Grapevine: Straight from the heart

Tislam, which keeps disbanding and reuniting, is putting on a benefit performance for Save a Child’s Heart at Zappa Herzliya.

save a childs heart 521 (photo credit: SHEILA SHALHEVET / SACH)
save a childs heart 521
(photo credit: SHEILA SHALHEVET / SACH)
■ POPULAR ROCK band Tislam, which keeps disbanding and reuniting, is putting on a benefit performance for Save a Child’s Heart at Zappa Herzliya on October 21.
Yair Nitzani, one of the original members of the group, says that Tislam has personal reasons for supporting Save a Child’s Heart because it is aware of how important it is to cure heart ailments. Some years ago, legendary drummer Sami Avzardel collapsed with a heart attack when the group was recording at Izhar Ashdot’s studio. Fortunately, Danni Bassan, another founding member of the group, was able to get an ambulance to come quickly, as a result of which Avzardel’s life was saved.
The incident traumatized the group because Avzardel is its youngest member.
Now, when the opportunity came to do something toward repairing the hearts of even younger people, namely children, the group immediately pitched in.
In the decade and a half of its existence, Save a Child’s Heart has repaired the hearts of more than 3,000 children from more than 45 countries, some of which are hostile to Israel. But the doctors and nurses at Wolfson Medical Center are not interested in diplomacy or politics. Their main concern is healing a sick child and giving that child the opportunity to become a functioning adult.
■ NOTWITHSTANDING THE opposition of The Council for Higher Education to the idea that a non-academic should hold the office of president of a university, Amos Shapira, who until recently served as CEO of the leading cellular phone company Cellcom, has taken up his new position as president of the University of Haifa. It’s not that Shapira doesn’t have a university degree. He does, and from the University of Haifa, no less. But although his first job was as a teaching assistant in the university’s Department of Economics, he was never a full-fledged faculty member of any university.
Prior to working for Cellcom, he was CEO of El Al Airlines. He also served from 2008 until a few months ago as president of the Friends Association of Tel Aviv University, in which capacity he spearheaded the Employers’ Pact for Humanities and Natural Sciences – an agreement signed by 300 of Israel’s leading firms, promoting the employment of humanities and exact sciences graduates in the business sector.
Shapira has also been active in increasing awareness among individuals who hold influence on public opinion regarding Israel’s academic “brain drain” and was an executive board member of Kav Mashve, an organization that advances equal employment opportunities for minority populations in Israel.
His current position is closing a circle. “I am proud to be returning to the university where I took my first steps and which granted me the infrastructure for success – professionally and humanely,” Shapira said when moving into his office this month. Shapira succeeds Prof. Aaron Ben-Zvi, who held the office of president for eight years and under whose guidance the university made advances in many areas.
■ AT THE weekly cabinet meeting last Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared Beersheba, the capital of the Negev, to be a national priority community. “We are investing a lot in Beersheba and in the rapid transportation routes to it to link it with the center of the country and also allow it to develop. It is developing quickly with considerable momentum,” said Netanyahu, who also commended Beersheba Mayor Rubik Danilowitz. as “an excellent partner.” He thanked Danilowitz for his cooperation and pledged that they would continue to work together in the future.
The prime minister’s remarks were endorsed by Silvan Shalom, deputy prime minister and minister for regional cooperation and the development of the Negev and the Galilee. He said that the intention was to develop the old city of Beersheba so that it would become a vibrant hi-tech and commercial area. The government intends to invest NIS 45 million in Beersheba. Shalom, who grew up in Beersheba and is a graduate of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, has a soft spot for the city and continues to oversee its progress.
Danilowitz told reporters that he had every reason to believe that the government was sincere in its desire to develop Beersheba and noted that it had already done a great deal to improve the city’s infrastructure
■ DESPITE RISING prices and growing unemployment, fashion and food chains continue to expand, so there must be some money around that people are spending.
A case in point is the Golbary chain of fashion stores, which has invested NIS 2 million in opening new branches in Herzliya, Eilat and Tzemah and in relocating to larger premises than it had occupied in Rehovot. The company’s strategy, according to CEO Moshe Golbary, is to be accessible to potential customers all over the country instead of waiting for them to travel from their city or town in search of a Golbary store.
With the new additions, the company now has 65 branches throughout the country and has no intention of resting on its laurels. “We plan to open several more branches in the year ahead,” says Golbary. Most of the company’s stores are located in shopping malls.