This week in Jerusalem 497655

Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs

Uzi Wexler (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Uzi Wexler
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Rest in peace
Uzi Wexler died on Monday evening, June 19, just after he took part in the inauguration of the city’s first aquarium. Wexler, recognized as a Yakir Yerushalayim (Distinguished Citizen of Jerusalem), was 79. Among his many achievements, he will be remembered for his dedication to the creation and success of the Jerusalem Technology College and for his tenure as treasurer of the municipality, during which time he paved the way to the establishment of the city-owned corporations Eden and Moriah, and the Jerusalem Development Authority, which he headed in its first years. Also thanks to him, one can add the renovation of the Mamilla Mall, the hi-tech center at Har Hotzvim and many other projects in the capital. He was also the major entrepreneur behind the development of the Tower of David Museum of the history of the city, and a member of the boards of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and the Israel Museum. Above all, he will be remembered for his part in the battle for Jerusalem during the Six Day War. Wexler leaves a wife, four children and six grandchildren.
What will we eat in 2050? It may not be a realistic issue for some of us, but for the next generations, it is a serious question. In Mahaneh Yehuda, a legendary site that is much more than just an outdoor market, people think about that and are even proposing some answers. A festival of innovation and inventiveness in all areas – including the culinary – is offering some proposals. What will your supper or lunch look like – or taste like – in 2050? The answer is at “Food-Tech,” a joint venture of Strauss, The Kitchen, the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Technology Hub in Jerusalem. They will present some of their innovations each Wednesday evening at the market in five locations (bars and restaurants) between 8 and 11 p.m. The menu will include talks on future food technologies (with special emphasis on how to avoid meat without renouncing your daily dose of protein). More at
Sacred wages
The Movement for Quality Government in Israel has submitted its opposition to the recent government decision to allow the rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz, to raise funds for the site. It also refers to the present policy of the rabbi’s unlimited tenure in the position. The objections were submitted to the government’s deputy legal adviser, Dinah Zilber, by Eliad Shraga, the movement’s founder and president. Rabinowitz has held his position for an unprecedented 21 years. Shraga believes that enabling him to raise funds from domestic and foreign donors – something that is forbidden for any public servant – is contrary to all aspects of proper management and governance.
Prince for peace
Mosab Hassan Yousef planned to follow in the footsteps of his father, one of the pillars of Hamas – but things went in a totally different direction for the “Green Prince.” Instead of continuing in the path of terror and hatred for Israel, he crossed the lines and helped the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). After 10 years, in 2007, he decided to completely change his life; he became a Christian and left the country for the United States. In 2009, he went public and revealed his extraordinary life in a book, Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices. Dudi Gordon, the Shin Bet agent who knew Yousef so well – even better than his own father, who never suspected him – left the agency in 2011 and moved to fulfill an old dream: to become a playwright and actor. The two met to work out a play based on the extraordinary life of Yousef, and the results are being brought to the stage by the Jerusalem-based Psik theater company. Gordon wrote the play based on the knowledge he gathered as Yousef’s “handler” during the years of the Second Intifada. The result on stage is stunning, depicting the pain and high suspense. It offers a glimpse into the gray world of the security services, and provides fascinating insight into the daily reality of Hamas. Nesich Hatzlalim (Prince of the Shadows) is running at Beit Mazie, 18 Mesilat Yesharim Street; phone: (02) 623-0002.
A different square
On Monday, almost 12 years after the disengagement from Gush Katif, a square bearing that name was inaugurated by Mayor Nir Barkat. It is near Agrippas Street at the site of a small museum dedicated to the 23 villages evacuated and destroyed in August 2005. The ceremony took place in the presence of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and ex-members of the Gush Katif regional council. At the end, Barkat declared that the decision to name a Jerusalem square for Gush Katif was to ensure that “such a thing will not happen again.”
Summer school here at home
More than 1,600 local students have registered for summer school, which is operating in the city for the third consecutive year. The project, begun in 2014, is part of a national initiative to encourage excellency in English among junior high school students. Its NIS 600 fee for a month of studies makes it accessible to lower-income households. The teachers come from abroad (mostly the US, but also from Europe). This year’s students will come from 37 schools around the city. Registration is still open through the Rene Cassin Association (
Check your hall
Planning an event and looking for the best deal for a banquet hall? Perhaps you should also take note of the hall’s safety record. Each year, the municipality checks the safety conditions they offer and demands an annual certification by a recognized engineer prior to a renewal of their license. Now, residents who wish to be sure they are inviting their guests to a safe banquet hall can check the list at the municipality’s website before closing a deal: Pages/event_2.aspx