Birthright Israel announced as the winner of The Jerusalem Unity Prize 

In Addition to Birthright Israel, other winners include The Jewish Unity Project in Boca Raton, Florida, Kululam, Runners Without Borders, and TEC Center

Birthright Israel was announced as one of 2018’s recipients of the Jerusalem Unity Prize, chosen from among hundreds of candidates. 

For the first time in the history of the award and in honor of the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Birthright Israel for their significant work and contribution to the connection between Israel and world Jewry.

Gidi Mark, Birthright Israel CEO: "We are deeply honored to receive this lifetime achievement award from such an inspiring and important initiative. Over the past 18 years, we have welcomed more than 600,000 participants in Israel in order to strengthen their Jewish identity as well as their connection to the Jewish state. The interaction among these participants, representing a variety of opinions and backgrounds, has cultivated hundreds of thousands of different personal longstanding connections and we are very proud of their impact on the Jewish people’s unity."

The Jerusalem Unity Prize is an initiative of the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, the Ifrach, Shaer and Fraenkel families, Israel’s Ministry of Social Equality, Israel’s Ministry of Education and the Gesher Organization. In the summer of 2014, Jews the world over were devastated to learn that Gilad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Ifrach, were kidnapped and murdered, but amidst all the tragedy and sorrow, so much good emerged. Israeli society and world Jewry united to create a true atmosphere of solidarity. By awarding this unique prize, the families of the three boys seek to illuminate the value of unity.

The prize celebrates organizations in Israel and throughout the world that contribute to the unity of Israeli society and the Jewish people and inspire similar projects and activities among others. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Jerusalem Unity Prize will be awarded in memory of the boys as part of Global Jewish Unity Day.

In addition to the Lifetime achievement award introduced this year, the prize also includes local, national and international categories.  This year’s financial reward of 150,000 shekels for the prizewinners will be divided between the recipients: Birthright Israel, Kululam, Runners Without Borders, TEC Center and The Jewish Unity Project in Boca Raton, Florida.

The winners of this year’s prize were chosen by the nominating committee: The Chairman of the Prize Committee, Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Nir Barkat, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Benny Gantz, Olympic medalist  Yarden Jerbi, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Dr. Danny Tropper, former Minister Prof. Yuli Tamir, Chairman of the Lautman Foundation Noam Lautman, Rabbi Yitzhak David Grossman, singer Kobi Oz, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, Amal As'ad and the Israch, Shaer and Franekle families.

Prize committee Member, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Benny Gantz: "One of the most difficult moments of my position as  IDF Chief of Staff was when I received the devastating news about the bodies of the three boys being found. The boys’ families turned their personal disaster into a source of national strength - the Jerusalem Unity Prize was born out of this great tragedy. Our country’s defense challenges are numerous; the external threats are constantly changing and will continue challenging us. The ability to stand together in times of crisis is crucial and in the face of these challenges, the most vital thing for Israel's resilience is our unity, which we should all promote each and every day."

The prizes will be awarded at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem as part of the fourth annual "Global Jewish Unity Day" to take place on June 6th, 2018 in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat, members of the prize committee and the families of the three boys.






Shaare Zedek Medical Center officially named the hospital’s downtown campus, The Eduardo and Jovita Cojab Building. The building has been a Jerusalem landmark for close to one and a half centuries and was part of the original structure of the Bikur Cholim Hospital which became part of Shaare Zedek in 2012. 

The building's unique Ottoman Era architecture is defined by archways, high ceilings and external components and is located in the heart of the Holy City’s downtown commercial zone.  Many thousands of Jerusalemites were born there – including Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Places, who attended the dedication ceremony and spoke of his emotional connection with this special building.

Today, the building continues to house a very active maternity department where over 6,000 babies were born this past year, in addition to a cardiology department and numerous outpatient services.



Eduardo and Jovita attended the ceremony along with their four children and their spouses (two sons and two daughters) as well as several friends. Shaare Zedek’s Director General, Professor Jonathan Halevy said at the ceremony, “You truly couldn’t choose a more appropriate project to demonstrate your commitment to the future of our city and nation than by naming this building which actively brings new lives into this world…Through your support, we serve as partners in a remarkable mitzvah of providing advanced and compassionate care.”



Mr. Jacobo Cojab, the son of Eduardo and Jovita, spoke at the ceremony and described the naming as a real zechut (merit) that will associate his family’s name with a structure that each and every day symbolizes new life for Jerusalem and Israel.

Chacham Shalom Cohen of the Shas Council of Torah Sages, and Rabbi Avraham Tobal of the Monte Sinai Community in Mexico attended the dedication as well.

Special thanks to Mrs. Carol Broussi de Rubin, the Shaare Zedek Medical Center representative in Mexico.


