This week in Jerusalem:October 22, 2017

Rolling Stone:Peggy Cidor's round-up of city affairs

Haredi Youth (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Haredi Youth
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Rolling stones
For years, there has been awareness of the issue of boys who quit the haredi framework, search for alternative frameworks and end up on the streets. Authorities and private and nonprofit associations seek to provide answers.
Now it is becoming evident that some girls in that sector suffer from similar problems stemming from a disinclination to adapt to the rigid haredi education system. According to sources, some 300 teenage girls have dropped out of school, left their homes and families and live on the streets of Jerusalem. Many of these encounter sexual harassment, drug and alcohol use; cut from familial and community ties, they struggle to survive in the urban jungle.
One of the first to call attention to the problem was Rabbi Dvir Benayahu, who opened a small center for them a few years ago, offering a bed and hot meal without asking intrusive questions or pushing the girls to repent and return to religious practice. Recently, however, Benayahu realized that the numbers are growing, requiring greater investment from the authorities.
One of the first steps taken was adding counselors in the schools to identify potential dropouts, to offer support and even establish contact with the family before it is too late. The main center is still located in Givat Shaul neighborhood, but other centers are opening in other neighborhoods.
Looking up
Following a minor kashrut-related venue snafu, the celebration marking the country’s space research was finally held in the city and the events were a great success. More than 500 Jerusalemites and visitors attended the event, held without government support as part of an initiative of a new liberal movement, presenting to the public some of the latest scientific achievements in this field.
Ofek Bernholtz, a promising young Jerusalemite PhD, delivered a stunning lecture on recent findings and the significance of the latest Nobel Prize work on gravitation waves and their influence. Prof. Oded Aharonson, a leading scholar on the Israeli space project, was on hand from the Weizmann Institute. The event included 11 meetings at various spots in the city center.
Violent youth
The Damascus Gate has long been a scene of tension and terrorist attacks. A group of soldiers – mostly from the Border Guard units – is on permanent duty there, to help prevent more such attacks.
However, the soldiers’ presence apparently didn’t stop a group of youth – wearing kippot, according to witnesses – from breaking into an Arab-owned grocery located near the gate, attacking the owner and causing damage to the shop and merchandise. The owner, who needed medical assistance after the group left the place, insisted that there was no provocation from him or any of his customers before the attack.
Drawings and words in Jerusalem
Although it is a genre usually associated with children’s books and magazines, illustration is in the spotlight at the “Outline Festival of Drawings and Words” in Jerusalem.
Exhibitions and events exploring the synergy between the written word and drawing will run until October 26.
This important visual festival, open to the public, is the first of its kind to be held in the city. Some 150 artists, designers, animators, poets, authors and scholars from all over the country are participating in this celebration of the interaction between written and visual languages of all sorts. The fruit of collaboration between Beita, the Department of Visual Arts at the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Design Cooperative and the Culture Ministry, the festival’s 10 exhibitions are spread over various galleries, museums, cultural institutions, studios and local businesses throughout the city.
Go for Baroque
Love and sensuality in music will be the major theme at the opening concert of the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra on November 2, at the YMCA Hall. The Vespers, one of Claudio Monteverdi’s major and most famous compositions, will be performed for the first time in Israel in its entirety.
The UK’s Andrew Parrott, a leading interpreter of baroque music today, will conduct the orchestra, featuring musicians and soloists from Israel and abroad specially assembled for this gala opening concert for the 2017- 2018 season, celebrating the Baroque Orchestra’s 29th year as well as the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth.
The concert will start at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from NIS 120 to NIS 160. Info:
No retirement age for art
Tova Berlinski is 102 years old, but age has no discernible impact on her artistic vision and skills, as evidenced by the new exhibition of her paintings at Artspace Gallery on Hatzfira Street.
Walking into the exhibition and observing how her vision and style developed over a wonderfully long lifetime of painting is an experience you do not want to miss. This mini-retrospective shows how light and movement have always been Berlinski’s key to her work, from the colorful abstracts of the 1960s, through works laden with emotional power, such as Leaving Yamit, portraits of her family (all of whom, except for one sister, died in Auschwitz), and the two empty chairs painted after the loss of her husband.
The paintings in the Black Flower series – some of which are so dark that at first you can barely make them out – underscore the importance of light and movement in Berlinski’s art. These works have minimal color, but are not as black and gray as they first appear; the subtle browns and blues seem even richer for their rareness, a good example of how less can be more.
A rewarding selection of Berlinski’s best works are on display in this show, which is the first exhibition to be shown in Linda Zisquit’s refurbished gallery, a testament to their long friendship and mutual respect. The exhibition will run through October by appointment.