Grapevine: Beyond 100 days of grace

Kan, the public broadcasting station, is now over 100 days old.

Maccabi Tel Aviv striker Vidar Orn Kjartansson (left) celebrates with teammate Avi Rikan after scoring in last night’s 2-2 draw against Altach in Netanya which sent the yellow-and-blue through to the Europa League group stage. (photo credit: DANNY MAROM)
Maccabi Tel Aviv striker Vidar Orn Kjartansson (left) celebrates with teammate Avi Rikan after scoring in last night’s 2-2 draw against Altach in Netanya which sent the yellow-and-blue through to the Europa League group stage.
(photo credit: DANNY MAROM)
The 100 days of grace for Kan, the call sign of the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation, expired last week, and as yet, the IBC has not moved into its headquarters in Jerusalem’s Kanfei Nesharim industrial and commercial zone, even though this is the address listed on the IBC website.
Reviewers in the Hebrew media have not been very favorably inclined toward Kan, but then again, they weren’t very favorably inclined toward the now defunct Israel Broadcasting Authority, which has been replaced by the IBC.
As far as radio goes, IBC must be commended for taking up social welfare causes. It is unlikely that any commercial station would devote as much time and effort to helping the less fortunate in society as does Reshet Bet.
Keren Neubach did this when she worked for the IBA, but not quite to the extent that she does now. Her influence in improving conditions for patients in mental health institutions is immeasurable, and may also ultimately have an effect on legislation with regard to committing mentally ill people to institutions against their will.
Not all mentally ill people are a danger to themselves or to others, and if they don’t want to be locked up, they should have the right of refusal. This is one of the battles that Neubach is fighting.
Then there’s Gili Tamir, a qualified social worker and talented broadcaster who advises listeners of their rights vis-a-vis employers, the National Insurance Institute, the Health Ministry, the Construction Ministry, organizations dealing in reparations to Holocaust survivors, facilities that the education system must provide for children with special needs, etc. There are times when Tamir is so outraged by bureaucratic injustice that she asks the victim to send her all the details and she personally takes up the case with the relevant authorities.
Tamir has a special soft spot for Holocaust survivors, and this week interviewed Bulgarian-born Holocaust survivor Shelly Hoshen, who 35 years ago founded Yad B’Yad, which provides a safe environment for children at risk and also feeds hungry children.
Hoshen who knew acute hunger as a child in Auschwitz, in her prayers always promised that if she would survive, she would take care of other hungry children. For many years she did this as an early childhood psychologist working in the Education Ministry, and later established Hand in Hand, which has several “family houses” in different parts of the country, where children are helped with their studies, have the use of computers, and of course are fed hot meals and given a lot of love and attention. In addition, she set up a 24/7 hotline for children who, for whatever reason, need someone to talk to.
Hoshen, who was also a member of the Tel Aviv City Council, has received numerous prizes for her work, and like so many other Holocaust survivors is proof of the ability to rise to great heights from the ashes of destroyed Jewish communities.
■ BUT BACK to IBC. The irritating breaks in communications have not been fixed, and telephone connections break down every day.
Someone has imposed a soundbite rule on interviews which has a negative effect even on those anchors who are generally polite and soft-spoken. Nearly all of them have become impatient with their interviewees, who seem to be so pathetically grateful for their half-minute of glory that they say thank you when cut off in mid-sentence. But there are exceptions.
Political reporter Amir Bar Shalom, who was sent to Barcelona in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack, scored points over Fox News, whose anchor kept apologizing for the delay in a translation of the mayor’s press conference, because Fox didn’t have someone who spoke the language.
As it happens, Bar Shalom is quite fluent, and because of his superior position, was given all the time he needed on both radio and television. He also happens to be a very good reporter, and in the brief period that he spent in Barcelona, he was almost everywhere, conducting interviews and reporting on what he saw and heard.
Among the other excellent reporters who seem to have little sleep are political reporter Yoav Krakovsky and police reporter Vered Pelman, who are constantly updating their news of the day in their respective fields.
There are other good reporters, some of whom unfortunately do not have radiophonic voices. One in particular seems to have acute sinus trouble. But then again, we live in an age of inclusion, in which the focus is on abilities rather than disabilities; so as annoying as these voices might be to listeners, IBC is to be congratulated for encouraging the journalistic potential of those concerned.
