Grapevine: Too casual for his shirt

Shlomo Artzi was among the distinguished few to be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Haifa.

shlomo 311 (photo credit: courtsey)
shlomo 311
(photo credit: courtsey)
■ IN A bygone era, people got dressed up for special occasions – a family celebration, a night at the opera, attendance at prayer services and, of course, award ceremonies, especially if they were among the recipients of the awards. But not anymore.
Casual attire has become the order of the day, with sharp contrasts between the few people who do dress up and the majority who don’t.
Thus this week, when singer Shlomo Artzi was among the distinguished few to be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Haifa, he did not wear a suit and highly polished shoes. He attended the ceremony in his standard outfit of T-shirt, jeans and sneakers. Just how casual can one get? ■ ESRA, THE Ra’anana-headquartered English Speaking Residents Association, has a new chairwoman. At the annual general meeting held toward the end of last month, co-chairwomen Adele Hunter and Nina Zuck stepped down and Brenda Katten, a former head of the Israel Britain and the Commonwealth Association and former chairwoman of British WIZO, was elected. Katten has the distinction of having been the first woman to head the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. A devoted community activist when she lived in England, she is no less so in Israel, particularly in the sphere of public diplomacy.
Baruch Tanaman was elected vice chairman in addition to his involvement in the ESRA Finance Committee and the ESRA Magazine administration.
Among those attending the meeting were representatives of branches in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Nahariya, Caesarea/Zichron Ya’acov, Lev Hamifratz, Bat Yam, Rehovot, Netanya, Kfar Saba, Herzliya, Eilat, Karmiel, Modi’in, Rishon Lezion and the North Coast and, of course, ESRA founder and president Merle Guttmann.
■ AS A preview to the Gay Pride parade in Tel Aviv that takes place today, the Jerusalem-headquartered Media Central, which is headed by Aryeh Green, took a group of foreign journalists to a gay bar in Tel Aviv early in the week to meet with the official spokesman of the gay community; a gay Arab man living in Tel Aviv; a representative from the Tel Aviv Municipality, which has been openly supportive of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community; a gay Orthodox rabbi; and members of the GLBT community..
In 2009, Out Magazine dubbed Tel Aviv the gay capital of the Middle East, and last year at the Berlin International Tourism Convention Tel Aviv was selected as one of the world’s 10 best gay travel destinations. GLBT visitors who are in Tel Aviv for Gay Pride week can find out everything they need to know from the Pride Week Magazine, which is circulating all over Tel Aviv or from the gaytlvguide website.
■ IF HE ever decides that he’s had enough of chemistry and academia, Nobel Prize laureate Dan Shechtman can always turn his hobby, which is jewelry making, into a profession. In fact, he’s already doing it as a sideline, and several of his family and friends are proud owners of his eye-catching creations. Shechtman will hold an exhibition of his jewelry next week at the Haifa Technion in coordination with the annual meeting of the Technion’s board of governors.
Shechtman discovered his talent for jewelry design while a post-doctoral student in Dayton, Ohio. It was 1972, and he and his wife, Tzipi, could seldom go out in the evenings because she was busy studying for her second degree in sociology. So Shechtman enrolled in a course in which he learned how to polish precious and semi-precious stones. After he’d polished five pairs of stones, he wondered what he was going to do with them, so he enrolled in another course in which he learned how to be a gold and silversmith. It was at this course that he learned that aesthetics is not an exact science but something created slowly with love, sensitivity and patience. Ever since then, he has been fashioning jewelry. His exhibition will showcase 15 items, which will be on display from June 10-14.
■ AMONG THE prestigious awards conferred each year at the meeting of the board of governors of Tel Aviv University is the Hugo Ramniceanu Prize in Economics, which this year will be awarded to Maxine Fassberg, vice president of the Technology and Manufacturing Group at the Intel Corporation. Fassberg was nominated for the prize in recognition of her vast contribution to innovative technology in Israel. She has been at the forefront of integrating Israeli Arabs with university degrees into Israel’s hi-tech industry. The awards ceremony is today at 2 p.m. in the Marcelle Gordon University Club.
■ BEN-GURION University’s Prof. Moti Herskowitz, vice president and dean for research and development, and Prof. Miron Landau from the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Blechner Center have been awarded a highly competitive Israel Strategic Alternative Energy Foundation grant to further their ground-breaking research in liquid fuels.
Herskowitz heads the BGU Energy Initiative, which is developing multiple alternative fuels from solar energy to biomass to replace the world’s dependence on oil.
He was also recently appointed to head the National Committee on Energy R&D, part of the Israel National Council for R&D.