Friday, December 03, 2010


Not sure how funny this one is, but it made me smile. I'm about to cross Ramban Street at Kikar Paris (thanks for the jelly doughnut, Chabad of Rechavia!) when I hear to girls talking English next to me:

"I think we turn here."

"No, this is Ramban."

I'm about to offer help when one turns to me: "S'licha..."

Well, at least I can pass for an Israeli physically, at least to foreigners. In English: "Yes?"

"Where's Keren Kayemet?"

"Up that way, to the left," pointing behind us.

"Whoops! OK, I'm embarrassed."

They turn around and head up. I start wondering if, in fact, they wanted Keren HaYesod, which is in front of us. Sure enough, a few seconds later, they're back.

Me: "You're sure you didn't want Keren HaYesod?"

"OK, we're lost. She said it's by a bank...King George becomes it?"

"Yep, that's Keren HaYesod. Right ahead."

They thank me and head off. Too bad I didn't have a chance to tell them the ridiculous historical reason why there are two easily-confused streets so close to each other- it may have made them (and me) feel better. (In short, the Keren HaYesod [United Israel Appeal, in charge of foreign fundraising] was jealous that the Keren Kayemet [Jewish National Fund, in charge of land buying] had a street named after it, and by the building which they share. So they cut off the end of King George and named it after them. Or so the story goes.)


Halcyon said...

Hope you are having a lovely Chanukah!

DF said...

I think the fire (in addition to the terrible) loss of life destroyed a lot of forest, or so I understand. Keren Kayemet has morphed in recent decades into a forest planting and land beautification program, no? They will have a lot of work to do now. Or will the razed areas be turned into residential apartments?