City notes: Jellyfish take northern beaches by surprise

In recent days, the Jellyfish website received increasing reports that the sea creatures had been spotted on the northern part of Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

Taglit-Birthright participants with Itzik the clown at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center. (photo credit: TAGLIT-BIRTHRIGHT)
Taglit-Birthright participants with Itzik the clown at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center.
(photo credit: TAGLIT-BIRTHRIGHT)
A large swarm of jellyfish showed up at northern beaches off the coasts of Achziv and Nahariya in recent days, an unusual occurrence in light of the season.
Marine ecology expert Dr. Dror Angel of the University of Haifa’s Maritime Civilizations Department said the swarm’s arrival is the result of a northern current which led the jellyfish – mostly between 40 and 70 cm. – to the shores.
In recent days, the Jellyfish website received increasing reports that the sea creatures had been spotted on the northern part of Israel’s Mediterranean coast. The jellyfish, which are larger than average size, come regularly to these shores during the winter period, but the number observed on Achziv Beach is unusual and can have a significant impact on the marine food web.
According to Angel, one reason for this may be the storm that hit the North this month. Though the arrival of the great swarm is rare, it is not necessarily surprising: “As long as human activity continues and includes the construction and development of beaches, uncontrolled fishing, marine pollution, development and activity in the deep sea and more, the marine system will become more and more unbalanced, and eventually quite fragile.” Thus, he noted, it is not surprising there have been so many non-routine occurrences.
Haifa man dies of smoke inhalation in apartment fire
A 54-year-old man died Sunday night in a fire in his Haifa apartment.
Fire and Rescue Services went to the scene of the reported blaze on the fourth floor of an Allenby Street building, and found the fire raging. Magen David Adom paramedics said the apartment was shrouded in smoke and they immediately began to search it, as they had received a report someone might be trapped inside.
MDA found the man lying unconscious in the apartment hallway, and provided treatment before evacuating him to the city’s Rambam Medical Center. He had inhaled a lot of smoke, had no pulse and was not breathing, paramedics said; a short time later, doctors pronounced him dead. The cause of the fire is not yet known, and the Haifa station opened an investigation into the incident.
2 murders within hours in North
The body of a 50-year-old man with several stab wounds was found Monday near a gas station in the Israeli-Arab village of Ibillin near Haifa, MDA reported Sunday morning; paramedics immediately pronounced the man dead. A swift police probe revealed that a private vehicle had fled the scene; police tracked it down and arrested two suspects, 21 and 24, on suspicion of involvement in the murder. Police believe the murder was connected to a family conflict, and were continuing to investigate.
Less than two hours later, police received a report of another murder – of a man in his 20s who had arrived at the medical center in Tamra in serious condition after having being shot in the upper body; doctors pronounced him dead shortly thereafter. Police opened an investigation into the incident, clarifying that the two incidents were not connected.
Rambam doctors join int’l delegation to Vietnam
Two doctors from Rambam Healthcare Campus – Dr. Omri Emodi of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department, and Dr. Zach Sharony of the Plastic Surgery Department – joined a 300-member delegation to Vietnam from 18 countries this month, the Tatzpit news agency reported.
The purpose of the trip was to provide free reconstructive surgery for children born with conditions such as cleft lip and cleft palate, as well as other facial deformities.
The trip was within the framework of Operation Smile, which works in underdeveloped areas where children and families may have never before seen a doctor or healthcare worker.
It is the largest volunteer-based children’s medical charity, providing free cleft surgeries and healing thousands of children each year in over 60 countries; its network of more than 5,400 volunteers hails from over 80 countries, including Israel. Volunteers donate both safe surgery and postoperative and ongoing medical therapy.
During this month’s Vietnam mission, the international medical team performed more than 500 cleft surgeries in 10 days across the country. Delegation members operated 12 hours each day, helping children at six sites throughout Vietnam.
“The atmosphere among doctors was extremely convivial. Our free time was filled with conversation, jokes and mutual invitations,” the Tatzpit news agency quoted Sharony. “The cliché that medicine is a bridge between cultures was more apparent than ever.”
Argentinean medical students on Taglit partake in medical clown workshop
A Taglit-Birthright group composed of Argentinean medical students participated in a medical clowning workshop last week at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center for Israel in Petah Tikva.
The workshop, on the importance of humor for hospitalized children, visited the center together with Itzik the Clown to provide entertainment for the young patients; the activity was part of a 10-day educational trip across Israel.
TA hosts underground Yiddish/Klezmer fest
The Tel Aviv Arts Council is putting on an event that combines the “young Yiddish scene of Tel Aviv,” Golan Heights wine and Klezmer music provided by the Ramzailech band. The Tuesday evening do (8 to 10 p.m.) will be held at the central bus station’s YUNG YiDiSH Living Museum Book Annex; guests can expect to hear the sounds of klezmer, Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish, industrial, hip hop, jazz, groove and Middle Eastern rock.
The YUNG YiDiSH nonprofit aims to preserve and transmit Yiddish culture, encouraging contemporary Yiddish creativity in its various forms. Its members and friends consider Yiddish to be an essential aspect of Israel’s cultural heritage, to be fostered by looking both back and forward. The organization started out in 1993, collecting, safeguarding and disseminating Yiddish books; it had since developed into a core of cultural activism, and a venue for exhibitions, concerts, readings, commemorations and art.
Tickets are NIS 70 and include unlimited wine tasting.
JNF UK holds telethon for Kiryat Gat autistic center
JNF UK held a telethon last weekend to raise money for the development of a treatment center for autistic children in the Negev town of Kiryat Gat; the event was held as part of the organization’s annual Green Sunday appeal.
The Kiryat Gat center provides an array of therapies for children, and support for their families in coping with the challenges of raising an autistic child.
Police arrest 5 Rahat residents over anti-police violence
Negev police arrested five Rahat residents last week on suspicion of throwing a gas bomb and stones and burning tires at police officers and taking part in city riots. A Caracal police vehicle was damaged by the bomb, preventing a direct hit on the officer.
The suspects are all in their 20s. The riot came at the end of a week of high tensions in the Beduin city, after two local men died during clashes with police. Ten other suspects were arrested last week on suspicion of involvement in violent riots.
Arab businesses across the country observed a general strike last Tuesday to protest the deaths, and what they characterized as police brutality in the clashes.