Grapevine: Employer's largesse

Generous CEOs show their appreciation, dancer considers council run, Tel Aviv loses important piece of walking history

Pini Gershon angry 311 (photo credit: BSL)
Pini Gershon angry 311
(photo credit: BSL)
■ MANY COMPANIES that were in the habit of giving their employees pricy gifts at Pessah and Rosh Hashana have stopped the practice because it was just too expensive.
But some company CEOs don’t need a major Jewish holiday to show appreciation to their employees for a job well done. One such example is Gil Sharon, CEO of Pelephone, who treated 300 of his department managers to tickets to the recent Paul Simon concert in the Ramat Gan stadium.
■ IN HOLON they’re thrilled that Pini Gershon, the legendary coach of champions, has agreed to return to the city after a 30-year hiatus to build up a Hapoel Holon hoopsters dream team. In his younger days, Gershon spent a lot of time coaching Holon youngsters. Holon Mayor Motti Sasson is so keen to have Hapoel Holon emerge as a top-ranking team that he has promised to build a 5,000-seat stadium that he says should be completed within three years. Sasson, who has overseen the construction of several cultural and sporting facilities in Holon, is known to be a man who keeps his promises – so the chances are very high that regardless of whether Gershon manages to produce the kind of team everyone in Holon wants to see, at least there will be a stadium, not just for basketball but for sports in general.
■ HERZLIYA MAYOR Yael German recently joined singer Keren Peles and the Machina Band in inaugurating the new promenade on the Accadia Beach. Their appearance came toward the tail end of a marathon of summer festivities with leading singers and bands, and attracted tens of thousands of people to the promenade.
According to Yariv Fisher, chairman of the Herzliya Municipal Tourism Development Company, the summer festival was so successful that organizers must immediately put on their thinking caps to figure out an even better festival for next summer.
■ THE DOMINANT language at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds last week was Russian, although the guest of honor, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, spoke in Hebrew. The occasion was the 20th anniversary of the Jewish Russian revolution that followed in the immediate aftermath of the fall of communism and has been largely financed by Lev Leviev, although other affluent Jews have since joined in the Jewish renaissance endeavor across the former Soviet Union. Among those present was Rabbi Berel Lazar, the chief rabbi of Russia, as well as several religiously observant MKs and government ministers, among them Eli Yishai, Yuli Edelstein, Ya’acov Litzman and Israel Eichler.
■ PROFESSIONAL DANCER and member of the adjudicating panel for Dancing with the Stars Ido Tadmor is seriously considering running for a seat on the Tel Aviv City Council and sees no reason why the entertainment industry should not be represented. After all, Gila Almagor was a member of the council, and so was Shmuel Woloszni. And let’s face it in America, film actor Ronald Reagan became US president.
■ WITH THE death of Miriam Weissenstein last Friday, Tel Aviv lost an important piece of walking history. Weissenstein, 97, was the focal point of Tamar Tal’s prizewinning documentary film Life in Stills, which won the Best Israeli Film award at Docaviv this past May. Weissenstein had for 70 years maintained the Pri-Or photography studio, which she had started with her late husband, Rudi, who produced riveting portraits of all of Israel’s Who’s Who.
When the building on Allenby Road, leading into Rehov Ben-Yehuda, in which Pri-Or was located was targeted for demolition to make way for a highrise tower, Weissenstein, whose grandson Ben Peter had meanwhile entered the business to help her look after her affairs, moved the studio temporarily to a new location on Rehov Tchernikowsky. Weissenstein had no choice but to reluctantly agree to the move. She was buried last Sunday at the old Herzliya Cemetery.
■ EVEN MAYORS suffer from bureaucratic hassles. According to a report in Yediot Aharonot this week, Ma’alot-Tarshisha Mayor and head of the Union of Local Authorities Shlomo Buhbut, who announced early this year that he was considering running for the Labor Party chairmanship but had not actually registered his name, finally decided to throw his weight behind former party chairman Amir Peretz, who is competing for another chance to lead Labor. In doing so, Buhbut was in breach of the law, and his membership in the party was disqualified. Why? Buhbut, for years identified with the Labor Party, joined Kadima not long after its inception but quickly became disenchanted.
For three years, he had been writing and faxing Kadima to cancel his membership – to no avail. His name continued to appear in the Kadima membership lists. Finally, on Thursday of last week, his name was removed; but Buhbut is still unhappy and blames Kadima for his disqualification from Labor Party membership.