■ CONGREGANTS OF the Vayikahel Moshe Synagogue in Modi’in Illit were able to breathe easy during the High Holy Days, thanks to the efficiency of the local police division, headed by Lt. Col. Dudi Hayoun, the commander of the Binyamin Region.Some two months previously, a thief had broken into the synagogue and stolen a safe that contained a Torah scroll worth thousands of dollars. The police had made its recovery a priority, and within days had tracked down the suspect.While searching his home, they found the missing safe with the Torah scroll intact.With the mediation of the suspect’s lawyer, the Torah scroll was returned to its rightful owners.■ NOW THAT retirement homes have evolved into attractive villages for retirees, with a wealth of occupational and cultural activities, many people who don’t live in such facilities and might generally not visit them are discovering what a pleasant environment could await them. What’s bringing them to retirement homes is a policy by numerous cultural organizations to use retirement homes as venues for lectures and courses, thus bringing people of all ages from outside such facilities into contact with those residents who are interested in these lectures and courses.Members of a Bible study group in Herzliya Pituah decided to expand the range of lectures and to include other subjects, providing they were approached from the angle of Jewish content. The series of 19 lectures, in English, commences on October 23 at 11 a.m. at the Seven Stars Retirement Home at 138 Hanassi Street, Herzliya Pituah.Lecturers will include Harry Andurer, who will focus on personalities who have shaped the Jewish nation; winemaker Itai Lahat, who will discuss Israeli wines; historian Isaac Noy, who will reveal the history and operations of the Mossad; Pamela Peled, whose theme will be Jews in Literature; and Mordechai Sobol, a conductor, composer and former cantor, who will talk about Jewish liturgical music. ■ POPULAR SINGER Shlomo Artzi was one of several entertainers whose performances in Ashdod were canceled due to Operation Protective Edge. His concert had been a sell-out, and when Artzi promised to go to Ashdod to perform as soon as it was possible, no one asked for a refund on their ticket. Artzi kept his promise and last week performed for a highly appreciative crowd in the Ashdod Amphitheater.Now all the entertainers who were scheduled to perform in Ashdod during the summer will be performing in the fall. It begins with the beachside Wine Festival on October 10 and 11 with Mosh Ben-Ari, Dudu Tassa, Hadag Nahash and Sderot rock band Knesiyat Hasechel. On October 13, Ya’acov Shwekey will perform at Ashdod Park. He will be followed on October 14 by Eyal Golan at the same venue. Golan will also be singing on October 12 at the Ashkelon Festival, where performances were also canceled during the summer. Also appearing on the same stage in Ashkelon on the same night will be Miri Mesika. The festival runs from October 12 to 14.■ THE BIBLE forbids the eating of fruit of a tree during the first three years of its planting. In Hebrew, this forbidden fruit is referred to as orla. When the harvest for purposes of consumption is finally permitted, especially in the case of grapes used for winemaking, there is a huge celebration.Not long before the current holiday season, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau attended such a celebration at the Yatir Winery, which is located on Moshav Beit Yatir, a religious agricultural moshav in the southern Hebron Hills.■ ACCORDING TO a report in Yediot Aharonot, one of the potential candidates for mayor of Bat Yam, now that it has been determined that Shlomo Lahiani cannot return to the post following his conviction for bribery, is Esther Piron, who is the mother of Education Minister Shai Piron. A teacher by profession and former school principal, she has been a member of the Bat Yam City Council for the past 25 years and is reported to be seriously considering running for mayor.■ MANY GRADUATES and faculty members of the Haifa Technion go on to national and international prominence, thereby adding to the luster of their alma mater. No other institution of learning in Israel can boast as many Nobel Prize laureates. Among the most recent of Technion alumni to make the Technion proud is Amir Adler, who was last week appointed chief scientist of the Communications Ministry by Communications Minister Gilad Erdan.Adler, who was an outstanding student, has three degrees: one in computer science and two in electrical engineering. His new position is particularly important because the Communications Ministry has not had a chief scientist. Avi Berger, the director-general of the ministry, persuaded Erdan to create the position in order to improve the ministry’s accumulated knowledge of all things connected with communications.