Grapevine: Painting the town

There are many ways of celebrating Jerusalem Day.

  • THERE ARE many ways of celebrating Jerusalem Day. Dudi Ashkenazi, CEO of the Grand Hotels chain that operates the Grand Beach Hotel in Tel Aviv and the Grand Court Hotel in Jerusalem, decided that since the capital is commonly referred to as Jerusalem of Gold, he would paint the two hotels gold in honor of Jerusalem Day.
  • APROPOS JERUSALEM Day: Among the residents of Jerusalem who are this year being honored with the title Yakir Yerushalayim are two well-known members of the Anglo community. One is Estelle Fink, who is involved with so many religious, educational, cultural and health organizations and projects that one doesn't know where she finds the time; and the other is Dr. Henry Hashkes, who initiated a program for continuing medical education for English-speaking doctors and is an internationally recognized expert on blood pressure, clinical hypertension, cholesterol disorders, asthma and allergies.
  • WHILE ISRAEL may be suffering a certain degree of isolation in the world, not everyone is into the boycott syndrome. Both Israel and Jerusalem can bask in the glory of the first-time election of an Israeli to the presidency of the World Federation of Friends of Museums. Danny Ben-Natan is the vice president for development and international relations at the Israel Museum and, for the past seven years, treasurer of the WFFM. The WFFM, with more than two million members worldwide, is an international nonprofit, non-governmental organization promoting cooperation between societies of friends of museums around the globe to enhance the value of museums and to encourage the safeguarding of cultural heritage.
  • ACCORDING TO Yediot Aharonot, Australian philanthropist Joseph Gutnick is considering purchasing the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team. Gutnick, a Chabadnik who is best known in Israel for bankrolling Binyamin Netanyahu's first election campaign with the slogan "Bibi is good for the Jews," owns a house in Jerusalem and reportedly met with Hapoel Jerusalem chairman Danny Klein, who tried to persuade him to buy the financially ailing team. Gutnick, who made most of his fortune in gold mining, is no stranger to sports. He is a former president of the Melbourne Football Club. Currently, his main interest in Israel is providing religious, cultural and social facilities for Chabad and other religious communities in many parts of Israel, including several communities across the Green Line.
  • THE ISRAEL Heart Association has elected Prof. Yehuda Adler, the manager of Jerusalem's Misgav Ladach Hospital, as chairman of its heart rehabilitation division. Adler, 47, is considered to be one of Israel's leading experts in the field of cardiology. When Misgav Ladach was purchased by the Meuhedet Health Fund in 2002, Adler was tasked by Meuhedet CEO Shmuel Mualem to turn the facility into one of the best medical centers in the country. His recent election is in some way proof that he has risen to the challenge.
  • THE NIGHT Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum is not your regular sound-and-light show. In fact, it has so many fascinating sides to it that even jaded reporters who flew into Israel to cover the visit of Pope Benedict XVI were sufficiently impressed to applaud and to snap photos, even though they had been specifically asked not to use their cameras. Hosts of the relaxing event that gave visitors a chance to see the Old City, sample a palate-pleasing Oriental buffet, take a tour of Jerusalem by night or go on a Holy City pub crawl were Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Pepe Allalu, who holds the city's cultural portfolio. Barkat was accompanied by his wife, Beverly, with whom he has a very loving relationship. During most of the presentation they held hands, and later at the Oriental buffet, she did a lot of mingling and networking - much more than the accumulated networking of her last three predecessors. It would seem that the residents of Jerusalem, in electing Nir Barkat, got two for the price of one.