Israeli students win int'l business arbitration competition

Students from Israel's College of Law and Business (CLB) in Ramat Gan have won the International Chamber of Commerce's Mediation Competition.

Students from Israel's College of Law and Business (CLB) in Ramat Gan have won the International Chamber of Commerce's Mediation Competition, which was held in Paris last week. This is the world's foremost competition on the subjects of business arbitration and dispute resolution.


academic institutions from 42 countries took part in the competition, which required the participants to mediate in cases where there were business disputes between companies that were prepared to settle the disagreement outside of the courts. Each of the cases presented in the competition was based on real disputes between business organizations, with a panel of leading judges and arbitrators from around the world examining and rating the work of the students.



So for example, the Israeli students - Rachel Rhodes and Daniel Winer - were required to formulate a settlement to a case in which real estate developers sought to buy a particular piece of land, on which an elderly farmer was still working and wanted to preserve the family history and tradition of tilling that land.


Rhodes and Winer were able to prevail over rival representatives from some of the world's leading colleges such as Oxford University, New York University and others. They also made history by becoming the first-ever students to win the award from an academic institution taking part in the competition for the first time.



We never imagined that we could win the competition on our first try," said Rhodes.

It was a great honor to represent Israel in a competition like this and receive such esteemed recognition."


College of Law and Business president Prof. Moshe Cohen-Eliya said, "We are talking about an unprecedented achievement by Rachel and Daniel and we are proud of them and congratulate them. Judges and arbitrators from around the world have contacted them with offers to practice and work with leading organizations around the world after being impressed by the skill and creativity they demonstrated throughout the competition. There can be no doubt that this award is recognition of the global activities of the CLB in this discipline and the doors that we open for students and graduates."        


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A new Israeli initiative is promoting to establish an international tribunal, which shall be set in Hague, and shall deal with disputes between multinational corporations and states. This initiative led by Dr. Iris Truman, Barrister-at-Law, an expert on International Corporate Law and the Chairman of the International Economic Court committee of the Israeli Bar Association.


Dr. Truman has a forward thinking agenda, seeking to promote and initiate the establishment of a more efficient, acceptable and enforceable international system of judicial process that would decide on disputes between MNEs and States.  This concept for a new International commercial court would be known the ICSCD. This agenda was established by the inspiration of Dr. Iris Truman dissertation, which is written as a proposal for the United Nations to establish an international economic court for MNEs- States Disputes.


The ICSCD, shall put forward as a means of rectifying the three concern issues in the current commercial international legal system: The uncertainty regarding the Applicable Law; The question of Jurisdiction; and The lack of Precedence Tradition. The ICSCD system essentially offers a complex integration between the currently used international and domestic means of litigation in this field. The new court shall operate as an international economic expert regulatory body, with one set of guidelines through establishment of a new international MNEs- States Binding Treaty and a wide representation, which will regulate international companies’ activities from the contractual stage through the appellant chamber.


The ICSCD shall have monitoring and follow-up systems that would minimise the inconsistencies and incoherencies of the many existing codes and guidelines by establishing the largest international legal Codex.


Dr. Iris Truman, LLB, MBA, PhD,    Serves as the  chairman of the ICSCD committee of the Israeli Bar Association and she is the founder of  a law firm expert  in international law,  international trade agreements and treaties , commercial claims, contracts , corporate law , as well as  managing complex commercial negotiations. Furthermore, Dr. Truman serves as a mediator and arbitrator in commercial and corporate disputes.


In addition, she lectures in various legal forums in the field of international law, antitrust law, corporate law and contract law

Dr. Truman holds a doctorate in law from the University of Leicester in England and holds a Masters degree in Business Administration Studies of the University of Leicester. Previously, she had an Analyst firm expert in Hi tech and biotechnology companies, and serves more than two decades as a business mentor for young entrepreneurs


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













The Haruv Children’s Campus is now opening in Jerusalem, the first center of its kind for treating child victims of abuse and neglect that brings together all the professional workers and required services unto one location, which will significantly alleviate the therapeutic process for maltreated children.




The phenomenon of child abuse and neglect is a harsh reality, with 40,000 cases of child maltreatment reported annually in Israel. A study done at Haifa University, published last year, presents a far bleaker picture and indicates that nearly half of all Israeli children have endured violence or abuse in the course their lives.

The Haruv Children’s Campus, located at Mt. Scopus, adjacent to the Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University, will serve maltreated children, victims of abuse and neglect, by addressing their needs comprehensively, in the aim to empower the care currently provided, by partnering up with all the leading organizations that provide treatment for these children.





The campus brings together the entire range of professional workers and services: the Schusterman Emergency Center, the Center for Protection of the Child (Beit-Lynn), a treatment center for child victims of sexual abuse (Meital), the National Council for the Child, the SHEKEL Therapeutic Treatment Unit, Maavarim – Jerusalem Center for Family and Marriage Counselling, MSR - the Center for Social Simulation, and the Goshen Initiative. Additionally, community-based advocacy services will be offered, as well as clinical and treatment services provided by physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, lawyers, social workers and occupational therapists.


In the past, many professionals raised the issue of a systemic failure to identify child victims of maltreatment. One reason was the difficulty encountered in consistently transmitting and sharing information between the children’s various care-givers, who were also frequently bound by confidentiality and secrecy in their contact with the children, a fact that hindered providing more effective help to the children and their parents. An inter-ministerial committee, established following the murder of the little girl, Rose Pizem, emphasized the need for developing innovative strategies of collaboration between professionals to enable early detection and prevention of child abuse and neglect.




Prof. Asher Ben Arieh, executive director of the Haruv Institute and founder of the campus, adds: “This campus is a new model of the ‘one-stop shop’, stemming from the belief that there is a real and significant need for the physical concentration of all the service organizations, amongst other things in order to prevent the occurrence of cases ‘falling between the cracks’. The synergy born of this cooperative work model will promote the professional enrichment of the care-giving bodies, improve the accessibility of the services and facilitate providing maltreated children with comprehensive, state-of-the-art professional care that can address all their needs. The cooperation between all the organizations will enhance the contribution of each of the partners, creating a whole that is greater than its parts.”


Much thought was invested in the planning and design of the campus, taking into consideration the needs of the children and their families. Throughout the campus calming elements have been introduced, such as water, pastoral greenery, play areas created from natural materials and seating areas in warm, pleasant colors. The interior spaces have colorful play rooms, work areas that provide privacy, and a school and kindergarten for children at the emergency center.




The establishment of the campus, led by the Haruv Institute, was made possible thanks to the fruitful cooperation between the Ministry of Welfare, the Haruv Institute, the National Insurance Institute, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Hebrew University, and through the generous support of the Schusterman-Israel Foundation and JDC Israel. Prof. Yossi Tamir, executive director of JDC Israel adds, “As an innovative model worldwide, this campus will serve as a magnet drawing to it the finest researchers, professionals and students. Thus the campus will serve as both a research and treatment center, the first of its kind, and will be the home for unique and leading innovations.”


Photos Silvia Golan










JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Some 27,000 immigrants arrived in Israel in 2016, according to estimates by The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, compared to the 31,000 who arrived in 2015. Aliyah (immigration to Israel) from Russia and Brazil rose significantly over the past year, while immigration from France and Ukraine dipped. The data released today is preliminary but offers solid indications of Aliyah trends for the past year. The final statistics will be made available mid-January, as they are every year.


Some 7,000 immigrants arrived in Israel from Russia, which topped the Aliyah chart in 2016, compared to 6,600 who arrived in 2015. Approximately 5,500 immigrants arrived from Ukraine, compared to the 7,221 who came last year. An estimated 5,000 new immigrants came from France, compared to 7,900 in 2015. Aliyah from the United States hit 2,900 immigrants, compared to 3,070 last year. These four leading sources of Aliyah also led the list in 2015 and 2014, although France—which led the chart in recent years—has slipped to third place.


Aliyah from Brazil increased significantly, with the arrival of some 760 new immigrants this year, compared to 497 in 2015. 620 immigrants arrived from Belarus (compared to 600 last year), 650 from the United Kingdom (775), and 272 from South Africa (236).


Immigration to Israel has come to be characterized by youth: approximately 5,150 of the new immigrants were 17 or under, 9,500 were between the ages of 18 and 35, 3,000 were between 36 and 45, 4,600 were between 46 and 65, and just over 3,000 were 66 or older.


Most of the new arrivals have professional backgrounds in industry, construction, and food services (some 5,000 individuals in total), high tech and engineering (2,400), the humanities and social sciences (1,900), medical and paramedical fields (1,150), and accounting and law (1,080).


11% of the immigrants decided to make Tel Aviv their new home, while 10% moved to Jerusalem, 9% to Netanya, 8% to Haifa, 6% to Ashdod, 5% to Bat Yam, 4% to Ra’anana, 3% to Rishon LeZion, 3% to Be’er Sheva, and 3% to Ashkelon.


Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said: The high numbers of immigrants over the past two years were due, in part, to a series of external factors that have changed or disappeared, at least for the moment. At the same time, despite the downward shift this year, we see that the long-term trends continue and the number of immigrants to Israel, particularly from Western countries, remains high compared to the averages of the past fifteen years. This is evidence of the fact that Israel continues to draw Jews from around the world seeking to live lives of meaning and identity. At the same time, the numbers also indicate that the State of Israel must invest further efforts in finding solutions for the swift integration and absorption of the immigrants, with an emphasis on employment, particularly recognition of professional and academic certifications. The Jewish Agency will continue its efforts to promote Aliyah and strengthen both Jewish identity and connections to Israel among Diaspora Jewry. Thousands of Jewish young people from around the world came to Israel this year in order to participate in The Jewish Agency’s unique Israel experience programs, including Masa Israel Journey with nearly 12,000 participants, Onward Israel with some 1,600, and Machon Youth Leadership Training with some 430. These numbers are constantly on the rise and they attest to the success of these unique frameworks in drawing dynamic, educated young people to get to know Israel firsthand and strengthening ties within the global Jewish family.”


Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver said: “Over the past year, I returned to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption after a one-year absence. I never managed to cease dealing with Aliyah and absorption and so, even during my absence, I continued my unceasing efforts in the realm of Aliyah and absorption. Since my return to the ministry, I am proud to say that we are in the midst of a wave of activity and Aliyah. The special emphasis that I placed on encouraging Aliyah is bearing fruit and we are finishing the year with 27,000 new immigrants. We are strengthening and building new projects in the realms of employing immigrants and encouraging entrepreneurship across the country, with an emphasis on Jerusalem, the Negev, and the Galilee. We have continued to act in order to remove barriers to immigrants’ employment and we reached a particular high in job placements this year. I fought and managed to increase the annual budget for local authorities, to increase activities with young people and students, and I will not give up and will continue to act ceaselessly in the realm of housing, along with our achievements this year. Our work in the field of Aliyah and absorption is challenging and extensive, but I believe that when those who deal with Aliyah and absorption do so from the heart, with faith and vision, success is guaranteed. I wish us all that we will continue to place the immigrants at the center of our work, to ease their new lives in Israel by removing barriers, minimizing bureaucracy, and making information more accessible, and of course to continue encouraging immigration to Israel.”










"Our major challenge today is to ensure that young people will be able to deal with the Holocaust, that it will be significant for them, that they connect to it, that it helps build their identity as Jews and as human beings, and this conference accomplishes these goals" Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev

The four-day conference will open with an address by Israel's Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett. Closing remarks will be given by Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky


 (22 December 2016 – Jerusalem) For the first time, over 200 Jewish day-school principals, headmasters and senior Jewish Studies educators, from 34 countries and six continents around the world, will be gathering at the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies for a four-day conference, entitled "The Shoah and Jewish Identity: Challenges in Jewish Education." The international conference will be the largest and most prestigious gathering of leaders in Jewish education from some 25% of all Jewish day schools worldwide. Throughout the course of the conference, leading experts from Yad Vashem will present its unique and cutting-edge pedagogical approaches relating to Holocaust education.


