■ ANYONE who has not seen Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion in a long time does a double take when they finally do see him. Whereas so many posts on social media complain of weight gain during isolation and lockdown, because people haven’t got much else to do other than eat, and comfort foods tend to add to one’s bulk, the mayor, during this same time frame, has developed a very svelte appearance. A little on the heavy side when he first came into office, he is now smartly slim. Efforts by journalists to pry the secret of his new image from his spokesmen proved fruitless, both literally and figuratively. The mayor’s weight loss and how he did it is treated as his private business, but if he really cares about his electorate, beyond keeping the streets clean, adding extra public chairs and benches in every neighborhood, providing guidance for the unemployed and pushing forward with urban renewal, he could also help Jerusalemites to trim off unwanted kilos, so that they, too, could grin when they look in the mirror.■ ASIDE FROM “Hatikvah” and “Hava Nagila,” one of Israel’s most widely known and best loved songs is “Jerusalem of Gold,” which served as a backdrop for a four-generation YouTube performance by the Iskowitz family of Rehavia.A musical family that loves to sing, it is head by the 104-year-old matriarch Ida Iskowitz, who still sings, as do her son Yaakov, her grandson Natan and her great-grandson Yair. About two years ago, somewhat in advance of Yair’s bar mitzvah, Natan had an idea that he wanted to do something special that involved all four generations of the family. He discussed it with his wife, Hudi (Yehudit), who encouraged him to go ahead with it, and thus, over a two-year period, the video was filmed and edited, with all four generations singing bits and pieces of “Jerusalem of Gold,” as Yair traversed historic parts of the city. The singers all feature individually on the video, including Natan’s father, Yaakov Yosef (formerly known as Joel Jay),who served as a US Army chaplain for 20 years before making aliyah in 1988.The Iskowitz family actually made aliyah twice from the United States, first in December 1949, returning to Ida’s native Pennsylvania in January 1956.The Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel was founded during the period that Ida and her late husband, Harry, initially lived in Israel. She was the organization’s first secretary. After returning to America, she worked as a teacher and also wrote a book about creative dramatics. Her family was always impressed with her ability to meet any challenge head-onFollowing her retirement, she moved to Hollywood, Florida, in 1978, and in 2004 decided to make aliyah a second time, to be with her family. She lives in the Nofei Yerushalayim retirement complex, where she leads an active life. When her grandson Natan was in the last stages of making the video, the pandemic had already taken hold, and he wasn’t sure if the family would be permitted to enter Nofei Yerushalayim for the final shots. Fortunately, it was the last day in which visitors were allowed into residents’ apartments, and so they were able to complete a brief session of filming with Ida.Taking poet’s license, Natan added a couple of verses to those originally written by Naomi Shemer to reflect the current day situation. The bar mitzvah video, with Grandma Ida as a costar, premiered on August 17 in tandem with Yair’s elevation from boyhood to manhood in accordance with Jewish tradition.■ RESTAURANTS, BARS and hotels have borne the brunt of the pandemic, and while business has begun to pick up in some restaurants, the people in the food business who are the hardest hit are those who ran cafeterias in educational and community centers. Most of these facilities have discontinued their in-house food services, which means that staff are finding themselves without jobs. For young waiters and waitresses, who seldom stay in a job for very long, it’s not so tragic, because they don’t have an emotional attachment to their place of employment, but for people such as David Berman, who has been responsible for Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies food services for 16 years, and knew the names of all the pupils and staff, it’s a blow. Berman was more than a chef. He developed long-standing relationships with a lot of people who passed through Pardes.Originally from Capetown, Berman has been living in Israel since 1987. What brought him to Israel was an advertisement in his local Jewish newspaper about a course in hotel management that would be given in English to new immigrants. He’d already developed a love for cooking while in high school, and he figured that through a hotel management course, he could also become familiar with hotel kitchens. After completing the course, he underwent a few hotel and restaurant management internships, did a little private catering on the side, got married in 2002 and found his way to Pardes in 2004. Now, for the first time in 16 years, he’s looking for a job.He’s willing to accept work as a chef, catering manager, food and beverage manager, or office manager in Jerusalem or anywhere in the West Bank. He is being assisted in this endeavor by the Jerusalem Municipality’s employment bureau at the First Station that helps Jerusalemites to maintain their businesses or to find jobs.