Grapevine: Ethiopian delegation tours Wolfson

Accompanied by a delegation from Ethiopia, Mekonnen was eager to meet members of the first Ethiopian pediatric cardiac team in training.

PM Netanyahu and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
PM Netanyahu and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
■ PRIOR TO Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Ethiopia this week, Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen visited Israel and toured the Save a Child’s Heart division of Holon’s Wolfson Medical Center. Accompanied by a delegation from Ethiopia, Mekonnen was eager to meet members of the first Ethiopian pediatric cardiac team in training.
The team is led by Dr. Yayu Mekonnen, who will complete his training next year and return to Ethiopia as his country’s first pediatric cardiac surgeon. Three other Ethiopian physicians are currently training with Yayu in Israel: Demeke Mekonnen in pediatric cardiology, Habtamu Sime in pediatric intensive care and Tolesa Waktola in anesthesiology.
The Ethiopian dignitaries were welcomed at Wolfson by director Dr. Yitzhak Berlovich and Save a Child’s Heart lead surgeon Dr. Lior Sasson, who is Yayu’s mentor.
■ IN THE world of theater, it’s supposed to be good luck to tell a thespian to break a leg. Prizewinning actor Sasson Gabai is not so sure. Gabai was returning from his son’s high-school graduation ceremony when he suffered a bicycle accident and broke his leg. After emerging from the hospital with his leg encased in plaster, it was obvious to him that there was no way that he could fulfill his commitment to star in the Beit Lessin production of An Hour of Silence. So the production was canceled, or at least put on hold, till Gabai is able to walk again. A family vacation in Tanzania has also been postponed.
■ ONLY A few weeks after she was put in the embarrassing position of walking out of a restaurant without paying the bill, cosmetics guru Pnina Rosenblum proved that she has no problem paying not only her own bill but that of others whom she cares about. The first time around was the result of a misunderstanding. Rosenblum had a business meeting in a restaurant, and at the end of it, presuming that the person who had invited her to the meeting would foot the bill, she left. But he thought she was paying for him. In the end it was all settled amicably. But last week, at another business meeting in Hadera, Rosenblum noticed a group of soldiers sitting at a table and finishing a meal. Later, when they asked for the check, they were told that their bill amounting to NIS1,200 had already been paid. Rosenblum had picked up the tab, not only because she has a fondness for the IDF, but also because she has a son in the army, and she knows how little soldiers get paid.
■ KEREN MALKI’S fifth annual Rainbow of Music concert in Jerusalem earlier this year was a sellout, and many people from outside the capital who would have liked to be present missed out. So some of the performers happily agreed to an encore in Ra’anana on July 13, with the entertainment lineup including Shai Abramson and Yitzchak Meir together with the Ramatayim Men’s Choir Jerusalem, at the Mishkan for Music and the Arts, Ra’anana.
■ YAD LEBANIM, the organization that cares for the bereaved families of fallen soldiers, held a special event for 550 bereaved Beduin families at the Gai Beach Hotel in Tiberias with the participation of Tiberias Mayor Yossi Ben David, chairman of Yad Lebanim Eli Ben-Shem, chairman of the Beduin branch of Yad Lebanim Saadi Ziad, members of the Yad Lebanim executive and senior officers of the IDF. Although it is fairly well known that Beduin soldiers fight in the IDF, it is doubtful that many Jewish Israelis are aware of the extent of Beduin casualties.
■ ONE OF the most influential figures in the Israeli art scene died last week. Yeshayahu Yariv, 83, the founder of Tel Aviv’s Gordon Gallery, who had trained in London to be a sculptor, realized that he was not destined to wear the mantle of greatness. So he simply gave up on sculpture and turned to painting – as a gallery owner and collector.
His name was originally Yeshayahu Rivlin. All the Rivlins are related in one way or another, and like many of them, his politics were right of center. At age 15, he joined the Irgun and fought in the battles of Tel Aviv-Jaffa until his real age was discovered and he was sent back to school. On completion of his high-school studies, he joined the IDF, eventually serving as an officer in the Golani Brigade.
He later studied at the Hebrew University, and studied sculpture in London. He returned to Israel in 1963, and began to manage his father’s property development interests. In 1966, following his father’s death, he opened the Gordon Gallery in Gordon Street. After several years the gallery relocated to Ben-Yehuda Street but retained its name.
Yariv believed in encouraging young artists, favored avant-garde creations and was also among the pioneers of Israeli art auctions. He was very friendly with collectors, and had a knack for putting out beautiful catalogues which helped to make his auction sales extremely successful. Yariv, who spent the last two years of his life battling cancer, was buried last Sunday evening at Kibbutz Givat Hashlosha.