Celebrating the shuk's centennial

Mahaneh Yehuda market is marking its 100th anniversary.

mahane yehuda 311 (photo credit: AP)
mahane yehuda 311
(photo credit: AP)
OVER THE past 18 months Tel Aviv, Shfaram and Kibbutz Deganya have each celebrated their centennials, and Rehovot has gone one better by celebrating its 120th anniversary. Now it’s the turn of Jerusalem’s Mahaneh Yehuda market, which in August will mark its 100th anniversary. According to Shimon Darwish, chairman of the Mahaneh Yehuda Market Merchants Association, there will be further gentrification of the market during this landmark year, including major improvements to the long-neglected Georgian section. Parking facilities will be extended to accommodate 700 additional vehicles, and there will be numerous cultural events in different areas of the market in cooperation with the Lev Ha’ir Community Council and the Culture Department of the municipality.
ON THE subject of the market, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel caused somewhat of a sensation there last Friday by inspecting the stalls, testing the quality of the produce and chatting with merchants. Considering that Mahaneh Yehuda is widely regarded as a right-wing bastion, he was very warmly received.
MAHANEH YEHUDA is depicted in vivid color in the paintings of Britishexpatriate Rifkah (Rita) Goldberg, whose exhibition“Jerusalem Faces and Places” opens on Thursday at the Jerusalem ArtistsHouse on Rehov Shmuel Hanagid and remains on view until July 10.
AFTER A long hiatus, Yehoram Gaon last Fridayresumed his weekly current affairs program on Israel Radio. Even thoughhe hasn’t lived in the capital for some time, he set out to prove thata native son remains a proud Jerusalemite forever. A former member ofthe Jerusalem city council, Gaon talked about the city from severalperspectives and reminisced about his boyhood in Beit Hakerem.
He also defended the haredim, whom he said were being unfairlystigmatized. He knows many haredim, he said, who have jobs and paytheir taxes. While there are some haredim who don’t do this, heacknowledged, it was wrong, he insisted, to tarnish the reputation of awhole sector of the population on the basis of the actions of a few.
n OFTEN IT is only when people are in trouble that they learn who theirtrue friends are. Thus Shula Zaken, once thestrongwoman of Jerusalem as the bureau chief for Ehud Olmert from thetime he was mayor of Jerusalem through to most of his period as primeminister, has discovered that she has some extraordinary friends. Whilesome people might be wary of consorting with anyone facing criminalcharges, Zaken’s friends have not abandoned her and are busy raisingmoney for her defense. Leading the fund-raising efforts areDudi Zilberschlag and Rabbanit HadassahRalbag, each of whom is engaged in community enterprises forthe less fortunate. In the past, Zaken helped to raise money for thesecauses, and now there’s a degree of reciprocity.   
TOGETHER WITH close to 1,000 other guests, Shula Zaken and Ehud Olmertwere at the Renaissance Hotel last week to congratulate former ministerArye Deri and his wife, Yaffa, onthe marriage of their daughter Dassi toYitzhak Iluz. As a child, Dassi made headlines andtore at heart strings when she entreated the authorities not to takeher father to prison but to leave him at home for her.
BLOCK PARTIES are par for the course in the United States but arerelatively rare in Israel. Still, one of the best ways to befriendone’s neighbors is to invite them to a block party. That is what theShir Hadash community is doing to celebrate the groundbreaking of thenew Shir Hadash Center for Jewish Life on June 9. The first phase ofthe center will incorporate a kindergarten and a family activitycenter.
Aside from the founding donors and honored guests, who includeMayor Nir Barkat, the Shir Hadash people haveinvited their new neighbors. That’s one way to quell any oppositionthat might arise to the construction of the public facility. The siteis located on the corner of Dubnov and Graetz streets in Talbiyeh.