 Facebook Shaare Zedek Medical Center Jerusalem / המרכז הרפואי שערי צדק


Photos by Silvia G Golan 








Avner Shalev presenting the "Kolchem Shamati" anthology to IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot

 On 9 April, in the week leading up to Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018, a daylong seminar was held at Yad Vashem for the IDF General Staff Forum, headed by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen Gadi Eizenkot. During the seminar, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev presented the Chief-of-Staff with Kolchem Shamati (I Heard Your Voice), a special anthology to be used in discussions between commanders and their soldiers on the topic of Holocaust remembrance. The anthology was initiated by the IDF's Education and Youth Corps in cooperation with Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies.

Kolchem Shamati includes a range of texts and songs that enable a dialogue centered on ethics and values, and raise relevant questions for IDF soldiers today, such as: What memory is engraved in your mind? Where did you first encounter the story of the Holocaust? Which of the texts in the anthology touch you directly? And how do these voices echo into the future?

Kolchem Shamati enables the participants to listen to the voices and examine the words of both victims and survivors. This unique anthology presents texts written in the midst of the Holocaust – entreaties to remember, the destruction, the human spirit, the return to life, and appeals to the generations to come – writings that open a window to understanding how Jews experienced and understood the events at the time, when they did not know what the future held for them. The texts are combined with musical performances (accessible by scanning a QR code included in the anthology) of poems written by famous authors such as C.N. Bialik, Hannah Szenes and Leonard Cohen, which accompany the different topics of discourse. Listening to the music and reading the texts in groups creates a connection between the participants, enabling a meaningful dialogue on Holocaust memory.

"In recent years we have witnessed a welcome process in which many sections of Israeli society, including the IDF, are seeking to discover their own involvement in designing Holocaust memory," said Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. "Kolchem Shamaticontains a fabric of voices, combining both written sources and Holocaust art with the legacy of the victims and the survivors. When participants touch the story of the individual during the Holocaust, it is possible to create a connection to the past from which we can fill our present and future with content and meaning."

"The Passover Haggada is based on the fundamental Jewish value 'vehigadta levnincha (and you should tell your child),'" explains IDF Chief Education Officer Brig. Gen. Yehuda (Zvika) Fairaizen. "The responsibility for transmitting the information is physical, from parent to child, and instigates a process of building memory that is seared in both the private and collective consciousness. Kolchem Shamati enables our officers and soldiers to discuss and internalize these eternal Jewish values that survived the Holocaust and were central to the rebirth of the Jewish State of Israel."


Photo : provided by YadVashem





Prime Minister Netanyahu and Honduran President Hernández are expected to talk in the near future.

The State of Israel welcomes the decision of the Honduran Congress to support the transfer of the Honduran embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The decision was passed by a huge majority of Congress.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Honduran President Hernández are expected to talk in the near future.









Crypto experts to discuss the future of blockchain in Israel on March 28 at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Israel 

On March 28, Tel Aviv will host Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Israel, a large conference dedicated to blockchain, cryptocurrencies and ICO. Speakers will discuss the future of the crypto industry, and blockchain companies will present their new developments.

Why Israel?

Blockchain community said that Israel is the startup nation. The country started to develop blockchain in 2015, and a year later, according to the audit company Deloitte, there were about 500 fintech startups.
In addition, according to the Bloomberg 2017 Innovation Index report, the economy of Israel is among the Top 10 most innovative world economies. It is not surprising, since the
country allocates 4.25% of annual GDP to research and development. 

Such a development of fintech is facilitated by the Israeli authorities. The country has a state incubator supporting startups. And Investment Law allows foreign companies to
reduce the rate of tax deductions to 10%, which makes the state attractive for foreign entrepreneurs. In addition, the Israeli Venture Capital Industry ranked 5th in the world for
venture capital availability.

Israel is also one of the countries where cryptocurrencies have no defined legal status, but are still subject to taxation. Israel Tax Authorities issued a statement saying that any
business connected with cryptocurrency should pay taxes on profits. Thus, cryptocurrencies in Israel are in fact included into the legal field. In addition, the authorities
have intentions to protect the interests of investors and entrepreneurs by controlling the ICO. To do so, the national securities regulator ISA has created a special committee
aiming at finding out whether the securities legislation is suitable for ICO regulation. 

Activities and participants 

Guests of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Israel are entrepreneurs, developers, investors, founders of blockchain startups, lawmakers, marketers, miners, traders, lawyers
and crypto enthusiasts.

The event will be held in the format of ‘conference+demozone’. The conference discussions will focus on the blockchain development in 2018. Being top experts, the
speakers will share their experience of integrating blockchain into business, talk about the regulation of cryptocurrencies and tokens in Israel and abroad, as well as advise in which startups it is better to invest.
The demozone will bring together companies of the crypto industry from around the world, demonstrating their achievements and developments, as well as presenting their services.

Event organizer

The event is organized by the international company Smile-Expo, which has been carrying out events from the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference network since 2014. Currently, its
portfolio includes 16 countries. And Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Moscow, held in November 2017, was the largest one in the CIS according to the Analytical Center under the Government of the Russian Federation.

Follow the news of the event and the program updates on the official website of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Israel.