Israel's Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett will address the conference plenary regarding the timely topic of Jewish Identity: Challenges of in the Diaspora. At the conclusion of the conference, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky will speak on the topic of the Jewish People, Israel and Memory of the Shoah.


Over 40 leading experts in Holocaust commemoration, documentation and education will be presenting at the conference, including: Chairman of Yad Vashem Avner Shalev; Pedagogical Director of the International School for Holocaust Studies and Fred Hillman Chair of Holocaust Documentation Shulamit Imber; Director of the International Institute for Holocaust Research Dr. Iael Nidam Orvietto; and Director of the Yad Vashem Archives Division and Fred Hillman Chair for Holocaust Documentation Dr. Haim Gertner. Yad Vashem Academic Advisor and world-renowned Holocaust expert Prof. Yehuda Bauer will speak about the effects of the Shoah on Jewish communities in Europe before, during and immediately following the Shoah, illustrating how in some instances Jewish life and identity was preserved while in others it completely broke down.


There will also be a session dedicated to the memory of the late Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Laureate Prof. Elie Wiesel.

As the conference is taking place during the holiday of Hanukah, each evening a celebratory Hanukah candle-lighting ceremony will be held, using authentic Hanukiot (menorahs) that survived the Holocaust. World-renowned Holocaust survivor and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau will light the Hanukah candles on the first evening of the conference, 26 December 2016.


 The final day of the conference will feature leading Jewish students from various college campuses from around the world, discussing contemporary issues of antisemitism and the challenges faced in this volatile arena. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, will also be addressing the conference via video on this subject.

Lily Safra Chair of Holocaust Education and Director of the International School for Holocaust Studies Dr. Eyal Kaminka reflected on the importance of this conference: "Yad Vashem is establishing the framework for educating future generations on the history of the Shoah and how it relates to our current Jewish identity. This is a challenge for all Jews around the globe, which is why it is so important that so many educators from Jewish day schools are coming together here, at the International School for Holocaust Studies, to be part of this discussion."


"Never before has there been as comprehensive a discussion of this type and at this level," explains conference organizer Ephraim Kaye, Director of the Jewish World and International Seminars Department at the International School for Holocaust Studies. "The goals of the conference are to explore how Jewish schools around the world are teaching the Shoah today, in what ways Yad Vashem can assist in the process, and the future of Holocaust Studies in the greater Jewish community."

The main plenary proceedings of the conference will take place in English with simultaneous translation in Spanish, French and Russian. The panel deliberations, roundtable discussions and workshops will be conducted in various languages, some also with simultaneous translation.


For a complete schedule of the conference proceedings, please click here


About the International School

Since the creation of the International School over 20 years ago, Yad Vashem has been leading the way in developing and disseminating tools to effectively educate the public about the history of the Holocaust. The International School conducts over 70 teacher-training seminars for educators from around the world every year, providing them with the necessary tools to teach the history of the Holocaust to their pupils. Among other topics to be presented at this conference are Jewish identity vis-à-vis the Holocaust, the challenges of modern-day antisemitism on campuses, and informal teaching methods, such as trips to Poland and community-based education. 


The International Conference is made possible by the generous support of the Asper Foundation, the Adelson Family Foundation, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Israel Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, was established in 1953. Located in Jerusalem, it is dedicated to Holocaust commemoration, documentation, research and education.

The International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem serves as a world center for Holocaust education, attracting students and educators from around the globe. Each year, the International School engages with more than 300,000 Israeli students and soldiers, as well as thousands of educators and students from Israel and abroad. Guided by its unique pedagogical philosophy, the International School continually develops educational materials, cutting-edge online pedagogical tools and teacher-training activities in order to create tailor-made programs suitable for different age groups and classrooms in over 60 countries.











Last night's event marked the 2016-17opening of the Center showcasing Israel's contributions to global entrepreneurship, innovation and technology


Nearly 200 business leaders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and other supporters, gathered last night in a celebration of the Birthright Israel Innovation Center, which was established in partnership with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). Following a successful summer season, where over 13,000 young Birthright Israel participants and dozens of delegations from Israel and around the world visited the Innovation Center, the opening of the Center to nearly 15,000 future young Birthright Israel participants and distinguished guests was declared.


Gidi Mark, CEO of Birthright Israel, Yoram Tietz- Birthright Israel Excel Chairman and Managing partner of EY Israel, Yifat Oron, CEO of LeumiTech, Simon Litsyn, Engineering Fellow of Sandisk, Igal Bareket, VP of Marketing at Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Gil Dvora, Entrepreneur, Tova Dorfman Executive Director of the Steinhardt family Foundation & David Gappell, Director of the Schusterman Foundation- Israel, were among those who attended the event.


The Innovation center offers visitors a presentation of Israel's greatest achievements in various fields, related to entrepreneurship, innovation and technology. An interactive exhibition displaying various fields characterizing the contribution of Israel, such as agriculture, medicine, and cyber security, science, transportation, aerospace and more is also on display in addition to lectures by various Israeli entrepreneurs who share their personal success stories.


The Center operates in a multilingual format, with a program in French, English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Hebrew. Group and public tours will be open to the public by appointment.

Gidi Mark, Birthright Israel CEO said at the event that "Birthright Israel is the Start Up of the Nation" in front of dozens of Hi-Tech executives. "Birthright is the greatest Start Up that was established by the State of Israel and the Jewish people, both in terms of quality and quantity. Before Birthright Israel was founded, 17 years ago, 2000 students arrived to Israel each year and through Birthright Israel, nowadays, tens of thousands of young Jews from around the world visit Israel annually. Israel is a platform for new beginnings and we are proud to give our participants the opportunity to experience Israel and the Start Up Nation for themselves."


In 2017, the Center is expected to host over 45,000 visitors who will help spread the word about Israel and the global impact it has had as the Start Up Nation.       




Birthright Israel has a unique, historical and innovative partnership between the Government of Israel, thousands of individual donors and private philanthropists, and Jewish communities around the world through the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Since its inception in 1999, over 500,000 young Jewish adults from over 66 countries have enjoyed their free gift of a free 10-day educational tour of Israel. Over 80,000 young Israeli soldiers and students have joined various groups on their tours.

Over the years, several studies have been conducted by Brandies University, located in the USA, demonstrating the lasting effect on Diaspora Jews when focusing on their Jewish identity and their connection to Israel.




Visit the Birthright Israel Innovation Center’s page -


Facebook  Taglit-Birthright Israel State of Mind Innovation Center


 Photos : Jacob Ross










Today, December 12, 2016, the first two Adir (F-35) aircraft landed at Nevatim Airbase.

The aircraft were received in a ceremony attended by the President of Israel, Mr. Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Defense, Mr. Avigdor (Evet) Liberman, United States Secretary of Defense, Mr. Ashton Carter,

IDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot, Israel Air Force Commander, Major General Amir Eshel, and senior Israel Air Force officials.

The Adir is the world’s most advanced stealth aircraft with breakthrough operational capabilities which make it an offensive and defensive asset across multiple platforms and fronts.
The incorporation of the Adir into the Israel Air Force is a central component of the long arm operational capabilities of the IDF, enabling action with flexibility in any scenario in order to ensure the continued safety and security of the State of Israel.

President of the state of Israel, Mr. Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin: “The Adir aircraft redefines Israel's abilities of deterrence. It re-defines the IDF’s long arm. It redefines the realm of our ability to operate. Right now all of our many enemies know that they are exposed and vulnerable and that they should not harm Israel. The landing of the Adir completed Israel's long effort that is to build its military power for generations to come looking for the long-term. Over the years, the State of Israel and the Israel Air Force insisted on being one of the best and most advanced forces in the world based on the simple understanding that one cannot be first among equals in this region. A significant, deep, and qualitative strategic gap needs to be created in comparison to the countries that desire our destruction and against the countries that are arming themselves at this very moment and see Israel as their benchmark. From today on, this important task will be placed on the shoulders of the Adir - a task that will have

to be carried out in the foreseeable future."

Prime Minister of the state of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu: "Today, our military strength is bolstered with this significant addition. The Adir pilots and the Adir aircraft will be capable of operating in every arena - whether it be from close or from afar. I also want to say this very clearly: Anyone who thinks of attacking us will be attacked. Anyone who thinks to destroy us places themselves in existential danger. This is a prerequisite for ensuring our future. History teaches us a simple lesson: Weak nations do not survive. They invite themselves to attacks and are prone to collapse. The weak are trampled upon and the strong are respected. Only strength creates deterrence; only strength inspires respect; only strength produces alliances - and only

strength brings peace. We will continue to bolster our security and build up our forces.”

Air Force Commander, Major General Amir Eshel: “Tonight begins a fascinating encounter between a man and the machine, between our excellent pilots and the maintenance teams, to the technological progress in the field of aviation. This encounter is expected to bring new ideas and great abilities. The aircraft will become more and more blue and white, both operational and by its technological systems. Every Adir will be a powerful offensive machine, information and control center and will operate in the most advanced patterns in a completely different way from what is known. In 2017 the aircraft will be operational and we will operate it in a way that will exceed the expectations of its planners. The Adir will become an accelerator for the

IAF in its whole. We intend to leverage the systematical abilities to new peaks, both in offense and defense. The aerial power will become more lethal, combined and relevant.”

Photo IDF Spokesperson








New Uganda center to join existing centers in Ghana, South Africa, Mexico, Israel;


Jewish volunteers from Israel and around the world to work on projects in education, healthcare, agriculture, arts



JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Project TEN—known as the “Jewish Peace Corps”—is partnering with a coalition of organizations to join a new volunteer center in Namulanda, Uganda. The center will be run in partnership with Brit, a coalition of organizations that include the Israel Volunteer AssociationInspiration Arts for Humanity, and Brit Olam, who have been operating in Uganda for the past ten years. The center will bring together Jewish young people from Israel and around the world to engage in volunteer work with distressed populations in the area.


The Uganda volunteer center is centrally located in the town of Namulanda, between the capital city of Kampala and Entebbe. The volunteers will concentrate on sustainable development and infrastructure work for communal projects in the fields of education, healthcare, agriculture, and the arts. Amongst other things, the volunteers will run healthcare projects in poverty-stricken neighborhoods in Kampala and will work in elementary schools in nearby villages. They will also help create a local youth movement and develop a leadership group that will receive intensive training in technology and education. The first group of volunteers arrived at the center in September.


This is Project TEN’s third volunteer center in Africa, joining the existing center in Winneba, Ghana and another new center in Durban, South Africa. Project TEN centers also currently exist in Oaxaca, Mexico and Harduf, Israel. The Israeli center works primarily with Bedouin communities and with groups with special needs. Additional Project TEN centers are expected to be opened in Latin America and East Asia in the near future.


Project TEN is based on values of service and Jewish activism, offering Jewish young people from Israel and communities around the world opportunities to volunteer in various places around the world for several months, in partnership with local organizations. Project TEN director Yarden Zornberg notes that Project TEN centers, which sends out some 450 volunteers per year from all over the Jewish world, enable young people to combine their desire to get to know the world with their desire to take part in repairing it together with their peers worldwide. At the end of their volunteer period, these young people return to their countries of origin strongly motivated to engage in activism in their communities and worldwide. Learn more at



The Jewish Agency for Israel is the largest Jewish nonprofit organization in the world. Founded in 1929, The Jewish Agency was instrumental in founding and building the State of Israel and has brought more than three million Jews home to the Jewish state, including tens of thousands this past year alone. Today the organization serves as the primary link between Israel and the Jewish world, bringing young Jews to experience life in the Jewish state and sending young Israelis to share their country with Jewish communities around the world. The Jewish Agency works to narrow social gaps within Israel and empower all segments of Israeli society while dispatching Israeli young people and their worldwide Jewish peers to volunteer in underprivileged communities in Africa, Latin America, and Israel’s socioeconomic periphery. The organization serves as the Jewish world’s first responder, prepared to rescue and bring Jews home to Israel from countries where they are at risk and addressing emergency situations in Israel and Jewish communities abroad. Learn more


PHOTOJewish Agency Project TEN volunteers work with schoolchildren in Uganda. Photo credit: Ofri Strasburg









Now Available in Israel: American Beef!


