Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

September's People

By: Gad Nahshon

Israeli's most prominent composer today Tzvi Avni, came to visit his friends in New York. Avni, an Israeli educator as well, is the teacher of many young Israeli composers. Among them is Oron Schwartz, who together with Chen Zimbalista produced a unique CD called Percussion (Jerusalem Music Centre). Schwartz also a student of Alon Bor, composed "From Heaven Unto Mists" (1994). In this CD one can enjoy the composition of Tzvi Avni's "Five Variation to Mr. K" (1983), and of Edri Machot's "Duo For Cello and Percussion", Chen Zimbalista's "Impulse I" (1991) and many others. Oron Schwartz' composition for example, was inspired by the ancient Hebrew poet Yanai as well as from the modern Israeli poet Dan Pagis. Avni belongs to the so called 'second generation' of Israeli composers. These young disciples of his belong to the 21st century. So what is the definition of modern music?

Only weeks before President Clinton is scheduled to make an historic trip to China, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet will visit the United States. The exiled leader will appeal for public support on behalf of the beleaguered Tibetan nation, which is now under Chinese occupation. During his visit, the Dalai Lama will reiterate his goal to enter into unconditional negotiations with the Chinese government and state that he is prepared to set aside full sovereignty for Tibet in exchange for self-rule. Beijing has yet to agree to enter into talks with the revered leader who has led what has proven to be the longest-running non-violent crusade of the 20th century. Living in exile since 1959, the Dalai Lama will say he hopes to make a visit to his homeland before the end of the century. The Dalai Lama's schedule in the U.S. begins Thursday evening, April 30, with remarks at Temple Emanu-El in New York City, the world's largest synagogue.

Alan G. Hevesi, National President of Bnai Zion and Comptroller of the City of New York, and Michael J. Lazar, Chairman of the Bnai Zion Foundation and Chairman of the Cambridge Companies, jointly announced today, that the Annual Award Dinner, which this year celebrates Bnai Zion's 90th Anniversary, will take place on Sunday, May 17th at 5:00 P.M., at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. As is Bnai Zion's tradition, two distinguished Jewish leaders will be honored at the dinner. Edgar Bronfman, President of the World Jewish Congress and a prime mover in the Swiss Bank negotiations, will receive the America-Israel Friendship Award. Previous honorees have included Gerald Ford, Hubert Humphrey, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Eli Weisel. The Dr. Harris J. Levine Award will be presented to Louis Weiser, President of the Council of Jewish Organizations in Civil Service, who have devoted a lifetime to the causes of the Jewish people. Among previous recipients have been Rabbi Israel Miller, Jacob Stein, Seymour D. Reich, Charlotte Jacobson, and Herbert Tenzer. Entertainment will be provided by the unique talents of Freddi Roman.

Of National and International Interest - On May 14th, 1998, Israel celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. In honor of this momentous occasion…a very special work of art is being offered to the public. Designed specifically by famous Israeli artist Michael Schwartz as a striking and powerful visual memorial to the "Old Man of Israel"; this centenary portrait of Ben-Gurion commemorates and celebrates Israel's Declaration of Independence fifty years ago. As Michael's motivation was not simply a high powered autograph hunt, but rather to show the Israeli people…particularly the youth of Israel - the high esteem which Ben-Gurion…and by association - the state of Israel…is held…we at DeWolf Fine Art are contributing $50.00 from the proceeds of each work of art to the "B'nai Brith Center in Israel" for student educational programs. One-hundred dignitaries, signed the original painting of this piece. Among these were: Chaim Herzog, Teddy Kolleck, Abba Eban, Ruth Popkin, Shlomo Goren, Yitzhak Rabin and three American presidents. Although 500 were produced, only 199 of this magnificent 54 color original signed and numbered hand pulled serigraphs are still available. Printed in Haifa on museum-quality paper, this tribute to Israel's Independence is available at DeWolf Fine Art. For information please Rhona Harrington at 1-888-800-1618 or email at

President Clinton will receive an honorary doctor of philosophy degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at the White House on Monday, April 27th, as part of the White House's official celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the State of Israel. "We confer this honorary doctorate as an expression of our deepest esteem not only for President Clinton, but for the American people. We, at the Hebrew University, like America, are strongly committed to a free exchange of ideas among people of different religious beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, and political viewpoints," said Hebrew University President Menachem Magidor. "President Clinton's aspirations and vision for a peaceful Middle East that will benefit the lives of all of its peoples, reiterate the hopes of the founders of the Hebrew University who envisioned the institution as a source of knowledge and advancement for all," Professor Magidor said, reading from the official scroll which he will present to President Clinton at the White House conferment ceremony.

The A.D.L. refuses to join the crusade to release the spy Jonathan Pollard. Recently, Chaim Kaminetzky, National President of the National Council of Young Israel, attacked Abe Foxman, A.D.L.'s National Director for his policy. "Why can he not feel Pollard's pain?", asked Kaminetzky. Well, Foxman has his reasons. One can not understand the White House's position unless there is something which we do not know.

