Grapevine: Ramatayim in Ra’anana

Jerusalem's Ramatayim choir will participate in a benefit concert for Beit Issie Shapiro’s Malcolm Zaidel Music Therapy Program that aids countless children with special needs and developmental disabilities.

Ramatayim Men's Choir 520 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Ramatayim Men's Choir 520
(photo credit: Courtesy)
■ JERUSALEM’S RAMATAYIM Choir, directed by Richard Shavei Tzion, will travel to Ra’anana on November 28 to join the Eitz Haim Choir, directed by Doron Chitiz and featuring soloists Shai Abramson (who is the chief cantor of the IDF), Colin Shachat and Simon Cohen, in a benefit concert at Hamishkan Music and Arts Center. Proceeds will go to Beit Issie Shapiro’s Malcolm Zaidel Music Therapy Program that aids countless children with special needs and developmental disabilities.
According to Irit Jacobowitz, the events and projects coordinator at Beit Issie Shapiro, music therapy “is a significant part of our treatment program for children with special needs. Music offers our special children an alternative means of communication with which to express their feelings, wants … and dreams.”
■ ON SUNDAY, November 6, the Ramatayim Choir, the Yuval Cantor’s Choir, Shai Abramson, Simon Cohen and Yonatan Razel will appear at the annual Emunah concert at the Henry Crown Theater in Jerusalem, and will be accompanied by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr.
Mordechai Sobol. The Emunah concert is always sold out, not only because Emunah members and supporters care about the organization’s educational projects, but because cantorial music has a tremendous following in Jerusalem.
■ MORE THAN 6,000 Christian pilgrims from close to 100 nations thronged to Jerusalem for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s annual celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. According to ICEJ media director David Parsons, this represents the largest solidarity mission to Israel this year.
Parsons estimated that participants injected $15 million to $18 million into the local economy.
“It is a privilege to build on the unmatched record we have established over the past three decades for Christian tourism and solidarity with Israel,” said Dr. Juergen Buehler, the ICEJ’s incoming executive director.
“This year’s gathering again underlined our message that Israel is not isolated but has millions of Christian advocates and admirers worldwide.
Large delegations from some exciting new countries show that this support is growing.”
Among the Israeli dignitaries listed to address the gathering were Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
Among this year’s Christian pilgrims were large delegations from Australia, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, the UK, Hong Kong, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Thailand and the United States.
■ WELL-KNOWN Jerusalem businessman and philanthropist Edward S.
Cohen is the newly elected chairman of the Israel Free Loan Association.
IFLA board members attorney Ofir Ozeri and real-estate appraiser and consultant Ohad Eini were elected as co-vice chairmen.
Cohen succeeds Prof. Eliezer Jaffe, the organization’s founder, who remains active as a member of the board and a consultant to IFLA donors.
Jaffe, who was elected honorary life president, is one of Israel’s greatest experts on not-for-profit organizations.
Cohen, who has lived in Israel since 1983, was born in Iraq and raised in the UK, where he qualified as a chartered accountant. In the UK he worked as a stockbroker and was a member of the London Stock Exchange. He was also a member of Lloyd’s of London. In Israel he has been active in venture capital and hi-tech investments.
He has been involved in various volunteer and philanthropic activities and has played a leadership role in a number of local NGOs. He has been a member of the IFLA board of directors for 20 years and most recently served as chairman of the organization’s finance committee. He is married and has four children.
The Israel Free Loan Association ( was established by Jaffe in 1990 in response to the mass immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.
The IFLA’s mission soon expanded to include other needy Israelis. The association has thus far provided more than $145 million in revolving interest-free loans to some 43,000 individuals, families and small businesses in Israel. It is reputed to be the largest interest-free loan association in the world.