For the first time in over 20 years, American kosher beef is available for Israeli consumers.  



The first shipment of American kosher beef has finally arrived in Israel and will be available for commercial distribution to restaurants, hotels, stores and supermarkets. The beef, select cuts of chilled Black Angus, arrived in Israel last week from the state of Nebraska. The renewal of importation was allowed after an agreement was signed in February 2016 between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Israeli Veterinary Services.



U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who hosted an event at his residence to celebrate the occasion, said: “I am so excited to have this chance to see, and taste, American kosher beef here in Israel. This development marks yet another milestone in our government-to-government cooperation and one which further strengthens the economic ties between our nations.”


Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska Mike Foley, who is currently visiting Israel, said: “I’m so thrilled to be in Israel to celebrate the arrival of high-quality beef from my home state of Nebraska. Nebraska beef is known as the best in the world, and I'm sure that Israelis will soon agree!”





Fact Sheet:  Beef Importation to Israel

Importation to Israel

  • The authorized duty-free quota of chilled U.S. beef for 2016 is 1,424 tons.

  • The cuts will come from Black Angus beef.

  • Currently, cuts that will be imported from the United States will not include the hindquarters.

  • At the moment, all beef imported to Israel from the United States originates from the WR Reserve Black Angus Company slaughterhouse in Hastings, Nebraska.

  • The slaughter is conducted under strict Kashrut rules and has received Kashrut certification from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.   

Why U.S. Beef and What Makes Nebraska Beef So Special?

U.S. Beef Industry Facts:

  • The U.S. is the world’s largest beef producer, accounting for nearly one-fifth of global beef production.

  • Commercial beef production was 10.75 million metric tons (23.8 billion pounds), with slaughter at 28.8 million head in 2015.  

  • On January 1, 2016, the total cattle inventory in the U.S. was 92 million head, up 3%from 2015.  

  • Commercial beef production is expected to be 11.36 million metric tons in 2016, up 5.7% from 2016 (25.1 billion pounds).  Beef production is expected to continue to expand in 2017.  

  • In addition to being the largest producer, the United States is the largest beef consumer, with 20% of global beef consumption in 2015, and it is also a top beef importer.   

  • The United States is one of the four largest beef exporters along with Brazil, India, and Australia.  Top U.S. beef export markets include Japan, Mexico, Korea, Canada, Hong Kong, and Egypt.

  • In 2015, U.S. beef and variety meat exports totaled 1.1 million metric tons (2.35 billion pounds) valued at $6.3 billion.  13% of U.S. beef and variety meat production was exported in 2015.

  • The U.S. was the second largest exporter on a value basis in 2015, and U.S. beef accounted for nearly one-fifth of global export value.

  • Through September 2016, U.S. beef and variety meat exports totaled 848,930 metric tons (1.87 billion pounds), up 8% from 2015.  U.S. beef and variety meat export value was $4.5 billion, down 5 percent from 2015.  

  • In 2012, there were over 913,000 cattle and calf operations in the U.S., with the average herd size at 98 head, according to the 2012 Agricultural Census.  

  • In 2012, there were over 26,500 feedlot operations with an average herd size of 541 head.  

Nebraska: The Beef State

  • Beef is Nebraska’s single largest industry and the engine that powers the state’s economy.

  • Agriculture is the #1 industry in Nebraska and cattle production represents the largest segment of the industry.

  • The importance of cattle feeding to Nebraska’s economy runs deeper than in other states. Nearly 5 million head are finished and marketed in Nebraska, a state with a population of 1.8 million residents. Texas markets a third more cattle than Nebraska, but it has a population of 25.6 million residents--over 14 times larger.

  • January 2012 figures show Nebraska continues to have far more cattle than people. Cattle outnumber Nebraskans nearly 4 to 1. Nebraska has 1.94 million cows and 1.8 million people. The cows and the 4.7 million head that are annually fed in Nebraska total nearly 6.64 million cattle.

  • Nebraska has the top three cow counties in the U.S., including the nation’s No. 1 cow county – Cherry County, with nearly 166,000 cows. Custer County is No. 2 (100,000). Holt County is No. 3 (99,000). Lincoln County is No. 12 (69,000).

  • Nebraska has a unique mix of natural resources. Cattle turn grass from 24 million acres of rangeland and pasture, more than one half of Nebraska’s land mass, into protein and many other products for humans. The land grazed by cattle allows more people to be fed than would otherwise be possible. More than one billion bushels of corn are produced each year, 40% of which is fed to livestock in the state. Cattle-producing families, who make their living from the land, have a strong incentive to protect their animals and the environment.

Nebraska’s Natural Resources

  • Nebraska’s farms and ranches utilize more than 184 million dunams (18,413,270 hectares)– 93% of the state’s total land area. As a comparison, in Israel there are less than 4 million dunams used for agriculture.

  • Nebraska is fortunate to have aquifers below it.

  • The state has 92,233 registered, active irrigation wells supplying water to 34 million dunams of harvested cropland and pasture.

  • Nearly 24,000 miles (38,624 kilometers) of rivers and streams add to Nebraska’s natural resources.

  • There are nearly (9,307,807 hectares) 93 million dunams of rangeland and pastureland in Nebraska.

  • Superior animal husbandry is the rule and one of the secrets to raising great beef. Ill-treated animals could never achieve the quality levels that Nebraska’s customers demand.  Nebraska’s approved and inspected small family growers always treat their animals in a kind and humane manner; nothing could be more important to a responsible rancher.

This combination of feeding methods gives Nebraska the best quality beef possible and assures sustainability.

  • Nebraska cuts all high-grade meats by hand and in-house and sells fresh or frozen –never uses gas packaging, preservatives or color stabilizers to extend the life or improve the look.

  • Due to its qualities and demand U.S beef is exported to more than 130 countries around the world.

 Photo  Silvia Golan






Over 90 delegations of world leaders from 70 countries will make their way to Israel to pay their respects at the funeral of the late Ninth President Shimon Peres


Update from the Office of the Ninth President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres: Asof 21:00, more than 90 delegations from 70 countries are expected to arrive in Israel for the funeral of Shimon Peres including:

1.      The United States delegation led by the President of the United States Barak Obama, accompanied by Former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

2.      The European Council delegation led by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk.


3.      The European Union delegation led by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Vice-President of the European Parliament David Sassoli.

4.      The UNESCO delegation led by the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Georgieva Bokova.

5.      The United Kingdom delegation led by Prince Charles, accompanied by Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron, and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.

6.      The French delegation led by the President of France Francois Hollande, accompanied by Former President Nicolas Sarkozy and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo.


7.      The German delegation led by the President of Germany Joachim Gauck accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

8.      The Canadian delegation led by the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, accompanied by Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion, Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and a host of additional Former Prime Ministers.

9.      The Mexican delegation headed by the President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto accompanied by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruiz Massieu.


10.  The Dutch delegation led by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte.

11.  The Spanish delegation headed by the King of Spain Felipe VI accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs José García-Margallo.

12.  The Italian delegation led by the Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi.

13.  The Greek delegation led by the Former Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou and the President of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos.


14.  The Polish delegation led by the President of Poland Andrzej Duda.

15.  The Swiss delegation led by the President of the Swiss Confederation Johann Schneider-Ammann.

16.  The Austrian delegation led by the President of the National Council of Austria Doris Bures, accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz and Former President Heinz Fischer.

17.  The Finnish delegation led by the Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipilä.


18.  The Swedish delegation led by the Prime Minister of Sweden Stephen Levin.

19.  The Ukrainian delegation headed by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

20.  The Latvian delegation headed by the President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis.


21.  The Lithuanian delegation headed by the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė.

22.  The Luxembourg delegation headed by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg Henri de Luxembourg.

23.  The delegation from the Vatican led by Archbishop Antonio Franco.


24.  The Côte d’Ivoire delegation headed by the President of Côte d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, accompanied by Foreign Minister and Finance Minister.

25.  The Togolese delegation headed by the President of Togo Faure Gnasingbh.

26.  The Portuguese delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal Augusto Santos Silva.


27.  The Brazilian delegation headed by the Foreign Minister of Brazil Jose Seria.

28.  The Turkish delegation headed by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Yıldız.

29.  The Chinese delegation headed by the Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, accompanied by ten representatives of the People's Republic of China.


30.  The Singaporean delegation led by the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Minister of Defense Ng Eng Hen.

31.  The Indian delegation led by the Minister of Science and Technology of India Harsh Vardhan.

32.  The Australian delegation led by the Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove and including the Secretary of Defense.


Photo Silvia G Golan








OK2GO, an Israeli hi-tech company specializing in location-based control and reporting solutions, has recently signed an agreement with KOINOS, a Chile-based company, to distribute its products there. The company’s development center will remain in Israel


The Transaction’s value is estimated at 16 million NIS


OK2GO, an Israeli hi-tech company specializing in location-based control and reporting solutions for mobile phones, landlines and biometric smart watches, is expanding its operation and has recently signed an agreement with KOINOS, a Chile-based company active in the technology and innovation fields, to distribute its products there.  The Transaction’s value is estimated at 16 million NIS.


OK2GO Specializes in location-based attendance reporting services operated through a broad range of devices including smartphones, mobile phones and landlines. The company has thousands of clients including defense and security companies, traders, government companies and local authorities. The service is operational throughout the workday and provided in full coordination between employer and employee.


OK2GO’s market research has revealed that Chile has a high demand for the Israeli company’s advanced service: collecting attendance reports from the office and from the field through mobile phones. OK2GO provides an optimal solution for Chile’s need using a cloud-based service able to collect data from any mobile phone, cellular app, vehicle or the Internet. The system can also interface with the client organizations’ salary and ERP systems, thus increasing the collection efficiency of office hours and project work data and speeding up pay-slip preparation.


The service saves businesses an average of 7-15 percent of their wage costs and dozens to thousands of dollars a year, depending on the company’s size. The service will help make work, operation and automation processes more efficient, from checking employee attendance to producing pay-slips. Chile has a population of 17.5 million. Its market size is estimated at 10 million people, 20% of them mobile phone owners – that is about 2 million people. OK2GO has set a goal to reach 5% of the market within three years. This deal is estimated to yield an average of 4 million dollars in the next three years.


Shmuel Madar, CEO of OK2GO, has stated that expanding the services to overseas and using the great store of knowledge accumulated in Israel in various fields may serve many countries around the world. He also mentioned that the company has many more new, innovative developments in the pipeline.


The company already has branches in Brazil and Argentina, and it has recently closed a deal with one of Brazil’s largest accounting and financial consultation firms – a company employing thousands of people.


Image: Shmuel Madar, CEO OK2GO.


Photo provided by OK2GO






Israel Electric Corporation Signs Multi-Year Services Agreement with GE to Help Enhance Country’s Energy Supply Security


· New Multi Year Services Agreement to Cover Three GE 9FA Gas Turbines at IEC’s Eshcol, Tzafit and Alon Tavor Power Stations which include Hot Gas Path Inspection and Major Inspection to each unit.

· IEC Selects GE to Help Increase Long-Term Reliability of its Three Power Plants


HAIFA, ISRAEL—September 8 , 2016—In a move to help enhance the country’s long-term energy supply security, Israel Electric Corporation, Ltd (IEC), Israel’s main electric utility, and GE’s Power Services business (NYSE: GE) today announced a new multi-year services agreement, in which GE will support the long-term availability of its three 9FA gas turbines at IEC’s Eshkol Power Station, Tzafit Power Station and Alon Tavor Power Station.


Paul McElhinney, president & CEO of GE’s Power Services business, met this week with IEC and other GE executives in a formal signing ceremony for the multi-year agreement at IEC’s headquarters in Haifa. The new deal follows a previous 13-year multi-year agreement between IEC and GE for the three stations. The new pact goes into effect when the old service agreement expires in 2017. The agreement covers parts, repair and technical advisor services for planned outages for the three 9FA units.


