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Over 70,000 people took part in the “Science Games at the President’s Sukkah” online broadcast on social media and apps

The tradition of the President's Sukkah at Beit HaNasi, open to visitors during the Sukkot holiday, was continued despite the restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic, when President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin opened his sukkah to visitors this morning for the seventh and last time. This year’s sukkah was online, with the title of “Science Games at the President’s Sukkah” and held in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Technology and Minister Yizhar Shai this morning, Tuesday 6 October 2020 / 18 Tishrei.

The broadcast was anchored by Dudu Erez and Shira Levi, with the participation of special guests from the world of science, space and technology, including Nobel Prize laureates, sicentists and researchers, the members of the Israeli National Youth Robotics Team, members of the Horizon community, pupils from TELEM (students build satellites) and singer Agam Buhbut performed during the broadcast. Among the activities, young viewers took part in cracking scientific codes, home experiments in science, space and technology and trivia quizzes during the broadcast via a dedicated website, video calls, Zoom and social media platforms.

“I am so happy that you are my Ushpizim, guests in my Sukkah, despite the fact that you are visiting from afar, in line with the instructions,” said the president to the participants during the broadcast.

He added, ““We pray ‘and cover us with your sukkah of peace, over all Israel and Jerusalem’.  Indeed, at this time, a covering of peace is a particularly important blessing.  Only when we are together, supporting each other, can we overcome challenges like the one the virus presents. That is something we are learning as a people in these complex times. But our Sukkah, here at Beit HaNasi is not just a covering of peace, it is one of science. Those who visit our sukkah will enjoy particularly exciting activities and experiences! It is true that at Sukkot, and over the last few weeks in general, you haven’t been going to school, but it is always fun to learn new things, to expand your knowledge and perhaps even to give us interesting new ideas about how to build a sukkah or to celebrate this beautiful festival in an scientific and unique way.”

Minister of Science and Technology Yizhar Shai thanked the president for his collaboration and said, “We are living through challenging times when we cannot perform the mitzvot of the festival by being hosted in friends’ and family’s sukkot. The virus may require us to socially distance, but the wonders of technology allow us to continue the tradition and come together for a shared celebration at the house of the people, Beit HaNasi. It is only appropriate that when we are dealing with an invisible, cross-border threat, we make Israeli science and scientists who are at the forefront of fighting the virus, the focus of our festivities. It is a great honor for the Ministry of Science and Technology and for me to be the president’s guests and we would be delighted if all Israel joins us on Tuesday for a celebration of scientific and technological inspiration.”

For further activities, available until the end of Sukkot, please visit: www.sukkot-president-science.co.il

The broadcast is available on Beit HaNasi’s Facebook and YouTube channels.



Photo courtesy of Beit HaNasi









ECOWEEK ONLINE CHALLENGE : The 15 Year Anniversary Edition  October 2 – 4, 2020

 NGO ECOWEEK is celebrating its 15-year anniversary

with an online challenge that will inspire, challenge and innovate - 

with lectures, design workshops and a virtual exhibition!


With activity in 17 countries, and a network in 56 countries

ECOWEEK brings together young professionals for innovation and sustainable design,

green buildings, Placemaking, Emergency + Social Architecture, and Circular Economy. Join us!


This October ECOWEEK holds its second online event as a response to COVID-19 travel restrictions and the need to intensify environmental awareness and sustainable practices towards the European 2030 targets to avert the climate crisis.

With keynote speaker award-winning French architect Nicola Delon (Encore Heureux Architectes), and 15 experts from 16 countries experts on policy, design, circular economy, biodiversity and more - organized in part with the European network of cultural institutes EUNIC-Tel Aviv. With 48-hour design workshops and a unique virtual exhibition that will inspire with ideas generated in 200 ECOWEEK design workshops in 17 countries.This may be one of the most exciting, engaging and inspiring ECOWEEK events!


ECOWEEK is proud to host architect Maria Carmela Frate focusing her work on planning and managing architectural heritage and performing didactic work at the Workshop of History of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Perugia, Italy. Frate is the author of many publications, and is a member in European projects under Horizon 2020 such as BIMMOIS.

