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On Wednesday evening, November 30th, a collection of diplomats, politicians, artists and community leaders came together at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to celebrate the National Day of Romania. The event, held by the Romanian Embassy, celebrated Romania’s historical achievements as well as present and future Israeli-Romanian cooperation.
The evening opened with a stirring rendition of the Romanian and Israeli national anthems performed by Monica Schwartz.
Ambassador Andreea Păstârnac, who studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at Bucharest University, then addressed the crowd in Hebrew.
After thanking the event’s co-sponsors, Ambassador Păstârnac spoke of the strong Romanian connection with Israel and the historical ties between the nations, citing several early cities (including Zichron Ya’aqov and Rosh Pina) that were founded by Romanian pioneers. He also spoke of more recent diplomatic events, including visits by the Romanian Foreign Minister Lazăr Comănescu and the President, Mr. Klaus Iohannis. The Ambassador declared her country’s staunch support for Israel, especially in light of the wildfires which recently ravaged much of the country.
Romania’s National Day commemorates the December 1st, 1918 unification of Romania after World War II. Ambassador Păstârnac recalled the many Jews who contributed to Romania society at that time, including Eli Wiesel, artist Iosif Isser, and author Paul Celan, as well as Romanian Jews who have contributed to Israeli art and culture over the years.
The Ambassador chose to highlight specifically the science and technological cooperation that has been the focus of recent diplomatic initiatives between Israel and Romania. She mentioned Israeli-Romanian achievements in a range of scientific and technological areas, including the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) initiative project, based in Romania, which is the largest of its kind in the European Union. The Ambassador also gave credit to many great Romanian scientists and thinkers, noting in particular the Jewish mathematician Solomon Marcus who passed away in March 2016.
Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology, MK Ofir Akunis, complimented Ambassador Păstârnac’s Hebrew skills before reiterating the Ambassador’s message on Israeli-Romanian cooperation in science and technology. He also thanked Romania for its aid during the firefighting efforts of the previous week, and spoke about Romania’s key role in prior diplomatic efforts, including the lesser-known fact that the Israeli-Egyptian peace accords signed in 1979 actually began in 1977 in Romania. MK Akunis closed by discussing Israeli tourism in Romania, and expressed his own hope to visit Romania and continue this partnership in science and technology.
MK Yossi Yona followed Mr. Akunis’s remarks. MK Yona, himself an Iraqi Jew, spoke of the many great artistic and cultural contributions of Romania, including those brought about by Romanian Jews. As the child of immigrants, he spoke of the ability to build a new life in Israel while maintaining a strong connection to one’s place of birth, and how Romanian Jewish immigrants to Israel have done this.
Indeed, among the guests at the celebration were a number of successful Israeli-Romanian authors who continue to publish books in Romanian. Also in attendance was Rabbi Ephraim Gutman, who heads the Yaakov Yosef--Rav Zvi Gutman Synagogue and the Jewish Romanian Heritage Center in Tel Aviv. The center was named after Rav Ephraim’s two older brothers, Yaakov and Yosef, who were murdered in 1941 by members of the fascist Iron Guard movement, and after their father Rav Zvi Gutman. Dr. Alex, who accompanied Rav Gutman to the celebration, told Diplomacy about the richness of Romanian Jewish heritage, which included successful Ashkenazi and Sepharadi Jews and was one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe before World War II.
Throughout the celebration guests enjoyed delicious refreshments, including a special collection of the finest Israeli and Romanian wines and traditional Romanian music and dance. This year the celebration featured wine from wineries in Romania that are produced by Israelis of Romanian heritage, in a unique spin on the pioneering spirit and success of the Romanian immigration to Israel and the strong binational ties. Romanian singer Laticia Boroi entertained the crowd with traditional Romanian folk music, and was soon surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd of nostalgic dancers.
Between the venue, the speakers, and the guests and atmosphere, Romana’s National Day Celebration in Tel Aviv exemplified the cultural and intellectual achievements of Romania and the strong ties between Israel and Romania.
