonist-flutist Andrew Lamb and drummer Newman Taylor Baker to Jerusalem the following day.
The Jerusalem Conservatory Hassadna was established by Amalia Reuel to provide high-quality music instruction to all children, regardless of physical or mental ability, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religious affiliation. The conservatory caters to some 550 children ages three to 18 from all across the capital’s social and cultural spectrum, including at-risk youth and children with special needs.
For more information: (02) 563-0017 or
– Barry Davis