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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ramat Gan’

Suspended Sentence for Man Who Dumped Drink on Zoabi’s Head

Monday, January 11th, 2016

A man who poured his drink on the head of Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi was handed a suspended sentence of four months in jail on Sunday.

Artemi Kazrov, 28, was also ordered to perform 180 hours of community service.

In his decision at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, Judge Tzachi Uziel wrote, “An attack on an elected official because of her views demands a punitive response.

“Political or ideological violence, and even more so, physical violence toward an elected official because of his views and the fulfillment of his [public] duties represents a challenge to the rule of democracy.”

Two weeks before Knesset elections last March, Kazrov and a group of other activists attended a lecture by Zoabi on women’s rights at the Tel Aviv College of Law and Business.

From the start, their group surrounded the stage and began heckling the lawmaker, who herself has harassed numerous others.

Zoabi supporters responded in kind; one unfolded a scarf depicting the flag of the Palestinian Authority and waved it.

At that point, Hazrov climbed on to a table, grabbed a full beverage bottle and poured it over the Knesset member’s head.

He was immediately arrested and taken into custody. The following day he was indicted on charges of assault and misconduct in a public forum. Kazrov pleaded guilty and was convicted on the charges.

But the suspended sentence he received may have been in response to the slap on the wrist received by the Knesset member herself.

Zoabi was indicted last Thursday on a charge of “disgracing a public servant”

as the result of a plea bargain struck last year with outgoing Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

In exchange for pleading guilty, the lawmaker will not be charged with the more serious crime of incitement to racism and making threats, both of which she could easily have been charged with numerous times.

But in particular, Weinstein announced last year he was determined this time to actually charge her with the crimes after she called a contingent of Israeli Arab security personnel “traitors” and urged a mob of demonstrators to spit in their faces.

The incident took place at a protest in front of the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court in July 2014.

Zoabi also implied threats to the officers who were providing security at the event, and continued to incite the crowd over Israeli Arabs who participate in Israeli society. She blithely ignored the fact that she herself does the same and is paid more than generously for the privilege.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Next Year in Ramat Gan’ for World Diamond Presidents

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

While some parts of the country are wrestling with terror, life in the business world is moving forward as usual. The Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan is set to become the venue for next year’s world-class conference of international glitter and bling.

The 2015 meeting of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses Presidents is to be held in the Tel Aviv suburb, also home to the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE), it was announced Wednesday.

IDE President Shmuel Schnitzer made the statement at the conclusion of yesterday’s 36th World Diamond Congress. Plans to build a new diamond manufacturing complex near the Israel Diamond Exchange were also announced at the gathering.

Hana Levi Julian

My Park

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

I grew up a few blocks from the Ramat Gan National Park, a man made urban park, which isn’t really national, with a nice, little man made lake. It’s only 0.7 square miles, but when I was growing up it was plenty.

Googlemaps screen shot

Googlemaps screen shot

On summer afternoons, my dad would come home early from work and we’d drive over, rent a boat (you had to leave your watch as deposit in the rental booth, to make sure you didn’t steal your boat, which occasionally made it difficult to come back on time).

They made the artificial lake in 1959, and dad and I were regulars there. They also built a restaurant in the middle of the lake (see top picture), which I don’t think ever actually operated. I could be wrong. Throughout my childhood it was just this cement shell you’d circle with your rowboat.

I suppose some ideas need to be thought through better. But the park continues to be a source of safe fun for the locals. It’s gotten more Haredi in recent years, but it’s still as happy as it used to be, I think. I don’t go there much these days, since we live in Netanya. I don’t know if they still rent boats. I should take my daughter one day and check it out.

The local ducks and the cats are very happy.

ducks in the park

Yori Yanover

Special Baby Born in Ramat Gan

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Mazel Tov is in order for a special new mother in Ramat Gan.

A rare Brazilian tapir, “Pessiflora”, has given birth to a son at the Ramat Gan Safari Park.

Father, Meir, has been moved to a separate enclosure until he overcomes his jealousy for the new arrival.

The unnamed baby was born after a 13-month pregnancy and is enjoying the attention of his mother and older sister, Papaya.

He was born with white stripes which will fade as he matures.

Malkah Fleisher

Ramat Gan, Home of Happy Hippos

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The Ramat Gan Safari hippo lake has been home for many years to a large herd of animals and many birds. Over time, the water level in the lake dropped and its floor became very muddy and full of hippo droppings.

Those can really add up: some parts of the lake got as shallow as half a meter where it was once three meters deep.

Last year, Safari General Manager Yehuda Bar decided that it was time to deepen the lake. It took a bulldozer a few days to dig out and remove huge amounts of mud, which were transferred to the south side of the African Park. During this time, the hippos remained in a smaller area of the lake where there was enough water

Now that the lake floor has been deepened and filled with fresh water, the hippos could go back to wallow in it.

Jewish Press Staff

New Cats

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

The trio of lion brothers Danny, Michael and Jacob at the Ramat Gan safari. March 21, 2007.

The Zoological Center Tel Aviv – Ramat Gan or “Safari” occupies 250 acres of nature in the heart of a densely populated urban area in Israel: “Africa in the heart of Israel.”

The Safari has the largest animal collection in the Middle East and is unique in the world because of the large herds of mixed species of African animals that roam the spacious African Park. The African Park and the zoo are home to 1,600 animals of different species, amongst them 68 species of mammals, 130 species of fowl, and 25 species of reptiles.

Jewish Press Staff

Bnei Brak: A City Worth Building For

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

   “If I want to just be a good mayor, I could fix the roads and pick up the garbage,” says Yakov Asher, the new mayor of Bnei Brak, Israel, in an exclusive interview at the editorial offices of The Jewish Press. “But there’s so much more we can do.”