Maria Carmela Frate’s lecture titled ‘The Paradigm of Sustainability in buildings’ will take place on Friday 2 October at 16:00 (UTC/GMT+3). The lecture will be livestreamed online. The lecture is free admission. Registration required at http://ecoweek.online/


ECOWEEK is a non-profit organization, established in 2005 by architect and social entrepreneur Elias Messinas, with the passion to change peoples’ habits and the mission to raise environmental awareness and to promote sustainability. Based in Greece and Israel, for 15 years ECOWEEK has been engaging, training and empowering more than 4000 students and professionals from 56 countries with inspiring speakers and challenging design workshops. ECOWEEK has become for many young professionals a unique experience and a turning point to their growth and career. 

Whether in virtual or physical platforms, at ECOWEEK students design and implement innovative ideas and develop their thinking in sustainability. Many ideas are implemented in cities around the world. Together we will continue to make an impact! Join us for this special ECOWEEK 15-year anniversary challenge!

ECOWEEK Organizing Team: Elias Messinas, Despoina Kouinoglou, Pavlos Symianakis, Sofia Passia, Vicky Panagiotidou, Eleni Mantika, Nafsica Mouti, Margarita Kyanidou, Ina Patsali, and Theodora Passia.


ECOWEEK 2020 Website & Registration : http://ecoweek.online/

Contact : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 







The fortress was built in a strategic location from which it is possible to watch the main road that went along the Guvrin river – a road connecting the coastal plain to the Judea plains


A Canaanite fortress from the middle of the 12 century B.C – The days of the biblical judges, was found by Israel Antiquities Authority and teenage volunteers in an excavation close to Kibbutz Galon, near Kiryat Gat. The site is now being opened for the public free of charge, in a collaboration between Israel Antiquities Authority and the Jewish National Fund (KKL).

According to archaeologists Saar Ganor and Itamar Weissbein of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "The fortress we found provides a glimpse into the Geopolitical reality described in the Judges book, in which the Canaanites, Israelites and Philistines are fighting each other. In this period, the land of Canaan was ruled by the Egyptians and its inhabitants were under their custody. Then, during the 12th century B.C., two new players entered the game: the Israelites and the Philistines. This led to a series of violent territorial disputes. The Israelites settled in non-fortified settlements at the Benjamin and Judean Mountains. Meanwhile, The Philistines accumulated power in the Southern Coastal Plain and established big cities such as Ashkelon, Ashdod and Gat. In an attempt to conquer more areas, The Philistines confronted the Egyptians and the Canaanites on the border line, which probably passed at the Guvrin river, between the Philistine kingdom of Gat and the Canaanite kingdom of Lachish. It seems that Galon fortress was built as a Canaanite/Egyptian attempt to cope with the new Geopolitical situation. However, in the middle of the 12 century B.C. the Egyptians left the land of Canaan and returned to Egypt. Their departure led to the destruction of the now unprotected Canaanite cities – a destruction that was probably led by the Philistines.

According to Ganor and Weissbein, the stories of the judges in the bible demonstrate clearly the complicated Geopolitical reality and the struggle for the control of territories during the establishment of new political powers in the land of Israel. The fortress structure, called Egyptian ‘governor houses,’ is known from other sites excavated in Israel. The fortress was built in a strategic location, from which it is possible to watch the main road that went along the Guvrin river – a road connecting the coastal plain to the Judea plains.

The size of the fortress is 18X 18 m' and watch towers were built in the four corners. A massive threshold, carved from a single rock weighing around 3 tons, was preserved at the entrance of the building. Inside the fortress was a courtyard paved with stone slabs and columns in the middle. Rooms were constructed from both sides of the courtyard. Hundreds of pottery vessels, some still whole, were found in the rooms of the fortress, including special vessels such as bowl and cup that were probably used for religious ritual. A large number of bowls were also found in the rooms, some of which were made in a style copying Egyptian bowls.

