City Notes: Acre mayor guest of honor in Azerbaijan

Wrap-up of local news around the country.

‘Love Trees’ in Eilat’s Botanical Gardens (photo credit: Courtesy)
‘Love Trees’ in Eilat’s Botanical Gardens
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Acre Mayor Shimon Lankri was recently in Azerbaijan as a guest of honor of the government in Baku. The Acre Municipality announced last week that Lankri was invited together with the head of Acre’s Azerbaijani Mountain Jews community, Nekhamia Shirin Michaeli; and International Kavkazi Jewish STMEGI Foundation president German Zakharyev, whose family is from the country’s Caucasus Mountain region.
Over the four-day trip, Lankri met with various Azerbaijani officials and Jewish community representatives, visited a newly built synagogue and met members of the Mountain Jews community. He also met with the head of the cultural wing of the President’s Office and the religious affairs minister, who highlighted that there are seven central and active synagogues in the country, and a Jewish community numbering 20,000.
He presented to officials his plan to establish a cultural center for Azerbaijani descendants in Acre, the Hedyar Aliyev Azerbaijan House. Lankri chose the name to honor Azerbaijan’s third president, who he said played a central role in establishing and strengthening Baku-Jerusalem relations. The mayor also participated in an event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Baku Slavic University, where he spoke to academics and students about the importance of remembering the Shoah.
Elderly woman suspected of murdering roommate in Haifa retirement home
Following a fight between two elderly women in Haifa’s Ben-Yehuda retirement home, a woman, 82, is suspected of having killed her 90-year-old roommate. The two allegedly exchanged blows, then one pushed the other, leading to her death; the suspect’s lawyer said she acted in self-defense.
Police from the Haifa station were called to the scene and discovered the woman’s body with signs of violence on it, raising suspicions that the incident was of a criminal nature.
The suspect was brought into the station for questioning; an investigation is under way.
6 injured in collision between bus, truck, car
A collision between a bus, truck and car on Highway 2 on Monday morning left six lightly injured, according to Magen David Adom. The bus driver was among the injured; he was rescued after being trapped in his seat.
MDA paramedics administered initial treatment to the injured on-site, then evacuated them to Beilinson, Meir and Ichilov hospitals.
Bat Yam women seek greater involvement in municipal decision-making
Bat Yam women participating in a course aimed at implementing gender equality in the budgets of local authorities, met last week with Vered Svid, head of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women in the Prime Minister’s Office. The women’s council of Bat Yam, headed by Anat Livnat, launched the course in cooperation with the Adva Center; Na’amat, Hadassah and Mamanet, the “league for moms,” are also involved in the initiative, to encourage women to be active partners in shaping urban policy and to familiarize them with the budget-making process and policy-making.
Each member of the group has chosen a topic she would like to pursue such as wage gaps, women in key positions in the municipality or examining the gender budget in areas such as welfare, education and sports. Out of a variety of proposals, three major projects were selected to be the focus of the course: advancement of female managers; promotion and representation of women in decision-making positions; and reviewing female presence in sporting and cultural events.
Livnat said that in order to act for change, it was necessary “to get to the bottom of things, to understand the discrimination caused by structural social prejudice... I believe that significant change will begin in the authorities and will spread to the whole country, but is it important to understand where we stand today and to make the change together with the government of each authority.”
Artist Reuven Rubin’s $65,000 painting to be raffled off for charity
Acclaimed artist Reuven Rubin’s painting Anemones, worth $65,000, can be won by members of the public via the purchase of a $100 ticket – as part of an international online lottery organized by WIZO and the Sharon Herzliya Rotary club. All funds raised in the “Rubin for 100” raffle will be donated to three projects: the development of WIZO’s “One Hour with a Child” project; the construction of a therapeutic pool for children with autism in Herzliya; and a generous donation to Polio Plus, the global polio eradication initiative.
One Hour with a Child is a 6 METRO | FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2015 CITY NOTES volunteering project supporting children from at-risk families by spending one-on-one time with them; WIZO aims to expand it by training 1,500 additional volunteers, to add to the current 150. The therapeutic swimming pool at the Ofek School for autistic children is a joint project of the Rotary Sharon Herzliya and the Herzliya Municipality; Polio Plus is a project of the international Rotary Club.
Lottery organizers say this is Israel’s first project of this kind, undertaken entirely on a voluntary basis. Rubin painted Anemones in 1973; the 43 x 38 cm. work in oil on canvas bears the artist’s signature on the left. It is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Carmela Rubin, director and curator of the Rubin Museum, as well as a professional evaluation by Gemolab.
There are 12,000 lottery tickets for sale, which may be purchased online in Hebrew and English at The closing date is April 30; the lottery drawing is scheduled for May 1.
Eilat marks Tu Bishvat by raising funds to rehabilitate oil-damaged nature reserve
A sale of 500 “Love Trees” was held in the Botanical Garden of Eilat last weekend, in a Tu Bishvat-inspired initiative to raise funds to rehabilitate the Ein Avrona nature reserve – the victim of last year’s oil spill.
The event sought to put a spotlight on the natural elements – air, sea, land – and their importance to human life and the environment, featuring an exhibition on “nature’s walls,” an introduction to the rare birds of the region, sessions about the treasures found in the Red Sea and activities aimed at strengthening ties with the land and vegetation, adapted to Eilat’s climate and soil; city green organizations also gave sessions on various ecological issues.
Botanical garden co-owner Yoram Nadal lauded the effort to help rehabilitate the damage caused by the spill, “by transferring a message of love.” He said the funds raised would be put toward rehabilitation of damaged vegetation, growth of vegetation, germination and planting in accordance with the regulations of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and other bodies responsible for the reserve.
Ashkelon man accused of dressing up as cop to rob, sodomize
The Southern District Attorney’s Office on Monday filed an indictment in the district court against an Ashkelon resident who allegedly disguised himself as a police officer in order to rob and sodomize a woman. According to Ma’ariv Online, the indictment said the 40-year-old suspect saw a woman’s online advertisement offering escort services. He allegedly called her, paid her NIS 200 and upon entering her bedroom, unzipped his pants; he then showed her a document stating he was a cop and was taking her to the police station for 18 hours.
According to complainant’s account, she started to cry and asked the man if she could talk to her daughter. He began asking her personal questions and demanded she return the NIS 200, plus more. The complainant said she didn’t have any extra money, so he took the gold earrings she was wearing, then sodomized her.