Photo Silvia Golan
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The Republic of Kazakhstan celebrated its 25th birthday on Sunday evening with a festive event in Tel Aviv. Diplomats and business leaders convened with other guests at the Hilton Hotel along the beach, enjoying a lavish buffet, traditional Kazakhstani music and dance, and a speech delivered by the Ambassador.
The celebration commemorated 25 years of Kazakhstani independence. Kazakhstan became an independent nation in 1991, the last and largest of the republics to achieve sovereignty following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Guests were welcomed by a colorful photography display highlighting picturesque landscapes from all over Kazakhstan. In honor of the occasion they were presented with gifts, including a book on Kazakhstan’s Jewish community written by a former Israeli Ambassador to Kazakhstan.
H.E. Ambassador Kuanyshev addressed the audience, noting Kazakhstan’s many achievements over the last quarter century. The Ambassador discussed Kazakhstan’s role in promoting global peace, including its nuclear disarmament initiatives.
The ambassador also mentioned Kazakhstan’s efforts to reach a brighter and cleaner future. On that note, Ambassador Kuanyshev announced the 2017 Astana Expo on Future Energy, to be held from June through September of 2017 in Kazakhstan. The Expo will include more than 3,000 events over nearly 100 days, and is dedicated to education and innovation in improving energy efficiency.
The occasion commemorated not just a quarter century of Kazakhstani independence, but also 25 years of Israel-Kazakhstan diplomatic relations and cooperation. Ambassador Kuanyshev noted that Israel is one of Kazakhstan’s top 20 trading partners, and mentioned the many commercial ties and joint diplomatic initiatives binding the two nations. He expressed his hope for direct flights between Israel and Kazakhstan in the future. The ambassador also spoke of academic connections, including conferences and exchange student programs. Invoking a mock competitive tone, Ambassador Kuanyshev told the crowd that Kazakhstani secondary school students had recently topped their Israeli peers in standardized math and science testing.
Mr. Ayoub Kara, Israel’s Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation, addressed the crowd after Ambassador Kuanyshev. MK Kara talked about the many joint initiatives that the two countries have run, ranging from energy efficiency to tourism. He congratulated Kazakhstan on its recent appointment to the UN Security Council and pledged support in facilitating any upcoming Kazakhstani diplomatic visits to Israel. Mr. Kara finished by asking Ambassador Kuanyshev to pass a message on to President Nazarbayev and the Kazakhstani nation, offering blessings for the upcoming year and wishing success in their joint initiatives.
The event brought together, diplomats, business owners, military officers, and Kazakhstani citizens living in or visiting Israel. As the evening continued into an elaborate performance of folkloric Kazakhstani music and dance and concluded with warm words spoken between the two nations, all left sure of the importance of this diplomatic friendship.
Steven Aiello is the Founder and Director of the Debate for Peace Model UN Program
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The Embassy of Spain in Israel welcomed this week Minister of Tourism for the autonomous community of Andalucia Francisco Javier Hernandez, on a visit to launch a campaign promoting tourism to this historic region in southern Spain.
At a reception held at the residence of Spain’s Ambassador to Israel, Fernando Carderera, the ambassador introduced Minister Hernandez to assembled guests representing Israel’s business and travel industry leaders. In his remarks, Ambassador Carderera noted that Spain is the third most popular tourism destination in the world, welcoming more than 70 million foreign visitors annually.
Minister Hernandez unveiled Andalucia’s latest promotional campaign, aimed primarily at three million Jews of Sephardic origin living in Israel and throughout the Diaspora. He disclosed the campaign slogan -- “visit Andalucia to discover your roots: a wonderful voyage back to your sources” -- and screened a video featuring the attractions of such cities as Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada, as well as the Costa del Sol.
Following the video, guests -- among them Spanish Tourism consul for Italy and Israel Carlos Hernández Garcia-- enjoyed a concert of flamenco music and dance performed by an Israeli trio while partaking of paella and other Spanish delicacies.
Photo Silvia Golan
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Over 60 leading women from across the world joined together last month for a panel discussion showcasing Israeli females in the lead.
Organized by The Israel Project (TIP) and the Embassy of Cyprus in Israel, the event served as a platform to discuss and understand the challenges and opportunities facing women in Israeli society in the modern age.
