Grapevine December 10, 2021: His eye is on the ball

Movers and shakers in Israeli society.

 Job Daudi Masima, ambassador of Tanzania, in his favorite role on the golf course. (photo credit: Gidi Avineri)
Job Daudi Masima, ambassador of Tanzania, in his favorite role on the golf course.
(photo credit: Gidi Avineri)

One can make a lot of friends over a five year period, and judging by the huge crowd enjoying a sit-down dinner at the Amphoraei Winery in Kerem Maharal, that’s exactly what Tanzanian Ambassador Job Daudi Masima and his wife Yohana have done.

Masima is his country’s first resident ambassador to Israel, and as such opened the Tanzanian Embassy. A civil servant for almost 45 years, working in foreign relations, and rural development, and holding high ranking positions in Social Services, the Defense Ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office and more, Masima’s CV also lists the fact that he is a seventeen-handicap golfer.

In fact many of his friends from the Caesarea Golf Club dominated some of the table at the winery where first and foremost Masima was celebrating the 60th anniversary of Tanzania’s Independence. Secondly, the event provided a platform for naming the winners of a golf tournament that had been held earlier in the day at the Caesarea Golf Club where Masima is a regular player.

Thirdly it was to announce the fact that he will soon be concluding his posting, so it was a kind of -pre-farewell party.

Much as he loves the game, Masima can tell jokes about it too

 Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej with Job Daudi Masima, the ambassador of Tanzania. (credit: Gidi Avineri) Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej with Job Daudi Masima, the ambassador of Tanzania. (credit: Gidi Avineri)

An example: A a newly elected politician was told that all politicians play golf. So when he was interviewed, and was asked by the journalist whether he played golf, his answer was “of course.”

“What’s your handicap?” asked the journalist.

“Congress,” was the unexpected reply.

There is no doubt that Masima enjoyed his time in Israel, and that he genuinely considered it a great honor to be appointed his country’s first resident ambassador here.

In fact, when he presented his credentials to then President Reuven Rivlin, he donned a white kippa and recited the Shechehiyanu prayer in Hebrew, which is said in appreciation of experiencing a blessing in one’s life.

This week, he reiterated how honored he felt, saying that it that it was the greatest honor of his life and that Israel would remain in his heart. He also shared some of the history of his country with his guests. The United Republic of Tanzania, was previously two separate countries -Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Previously ruled by Germany and England, each had gained independence in 1961 and had merged in 1964 to form one nation that is made up of more than 120 tribes.

In the interim he declared, Tanzania has achieved more than Germany and England were able to achieve together in 70 years. He cited the new modern international airport, and approval for the construction of a hydropower plant and a new modern rail line.

He also mentioned some of Tanzania’s breathtaking tourist attractions, and on the subject of tourism, said that it was unfair on Israel’s part to single out Africa for a travel ban.

For all that, the two countries are deeply intertwined, he said, and looked forward to the period when travel between the two countries would be revived. Some 40,000 Israelis visited Tanzania in 2019. To set the ball rolling for renewed tourism from Israel to his country, Masima donated three prizes to the winners of the tournament. One was an all expenses paid trip for two Zanzibar; another a Safari tour, and the first prize both Zanzibar and the Safari.

Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej represented the government at the event and paid tribute to Tanzania’s late president John Magufuli who died in office in March of this year. Frej said that Magufuli had never been afraid to voice his close connection with Israel in public. He added that Israel hopes to strengthen this connection with the new government. Frej had never met Masima before, but was so impressed with him that he spontaneously pledged that for as long as he is in office, he will continue to support Tanzania, and will bring more students from Tanzania to study at Mashav, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.

■ THROUGHOUT THE year, the president of the state presents various prizes – some that are the awards of different organizations, and some that are actually his own. Among the latter is the annual President’s Prize for Volunteerism, with a different focus each year on a specific aspect of volunteerism. Literally hundreds, sometimes even thousands of nominations are received each year. In order to have them properly examined, the president appoints a chairman and a committee to go through all the nominations and to recommend those that are considered most deserving. To do so requires a lot of intensive work – which is also on a voluntary basis. What is somewhat different this year is that President Isaac Herzog has made a video that appears on his Facebook page in which he urges the public to send in nominations on the premise that people who do things worth emulating, should be recognized for their good deeds.

