Tel Aviv Diary - June 15-19,2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

June 15, 2011

Because Shusha is becoming incontinent, we know every morning we will find a surprise on the newspapers we've spread for her. Today she shat on a photo of the Mavi Marmara. "Good idea," said Ezi. "Just stop it before it leaves the shore. A hole here, a poop there." Agressive passivity demands agressive passivity. I don't really know that Shusha is a good policy maker model, but I really think that if she could talk she would prefer discussion to shitting as a means of communication.

On the same subject HaAretz today is written by real writers in honor of book week. They do seem to have some wise alternative ways of looking at things.

The only poet, Ronny Sommek, got to do the weather.

June 16, 2011

Yedid, the organization for community empowerment that has helped so many people in Israel, has been forced to close 7 centers today . No money from donors means that no money can be generated. You know that old adage about if you give someone a fish he can feed his family for the day but if you teach them how to fish they can feed the family forever - well that's one of the things Yedid tries to do. But without basic funding to provide a framework for volunteers, it can't do anything. Of all the places that I want to volunteer when I get to be a bit more free, Yedid seems like the most empowering.

June 17, 2011

As the government releases itself from social responsibility, privatizing everything and diminishing the strength of the remaining institutions, charity organizations are formed to take up the slack. This was working okay until the 2008 economic crisis and Madoff from which donors never recovered, or if they recovered, forgot. Even though only a million shekel would have saved the 7 chapters of Yedid in the periphery, they couldn't scrape it together.

I know a few lawyers who were donating their services but now have no place to do it!

June 17, 2011

There is a good review of a series on TV I've begun watching - it's about Israeli fashion and it's here. The only thing that's missing - in the review and in the series - is one major point. Israeli haute couture, what there is of it, was formed by foreigners, new immigrants. Israelis who feel at home want to wear the home-comfy look in the streets because they want to feel at home there. My first encounter with Israeli leaders was in the grocery next door. Over 30 years ago I went down to the grocery in the morning before breakfast to get some fresh rolls and there they were in their slippers, buying fresh rolls for their kids for school. People like Motta Gur were daily customers, but Rabin was there once or twice as well - in slippers and t-shirt I believe.

It's actually a part of Tel Aviv that I love, the feeling that the street is your living room, and the cafe is your kitchen, that you don't have to put on a show for anyone.

June 18, 2011

A little street off of Arlozorov, just near Dizengoff. Jachnoon and Malawach and Schoog and a hard boiled egg. It just doesn't get better then that.

June 19, 2011

If you've never heard of the Daniel Rowing Centerit's worth looking into.

The idea of scholarships to the nadicapped olympics, dealing with underpreviegef children

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