Grapevine: Kids and celebs go to the snow

How to combine pleasure with doing a mitzva, a good deed.

Hermon snow sled kid 311 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Hermon snow sled kid 311
(photo credit: Channel 10)
■ HOW TO combine pleasure with doing a mitzva, a good deed. OK, a mitzva should be a pleasure, but let’s face it – sometimes it’s a grind, a real chore. But this time it was a win-win situation when close to 20 celebrities accompanied 15 of the patients at Schneider Children’s Medical Center for Israel on a snow trip to the Gilboa ski slopes. Most of the youngsters are on dialysis and haven’t seen the outside of the medical center for quite some time. When their conditions improved sufficiently to be allowed a day trip, the majority asked to go to the snow. Each went hand in hand with a celebrity and had a great time, as did the celebrities themselves, some of whom also took advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate their skiing abilities.
Because Schneider accepts patients from the whole region, and makes no distinction between one child and another in care and attention, it was also decided to extend the program beyond the confines of the hospital and to visit an Arab village where both the youngsters and the celebrities, as well as the medical staff who accompanied them, were treated to traditional Arab hospitality. Among the celebrities who had as great a time as the youngsters were Oshri Cohen, Guri Alfi, Avi Greinich, Chen Shiloni, Ofer Schechter, Itzik Zohar, Rotem Sela and Shiraz Tal.
■ SOME THOUSAND people flocked to the Zman Amiti (Real Time) club in Jaffa to celebrate the 36th birthday of Dushi Leitersdorf, including many of her good friends from Ruach Tova (The Good Spirit), a national coordination service that works with numerous voluntary organizations and their beneficiaries to help those in need in diverse fields of welfare, education, health, the environment, animal rights, bereavement, sickness, disability, distress, and then some.
Among the merrymakers were the birthday girl’s brother, businessman Jonathan Leitersdorf, and his wife, international beauty-care guru Ronit Raphael, who are also active in Ruach Tova.
■ GENERALLY SPEAKING, graduation ceremonies of the various branches of the Israel Defense Forces are attended only by top IDF brass and close relatives of the graduates. But this week, at the graduation ceremony for a group of naval divers, there was also a large representation of Holocaust survivors who live in Haifa. The survivors were bursting with pride no less than the parents and siblings of the graduates. The reason for their presence was that in order to give the divers a greater sense of purpose and patriotism, the commanders of the base decided to incorporate a lesson on the Holocaust – not a dry, textbook lesson, but one of living testimony.
Accompanying the course was Sharon Wolf, the deputy director of the Haifa branch of Amcha, the organization named for the code word that survivors used to identify each other as Jews in war-ravaged Europe. The divers were asked to document the stories they were told by the survivors, so that the legacy of horrific experiences of the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust years could be passed on to coming generations.
Although the diving course in itself was very strenuous, the participants did not allow themselves to get so exhausted as to abandon the Holocaust Survivors’ project.
They formed such a close bond with the survivors that Sara Meirowitz, a child survivor from Romania, called them “our new grandchildren.”
■ TEL AVIV travel agency proprietor Arad Merom and his general manager Uri Alon were looking for a new way in which to publicize the company, when Hollywood came to the rescue. Merom is the owner of Gulliver Tourism, in which capacity he invited a whole bunch of people to a screening of Gulliver’s Travels. It was such a perfect match that no one could miss the point.