Among the panelists were popular journalist Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes. Former IDF commander Miri Eisin and Israeli Olympic athlete Maayan Davidovich.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, today (Thursday, 15 June 2017), in Thessaloniki, at the third trilateral summit, signed joint statements for the continued strengthening of relations.Add a comment
A senior delegation from Tanzania, headed by Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, Permanent Secretary Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism, arrived in Israel for a series of meetings and events designed to increase cooperation with the Israeli tourist industry, and encourage Israeli tourism and investments to enchanted, exotic Tanzania.Add a comment
At a festive ceremony attended by Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, the Lauder Dormitory Building was inaugurated today at the Technion
state of the art building was donated to the Technion by World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and his wife Jo Carole
President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) met at his residence in Jerusalem with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.
President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”
He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”
The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”
Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”
She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”
Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)Add a comment
A fundamentally agricultural holiday, Shavuot commemorates the custom of bringing offerings to the Holy Temple from the first fruits of the harvest and the first animals born to the flocks.
Shavuot, the Holiday of Weeks, is one of the three pilgrimage holidays, along with Pesach and Sukkot. These are the holidays on which the whole Jewish people would come to Jerusalem in ancient times, when the Holy Temple was there, and would offer animal and grain sacrifices.Add a comment
Tel Aviv Eat presents three evenings of tastings and workshops featuring the region’s leading restaurants and most prominent chefs. Entrance is free (including the chefs’ demonstrations), and tasting portions range in price from NIS 20-35. Doors open each evening at 18.00. There are several performance stages, live music, and stands selling beer.Add a comment
"Only when we remember the families who were torn apart from everyone they loved, who suffered that terrible darkness and evil, who had endured the unbearable horror of the Holocaust, only then can we prevent this agony from ever repeating." President Donald J. Trump Add a comment
The Charles Bronfman Auditorium at Habima Square is one of the centerpieces of the Israeli arts and cultural scene, home to the Israel Philharmonic for the last 60 years. On Friday, May 19th, it was home to yet another historic event, with the dedication of the entrance hall to Miri Shitrit of blessed memory.Add a comment
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Monday, 22 May 2017), at Ben-Gurion International Airport, welcomed US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania with an honor guard.Add a comment
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The EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen, on 17 May to discuss Israel's
successful participation in Horizon 2020, European Union's research and innovation funding programme.
On the eve of the Shavuot holiday, the Society for the Promotion of Tourism in Herzliya, in conjunction with the Grape Man, is hosting the White Summer White Wine Festival at the Herzliya Marina. The largest white wine festival in Israel will take place on the plaza of the marina on Wednesday and Thursday, May 24-25, 2017.Add a comment
President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Wednesday), met at his residence in Jerusalem with a delegation visiting Israel, made up of Jordanian sheikhs representing different tribes from across Jordanian society, from Irbid, Zarqa, and Amman. Also participating in the meeting were senior members of the, Middle East Department, of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The delegation of sheikhs were visiting Israel for five days, during which they met with different faces from across Israeli society, deepening the understanding between the peoples.Add a comment
Just across the Ayalon Freeway from the Azrieli Center, in a mixed residential and office neighborhood, is a bistro barely one year old that is already making a name for itself.
In the words of chef-owner Daniella Berneman Fleishman herself, “On the border of Tel Aviv and Givatayim, I have opened a place that is the realization of a dream, combining my passion for hosting and love of food, where delicious food is served in a an atmosphere of home hospitality.”
Daniella has become popular with diverse audiences: workers from the adjacent office buildings during the day, families in the evening, and young people late at night. Parking on weekdays is only in paid parking garages, but there is plenty of free parking on evenings and weekends.Add a comment
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, visited the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation and met with Chemi Peres on Thursday (11.5) to promote interfaith relations and hear from Young Ambassadors for Peace
The Most Reverend Welby said: "Shimon Peres always supported and worked for peace initiatives. I am glad that we have people like you – Christian, Muslim, and Jewish, Palestinian and Israeli – who continue in this vision. We need you. You are our future. I will support you."
Chemi Peres: "You young people must not wait for an end to the conflict, but must trust yourselves and work together to move us forward."Add a comment