Years of selfless service

Eyal Golan, convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to four months of community service, this week began working in the Bulgarian senior citizens’ home in Rishon Lezion.

Eyal Golan (photo credit: PR)
Eyal Golan
(photo credit: PR)
■ PERSONALITIES WITH longstanding involvement with a cause are often regarded as being almost immortal, in that no one can imagine the organization functioning without them. But all good things come to an end and toward the conclusion of 5774, Merav Mandelbaum, the dynamic chairwoman of Reuth, stepped down after five years in office and more than 35 years of dedicated service.
Lauded by one and all, Mandelbaum is taking time out for herself.
Meanwhile, Reuth Medical Center began the New Year with a new director in the person of Dr. Dov Albukrek, a colonel in the IDF Medical Corps, former deputy director of Beilinson Medical Center and most recently, medical assistant to the Health Ministry’s director-general. Standing around two meters in height, he is a former junior Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball player, and therefore understands the importance of physical fitness not only in theory but in practice.
■ LONGTIME ARDENT supporters of Musicians of Tomorrow Evelyn and Howard Ross will host a major fund-raising event at their home in Herzliya, where young artists in the project will be performing. The concert – on October 13, during the intermediate days of Succot – will be dedicated to the memories of David Clayton and Malcolm Gee, who were two of the project’s most generous and loyal supporters. Among those who have indicated their attendance are Israel’s former ambassador to Austria and current deputy director- general for Western Europe at the Foreign Ministry Aviv Shir-On and his wife, Arnona.
Musicians of Tomorrow, under the leadership of Dr. Anna Rosnovsky, recently had a highly successful 10-day tour of England, culminating in a concert at the residence of Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub and his wife, Zehava, who indicated they would be happy to welcome them back at any time.
Genia Gerchikov, one of the young musicians who went to England, has just been awarded an Israel Academy of Sciences Scholarship.
■ CELEBRITY SINGER Eyal Golan, who has been convicted of tax evasion to the tune of NIS 3.2 million and sentenced to four months of community service, this week began working in the Bulgarian senior citizens’ home in Rishon Lezion. Golan had hoped to work as an entertainer and thereby to bring some joy into the lives of the retirees, but the Prisons Service refused to allow this and said he must do service not linked to his profession. Just before Rosh Hashana, Golan met with the head of the retirement home and was told he would be assigned general chores, but this would not include sweeping the grounds or tending the gardens.
Golan’s community service will not interfere with his singing career. His working day at the retirement home is from early morning until 1 p.m., and his concerts are nearly all at night; he does not have to report for service on Shabbat and holidays.
His comparatively light sentence is due to the fact that his finances were managed by someone else who was basically responsible for cheating the tax authorities. Golan subsequently paid some two-thirds of the sum due, and because he did so willingly, Judge Limor Margolin-Yehidi was inclined to take a more lenient attitude when passing sentence.
Golan, who is an expectant father, seems to be turning over a new leaf in general, attending slihot (penitential services) at Jerusalem’s Aish Hatorah.
■ IT CAME as no surprise when Shmuel Shnitzer, honorary life president of the Diamond Exchange, who invited Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau to an event to toast the New Year – and to bless the diamond merchants with their traditional seal of transaction, mazal and bracha – also presented him with a handsome check. The sum, which included several zeros, is the diamond industry’s gift to the Hayei Moshe Midrasha, which was established to perpetuate the memory of Lau’s father Rabbi Moshe Haim Lau, who was murdered in the Holocaust.
■ THE KFAR Saba Cultural Center, the first regional venue of its size to be built in Israel, was officially opened in 1976 but was inaugurated at the commencement of construction by then-finance minister Pinhas Sapir, and bears his name. It subsequently became the model for other centers of its type throughout the country. It recently went through a NIS 35 million renovation process and reopened last week to a full house with star performer Idan Raichel, who is a native son of Kfar Saba.
Like every locale in Israel, the city encourages local talent, and among the young musicians some 25 years ago was an accordionist who last week welcomed Raichel to the renewed facility. The accordion in question is seldom played these days by its owner Yehuda Ben-Hamo, who is currently mayor of Kfar Saba.