Grapevine July 2, 2023: Triumphing over the ‘Final Solution’

Movers and shakers in Israeli society.

 DORON ALMOG (left) with Prof. Bertold Fridlender. (photo credit: SHAHAR REGEV)
DORON ALMOG (left) with Prof. Bertold Fridlender.
(photo credit: SHAHAR REGEV)

The triumph of the Jewish People over Hitler’s final solution to the Jewish problem is reflected not only in the creation of the State of Israel but also in the longevity of many Holocaust survivors. It is quite amazing how many of them, no matter where in the world they are located, have lived into their 80s and 90s, and have raised children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. One of the people who fit into the category of this dual triumph is Jerusalem resident Baruch Kopolovich, who recently celebrated his 96th birthday.

The sole survivor of his family, Kopolovich was deported to Auschwitz, and from there to Buchenwald and then to Mittelbau-Dora, and Bergen-Belsen. It was from Bergen-Belsen that he was liberated by British forces.

Kopolovich was born in Khust which is at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. So was Bumi (Avraham) Traub, an international businessman and a prominent and influential figure in Israel’s diamond industry, who has held top executive positions in the Israel Diamond Exchange, and the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association as well as other diamond-related organizations.

Beyond his diamond interests, Traub has dedicated his life to commemorating Jewish life in Khust and Jews who were deported from there never to return. He also celebrates the survival of those who just like Kopolovich, did return and eventually made aliyah to Israel. Kopolovich has been living in Israel since 1973.

Traub organized a festive dinner in celebration of Kopolovich’s 96th birthday and looks forward to doing so again when Kopolovich turns 97.

 FROM LEFT: Menachem Kopolovich, Ariel Traub, Leizer Fuks, Baruch Kopolovich, and Bumi Traub. All are members of the Kopolovich or Traub families. (credit: Menachem Kopolovich)
FROM LEFT: Menachem Kopolovich, Ariel Traub, Leizer Fuks, Baruch Kopolovich, and Bumi Traub. All are members of the Kopolovich or Traub families. (credit: Menachem Kopolovich)

Hadassah Academic College

■ HADASSAH ACADEMIC College in Jerusalem is advancing by leaps and bounds both academically and in contributing to the community. The college was founded on the principles of academic excellence and community service – and lives up to both while simultaneously expanding its curriculum to allow more students to realize their potential in the fields of their interests and talents.

In addition to honoring its graduates, HAC gives recognition to public figures who set an example for others to follow.

This year, at the conclusion of the academic year, HAC held its first public ceremony recognizing excellence in public figures, who by their actions, succeeded in bringing about change.

The Badge of Excellence was awarded for the first time at the initiative of HAC President Prof. Bertold Fridlender and will be awarded annually in the future.

Singled out for this initial ceremony were Jewish Agency Chairman Doron Almog; Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch and ALYN Hospital Director-General Dr. Maurit Beeri, who happens to be the aunt of Tamar Uriel-Beeri, the managing editor of The Jerusalem Post website.

Before taking up his Jewish Agency position, Amog was best known for establishing Aleh Negev, a rehabilitation village for children and adults with severe disabilities. Following the death of his son Eran, who in the aftermath of a serious illness in childhood, suffered a series of disabilities, the village was renamed after him. Almog remains chairman of the village.

Bloch is the first woman mayor of Beit Shemesh which has a very large haredi population that ordinarily might not vote a woman into office.

Beeri promoted the implementation of Cultural Competence in Health Care, making ALYN the first Culturally Competent Hospital to be recognized in Israel.

A special award of excellence was presented to HAC alumnus Suleiman Maswadeh, who has become an extremely successful, all-round radio reporter on Reshet Bet, and is also seen with increasing frequency on KAN 11 television.

■ AMONG THE worst experiences of paramedics is the inability to save the life of a patient while administering emergency treatment prior to the arrival of an ambulance. That’s what happened to United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs Yinon Dahan, Amit Sinai, Tevel Arbel, and Asher Malka a month ago. The four responded to an emergency call following a cardiac arrest on a Shabbat afternoon. Unfortunately, the resuscitation attempt failed, and the patient’s death had to be pronounced. The quartet was understandably despondent. However, immediately after leaving the site of the distress, they received another call regarding a second cardiac arrest inside the synagogue on the adjacent street.

Swiftly making their way there, they found 70-year-old Avner Barak without a pulse and not breathing. He had collapsed during the afternoon prayer service. The EMTs immediately initiated CPR and attached a defibrillator. Following the administration of one electric shock using the AED, Barak’s pulse returned. He was subsequently transported to hospital and following a week in intensive care, he emerged in full health.

