Bezalel Introduces Ido Flawlessly

The acting consul general of Israel says his name, Ido Aharoni, continues to give him grief. People continue to mispronounce it. Sometimes they say Ida. “I can live with that,” he says.

However a woman at a Long Island event once said, “Please welcome Ido a Horny,” and that wasn’t flattering.

At the annual dinner of Friends of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design on Jan. 27 at Trump Soho, chairman Ilan Kaufthal introduced the consul general flawlessly, and that made him relax.

Kaufthal reported that Bezalel has outgrown its old campus on Mount Scopus. He said the building will be sold to iCare4Autism, International Center for Autism Research and Education. Bezalel, with 2,000 students and a faculty of 400, will relocate to the Russian Compound.

“We will rejuvenate downtown Jerusalem with a new school that will be completed in three years,” Kaufthal said. “The sale of the old building, plus government grants, will bring us $55 million.”

That was welcome news to Adi Nes, a 1992 graduate of the school’s photography department, supporter Harvey Krueger, iCare4Autism president Joshua Weinstein, and Bezalel president Arnon Zuckerman, and Laura Murlender, an Argentine artist who graduated from the fine arts department of Bezalel and now works in New York.

Aharoni lauded Bezalel as the first educational institution in Palestine when it was founded in 1906.

“When we think of security,” he said, “we think of military might. That’s a mistake. There’s a new narrative we have to tell—the degree of creativity and innovation that exists in Israel.

“That’s a great story that Israel has to tell, which is about the creative spirit of our people. No institution represents this better than Bezalel.”

Tim Boxer is editor of

About the Author
Tim Boxer is a former New York Post columnist, and is longtime columnist for the New York Jewish Week. He is also editor of, is the author of Jewish Celebrity Hall of Fame, interviews of Hollywood stars about their Jewish roots.