Grapevine: Put up the numbers

Movers and shakers in Israeli society.

 Jerusalem prepares for Storm Carmel, December 20, 2021 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Jerusalem prepares for Storm Carmel, December 20, 2021

A RADIO program this week stressed the importance, during what is forecast as a heavy winter, of knocking on the doors of elderly neighbors to check whether they are all right, whether they have sufficient heating and sufficient food and medications. The program also dealt with shelters for the homeless and for youth in distress. 

There was one problem. No phone numbers were given. In the days when we used to have telephone directories, emergency numbers were printed at the front. But today, in a digital age, when any organization asks you to make contact, you are usually given an online address. We looked up Jerusalem Municipal Social Services, which provided a lot of valuable information, and toward the end a list of neighborhood offices with phone numbers. 

But someone in distress hasn’t got time for all that. The Jerusalem Municipal hotline 106 was not listed, but it is listed on the website of I Travel Jerusalem, which also lists emergency medical services with addresses and phone numbers.

The person interviewed on the radio said that social workers are out on the street all the time to offer shelter, food and clothing to youth in distress, but they don’t get to all of them. That’s why emergency telephone numbers are essential.

Various websites also offer to take sexually abused young women who have fallen into prostitution into their secure shelters, where they can have hot showers, sleep safely at night and receive free meals and clothing. But only one of the shelters, including those for battered women, provided a phone number. As it happens, it’s a shelter for boys in distress and at risk, and the number is (02) 672-8614. 

When Teddy Kollek was mayor, he insisted on publishing his name, address and telephone number in the regular telephone directory, on the grounds that the mayor of the city should be available to all residents at all times. Well, times have changed, and now there’s a bureaucratic hierarchy, and no phone book. The municipality would do well to publish emergency numbers in large type at the beginning of all of its websites.

■ THE JERUSALEM College of Technology has moved up a notch in status with the announcement that the Council for Higher Education has approved the college’s plan to open Israel’s first English-language master of science in nursing (MSN) degree, which will expand upon the success of JCT’s highly regarded bachelor of science in nursing program.

The government is supporting JCT’s initiative with the goal of offering more English-language programs that will lead to increased enrollment from international students in Israeli academic institutions.

JCT’s School of Nursing currently serves more than 1,200 students annually. It is widely recognized as one of the country’s premier undergraduate nursing programs, having received the Health Ministry’s National Prize for Excellence and ranking first among 24 nursing departments nationwide. The new English-language MSN program, which will initially be open to women, is set to launch during the 2022-23 academic year. The master’s degree will feature the same coursework as the college’s Hebrew-language nursing program.

“New immigrants and visitors to Israel are consistently looking for high-quality programs in English. They do not want their education to involve compromises,” said Prof. Freda Ganz, dean of JCT’s Faculty of Life & Health Sciences.

JCT’s Hebrew-language MSN in Nursing Internal Medicine track was launched in October 2021 and is designed for nurses with a bachelor’s degree who work in hospital departments of internal medicine, neurology, intensive care, infectious diseases, and others.

The initiative marked JCT’s response to the unprecedented importance that the field of internal medicine has taken on during the coronavirus pandemic, with surging demand for specialist care to treat patients with complex illness causing the overcrowding of internal medicine wards.

Both the existing Hebrew-language nursing track and the forthcoming English-language program equip students to tackle the rising challenge of comorbidity (the simultaneous presence of two or more medical conditions) for patients who are in need of complex medical care. JCT’s master’s program provides graduates with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions and treat different demographic groups, both in hospitals and community clinics, amid today’s evolving environment in which nurses require a more diverse skill set.

The nursing program’s curriculum imparts and expands proficiencies in areas such as applying research and data to clinical care and decision-making; leadership; comprehensive and dynamic treatment planning for all health needs; patient-centered care; pain relief and the preservation of patients’ quality of life, epidemiology and public health; and the intersection of philosophy, ethics, law, and Halacha (Jewish law) in the field of nursing.

■ FORMER LONGTIME staff members of the King David Hotel are gradually leaving and moving to the Vert Hotel at the city entrance. 

It started less than a year ago with Sheldon Ritz, who was assistant to the general manager and in charge of dealing with foreign embassies. Ritz had been at the King David for 19 years, during which time owners and management companies of other hotels tried to lure him away. Africa Israel succeeded where others had failed by offering him the general managership of the Vert hotel, formerly the Crowne Plaza. 

Next was Ra’anan Orenstein, who had been the financial comptroller at the King David for 17 years, and now occupies that position at Vert. He was followed by Oren Dill, who was the King David’s head of security for five years before transferring to the Vert. After only two months there, Africa Israel appointed him to head the security operations for the entire group of Africa Israel hotels. 

The most recent addition to the Vert team is Osama Gruz, who worked as a chef at the King David for 32 years, and for the last 14 of those years was executive sous chef. He is now the executive chef at Vert. Ritz believes that the list will not end there and that other King David veterans will find their way across town.

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