This Week in Jerusalem

Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs

This year’s AACI memorial event for fallen soldiers and victims of terror will take place September 30. (photo credit: COURTESY AACI)
This year’s AACI memorial event for fallen soldiers and victims of terror will take place September 30.
(photo credit: COURTESY AACI)
 200 days for 15% off groceries
After 200 days of protests from residents, the Shufersal Sheli supermarket at the Kiryat Hayovel commercial center has agreed to reduce its prices by 10 to 15 percent. For the past few months, residents held meetings near the entrance to the only large supermarket in the neighborhood, and together with the neighborhood council, they persuaded locals to boycott it because of its high prices.
The neighborhood council declared that after “2,000 signatures on our petition, hundreds of hours of meetings and [giving] customers information, and one visit from five protesting consumers in their underwear,” the residents had finally won this battle. No fewer than 6,600 items in the supermarket are now on sale at discounts ranging from 10% to 15% – to the satisfaction of the protesters. From this week on, there will be no more protest stations in front of the doors, but instead hundreds of customers returning.
Police in French Hill
Following the riots in the Arab sector last week, which included attempts to burn down a gas station in the French Hill neighborhood, police are planning a reassessment of the situation there. One of the decisions that Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch has already approved is to open a police station in this neighborhood. Partly bordering the Arab neighborhood of Isawiya and overlooking the Wadi Joz neighborhood, French Hill has long suffered from violence and vandalism by young Arab residents, including graffiti and damage to cars. Manning the new police station, which is soon to be installed, will be policemen from some of the elite units. Meanwhile, police have set up a roadblock to control traffic between French Hill and Isawiya.
Damaged railway
A third of the capital’s light rail cars suffered damage during the riots and stone-throwing of recent weeks in the Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina. As a result, there have been delays in the line, as well as an increase in crowding on the trains. Altogether, 23 of the cars have been damaged, mostly by stones hitting the glass.
Making the grade
Two Jerusalemite students have received a special stipend from the Schulich Foundation for students who show outstanding academic excellence. Itzik Adamso and Jonathan Avraham were among 35 students who got the award.
Adamso received the grant for academic distinction in computer science at the capital’s Hebrew University. The 27-year-old was born in Ethiopia and made aliya with his family to Lod. He joined an elite unit in the army and later on moved to HU for his studies.
Among the reasons he received the award was his long-time engagement with other students and youth.
Avraham is from Mevaseret Zion and studies physics at HU. In the framework of his social activism for the grant, he gives lessons and helps high-school students at the Denmark School in the Katamonim neighborhood.
This year, the Schulich foundation will grant $10,000 to each of the 35 students for excellence in the fields of mathematics, technology and engineering.
AACI honors the fallen
Every autumn, the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel holds a poignant commemorative ceremony in honor of North Americans and other AACI members and their immediate family who have fallen in service to the State of Israel or as victims of terror.
Participants in this year’s event – which takes place on September 30 at the AACI memorial site near Sha’ar Hagai – will include AACI members, families of the fallen, and students from overseas who are attending programs in Israel. Ambassadors of the United States and Canada are expected to attend as well.
This year’s ceremony follows on the heels of a particularly painful period in the country, beginning with the June 12 kidnapping of three teenagers. The subsequent Gaza operation left hundreds of bereaved family members whose soldier sons fell on the battlefield, as well as civilian casualties from the missiles that rained down. The following names will be added to the more than 320 names already inscribed on the memorial plaques: David Menachem Gordon, Sean Nissim Carmeli, Yaakov Naftali Fraenkel, Oren Simcha Noach and Max Donald Steinberg. MK Rabbi Dov Lipman will be the speaker at the ceremony, and the title of his talk will be “Ask What You Can Do for Your Country.”
Bus transportation will be available from AACI and requires preregistration.
For information and reservations, call the AACI at (02) 566-1181.
Sculptural installation at Agrippas 12
Artist Max Epstein’s works are on display at the Agrippas 12 Gallery as of this week, under the banner “Sculptural Installation.”
The curator of the exhibition, which consists of sculptures of cats, is Katya Oicherman. According to the exhibition’s catalogue, “stray cats are a symbol of unfulfilled dreams and broken promises. They are unwanted guests who adjust to the harshest living conditions and do not seek anyone’s permission to be situated in the supposedly cultivated urban space. They intervene, wallow and make existence attended, which undermines the fragile equilibrium within the sensation of human ownership over the space in-between, that which exists between buildings, the street. The expression with soft and squeezable matter conveys the experience of intervention and wallowing through animalistic and grotesque plastics, which conceals fundaments of the permitted, the fair and accepted, and tells the daily routine of familiar threatening other – the shadow behind the organized daily routine of our lives.”
The monster reawakens
After almost a year of heavy construction work and some NIS 2.5 million, the city’s gentlest monster – the “Mifletzet” park in Kiryat Hayovel – is ready for a new era of entertaining generations of children. This playground, which is famous even outside the city, was under renovation and not accessible for a while, but as of this week, it is ready to welcome back children and their accompanying grown-ups. Among other things, there is now easier access to the playground, new plants and trees (replacing some that had to be uprooted), brand new lighting, taps for drinking water, and benches and tables for picnics. The playground is also now accessible to disabled visitors, including those in wheelchairs.
The Boydem
A new initiative to help enable people who cope with mental illness and depression has taken the form of a secondhand clothing shop. Udi Marilli, an expert in providing employment frameworks for people with special needs, has launched the Boydem, which opened this past Tuesday in the Talpiot industrial zone and will be operating every day from now on. At the Boydem, one can find clothing, shoes, hats, scarves and accessories, of high quality and at low prices – and on top of that, the store provides dignified jobs for people who cannot work elsewhere.
People interested in donating can bring items they don’t wear anymore – as long as they’re in good condition – to help the organizers continue the project. The Boydem is located at 15 Tzeret Street.