Grapevine: Stepping down

THE LONGTIME director of the Jerusalem Friends of the Hebrew University, Efrat Toussia-Cohen, recently decided to step down.

  •   THE LONGTIME director of the Jerusalem Friends of the Hebrew University, Efrat Toussia-Cohen, recently decided to step down so that she could “find Efrat” before it was too late. She made her official farewell at a reception held this week at the Khan Theater.
    Dvora Ganani, who for more than a decade served as the director general of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), also announced that she and the organization were parting company. Prior to joining the IFCJ, Ganani worked as a spokesperson for several government ministries, after which she went into private enterprise, was arrested in Egypt and was eventually brought home by Ehud Barak. She believes that she’s gone as far as she could go with the IFCJ and is now looking for new challenges. She’s had several employment offers, some of which she’s considering. But she’s in no hurry and will only choose something that really appeals to her.
  •   NATIVE JERUSALEMITE filmmaker and PR executive Vered Kollek is married to American broadcaster Farrell Meisel, who has launched and managed television channels and other forms of media in different parts of the world. Throughout her travels and places of domicile, Kollek always maintained her apartment in Jerusalem so that she would know she had a permanent place to call home. But recently she decided to rent out her apartment and during her current visit is staying at one of the King David Street hotels from which she has a magnificent view of the walls of the Old City and the Judean Desert, as well as several sites between. “I’ve never been a tourist in my own city,” she exclaims in rapture. “It’s just so beautiful.”
    n  OTHER VISITORS who arrived in Jerusalem last week included the Cantors Choir of Modi’in, Netanya and Kfar Saba, whose members were the guests of Great Synagogue cantor Chaim Adler. Together with their wives and children, the visitors numbered in the range of 400 people. Most of the wives sat together in the women’s section and sang along enthusiastically as their husbands delighted the congregation, while Adler outdid himself in his solo performances.
    It is extremely rare for a congregation to burst into applause at the conclusion of a Shabbat service, especially a congregation privileged to hear some of the world’s most outstanding cantors who come throughout the year to lead services. But the Cantors Choir and Adler were so superb that congregants could not refrain from clapping as the marvelous rendition of “Adon Olam” came to an end. The choir, conducted by Yankele Rottner, made such a strong impression that Great Synagogue chairman Asher Schapiro said it would be invited to come back on an annual basis.
    AT THE annual ANZAC Day service at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on Mount Scopus, Australians and New Zealanders came from different parts of Israel to pay tribute to members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who laid down their lives for the most noble of human values. It was the first time in several years that the attendance was so large that there were more people present than available chairs. Australia’s ambassador designate Andrea Faulkner also provided refreshments.
    Among those present were veteran immigrants EliahuHonig and Jack and SelinaBeris, who have been in Israel for some five decades, andRabbi Edward Belfer who arrived only a few weeksago. Others included Rabbi Raymond Apple,Sam and Joan Fisher,Paul Israel, Yehuda Dayag,Mervyn Doobov and Rabbi UriThemal, who made aliya exactly three years ago.
    Wreaths were laid by diplomats and military attaches. The French deputydefense attaché, Natacha Cillieres, caughteveryone’s attention because, with typical French chic, she was wearingfour-inch stiletto heels with her uniform.