Another plus factor for Kan Radio is that daytime cultural programs from any of Kan’s other seven stations are played during the midnight- to-dawn loop on Reshet Bet, which means that night owls actually get the best of both worlds.
While there have been a few original programs on Kan 11 television, too many programs are reruns of what appeared on what used to be Channel 1 under the IBA umbrella. Badly missing from Kan 11 are new documentaries such as those researched by a team headed by Itay Nevo-Landsberg, who was among the casualties of the demise of the IBA. Not a single person in his department was taken on by IBC.
Now there’s a new communications war brewing, as the employees of Educational Television, who are supposed to come under the IBC aegis next August, are fighting to maintain their independence.
■ IT’S THAT time of year again when women are looking through their closets to decide on whether they really need to buy a new outfit for the upcoming High Holy Days season, or whether they can still make do with whatever they wore last year or maybe the year before.
Those who decide on something new usually want a quality garment, but most of the high-class fashion labels are not within the financial reach of many of the women who would like to wear them. Well, yes and no. If it has to be absolutely new – not even worn on a fashion runway, it can cost an arm and a leg. But if it’s only slightly worn and looks new, it can be acquired for an unbelievably low price.
Fashionista Vered Sela, who simply adores amassing new outfits and accessories bearing top international brand names, has taken her love of fashion to a new commercial level by opening a boutique in her home at Moshav Beit Yannai. Called Superbrands Twice, in essence it means that the super brand is doing its second round at a much lower price than the first time around. Labels such as Prada, Mikaela, Moschino, Dior, Michael Kors, Valentino, Gucci, Chanel, Armani and other highend brands, which usually retail at around several thousand shekels, can be had in some cases for as little as NIS 50, moving up to a maximum of NIS 2,500, depending on the condition of the garment or accessory, the style, how new it is and, of course, the brand name.
The range is from super casual to elegant evening wear.
■ TOGETHER WITH Special Olympics Israel, the Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club Foundation launched Maccabi Tel Aviv FC’s second season as Israel’s Team Ambassador for the global Special Olympics movement. The two institutions are continuing their partnership to promote greater inclusion and raise public awareness about people with intellectual disabilities through athletic competition and other related programs.
By continuing to partner with Special Olympics, Maccabi Tel Aviv FC joins leading international soccer clubs such as Ajax Amsterdam, Inter Milan, Tottenham Hotspur and Celtic as a Team Ambassador; and in addition to promoting inclusion and raising public awareness, gives athletes with mental disabilities the opportunity to realize their potential, and the means to develop physically, mentally and socially through sports.
Ahead of every Maccabi Tel Aviv home league match, a Special Olympics athlete will be presented with the foundation’s Medallion of Honor by the Maccabi captain.
The medallion signifies the value that Maccabi Tel Aviv places on each and every athlete and makes the proud and bold statement attesting to the importance of raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
In addition, the “Together as One” Maccabi Foundation biweekly training sessions will be conducted by Maccabi Tel Aviv coaches with Special Olympics athletes both at the Kiryat Shalom Training Ground and at their centers. The Maccabi players will also take part in the training sessions as special guest instructors and play “unified” matches with the athletes.
After last year’s competition drew over 140 players from across the country, Maccabi will also host the Second Annual National Special Olympics Football Tournament once again.
Josh Halickman, head of the foundation, stated that it gave him great pleasure to launch the second season of Special Olympics, awarding the medallion, holding the “Together as One” training sessions and hosting the tournament.
Daniel Benaim, chairman of Special Olympics Israel, thanked Maccabi Tel Aviv for once again partnering with Special Olympics and continuing to help fulfill the dreams of athletes with intellectual disabilities. He is hopeful that more and more athletes will join the organization’s programs.
Maccabi Tel Aviv captain Sheran Yeini and Ben Mansford last week awarded the first Medallion of Honor to Shlomi Gebili, a Special Olympics soccer player, at Maccabi Tel Aviv’s first match of the 2017/18 season.
■ LOVERS OF chamber music are looking forward to the end of the month, when the annual Jerusalem International Chamber Festival begins a series of concerts at the YMCA auditorium. The festival runs from August 31 to September 9 and includes three concerts by Austrian violinist and concert master of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Rainer Honeck, who, together with fellow musicians, will play pieces by Schumann, Schubert and Mozart. Honeck who joined the orchestra in 1981, is a renowned soloist, with concert appearances in Austria as well as in Europe, Japan and America. He will perform on September 5 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and on September 9 at 12 noon.