Grapevine: Goodwill ambassador

This week in Israel's social news.

US AMBASSADOR Dan Shapiro addresses the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in the capital (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
US AMBASSADOR Dan Shapiro addresses the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in the capital
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
■ In the days when Dan Shapiro was US ambassador, several of those he will be addressing on Thursday, November 16, were guests at his official residence at one or more of the many events that Shapiro and his wife, Julie Fisher, hosted there. This time, it’s Shapiro who will be the guest, or more accurately the guest speaker at the Seven Stars Retirement Home, 138 Hanassi Street, Herzliya Pituah, where at 10:30 a.m. he will speak on “Diplomatic Ups and Downs,” a subject with which he is familiar not only as a former ambassador, but also as a distinguished visiting fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies.
Before his appointment as ambassador, he was the senior director for the Middle East and North Africa of the US National Security Council, in which capacity he frequently visited Israel and met a vast array of senior Israeli officials during his visits here or their visits to the US. For further information, contact Werner at 054-456-0303.
■ When the late Philippines president Manuel Quezon was one of the few world leaders who opened the gates of his country to German Jews fleeing the Nazis and thereby saved the lives of some 1,200 Jews, he can hardly be compared to German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved a comparable number of Jews under far more dangerous circumstances. However, organizers of the conference taking place on Monday, November 20 at Tel Aviv University’s Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center chose to call it “The Philippine Schindler: Saving German Jews 1938-39.
The opening remarks will be made by Goldstein-Goren director Simha Goldin followed by speakers Maya Guez of TAU, Bonnie Harris of San Diego State University, and Robert Rockaway of TAU. The panel will discuss Paul McNutt, the American organizer of the rescue operation; the case study of Cantor Joseph Cysner; and American immigration law and the Philippines. The discussions will be followed by a documentary film, An Open Door – Holocaust Haven in the Philippines, which will be followed by a discussion on the motivation of Americans and Filipinos to save Jews.
■ One of those who was actually saved by Schindler was the late Joseph Bau, a Krakow-born multi-disciplined artist, who even at the worst of times never lost his sense of humor, a factor that is reflected in his work. After the war, he and his wife, Rebecca, settled in Israel, where his talents were recognized in many quarters, including the Mossad, for which unbeknown to his family he worked for many years as a forger of documents for use by Israel’s espionage agents.
Following his death, his daughters, Tslila and Hadassa, established a memorial museum in his studio apartment. The Joseph Bau Museum, one of Israel’s smallest, is an authentic artist’s workshop that conveys Bau’s amazing life story, reflected in the wide range of his movies, animation, paintings, graphics, literature and research of the Hebrew language – all spiced with his special brand of humor.
Adopt a Safta, the organization dedicated to taking care of lonely Holocaust survivors, will celebrate survivors and their stories at the Joseph Bau Museum, 9 Berdyczewski Street, Tel Aviv, on Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m.
■ Last week  Israeli pop superstars Static & Ben El-Tavori performed for more than 1,100 children at Ofakim in a free concert organized by Leket Israel -The National Food Bank. The organization provides fresh surplus food to the needy via non-profits across Israel, including agencies and schools in Ofakim, which is why it was chosen for the event. Ofakim Mayor Itzik Danino was on hand for the occasion, as was Joseph Gitler, founder and chairman of Leket Israel
■ It's common knowledge that hotel restaurants and coffee shops are usually more expensive than those on the street. Thus it’s no surprise to learn that the lobby restaurant in the Dan Accadia Hotel in Herzliya is selling a whole pizza with a glass of wine or beer for NIS 88.
That may seem a little steep in comparison to NIS 25 or NIS 30, which is more or less the standard price for a family-size pizza. Then again, you’re unlikely to get chili, tomatoes and pineapple, or smoked salmon with fresh cream on your regular pizza or for that matter zucchini or pears flavored with Roquefort cheese.
These are just some of the fancy pizza offerings concocted by chef Golan Israeli. For pizza lovers with an adventurous palate, this may be a tantalizing taste experience.