Happy ?? birthday

The candles were lit, and she blew them out. Her age continues to remain a secret, while Willig continues to display energy of a 20-year-old.

Tel Aviv Architecture 521 (photo credit: Amit Geron)
Tel Aviv Architecture 521
(photo credit: Amit Geron)
AMONG THE more frequently published letter writers to The Jerusalem Post and occasionally to In Jerusalem is Toby Willig, a former national president of Emunah in America, who currently chairs the Emunah Seminar Committee in Jerusalem.
The effervescent Willig, who is known for constantly praising others as the best, the brightest, the most intelligent, the most interesting, etc., is a pretty smart cookie herself. She does not allow failing eyesight to stop her from traveling all over the country, particularly to communities in Judea and Samaria, nor from attending scores of lectures and conferences held by various organizations and institutions, as long as they’re in English.
Willig was pleasantly surprised at last Sunday’s Emunah seminar when, in the middle of announcing future events, she was interrupted and presented with two candles and a jar of candies in honor of her birthday. The candles were lit, and she blew them out to great applause. Her age continues to remain a secret, while Willig continues to display the energy and curiosity of a 20-year-old. In typical fashion, when asked to make a wish, she did not ask for anything for herself but wished for the wellbeing of the State of Israel.
■ PROMINENT JERUSALEM businessman Simo Tobol has changed his status. In addition to his various investments that include restaurants, he is now the honorary consul of Moldava. The title was conferred on him at a festive ceremony at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. In addition to members of Tobol’s family and close friends, the event was attended by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who was born in Moldova and has been seen dining at Tobol’s eateries; Moldovan Ambassador to Israel Mihai Balan; and Israel’s Ambassador to Moldova David Oren.
■ ORGANIZERS OF functions commemorating historical events often fail to realize that some of the attendees have been invited because they are living witnesses to what is being commemorated.
In many instances, they are people in their 80s and 90s, but organizers fail to take this into account and seldom provide sufficient seating. That’s what happened last week at the House of Quality, where more than half the people attending the opening of the “Jewish Refugees and Shanghai” exhibition were people in this age group. However, there were not enough chairs, and many people who found standing difficult had no other option but to sit on the floor. The refreshments consisted primarily of Chinese delicacies, which perhaps catered to the nostalgia of the palate.
Representing the municipality was Deputy Mayor Pepe Allalu, who remarked on the hospitality of the Chinese people, which enabled Jews who had come to Shanghai from a different culture to feel at home there and free to establish a vibrant Jewish community in a way that would suggest that they had lived there for generations and were not just marking time for the duration of the war.
Noting the Chinese representatives, such as Dai Yuming, the political counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Tel Aviv; Li Guohua, vice district mayor of Hongkou, the area in Shanghai where most of the Jewish refugees lived; and Chen Jian, the curator of the Jewish Refugees Museum located in the old Ohel Moshe synagogue, which was renovated by the local municipality, Allalu said that he wanted them to feel as much at home in Jerusalem as they had made Jews feel in Shanghai.
He also told them that Chinese visitors would always be welcome in Jerusalem. The exhibition will remain on view until August 25.
■ HEBREW UNIVERSITY vice president Carmi Gillon is hosting a pre-Rosh Hashana reception and dialogue for the Israel Friends of the Hebrew University at the Bloomfield Science Museum on September 3. Both the reception and the dialogue, which will be held between Prof. Hanoch Guttfreund and Prof. Ram Serry, will be preceded by a guided a tour of the museum. Guttfreund and Ram will be focusing on different subjects.
Guttfreund will be looking “Beyond the Ivory Tower,” while Ram will explore the notion of whether there is life on other planets.
■ PLANS FOR the entrance to the city have been met with dismay by those who foresee it as ruining the city’s skyline. The construction glut has made it all but impossible to look out onto the Judean Desert, which was once a prime feature of real-estate locations in Jerusalem.
On the positive side, one only has to look at the rapid rate of development of the new neighborhood adjacent to the International Convention Center (Binyenei Ha’uma) to visualize how beautiful the entrance to the city will be.
While the master plan for the city also calls for new roads, it does not explain how the bottleneck between Mevaseret Zion and the entrance to Jerusalem can be avoided. While a lot of people entering or leaving Jerusalem will do so by train or bus, there will be at least as many traveling in cars.
Serious congestion at specific periods in the morning and the late afternoon is already trying patience, and widening the highway leading into Jerusalem would be problematic.
No one would dare destroy the Sakharov Gardens while Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky is alive. Sharansky and Andrei Sakharov, the Russian physicist and human rights activist, had a very close relationship. When Sharansky first returned to Russia 11 years after his release from a Siberian prison, he made a point of visiting Sakharov’s grave.
■ COFFEE SHOPS have been proliferating throughout Israel to the extent that visitors might think that the population is much greater than it really is. It started with Aroma, which opened the first of its numerous establishments on Jerusalem’s Hillel Street in 1994, followed by Café Hillel on the same street in 1998. Café Rimon, which is a much older Jerusalem establishment and not nearly as ubiquitous, has begun branching out, as has Café Ne’eman, another veteran Jerusalem establishment that has more branches than Café Rimon.
The chain idea spread to restaurants such as Marvad Haksamim, whose one remaining branch on the corner of Emek Refaim and Rahel Imeinu has a steady clientele. Across the road on Rahel Imeinu is the second branch of Roza, which attracts even more customers than its downtown facility, and a line of people can be seen outside every night as they wait patiently for a vacant table.
Roza has now branched out to what goes by the name of Roza Express at the Malha Mall. The new outlet is operated by Oshri Ohana, Yossi Mizrahi and Alon Ashraf, who received a franchise from Roza restaurant proprietor Shmulik Shmueli, who is negotiating for additional Roza Express outlets elsewhere in the city. If these prove successful, Roza will spread its wings to become a national chain.
The menu and quality of food at Roza Express are on a par with those of the Roza restaurants.