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This week in Israel
Last uploaded : Saturday 22nd Feb 2003 at 00:37
Contributed by : Sheila Raviv


20th February 2003

Shabbat Shalom!

What a busy week!!! Jerusalem's Mayor Ehud Olmert has resigned in favour of a Cabinet position. As an "insider" I am aware of his dedication over the last 9 years, a dedication not always rewarded by the press. The Mayor showed incredible dedication to the city and to her citizens. Most of the Mayor's activities were not advertised, his visits to the homes of terror
victims, his care for individuals and for the city as a whole and of course, his outstanding abilities in expressing the beauty and the tragedy of Jerusalem to the foreign press and friends the world over. Mayor Olmert was
forced to form a new Foundation to raise money for the city, when the old Jerusalem Foundation was removed from the city by its directors. The New Jerusalem Foundation, under the care of Zvi Raviv, has raised large sums to benefit the less fortunate of the city, Jews Christians and Moslems alike and to beautify the city with projects as diverse as concerts, lions and

The acting Mayor is Mr Uri Lupoliansky. Mr Lupoliansky, oft described in a deprecating manner as Haredi, is an exceptional human being. Indeed, he is a very religious Jew, father of 12 children, but a man of vision and tolerance often missing in his secular opponents. Uri founded and built Yad Sarah, the incredible organization which provides medical equipment to the entire population of Israel. Yad Sarah is now a huge operation employing thousands of people, mostly volunteers, yet Uri still refuses to take one
penny for his long days of work.

Rubi Rivlin, the effervescent and verbose member of Knesset, son of one of the founding families of modern Jerusalem, was elected unanimously as
Speaker of the Knesset, (the Arab MKs abstained). It is the first time the appointment was unopposed.

Three ships have been discovered by British and American forces. Three Iraqi ships containing huge quantities of chemicals, floating, until now
undiscovered, in the Indian Ocean. How to deal with them without horrendous consequences? Maybe it is time to pray very, very hard.

British Medical schools have decided to enforce a quota of Moslem students to the schools. Their reasoning is that the Moslem students are trying to change the syllabus to exclude abortion, euthanasia and other subjects which go against the Koran. The United Kingdom has encouraged medical students of all races and creeds (unlike the US the UK had no need for Jewish hospitals
to train its Jewish doctors) but this is the first time the students have tried to dictate the syllabus to the medical schools.

Kinneret [victim of a suicide bombing in March 2002] had a tough week last week. The itching, the non-stop intense itching of her healing skin drove her crazy. I am happy to say, however,
that her independence is growing and she is spending more time at her own apartment. The Social Security Department has provided her with a helper/nurse who is spoiling her rotten!! Yesterday I called her to see how she was doing and her helper was giving her a massage!!!! Wonderful!!!

Our dear friends Ileana and Dexter Lehtinen (Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen) came to Jerusalem for a visit, bringing a fine group of
Congressmen with them. Ileana now chairs the Congressional sub-committee on the Middle East and Central Asia within the Committee on International Relations. A fine array of Israelis enjoyed their company at our home on
Monday. Wow, we have so much in common, our two countries.

Shabbat Shalom to you all, may G-d bless you and yours.



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