Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

Eye on People

Dick Patten, a well-known Seattle business leader and longtime supporter of Toward Tradition, joined the organization as executive director and will lead Toward Tradition on a day-to-day basis. Rabbi Daniel Lapin, the group's president, called Patten's hiring "our most significant growth step since Yarden Weidenfeld started six years ago as national director." Mr. Patten has just sold Express Personnel Services, the largest temporary employment agency in the Puget Sound area, serving 800 Seattle companies and placing nearly 20,000 employees. Until 1990 he was chairman of Microfilm Service Company, which he grew from 7 to 180 employees.

The Ethiopian Jews made aliyah to Israel. They were the heroes of two dramatic operations: "Moses" and "Salomon". They were redeemed by Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir. Like many olim, they have suffered from the pains of absorptions: It is hard to be an Israeli. Are they today part of Israel mainstream? We hope so.

In 1994, a group of Ethiopian Israelis established in Jerusalem an Ethiopian Theater, namely 'Netela' which expressed the unique problems and cultural shocks of the Ethiopian Jews in Israel. Yaffa Schuster is the artistic director of Netela which tends to challenge social plays and Zena Adhanani is the director. The theater had many successes in Israel. They recently staged a play called Bavel which was written and directed by Moshe Malka. Netela came to New York and performed at LaMama with success.

Netela presented in America an unknown aspect of Israel's melting pot. How to integrate a new tribe of Jews into the Israeli society. How to avoid mistakes in the absorption process. Bavel is a multi-lingual play performed in Hebrew Amharic. It exposes the experience of the Ethiopian immigrants inside Israel and their feelings of discrimination: "Being black wherever you are is to be automatically discriminated against" agrees Yaffa Schuster. It is a feeling of alienation.

Isack Kousansky, the Israeli-American distinguished artist, opened his new exhibition 'Painting Photography' at 111 Mercer Studio (226-3798) located at the heart of the prestigious Soho, Manhattan. Kousansky is a highly creative and innovative avangarde artist. His original works were hailed by the critics and magazines such as Vanity Fair. He has a message to urban America: preserve nature, defend out environment, go back to nature. His message is radiated powerfully and touching from his works of the sunflower. Also, Kousansky never failed to express his Israeli-Jewish roots. (He is a song of Holocaust survivors. He was born in Haifa).

Kousansky developed his unique style and one can recognize his works from a far distance, as well. But his success as an artist also links to his basic instinct of love, love for humanity. So it was not a surprise to find, at his recent opening, a huge crowd of around 400 guests. The guests met the artist and enjoyed a special new ambience at the party which was provided by the beautiful singer-musician, Maimi Rice, who also has a beautiful voice. She played the accordion and sang French and Irish songs. She definitely contributed to the success of this party.

Of course, there is no party without Wines: BMC Imports (1-877-672-6529) introduced their great 'The Jewel of Russia' or a special 'Cosmopolitan Cocktail' based on vodka and berry or blueberry infusion into a cocktail shaker with ice and some line. Indeed a new invention, a new spirit. Also you could enjoy items from T.N.J. Cigar Company (1-877-SI-CIGAR) if you smoke cigars.

Among Kousansky's works in this exhibition were: The Yellow Sunflower ($1400); Sinai-The Red Sea ($2500); The Roses ($2400); Yellow Field ($680); The Bronze Sunflower ($800); and...Saddam Hussein! Yes! The Iraqi dictator and leader of a terrorist state. This is a special work in glass and not a photograph. The price: only $4200.

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