The remains of the fortress were uncovered with the help of students form the Israel studies department at the multidisciplinary school in Be'er Sheva, students from the Nachshon pre-military preparatory program and other volunteers. This was done as part of the Israel Antiquities Authority policy to bring the general public, and especially the young generation, closer to archaeology.

According to Talila Lifshitz, director of the community and forest department in the southern region of the Jewish National Fund, "Galon fortress provides a fascinating glimpse into the story of a relatively unknown period in the history of the country and it provides a touristic and experiential attraction for visitors.” The fortress is located in Guvrin forest and was prepared for public visitation in a collaboration between Israel Antiquities Authority and the southern region of the Jewish National Fund (KKL). A picnic area and some explanatory signs were set up to enhance the archaeological experience in nature and in the KKL forests.


Aerial photo of the Canaanite fortress. Photo: Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities Authority




The Romanian Cultural Institute (RCI) in Tel Aviv is organizing, on September 24th, 2020, starting with 18:00 hours, in a new edition of the "Romanian Cafe" online, held via live streaming on the official Facebook page of RCI Tel Aviv –   https: //www.facebook.com/icr.telaviv/ , an event dedicated to the Jewish cultural heritage in Mediaș and the attempts to capitalize on this legacy, called “Mediaș Synagogue – a page of history”.


Moderated by Martin Salamon, director of RCI Tel Aviv, the event, held in English, will include journalist Iosif Klein Medeșan, together with Julie Dawson and Alexanda Toma, representatives of the Fanny Bäumel Association / The House by the Synagogue in Mediaș, and will address topics such as: the history of the Jewish community in Mediaș and its most important members throughout time, the efforts to preserve the Jewish heritage undertaken by the House by the Synagogue, as well as its efforts to raise public awareness regarding the matter. Photo and video materials from the restoration process will be shown during the event. Furthermore, the event is a good opportunity for the members of the community of Mediaș-born Israelis to find out more details about the restoration of the Synagogue and to offer their support.


The Mediaș Synagogue has slowly came back to life, due to a project aiming to preserve and digitize the archives of the former Jewish community, and to the valuable support of the Mediaș inhabitants. Thus, in May 2014, the team from The House by the Synagogue started a project meant to preserve the archive, a first step towards bringing the Synagogue back into the life of the city as a museum, community center and cultural space. The first projects carried out by The House by the Synagogue team, between 2014-2017, were administered by the Mihai Eminescu Trust Foundation and aimed at preserving the Jewish heritage of the Mediaș Synagogue.


The project "TRACES - Transmission of contentious heritage through the arts" took place between 2016 and 2019 and was funded by the European Commission, under the Horizon 2020 Research and Initiative Program. In parallel with these projects, workshops for students and pupils, both from the local community but also in national camps, were organized, as well as cultural events for the Mediaș community. Another project carried out was “The Future of Memory. Learning about the past for a better future”, a project initiated by the UMA ED Bucharest Association.

Born in Mediaș, Iosif Klein Medeșan is a well-known journalist who has worked for Voice of America, the BBC and Free Europe. In Romania, he worked, among others, on Național TV, and newspapers Puterea and România liberă.

Julie Dawson is the initiator of The House by the Synagogue’s projects, project director, researcher and archivist. Also she is the primary researcher for the Leo Baeck Institute’s long-term JBAT project.

Alexandra Toma has been involved with activities at the Medias Synagogue since 2014, first as a volunteer, then as the project manager assistant and is currently working as project manager for activities and events organized in the space.

Institutul Cultural Român de la Tel Aviv
B-dul Shaul Hamelech nr. 8, 64733
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel.: +972-3-696 17 46,
+972-3-691 12 05
Fax: +972-3-691 12 04
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Photo The Romanian Cultural Institute (RCI) in Tel Aviv



For centuries, diamonds have captured the eyes and minds of people around the world, and their value has reflected that special prominence. However, growing awareness has raised concerns about the hidden costs borne when diamonds are extracted from the ground. These costs include environmental damage, and subpar employment conditions for workers. Mining diamonds from the soil causes air pollution and the environment, deforestation, damage to animal habitats. Moreover, the demand for diamonds can lead to gross violations of the rights of children and exploited workers, who are forced to work in unsafe conditions and at extremely low wages.