State of Israel Bonds honored Neil D. Levin of Manhattan, New York State Superintendent of Insurance, at a luncheon that produced $10.825 million in bond purchases to strengthen Israel's economy. Participating in the tribute were event chairman Martin Minkowitz of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan; keynote speaker Gideon Patt, Israel Bonds president and CEO; and California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quacken-bush, who presented Levin with the Israel 50th Anniversary Award.

The 1998 Weizmann Women & Science Award will be presented to Dr. Jacqueline K. Barton of the California Institute of Technology. The award includes a $25,000 research grant to the scientific project of the recipient's choice. The Award is given to an outstanding woman scientist in the United States who has made a significant contribution to the field of science. The objective of the award is to enhance the visibility of women in science, and to provide role models who will motivate and encourage the next generation of young women scientists. Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Barton's research has focused on the structure and properties of our genetic material, DNA. She has designed small molecules which recognize and bind to specific DNA sites and structures and through which she can probe the chemistry of DNA. She has carried out important studies to examine the transport of electric charge through DNA. She has carried out important studies to examine the transport of electric charge through DNA, establishing reactions by which DNA can be damaged from a distance as well as how photochemical lesions in DNA can be repaired, locally or at distant sites on the DNA helix.

Jonathan L. Mechanic of Manhattan, a partner and Real Estate Department chairman at the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen, and Aby J. Rosen of Manhattan, president of the real estate development firm RFR Holding LLC, was honored by State of Israel Bond's Real Estate New Leadership Cabinet at a tribute luncheon on Monday, May 11, at noon at the Grand Hyatt New York. Cabinet chairmen William Macklowe of the Macklowe Organization and David Winoker of Winoker Realty Co. presided at the luncheon, at which Mr. Mechanic and Mr. Rosen were presented with the Builders of Freedom Award for their support of the Israel Bonds program to strengthen Israel's economy.

The Board of Directors of Sephardic House will honor Metropolitan Opera tenor Nico Castel with the Sephardic Musical heritage Award at a reception on Tuesday evening, May 19th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at The Spanish Institute, 864 Park Avenue at 68th Street. Ambassador Nuno Lorena, Consul General of Venezuela in New York, will present greetings. The evening will end with Mr. Castel's rendition of some of his favorite Ladino songs. Mr. Castel was born in Lisbon, Portugal, to a family of Orthodox Sephardic rabbis and scholars who trace their ancestry to Medieval Castille, Spain. At the age of ten he moved with his parents to Venezuela. He began musical studies at the Caracas Conservatory when he was 15 and continued them in the United States, Italy and Germany. In 1958, he won the prestigious "Joy in Singing" competition and was awarded a debut recital in New York's Town Hall. Since then, his career has spanned the fields of opera, concert, chamber and cantorial music all over the world. Besides being a principal artist at the Metropolitan Opera, where he is celebrating his 28th year. Mr. Castel also serves as its Staff Diction Coach. Nico Castel has never forgotten his Sephardic roots. He performs Ladino music in many settings and the Ladino song is closest to his heart. Many of his personal favorite melodies are included in "The Nico Castel Book of Sephardic Song."

"The Holocaust" by Jack R. Fischel is a new book by Greenwood Publishing Group Inc. (1-203-226-3571) which is geared to secondary schools and college student research. Fischel, a leading authority on the Holocaust, gives to the reader an overview of the Nazi's 'Final Solution.' The book helps the students to understand the Nazi Genocide. Fischel introduced to the reader documents, analytical essays, and annotated bibliography, as well.

See: New York Premiere for "Exile in Jerusalem" by Motti Lerner, prominent contemporary Israeli playwright. Modern classic drama on the last years of famed German/Israeli poet Else Lasker-Schuler reverberates strongly to all Jewish artists in exile. Else Lasker-Schuler is known in her lifetime as the greatest lyric poet of Germany. The play was produced in 1990 by Habima. In May 7, 1998, La Maha premiered "Exile" in New York. The stars are: Victor Atar, Tina Shepard, and Geula Jeffet-Atar. Hillel Halkin translated the play to English.

The Jewish Community of Staten Island held a State of Israel Bonds dinner on Thursday, April 30, at 7:00 p.m. at Young Israel of Staten Island, 835 Forest Hill Road. The event honored U.S. Congressman Vito J. Fossella for his many contributions to the local community. New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Israeli Ambassador Yehuda Avner were the special guest speakers. A native Staten Islander, Congressman Fosella's political career began with election to the 51st Council District in 1994. He was reelected less than seven months later in a landslide victory. His undertakings include securing funding for the seven months later in a landslide victory. His undertakings include securing funding for the first new schools built on Staten Island in a decade and proposals to cut or reduce business and commercial taxes, as well as the city's portion of sales tax on clothing. He is praised especially for introducing the first ever Landfill Closure Bill, which will close Fresh Kills landfill by 2001. Last year, Representative Fossella's many improvements on these and many other quality of life issues were ultimately recognized by this election to the House of Representatives for the 13th Congressional District.

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