Grapevine: Wining and dining

The White City Shabbat Dinners bring together singles and young families in their 20s and 30s and are usually sold out well in advance.

Dinner 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dinner 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
■ TEL AVIV Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who is also a former chief rabbi of Israel, will be the guest speaker tonight at the White City Shabbat Dinner organized by the Tel Aviv International Salon for Young Professionals. It is partially sponsored by Golan Wineries, which has added a wine tasting to the Shabbat festivities. The dinner will be held at the Goren Synagogue, which was founded by another former chief rabbi of Israel, the late Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who was the chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces when Israeli paratroopers, led by Mordechai Gur, reached the Western Wall in June 1967. It was Goren who blew the shofar on that momentous occasion.
The White City Shabbat Dinners bring together singles and young families in their 20s and 30s and are usually sold out well in advance.
■ IN THE Blair family, it’s usually former British Prime Minister Tony who is in the limelight. But next week, it will be the turn of his wife, Cherie Blair, who will receive an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She will receive her honorary doctorate on May 7 within the framework of the 43rd annual meeting of the BGU Board of Governors.
A Queen’s Counsel and barrister practicing in England and Wales, she is the mother of four children, the youngest of whom was born during her husband’s term of office, to the delight of the British public. In 2008, she established the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to give women from low socioeconomic backgrounds throughout the world a sense of empowerment and the tools with which to become economically independent.
She has been involved in a broad spectrum of women’s issues and has vigorously battled against gender exploitation and discrimination. She has also fought against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and has done so on her own and together with Cheryl Saban, the wife of Israeli-American entertainment mogul Haim Saban.
2013 is obviously Cherie Blair’s year. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honors List for services to women’s issues and charity. Two years ago, she and Cheryl Saban, who has donated $1 million to her foundation, organized a special Women Talking to Women event in Israel with some 160 community leaders – most of them women – who discussed many diverse subjects related to women.
■ IRISH AMBASSADOR Breifne O’Reilly, who is close to completing his period of tenure in Israel, will introduce what promises to be a fascinating seminar on The Secret Jews of Ireland, which has been organized by The International Institute for Secret Jews (Anusim) Studies (IISJAS) of Netanya Academic College and Casa Shalom – the Institute for Marrano-Anusim Studies. The event, to be held in the Cinema Hall of Netanya Academic College on May 13, will be moderated by Neil Davis of the Neil Davis Charitable Fund.
The keynote speaker will be Gloria Mound, executive director of Casa Shalom and senior adviser to the IISJAS. Other speakers who will present different perspectives on the topic will be Malcolm Gafson, chairman of the Israel Ireland Friendship League; and Rabbi Eddie Jackson. After the program, participants can make use of the research library of the IISJAS.
■ THERE’S MORE than one way to develop an international aura. Shenkar College of Engineering and Design is entering into a variety of partnerships with different embassies. Last month it opened a sari exhibition in conjunction with the Indian Embassy, and today Shenkar jewelry design students are exhibiting at the Japanese Embassy on the 19th floor of the Museum Tower in Tel Aviv. The exhibition, which is inspired by Japanese calligraphy, will remain on view until May 17.
■ NOT SO long ago, it was said that the world belonged to the young, but now advertisers are realizing that the people who have the money to spend are either middle aged or in the third age, which is one of the reasons that actress and radio and television host Rivka Michaeli was chosen to be the spokesperson for Telepharma, which specializes in solutions for some of the problems that beset people of the third age. The campaign has been tailored around Michaeli, who will tell TV viewers how Telepharma has helped her to remain active and entertaining while approaching her mid-70s.
Telepharma CEO Nitzan Shekel said that Michaeli was chosen because she represents the new age of the third age – namely, people who are independent, energetic, freedom-loving and full of fun. No one fits this description better than Michaeli, he said.