Grapevine: A&C at AACI

• ANYONE WHO has visited the new AACI premises over the past couple of weeks cannot help but notice the day-to-day improvements. Prior to the grand opening last Sunday, at which Rabbi Jay Karzen affixed the mezuza, workmen were still drilling underneath the stage in the spacious programs room. Aside from what was happening under the stage, the room looked much more inviting than it had a week earlier because the walls were covered with striking paintings, and there were also paintings in the corridor.
AACI executive director David London wants to feature arts and crafts by immigrant artists from Western countries just as the now-defunct Maskit once featured arts and crafts of immigrants from North Africa and Asia. London wants the premises to be permanently enhanced by changing exhibitions, which will not only be a springboard for new immigrant artists and artisans but will also attract more people to AACI.
•  THERE WAS no doubt about the name Sharon and Dr. Jay Wohlgelernter would give their third son. The newborn infant is the great-grandson of Harry Hurwitz, the founder, driving force and president of the Begin Heritage Center, who passed away in October 2008.  
Little Tzvi Harry, together with his brothers, represents the fourth generation of the Hurwitz family in Israel; and although he’s not yet a month old, he is already the apple of his great-grandmother Freda Hurwitz’s eye.
•  BEST KNOWN for his artistic, custom-made furniture, Jeremy Kimchi displayed another talent at the bar mitzva of his son Ishai, which he and his wife, Ariela, hosted at the Kfar Adumim community club. While other members of the family made speeches about the bar mitzva boy or addressed him directly, Kimchi serenaded his son and proved to be a good lyricist and a pleasing singer – so much so that some guests suggested that perhaps he should change professions. “I’m working on it,” was the reply.
•  AN ARTICLE in one of the religious weeklies enthused over a night for the general public at Lomda, the Jerusalem-based vocational school for young haredi men. The event was an introduction to a course in communications for would-be journalists, public relations and advertising accountants and spokespeople.
Speakers were former MK Rabbi Israel Eichler, who chairs the Center for Jewish Information, and spoke about the importance of being professionally equipped to convey information; Shai Horowitz of Neto Public relations, who spoke about journalism and reality; Yerach Tokker, spokesman for the Knesset Finance Committee, who explained the role of a spokesperson within the public service system; and broadcaster Moti Lavie.
It would have been nice to report snippets of what they said, but the event was for men only.
•  AFTER ENDLESS hype in the press about clothing company H&M, its first Israeli store opened this week amid great fanfare at the Azrieli Mall in Tel Aviv, creating buying fever among shoppers because the prices, though higher in Israel than in Europe, are still extremely competitive.
The second H&M store is due to open in Jerusalem’s Malha Mall on March 16, taking up the space previously occupied by the Globus cinema bank, which has moved to Binyenei Ha’uma.
In Israel to supervise the openings was veteran designer Margareta van den Bosch, who for 21 years served as H&M’s director of design and for the past year has preferred the role of creative adviser, in which capacity she oversees creative collaborations with leading brand-name designers.
•  JERUSALEM-BASED investigative reporter Aaron Klein has chalked up an additional success. The Jerusalem bureau chief for, Klein will now host his own show on New York’s WABC 770 AM, one of the leading talk stations in the US.
He will be featured on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. Klein, who is also a columnist for the Jewish Press, is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel and on several major US radio programs.
•  NOT ALL diplomats return to places in which they served, but forIsrael’s former ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel and his wife, Michelle,there is something very compelling about the land of the Nile. It mightbe because they served in Egypt twice, initially as part of Israel’sfirst diplomatic mission to Egypt and later in an ambassadorialcapacity. They have maintained contact with their Egyptian friends andhave visited Egypt several times since coming home to Jerusalem.
They were back in Cairo this week to join in the celebrations of thereopening of the renovated Rambam Synagogue. Zvi Mazel was so excitedthat he joined the Chabadniks led by Rabbi Yosef Hecht and Rabbi MendelKlein of Eilat in a joyful and spirited round of dancing.
For Carmel Weinstein, the head of the vastly dwindled Jewish communityof Cairo, to see the ancient synagogue free of rubble and garbage andrestored to its former glory was as close as she’d ever come to amiracle.