Grapevine: A house in order

Some 5,500 amateur athletes, representing a variety of sports, went south for the Jerusalem District Mehoziada sports fest in Eilat.

Eilat Hilton 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Eilat Hilton 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
■ FRIENDS OF Alut, the Israel Society for Autistic Children, this week participated in the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the Yael Goldstein Friends’ House that will provide a sheltered living environment for autistic adults in Tel Aviv’s Bavli neighborhood. The event, hosted by Alut chairman Prof. Izzy Borovich and moderated by media icon Yair Lapid (who is reportedly considering a run in the next Knesset elections), was attended by Mayor Ron Huldai, former welfare and social services minister Isaac Herzog, WSS Ministry director-general Nahum Itzkovich, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, and Eli Alalouf, director-general of the Rashi Foundation.
The late Yael Goldstein was the mother of Gal, who will be one of the 24 residents of the Friends’ House, the 17th such facility provided by Alut for autistic adults. Land for this most recent project was donated to Alut by the Tel Aviv Municipality. Substantial funds towards construction costs were provided by IFCJ, the Rashi Foundation and the National Insurance Institute.
■ ALGERIAN-BORN French author Jean-Luc Allouche, a former editor of French daily Liberation, will discuss his book The Days of Awe: Israel and Palestine – Peace in a Thousand Years, today at 11 a.m. at the French Institute, Sderot Rothschild 7 in Tel Aviv.
■ PEACE ACTIVISTS are always emphasizing the importance of dialogue in fostering understanding, tolerance and eventual friendship between people of divergent views and ideologies. MEPEACE, a free social network for peace initiatives and empowerment through interaction, information and inspiration, organizes “Peacecafe” meetings in Tantur, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Hebron, Bethlehem, and at other locales. The next meeting of this kind, organized by Eyal Raviv and Waleed Hammad, will be held today at the Talitha Kumi School in Beit Jala from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For further details or instructions about how to get there phone Eyal on 052-688-2828.
■ THERE WASN’T much work done in certain institutions in the capital from the middle to the end of last week, because of the Jerusalem District Mehoziada sports fest that took place in Eilat. Some 5,500 amateur athletes, representing a variety of sports, went south for the duration. Among them were Knesset members, employees in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Bank of Israel, the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Bezeq, Clalit Health services, the Aroma coffee-shop chain and the media.
For the first time in 12 years, the traditional exhibition football game played by a Knesset team against a media team was won by the Knesset team, despite the absence of two of its former key players and long-time stalwarts Tzachi Hanegbi and Ophir Paz-Pines, who are no longer MKs. The Knesset team included Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein, MKs Ze’ev Elkin, Yonatan Plesner, Otniel Schneller, Eitan Cabel, Carmel Shama, Ayoub Kara and Alex Miller among others. The team was trained by Eyal Berkowitz with the help of Zvika Pik who, when he’s not tickling the ivories, loves to go out on the field and kick the ball.
The media team included a ring-in by way of “the Helicopter,” otherwise known as Alon Mizrahi (Israel’s greatest goal scorer of all time who earned his nickname by imitating a helicopter every time he scored a goal), sportscaster Bonnie Ginsburg who played goalkeeper on Israel’s national team, and Danny Roup from Channel 10.
The Mehoziada is held in memory of Miriam Tzarfi who was killed in July 1989 in a suicide attack by a Palestinian terrorist on the Egged 405 bus traveling from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
■ APROPOS FOOTBALL or rather footballers, the relatives and friends of former football star Liran Stauber are hoping that his next foray into matrimony will be a case of third time lucky. Stauber had a somewhat turbulent romance the second time around with former MK Inbal Gavrieli, whom he secretly married in Las Vegas in June 2006.
Undeterred by past failures, Stauber, 37, who has children from both his previous marriages, is willing to try yet again and will, on May 30, wed Elinor Avi Gadol, 30. The bride has also been married before, but in her case, just once.
■ POLITICS AND business are not always on the same page. Friction between two countries does not necessarily go hand in hand with an economic boycott. Thus, despite the tensions between Israel and Turkey over the past 18 months or so, exports by Kibbutz Industries to Turkey during the first four months of 2011 amounted to $28 million, reflecting an increase of 12 percent compared to the same period in 2010. This is part of a trend that was already obvious in 2010, says Amos Shalev, who heads the export division of Kibbutz Industries.
Total Kibbutz Industries exports to Turkey last year reached $70 million, a 25 percent increase over exports in 2009. The main exports to Turkey, according to Shalev, are sophisticated irrigation systems, which are in particularly high demand, food products and plastics.