Grapvine: An Angel takes wing

JERUSALEM HAS lost one of its most colorful and popular personalities with the recent passing of Danny Angel, just three months short of his 90th birthday.

n JERUSALEM HAS lost one of its most colorful and popular personalities with the recent passing of Danny Angel, just three months short of his 90th birthday. The head of Angel Bakery, he was known for his wonderful sense of humor, his dedication to the development of Jerusalem, his leadership and wisdom, his participation at the executive level in local and national business and social welfare organizations and institutions, his addiction to cigars and, in his younger days, his prowess on the dance floor. Angel Bakery is one of the largest bakeries in Israel which, aside from supplying breads, rolls, cakes and cookies, also operates coffee shops. An eighth-generation Jerusalemite who was fluent in seven languages, Angel, who was a graduate of the University of Beirut and the Hebrew University, fought with the Hagana against the British and with the British Army against the Germans. He was with the Jewish Brigade in Italy, and after World War II, remained in Europe as an Aliya Bet activist helping to smuggle Jews into Eretz Yisrael. His friends ranged from international celebrities to simple people who could barely write their names. Never a snob, always ready with a smile and a joke, he was also a workaholic. Even though beset with ill health in recent years, he continued to show up at his office every day almost until the end, when lung cancer triumphed over his otherwise indomitable spirit. n WHILE THERE are still organizations and institutions in Israel that refuse to accept gifts from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, no one puts up an argument when lives are at stake. IFCJ president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who on past occasions has stepped in to provide funds that perhaps should have been forthcoming from the government or from local authorities, has done so again and brought a check for NIS 1.5 million to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for the purchase of urgently needed equipment. Hospital director Dr. Shimon Sherf said that under the present circumstances Barzilai is simply not in the position to purchase medical equipment, and in desperation turned to Eckstein, who instantly answered the call. n REPORTS IN the Hebrew press indicate that business tycoon and philanthropist Arkadi Gaydamak has been hospitalized in Moscow with a heart murmur which, according to his daughter Katya, was induced by what he perceived as a betrayal by the people of Jerusalem in the municipal elections. He could not understand, as the owner of the Betar soccer team and the rescuer of Bikur Holim hospital, not to mention his support of many and varied causes in the capital, why he received so few votes. It was this disappointment that weighed more heavily on his heart than any money that he lost in some of his business enterprises in Israel, said his daughter. Meanwhile, it is believed that Gaydamak is trying to offload Betar, and there is no guarantee that the team will do any better under a new owner than it did under Gaydamak. n PEOPLE WHO received an invitation from Celia Goodman for an evening at her home to support development in the Negev - specifically in Yeroham, where her daughter Deborah Goodman Golan is one of slightly more than a handful of native English speakers - did not know that they were also going to learn how to play hand drums. Among the people accompanying Goodman Golan from Yeroham was Yigal Dan, a multitalented Sabra musician of Indian background who is a member of the Bnei Israel. Dan brought with him a number of hand drums, which were distributed throughout the room; he then taught those present the various sounds that can be made by tapping on the edge or tapping on the center, as well as different kinds of taps. They quickly got the hang of it, and he got them to play a melody, which they managed to do in harmony. The program also included a buffet prepared by the Culinary Queens of Yeroham, which proved to be interesting and somewhat different fare from what most of those present are used to. The star attraction was supposed to be Yeroham Mayor Amram Mitzna, who at the last minute was unable to attend; but in his absence, Goodman Golan waxed enthusiastic about him and what he has done in Yeroham. Goodman Golan believes that he's the best thing that ever happened to Yeroham, but she hadn't come to Jerusalem to blow Mitzna's horn. She came to raise money for Atid Bamidbar, a multifaceted nonprofit organization that she established in 1990 with Leah Shakdiel, the first woman to serve on a religious council in Israel. Atid Bamidbar encourages and empowers the members of Yeroham's community to document their own history and to take an active role in shaping the town's future as a multicultural community through the support of educational and communal activities.