Grapevine: Buzzing with life

Movers and shakers in Israeli society.

JERUSALEM’S Shaare Zedek Medical Center (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
JERUSALEM’S Shaare Zedek Medical Center
"There’s no place like home; this year in Jerusalem,” wrote Laura Kam, president of Kam Global Strategies on her Facebook account. Kam, who is married to Jeremy Issacharoff, Israel’s ambassador to Germany, voted in Berlin for the Knesset elections, as did her husband. She came home before him to prepare for Passover, and he arrived in time for the Seder and posted photographs of areas near their home in south Jerusalem on his Twitter account.
 AFTER YEARS of standing empty, the old Shaare Zedek Hospital building, which was opened on Jaffa Road in January 1902, will once again be buzzing with life. Following the inauguration of the current building of the Shaare Zedek Medical center in Bayit Vegan in 1980, the original building stood empty for a very long period before it was transferred to the government.
At the time the administrative offices of the now defunct Israel Broadcasting Authority were located down the road apiece, in the Clal building, and it was decided to move them to the old Shaare Zedek building, which was closer to Romema, where the studios of Israel Radio and what was then Israel Television, which subsequently was renamed to Channel 1, were located. While the IBA was still in the Clal building, Yair Aloni, who was then head of special projects, and later became the IBA’s CEO and editor in chief, dreamed of creating a broadcasting village in the Shaare Zedek neighborhood, taking into account that the building which now houses the editorial offices of The Jerusalem Post was then the headquarters of Jerusalem Capital Studios, which leased out offices to several local and foreign broadcasting outlets. For a number of reasons, not the least of which was the IBA’s perpetual and ever-growing budgetary deficit, that plan was never realized.
When the IBA moved into the old Shaare Zedek building, it built broadcast studios in the basement area as a precaution against attack during the Gulf War. Those studios were never used, but now they will be used by the new occupants of the building – New Spirit headed by the dynamic new CEO Yossi Klar. The Canada Israel property development company, which purchased the building, is allowing New Spirit and other nonprofit organizations to use it free of charge. Canada Israel will develop a new commercial and business center in the surrounding area at the entrance to the city. 
Founded in 2003, New Spirit works toward making Jerusalem more appealing and relevant to youth as a strong and leading cultural-economic center. It was previously housed in the Alliance House near Mahaneh Yehuda. New Spirit has long been supported by The Jerusalem Foundation, which will continue to do so through the Innovation Fund for Community and Culture, an initiative of the Jerusalem Foundation Inc. in the US. The dormant basement broadcast studios will become a center for broadcasting podcasts from Jerusalem to listeners around the world, and the television studios will be transformed into a center for photography and video arts recording for young Jerusalem artists.
 REPORTING IN Ha’aretz this week, Nir Hasson drew attention to the fact that certain elements in Jerusalem continue to deface posters that feature images of women. The portraits of singer Ahinoam Nini and musician Ofra Yitzhaki are part of a photo exhibition by Eyal Hirsch under the title of “Performing the Trauma.” The exhibition, which is part of a fundraising effort for continuing psychotherapy for shell-shocked soldiers, features shell-shocked male and female soldiers playing in concert with professional musicians. The posters, which have been displayed on light rail stops around the city, have in many cases been defaced. Jerusalem has an unfortunate history of defacement of female images by extreme forces in the ultra-Orthodox community. The situation became so prevalent that several advertising outlets simply decided not to include female images in their campaigns. No arrests have yet been made in this latest act of vandalism. 
 FACEBOOK WAS heavy this week with goodwill messages for popular celebrity chef Shalom Kadosh, 74, who was robbed and beaten last week, while on his way to his daughter’s wedding. Kadosh stopped at a self-service gas station to inflate the tires of his car, when someone reached inside and stole his wallet. Kadosh grappled with the much younger man, but was thrown to the ground and suffered a severe head injury. He was taken in critical condition to Hadassah Medical Center where he was sedated and remained unconscious for more than a week.
Police arrested Ali Adikat, a resident of east Jerusalem, who has a criminal record and was recently released from prison. Adikat denied involvement, but resembles the figure caught on screen by video cameras at the site of the attack.
Kadosh, the executive chef at the Leonardo Plaza, has catered for royalty and heads of state, including amongst many others, the late King Hussein of Jordan and US presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama. In January 2020, he headed the team that catered the dinner hosted by President Reuven Rivlin for royals and heads of state who attended the 75th anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz and the World Holocaust Forum.
Kadosh also led several of the Israeli teams participating in international culinary competitions, and in March 1996, brought 13 top-notch international chefs to Israel to help him prepare the 12-course dinner that was served to 300 guests who paid NIS 1,800 each at the celebration of the 3,000th anniversary of Jerusalem.
Hotel professionals are for the most part nomadic, moving from one hotel to another in their home countries and abroad. Kadosh is one of the exceptions to the rule. He has been at the Leonardo Plaza for a little over 45 years, regardless of new owners and new management. The Leonardo Plaza, one of the first hotels to be built in west Jerusalem after the 1967 Six Day War, opened for business in 1973 as the Jerusalem Plaza under the management of Canadian Pacific. In 1986. It became the Sheraton Jerusalem Plaza, and in 2008 it was named the Leonardo Plaza, and was briefly associated with Herods Hotels, which are part of the Fattal Group of hotels. From 2016 to 2017 it was known as Herod’s Hotel Jerusalem, before reverting to Leonardo Plaza.
David Fattal, the owner and CEO of the Fattal Group, was so impressed with Kadosh’s culinary talents, that he appointed him executive chef of all 37 Fattal hotels in Israel, of the 200 worldwide.