Lab grown diamonds offer an exciting alternative--the same beauty, produced in controlled conditions, making for a safer, more environmentally friendly, but still glimmering, diamond. Now X LAB DIAMONDS is bringing the enchantment of laboratory diamonds to Israel, with top quality designer jewelry at unbeatable prices.

X LAB DIAMONDS just launched its first flagship store, at the Ofer Mall in Petah Tikva. There, customers can find stunning designer jewelry inlaid with laboratory diamonds, at particularly attractive prices.

X LAB DIAMONDS laboratory diamonds are manufactured using technology that simulates the conditions inside the earth, thus obtaining diamonds that meet the strict criteria of the world of gemology and are completely identical in their chemical, physical and optical composition to mined diamonds. 


The new jewelry collection uses these top-quality laboratory diamonds at prices that are significantly lower than market prices, so that everyone can be dazzled by the magic of a diamond with an easy conscience. Jewelry from the collection can be seen and purchased directly via the company's new website http://www.xlabdiamonds.co.il/. All purchases come with a valuation certificate of, a one-year warranty and personal delivery to the customer’s home.

The chain offers jewelry in unique designs, inspired by the best designers in the world, set with diamonds in a huge variety of sizes and shapes. The diamonds have been created in the world's most advanced laboratories, thus protecting the environment, and workers, and sold for half the price of mining diamonds. 

The Laboratory diamonds are polished by skilled diamond polishers, just like mining diamonds and are rated according to the same standards. The X LAB DIAMONDS website has an explanation of the quality and nature of the diamonds offered so that any buyer can easily learn the qualities of lab diamonds and how to distinguish the different qualities of the diamond, addressing the issue: size, shape, level of cleanliness of the diamond and other significant parameters. 

X LAB DIAMONDS is truly avant garde, in creating the world’s first laboratory diamond store chain. By offering a variety of gold jewelry in unique designs, all inlaid exclusively with quality laboratory diamonds, created out of social and environmental commitment, the new chain promises to upend the diamond industry in Israel, making many happy customers in the process, and leaving the world a cleaner, better place.

The Royal X collection - The premium collection just launched includes rings, bracelets, necklaces and 14K gold earrings, set with diamonds marked by both size and uniqueness, especially designed and created by X Lab Diamonds to create a particularly dramatic look. Among the remarkable jewelry on offer, you can find a tennis bracelet inlaid with oval stones, a total of 17.8 carats, a tennis ring cut with emerald diamonds (square) - 8.70 carats, a giant diamond around the neck - 14.30 carats diamonds, 3.5 carat stud earrings and a variety of impressive rings for formal events.

The chain also offers hundreds of models of diamond jewelry: rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and more. The jewelry is available for purchase both in store and on site. There is something for everyone, and every occasion, with a variety of engagement rings in every color starting from 1,600 NIS.

Hagit Shinover, the CEO and owner of the chain, emphasized that the collection is geared for customers who “are interested in diamond jewelry, but do not want to pay huge sums for them or be partners in the damage caused to the environment by diamond mining.” There’s no longer a need to compromise on what you want, can afford, and care about. Now, any customer “can enter the website or store and leave with a quality diamond jewelry," at discount rates.

X LAB DIAMONDS - the Natural Choice. To see these beautiful diamonds yourself, visit  www.xlabdiamonds.co.il, or check out the flagship store at the Ofer Mall in Petah Tiqva (located on the third floor of the mall, next to H&M). You owe it to yourself, and the world will thank you for the conscientious decision.

X LAB DIAMONDS, Ofer Mall, 72 Jabotinsky, Petah Tiqva - Israel

Open Sunday-Thursday, 9:30-22:00, Friday 9:00-15:30,

and Saturday night from half an hour after shabbat ends until 23:00. 

Phone: 03-5082742


פייסבוק X Lab Diamonds Israel – יהלומי מעבדה


The store is fully accessible for all customers.


Photos by Silvia Golan