Grapevine: Our story

Movers and shakers in Israeli society.

  President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem, November 23, 2022. (photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem, November 23, 2022.
(photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

President Isaac Herzog has become an advertising agent for the State Archives, which he and his wife, Michal, visited on Monday night and found to be very exciting. On return to the President’s Residence, Herzog wrote on his Facebook account that the State Archives is looking for workers, students and volunteers. To convey his own excitement, Herzog, a voracious reader wrote: “Hundreds of millions of documents telling our story as a nation, how we started, where we arrived and where we are going.” What stirred him most was to see the original Declaration of Independence.

In these politically troubling times, perhaps it should be compulsory reading for every MK.

Deri and Bennett

■ SHAS LEADER Arye Deri, one of the best-known residents of Jerusalem, abruptly disrupted crucial coalition talks on Monday to rush to Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak where Rabbi Shimon Ba’adani, 94, the head of the Shas Council of Torah Sages, had been taken earlier in the day in a critical condition. Ba’adani had been sedated and placed on a ventilator. Deri tweeted that he was praying for him and asked others to do the same.

Unless Deri’s legal problems thwart his political ambitions, he will be further proof that a chain is as strong as its weakest link. Naftali Bennett, who had among the least number of Knesset mandates, wangled himself into the role of prime minister. Now parties with far fewer mandates than the Likud are receiving plum ministerial portfolios, while the Likud, which has far more mandates than any other party, will be left with the scraps of power. The expectations of proven Netanyahu loyalists have been dashed on the altar of political convenience.

 Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is seen addressing the Jerusalem Post annual conference at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, on October 12, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is seen addressing the Jerusalem Post annual conference at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, on October 12, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

As for Bennett, one gets the feeling that his was a cavalier attitude of been there, done that. Once he was able to add the words “prime minister” to his curriculum vitae, he was no longer interested in politics, and left to return to the world of business and hi-tech.

Shalom Kadosh gets honored

■ STILL IN a wheelchair, but smiling, celebrity chef Shalom Kadosh, 75, who has been the executive chef of the Leonardo Plaza hotel in Jerusalem for some 40 years, was the guest of honor on Monday night at a special tribute event attended by former president Reuven Rivlin, Mayor Moshe Lion, David Fattal, the founder and chairman of the Fattal Hotel Group under whose banner the hotel operates, Dr. Avi Rifkind, who founded the trauma unit at Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem, legendary soccer player Uri Malmilian and many other well-known personalities who have sampled Kadosh’s culinary creations.

Rifkind treated Kadosh when he was brought to Hadassah in serious condition in March 2021 after falling and hitting his head while chasing a thief who had stolen his wallet while Kadosh was filling the tank in his car. Nearly a month passed before he regained consciousness.

Over the years Kadosh has prepared intimate dinners for visiting foreign dignitaries and mega banquets for up to a thousand people – the largest being to celebrate the 3000th anniversary of Jerusalem. Kadosh also led Israeli teams to international culinary competitions, and welcomed top-ranking foreign chefs to his kitchen for traditional food weeks organized by the embassies of their countries.

The 100th Hadassah conference

■ ANOTHER TRIBUTE for 40 years of devoted service of a different kind was the penultimate event of the 100th National Conference of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, which brought 400 Hadassah members – some with spouses – from across America to Jerusalem.

The tribute was for outgoing executive director of the Hadassah office in Jerusalem Audrey Shimron, who shortly after making aliyah applied for a position at Hadassah because she wanted to be in an environment that heals people, even though she was not part of the medical staff.

She started out as a tour guide, then was moved into the department for donor recognition, where she proved her mettle, and in recognition of her strong Zionist spirit, her integrity and her dedication she was promoted to executive director.

At the tribute event at the David Citadel Hotel, an honor video was shown in which a series of Hadassah presidents as well Shimron’s close friends and colleagues Barbara Goldstein and Barbara Sofer, who worked with her on a daily basis, all spoke of her in glowing terms, noting her extraordinary role, her powerful advocacy, her confidence, her passion, her insight and more.

One of the secrets of Hadassah’s success as an organization is the ability of its leaders to express appreciation to individual members whatever their rank. While everyone works for the cause and not for the kudos, people do like to be appreciated for their efforts.

Hadassah excels in making its members feel good, especially at national conferences where the program offers a lot of diversity, camaraderie, top-notch entertainment and lots of very enthusiastic singing and dancing. It seems that Hadassah women will dance at every opportunity, and Shimron was often the first on the dance floor.

The last of the Irgun passes away

■ PROBABLY THE last of the Irgun fighters against the British, Yaakov Aharoni, who was born in Mea She’arim, died this week at the age of 101.

Following the establishment of the state, Aharoni, who had participated in some of the most dangerous Irgun operations, joined the IDF, where he became an artillery instructor. After leaving the army, he held various positions in service to the state. Aharoni, more than anyone born in this country after 1948, could appreciate sovereignty and independence.

Soon there will be no one left to remember what the Land of Israel was like under the British Mandate.

Rising cost impact event venue choices

■ RISING COSTS now affect the choice of event venues. The Israel branch of the Jewish Historical Society of England, which for years has been meeting at Beit Avi Chai, disseminated a notice this month notifying members that due to a substantial increase in the fee demanded at Beit Avi Chai, the next meeting on Tuesday, December 13, will be at the Hibba Center, 75 Herzog Street. The guest speaker will be Yanky Fachler, who will speak about the Limerick pogrom of 1904.

In January, the Historical Society will launch its new book, Out of Zion, an anthology of articles based on presentations made to the society in recent years.

The December meeting will be the first in-person meeting in two years. During the pandemic, meetings were held via Zoom.

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