Grapevine: Art lover

A round-up of news from around Jerusalem.

Nechama Rivlin (center) accepts a bouquet from author Dina Kit (photo credit: PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON OFFICE)
Nechama Rivlin (center) accepts a bouquet from author Dina Kit
• ART AND nature are among two of the passions of Nechama Rivlin, the president’s wife. She simply loves visiting galleries and museums, though for reasons of security she can’t do so as freely as she used to.
However, she still manages to get to some of them and last week visited the Bible Lands Museum. After viewing the “By the Rivers of Babylon” exhibition, Rivlin said that it was important for Jews and Arabs to come to the museum to learn of the history of both peoples in this region and this land. Museum director Amanda Weiss said that despite the security situation, people have been so curious about this extraordinary exhibition, which so vividly conveys the Jewish exile in Babylon, that attendance at the Bible Lands has increased.
• UNITED HATZALAH founder Eli Beer woke up bright and early one morning last week and was preparing to head to his office when he received an alert from United Hatzalah dispatch that an 18-month-old baby was choking on a pear at a day-care center in his own neighborhood.
He raced out of the house toward the day-care center and found a room full of confused and frightened children, hysterical staff, and a baby already blue and fighting for his life. Moments later, Beer was joined by a United Hatzalah paramedic and together they performed the Heimlich maneuver, working tirelessly to remove the food that was lodged in the baby’s throat, threatening his life. They managed to partially clear the airway and administered high-flow oxygen, but the tiny piece of fruit was still choking the baby.
Beer called in to find out the whereabouts of the ambulance and his heart sank when he heard it was on the other side of the city. He knew that it was imperative to get the baby to the hospital as fast as possible, so he and the paramedic decided to take the baby in his Ambucar, put on the siren, and meet the ambulance halfway, giving the child a chance to live. As they sped through the streets of Jerusalem, the baby vomited, expelling the pear from his body, and began to cry. Beer says that he will never forget what it meant to be racing through the streets with a baby’s life at stake.
• ALTHOUGH GAS is currently the main energy-related focus in Israel, electricity and the need for reforms in the electricity sector which operates as a monopoly is a subject that is high on Israel’s energy agenda – particularly in reaction to the State Comptroller’s report, which points to the need for competition, given the number of power outages from which consumers around the country have suffered. State Comptroller Joseph Shapira has recommended that the ministers for Energy and Finance urgently examine alternatives for electricity supply. National Infrastructure Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz will discuss some of the possibilities on November 30 at a conference on Innovations in the World of Regulation and Conclusions from Global Reforms at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Jerusalem. Orit Farkash Hacohen, who chairs the Israel Electric Authority, will also be among the speakers, as will other representatives of the IEA and various government authorities. Speakers from Latin America, Mexico, Spain and Italy will also share their countries’ experiences with regard to regulation and reforms. Entry to the conference is free of charge, but registration must be made in advance through
• WHIMSICAL DESIGNER of household gifts Barbara Shaw of Jerusalem is expanding, and launched her third store this Thursday. After proving herself here and moving from downtown to Emek Refaim, she opened a store on Tel Aviv’s Sheinkin Street and is also operating yet another store in Ra’anana – part of what can now be called her chain.
Her colorful ranges of kitchen and home gifts with a twist feature bright, upbeat designs with Israeli themes and global appeal. Shaw has developed special ranges for the Sharon-Tel Aviv market region that differ slightly from her Jerusalem themed designs.
“I draw from the ancient sources and apply them to designs that are fresh, bold and sassy,” says Shaw. “I am creating a new idiom, with up-market styling and packaging. I aim to weave the landscapes around me into products with humor that bring a pop of color to the home and beautify everyday living.” My art and design is my Zionism.”
For Shaw, who originally hails from Australia, and who has attracted a large Anglo clientele, Ra’anana seemed like a natural place to locate her new store. “It has a demographic that is a bit similar to Jerusalem.
There are lots of Anglos, who particularly seem to relate to my ranges. It is also a very community-oriented and sophisticated area.”