Grapevine: Chinese whispers

IT’S CUSTOMARY for visiting royalty to stay at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Slutwalk Toronto 390 (photo credit: REUTERS/Mark Blinch)
Slutwalk Toronto 390
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mark Blinch)
■ IT’S CUSTOMARY for visiting royalty to stay at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, but not necessarily in any of the other hotels in the chain. However the weeklong visit of King George Topou V of Tonga was not an official one, and he therefore opted to stay at the Dan Hotel Tel Aviv. When president Chaim Herzog toured the Pacific in 1986, Tonga was one of the places that he visited. Although Tonga had irregular television, broadcasts and radio was relayed only three days a week, the fax machines were working perfectly. The tour – the longest and most far-reaching by any president of Israel – took nearly three weeks, and included the Island of Reunion, Singapore, Fiji, Tonga, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Kenya. While in Hong Kong, Herzog also paid a secret visit to the Chinese mainland. This was particularly significant, as there were no diplomatic relations between Israel and China at the time.
■ IT IS a long-held principle that a woman is in charge of her own body, and even if she walks down the street provocatively, this does not give any man the right to sexually harass or assault her. In view of the fact that not enough Israeli men understand this message, the first “Israeli Slutwalk” (or Mitzad Sharmutot, as it is titled in Hebrew), will take place Friday March 16 in Tel Aviv. Another is planned for next week in Haifa, and yet another for some time in April in Jerusalem. In an interview with Haaretz, Yaara Lieberman-Kalif, one of the organizers of the Tel Aviv rally, said the idea for Israeli Slutwalk originated in Jerusalem, where it will possibly be more difficult for participants to march because of the large haredi population. The first Slutwalk was held in Canada about a year ago. Women in America followed suit, as did women in Singapore. Now Israel will be the first country in the Middle East to carry this particular torch of freedom.
■ AFTER ALL the hype that accompanied Tel Aviv Fashion Week last November, and promises of a Fall/Winter Fashion Week in April, expectations of something bigger and better are doomed to disappoint. Unless some entrepreneur comes up with a spontaneous effort, there will be no Fall/Winter Fashion Week next month. But there will be compensation for upcoming brides, their best friends, their mothers, sisters and other close female relatives. A Bridal Fashion Week – which will actually be a two-day event – featuring creations by Galit Levi, Dani Mizrahi, Lihi Hod, Yair Jarmon, Mira Zwillinger, Inbal Dror, Efrat Klig and other well-known designers, is scheduled to open at Hangar 11 in Tel Aviv on April 2. Celebrity makeup artist and hair stylist Mickey Boganin will do his usual magic on the models. Prospective brides who are interested in the latest trends in makeup and hair styles will have ample opportunity to see these, in addition to a huge variety of wedding gowns ranging in style from classically modest to provocative, with several vintage interpretations for those brides who want to wear something similar to what was worn by their mothers, or grandmothers, on their wedding days.
■ WITH PURIM now behind us, Passover, and all that it entails, looms ahead. Before the festival itself comes Rosh Hodesh Nisan. At Moshav Me’or Modi’im, the women have a special celebration on the eve or at the beginning of every Hebrew calendar month, though this year. So as not to be limited by the approach of Shabbat, they’re doing it earlier, on March 22, which coincides with the Hebrew calendar date of Adar 28. Because the Moshav is known as a Shlomo Carlebach enclave, these monthly gatherings – that include learning, singing, lectures and dancing – attract Carlebach followers from all over. Lecturers on this occasion will be Leah Golomb, Mira Ra’anan, Nechama Nadborny, and as always, Emuna Halevi-Witt, the passionate transmitter of Carlebach’s teachings. Lunch at these monthly get-togethers is always a pot-luck affair, and participants are encouraged to bring any leavened foods they want to get rid of, as well as raw vegetables. The event will conclude with the moshav’s annual fashion show, which is in the nature of a fashion exchange. Nearly all of us have items in our closets which are either too large, too small or simply don’t flatter us, no matter how much we love them. The fashion show offers an opportunity for participants to get rid of clothes they can’t wear and to go home with other garments that they can. The underlying message is that now is the time to let go of all those things that uselessly clutter our closets. For further information, and possible transportation, call Leah Rivkah Sand Soetendorp, 052-324-0789, or Emuna, 050-862-9040.
■ FIVE VALUABLE paintings by Marc Chagall that are part of the collection of the Tel Aviv Museum are in need of restoration. The work involved is costly, but will not pose a headache for the people in the museum’s finance department because the cost factor is being taken care of by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project, which this year will fund the restoration of historically and culturally important artworks and artifacts from 19 countries, including Israel. Chagall, who was closely connected to Israel, paid his first visit to Tel Aviv in 1931, having received a commission from Parisian art dealer Ambroise Vollard to do a series of Bible-based illustrations.