Grapevine: Expanding Ariel

Sheldon Adelson (photo credit: REUTERS)
Sheldon Adelson
(photo credit: REUTERS)
 ■ American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who has donated generously to Ariel University, has pledged another $20 million for the university’s expansion, which will include an Adelson medical school. Adelson’s Israeli wife, Miriam, is a physician whose main focus is treating patients who have become addicted to narcotics.
According to a plan unveiled by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Ariel will double in size over the coming five years.
Ariel started out as a college in 1982 as a regional branch of Bar-Ilan University and was originally located in Kedumim. It quickly outgrew its premises, and a larger campus was built in Ariel. The relationship with BIU ended some 12 years ago, and Ariel became an independent college. Despite the high standard of its education and the fact that it accepted Palestinians in its student body and won government support in 2005 in its bid to upgrade its status, the Council for Higher Education was reluctant to give the college university status.
After much wrangling and heartbreak, including a threat in 2008 by the council not to recognize degrees awarded by Ariel College, in mid-July 2012 the council acceded to the wishes of the government, and Ariel College finally became Ariel University and was fully accredited as such.
■ Women living in Kfar Shmaryahu joined professional models in showing the latest fashions of designer Yaron Minkowski and his daughter Ori, who designs more youthful creations under her own OM label. The fashion show was in aid of Yaldei Olam Ha’osher (Children in the World of Happiness), which is one of a number of wish-granting organizations that work to bring joy into the lives of child cancer patients. The organization is headed by Amos Schlafman and Ruthie Fuchs. Among those who attended the event was local council head Dror Aloni, son of the late civil rights activist and former government minister Shulamit Aloni.
■ In a bid to encourage excellence in journalism, the Tel Aviv Municipality annually awards the Sokolow Prize for journalism. It is named for Nahum Sokolow, one of the pioneers of Israeli journalism, who gave Tel Aviv its Hebrew name. The Polish-born Sokolow was one of the great Zionist leaders of his day and was also a prolific author and translator. The Sokolow Prize is considered to be one of the most prestigious of Israel’s journalism awards.
This year’s winners, as announced this week by the Tel Aviv Municipality, are Yoel Marcus, Haaretz; Ronen Bergman, Yediot Aharonot; Itai Anghel, formerly an investigative reporter for Uvda (Fact) that airs on Channel 2; and Nadav Eyal, who heads the Foreign News Desk at Channel 10. Each winner will receive a check of NIS 18,000.
Marcus, who is 85, will receive a lifetime achievement award from Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai at an award ceremony scheduled to take place on December 3. Marcus, who has been a member of the Haaretz staff for 50 years, has held several senior positions at the paper and is considered to be one of the more influential figures of the fourth estate. In the announcement released by the Tel Aviv Municipality, Marcus was described as “one of the leading columnists in Hebrew- language journalism.” After working for other publications, Marcus joined Haaretz in 1965. Among his various roles were those of foreign correspondent and political reporter. His access to people in the corridors of power resulted in several scoops, one of the most important of which was his revelation in 2004 that prime minister Ariel Sharon was planning to withdraw from Gaza. While he still writes from time to time, Marcus retired last year from writing on a regular basis.
Bergman is an investigative journalist who writes in-depth features and interviews. He was commended for his publication of his discoveries of shocking irregularities at the L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir, and for the last interviews given by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan prior to his death in March 2016.
Anghel is an intrepid electronic media reporter, who ventures into danger zones and areas of conflict in countries with which Israel has no diplomatic relations, often risking his life to bring Israeli viewers a news feature that has been researched and compiled by one of their own and not by some foreign media outlet Eyal was considered deserving of the prize for a series of reports on the effects of globalization, including how the intake of Syrian refugees and those from other Muslim countries affected the status quo of those countries that opened their gates to them.