City Notes: Bat Yam city workers guard their kindergartens

Weekly round-up of local news around the country.

Beach tennis (illustrative) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Beach tennis (illustrative)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Bat Yam Municipality staff this week began guarding public kindergartens around the hours when the children arrive and leave the premises, in light of the security situation. On Fridays, parents will mobilize to fulfill this duty.
Most kindergartens in Israel are not guarded on a permanent basis, and there has been no formal change of procedures in recent weeks, the municipality stated.
Bat Yam Mayor Yossi Bachar therefore made the decision to task municipal workers with this job, in order to raise the sense of security during these sensitive times.
This also extends to schools, where the hours that security guards work have been prolonged to 4 p.m. In addition, reinforcements have been brought in for municipal patrols near the schools and on streets throughout the city.
Food deliveries to elderly afraid to leave homes due to terrorism
The Chasdei Naomi charity is sending volunteers to bring food and medicine to elderly people who are afraid to leave their homes due to the security situation.
Chasdei Naomi works on a daily basis with corporations and service providers as well as a network of 20,000 dedicated volunteers to provide food and other basic needs for 10,000 families throughout Israel.
In recent days, however, the organization received several calls indicating that people who usually receive aid from the NGO were reluctant to pick up the packages themselves, due to the current situation.
NGO chairman Joseph Cohen explained that the fear brought on by the wave of terrorism means that disadvantaged people who are already hungry may starve themselves in order to avoid leaving the house, for fear of being faced by a terrorist.
The distribution service is also offered to members of the general public who aren’t already supported by the organization but are in need of food. In addition to food distribution, the organization is offering support services to single mothers who are unable to go out alone for errands.
Chasdei Naomi appealed to the public for volunteers, particularly car owners, to assist in this mission. The organization is operating in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bat Yam, Tiberias, Ashdod, Netanya, Beit Shemesh, Modi’in Illit, Elad, Safed, Nazareth and other cities.
Arabs and Jews form human chain in joint call for peace
Some 350 Jews and Arabs joined forces at an event last weekend in Wadi Ara under the banner “We choose to talk,” against the backdrop of heightened tensions between the two communities.
At the event – an initiative of the Givat Haviva Center for Shared Society – participants formed a human chain along Route 65 and together called for an end to violence and spoke out in favor of coexistence.
“We came here to show that there is another way,” said Givat Haviva CEO Yaniv Sagee. “Particularly during these tense times, it is important that we don’t give in to incitement and stereotypes; that we come together and meet; that we begin to know each other and to understand that there is nothing to fear, and we can talk about coexistence and equality.”
“This terrible violence will not change the fact that we are neighbors, who are destined to live together forever,” added Muhammad Darawshe, director of equality and shared society at Givat Haviva.
“We are doing, through the residents, what the government does not do – we are taking responsibility. The road to peace passes through dialogue. I call upon everyone, Arabs and Jews, to begin to meet without barriers and fears,” he said.
Residents of the region attended the event, as well as citizens from further afield, including both entire families and individuals. Participants gathered in a dialogue tent set up at the Megiddo junction, where a ceremony was held in addition to dialogue circles.
Haifa conference encourages female entrepreneurship
The Latet Atid Association held a conference in Haifa this week to encourage female entrepreneurship, an event attended by high-profile businesswomen who ran roundtables with women interested in joining ventures.
The event was held, free of charge, at the Haifa Carmel Beach Towers, and the NGO described it as the “opening shot” of activities started by the organization in the North, after having focused its efforts in recent years in the Center and South.
The association is dedicated to helping women in financial difficulty to found their own businesses and achieve economic independence.
Eilat to host beach tennis European championships
This weekend Eilat’s northern beaches will be transformed into the playing fields for the European Beach Tennis Championships, with eight 16 m. by 8 m. tennis courts set along the stretch of sand between Avenue Beach and Nine Beach, ready for Europe’s best beach tennis players to compete against each other.
This event is one of the largest beach tennis competitions run during the year. Last year’s competition was held in Brighton, England. Players from 16 different European countries are taking part in the contest, including the current world champions from Italy.