Grapevine: Many memorials

JERUSALEM MAYOR Nir Barkat, prior to running the 10 km. marathon with reservists from his paratroop unit last Friday.

Sixth annual Jerusalem Marathon (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Sixth annual Jerusalem Marathon
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
 ■ AS HAPPENS every year, there was a screening at the cinematheque this week of films made by people with disabilities. The screening, an annual SHEKEL (Community Services for People with Special Needs) event illustrating that people with disabilities can play a role in the community, is in memory of Gideon Drori, one of the founders of Israel Television, who achieved fame through some of the memorable documentaries that he produced and directed.
He was also a leading activist in the struggle for the rights of people with disabilities.
His own son Uri, who died 10 months ago at age 41, was born with disabilities, but lived as a member of the wider community.
To encourage the public to realize that people with disabilities can be useful and creative, Gideon Drori in his will, asked his wife Osnat to institute an annual prize-giving event for outstanding SHEKEL staff. In return, SHEKEL established the annual film night to honor Drori in the profession that he loved and in the cause for which he fought. The event was hosted by radio and television personality Aharon Perera.
■ ANOTHER MEMORIAL event will take place in the Henry Crown Auditorium of the Jerusalem Theater on Tuesday, March 29, when the Hebrew University Orchestra, under the auspices of the Musicology Department of the faculty of Humanities under the baton of Anita Kamien, will present an evening of Beethoven and Brahms.
The concert is known as the annual Avraham Harman Memorial Concert. Harman, after completing his tour of duty as Israel’s ambassador to the United States, returned to Jerusalem and was elected president of the university, a position he held for 15 years, after which he was chancellor. During his period as president, the university returned to its original campus on Mount Scopus, which already proved too small for the ever-increasing population. Harman oversaw the expansion and rebuilding of the campus.
Registered Hebrew University students receive free tickets to the concert as part of the commitment of the Musicology Department to answer the need of the student body for high-level cultural involvement that is otherwise unavailable to them, due to the high cost of tickets.
Among the performing young musicians who have been absorbed into the orchestra are new immigrants and students from Venezuela, Italy, England, Germany, the Czech Republic the United States, Canada and France, as well as returning Israelis, from all fields of study at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels.
■ VETERAN JERUSALEMITES attending the launch this week of the first Ginger shop in the capital – the eighth in an eight-year-old chain that boasts three stores in Tel Aviv, including Neveh Tzedek, and one each in Netanya, Ramat Hasharon, Hod Hasharon and Kiryat Ata – were for the most part familiar with the premises of the Jerusalem branch.
The store had several years earlier been the showcase for the glorious pieces of jewelry based on the traditions of the region designed by Sarah Einstein, who died in March 2009.
Today, the store is a riot of warm colors, as its name suggests. To those not familiar with the brand, Ginger specializes in homewares designed to brighten the darkest corner, to add a folklore ambiance to classic decor or to enhance rooms that already exude a sense of the exotic. The company’s in-house designer and global traveler Orit Kesten was on hand to explain her folklore inspirations, in addition to which she introduced some of the hand-made imports from around the world: exquisite embroideries, traditional folk weaves; hand-painted enameled pottery, brightly hued tote bags, different sized cushions covered in velvet or pure cotton in eye-catching hand prints, table cloths, bedding, trays, mugs and more.
At a time when so many stores are closing in Jerusalem and windows are bearing For Rent signs, it is heartwarming to see new stores opening up. Actually, the whole area in and around Shimon Ben Shetah Street, where the store is located, has undergone some kind of metamorphosis, which in all likelihood drew Ginger’s management to the site.
Management had been planning to come to Jerusalem for some time, but couldn’t find a suitable location until they discovered the ideal place for their first Jerusalem store.
If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the fact that several of the Jerusalem socialites who came to the launch purchased not one, but two or three items says it all. By the way, all things considered, prices are quite reasonable.
■ JERUSALEM MAYOR Nir Barkat, prior to running the 10 km. marathon with reservists from his paratroop unit last Friday, on Wednesday of last week addressed members of the foreign media at the Jerusalem Press Club, where he said that the security situation in Jerusalem had improved in recent weeks, prompting the removal of barricades around troublesome neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. Troublemakers who disrupt the calm are not Jerusalemites, but people who come from areas outside Jerusalem, he said.
Barkat voiced strong opposition to separation plans advocated by MK Isaac Herzog and former MK Haim Ramon, and declared emphatically that they will just not happen.
Asked about his political plans, Barkat said that he hasn’t decided yet whether to run for reelection for a third term, or to quit in 2018 at the conclusion of his second term and enter the national political arena. One way or another, he said, he is definitely aiming for the highest level of national leadership.