Grapevine: Elul arriving

News briefs from around Israel.

Rachelle Sprecher Fraenkel (photo credit: DAVID VINOKUR)
Rachelle Sprecher Fraenkel
(photo credit: DAVID VINOKUR)
■ ELUL, WHICH is generally a month of introspection and penitence, is also a month of religious conferences and large-scale gatherings of penitential prayers. Most of these events are segregated by sex. While the women’s conferences are often addressed by several rabbis or prominent laymen from the Orthodox sector, it’s very rare in these circles for a woman to be invited to address male conferences.
Among the upcoming gatherings of women is the Festival on the Edge of the Desert, to be held on September 7 at Moshav Maon, in the South Hebron Hills, just south of Kiryat Arba. Maon, established in 1982, is a small agricultural cooperative in which all the families that live there are part of the national-religious sector. The conference and concert, with the participation of Rachelle Sprecher Fraenkel, Etti Ankri and Ruchama Ben Yosef, begin at 8 p.m., but early birds will be able to purchase merchandise from 6 p.m. at a fair in which all the products on sale are geared toward women. For reservations and inquiries, call (03) 941-1855.
■ IT’S CUSTOMARY for women to wear something new on Rosh Hashana, therefore most of the religious women’s conventions throughout the month of Elul will include a fair in which they can purchase headgear, clothing, jewelry and accessories for themselves and their children. Television broadcaster Sivan Rahav Meir, who has become a very popular moderator and lecturer at such events, will be the lecturer at the Jerusalem International Convention Center on September 9 and 12, at the Mechina complex in Givat Shmuel on September 14, 15 and 16, at the Ra’anana Sports Arena on September 18 and 19 and at the Castra Mall in Haifa on September 25 and 26. Her theme will be “Elul, Connections and Us.”
■ PATRONS OF the famed Herbert Samuel restaurant in Tel Aviv will soon have to move further south along the beachfront all the way to Jaffa if they want to keep dining at one of their favorite eateries. The Adi’s Liefestyle Group, headed by Adi Strauss, has announced that the restaurant will relocate to the Setai Hotel, currently in the final stages of construction, in Jaffa’s Clock Tower Square.
The Setai Hotel is part of the Orchid hotel chain owned by the Nakash brothers, Israeli expatriates raised in Tel Aviv and living for many years in the US, who have mammoth clothing, real estate, hotel, transportation, aviation and agriculture interests as well as considerable investments in other industries. They recently opened the Herbert Samuel Hotel and Restaurant in Jerusalem’s Zion Square.
Altogether, the Orchid chain has 13 hotels in Israel, 10 of which are currently operating and three still under construction.
Herbert Samuel in Jaffa will be operated in conjunction with the Nakash brothers, and its décor will be similar to that of the Herbert Samuel Restaurant in Jerusalem. Interestingly, the premises that will be vacated by Adi’s Lifestyle have been purchased by Yonatan Roshfeld, the celebrity chef who was the original proprietor of Herbert Samuel before entering into a business relationship with Adi’s Lifestyle, which broke up earlier this year. Roshfeld can no longer use the Herbert Samuel brand name but intends to open a new restaurant with a new name on the site of the original Herbert Samuel.
As for restaurants operated by Adi’s Lifestyle, those located in hotel premises will all be kosher. The third kosher Herbert Samuel restaurant, which was actually the first in the brand to be kosher, is located in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Herzliya.
■ IT’S DIFFICULT to imagine a Greek-oriented event taking place in Israel without the participation of Grecophiles Yaron Enosh or Shimon Parnas. The latter has good reason, in that he is descended from Greek ancestors, but Enosh comes from Polish stock. It is Enosh, not Parnas, who will be one of the keynote speakers at “Greece – a Love Story,” a three-day event taking place at the Dan Carmel Hotel, Haifa, from September 15 to 17. Enosh will speak on the concept of happiness in Greek culture. Other speakers will concentrate on philosophy, geography and art.
In the musical part of the program, Enosh, who invariably plays Greek songs and music on his weekly program on Israel Radio, will moderate a session on “Greece in Hebrew songs.” There’s a common belief that most Hebrew songs were adapted from Russian songs and melodies, but regular listeners to Enosh’s program know that quite a large number of popular Israeli songs were imported and, dare one say, plagiarized from Greece.