During the pandemic, many people were hospitalized or isolated, unable to socialize on a regular scale, unable to go shopping and unable to do many other things that they used to do for themselves. Healthy people, on their own initiative, or mobilized as a group, brought them food and medications, did their laundry, organized balcony prayer services, telephoned to simply say hello or to inquire Although this was to a large extent emergency voluntarism, Israelis from all sectors of the population rose magnificently to the challenge.

Thus it is hardly surprising that the theme for the upcoming President’s Prize for Volunteerism is cooperation, partnership, and solidarity with the individual, community and the environment with the aim of creating an exemplary society. The prize is given to both adults and youth -individuals and organizations. The closing date for nominations is January 16, 2022. Nominations should be sent to: president.gov.il

Full details in Hebrew are available on the president’s Facebook page.

■ MOST HOTELS in Israel and around the world have suffered badly during the pandemic, but apparently not all. At the annual Israel Real Estate Summit known as Nadlan City Conference at the Herods Palace Hotel in Eilat. David Fattal, the chairman of the Fattal House of Hotels, when receiving the Dun & Bradstreet award for excellence in achievement in the hotels category, said that despite the complex situation in which people find themselves, the Fattal chain succeeded in becoming stronger. He attributed this to good business management in its Israeli and overseas hotels, as well as the Leonardo brand name which scored high points with guests. Fattal thanked the thousands of hotel workers and guests who collectively demonstrated their confidence in Fattal hotels. The conference has been run since 2002 by the Israeli Building Center which is chaired by Eran Rolls, who purchased it from the Israel Government.

The awards ceremony was held in the presence of Construction and Housing Minister Zeev Elkin.

The three-day conference, which mixes business with pleasure is traditionally held in December, and is attended by leading figures in Israeli real estate.

■ AFTER TWENTY years as Executive Director of the Koby Mandell Foundation, Reuven (Roy) Angstreich has decided to step down. Founded by Rabbi Seth and Sherri Mandel in the wake of the murder of their 13 year-old son Koby and his friend Yosef Ish-ran in 2001 in a brutal terrorist attack near their home in Tekoa, the Foundation provides a network of services to victims of terror and other tragedies and their families. Angstreich served the Foundation from its inception and was responsible for overseeing its many operations including Camp Koby, an annual summer camp serving hundreds of children affected by tragic loss, and a healing program for women. He also helped to develop the Foundation’s Comedy for Koby tour, which has become one of the most popular entertainment events geared to Israel’s English-speaking community, attracting some of America’s top comedic performers to appear on Israeli stages while raising funds for the Foundation.

It was appropriate to pay a farewell tribute to Angstreich at a Camp Koby that was held over a three day period during Hanukka at the Gan V’Nof Youth Village in Petach Tikvah

The new Executive Director is Eliana Mandell Braner who started as a camper and went on to become a division head at The Koby Mandell Foundation camps.

She has an MA in psychology and communications from Ariel University and previously was the director of MASA programs for Sachlav touring companies.

■ LONG BEFORE the expression start-up entered the universal lexicon, Yehuda Zisapel founded a start-up company, “only I didn’t know at the time that it was a start-up,” Zisapel told hundreds of the company’s employees who were celebrating its 40th anniversary at Reading 3 in Tel Aviv. “We began in a period before anyone knew what start-up means,” said Zysapel, who is currently chairman of RAD and President of the RAD-Bynet Group.Zysapel established the company together with his brother Zohar. In the course of time, RAD became the parent company of ten other companies, whose graduates established some 200 companies of their own. In raising a toast RAD CEO Udi Kashkash called RAD “the start-up of all start-ups.”

[email protected]