City Notes: MDA youth spread cheer before Purim

Young Magen David Adom volunteers spread their holiday cheer by delivering mishloach manot to children, soldiers and needy families.

Purim Tel Aviv 2013 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Purim Tel Aviv 2013
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Young Magen David Adom volunteers donned their Purim costumes ahead of the holiday last week and set to work spreading holiday cheer across the country by delivering traditional mishloah manot packages to children, soldiers and needy families.
In Karmiel, MDA youth distributed packages to children and families in need of assistance from the city’s Social Welfare and Community Center, and at the community center volunteers handed out donated costumes and other goodies to at-risk children.
Meanwhile, at the Tiberias branch, little helpers lightened up the day for patients at the Poriya Hospital, as well as running activities at the Adloyada at the Ginsberg community center.
Volunteers were also busy at the Netanya MDA branch during the week delivering mishloah manot to the children’s ward at Laniado Medical Center. On Sunday volunteers visited Netanya’s boarding school, attended by children from at-risk families, equipped with gifts and many planned activities. Ichilov and Sheba hospital patients were also recipients of the MDA parcels, while elderly Tel Avivians living in Florentin read the megila with the young volunteers.
Also in the South, MDA teams were hard at work in various cities, giving out presents to the elderly in Ashdod, at a special-needs school in Sderot and at a children’s shelter in Gan Yavne, to name but a few.
“Purim provides the general public with an opportunity to make someone else happy on the holiday, to think of others and help them,” said MDA director- general Eli Bin. “I am proud of the MDA youth, who were deployed all over the country and are spreading joy, generosity and love across Israel. I wish a happy and safe Purim to every home in Israel.”
Police launch investigation into sale of alcohol to minors
Police over the weekend opened investigations into suspected sale of alcohol to minors in an operation conducted in northern Israel. Police inspected 60 stores and kiosks regarding the sale of alcohol and drugs to minors and subsequently opened 32 cases concerning the sale of alcohol to minors, and 11 cases of providing alcohol to minors. They also opened 55 cases of drug use and 10 cases of carrying a dagger.Motorcycle kills pedestrian in Haifa
A 50-year-old woman died on Sunday after a motorcycle ran her over on a major street in Haifa.
Magen David Adom paramedics resuscitated the woman and took her to the Rambam Medical Center, where she later succumbed to her injuries. The motorcyclist, 24, incurred light injuries and received medical attention. A preliminary investigation revealed that the motorcyclist was carrying a suspended license and apparently rode up onto the sidewalk, where he hit the woman.
Palestinian and Israeli citizens talk peace
This weekend, delegations of six Israelis and six Palestinians were set to meet in Tel Aviv to negotiate a solution to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The negotiators were allotted five two-hour sessions to reach an agreement. The public was invited to attend and participate in the dialogue.
The event was being held in preparation for a public conference comprising a delegation of 25 Israelis and 25 Palestinians, scheduled for the intermediate days of Passover. These steps are being taken in the hope of establishing an Israeli-Palestinian congress for negotiations that will have an impact on the peace process.
Heading the initiative is Dr. Sapir Handelman – colaureate of the 2010 Peter Becker Award for Peace and Conflict Studies – who sees the project as a real opportunity to resolve the conflict. Handelman has run 17 mini-congresses of this kind at leading universities in the US, Canada, the West Bank and Israel.
“In Basel, we established the Jewish state, and at Habimah Square we protected it,” he said. “At a time when the leadership is failing us, it is up to the citizens to take the reins.”
He says the aim of the project is to establish a broad and significant congress that will have political power and will involve the citizens in ways to reach peace and to put pressure on the leadership to reach an agreement.
The participants of this weekend’s Israeli delegation are head of the Kibbutz Movement’s task force Yoel Marshak; clinical psychologist Dr. Pazit Sela; Gideon Lazaras, a settler and professor of Chinese history and philosophy; business development director Naama Atar; world-renowned scholar Dr. Avner Ben Zaken; and communications student Yael Rogers. The Palestinian delegation comprises three men and three women, some of whom have spent long periods of time in Israeli prisons.
The event was scheduled to begin on Friday at 11.30 a.m. and end on Saturday at 5 p.m.
UK envoy reads megila with TA chief rabbi
British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould participated in a megila reading service on Saturday at the Heichal Moshe Synagogue in Tel Aviv. Together with Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, the ambassador read the scrolls in celebration of Purim.
Car injures cyclist in Tel Aviv
A 31-year-old cyclist was seriously injured when a car hit him on Yosef Levy Street in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. Magen David Adom paramedics treated him at the scene and took him to Ichilov Hospital. The man suffered an injury to his head.
Police opened an investigation into the incident.
Bnei Brak teen injured by Purim firecracker
A 15-year-old Bnei Brak resident sustained a light injury to his eye on Saturday evening from a firecracker lit during Purim celebrations.
The teenager was taken to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer for treatment. Police are investigating the incident.
Petah Tikva man wounded by gunfire
An unknown gunman shot and moderately wounded a man on Ben-Zvi Boulevard in Petah Tikva on Saturday night. Police suspected the perpetrator opened fire from a moving vehicle.
The man was taken to The Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus with injuries to his upper body. Police are investigating the incident.
Ashdod students win gold at youth film festival
The film Run with It, made by Ashdod high school students, won the Gold Herzl prize last week – the Oscar for Israeli youth – at the Herzliya Film Festival for youth in Israel, the Local website reported. The special prize was awarded by the students’ rights division of the Education Ministry. The film was directed by chairman of the students’ council Dvir Meshesh at the Vav Comprehensive High School.
The school’s social education coordinator Sheila Cohen described the winning film as one that “depicts the determined struggle of a student who suffers from a minor physical disability and wants to enlist in the IDF just like all his friends in his school year.” The film explores the conflicts and dilemmas that the student faces, but ultimately he does not succeed in his struggle.
The competition is a joint initiative of the Herzliya Municipality and the Education Ministry. Some 50 films by students around the country competed in the competition.
Throughout the day, the winning film was screened, alongside a panel discussion of social issues.
Eilat fights sexual abuse among pupils on the Web
Following several incidents of sexual abuse on the Web in Eilat, parents of schoolchildren in the city received a letter last week signed by various officials in the education system urging them to report any manifestations of sexual abuse that their children may have been exposed to, according to the Local website. Reported incidents included photography and distribution of intimate photographs and threats and offensive remarks.
In light of a number of incidents of sexual abuse among pupils, head of Eilat’s Education Administration Dr. Drori Ganiel decided to raise awareness within the education system about the risks of unsupervised use of social networks on the Internet.
In the letter, educators called on parents in the city to supervise, support and guild their children’s use of the Internet. “We must remember that Facebook and other social networks generate positive social relationships, but there are also dangers similar to the dangers of the street,” the letter read, according to the Local report. “You parents, like us in the education system, are obligated to ensure that our children surf the Net safely… We see you as partners in achieving this goal and in eliminating these negative effects.”