As further noted by GE’s McElhinney, “GE is delighted to continue our close working relationship with IEC by implementing this multi-year agreement and maintaining IEC’s three power plants. We are proud to help IEC work to increase the country’s long-term energy supply by improving the reliability and availability of its existing 9FA gas turbine fleet.”


From right to left: Pascal Schweitzer, General Manager - Europe - Power Services, Paul McElhinney, president & CEO of GE’s Power Services business, Ofer Bloch, IEC CEO and Ram Erlichman, GenerationSenior Vice President, Generation & Energy.


Photo Courtesy: Yosi Weiss.














Local EU Statement on Yom HaShoah


The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Israel


The EU Delegation to the State of Israel, together with all Embassies of EU Member States in Israel, joins people in Israel commemorating today the deaths of six million Jews – innocent men, women and children, murdered simply for being Jewish.

Remembering the Shoah means for us recalling our joint responsibility for the future, continuing to stand strong against anti-Semitism, prejudice and racial discrimination in all their forms.

It is our duty to fight against anti-Semitism on every front. We cannot and will not accept that Jewish communities in Europe do not feel safe.

Attacks on Jews are attacks on all of us – against our way of living, against tolerance and against our identity. The European Union was built on the foundations of our values of democracy, human dignity and fundamental rights.

We are determined to defend these values against hate, violence and fanaticism. Never forget. Never again.










Hamas Terror Tunnel Uncovered and Neutralized in Southern Israel



Earlier this week, following combined efforts of intelligence, technology and ground forces IDF and ISA uncovered and neutralized an offensive tunnel infiltrating Israel from the Gaza Strip.


This tunnel, the first to be found since Operation Protective Edge, was built by Hamas in order to infiltrate Israel and execute terror attacks against the people of the southern communities. The IDF will continue its counter terror efforts to uncover and neutralize Hamas’ offensive tunnels.


Lt. Col. Peter Lerner IDF spokesmen: “The ugly truth is that Hamas continues to invest millions of dollars to build tunnels of terror and death. The tunnel uncovered in Israel demonstrates once more Hamas' warped priorities and continued commitment and investment in tools of violence.

This tunnel exposes Hamas' abhorrent intentions to attack the men, women and children of southern Israel.”




Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Italian State Forestry Corps (Corpo forestale dello Stato) and KKL-JNF Foundation in Italy



To promote environmental culture, ecological preservation, and sustainable development with the patronage of the Embassy of Israel in Italy


Rome, Today, April 13th 2016, at the General Inspectorate of the State Forestry Corps, KKL- JNF (Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael - Jewish National Fund) Italy Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Forestry Corps, in order to promote new forms of cooperation and agreement in the field of management and enhancement of natural protected areas, protection of environmental resources and for the implementation of international conventions.

The MOU also promotes new cooperation teams for scientific and technical activities and for territorial planning, research projects for biodiversity protection and management of forestry resources including; training programs, education and event planning courses that deal with environmental fields.


The Memorandum signed today – said Raffaele Sassun, President of KKL Foundation in Italy – "is a handshake between friends who are committed in developing new ways to protect our planet. We do not close the door on anything, from the simplest issue to the one that is almost impossible to solve, from educational projects to complex field operations."

The Memorandum envisages an area designated to the Corpo forestale on Mount Carmel, the symbol for both Jewish and Christian Religion, a green lung of Israel, which was recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve and which has suffered a terrible fire in 2010, but currently in rebirth.


Cesare PatroneHead of the Corpo Forestale dello Stato said: "The Corpo Forestale dello Stato and I are deeply proud about the initiative to dedicate a specific area, on Mount Carmel, to the Italian Forestry Corps, creating either a monument or an artwork as a testimony of the cooperation between the KKL Foundation and us", A reproduction of the monument will be placed in a protected area in Italy, symbolizing issues of environment and brotherhood among people.

The KKL invests heavily in Research - said Meir Spiegler, Director General of KKL Israel - not only for Israel but also for the rest of the world... The signing of this protocol represents the common commitment of the cooperation between the two nations.”



HE Naor Gilon, Ambassador of Israel in Italy, said: "[To feel] the friendship that exists between the two countries is the most important thing, because it best expresses how relationships are living a moment of intense and fruitful exchange. In the past there have been other examples of cooperation between Italy and Israel through KKL, {like the Forest of the Fallen of Nassiriya or the Forest in memory of Antonio Manganelli, the creation of Rabin Park in Rome and the help and support of the Italian Government for the restoration of Mount Carmel after the fire.}”

The agreement features pilot projects in natural areas that are protected and have a notable environmental value, through mutual hospitality meetings to ultimately spread peace, communication, solidarity and wealth among the nations.

The ceremony was also attended by Nazario Palmeiri, Senior Executive of the Corpo forestale dello Stato, Francesco Marinello, President of the 13th Senate Permanent Committee (land, environment, environmental goods), Barbara Degani, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry for the Environment and the and Sea protection, Antonio Ricciardi, Deputy Commander of the Arma dei Carabinieri.


The Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael Foundation is the oldest environmental organization in the world. KKL- JNF's operations include: creating open spaces, forests and recreation areas, water, forestry and environment, education, community development and security, tourism and recreation, and research and development – all in appreciation for our natural and cultural heritage.
The Corpo forestale dello Stato – established in Italy in 1822 – is a police force qualified for environmental, natural and landscape heritage protection, for the prevention and repression of crimes in environmental and agricultural protection in the Mediterranean area.

1  Photo Caption: (Left to right):Meir Spiegler - General Director KKL Israel, Raffaele Sassun – president KKL Italy, Cesare Patrone – General Director Corpo forestale, Nazario Palmieri – head of staff Corpo Forestale,

Photo Credit: Courtesy of KKL-JNF


2 Photo Caption: Signature of MOU between Italian Forestry Corps and KKL-JNF Italy

Photo Credit: Courtesy of KKL-JNF











Parents of Three Kidnapped Israeli Teens Join Former President Peres, Jewish Agency Chairman Sharansky in Saluting Partnership2Gether


Peres: “It takes a person of great dignity to experience such tremendous pain and produce such deep and abiding hope – you are proof that such people exist. All of Israel shares your pain.”


Sharansky: “The future of the Jewish people depends on the sense of shared responsibility between all Jews around the world.”



JAFFA, ISRAEL – Ninth President of Israel Shimon Peres and Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky today (Thursday, April 7) joined hundreds of Jewish leaders from around the world in celebrating the twentieth birthday of The Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Gether (P2G) program at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa. Also in attendance were the families of the three Israeli teens kidnapped and murdered in the summer of 2014—Eyal Yifrah, Gil-ad Shaer, and Naftali Frankel—who declared the P2G Global School Twinning Network the recipient of the 2016 Jerusalem Unity Prize, created in their sons’ memory.

Speaking to the parents, former President Peres said: “It takes a person of great dignity to experience such tremendous pain and produce such deep and abiding hope – you are proof that such people exist. All of Israel shares your pain.”Turning to the hundreds of Jewish leaders and activists in attendance, he said: “I wish to thank you, the representatives of world Jewry, for your uncompromising work strengthening the connection between Diaspora Jewry and the State of Israel. This is not easy work and it is full of difficulties, but you do it without giving up. Everyone was against the State of Israel but we succeeded despite the odds. We have become a creative, innovative nation. We are the only country in the Middle East that has no brother and no friend – not in language, not in religion, and not in culture. We have been attacked many times and they have done everything possible to destroy us, but despite it all, they have not destroyed our morality or the righteousness of our path.”

Chairman Sharansky said: “The future of the Jewish people depends on the sense of shared responsibility between all Jews around the world. The solidarity and connection between all parts of the Jewish people are key, and our future will be built on a foundation of morality and on the basis of Aliyah.”



Partnership2Gether (P2G) is a network of hundreds of communities in Israel and around the world, which are paired with one another and maintain long-term relationships aimed at strengthening the residents of both and the bonds between them. Founded in 1996 by The Jewish AgencyThe Jewish Federations of North America, and Keren Hayesod-UIA, P2G today connects some 450 communities in Israel and around the world through 46 established partnerships. 10,000 volunteers work to build meaningful connections between the communities by addressing residents’ core needs, engaging in exchange programs, and fostering a common Jewish identity.


The P2G Global School Twinning Network connects tens of thousands of students at more than 650 schools in Israel and around the world, who participate in joint educational activities and interact with one another online, while faculty members engage in joint training. The goal of the initiative is to bring about a positive cultural shift in Israel-Diaspora relations by developing a sense of unity and Jewish family amongst Jewish children, teachers, and parents around the world. Additionally, the program seeks to reinvigorate young people’s connections to Jewish life, to the Jewish people, and to Israel, and to create a common Jewish educational conversation.


PHOTO: Former President Peres and Jewish Agency Chairman Sharansky celebrate Partnership2Gether’s 20th birthday at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa, Israel, April 7, 2015.


Photo credit: David Shechter for The Jewish Agency for Israel.








Israel hosts a bilateral Israel-United Stated Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Workshop in Haifa


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel hosted a successful two-day PSI workshop April 5-6, 2016, in Haifa, Israel.  The workshop, in cooperation with the U.S. State Department, was attended by officials from multiple ministries and agencies from both sides, and featured a facilitated, interdiction scenario-based table top exercise (TTX) on courses of action for inspecting, identifying, and seizing shipments of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation concern pursuant to U.S. and Israeli commitments to the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles. 


The scenarios focused on relevant proliferation threats from nuclear, ballistic missiles, and terror elements. The tabletop exercise included a maritime component executed by Israeli and U.S. navy ships.

The workshop was a very productive way to strengthen our respective governments’ national capacities and to improve our bilateral cooperation to deal with WMD-related interdictions.


Launched in Krakow, Poland in 2003, the current 105 PSI-endorsing states have committed to undertake measures, on a voluntary basis and consistent with their national authorities and resources and international legal frameworks, to interdict transfers of WMD- and missile-related items to and from state and non-state actors of proliferation concern, to exchange relevant information, and to strengthen legal authorities to conduct interdictions.  PSI endorsers regularly conduct exercises, workshops, and other activities to improve their capacities to fulfill their PSI commitments. 







Ambassador Shapiro to Lead Delegation of Israeli Companies to SelectUSA Investment Summit


Summit represents unique opportunity for Israeli businesses to expand into the U.S. market


TEL AVIV – U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro will again lead a delegation of Israeli companies to the third annual SelectUSA Investment Summit, to be held in Washington DC, June 19-21, 2016.


The theme of this year’s Summit is “The Innovation Advantage,” and will give companies the opportunity to enrich their knowledge, learning the basics of investment and promotion in the United States.


“I am excited to be part of the 2016 SelectUSA Summit,” said Ambassador Shapiro. “The Summit represents an outstanding opportunity for Israeli companies looking to establish or expand their presence in the United States. They will find investment opportunities in all 50 states at their fingertips.”


This year’s Summit follows the unprecedented success of last year’s conference, which brought together thousands of participants from 70 countries.


“The Summit gave us the perfect opportunity to engage with representatives from U.S. economic development organizations and government leaders, and gave us invaluable information in determining our investment strategy,” said Itay Tayas Zamir, CEO and Co-Founder of Woosh, an innovative Israeli smart water station service company. Woosh attended last year’s Summit and has recently launched its eco-friendly water stations in Dayton, Ohio, and signed an agreement to deploy a city-wide network of water stations with the city of Miami Beach last month.


During the conference participants will have direct access to business and economic development bodies and representatives from across the United States.


“Mutual investment by Israeli and American companies does so much for both of our economies,” said Ofra Strauss, Chairperson of Strauss Group, who attended and spoke at last year’s conference. “This Summit plays a huge part in bringing the right people together so that everyone succeeds.”


