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Grapevine: New leadership

CM 12/08/2021


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■ ALTHOUGH WOMEN have sat and do sit on the Board of Governors and the executive of the Jewish Agency, only one woman, Carole Solomon, ever headed the Board of Governors, serving from 2003 to 2007. No woman has headed the Jewish Agency executive, which was vacated this year by Isaac Herzog following his election as president of the State of Israel. However, there is a woman among the current batch of candidates. Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum has demonstrated an ability for international relations; drifts seamlessly between English and Hebrew depending on who she’s talking to, and frequently plays the role of translator; is politically and economically savvy; and is naturally friendly. Born in London and raised in Gibraltar, where her father, Sir Joshua Abraham Hassan, served as chief minister and mayor, she is no stranger to the corridors of power. She returned to London, where she earned a law degree and worked as a barrister. She also became a leading figure in a number of local and global Jewish organizations. Her portfolios on the Jerusalem City Council include foreign relations, international economic development and tourism. She is a co-founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council. Since its founding, the Jewish Agency has had 15 executive chair people. None have been women and none have been Sephardi. Hassan-Nahoum is both, and her attributes include fluency in Spanish as well as Hebrew and English. She is also a gifted public speaker. Under Herzog, the Jewish Agency appointed its first ever female CEO Amira Ahronoviz. Perhaps the time has also come for a female chair of the executive.
■ FEW WOULD doubt the popularity of Prof. Jonathan Halevy, the president and former long-time CEO of Shaare Zedek Medical Center. But that popularity is in danger of dwindling, because Halevy allowed himself to be roped in by the Health Ministry as a presenter for the need for people over 60 to undergo a third inoculation against the coronavirus and the possible effects of other variants that have been imported by people coming into Israel from abroad. That would be all well and good if the commercial for the vaccination was to be broadcast at 15 minute intervals. But Israeli advertising and marketing people have a bad habit of brainwashing to the extent that they do themselves a disservice by making radio listeners and television viewers resentful to the point of being angry. Commercials are often instantly repeated or repeated at intervals of less than five minutes. There are many people whose radios are on all day, or even 24/7. For them, it is often maddening to hear the frequency with which Halevy’s voice tells them that he has had a third vaccination and that they should follow suit. It’s not his fault that he is being seen and heard so often, but the decision makers at the Health Ministry or the advertising agency it hired should realize that while something may be good for you, too much of it can have the opposite effect. 
■ THE MONTH of Elul ushers in a series of slihot concerts and services. For the benefit of readers who may not know, slihot are the penitential prayers recited in advance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, regarded as the holiest days in the Jewish calendar, because they are the days of judgement in which the divine creator determines the fate of each and every human being. In some places, the penitential prayers sound like dirges, but in most they are laced with sufficient joy to make congregants and audiences want to join in. As far as audiences go, barring any lockdown, the Sultan’s Pool will be the venue between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur on September 9 and 11 for a series of Jerusalem slihot concerts featuring David D’Or, Idan Amedi, Ehud Banai, Amir Benayoun and Avraham Tal, who are all so popular that the concerts are bound to be sellouts. Before Rosh Hashanah, a more traditional concert will be held at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue on Saturday evening August 28 with cantor Tzvi Weiss and the Great Synagogue choir conducted by Eli Jaffe. In the same week, on Wednesday, August 25, Shai Abramson, the chief cantor of the IDF, will be performing together with Yechezkel Klang and Daniel Kol Tuv in the Henry Crown auditorium of the Jerusalem Theater. For lovers of slihot melodies, this will be a real treat.
■ JAFFA ROAD is changing so rapidly that within five years, there will be very few buildings left of those that once characterized the main street of Israel’s capital. The most obvious changes to date are in the vicinity of Mahaneh Yehuda market, as well as the market itself. Gentrification and the addition of numerous eateries have not harmed its ambience. Second- and third-generation vendors continue to shout out their wares as did their fathers and grandfathers. Beggars congregate along the main drags, shaking their plastic cups like babies’ rattles, while bag ladies and men in hassidic garb disrupt diners at restaurant tables to ask for charity. But that’s all part and parcel of the shuk, and the atmosphere is much as it was in the pre-gentrification period.

But it’s on either side of the shuk and across the road, front and back, that change is most obvious. Residential properties in Agrippas Street have been enlarged and modernized. Commercial properties are in line with current trends and have lost the charm of yesteryear.
On Jaffa Road, directly across from the shuk, there is a relatively new residential tower. Further down the road, just past the Meuhedet health clinic, a fuel station has been replaced by a multi-purpose high rise building. Another one next door to it is in the process of completion, and adjacent to that one a third, much larger construction project at 184 Jaffa Road, pays tribute to the history of the city on the security fence that surrounds the construction site.
Financed by Ashira Holdings and Management, the protective fence of the complex features a history of a Jerusalem section dedicated to Rabbi Yitzhak Lipkin, who in the mid-19th century, together with Rachamim Mizrachi was one of the founders of the neighborhood, and was known by his Arabic nickname Abu al Basl, because he derived his living from selling onions, though he never ate onions himself. The complex was designed by Omer Bar and Amit Mandelkern of the o2a Studio. There are construction projects either in the planning stages, underway or already completed throughout the length of Jaffa Road, from the Yitzhak Navon railway station continuing all the way to the Old City. Jerusalem will never be the same again.
■ IT’S BAD enough that so many people are ignoring regulations about wearing masks. Even worse is the number of jaywalkers who cross the road on a red light, especially parents wheeling baby carriages, and with other young children in tow. The police are seldom around to impose fines, but this week, a policeman stood by the traffic lights outside the Jerusalem Post building on Jaffa Road and fined every transgressor. Hopefully, it was not a one-day wonder.
greerfc@gmail.com

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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