The gracious hospitality of the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Croatia, Samuel Schlesinger, at his elegant Savyon residence, was a fitting background to a diplomatic cultural evening of friends, cocktails and music on Saturday evening. The motivation and rationale behind the very pleasant evening was to honor a close friend of the Consul, Mr. Zvi Rav-Ner. He has been a kingpin at Israel’s Foreign Ministry for many years and is now Head of the Eurasia Division at the Ministry.

 

Guests had the opportunity to greet and chat while enjoying a buffet of snacks and an open bar. In the background the piano expertise of Faina and Michael Burshtein entertained.

 

In a short welcome address, Mr. Schlesinger (a successful entrepreneur in his own right) amused the guests by revealing how he too had applied to be accepted at the Foreign Ministry: while Zvi Rav-Ner has had a glittering career there, he himself has “only” had a business and diplomatic career. Mr. Rav-Ner responded, in a telling talk on his background as a child in Poland, his family’s immigration to, and successful acclimatization in, Israel, and his career at the Foreign Ministry.

 

The main musical program began with three charming pieces by musician and singer Gal Klein. Her expertise is South American music, beautifully rendered and to much applause. This was followed by a more focused piano duet by the Burshteins, playing classical excerpts from Bartók, Dvořák, Brahms and Rachmaninov, again, to warm applause.

 

This was a somewhat intimate meeting of the diplomatic corps. Among the guests were Ambassadors Alenka Suhadolnik of Slovenia, Croatian Ambassador Pjer Šimunovićand Pajo Avirovikj of Macedonia; Prof. Noah Halperin, Chairman of the National Association of Journalists; former Ministers Rafi Eitan and Avigdor Kahalani; advocate Menachem Miko, radio personality and author of children’s books Sima Lahat, and many others.

 

Mr. Schlesinger has a fine reputation for his musical soirées, sometimes celebrating events, sometimes honoring others and often publicizing worthwhile charities or social welfare benefits. An invitation to his home is always a welcome indication of an enjoyable evening.

 

 Photo Silvia Golan