To see Ambassador Shapiro’s invitation from last year:


For more information about the Summit:


Companies that want to participate and journalists who wish to cover the conference can register here:


For questions and further inquiries, please contact SelectUSA’s representative in Israel, Sigal Mendelovich: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


About SelectUSA

Housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, SelectUSA promotes and facilitates business investment into the United States by coordinating related federal government agencies to serve as a single point of contact for investors. SelectUSA assists U.S. economic development organizations to compete globally for investment by providing information, a platform for international marketing, and high-level advocacy. SelectUSA also helps investors find the information they need to make decisions; connect to the right people at the local level; navigate the federal regulatory system; and find solutions to issues related to the federal government. For more information,









Israel - South Africa Foreign Ministry Directors General Joint Statement


The discussions focused on the relations between the two countries and the sides agreed on improving cooperation on national priority issues such as water, agriculture, trade and science and technology


The Director General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Ambassador Jerry Matjila, and the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Ambassador Dore Gold, met today (Thursday, March 10, 2016) in Pretoria for bilateral discussions.


The discussions focused on the relations between the two countries and the sides agreed on improving cooperation between the two countries. The Directors General agreed that officials from South Africa and Israel will work together on national priority issues such as water, agriculture, trade and science and technology. The sides also discussed the situation in the Middle East. The sides emphasized the importance of trade delegations in both directions.


The discussions were held in a positive atmosphere and a shared desire to deepen dialogue and friendly relations between South Africa and Israel.


Photo  :Israel MFA DG Dr. Dore Gold with his South African counterpart Amb Jerry Matjila

Copyright: MFA





Cyprus – Israel - Greece Trilateral Summit Declaration


Following is the text of the Cyprus-Israel-Greece Trilateral Summit Declaration that was issued today (Thursday, 28 January 2018), in Nicosia:

"We, Nikos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, and Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, having met in Nicosia today, 28th January 2016, have agreed to strengthen the cooperation between our three countries in order to promote a trilateral partnership in different fields of common interest and to work together towards promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Mediterranean and the wider region.


In light of the underlying challenges and opportunities, and given the fluid and unstable situation in the region, our three countries, which share common democratic values, principles, and interests, have, to this end, agreed on the importance for closer cooperation and a coordinated set of policies.

Our partnership is not exclusive in design or nature, and we are ready to welcome other like-minded actors to join our efforts to promote coordination and cooperation, as well as regional peace and stability.


We agree to work closely together with a view to strengthening our cooperation on common projects, involving both public and private actors. In particular, we are examining practical means of cooperating and implementing joint projects and synergies in the fields of energy, tourism, research and technology, environment, water management, combating terrorism, and migration.

Furthermore, we are exploring potential collaboration in a wide array of other fields, including agriculture, forestation, joint fire-fighting efforts, environmental protection including marine pollution, joint emergency response to natural disasters, exchange of information in emergency situations, joint search and rescue exercises, health, management of epidemics, joint scientific projects, development of renewable energy technologies, education, communications and trilateral roaming agreements, and commercial shipping.


The discovery of important hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean can serve as a catalyst for peace, stability and cooperation in the region. To this end, the three countries view the energy sector, and in particular, natural gas and renewable energy, as a solid foundation for cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean basin.

We consider that trilateral energy projects, such as the “EuroAsia Interconnector”, are of strategic importance as they will create a mutually beneficial relationship between the energy markets of Israel and Cyprus with those of continental Europe. In addition, we express our strong support to the export of Eastern Mediterranean gas to continental Europe. In this context, we reiterate our readiness to further explore projects such as the “EastMed Pipeline”. We have agreed to work closely together promoting joint projects, which will enhance the security of energy supply. We invite neighbouring countries to explore possible synergies which can be implemented by working collectively on a regional basis.


Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, we reaffirm our commitment to explore avenues of cooperation in the sphere of renewable energy through joint green-tech programs, in particular in the fields of solar energy, energy efficiency, fuel options for transportation and smart grids.

In addition, the three countries acknowledge the importance of tourism and the vast potential for a comprehensive collaboration towards encouraging the influx of tourists to the region by offering joint packages, including cruises and religious, medical and other thematic tourism. We agree to explore ways of sharing information and know-how in order to support local small tourism businesses, joint initiatives and more. The three competent Ministers agree to meet and examine the various facets.


We remain steadfastly committed to working together towards the enhancement of the bilateral relations between the European Union and Israel in areas of mutual interest and concern.

We stress the importance of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation for the countries of the region. On the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the Barcelona Declaration, we welcome the role the Union for the Mediterranean can play to this end, as reflected in the EU Joint Communication on the Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy of 18th November 2015.


We acknowledge the grave dangers posed by terrorism, both regionally and globally, and have agreed to continue joining forces with the international community to tackle this challenge. We strongly and unequivocally condemn all terrorist actions and call upon all States to confront this menace also through closer security cooperation. In light of the above, we have agreed to enhance our cooperation in this sphere by initiating trilateral dialogue between our competent Authorities. Efforts to curb the flow of foreign fighters, restrict financial and military support to terrorist groups, and counter extremist propaganda should intensify. Incitement to violence should be condemned and stopped.

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27th January, the leaders paid homage to those perished during the Holocaust and condemned without reserve all manifestations of religious intolerance, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, wherever they occur.


We underline our willingness to join efforts for the protection of antiquities and for the preservation and development of historical and archaeological sites, aiming at safeguarding the historical memory of our peoples and the common heritage of mankind, as well as our readiness to cooperate for the protection of underwater cultural heritage and to promote such cooperation with neighbouring countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The ongoing turmoil in our neighbourhood has triggered unprecedented migratory flows that pose a challenge that can be met only by multilateral action that addresses the conditions that created these migratory flows, through comprehensive and holistic planning and strategies. It should address ways to ending hostilities, eradicating poverty and improving livelihoods through development. We are also committed to combating smuggling of people and reiterate our readiness to contribute to efforts designed to address the humanitarian aspects of the unfolding refugee crisis, in close cooperation with all concerned countries and actors.


We express our full and unwavering support to the ongoing negotiation process, under the United Nations Good Office Mission, for a just, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, based on international law and the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. Such a solution, which will reunify the island, based on the respect of democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, would not only benefit the people of Cyprus in its entirety, but also significantly contribute to the peace and stability of the region, through Cyprus’ independent foreign policy.

The Governments express their hope that the resumption of negotiations of the MEPP will conclude in a just and lasting solution.


We are convinced of the strategic nature and necessity of our trilateral cooperation and will continue working closely in order to realize its full potential, to the benefit of our countries and peoples, and to the wider region.

In this regard, we endorse the establishment of a Trilateral Steering Committee, which held its first official meeting earlier today, and which is tasked with identifying priorities, as well as overseeing and coordinating the implementation of our joint projects.


The three leaders have agreed that the next trilateral Summit will be held in Israel in the second half of 2016."








“Monarch” Flies to Israel Again.


 Getting to and from London for Israeli residents has just become easier. Joining the airlines that already service the Israel-England route is Monarch Airlines, adding 4 weekly services to the British capital – three from/to Tel Aviv and one from/to Eilat.


This is not the airline’s first time in Israel. More than a decade ago the airline operated charter flights between London and Tel Aviv. The new services will be of a scheduled airline, with choices for passengers that include baggage, hot meals and seat selection. Andrew Swaffield, Chief Executive Officer of The Monarch Group: “These two new scheduled routes are the result of the ongoing work we are doing to develop our winter programme which showcases a number of winter sun and ski destinations. Tel Aviv and Ovda [for Eilat] are growing in popularity once more with tourists and with the diverse offerings of both these destinations we are sure they will be a very popular choice for winter holidays. We are also looking forward to welcoming visitors from Israel to the UK.”



The first flight landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on the 3rd of December, with an impressive welcome ceremony, in the presence of his Excellency the British Ambassador David Quarrey, and Yariv Levin, Israel’s Minister of Tourism. Also present was Monarch’s CEO Andrew Swaffield (who came from London for the occasion), and many other tourism-related business executives. Mr. Swaffield noted that London is an extremely popular destination for Israeli tourists. (We know too that members of the diplomatic community in Israel visit Britain frequently as well.)



The Israeli Ministry of Tourism has welcomed the additional services between the two countries – the fruits of Israel’s new “open-skies” policies. The flights to Eilat represent the interest that European travelers have in taking winter breaks in warm and hospitable destinations.


As an aside but very relevant to the aviation industry, the British Ambassador tweeted recently: Congrats @RollsRoyce, selected by @EL_AL_AIRLINES to power new Dreamliner fleet. UK's biggest ever export to Israel. Kol hakavod! Trade and tourism between the UK and Israel are on the increase and everyone benefits.




Photos : Silvia Golan







With the Jewish festival of Chanukah to begin on Sunday evening (6th December), President Rivlin issued the following message to Jewish communities around the world.


A video of the greeting is available here -



“My dear brothers and sisters in Israel, and around the world. At Chanukah we stand around the lights, watch as they glow, and sing together Maoz Tzur, a song that tells about the many challenges that have risen against the Jewish people in the past. We celebrate the survival of our people and our faith against all the odds. We celebrate the freedom that was won in those days, and that we enjoy today with Israel as the national home of the Jewish people. It is no coincidence that the symbol of the Government of Israel is the Menorah, the symbol of Jewish independence, which lights our path. In each generation we must find that path; to reinforce the bonds between Jews across the world, to share together, to hold high the torch of freedom. To bring light where there is darkness. Just as it was for the heroic Maccabim, the light of the Menorah inspires us all.


“Today, hatred, incitement, and terrorism threaten the whole world. In the face of these threats we need to be firm and strong like a rock – like Maoz Tzur – in our beliefs in freedom, justice, in the values of our tradition and of democracy. So this year as we gather with our families and communities and look at the wonderful lights it is my prayer that we will be reminded of the bonds that we all share, and the important role we all have of being a light unto the nations.


“Our thoughts at this time are of course with those who will be celebrating with a heavy heart; the injured and the families who have lost loved ones in the wave of terror that has struck in Israel, and around the world. To them especially, and to all the Jewish people, I wish a very happy Chanukah. Shalom from Jerusalem.”








"Diplomacy Staff  would like to express deep sorrow over the passing of Israel's fifth president, Yitzhak Navon, and send  condolences to his family


Daniel Schwarz                                                                                   Silvia G. Golan

 CEO                                                                                                   Executive Director

Mad Logic - Latina Media Group                                        

                                                                                                           Facebook Diplomacy Israel




Photo Silvia Golan








Michael Douglas and Genesis Prize Foundation Launch $3.5 Million Inclusivity Initiative Effort focuses on critical issue of including intermarried families in Jewish life


Jerusalem, Israel, June 18, 2015— Tonight, at the Genesis Prize Award Ceremony at the Jerusalem Theater, activist and actor Michael Douglas announced the establishment of a dedicated fund to foster inclusion of intermarried families in the global Jewish community. Douglas made the announcement during his acceptance speech for the Genesis Prize, a $1 million annual award that recognizes individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their field, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and the State of Israel.


In recognition of the challenges facing the Jewish community stemming from the high rate of intermarriage, the Genesis Prize Foundation announced that it would double the Prize amount this year to $2 million. These additional funds will also be directed to programs aimed at fostering inclusion in the Jewish community.


“In choosing to use his prize to raise awareness of the need for inclusion of intermarried families, Michael Douglas is shining a light on an issue of great importance to the Jewish community,” said Stan Polovets, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Prize Foundation. “Such inclusion is key for a vibrant and prosperous long-term future of the Jewish people and we are pleased to support Michael’s efforts by doubling the amount of the prize to $2 million.”


The Genesis Prize Foundation also announced that it would partner with the Jewish Funders Network to establish a matching grants fund to encourage the development of new initiatives in this field. The fund is expected to disburse up to $3.5 million in grants to Jewish organizations interested in taking on the issue of inclusiveness of intermarried families and their children. The first such grant will go to Hillel International, which will use the funds to foster greater engagement of students of intermarried backgrounds in Jewish campus life.


The official call for applications will come in August 2015. A full description of the matching grants process, the criteria for applying and all relevant details are available at


“As someone who has not always been welcomed in the Jewish community because of my mixed parentage, I am passionate about changing that reality for others who want to connect to their heritage,” shared Michael Douglas on stage at the Jerusalem Theater. “My children have further shown me how powerful our heritage and history are, and I want other families to reap the benefits of this connection.”