Recently the EMTs visited Barak and his son at their home, where Barak expressed his heartfelt appreciation, recounting the day that changed his life.

“On Saturday, June 3, you were called to the synagogue during Mincha prayer to revive my heart and ‘blow into my nostrils the breath of life’, he said, quoting from the scriptures. “You provided fast, professional, and life-saving treatment, and you brought me back to life, to my beloved sons and grandchildren. After a week in intensive care, against all odds, I returned safe and sound to the synagogue, the place where you saved me. My son was moved when they read in the Haftara, following the reading of the Torah: ‘You will spare the life of my father... ’(which appears in Joshua 2:13), a verse that now takes on an additional meaning for my family.”

Reflecting on the incident, Yinon Dahan shared his own sentiments, stating: “In my six years of volunteering, I have had the privilege of performing several successful CPRs. But until now, I never had the opportunity to be in touch with the person saved and to visit any of them after they have returned to full health, and show them the defibrillator that helped save their lives. It’s an incredibly moving experience.”

■ ACCOMPANIED BY EU Ambassador Dimiter Tzantchev, and ECOPEACE Director Gideon Bromberg, European Investment Bank Vice President Gelsomina Vigliotti met last week with President Isaac Herzog to discuss regional cooperation and how to confront climate resilience.

The meeting followed the successful Climate Resilience Symposium held earlier in the day at Tel Aviv University, organized with the Israel Climate Forum. Discussions centered on addressing climate action, energy, and water cooperation, and new investment to support climate business investment, sustainable transport, and desalination projects in Israel.

The meeting exemplified Herzog’s commitment and dedication to promoting climate resilience and fostering regional cooperation. Relating to the importance of the meeting, Herzog stated: “We must join forces to confront the urgent threats posed by climate change. The European Investment Bank is a climate leader and we share the wish to strengthen climate action in Israel and our region.”

Vigliotti emphasized the EIB’s support for sustainable development in Israel, stating, “Our commitment in climate business, sustainable transport, and desalination projects reflects our belief in the power of collaboration to combat climate change. By working together, we can build a resilient future that prioritizes environmental sustainability and economic growth.”

Tzantchev added: “The EU and Israel collaborate in many different areas: trade, health, agriculture, tourism, education, transportation, research and innovation and of course environmental matters. Climate Change-related disasters, such as drought seasons, water shortage, forest fires are increasingly becoming a daunting reality both for Israel and Europe. Global warming is already causing major distress to our public health, agriculture, water, energy, infrastructure, and biodiversity. That’s why we’re particularly proud of the EIB’s ongoing strong support for climate action in Israel.”

■ DROUGHTS RESULTING from climate change have a critical effect on agriculture which can either make produce inferior or prevent its growth altogether for lack of water. This is one of the reasons for the urgency in developing technologically produced food products. There were several African diplomats present at a three-day day conference titled Food Sec&Tech that was held at the Rabin Center in Tel Aviv. Among them was Wol Mayar Ariec, the ambassador of South Sudan, whose country is in desperate need of food security. South Sudan suffers numerous natural disasters that have a negative impact on crops. The round table discussions at the conference focused on the urgency for global cooperation between governments, researchers and private entrepreneurs to formulate global policy on making resources available for advanced research, and to encourage more opportunities for exchange of know-how in the global food tech industry.

In addition to discussions and the trading of ideas and opinions, participants were able to sample technologically produced foods from start-up companies in the Galilee, which has become Israel’s food technology hub.

■ MATCHMAKING HAS taken on an added dimension. The time-honored practices in Jewish ultra-Orthodox society continue in places where television is forbidden and modern communications technology is limited to kosher cell phones and computers. But for the most part, matchmaking, whether through personal initiative or with the help of a facilitator, is done via social media platforms which enable people to get to know something about each other before they actually meet face to face.

With Tu B’Av, the Jewish equivalent of Valentine’s Day coming up on August 2, Partners in Torah and Coronacrush together with Janglo, the Jerusalem-based internet site, are hosting two dating Webinars with Netflix’s Jewish Matchmaker Aleeza Ben Shalom on Wednesday, July 5 and Sunday July 16, to be followed on August 2 with an international Tu B’Av speed-dating event.

The organizers believe that everyone deserves to find love, and they are therefore holding these searching for soulmates events free of charge. For further details and to register, contact Janglo at or simply Google Janglo.