Jerusalem’s Emek Refaim is haunted by Christian millenarians, North African immigrants, British polo players – even the grand mufti. Today, you’re more likely to find a yeshiva boy or yuppie
Among visitors from the Old Country, Emek Refaim in the German Colony is the second-best known street in Jerusalem after Ben-Yehuda. The latter, where you buy mezuzahs and gorge on falafel, is named for a fabled fanatic who helped revive the Hebrew language. Emek Refaim, a three-minute walk from my house, goes back to the Hebrew Bible, and means either “Valley of the Giants” or “Valley of the Ghosts.” According to the First Book of Chronicles, David fought the Philistines here. I count them, too, as neighbors.
Bad art or bad taste?
Breaking an unwritten Israeli taboo that discourages humor in the depiction of Holocaust images, the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem this week exhibited the works of a student who presents Adolf Hitler as an icon to be laughed at.
Nir Avigad’s art installation, arranged on a large board on a wall of the school, features the face of the Third Reich dictator in various uncomplimentary or counterintuitive settings and themes — as a dog, as the face on a Russian babushka doll, as a bearded Theodor Herzl.
Jerusalem — A visitor handed Teddy Kollek a book to autograph several years ago. Kollek, sitting behind his desk in the office of The Jerusalem Foundation, where he worked as international chairman after losing a race for re-election as the city’s mayor in 1993, looked at the cover — the book, distributed by the foundation, was a collection of writings and photographs from his career.
“Where did you get this?” Kollek asked.An assistant said she had given it to the visitor.