City notes

Haifa sends mobile command center to Beersheba, offers refuge for southerners.

City notes (photo credit: Wikicommons)
City notes
(photo credit: Wikicommons)
The Haifa Municipality sent its emergency mobile command center to the rocket-battered capital of the Negev, Beersheba, to assist it in its time of crisis. In addition to sending the vehicle itself, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav sent over NIS 1 million in emergency services, according to the Local website.
The mobile command center is equipped with computing systems that allow direct access to municipal information systems and can receive closed-circuit TV images from remote cameras to help in supervising emergency responses remotely, according to the report.
Beersheba’s mayor accepted Haifa’s offer and gave a green light for Haifa’s emergency teams to travel south and help the Beersheba Municipality in whatever capacity they are asked to.
Yahav also ordered Haifa’s Social Services Department to open its doors to southerners in need, including accommodations and educational services. Residents of the South were also invited to visit the city’s zoo, the Carmelit subway, museums, the science park and other leisure activities free of charge, the Local website reported.
Beersheba Mayor Rubik Danilovich thanked Haifa for its gesture, according to the report. “We are currently on the front and we are happy to see the enlistment of another city to help us. Likewise, we will also be there for them in their times of need.”
TA offers free cultural activities for southerners
The Discover Tel Aviv Center announced on Monday that it will offer cultural activities to residents of the embattled South in order to help raise morale this weekend.
On Friday the Breslov movement will host southerners in the Montefiore neighborhood and will offer a visit to a local synagogue. The tour will start at 10 a.m. To register, call Jordana Manor, (03) 510- 0337.
Also Friday, a “stories of women” tour will be held, leaving from the Trumpeldor cemetery (the Tel Aviv Pantheon) at 10:30 a.m.
“They were special women who created and initiated, who took a great part in the Zionist enterprise independently or beside their partners, but their contributions have been kept silent forever,” organizers said. Out of 2,500 streets in Tel Aviv, only 40 are named after women. The tour will take place in the cemetery and tell the stories of visionary women who took part in building the Zionist state. To register, call Ayelet Ilan, (03) 510-0337.
The third event Friday is being billed as a historical journey through the hidden corners of 19th century Jaffa, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Old City of Jaffa is full of familiar places but with less familiar stories. The tour is described as revealing the Jaffa that you wouldn’t normally see. The tour will begin in the city’s clock tower and continue to the promenade and through alleyways, St. Peter’s Church and Yefet Street and end at the Jaffa Port. To register, call (03) 510-0337.Netanya opens doors to rocket refugees
The Netanya Municipality opened its gates to residents of the South fleeing rocket fire from Gaza this week, inviting its own residents to host the rocket refugees. The municipality was also providing educational arrangements for families with children during their stays in the city.
Citizens interested in taking refuge in Netanya can contact the municipal hotline at 106 or (09) 860- 4400.
TA council demands protection for private kindergartens
The Tel Aviv Municipality held a meeting this week to discuss the effect of rockets targeting the city on kindergarten children and other youngsters in the city, with the aim of addressing possible issues and problems head-on. Attending the meeting was Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, municipal social services officials and representatives of the IDF’s Home Front Command.
There are around 15,000 children in private kindergartens in Tel Aviv, most of which do not have protected spaces or bomb shelters, a municipal official said in a statement. City councillor Reuben Ladiansky noted the lack of shelters for children and the lack of clear instructions for how to handle emergency situations.
“As far as I know, no authorities came to private kindergartens to give instructions before [Operation Pillar of Defense] began or afterwards in order to instruct kindergarten teachers and parents on procedures or to ensure the kindergartens have protected areas,” Ladiansky said.
He noted that the psychological effects of the military operation were likely to be much greater than physical ones in the Tel Aviv area and called on the municipality to be prepared to deal with mental and emotional issues among children and parents.Organ festival set to arrive in Tel Aviv for first time
For the first time, three cities will begin hosting the Israeli Organ Festival, which will include 21 concerts in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem. The festival, which aims to raise public appreciation for organ music, will be offering membership which includes entrance to all of the concerts in the series.
There are 52 organs in Israel, 30 of which are in Jerusalem, five in Tel Aviv and two in Haifa. The Organ Association said it has seen an increase in interest in organ music in recent years, something it hopes to further augment with the festival, which is set to begin in December.
The concerts will take place weekly in each city: on Mondays in Tel Aviv at the Tel Aviv University School of Music, on Fridays at the University of Haifa’s Hecht Museum, and concerts in Jerusalem will take place on different days at a number of churches in the city.
The Organ Festival’s musical director is organist Yuval Rabin, who lives in Switzerland. Founding director of the festival Gerard Levy noted that organizers decided to bring the festival to Tel Aviv after great successes in previous concerts in Haifa and Jerusalem.
Performers head south to distract suffering children
Children in Ashkelon, who have been suffering under nearconstant threat of rocket attacks this week due to the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip, were treated to a special performance in the city. The Culture Ministry, in cooperation with the “Israeli Culture” group, brought a group of artists to the southern city on Monday.
Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat accompanied the artists in traveling to Ashkelon and joined the performers and children in song.
Livnat told the children and their parents, “We are proud of you for the support you give the government and the IDF. Our goal is to return your sense of safety to you.” She continued, “The IDF will continue to operate until we are certain you are safe.”
The event was supported by the World Zionist Organization. The first event took place on Thursday and has been traveling throughout cities in the South. Other performances took place in Ofakim, Kiryat Malachi and at the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council.
Tourism minister flies to Eilat to discuss tourism development
After participating in the world’s second-largest tourism conference in London last week, Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov visited Eilat to mark the opening of the winter tourism season.
The minister held discussions with Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevy in which the mayor praised the minister for his work in putting Eilat back on the map of preferred international tourism destinations. He also expressed his appreciation for the advancement of plans to expand tourism infrastructure, including hotels and tourist spots in the city, combined with a massive marketing campaign promoting the city.
Meseznikov discussed the importance of cooperation between the Tourism Ministry and the private tourism industry, while emphasizing that he did not plan to unnecessarily interfere with market forces. In a meeting next month, the involved parties will receive a report on the state of tourism and tourism infrastructure in the city. They plan to analyze supply and demand in the tourism sector and changes that have taken place in recent years. The goal is to enhance commercial interaction and strengthen the economic standing of tourism merchants.
Among the efforts undertaken by the ministry in recent years is investing in infrastructure upgrades, supporting festivals in the city and improving the quality of tourism information and marketing, including the launch of a smartphone application for tourists and a newsletter.