Michael Douglas was named the 2015 Genesis Prize Laureate for his achievement in film and television, commitment to humanitarian issues, and dedication to his Jewish heritage. He came to Jerusalem with his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, and children Dylan and Carys. Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg was the recipient of the inaugural Genesis Prize, awarded in May of 2014.


Bloomberg deferred his $1 million award so that the Genesis Prize Foundation could create the Genesis Generation Challenge competition in his honor. As part of the competition, nine teams of young adults have been awarded $100,000 each to pursue projects in various fields of social innovation aimed at bettering the world. The winning teams include Prize4Life, an Israeli non-profit organization looking to develop an app that will help monitor ALS disease markers; Build Israel and Palestine (BIP), a U.S.-based platform bringing together Jews and Muslims to partner in development projects in Israel and the Palestinian territories; as well as Spark, an organization in Burundi involved in reaching out to rural poor communities and assisting them in implementing their own social impact projects.


The second Genesis Prize award ceremony saw the return of Jay Leno as its host, and added Bar Refaeli, the Israeli supermodel and actress, to its list of talented presenters. The events surrounding the Genesis Prize ceremony also included a panel discussion at the Peres Center for Peace with the Ninth President of Israel, Shimon Peres, and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky. Michael Douglas, a UN Messenger of Peace, moderated the discussion, which was attended by hundreds of young people from Israel and abroad.



Intermarriage rates and Jewish identity

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey of U.S. Jews, close to 70% of non-Orthodox Jews who married since 2000 have a non-Jewish spouse. Among Jewish millennials in the US, 48% have only one Jewish parent. Yet the same study indicates that while the religious affiliation of the offspring of intermarriages has weakened, their desire to define themselves as Jewish has grown – 59% of this group aged 18-29 considers themselves Jewish, compared to only 25% in the age group 65+. For US millennials from intermarried families today, the desire to affiliate is stronger than in previous generations. The data, which is similar to what is found in other large Jewish concentrations outside of Israel (such as the former Soviet Union) points to the desire of millennials from intermarried families to connect with their Jewish heritage and culture. This, in turn, presents an opportunity for the broader Jewish community. Active engagement of intermarried couples and their children can and will bring about a stronger connection to their Jewish legacy, to the local Jewish community, and to the State of Israel.


For more detailed information on the importance of engaging intermarried families in Jewish life, view the Genesis Prize’s “Living as One” video, debuted at the Genesis Prize award ceremony, available at


To learn more about The Genesis Prize, please visit or and follow on Twitter at @TheGenesisPrize







Michael Douglas to arrive in Israel next week to accept 2015 Genesis Prize

Inclusion, diversity and tolerance chosen as a main theme of award ceremony


The renowned actor, producer and peace activist Michael Douglas arrived in Israel to accept the 2015 Genesis Prize. The annual prize celebrates the richness and diversity of the Jewish culture and aims to strengthen the Jewish community across the globe.


The award ceremony will be held on June 18 at the Jerusalem Theater, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the Prize to Michael Douglas. Jay Leno will return as Master of Ceremonies and Bar Refaeli will join as a presenter. Mr. Douglas’s wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky and Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) CEO Stan Polovets are expected to attend, together with leaders of Jewish organizations and representatives of Israeli and global business, politics and culture.


The 2015 Genesis Prize award ceremony will be composed of three elements: a tribute to the Laureate, a celebration of the contribution of Jews to Hollywood and Broadway, and a segment on inclusion, diversity and tolerance – the main theme of GPF’s activities this year. Michael Douglas announced earlier that he plans to defer the prize money, and work with the Genesis Prize Foundation to direct it to projects that promote and encourage inclusiveness in the Jewish community.


“The program this year will be unique and represent the special nature of this Prize,” said Stan Polovets, Co-Founder and Chairman of GPF. “In creating this award, we have chosen to annually combine the exceptional profile of the Laureate with an important issue which is of concern to the Jewish people and will resonate with unaffiliated young adults.”


During his visit to Israel, Michael Douglas will also take part in additional events organized by GPF together with the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Peres Center for Peace, Masa Israel, Taglit-Birthright Israel, the Jerusalem Cinemateque and others.



The Genesis Prize is awarded by the Genesis Prize Foundation in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel. It recognizes individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their fields and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel. Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, presented the inaugural Genesis Prize to Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg in 2014.


To learn more about The Genesis Prize, please visit or, #GenesisPrize2015



 Photo Silvia Golan










Joint Declaration: 25 years of Polish-Israeli bilateral cooperation

Over the past quarter century, Israel and Poland have built privileged and friendly bilateral relations that draw on common history, mutual respect for sovereignty and security needs, as well as economic and cultural collaboration.


This year, Poland and Israel mark 25 years since renewing diplomatic relations. Over the past quarter century, we have built privileged and friendly bilateral relations that draw on common history, mutual respect for sovereignty and security needs, as well as economic and cultural collaboration.


We have consistently expanded our political dialogue. This is evidenced by the many visits of ministers, prime ministers and presidents, as well as the mechanism of intergovernmental consultations which is presided over by the heads of government. The dynamism of our political cooperation is confirmed by the current visit to Israel by Mr Grzegorz Schetyna, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. The aims of his trip are to sum up bilateral relations, and foster relations in promising fields of cooperation, chief among them the economic, military and strategic ones. We also want to deepen our dialogue at the level of local governments.


We are hopeful that in the years to come we will unlock the potential of collaboration among scientific and research companies and institutions, in particular from the broadly defined research and development sector. We are considering setting up an Innovation Council as a Polish-Israeli mechanism to support innovation projects.


We outline the need for future development of relations between Israel and the European Union, and to continue our cooperation in regional strategic issues. We are convinced of the need to work closer together in the framework of EU programmes, notably Horizon 2020, which will help forge closer ties between the scientific circles of both countries.


Moreover, we can see cooperation potential in traditional sectors of the economy. We welcome the ever stronger economic relations between Polish and Israeli companies. We are ready to intensify government measures to enhance comprehensive economic cooperation by frequent exchange of visits and organization of economic missions.


After a new and free Poland was born and bilateral diplomatic relations were restored in 1990, we have invigorated people-to-people contacts. Following over two decades of contact restrictions, Poles and Israelis had a chance to get to know each other anew. An array of educational projects, aimed at disseminating knowledge about the Polish-Jewish past and bolstering modern-day dialogue between societies, allows young people from Poland and Israel to discover their historical sensibilities together, and discuss all subjects, including the difficult ones.


We will seek to increase the number and scope of programmes that enable young Israelis to meet their Polish peers during educational trips and encourage contacts, cooperation and exchange visits of youth from both sides on the basis of the principle of reciprocity. Such relations go a long way towards rounding out our cooperation on preserving the memory of both nations’ heritage, and the extermination of Polish Jews perpetrated by Nazi Germany.


Poland and Israel recognize the importance of securing the wellbeing of Holocaust survivors and other victims of the Second World War in occupied Poland and work together to secure that.


We want to further deepen contacts between our societies. We hope that measures to develop cultural cooperation will contribute to more interest in modern-day Poland in Israel, and modern-day Israel in Poland, and result in joint actions and projects being put in place. We applaud the revival of the institutions of Jewish life in Poland, and will facilitate their contacts with educational and cultural organizations in Israel and among the diaspora.


The two nations are being brought closer together by Polin, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which has recently opened in Warsaw. This modern institution has all the advantages to become an important stopover for Israeli educational trips in Poland, and all those who are interested in nearly a millennium of Jewish presence in Polish lands. Besides exhibitions and traditional museum activities, Polin offers a meeting space for young people from Poland, Israel, and the whole world. We hope it will foster a better understanding of our shared history, and contribute to the development of people-to-people contacts.



Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely with Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Grzegorz Schetyna
Copyright: Shlomi Amsalem








Historic moment.

Minister of Justice: “Spain closed a door in 1492. This door fully reopens the 1st October 2015”. “Spain is today an open, inclusive, tolerant society”.

Recognition of the outstanding importance of the Sephardim in our history and culture.


Why this law? It is the recognition of a unique case. The Sephardim kept Spain in their hearts for five centuries. When they left Spain they scattered, frequently in small, non-connected communities around the world. But until now they have maintained their memories, songs, language, traditions, prayers and, very significantly, their nostalgia for Sepharad.


Key elements of the law

Unanimity on this law. Support of all the political parties in the Spanish Parliament. Shows Spanish people commitment with the Sephardim
This law has the full support of the Spanish Jewish Community.
This is a unique case. When offering nationality, usually countries require that at least the grandparents are nationals. In this case, it is more than 500 years up the family. Only two countries have managed to do this: Spain and Portugal.
The Sephardim will no longer have to move their residence and renounce their previous nationality.


Why now? This law does not come out of the blue. It culminates a path full of gestures:
19th Century, under Isabel II: Jews are allowed to have their own cemeteries.
In 1900 Jews recovered their right to open synagogues in Spain.
1924: the Sephardim are offered Spanish citizenship by law for the first time. Later on, during the Second World War, Spanish diplomats in Europe used this law to save thousands of Jews from the Holocaust. Some have become “Righteous among Nations”.
1981: Law stating that the Sephardim only have to reside in Spain for two years to obtain citizenship (general rule is 10 years).
1990: Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, handed by today’s king Felive VI.
1992: King Juan Carlos, visited the Synagogue of Madrid and declared: “Sepharad is no longer a nostalgia, but a house where Jews should not feel at home. Because they are at home”.


Two material requirements: Applicants will have to prove:
Sephardim of Spanish origin: “Sephardim” has a broad meaning in Israel. This law applies to the descendants of the Spanish Jews that where expelled from Spain in 1492, regardless of their current religion or residence. The law mentions an open list of possible means of evidence that will be considered globally:
certificates of rabbis or Jewish community Leaders or Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain
the language Ladino or Haketia
The use of “ketubah” under the laws of Castilla
The family names, as long as a competent authority is able to link them to the Spanish Sephardim.
Special relation with Spain.
Official studies related to Spanish history and culture
Language Haketia or Ladino.
Philantropic, cultural or economic activities in benefit of Spain or in benefit of the study of the Sephardi culture.


Exams: candidates will have to go through exams of basic level of Spanish language and Spanish culture, organized by the Cervantes Institute. There are exceptions: for minors and handicapped people. Nationals of countries where Spanish is an official language (i.e. Argentina) won’t need the Spanish exam.


Process: For the first time, the application will be done online (the website is not open yet). The application and all the documents will be sent directly to the relevant authorities through the internet. Payment of a 100 euro fee. Then, applicants will have to travel to Spain once, to appear before a Spanish notary. After that, within 12 months they will receive the final decision and the rest (registering as Spaniards and obtaining the passport) can be done at Embassies or Consulates. Clarification: Only those who have a positive pre-evaluation will have to travel to Madrid. In other words: only those who are likely to succeed will have to do the trip.


It will be in effect on 1st October 2015, for 3 years + 1 extra year upon Government decision.
Complete applications will be decided upon in 12 months (maximum).
The law will be forever in effect for extraordinary cases or when there are humanitarian reasons.






Regional Cooperation Minister Silvan Shalom, today (Thursday, 26 February 2015), signed the 'Seas Canal' agreement with Jordanian Water and Irrigation Minister Hazim El-Naser at a ceremony attended by dignitaries from both sides as well as representatives from the World Bank and the US embassies in Israel and Jordan.


The agreement sets relations between Israel and Jordan regarding implementation of the first stage of the 'Seas Canal' project, including the construction of a desalination plant north of Aqaba that would supply water to the Aravah region in Israel and to Aqaba in Jordan. Residual saline brines will be piped to the Dead Sea via an approximately 200-km pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea in order to stabilize and save the latter. In the framework of the agreement, water from northern Israel will be piped to Amman. The effect of the process on the Dead Sea, as well as other environmental affects, will be monitored and studied.


Jordanian Minister El-Naser said that Jordan welcomed the cooperation that would lead to the strengthening of bilateral links and facilitate joint dealing with the water problem in the region.


