Grapevine: Exceeding the limit

It's amazing how many people live by the rule of “do as I say, not as I do.”

The Pastoral Hotel with Mount Hermon in the background 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
The Pastoral Hotel with Mount Hermon in the background 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
■ IT’S AMAZING how many people live by the rule of “do as I say, not as I do.”
Case in point is former MK Nahum Langenthal, who was fined NIS 800 in the Tel Aviv Traffic Court for driving in a residential area at 81 kph, when the speed limit was 50. According to the prosecution, there were allegedly 31 prior incidents.
This would be considered an outrageous record on the part of any driver, but more so in Langenthal’s case because he had served as the director general of the Transportation Ministry and had been a legislator on behalf of the National Religious Party, which put a strong value on the preservation of life.
Nonetheless, Judge Arieh Zakrsewski went easy on him with that fine.
■ LAST WEEK, 50 young Israeli leaders from across the professional, religious and political spectrum gathered at Yad Hashmona, a moshav in the Judean Hills, to explore their Jewish identities and build a personal and collective Jewish narrative. They were among pioneers of the Magid project, a pilot program created as part of ROI Connection Points, which is part of a global community of Jewish innovators created by philanthropist Lynn Schusterman.
Participants at the conference, organized by Brachie Sprung, included Ari Eitan , chairman of the Ilan Institute, which promotes employment and study of professionally beneficial secular subjects among young haredi adults; and Justin Korda, executive director of the ROI community (an acronym for return on investment).
■ TEL AVIV Mayor Ron Huldai, speaking at the annual Globes Economic Conference, complained that instead of investing in housing and education, the state is giving funds to political parties. Huldai thinks it is untenable that a person holding a regular job cannot earn enough to purchase a home and, worse, is in a socioeconomic bracket that categorizes him as being below the poverty line. This is unacceptable in a country that prides itself on being the start-up nation, he said.
■ BROTHERS Leon and Moshe Edry have signed a NIS 100 million contract to build a Cinema City in Hadera. They met with Hadera Mayor Haim Avitan and businessman Kobi Maimon and signed on the dotted line. The culture and leisure complex is scheduled to open in August 2013.
■ A NEW initiative at the University of Haifa is the establishment of a Grandmaster Chess Research Project, being developed in collaboration with vice world chess champion Grandmaster Boris Gelfand. The program will develop a novel academic approach to the skills and culture of chess-playing that can contribute to social and scientific development. The program will include research on the correlation between chess and cognitive enhancement; develop the first Hebrew-language educational software program for teaching chess in schools and kindergartens; and establish an international program for training chess instructors and coaches.
“This initiative is introducing chess and the disciplines involved in the game’s development into the academic world as never before,” says Vice President and Dean of Research Prof. Michal Yerushalmy.
At a reception with Gelfand – winner of the 2009 World Cup and the 2011 Candidates’ Matches – university Vice President for External Relations Amos Gaver congratulated him on his accomplishment in the 2012 World Championships and for the pride he brings Israel. Gelfand said he was honored that the university decided to develop studies connected to chess and was convinced that it can help people of all ages not only to develop an interest in chess but also create a better society. He said he knew many leading intellectual professionals who owe their professional development to their ability to play chess.
■ ALTHOUGH TOURISM Minister Stas Meseznikov is leaving politics, he has left a legacy that is quickly being adopted. Throughout his term, Meseznikov consistently advocated the construction of new hotels and the expansion of existing hotels to make tourist packages more competitive and more affordable.
One hotelier who is taking him seriously is David Fattal who, despite the state of the global economy, continues to expand. Only a week after completing a NIS 50 million deal to lease and renovate the Goldar Hotel in Netanya, Fattal signed another contract to build a business hotel in the industrial zone that straddles the Ra’anana-Kfar Saba junction. It will be part of a large commercial project being built by Rami Shbiro. Fattal will lease the hotel and manage it under the Leonardo name.
The Tourism Ministry has approved a grant allocation for the construction of a 54-room hotel on the site of the abandoned Casino building on the Haifa seashore. In addition, the Investments Administration in the Tourism Ministry approved 13 grant requests to restore and convert 13 hotels in Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Acre, Haifa, Nahariya, Kfar Horesh, Tiberias and Kibbutz Ein Gev.
And a 50-room hotel will be built in Ashkelon on an abandoned building on the seashore that served as a hotel decades ago. The addition of 100 rooms to an adjacent hotel is also being planned.