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Wedding in Jerusalem: Ceremony took place on a porch in a historic building of the Ottoman rule, built in 1908 to house the Vaad (Rabbincal Council of Nachlaot).
Lovely antique clock at the bride’s home.
This holiday past. Israelis made Tu B’av into a “VALENTINE’S DAY “.Dumb
I had fun with some young people Tuesday night. Went out alone to a neighborhood restaurant bar, Chakrah in Gan Ha Atztmaot. Evening air was perfectly refreshing. Actually didn’t want to be indoors at the bar because of Corona. The place was packed. The owners squeezed many tables outdoors.
Basically only the waiters were wearing masks. I decided this was a good venue to casually ask about dating norms. The variables in my study are income and age. The restaurant is NOT KOSHER.
I brought a container of coconut water. I just try not to eat after 7 or 8 PM until 12 PM the following day.
The maitre de was perfectly ok with my drink. He took my temperature and I looked over the crowd. There were 4 guys in their 20’s sitting on high chairs next to the entrance. They looked like they had consumed a few glasses of wine.
It is the practise of Israelis to go to America for part of the year and work in the home moving industry. I think this unreported activity is not approved for visitors but they manage to make this a major source of their income.
We started to chat while I was waiting for a seat. One fellow at the table worked in a family business in America. Many also work in shopping malls in those quasi businesses that line the halls, like the ubiquitous helium balloon kiosks.
We chatted a bit further. I still didn’t have a seat. Israelis like to show off their English and knowledge of American Jewish communities. That’s usually the icebreaker.
I wanted to know about how young male/female Israelis meet their potential dates. The consensus among young Jerusalemites is, whether at bar or even on the street, the guy walks up a girl, takes her cell phone number and they basically have each others numbers, and he’ll try to reach her and actively show interest in her.
By this time the waiter brought me a chair to stay outside and the young guys and I continued to chat. The waiter brought over a glass with ice cubes. After 5 minutes, he escorted me to a table up front. I waved goodbye to the young guys in my sample. After a minute or two I was invited to join two older guys up front next to the mellow band. Their table was next to mine.
One a bit older than the other, was Marcus Gershkowitz, the owner of Anjelica Restaurant, on King David Street considered the best restaurant in Jerusalem. He invited me to try the faire.
He is a big promoter of the renamed Jerusalem soccer team with the manager Ziv Arie, at his side. I had my container of coconut water because I don’t eat after 7 or 8. They tried to tempt me with a creme Brulet concoction. Marcus was not impressed with coconut water.
Arie remarked that he and Marcus had just now in renamed the Hapoel Yerushalayim soccer team.
The photo shows some of the Saturday night demonstrators on their way to Balfour Street. The restaurant Chakra is beyond the bushes.
A little history: As you know soccer is Israel’s national sport. Each city league draws from the local communities, often very poor.
Football club Hapoel Jerusalem was founded in 1926. The team belonged to the “Histadrut”, Israel’s organization of workers unions, and represented Socialist values. In 1957, the team advanced for the first time to the top Israeli league. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the years known as the “golden era” of the team, “Hapoel” outperformed and outnumbered in spectators city rivals , Betar Jerusalem, – a team associated with the right-leaning “Revisionist” movement. The most important achievement in the history of the club was winning the Isreal State Cup in 1973. Privitization did not fare well for the team.
Since the 1980s, “Hapoel” has lost its lead to Beitar Jerusalem. The team spent the 1980s and 1990s swinging between the 1st and 2nd leagues. Eventually, it was purchased by businessman Yossi Sassi, in 1993, who appointed his friend, Victor Yona, as chairman. Since the late 1990s, the two got into various disputes and legal proceedings, and the team changed hands back and forth between the two.
After the 2006–07 season, in which the team dropped for the second time to the 3rd league, and after years of searching for someone to buy Hapoel Jerusalem, disenchanted fans, extremely dissatisfied with the management, resolved to create a company with the aim of purchasing the club. When it became evident that reaching such a deal was impossible, they decided to start an alternative team.
The group, led by journalist Uri Shedadsky and supported by then future mayor Nir Barkat, bought Apoel MaMivaserret/Abu Gosh (which was founded in 2004 by a merger of two clubs by those names and renamed it “Hapoel Katamon/Mevasseret Zion” The new name was taken from Katamon, a neighborhood of Jerusalem where Hapoel Jerusalem played from 1954 until moving to the YMCA stadium and later on to the Teddy Stadium in the early 1990s.
The first game was played October 19, 2007, to a crowd of 3,000;
Not all of Hapoel Jerusalem fans supported this move; some believed that creating Katamon was “betraying” the team. A popular slogan among the critics was “love can’t be bought for a 1,000 Shekels”, a reference to the membership price. However, the number of spectators at Katamon matches has steadily outnumbered that of Hapoel Jerusalem.
