This week in Jerusalem 463365

Peggy Cidor's round-up of city affairs.

City councilman Rami Levy (left) with Mayor Nir Barkat (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
City councilman Rami Levy (left) with Mayor Nir Barkat
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Warning you
Threats addressed to the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center team were sent to employees’ private email accounts last week.
Among other things, the counselors and psychologists working at the center were accused of causing the deterioration in the medical and psychological condition of convicted former president Moshe Katsav. One threat particularly alarming the team said that they should all be beheaded. The police were alerted and opened an investigation.
While we often criticize city council members and proceedings, here for a change is a nice story to tell.
City council member Rami Levy, a member of Mayor Nir Barkat’s Jerusalem Will Succeed list, has offered “asylum” to council colleague Yossi Daitch from the United Torah Judaism list – whose Safra Square office has been rendered unusable due to extensive renovations.
True, not all sources at Safra Square are happy about the remodeling work – some say it is not necessary – but the neighborly relationship between the office residents and their representatives is helping to foster a positive atmosphere.
Apparently Daitch is not alone in needing to upgrade his environment; Deputy Mayor Hagit Moshe also decided to renovate her office. Moshe, who joined the city council just a few months ago, inherited two tiny rooms that served the director of the education administration – a space not ideally suited to the needs of a deputy mayor.
While Moshe agreed to manage temporarily with an alternative small room, Daitch – brotherhood between men? – was invited to use Levy’s large office.
City hall students
The municipality is a big employer of students. Shifts at the 106 call center and other duties that require flexible working hours are a good opportunity for students.
According to figures from city hall, no fewer than 200 students are employed by the city, but it does not offer particularly good conditions. For example, students working in one department of city hall are not allowed to present their candidacy for tenders for other positions, regardless of the fact that they have developed relevant skills and knowledge in the positions they have already held.
Attempts to resolve this problem have yet to succeed, but since last week there a new factor: The students employed by the municipality have decided to organize a committee to represent them and protect their rights.
Senior center or mall?
The district planning and construction committee has approved 500 parking spots and a modern home for seniors instead of the plan to enlarge Malha Mall by 40,000 square meters, which was sought by the mall’s owners. Malha is considered one of the most successful and profitable malls, not only in the region but in Israel as a whole.
The local planning and construction committee had approved only an 8,000-sq.m. added area, but last Thursday, the district committee reduced even that, approving only an 1,800-sq.m. addition. The rest of the area will serve as a large, modern home for seniors.
Successful Jeru-Shalem
What began about five years ago as an attempt to reach out to Jewish communities abroad, to present Jerusalem as more open and tolerant than its image, has attained impressive success. The crowdfunding campaign launched by the Jeru- Shalem forum quickly reached its goal of NIS 50,000 – the sum that will enable the forum to continue its activities across the city.
Jeru-Shalem organizes community and family activities for all residents, religious and secular, in a number of neighborhoods.
These activities are not budgeted by the municipality because they are scheduled on Shabbat – although many of them are appropriate for religious people – and therefore required the public’s support.
Making sacrifices
The Temple Institute, located in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, is opening a school to train Levitical priests to serve in the future Temple, to be rebuilt upon the coming of the Messiah.
Courses will start this year.
The organization has run pilot programs over the past few years and is now embarking on a mission to teach kohanim all of the practical skills required to serve in the coming third Temple.
The curriculum at the Netzer Hakodesh school will include courses on the Temple service, theory and practice, and the role and application of modern technology in the Temple.
Course include “The Sacred Temple Vessels – Aspects of Engineering and Design,” and “The Mathematics of the Holy Temple.”
“At a time when the world is plagued with terrorism and uncertainty, we embark on this project with full faith that one day the Holy Temple will finally be rebuilt and the priestly service reinstated, ushering in an unparalleled era of peace and harmony among all of mankind,” said the institute’s international director Rabbi Chaim Richman.