This week in Jerusalem 382999

Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs.

Children at school (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
Children at school
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
Real guards wanted
The Jerusalem Parents’ Association is not satisfied with the fact that security guards at schools, preschools and kindergartens are not required to have training. Association president Paz Cohen issued a letter to the prime minister on Sunday, asking him to grant the guards in educational institutions the status of preferential work for recently discharged soldiers. There is a serious need for trained guards who know how to face serious threats and are prepared for extreme situations. At present, since guard work is no longer considered a preferential occupation, there is a great shortage of young, trained guards, and companies who provide that service cannot ensure that the guards are suitable for the city’s present sensitive situation.
Cohen added that despite the security issues of recent weeks, many of the capital’s educational institutions that should have security guards still did not, for lack of trained personnel.
Rapid response
The mayor’s plan to restore a sense of security to the city, especially in educational institutions, was presented to the public earlier this week. As of this Sunday, and in full coordination with the Jerusalem Police, a squad of 50 police and civil guard patrol cars will circulate inside each neighborhood in the city – in contrast to the current four patrol cars on duty – with an emphasis on schools and kindergartens.
On top of this, 30 patrol cars with specially trained municipal guards will be assigned to the city’s educational institutions, ready to arrive within two minutes, instead of the 13 (not all trained) patrols that were on duty until now. There will be a total of 215 guards at the city’s kindergartens, in accordance with police instructions. And to complete the picture, hundreds of closed-circuit cameras will be installed near educational institutions within a few weeks.
Culinary congress
The International Congress of the World Association of Chefs Societies will take place in Jerusalem next week, with more than 50 internationally acclaimed chefs from across the world – among them Gissurs Gudmundsson of Iceland, Miltos Karboubas of Greece, and others from countries as diverse as Croatia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Italy.
The chefs will exchange notes on their culinary traditions, compare recipes and, of course, cook. All that will take place at the Caesar Hotel, together with some 300 chefs and restaurant owners from around the country. This is the first time that this prestigious – and delicious – congress is taking place in the country. The event will run for three days – December 2-5 – full of cooking and talks about food, ending with a gala dinner presenting the results of the encounter and the dishes the chefs have made. The Israeli chefs will be showing the many faces of Jewish cookery, from all the countries and traditions of the Diaspora.
Being a good citizen
Need tools for becoming a better citizen? The Hebrew University has collaborated with the Yovel high school and the High Court of Justice on the program “A Toolbox for Good Citizenship,” resulting in an exhibition of posters and signboards made by Yovel students.
The exhibition is on display at the Bloomfield Library for the Humanities and Social Sciences on the university’s Mount Scopus campus, and it is open to the public. The 12 posters are the product of a one-year study program on the values of citizenship and the accompanying rules. After its run at the university, the exhibition will go on display at the David Yellin College, at Safra Square, and at the headquarters of the Bezeq communications company, which has given some support to the project.
Hamshushalayim is back
Despite the tensions, riots and terror attacks in the capital, the Hamshushalayim festival is back, with a series of weekends full of art, leisure and tourism events to celebrate the winter season. The Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Tourism Ministry have joined forces to organize the four weekends of events and celebrations. This is the 10th edition of Hamshushalayim, which was conceived in the middle of the second intifada as a means of boosting the city’s tourism and economy.
Although security threats have resurfaced, the mayor decided that just as they did not defer the festival 10 years ago, they should under no circumstances prevent Hamshushalayim from happening now.
In the four weekends throughout December, visitors will be able to enjoy culinary and cultural events, music and theater, museums and guided tours of the city, as well as a 50% discount on a second night in the city’s hotels and reduced rates at museums. More information is available at
No contempt
The High Court of Justice has ruled that Mayor Nir Barkat was not in contempt of court in keeping the Cinema City movie complex closed on Shabbat. That was the High Court of Justice’s response earlier this week to the Hitorerut movement, represented on the city council by Deputy Mayor Ofer Berkovitch, and in court by former municipality legal adviser Yossi Havilio.
Berkovitch insisted that Cinema City should be open on Shabbat, while Barkat maintained that this was not possible, since it was promoted by the Treasury and thus couldn’t be open on Shabbat, as ministries cannot fund places of leisure that are open on Shabbat.
Barkat maintained that he was acting according to a previous court decision that prohibited Cinema City from operating on Shabbat, and that therefore there was no reason to accuse him of acting with contempt toward the court, as Havilio argued.
The end of the story is that Cinema City will not operate on Shabbat and holidays. However, the residents of Jerusalem have plenty of alternatives these days – the Orlando movie series at the Beit Shmuel Center, and soon the Sherover Cultural Center in Talpiot, as well as the veteran Smadar theater and Cinematheque.
Shaare Zedek opens additional facilities
The gynecology clinics at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center moved last week from the main building to the adjacent Next Generation building on the campus opposite Mount Herzl.
The edifice already houses the neonatal and premature baby unit and, when completed, will include a new obstetrics emergency room, additional obstetrics beds and an additional operating theater. The building is very comfortably designed and furnished, upgrading privacy and the hospital’s “hotel” services.
SZMC has 25 obstetrics and gynecology clinics for women of all ages. There are facilities for follow-up of high-risk and other pregnancies, early diagnosis of women’s disease and the treatment of menopausal problems. Four more advanced ultrasound units have been purchased. The new obstetrics department will be launched at the beginning of 2015, while the entire structure – with a fully equipped children’s hospital – will be ready for occupancy at the end of that year.                      – Judy Siegel