 

   If Asher sounds like he’s not your typical – or stereotypical – haredi mayor, his several-month record as mayor, as well as his record as deputy mayor, confirms that impression. When Asher came into office last December after 20 years of working in Bnei Brak’s municipal government, he inherited a 270 million shekel deficit. He immediately struck a deal with the Israeli government. They agreed to give Bnei Brak 165 million shekel (part loan and part grant), and he committed to erasing the deficit by the end of 2009. Seven months into his term, he’s well on his way to fulfilling that promise.

 

   Modern Bnei Brak was founded as an agricultural settlement in 1924 by Rabbi Yitzchok Gerstenkorn and a group of Polish chassidim. Due to a lack of land, many of its founders turned to other occupations, and the village began to develop an urban character. It lies in the Gush Dan district of which Tel Aviv is the largest city, between Ramat Gan and Petach Tikvah.

 

   At the time of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Bnei Brak’s population stood at some 8,000. By 1950, it received city status, and its population grew in leaps and bounds, buildings sprouting up from all sides where the orange orchards had once been located. Immigrants from Europe and the Middle East poured in and new neighborhoods were established. Just 10 years after the establishment of the state, the population had swelled to some 40,000 Jews.

 

   Currently, Bnei Brak’s population of about 160,000 gives it the largest population density of any city in Israel. Bnei Brak is renowned as the largest haredi Jewish center in the world and is famed for its many yeshivas and chassidic communities. The famous Chazon Ish settled in Bnei Brak, and many credit its rapid increase into an important religious city, in large measure, to him.

 

   Recently, Asher visited the U.S. to publicize a new vision for Bnei Brak’s future – development that he hopes will help make the city financially independent as well as a more inviting place for local residents to spend their leisure time. The plans call for several office towers in the northern part of the city, bordering and overlapping the neighboring city of Ramat Gan. Two of these towers are already standing (one of them is in Bnei Brak and the other is in Ramat Gan) and the mayor hopes to start the building on several more soon.

 

   The office towers would greatly aid Bnei Brak by bringing in millions of dollars each year in tax revenue. Last year alone, the Bnei Brak tower, dubbed Besser One after the development company that built it, brought in $8 million. Asher estimates that the tower has about 200 companies in its 32 stories.

 

 

 

Mayor Yakov Asher showing a picture of the development plans for Bnei Brak

 

 

   The second part of the mayor’s plan is to add more green space to Bnei Brak, specifically with a large park that will include a man-made lake, also in the northern section of the city. As Asher put it, many residents would feel more comfortable spending their family leisure time among Israelis who are modestly dressed and share the same cultural sensitivities. Of course, on its own, parks and green spaces are important for a city whose population is so heavily skewed towards the young. Out of a total population of 160,000, there are 100,000 children and young adults, between the ages of 0-22.

 

   However, the economic climate has made it very difficult for Asher to get Besser or any other development company to commit to building more towers. So the mayor has set up a development fund. Asher is looking for philanthropists who would like to join this cause. He also wants “to interest Americans who may be interested in locating their Israel-based operations to consider the new office towers in Bnei Brak.”

 

   From his point of view and that of the city’s other leaders of the past 15 years, this is the fulfillment of an urban dream – the development of a modern industrial zone for the city which, he says, will free it of its dependence on grants of millions of shekels from the Interior Ministry. But financial independence is not Asher’s only goal; he hopes this development will turn Bnei Brak into a city that will enjoy a considerable addition to its municipal budget, and as a corollary, a rise in the standard of living in the city.

 

   “If this plan is put into operation, we will become super-independent,” he says. “There are two stages here: an industrial zone in the north [a plan that has already been approved] will lead us to economic independence in the near future. The new plan will lead us to independence plus. We wish to run our lives and not be managed by someone else, and for that we have to have jobs. It’s not possible that what is good for Ramat Gan, the stock exchange compound, will not be good for Bnei Brak, too. Our time has come.”

 

   The area in question is located next to the Ayalon mall and constitutes the last large reserve of land in the city. It is bordered by the Yarkon River in the north (on the other side are the Tel Aviv neighborhoods of Kiryat Atidim and Ramat Hahayal), Sheshet Hayamim Street (which becomes Em Hamoshavot Road east of that) to the south, Mivtza Kadesh Street to the west, and Route No. 4 on the eastern side.

 

   The compound encompasses an area of some 350 acres, part of which currently houses factories, offices and businesses. This large tract allows for massive construction – up to 16 million square feet, most of it in high-rise towers of 15 to 30 stories, which will be used for commerce, offices, services and high-tech industry. Some 1.6 million square feet will be earmarked for public buildings. The high-rise construction will be graded nearby the park, where buildings will not exceed five stories.

 

   One of the jewels in the plan is the park that will stretch across the compound’s entire northern area, close to the Yarkon River. “It was clear that the development of the Yarkon park and its bank would be one of the plan’s focal points,” says architect Eli Furst, from the urban planning firm that drew up the plan. The residents of Bnei Brak are desperately in need of open spaces, Furst says, and the park will be accessible “through a system of pedestrian paths that will join the city of Bnei Brak with the other side of the Yarkon above Sheshet Hayamim Road and will end at the piazzas, from where pedestrians will once again pass through green routes to the Yarkon. These are indirect and safe traffic routes.”

 

   According to Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group, an American public relations firm, the mayor’s visit was important in establishing the goals of his Development Fund for Bnei Brak.

 

   For more information on the fund, please contact Ezra Friedlander at 718-436-5555 x101 or via e-mail at BneiBrak@FriedlandergroupPR.com 

Shlomo Greenwald

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles//2009/08/12/

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