This week in Jerusalem 390858

Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs.

Gilad Ratman, Five bands from Romania, 2011-2015. (photo credit: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND THE BRAVERMAN GALLERY, TEL AVIV)
Gilad Ratman, Five bands from Romania, 2011-2015.
History and terrorism
It was in 1969, barely two years after the Six Day War, that the Shufersal grocery store on the corner of King George Avenue and Agron Street was the site of a terrorist attack. On February 21, a bomb hidden under one of the counters exploded, killing two customers – Eddie Joffe and Leon Kanner – and wounding 10 other people. For residents, that attack was a harbinger of what would become part of the city’s almost daily fate.
This year, the families of the two victims have requested that the municipality and the Shufersal management put up a plaque at the entrance to the store to commemorate the attack.
The families, originally from South Africa, felt that few people were aware of this tragic event, especially since so many more have occurred in the city over the last 47 years.
Ohr Torah for Stav
Rabbi David Stav, who was a candidate for the position of national chief rabbi in 2013, is joining the leadership of the Ohr Torah Stone network of institutions. Stav will be the network’s co-chancellor and will serve alongside OTS founder and chancellor Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.
“Ohr Torah Stone has made a significant impact on the Jewish world over the past three decades, and we believe that the addition of Rabbi Stav to the steering of our network alongside Rabbi Riskin will enable us to impact even further through articulating our message and promoting it within our diverse Israeli society,” says OTS director-general Yinon Ahiman.
Stav, chief rabbi of Shoham and chairman of the Tzohar organization, is a graduate of the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva and has certification as a rabbinical judge from the Chief Rabbinate. He is also the author of Bein Hazmanim, a book about culture and recreation in Jewish thought and law, and Parasha B’ktana, a collection of thoughts on the connection between the weekly Torah portion and modern living, based on his weekly column in the Israel HaYom newspaper.
New works at Israel Museum
An exhibition featuring works by six internationally recognized Israeli artists is on display at the Israel Museum in honor of its 50th anniversary celebrations this month.
The exhibition, “6 Artists, 6 Projects,” is on view until August 29 and embraces genres including photography, sculpture and installation, with pieces by Uri Gershuni, Roi Kuper, Dana Levy, Tamir Lichtenberg, Ido Michaeli and Gilad Ratman. Their works capture snapshots of the rich spectrum of artistic perspectives emerging from the country’s flourishing contemporary art scene and explore themes ranging from personal and collective histories, to power and economic structures.
“This exhibition continues the Israel Museum’s 50-year tradition of supporting the art of the ‘Now,’ positioning works by some of the most engaging artists in Israel today within the timeline of world culture featured throughout our universal holdings,” said James S. Snyder, the museum’s director. “The Museum’s 50th anniversary this year offers an opportunity for reflecting on the continuing evolution of the arts in Israel, and, in this display, specifically through the lens of six thoughtprovoking artists whose works stand out both in concept and in their unique use of materials and mediums.”
See you in New York
Last week, a small delegation of city councilmen, led by Mayor Nir Barkat and high-ranking staff, paid a visit to New York and its Mayor Bill De Blasio, mostly focused on the best ways to strengthen the ties between the two cities and their residents.
De Blasio, who has visited Jerusalem three times, says the two cities share some of the same problems and issues – such as affordable housing, transparency and strategies for attracting investors. Before the meeting, Barkat, accompanied by his deputy Ofer Berkovitch (Hitorerut), spent a few days at a seminar that Harvard Business School’s Prof. Michael Porter hosted on how to better manage the city, and enhance businesses and the city’s investment and development strategy.
European chess
The capital is hosting the European Individual Chess Championship, with 250 competitors from 31 countries. Out of these international title-holders in the prestigious game, 115 have the high title of “masters.” Competitors scoring in the first 172 places will advance to the final stage of the 23rd world championship, where no less than NIS 550,000 awaits the winners. Taking place in Jerusalem for the first time, at the Ramada Hotel from February 23 to March 8, the competition is being organized by the municipality together with the Israeli Chess Federation, under the auspices of the European Chess Union; it will be attended by hundreds of chess players – including some of the most successful players worldwide. The opening ceremony at the Ramada, on February 23 at 8 p.m., is set to be attended by Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat and Mayor Nir Barkat. Aficionados and amateurs can follow the games at
Abraham at the Redeemer
Tomorrow evening (Saturday), the Old City’s Church of the Redeemer will host a special musical event – the Israeli premiere of a contemporary opera, Abraham, with music and libretto by American-Swiss composer Daniel Schnyder. Abraham is a spiritual opera, telling the story of Abraham/ Ibrahim, the father of the three major world religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) – as elaborated upon in the work’s subtitle, “Ibrahim/Abraham, the father of all – Discover what unites us in diversity.”
Schnyder is known for composing in a great variety of styles, ranging from the classical tradition to jazz and world music.
The current composition links the ancient story of Abraham to the present political and social situation, and to religion in a globalized world. The opera will enjoy the acoustics of the church, and will be performed by soloists and two choirs from Bonn and Düsseldorf, all under the baton of director Karin Fresit-Wissing, also from Germany. It will also be performed next week at the Convention Palace in Bethlehem. Tickets: 626-6800; Church of the Redeemer on Muristan Road, Old City; or
Jerusalem and army preparation
With the sixth pre-army academy launched this month, Jerusalem is becoming the city with the highest number of such institutions. The newcomer is Ruah Nachon, which according to Mayor Nir Barkat – who attended the launch ceremony this past Tuesday – indicates the capital is becoming a serious, attractive place for young adults. Ruah Nachon is located in the Musrara neighborhood, adding to the educational and artistic institutions already operating, such as the Naggar School of Art. The city’s pre-army academies are based on the concept of religious and secular young adults, male and female, living, studying and volunteering on social projects together. Half of them are six-month programs, while the rest are year-long.