Grapevine: Israeli event-planning extravaganza

Anyone looking for an event organizer would do well to hang around in the hotel lobby, where the best of the best in the business will be gathering.

Matthew Gould
MEFIK, THE website which features productions, events and marketing techniques, is hosting what it believes to be the first convention for event planners and organizers in Israel. The date is March 3, and the venue is the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv. The master of ceremonies will be Nadav Borenstein, who hosts the Night Life late-night show on Channel 2. Borenstein is also one of the keynote speakers and will reveal how to make a big noise on a small budget.
Anyone looking for an event organizer – be it for a gala dinner, wedding, bar mitzva, product promotion or any other large-scale get-together – would do well to hang around in the hotel lobby, where the best of the best in the business will be gathering.
Among the speakers will be Daniel Zonshein, who heads the Foreign Ministry’s public diplomacy and branding department; he will discuss the importance of getting people around the globe to look at Israel beyond the conflict. The latest international trends in events through Israeli eyes will be the feature presentation, delivered by producer Shuki Weiss. Eytan Schwartz, who rose to fame on the constructive reality show The Ambassadors and is now an international affairs adviser to the Tel Aviv mayor, will discuss going global. There will be several other speakers covering interesting topics.
Catering is, of course, part of event planning and the days when Israelis could tell in advance what an event menu was going to be are long gone. On the contrary, the menu is now part of mouthwatering speculation, and often a delightful surprise in gastronomic artistry.
SEVERAL OF the guests at the Balfour Dinner at the Tel Aviv Hilton were delighted to see Ruth Dayan, whose presence was noted by Israel, Britain and the Commonwealth Association chairman Alan Webber. Quite a number made their way to her table, including some who had never met her before. When asked to share the secret of her relatively youthful complexion and agility, Dayan, who will celebrate her 97th birthday next week and still drives a car, said the best way to stay young was to be busy.
In any case, in last week’s Metro, a photograph of Dayan and her sister Reuma Weizman was erroneously captioned. The writer of this column does not write the captions.
British Ambassador Matthew Gould, one of the speakers together with David Horovitz, founding editor of The Times of Israel and former editor of The Jerusalem Post and The Jerusalem Report, after being introduced by Webber, told a self-deprecating joke, saying that recently he had gone with his driver to Ben-Gurion Airport. The driver passed the security test, but the security guard wanted to know the identity of the person in the passenger seat of the car.
“That’s the British ambassador,” replied the driver.
Looking at Gould dismissively, the security guard said: “He’s not an ambassador, he’s just a boy.”
WHITE CITY Shabbat, a sister organization to the Tel Aviv International Salon, has set itself a target of entering the Guinness Book of World Records with the world’s largest Shabbat dinner, to be held at the Tel Aviv Port, some time in the spring – probably May or June. The event will be sponsored by the ROI Community that is supported by the Schusterman Family Foundation, which supports so many worthwhile causes in Israel.
According to the organizers, this Shabbat dinner will make history, build community and kickstart a global movement to inspire Jews worldwide to celebrate Shabbat in their own communities. “We know that more than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews. So we are going BIG here in Tel Aviv, the innovative and creative capital of Israel – and the city we are proud to call home.” The expectation is that the dinner, which will be in accordance with the highest levels of kashrut, will be attended by at least 1,000 people.
But that’s not enough to make the Guinness Book. The organizers should check with Chabad as to how many people they get at their Shabbat dinners for the annual conference in New York of Chabad emissaries, or for the Chabad Women’s conference.
Meanwhile, the announcements for the Shabbat mega-dinner in Tel Aviv don’t include a cut-off age for young professionals. Even when a cut-off age is included, as it often is for the Tel Aviv International Salon, photos taken earlier this month at the crowded event at which former Mossad chief Meir Dagan spoke show audience members who were not exactly young. The subsequent event with Shabtai Shavit, who was likewise a Mossad chief, was a sell-out well in advance.
E all the current food shows began to boost television ratings, American-born Phyllis Glazer, who speaks Hebrew almost like a Sabra, was sharing her favorite recipes on television and in the print media – mostly in Hebrew, but also in the Post.
Always health-conscious, she has just passed on a tip she received from Eyal Shpringer, head of the Alternative Medicine Cancer Treatment center of Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center. He says that health benefits can be obtained by just boiling eight olive leaves in a cup of water for several minutes, then straining and sipping it like a tea or a cold drink.
Glazer was always aware that olive oil contributes to good health, but did not know before she spoke to Shpringer that the extracts of olive leaves and their oleuropein constituents can help boost the immune system’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, and help reduce blood sugar and blood pressure. Since then, she has begun relating to olive leaves as she does to bay leaves, and adds a branch to soups, stews and even the water she uses to boil pasta. With an olive tree in her garden, Glazer has a plentiful supply.
It’s important to remember to remove the leaves at the end of cooking. She also warns that anyone taking prescription blood pressure medicines should consult their doctor before using olive leaves.
In March, Glazer will be conducting two cooking workshops – the first on March 20, on healthy cooking in the New Age; the second, on March 27, will be a vegan workshop that will be beneficial to non-vegans who never know what to prepare for vegan guests. It’s amazing how many delicious options there are, and Glazer can help by setting the scene for vegan recipes.
For information and registration call (03) 522-1936 or 052-222-9984.