Grapevine: Haredi women get on board and online

Also: Doron Hess takes over father's meat business; Bezalel president attends Gala in New York; Kobi Peretz poses for charity.

  • WHILE HAREDI spiritual leaders are condemning computers as sources of evil, many haredi women have discovered that the computer can be a vital instrument in contributing to family incomes. A one-day conference on this subject has been organized for English-speaking women and will be held in Jerusalem on Wednesday. The purpose of the conference is to discuss how Torah-observant people can use cutting-edge technologies as a tool to build their businesses or to disseminate information on Jewish heritage. The conference is organized by the Kishor Women’s Professional Networking Group, whose mission statement is “Successfully Building Homes and Careers L’shem Shamayim [for the sake of Heaven].” Kishor has a monthly forum for members to meet, brainstorm and provide mutual support.
“Observant women are active at every level of the business world and are especially active in the online economy,” says Kishor convener Sarah Lipman. “The Social Media Conference provides an opportunity to learn about safe ways to evaluate and use the Internet and new forms of social media.”
The event is open to women only. The featured speaker and religious adviser to the conference is Rabbi Yitzhak Berkovits, director of the Jerusalem Kollel and a respected arbiter on contemporary halachic issues. To register or to purchase recordings of the conference sessions, contact or call Chana at 054-731-3788.
  • AFTER Marcel Hess, widely known as the Swiss sausage king, made aliya with his family, he opened a delicatessen in Ra’anana in March 1999; and when he decided to make his home in Jerusalem, he opened a restaurant and deli on Rehov Heleni Hamalka, thus perpetuating a family tradition that is more than 200 years old. The family firm was founded in Zwestern near Frankfurt in 1795 by Nathaniel Hess. The tradition was handed down from father to son. In 1912 Josef Hess, Marcel’s grandfather, began to expand the range of products. His son Hermann moved the enterprise to Switzerland in 1929. Had he not done so, it is doubtful that the Hess family would have survived World War II.
Marcel took over from his father, Hermann, in 1974 and had a very successful business in Basel. After so many years of working, Marcel Hess decided that he’d had enough and was contemplating selling out lock, stock and barrel, though it is unlikely that someone without his background could have maintained his admirable standards of hygiene. His children were appalled at the idea of breaking with tradition, and his son Doron Nathaniel Hess, along with one of his daughters, Daliah Wolf-Hess, decided to take it over. The transfer became official on Tu Bishvat.
Although he was raised in the kosher meat industry, Doron Hess sought to expand his horizons and studied at Hadassah’s culinary school, after which he worked in the kitchen of the King David Hotel and in his family’s processed meat factory in Givat Shaul. The restaurant and deli, now renamed D&D – the first-name initials of the two new proprietors – has a brand new menu and a wide range of mouth-watering, generously filled sandwiches.
  • THE TOP echelons of Israel’s institutions of higher learning, museums, hospitals and social welfare organizations are busy traveling abroad to gala events, the proceeds of which are devoted to their respective projects. Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design president Arnon Zuckerman flew to New York earlier this month to attend a gala dinner hosted by the American friends of Bezalel, with major league fashion designer Donna Karan as the guest of honor, while megatycoon Moti Zisser and his wife, Bracha, who is the founder of Ezer Mizion’s bone marrow donor program, flew to London last week for a fund-raiser at the Park Plaza Hotel, which is jointly owned by Zisser and fellow Israeli business mogul Eli Papoushado, who joined the Zissers in London. Among the other guests were representatives of British branches of Israeli enterprises, as well as many British businesspeople and philanthropists.
  • GOOD CAUSES abound, but the entertainment industry neverforsakes Variety, which is its own special project designed to helpchildren with physical and mental disabilities. Numerous businessenterprises are also keen supporters of Variety. Singer Kobi Peretz,after an intensive day of shooting his new video clip, dropped into oneof the branches of CafeNetto to pose for photos for the promo for theVariety fundraiser that will feature on Channel 2 on Sunday, when manyof Israel’s top-line entertainers will sing and dance for Variety. Thestudio audience that has been invited to Channel 2’s Neveh Ilan studioswill be feted with a cocktail reception prior to the show.
  • PARTICIPANTSIN the Limmud Arava2 conference that takes place in the Negev onFebruary 18-19 will not only be able to enjoy presentations by AvigdorShinan, Rachel Elior, Yossi Sarid, Ghilad Zuckerman, Yuval Cherlow,Shelly Goldberg, Gil Nativ and many others but will also go on fieldtrips and join in workshops. For added stimulus, there will be EttiAnkri singing the songs of Rabbi Yehuda Halevy while accompanied by theDesert Coolers band.