City Notes: Afula memorial park to be built in honor of 3 kidnapped teens

A look at some of the events that took place this week.

Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel (L-R). (photo credit: REUTERS)
Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel (L-R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An initiative to dedicate an Afula park to Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah, the three youths kidnapped and killed by Hamas in June, was unveiled Sunday.
A project kick-off ceremony was held in the presence of family members of the three boys; also present were members of a French delegation supporting the project and visiting Israel in the framework of a Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael- Jewish National Fund conference titled “Israel Today and Tomorrow – Our Country.” The 200-person delegation included businessmen, leading journalists, political figures, mayors and members of parliament.
Also participating were KKL-JNF co-chairman Eli Aflalo; Afula Mayor Yitzhak Miron; Kishon Drainage Authority director Haim Hemi; and students of the Alumot school’s green council, who have conducted some of their studies at Nahal Hamoreh.
The park will be built upon a neglected area of the river near the Vatikim neighborhood in Afula Illit; the park and its paths have been designed to cross and integrate into the neighborhood. Part of the project will involve cleaning and restoring the routes of the wadi, creating well-lit walking trails and a promenade along its length, and in the heart of the neighborhood, a park with playground equipment aimed at perpetuating the memory of the three boys.
According to KKL-JNF, this is the first project to commemorate the three boys, whose murder preceded Operation Protective Edge this past summer. The organization made sure to plant trees for the planned park ahead of the shmita year.
The project is being conducted in cooperation with the Afula Municipality and the Kishon Drainage Authority, thanks to a donation by Friends of KKL-JNF in France; the total cost amounts to some $6 million, half of which was donated by the French arm of the organization.
At Sunday’s ceremony, Yifrah’s father, Uri, said he was very moved to “stand here today to honor the memory of Eyal, Gil-Ad and Naftali, who were children at the peak of their lives and loved traveling the country. With their love of Israel, there is nothing more wonderful than commemorating them in a park that is living, breathing and growing, with Israel... We will fight for its existence in the world and in the country.
“The natural place for the Jewish nation is here in Israel, and I invite the [French] community in Toulouse to come here. My wish is that we will prevail over all our enemies, and that we live here peacefully and quietly.
“In our case we felt the unity of the Nation of Israel, in Israel and among the entire world, who embraced us and supported us. We hope this unity will continue and grow in the country for many generations.”
Haifa art museum opens winter exhibitions
The Haifa Museum of Art announced the opening of its winter exhibitions last weekend, initiated by the museum’s new chief curator Leah Avir. Two solo exhibitions and one group exhibition featuring Israeli and international artists opened; all close in early March.
Prominent international artist Olaf Breuning, a New York resident originally from Switzerland whose work deals with cultural and social stereotypes, is showcased in an extensive solo exhibition, “Groups.” The display comprises staged photographs from the last decade, which include groups in different situations and apparel. In addition, Breuning’s “Home” trilogy of movies will be screened.
The other solo exhibition, “Semaphore Island” by Sari Carel, is made up of layers of both sound and image. It is based on a collection of sound recordings of extinct birds, which the artist collected over the years; this collection is joined by images produced by a phonautograph – an early sound-writing machine invented in 1857. The Israeli-born Carel is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York.
The group exhibition is called “Spolia,” a term used in the fields of archeology and architecture to describe the use of ancient structural elements in later building. It features a layered platform, combining old and new, for functional, political and other purposes. The layered structure represents principle, and the exhibit deals with signs from the past, cultural aspects of the present and the connection between different times, on one platform.
In addition, the museum has a new permanent space for study and gatherings, dedicated to artist books – a unique medium that, according to the museum, creates an intimate observation experience and is considered an artwork in itself. “The Library” contains a collection of artist books from Israel and throughout the world, presented to the museum by the Possibility of a Book group, as well as a historical collection of catalogues printed by the Museum of Haifa Press in different eras. The Library also displays works by artist Nour Ibrahim, relating to the book format.
Elderly man drowns off TA’s Gordon Beach
An 82-year-old man drowned off Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach on Sunday. Magen David Adom paramedics attempted to resuscitate him, but pronounced him dead at the scene.
WIZO event seeks support in fight against domestic violence
An evening event was held to connect the younger crowd to WIZO projects for women and children who are victims of domestic violence; present were World WIZO president Tova Ben-Dov and WIZO Israel chairwoman Gila Oshrat. November 25 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and WIZO will run broad activities aimed at raising awareness and raising funds to expand existing projects and start new ones aimed at assisting men needing help to end the cycle of violence.
MK Shaul Mofaz and his wife, Orit, attended the event, along with Vered Swed, director-general of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women in the Prime Minister’s Office.
lyn’s ‘Wheels of Love’ ride cycles through Israel for 15th year Alyn Orthopedic Hospital and Rehabilitation Center’s 15th annual “Wheels of Love” charity bike ride took place this week.
The event was sponsored by Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, one of the world’s largest law firms specializing in intellectual property. The ride is geared toward raising money for physically challenged children being rehabilitated at Alyn, which is located in Jerusalem and specializes in pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation.
The five-day bike ride began in Sde Boker on Sunday, with cyclists traveling through the South, choosing from a selection of routes varying in difficulty; on the last day, participants were scheduled to ride from the Dead Sea to Jerusalem, and visit the children at Alyn.
Several partners from Finnegan’s Israel practice were set to take part.
Participants who didn’t feel up to the five-day challenge could opt for a day-long bike ride, termed GalgAlyn, on the first or final day of the event; GalgAlyn riders could choose between off-road and on-road routes.
Ashkelon resident caught drunk driving
Police caught an Ashkelon resident, 65, driving recklessly on Route 4, going south. According to the Local website, the driver zigzagged between lanes, pushing vehicles off the road and endangering the lives of other drivers. Police stopped the driver, who tried to resist arrest; he allegedly gave off a strong smell of alcohol.
The driver was taken in for questioning and told police he had drunk just one bottle of beer. A blood test found five times more alcohol than is permitted by law for driving.