Grapevine: Octogenarian amour

Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner, and with it comes the thought of honey cake, one of the mainstays of every Rosh Hashana meal.

Beer (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
■ WHO SAYS there’s a cut-off age for romance? Reuth, which in addition to its highly advanced medical center in Tel Aviv maintains sheltered living complexes in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and in collaboration with the Tel Aviv Municipality community centers for people of the third age – mostly Holocaust survivors and senior citizens of extremely limited financial means – decided to do something special for members of its resident population. At the initiative of Moshe Weisman, director of the Jenny Breuer home, a group of close to 100 octogenarians who identify with the national-religious movement were brought to the Tel Aviv beachfront to watch the sunset and to listen to a klezmer recital by Israel Zohar; they were also pampered with gifts and good food. Several of the couples in the group were seen holding hands.
The event, which was held before the announcement of the cease-fire, was a welcome relief from the tensions that filled the country, and prompted Reuth director-general Alex Jacobi to remark that precisely at a time when sirens warning of rockets and mortars had become part of everyday life, it was important to return to a semblance of normalcy and foster an environment of serenity.
■ MANY AGENCIES and individuals were involved in visiting wounded soldiers, taking care packages to army bases and providing activities for children and adults of the South during Operation Protective Edge. Among the organizations that engaged in several such activities was the International Young Israel Movement, whose Israel branch is headquartered in Jerusalem. Executive director Daniel Meyer accompanied local and visiting IYIM activists to southern communities, army bases, hospitals and summer camps that IYIM organized in the Center and North. Meyer noted that neither the children nor the soldiers took IYIM’s presence or concern for granted, and the organization has received many thank you letters.
Last week, Meyer took a group to visit wounded soldiers at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. Among the visitors were Rabbi Yaakov Kermaier of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue; Rabbi Reuven Tradburks, director of the Israel office of the Rabbinical Council of America; Ceec Harrishburg, IYIM president, and his wife, Tema; and others from Israel and America. Among the wounded soldiers who spoke to the group was a young army captain who had been hospitalized with serious leg injuries, and had been told earlier in the day he would walk again. He couldn’t wait to share the good news. For the group, it was a wonderful experience to be included in his joy.
■ ROSH HASHANA is just around the corner, and with it comes the thought of honey cake, one of the mainstays of every Rosh Hashana meal. Whether bought or home-baked, most honey cakes tend to taste more or less the same. But they can be made to look and taste different. Anyone who’s interested in learning how should show up today at the Bulthaup Culinary Academy at the Tel Aviv Port, where pastry chef Michal Buton will demonstrate how easy it is to create a really different honey cake. Make sure to get there before 10:30 a.m.
The only snag is the cost factor – NIS 350, for which one could buy several cakes and save a lot of time. Still, for a culinary happening, and the possibility of new friendships, for some people the sum may be worth the experience.
■WHILE ON the subject of creativity in the kitchen, the annual homemade beer contest hosted for the 10th consecutive year by Samuel Adams and conducted in the Beer Center in Tel Aviv was won by Gilad Ne-Eman, one of 49 contestants who presented 121 varieties of home-brewed beer. Daniel Levy, marketing manager of the specialty beers division of Tempo, said his company was pleased to be able to encourage young brewers, whose creativity brings new products to the market.
■ THERE HAS been a changing of the guard at the International Institute for Secret Jews Studies at Netanya Academic College. Prof. Abraham Gross has been appointed chairman of the institute in place of Prof. Michael Corinaldi, who filled the position from 2011 until this past July.
■ THE HAGARA chain of fashion stores, in conjunction with the Seven Stars mall in Herzliya Pituah, hosted scores of women from the Eshkol Regional Council for a day of pampering by Lavido Cosmetics, fashions by Hagara, a meal at Onion Restaurant and more. What was originally intended as a form of compensation for all the anxieties the women in the South have been subjected to evolved into a celebration due to the cease-fire.
The event would have taken place earlier but for the fact that Hagara owner and CEO Moshe Tzadok had spent a month doing reserve duty in the Gaza Strip, where he became acutely familiar with the suffering of residents. While in the South he decided that as soon as he was released from duty, he would do something to put a smile on the faces of some of the population.