■ TEL AVIV is out and Hadera is in, according to Hadera Mayor Haim Avitan, who forecast that his city would one day be no less important than Tel Aviv. Avitan was speaking at the groundbreaking of a new neighborhood project to be constructed by Shikun U’Binui.“It’s no secret that Tel Aviv is the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of the present that pulsates 24 hours around the clock,” said Avitan, “but it took a century for it to grow from a small neighborhood to Israel’s business, cultural and residential capital.”Observing that there wasn’t much more land on which Tel Aviv could develop, Avitan declared that it was now Hadera’s turn. “This is our finest hour,” he said, “our chance to become the Tel Aviv of tomorrow and one of the major cities in Israel.”Swept along by Avitan’s enthusiasm, Shikun U’Binui CEO Tamir Dagan noted that not only was it a new neighborhood, but a green project, which is what so many people are now looking for.■ CULTURAL EXCHANGE has become almost obsessive in diplomatic circles, with various foreign and culture ministries supporting film festivals, rock concerts, classical concerts, art exhibitions, et al, that showcase some of the varied talents of their respective countries. Czech Ambassador Tomas Pojar, who hosted his country’s National Day reception at his residence in Herzliya Pituah this past Thursday, also had something to do with the appearance of Czech rock bands Uz Jsme Doma and Fast Food, which began a series of performances across the country on Wednesday.The first was at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv. The second was on Thursday at the city’s Ozen Bar, and the Beat Club in Haifa. They’ll be back at the Barby on Friday, and Saturday, October 29, they’ll be performing at the Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem.■ FRANCOPHILES WHO anticipated a lecture series on the pressures and challenges of democracy, scheduled to begin at the French Institute in Tel Aviv this week, were disappointed when they discovered that the series had been postponed. But they won’t have to wait too long. The lectures to be delivered by political scientist Dr. Medad Benchou have been rescheduled to begin on Monday, November 7.The lectures will continue on a fortnightly basis till the end of March. A fortnightly philosophical seminar on the image of the Jew and Judaism in Germany and France from the 18th century to the present day will begin on Thursday, November 10, and will continue at 14-day intervals till mid-June. ■ THE TEL Aviv Museum of Art has not yet found a replacement for its director, Prof. Mordechai Omer, who succumbed to cancer in June of this year. Meanwhile, Shuli Kislev has been holding the fort as acting director and has overseen the arrangements for the much-anticipated November 1 opening of the Herta and Paul Amir building, which will greatly enhance the overall museum complex. The opening will be accompanied by a symposium on architecture, with speakers including Preston Scott Cohen, who designed the new building. The symposium will be opened by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, who is chairman of the museum’s board of governors.■ CELEBRATED STAGE, film and television actress Yevgenia Dodina, who has been the recipient of numerous awards, has done it again. Dodina, a co-founder of the Jaffa-headquartered Gesher Theater, starred with Ronit Elkabetz in Jerusalemborn Michal Aviad’s film Invisible, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Haifa Film Festival last week.The storyline of the film is based on a chance meeting between two women who were the victims of the same serial rapist 20 years earlier. Although Elkabetz won high praise for her portrayal, it was Dodina who impressed the adjudicators that much more. Elkabetz can live without the prize; the Beersheba-born actress, who will celebrate her 48th birthday next month and who married architect Avner Nesher in June last year, is expecting her first baby.While Dodina is today recognized as one of the leading ladies of the Israeli theater, she flunked the entrance exam for the acting school to which she applied in Russia when she was 16. A meeting with Yevgeni Arye, the moving force behind the Gesher Theater, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, prompted her to come to Israel in 1990. Like the legendary Hanna Rovina, whom she later portrayed on screen, Dodina’s greatest challenge was to gain acceptance by local audiences beyond the Russian-speaking community. While Rovina’s strong Russian accent was accepted in her day, Dodina had to work hard to suppress hers, and she succeeded so well that she is generally regarded as an Israeli actress and not as a Russian actress.She has managed to eliminate all traces of Russian from her voice when she speaks Hebrew, and that’s an achievement in itself.■ NETANYA COLLEGE President Zvi Arad has announced the availability of a new five-year degree course in nature and environmental management, to be introduced in the first week of November. The course has been created in conjunction with relevant industrial bodies, said Arad, who noted that increased awareness of the need to protect the environment would make the course attractive to a large number of students.