This Week In Jerusalem

Peggy Cidor's round-up of city affairs.

Light rail in Jerusalem 311 (photo credit: Sybil Erlich)
Light rail in Jerusalem 311
(photo credit: Sybil Erlich)
Revered property
An ancient synagogue is about to pass into Jewish residents’ hands in Silwan. According to the representative of Ateret Cohanim, Assaf Baruchi, the organization bought the building few years ago and is about to renovate it soon. Following a district court ruling approving Ateret Cohanim’s rights to the property, he claims the synagogue, located on the slopes of the Yemenite village in Silwan and inhabited by Arab residents, will soon be in Jewish hands again.
Baruchi added that they had not yet received the green light from the police to take over the building, which first requires the evacuation of the Arab residents. “If the police do not agree to do it, we will do it ourselves,” he said.
Facts and figures
Jerusalem Day serves as a peg to release data on our life in the capital. According to the latest statistics, there are 760,000 residents in Jerusalem and, at the same time, we are the youngest city in the country. Some 44 percent are under 20 years old – more males than females. According to the municipality, the city has 50,000 dunams of parks – about the entire area of Tel Aviv. And we have an astonishing number of benches in the city: 6,382. The name Jerusalem appears 37,200,000 times on Google in English and 40,900,000 times in Hebrew. And our education system is the largest and the most complex in the country.

CityPass at an impasse
Work on the light rail has been frozen until further notice following a bank freeze on its funding, according to some reliable sources at the municipality and CityPass.
Citypass has taken out heavy loans from the banks (Leumi and Hapoalim). The loans were supposed to be repaid through the funding the government was supposed to hand over to the company if CityPass was on schedule. But CityPass is not on schedule, to put it mildly, so the state won’t pay. Since the state isn’t paying, CityPass cannot repay its loans. Now that CityPass is having difficulty paying back, the banks refuse to give the company any more loans. As a result, CityPass has even less of a chance of keeping to its schedule which, as a result, reduces its chances of getting any money from the government.
Outstanding young musicians play on
A substantial contribution from the David Goldman Family Fund hasenabled the Jerusalem music center at Mishkenot Sha’ananim to ensurethe continuation of its program for Outstanding Young Musicians. Fromnow on, the program will be named after its benefactors. On Sunday, thecenter will feature a special program of works by Haydn, Beethoven andBrahms, performed by young, gifted Israeli musicians supported byMishkenot.
The Mishkenot Music Center, established in 1973 by world-renownedviolinist Isaac Stern and mayor Teddy Kollek, with the support of theJerusalem Foundation and the Yad Hanadiv Foundation, has trained someof the country’s finest musicians, such as the Jerusalem Quartet andthe Jerusalem Trio.