This week in Jerusalem: Let us part

A weekly round-up of city affairs.

 TOURISTS IN the Old City’s Cardo. (photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)
TOURISTS IN the Old City’s Cardo.
(photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)

Let us part

For the first time since its establishment, the Ofek school for gifted students will separate secular students from religious students at the request of parents of religious students who study at this institution, who demand a curriculum tailored more to their children. 

Therefore, this academic year the school, in cooperation with the Education Ministry and the Jerusalem Municipality, will conduct a pilot scheme in which a class designed for religious students in third grade will operate next to the heterogeneous classes. whose students will benefit from our general education system without gender segregation. 

Ofek occupies a unique place in Jerusalem’s educational landscape. Children from a religious school meet Arab children, secular children, children from Reform homes, and even LGBT families. But the municipality acknowledged that a demand for a class for religious students only was reasonable, alongside nine mixed classes, where religious and secular students study together. 

 JERUSALEM MAYOR Moshe Lion: Every day brings joy and excitement. (credit: ARNON BOSSANI) JERUSALEM MAYOR Moshe Lion: Every day brings joy and excitement. (credit: ARNON BOSSANI)
My lady of Kiryat Hayovel 

Last week the city council approved a rental for one decade of part of the Lady Davis school complex to an ultra-Orthodox educational institution for girls, despite  strong opposition from two city council members, Yossi Havilio and Laura Wharton. 

The Lady Davis school, which belongs to the Amal network, has about 170 students in 11 grades, from the 9th to the 12th grade. 

The municipality decided to rent part of the school building to the ultra-Orthodox girls’ school, Beit Ya’akov, after the ultra-Orthodox school for boys Yermiahu, which occupied part of the complex, left the premises and moved to another building. Wharton and Havilio  appealed to the chairman of the Histadrut Arnon Bar-David and to the CEO of the Amal chain, demanding their intervention to freeze the deal with the Beit Ya’akov chain. 

Meanwhile, the municipal budget has been approved, and the issue will be transferred to the appropriations committee and approved by the city council. For now, it is unclear if signing the lease between the representatives of the municipality and the Amal network will indeed occur. 

Save the Cardo

An engineering report indicated that the pillars of the Roman Cardo in the Old City were in imminent  danger of collapse, and the Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry has allocated NIS 2.5 million to save them. The Cardo, which cuts through the Jewish Quarter, was uncovered after the Six Day War. The ancient street includes an avenue of columns preserved from the days of the Roman occupation of Jerusalem, with vaults and stone arches. 

In light of the historical and touristic importance of the Cardo, the Society for the Development of the Jewish Quarter frequently performs engineering examinations. The report explained that stonework was crumbling due to an engineering imbalance in some of the arches. The works will start soon. 

Me and my podcast

The Naomi Studios professional podcast recording studios were inaugurated this week in the Jerusalem Foundation building in Talpiot, in the presence of Mayor Moshe Lion and President of the Jerusalem Foundation Shai Doron. Israel’s most advanced podcast studio will serve the “Israeli Story” association, but will also be rented to media companies and serve organizations and local associations which will be able to rent the space for a reasonable fee.

In addition to advanced recording equipment, the complex will include a workspace for organizations which could benefit from training in the field of storytelling. 

The Israel Story association produces the most widely received Jewish and Israeli podcast in the world, with millions of listeners in almost every country. The establishment of the studio was made possible thanks to a donation from the Lee Foundation – an Israeli fund established by the Foundation for Jerusalem with to strengthen creative and productive young people in the city. 

At the beginning of the year, the Lee Foundation transferred start-up grants of NIS 250,000 for four projects presenting Jerusalem activities. 

One of the winning projects was the recording studio of the successful podcast, which until now had to record in expensive external studios.

The new recording studio, built in a few weeks on the ground floor of the Jerusalem Fund building, is part of a deeper partnership between the Jerusalem Fund and the Israel Story association intended to make Jerusalem the podcast capital of Israel. 

With the support of the Fund for Jerusalem, Israel Story began holding Jerusalem story-telling evenings that travel around the city and give a stage to storytellers alongside young local musicians.

Street party 

The municipality held a festive Rosh Hashanah event last week for the city’s homeless. The event took place in the urban center of Darei Rehov (from the Hebrew living in the streets) on Koresh Street attended by about 60 local homeless people identified by the municipal social services, from all parts of the city. 

The event included a toast and blessings from the professional staff, light refreshments and a festive drumming workshop to receive the prayers for the New Year. In Jerusalem, there are about 200 known homeless people, under municipal care. Professional patrols locate them 24/7 and offer them therapeutic and rehabilitative care. 

Ask the minister

In the run-up to the Knesset elections, Hitorerut, the opposition list on the city council, is holding a series of meetings with representatives of the various parties, to learn their intentions and plans regarding Jerusalem post-election. 

The first to be hosted will be the representative of Culture and Sport Minister Chili Tropper of the National Unity Party, on Sunday week at 19:30, at the First Station complex. 

He will be asked what his party will do to promote infrastructure, education and employment in Jerusalem, as well as what position it takes on east Jerusalem. ❖