Grapevine: ‘You support my causes, I’ll support yours’

Nochi Dankner maintains a hands-on approach not only to his diverse business interests, but also to the numerous philanthropic projects with which he is involved.

Island Hotel, Netanya 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Island Hotel, Netanya 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
■ PEOPLE WHO complain that there is never enough time in the day to do all the things they want to do should take a leaf out of the book of business tycoon, philanthropist and social activist Nochi Dankner, who maintains a hands-on approach not only to his diverse business interests, but also to the numerous philanthropic projects with which he is involved in his capacity as chairman of the IDB Group. Since the Second Lebanon War, the group has contributed in excess of NIS 400 million to educational, health, welfare, culture and sports projects in Galilee and the Negev. The coastal plain and Jerusalem have not been left out of Dankner’s wide-ranging activities. Aside from supporting causes close to the hearts of business colleagues such as Galia Maor and Yitzhak Tshuva, Dankner has a few of his own.
Last week, for instance, he hosted a gala evening at the Daniel Hotel, Herzliya, on behalf of the Jerusalem Music and Dance Academy. Just as Dankner supports Tshuva’s projects, Tshuva supports those of Dankner, and he and his wife, Hava, were among the crowd of people who responded to the invitation. Some of those present had left the nearby residence of US Ambassador James Cunningham before the official Independence Day proceedings there got under way so they could be on time for the JMDA benefit.
■ KARMIEL MAYOR Adi Eldar is getting ready for dancers from around the world to brighten up his city yet again with their colorful costumes and varied dance routines.
The three-day Karmiel Dance Festival is really worth watching. Many of the spectators who flock to Karmiel for this wonderful event cannot dance themselves, but would love to know how. Special free classes will be conducted for anyone who wants to learn on Thursday, July 14. Admission to many of the performances is also free.
■ IT SEEMS that the millions of shekels cosmetics queen and former brief-term MK Pnina Rosenblum had anticipated would swell her bank account will not be forthcoming.
The home on Rehov Sharett, Ramat Gan, that Rosenblum had shared with her former husband, Moshe Haim, and their two adopted children went on the market even before she married her present husband, Roni Simanovich, in December 2004. The house includes a fully equipped home cinema, a swimming pool, and a large upstairs entertainment area.
In January of this year, Rosenblum signed a memorandum of understanding with real-estate developer Inbal Or, who had agreed to pay her NIS 14.5 million for the luxury house. Or had intended to tear it down and build in its stead a fourstory residential complex with seven prestige apartments. At the time, Or gave Rosenblum a deposit of NIS 500,000, but now she’s backing out of the deal. The reason? A little matter of a multimillion-shekel mortgage on the property, which Or claims Rosenblum did not disclose.
■ VIBE ISRAEL, a project of Kinetis, a social network launched some 18 months ago by Tel Aviv-based, London-born lawyer Joanna Landau to create greater awareness of the positive aspects of Israel, last week hosted a quintet of European bloggers, introduced them to Israelis in different walks of life, took them to several sites around the country and hosted them in restaurants, institutions and private homes. Among the hostesses was Shari Arison, who welcomed them at her Essence of Life headquarters, the philanthropic branch of the Arison Group. In the discussion that followed, there was consensus that new ways have to be found to bring a different image of Israel to the world.
■ DURING HIS first week as president of the Israel Bar Association, Doron Barzilai, who previously headed the Tel Aviv Bar Association, received numerous congratulatory phone calls from judges, lawyers, politicians and others, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee Silvan Shalom – but not Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, who had favored Barzilai’s rival and former incumbent, Yori Geiron. It may have been an oversight while she was preparing to go abroad, or possibly a sign of her displeasure.
Whatever the reason, it did not put a damper on Barzilai’s triumph, which he celebrated last week at a well-known North Tel Aviv restaurant in the company of colleagues and friends, including the suave Zion Amir, who became one of Israel’s bestknown lawyers after serving on the defense team of former president Moshe Katsav.
■ MEMBERS OF the Israel Diamond Exchange decided to honor Israel Prize laureate Rabbi Elimelech Firrer, the founder of Ezra Lemarpeh, a non-profit organization that cares for the sick and needy, consults with medical experts around the globe, and often pays for treatment abroad.
The haredi community is well represented in the Diamond Exchange, so although the venue for the tribute was at Hangar 11 on the Tel Aviv Port – not exactly a haredi hang-out – the singing entertainment was all-male and included David D’Or, Shimon Bouskila, Shuli Rand, Rami Kleinstein and Yehoram Gaon.