Eventually, it was decided by a vote of member-fans to end the cooperation with Hapoel Mevasseret, and instead establish a new club altogether. The advantages of this move were that the new club was untied to the management of Hapoel Mevasseret, was owned and operated by Hapoel Katamon fans alone, and since it was based in Jerusalem, could be supported by the municipality. The main disadvantage was that a newly created team must start out at ligations Gimmel, the 5th division.
The new club, named “Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem”, started playing in late September 2009 at the Hebrew University Stadium at Givat Ram, Jerusalem. The new management form consists of 3 representatives elected by the fans. Amir Gola, a team icon, returned from retirement as a former captain of Hapoel Jerusalem to be captain of the new team. Throughout the 2008/2009 season Hapoel Katamon had a steady lead, and it finished first in the league, advancing to Liga Bet. The final home-match was played to an estimated crowd of 4,000.
For the 2009–10 season, the team reinforced with numerous new players, most notably Shai Aharon, who was Hapoel Jerusalem’s captain for several years, including the 2008–09 season. the Aharon’s decision may help cement Katamon’s future as “the true Hapoel Jerusalem”.
Throughout the 2009–10 season in Liga Bet, Hapoel Katamon had a steady lead, and it finished first in the league, advancing to Liga Alef. At that season, the club had also established a youth branch and some of the youth teams managed to advance a league for their first season.
In May 2020, during the 2019-2020, the club’s Council decided to rename the club’s name to Hapoel Jerusalem, and changed the logo accordingly. On August 9, 2020 the club has been officially recreated, as Hapoel Katamon renamed to Hapoel Jerusalem.
As soon as I sat down Marcus offered me a season membership for 1000 sh, gives you a seat to two games during the season. That’s about $250. “There are 100 owners and you will be the 101st”.
Not a lot by American standard, with 33 to 36 matches. That’s about $7.00 a ticket. No tickets are sold the day of the game. Only subscribers. Really membership owned.
On Shabat? No, they don’t play on Shabat, only during the week. This makes sense because the workday could end for many at 4. the guys are itching to get out from behind a desk. They take a gym bag along and maybe still play. and then end the evening at a game and manage not to see the wife at all. Bingo.
When I mentioned that basketball was my sport, they both groaned. Ziv, age 49 admitted that until 6 years ago he played soccer semi/pro including a 6 hour regimen. Remember, soccer players run up and down the court numerous times. 43 is beyond the age of a football, baseball or basketball player.
The conversation got around to keeping fit. Ziv was relatively trim. He admitted to gaining a few kilos since joining management. And by 62 a guy who was trim in the army can be obese, just by gaining a kilo a year. This was discussed over eating pastry.
He declared, now I don’t exercise, I did it for 6 hours a day my whole life until a few years ago. Now is where the humour comes in. I revealed that I was trying to understand the norms of Israeli dating.
I asked my question, when they were single did they chase after a woman that they were interested in? Call them, etc. They had some funny answers. Both said that they never chased after a women. THE WOMEN chased after them, including their wives. I am not surprised because I heard this from a man recently, twice divorced. And Ziv was very proud of his inclination.
Tziv Arie went on to reveal how this attitude impacts on his philosophy of life. He said, “The young man works hard, he comes home, he has no energy to chase a woman. He wants to sit down on the sofa and not move, be served food and drink ( not beer), and watch soccer. He said that he never gets up even to play with his little kids.” He seems to run his home to his liking.
I am reminded of my French teacher, Miss Brenner, in 8th grade, who never rose from her seat. She looked straight ahead and gave oral instruction to a roomful of quivering adolescents. Her method was to throw out a question, and before one could finish a sentence she was on to the next victim.
The next day, I needed to purchase protective glasses. I asked David the owner of one of the large hardware stores on Agrippas Street, the same question. I know David for 12 years, and he has helped numerous times. He said they were lying. If the lady is worth it a man would do everything, necessary to win her over. And the man is afraid to show emotions. He has a reputation to keep as a strong, independent guy.
So what’s the takeaway?
I think the urge to chase a woman diminishes with age, so much so that by the time a man reaches 60 or 70 he is ready to hang up his cleats if he not already done so 40 years before. And if he didn’t chase a woman as a youngster then he’s not going to suddenly start.
If the man is successful and single a long time another factor kicks in.
He asks himself, “If I show interest and emotional investment I’ll have to put out money to court the lady. But if the woman chases me she can’t have expectations that I’ll be showering her with gifts.” For the independent woman, if she regards herself as the prize, she may be just that, left alone at 31 on the shelf.
It ain’t simple. To be continued.