Jerusalem retrospective in Tel Aviv

Hebrew U hosts ambassadors' wives for the day; Café Greg opens in Mamilla Mall; prize-winning artist Yitzhak Greenfield has a retrospective exhibition in Tel Aviv.

Cafe Greg 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Cafe Greg 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
PROLIFIC BROOKLYN-born prizewinning artist Yitzhak Greenfield, whose home and studio are in Ein Kerem and whose main artistic focus and inspiration is Jerusalem, is having a retrospective exhibition in Tel Aviv.
Visitors to the city that never stops can see his work at La Minotaure Gallery on Rehov Ben-Yehuda. Among those who attended the opening of his exhibition was Naftali Bezem, one of Israel’s most famous artists, with whom Greenfield once studied.
Greenfield’s works can also be found in permanent collections in museums throughout the country such as the Israel Museum and the Tel Aviv Museum, as well as in museum galleries, libraries and universities in Israel, the US, England and France. It is said that no prophet is heard in his own city, but apparently this does not apply to art.
Greenfield’s work is not only in the permanent exhibition of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, his city of choice, but also in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the city of his birth, and in the Brooklyn Museum. He’s also represented in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and has exhibited in several other countries.
■ HEBREW UNIVERSITY director-general Billy Shapira hosted some 50 members of the International Women’s Club, including wives of several ambassadors.
The visitors enjoyed a day at the university’s Mount Scopus campus, undeterred by the weather, which was much colder than the temperatures in Herzliya Pituah and Kfar Shmaryahu, where most of them live. The group toured the campus’s main areas, including the Hecht Synagogue, met with students and heard a lecture by Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund on “The Love Letters of Albert Einstein.”
The Hebrew University is the repository of the Einstein archives, and Gutfreund, a physicist and former president of the university, is chairman of the university’s Einstein Center.
Ana Sovic, president of the Diplomatic Spouses Club and wife of the ambassador of Slovenia, was among the women who appreciated the opportunity to see the workings of the campus. At the end of the tour, each woman received a Hebrew University pin and a booklet with facsimiles of some of Einstein’s love letters.
■ IT’S RARE to see a lot of customers in the clothing and accessories stores in the Mamilla Mall, but the restaurants and coffee shops do a roaring trade, especially at night. Now and again, would-be diners have to stand in line in front of their favorite eatery while they wait for tables to be vacated. Thanks to Yair Malcha, the waiting period will be reduced by the addition of yet another option at the mall. Malcha is the proprietor of Café Greg, a chain of some 50 restaurants and coffee shops, located mostly in the Center and North of the country. Now Café Greg has come to Mamilla, where it is the first of several branches destined for Jerusalem.
■ AMONG THE many people whom former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican US presidential candidate Mike Huckabee met during his visit to Israel last week were local leaders of the International Committee for the Preservation of the Mount of Olives, who are extremely troubled by the vandalism, the desecration of graves and the violence being perpetrated against visitors to the Mount of Olives. The group gave Huckabee a letter of concern that asked him to call on US leaders to speak out on behalf of the Mount of Olives Cemetery, which is the world’s oldest and largest Jewish burial ground and contains more than 100,000 graves – some of them centuries old.
The committee’s expressed goal is to help reduce the continuous assault on the historical burial ground and to introduce improvements to those parts of the cemetery that have been neglected or defiled. The committee also wants to remove illegal structures from land zoned for cemetery use.
Towards the end of January Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch of the Eda Haredit, accompanied by four relatives, went to the Mount of Olives on the anniversary of his wife’s death to pray at her grave.
His car was pelted with stones by Arab boys in the vicinity. The car was damaged and the windows broken. Though afraid of what might happen next, the occupants of the car continued their journey along the Silwan road.
Shternbuch insisted on going ahead with his prayers, and a phone call brought a police escort to ensure that no harm would come to the venerable rabbi or members of his family.
■ FILM BUFFS with a sense of history should circle Monday, February 28 on their calendars. That’s the date when Dr. Gabriel Sivan will share with members and friends of the Israel Branch of The Jewish Historical Society of England anecdotes about Bertie Samuelson, who was one of the pioneers of Britain’s film industry. Samuelson was on the scene years ahead of Michael Balcon and Alexander Korda, who each gained renown.
The 1913 film Sixty Years a Queen was the launch pad for his career. He went on to produce and direct more than 130 films, some of which brought John Gielgud and other great actors destined for stardom to the screen. Samuelson’s output was phenomenal. He brought out close to 30 new films in 1925 alone. He specialized in literary classic but also displayed concern for moral issues and his pride in being a Jew. The advent of talking pictures brought his illustrious career to a sad end. Samuelson’s sons and grandchildren also made remarkable contributions to Britain’s film industry. The lecture at Beit Avi Chai will begin at 7.45 p.m.
■ EGYPT HAS long been a family love affair in the Mazel family. Zvi Mazel served in Cairo when the Israeli embassy first opened there in early 1980. He was accompanied by his wife, Michelle, who is a published author, and their three children. Several years later, after the children had grown up and left the nest, he returned to Egypt with his wife, this time in the capacity of ambassador.
In recent years, he has been approached by several media outlets, including The Jerusalem Post, to comment on various developments in Egypt. Since the start of the unrest, he has been a frequent guest commentator on television, radio and in the print media. Michelle, who wrote a book about her life in Egypt entitled The Ambassador’s Wife, has also been invited to appear on television as news anchors strive to find new angles to the Egyptian story