Minister Shalom said, "I stand here very moved by this historic signing of an agreement on a joint project to build a canal between the seas. Today we are realizing the vision of Binyamin Zeev Herzl, the father of the state, who in the late 19th century saw the need to revive the Dead Sea. This is the most important and significant agreement since the peace treaty with Jordan. This is the peak of fruitful and very good cooperation between Israel and Jordan and will assist in rehabilitating the Dead Sea and in resolving water issues in Jordan and the Aravah."


Israeli and Jordanian representatives at the signing of the agreement. Photo by Israel's Ministry for Regional Cooperation






On February 17, it had been launched in the city of Rehovot the first Romanian kindergarten from Israel. The project is organized by the Hitachtud Olei Romania (HOR) in Rehovot, with the support of the Romanian Embassy in Israel and the Department for Romanians Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania.


The event was opened by Andreea Păstârnac, the Romanian ambassador to Israel and Zeev Schwartz, the president of HOR Israel and Clarisa Steinberg, the President of HOR Rehovot. Sixty people participated to this event, mostly representatives of the first and second generations of Israelis born in Romania whose children or grandchildren are already part of the first kindergarten class.


The Romanian Kindergarten class meets weekly under the direction of a Romanian language teacher and already has 19 children enrolled, with ages between 5 and 9 years old. During their first class, the children were taught the first basics of Romanian language and received their first Abecedar – the bedrock handbook of the Romanian language.


This project is addressed to the children of the third and second generations of Israeli citizens originating from Romania. Its objective is to teach the new generations about the general elements of the Romanian culture as well as the basic Romanian language skills, in the same time keeping active the people who have volunteered to support this initiative.







New international website of the Baha'i community launched


HAIFA, 20 January 2015, (BWNS) — The website of the worldwide Baha'i community at has been launched in a new version, representing the latest stage in the development of an official presence on the Web that extends back to 1996. The site explores the beliefs and writings of the Baha'i Faith and presents the experience of those throughout the world who, inspired by the teachings of Baha'u'llah, are striving to contribute to the betterment of society.


The revised site highlights two broad sections – "What Baha'is Believe" and "What Baha'is Do" – and features a new presentation of the Baha'i Reference Library.


The section entitled "What Baha'is Believe" aims to organize a selection of central beliefs of the Baha'i Faith into a few thematic areas, such as The Life of the Spirit, God and His Creation, and Universal Peace. "What Baha'is Do" explores how Baha'is, together with those who share their aspirations, are working for social progress.


The site also includes a new version of the Baha'i Reference Library, the authoritative online source of the Baha'i writings, containing selected works of Baha'u'llah, The Bab, 'Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi, and the Universal House of Justice, as well as other Baha'i texts.


To read the article online, view photographs and access links:


For the Baha'i World News Service home page, go to:





"Ofek 10" Satellite has entered orbit and begun transmitting data and visual material

The research and development department (MAFAT) of Israel's Ministry of Defense in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI Ltd.) launched this evening Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 22:15 hrs, "Ofek 10" satellite into space. The satellite was launched into orbit by a "Shavit" satellite launcher from an Israeli Air Force test range.

In the early hours of Thursday, April 10, 2014 according to plan, the satellite entered its orbit around the Earth, and underwent a series of tests to confirm its serviceability and accurate performance.  The satellite then began transmitting data and visual material to Earth.  Engineers from MAFAT – Ministry of Defense with engineers from Israel Aerospace Industries are continuing to perform a series of planned tests until the satellite begins operational service.

"Ofek 10" is an observation remote-sensing satellite that employs synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology with advanced "high-resolution" imagery, capable of operating day or night and in all weather conditions.  "Ofek 10" was developed on previous experience accrued during the development and production of the "Ofek" series of advanced satellites, the first of which was launched in 1988.  

The "Ofek 10" satellite was launched into orbit by the "Shavit" multi-stage satellite launcher.  The satellite "Ofek 10" as well as the "Shavit" satellite launcher were developed and produced by Israel's Ministry of Defense, through its R&D Department (MAFAAT).  The primary contractor is Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI Ltd). In addition, a number of other


Israeli companies cooperated in its development and production, including Rafael, Spectralink from Elbit Systems, Rokar, and Israel Military Industries.  Branches of the Israel Defense Forces were also involved including the Intelligence Branch and the Air Force.





 Photo credit: Israel Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries

embed video plugin powered by Union Development


Photo Silvia Golan

Moshe Rosenblum: "The number of visitors to the mall has tripled and amounts to 200,000 per month"

The Ofer Sirkin Mall, of the Ofer Group is completing these days a large strategic process with a comprehensive investment of 40 million NIS.

Within this strategic process, the mall has undergone an extensive change in the mixture of stores, and a gradual increase in the number of leading fashion chains and brands, together with businesses that offer diverse services. Among the new stores: Top Ten, Laline, To Go, Delta, Sacara, Goldberry, Crazy Line, Hoodies, צומת ספרים , Body Shop, Kravitz and more..

Among the new stores of leading brands: Castro, Fox, New Pharm, Erroca, Golf, GREG Coffee, Kitan, News Shoes, Aristo-shmat, Magnolia Silver Jewelry, Gali Shoes, Discreet Shoes.

The strategic process includes, among others, the enlargement and upgrade of the business areas, change of the floor, ceiling and lighting, change of elevators, addition of escalators, change of toilette rooms and addition of toilette rooms for children and handicapped persons, renewal of the mall indoors, repair of gates and entrances, change of load elevators and supplier entrances, upgrade of electricity, water and air conditioning infrastructures. The significant changes and upgrades in the mall allow the customers to enjoy an especially profitable, quality and attractive buying experience.

The Ofer Sirkin Mall was built in 1977, being the first mall in Petach Tikva. The mall is located in the middle of a new neighborhood near the Sirkin intersection in Petach Tikva, between central traffic routes (route 40 that connects it between the Segula intersection in the north and the Yehud intersection in the south, road 471 and highway 6), which makes it easily and preferably accessible.

The main intended public of the mall amounts to about 80,000. Its social-economic status is defined as middle and upwards, consisting of mixed population that includes non-religious, traditional, religious and orthodox. In addition, the mall has clients that live in nearby towns, such as Nehalim, Beerot Yitzhak, Magshimim, Mazor, Kfar Nofech, Bnei Atarot, Kfar Sirkin and Kfar Maas.

Moshe Rosenblum, the Ofer Malls CEO said: "The Ofer Sirkin Mall is an urban mall, which due to its massive renewal and huge investment has acquired high standards, similar to inter-regional malls. Immediately after completing the renewal process, the number of visitors tripled and amounts to 200,000 per month. As a result, the income of the operating stores has increased in tens percents, and the growth prospects by the end of 2014 is about 20%".

The innovative urban Ofer Sirkin Mall provides an exciting buying experience for the whole family.


Photo  Yoval Sharaf / Dudi Hason

HAIFA, Israel, 30 March 2014, (BWNS) — A new official website of the Baha’i Faith has been launched providing general information about the Universal House of Justice – the international governing body of the Baha’i community – and making available selected statements and letters that have been written by it or prepared under its supervision.

The Universal House of Justice is elected every five years by representatives of over 170 national Baha’i communities. The most recent election took place in April 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of when it was established.

The official website for the Universal House of Justice can be viewed at

To read the article online, view photographs and access links:

For the Baha'i World News Service home page, go to:


 Photo Silvia Golan







    The United States and the State of Israel concluded an agreement on March 5 to continue support of the production of the Iron Dome weapon system.

    The Iron Dome system is capable of intercepting and destroying short-range rockets, and mortar and artillery shells, and is an invaluable component of Israeli missile defense. During Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, Iron Dome was credited with saving countless Israeli lives, and was called a "game-changer" by many Israeli policy-makers. Yesterday's agreement ensures continued U.S. funding for procurement of Iron Dome systems and interceptors, and provides for significant co-production opportunities for U.S. industry. Under the terms of the agreement, $429 million will be transferred immediately to Israel to support Iron Dome procurement.

   The agreement represents strategic value for both nations. Israel will obtain valuable resources to contribute to its defense and U.S. industry will receive meaningful co-production opportunities for Iron Dome components.


The prestigious award will be conferred upon Chancellor Merkel at a special ceremony at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday 25th February as part of her visit to Israel

The committee's recommendation: "Chancellor Merkel placed Germany's unwavering commitment to Israel's security at the forefront of relations between the two countries. The strategic and security cooperation between Israel and Germany has reached new heights under her leadership."

The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, will confer the Presidential Medal of Distinction upon Chancellor Angela Merkel. The medal is the highest civilian award in Israel and is being bestowed upon Dr. Merkel for her unwavering commitment to Israel's security and the fight against anti-Semitism and racism in particular through education. The award will be conferred upon Chancellor Merkel during a special ceremony (Tuesday 25th February at 15:30) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem during her upcoming visit to Israel. At the event, which will be attended by senior figures involved in Israeli-German relations, President Peres will confer the Presidential Medal of Distinction upon Chancellor Merkel and they will both deliver speeches to mark the occasion. Following the ceremony President Peres and Chancellor Merkel will conduct a diplomatic work meeting during which they will discuss the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the Iranian nuclear program and relations between Israel and Germany.

President Peres and the committee gave the following reasons for the award: "Dr. Angela Merkel, is an exceptional leader with a deep moral conviction and high ideals including in her warm relations with the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Chancellor Merkel sets a wonderful example on education against anti-Semitism, racism and hate and works tirelessly to expand the work being done on these issues with the aim of educating future generations in Germany towards equality, tolerance and acceptance of the other. Chancellor Merkel not only strengthened the diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany but also the security relations. This commitment has been exemplified by the numerous examples of Germany standing absolutely by Israel's side within the European Union and the firm stance taken by the government against the delegitimization of Israel in the world. Chancellor Merkel placed Germany's unwavering commitment to Israel's security at the forefront of relations between the two countries. The strategic and security cooperation between Israel and Germany have reached new heights under her leadership. Chancellor Merkel is a leader of vision and foresight, an outstanding personality and she has captured the hearts of the entire world. She is a leader whose values inspire hope and whose actions inspire wonder."

Background Information on the Presidential Medal of Distinction:

The Presidential Medal of Distinction is awarded to private individuals and organizations that have made unique and outstanding contributions to Tikkun Olam (Bettering the World), Israeli society and the State of Israel's image around the world, and which constitute examples of initiative, innovation, creativity and vision. The medals themselves feature the North Star to symbolize the right path and a menorah, the symbol of Israel and the continuous link between past and present. The medal is crowned with the words from Samuel 9:2 "from his shoulders and upward." The Presidential Medal of Distinction is comparable to the "Legion of Honor" (France) or the "Order of Canada."

The advisory committee for the Presidential Medal of Distinction includes retired Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar, former President Yitzhak Navon, Professor Suzie Navot, Dr. Mohammed Issawi, Rabbi Dr. Ratzon Arusi, Gil Shwed and Professor Anita Shapira.

Previous winners of the award include President Obama, President Clinton, Elie Wiesel, former Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, the Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Zubin Mehta, Attorney Uri Slonim, Judy Feld Carr, The Rashi Foundation and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

President Shimon Peres & Chancellor Angela Merkel Photo: Mark Neiman/GPO


The Tourism Minister and the ITTAA are expected to make an official announcement regarding the adoption of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism at the ITTAA conference on Wednesday * Minister Landau: "This is a festive day for Israeli tourism" *
ITTAA CEO Yossi Fattal: "The association is pleased to join in this initiative by the Tourism Ministry and take the lead with this Code of Ethics that ensures responsible and sustainable tourism."

Tomorrow, (January 22, 2014), the Israel Tourist and Travel Agents Association (ITTAA) is expected to adopt the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism in its annual conference. The code, which has been promoted by the Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau via the professional staff in the ministry, has already been adopted by other countries around the world.


The Tourism Ministry recently approached the ITTAA, headed by Jacob Karni, suggesting that they adopt the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism - this with the understanding that this is an international trend that has been promoted in recent years by UNWTO, the private international sector and government travel agency organizations. The ITTAA took the decision to adopt the code and the formal declaration will be made tomorrow at its annual conference.

Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: "This is a festive day for Israeli tourism. Israel has aligned itself with the highly developed countries in regards to quality of service and tourism ethics. Adopting this Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is the first step on the path to improved quality of service and the tourist experience in Israel - this in order to ensure that every visitor who comes to Israel will want to return and tour our beautiful country."

The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is available on request.







Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: "It is important for us to properly represent people with disabilities in order to make it easier for them to relax and enjoy their holiday like everyone else. The Tourism Ministry under my leadership will continue to make tourism sites accessible."


Tourism Minister Director-General Amir Halevi: "In the tender to select a company for rating hotels in Israel, we determined that the higher the degree of accessibility in a hotel, the higher the rating. These are steps that are designed to increase the accessibility of tourist sites to all sectors of the population, regardless of disabilities."


The Tourism Ministry attaches great importance to making tourist sites in Israel accessible to visitors with disabilities. In the last two years, the ministry has invested about NIS 2.5 million out of an overall investment of NIS 6.5 million in the development of accessible tourist sites including, among others, tens of nature resorts, museums and heritage, historical and religious sites.

Tourists and visitors planning their trip to Israel can now enjoy a wide range of accessible trails, and can also consult with a color brochure that details all the sites that are accessible for tourists with disabilities.

Last month, the Tourism Product Administration in the Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the Jerusalem Development Authority published a color brochure detailing  five accessible tours of the Old City. These tours will enable visitors with accessibility needs to experience Jerusalem's religious and historical sites.

The tours include:

  1. From Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  2. The Jewish Quarter
  3. Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period
  4. The Temple Mount Compound
  5. The Via Dolorosa

In each tour detailed information is provided regarding the specific accessibility at the sites, including where the assistance of a helper is needed. Some of the tours require advance booking and reservations to provide the necessary facilities for accessibility, including the use of accessible elevators and other particular arrangements specific to the site.

The booklet is available free of charge at the Israel Government Tourist Office at the Jaffa Gate in the entrance to the Old City or online at

In 2012, the Tourism Ministry produces a 22-page full color booklet in English entitled: “Accessible Israel” (

The brochure, written by an experienced tour guide who specializes in tours for people with special needs, offers the disabled traveler a wide range of tour routes in the north, center and south of Israel, as well as in Jerusalem. For each tour, there is a historical introduction and useful information on each site, including how to get there and disabled access at the site. An easy-to-read legend provides information on whether the route is accessible to the following: sight impaired; wheelchairs; those with difficulty walking; baby carriages and the hearing impaired.

The varied routes include:

The North:

  • Around the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee
  • The Gilboa region


  • Neot Kedumim Biblical Landscape Reserve
  • Tel Aviv, including the Palmach Museum and the Tel Aviv Port


  • The Old City of Jerusalem
  • Mount Herzl and Yad Vashem


  • Border Observation Point in the Negev
  • Ein Feshka Nature Reserve and Qumran on the Dead Sea

The ministry runs a specialist course for licensed tour guides on the subject of accessible tourism. The ministry's website is also available with relevant information in A2 format for the sight-impaired.

The ministry recently organized a tour, the first of its kind, along those sections of the Gospel Trail that have been made accessible for tourists with disabilities, including Mount Precipice, Keshet forest, Kfar Kanna and the Wedding Church, Tabgha and Capernaum.

Sites made accessible by the Tourism Ministry include, among others:

  • Rosh Hanikra  - special bridge for wheelchair accessibility to the site
  • Atlit -  elevator for access to the different levels of the boat exhibition; paths and guides for the hearing-impaired.
  • Masada -  wheelchair accessible throughout the site, in the museum, guiding etc.  Includes different models of the site for the blind.
  • Hurshat Tal - wheelchair accessible paths, parking lots, bathrooms and picnic areas
  • Latrun - elevator for access to the viewing levels and observation point
  • Ein Shemer - Exhibits in the museum for the hearing impaired and wheelchair accessible throughout.
  • Beit Shean - Accessibility for the sound and light show.
Photo provided by Israel Tourism Ministry

   is recovery around the corner?

At the conference on December 8-9, leading experts will examine the prospects for global recovery in 2014.



The 2013 “Globes” Israel Business Conference on December 8-9, will try to analyze the condition of the global economy and examine whether the recovery, led by the economies of the US and Europe, is real. On one hand, US economic policy has succeeded in beating the crisis forecast that hung over it, while on the other hand, Spain and other European countries have had their first growth after years of crisis. But the threats remain, and they are great. Once again, the US has just avoided default by the skin of its teeth, and bought some relief for its economy. At the same time, it seems that the US has become addicted to “cheap money” and the helicopter of Ben Bernanke, who has decided to hand the task of initiating the exit strategy to his successor. In Europe, despite the rally in leading indices, the level of unemployment, especially among the young, remains high and dangerous, and the need for structural reform in and a and deepening of the EU are growing more urgent.


On the other side are the emerging markets, including China, India, and Brazil, which have begun to downshift. Their high growth rates of the previous decade now seem like a fleeting episode that will not be repeated. Together with the decline in growth rates, it seems that these economies desperately need thorough restructuring, which if not implemented immediately, threaten their economic achievements.

An equally important question is how these processes and movements in the global economy affect the Israeli economy, which demonstrated economic and financial soundness during the years of the crisis, but is undergoing a prolonged rise in the cost of living, accompanied by soaring real estate prices and widening social gaps between sectors of the population.


The first day’s plenum session will be opened by President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres. It will be followed by a special debate on the global economy in 2014, moderated by Richard Quest, the host of CNN’s “Quest Means Business”. The participants will be PIMCO global strategic advisor Prof. Richard Clarida, a Lowell Harris Professor of Economics at Columbia University and the US Assistant Treasury Secretary for Economic Policy in 2002-2003; former CEO of Deutsche Bank AG Dr. Josef Ackermann; China International Capital Corporation chairman Jin Liqun; and “Financial Times” associate editor and chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman.


The second day’s opening plenum session will discuss Israeli business sector growth, and will host former Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer, Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL) president and CEO Stefan Borgas,Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) president and CEO Dr. Jeremy Levin, and Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University, and a prominent defender of Israel.


OECD Secretary General Gurria to speak at Israel Business Conference

Angel Gurria will discuss a range of issues that will appear in the OECD report, with a focus on taxes and the healthcare system in Israel.


OECD Secretary General Jose Angel Gurria is making a special trip to Israel to participate in the "Globes" 2013 Israel Business Conference. He will participate in the first day's plenum session and will speak with Richard Quest, the host of CNN's "Quest Means Business".

Gurria will discuss a range of issues that will appear in the OECD report, which will be published close to the conference, with a focus on taxes and the healthcare system in Israel.


For further information and registration, go to Israel Business Conference .

Gurria was elected secretary-general of the OECD in June 2006, and was reelected for a second term in 2010. He has strengthened the OECD's standing as global forum on economic policy, and has modernized and carried internal reforms at the organization.

Gurria, a Mexican citizen, arrived at the OECD after a distinguished career in Mexican public service, including terms as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance and Public Credit in the 1990s.

Israel joined the OECD in 2010, after an accession process of several years. The OECD was founded in 1961 by countries in North America and Western Europe, and has expanded over the years to include countries in Asia, the Latin America, and Eastern Europe. It currently has 34 members. The OECD member states account for more than 60% of global GDP.


The "Globes" 2013 Israel Business Conference, the country's largest business conference, will be held this year under the title "The Global Economy in 2014". It is Israel's premier and most prestigious economic event.


לינקים לידיעות בעברית:

President Peres to depart for a State Visit to Mexico at the head of a delegation of 80 leading Israeli companies in the fields of security, cyber, UAVs, technology, communication, water and energy

President Peres will conduct diplomatic work meetings with the President of Mexico, leading government officials and deliver an address to the Senate


The peak of the economic and trade events will see President Peres meet with Carlos Slim, one of the wealthiest businesspeople in the world, and build links between his businesses and Israeli companies


The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, will depart for a state visit to Mexico on 26th November at the head of a delegation of business leaders and managers representing 80 of Israel's leading companies in the fields of security, cyber, UAV's, technology, communication, water and energy. The delegation will include Rafael, Teva, Amdocs, Netafim, Tamar Group, Strauss, Babcom, Amiad and others.

President Peres will depart for the state visit (26/11-1/12), after receiving an invitation from the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, in order to strengthen and expand the strategic, diplomatic and economic ties between Israel and Mexico. President Peres will conduct a series of meetings with the senior leadership of Mexico as well as a meeting with Carlos Slim and other Mexican business leaders.


The diplomatic meetings will begin with a state welcome ceremony including an honor guard and a diplomatic work meeting with President Nieto during which the two will discuss ways to strengthen the strategic, economic and security relations between the countries, the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, and relations between Iran and Latin America. Following the meeting the two presidents will deliver joint statements to the press.


President Peres will then deliver a diplomatic speech to the Mexican parliament before 128 members of Senate, and meet with the Speaker of the parliament and with other senior government officials. In his speech President Peres will address the importance of strengthening the relations between Israel and Mexico as well as Israel and Latin America as a whole.

As part of the visit there will be the first "Israel-Mexico Business conference" which will be opened by President Peres and President Nieto. The conference will take place in Mexico City, last two days and be attended 500 business leaders including the Israeli delegation, Mexican business leaders and the leading figures in Mexico's economy.  The conference will include meetings between Israeli and Mexican business leaders, working tours for the Israeli delegation to their Mexican counterparts. The business group led by Carlos Slim will present to the Israeli delegation the range of activities and possibilities for cooperation with Grupo Carso and America Movil.

During the second part of the visit (Friday), President Peres will visit Guadalajara and open the Israeli stand at the Guadalajara 2013 International Book Fair. This year Israel was chosen as the "Guest of Honor" at the book fair, which is one of the most important in the world and the largest in the Spanish speaking world with over 700,000 visitors each year. The Israeli stand will showcase Israeli cultural including literature, poetry, arts, academia and publishers including David Grossman and Etgar Keret, Ronny Somek and Agi Mishol, Ivri Lider and Achinoam Nini and Nobel Chemistry Prize laureate Professor Ada Yonath. The Israeli delegation will host over 200 cultural activities across the city and present the best of Israeli culture.

Mr.Marc Eckert, Bulthaup CEO

The Bulthaup Culinary Academy was launched in an event that took place at Ta'arucha 3, Tel-Aviv Port, on Monday, November 4, 2013.


The event was organized by Israeli businessmen Ran and Miri Presberg, owners of Bulthaup Israel,who hosted the top of Israeli business, architecture and culinary world.


The event included, as special guests, Mr. Gerd Bulthaup, Bulthaup Founder and Owner, and Mr. Marc Eckert, Bulthaup CEO.



Bulthaup combines design and gastronomy in perfect harmony.

 Photos Silvia G. Golan


"The family is very glad that our father's memory is perpetuated here, in a forest in Israel's Negev, where the desert is being greened."
A forest near Nachal Assaf in the Western Negev is dedicated in honor of Sir Zelman Cowen, the Governer-General of Australia from 1977 to 1982. The ceremony was attended by KKL-JNF Vice Chairman Gael Grunewald, Alex McCauley of the Australian Embassy in Israel, and two of Sir Zelman's sons, Rabbi Yosef Zvi Cowen and Ben Cowen.

Unveiling the dedicatory plaque in honor of Sir Zelman Cowen Z"L.
Photo: Tania Susskind

Tree planted in honor of the occasion. Photo: Tania Susskind

"Sir Zelman Cowen was one of the most distinguished and honored Jews in Australia. He was the second Jew to achieve the rank of Governor-General of Australia. He assumed office at a difficult time for Australia’s Government and served his country with skill and wisdom. He was committed all his life to justice as the goal of human endeavor." KKL-JNF Vice Chairman Gael Grunewaldwas speaking on Sunday, November 3, at a ceremony that took place on Sunday, November 3, dedicating a forest near Nachal Assaf in the Western Negev in Sir Zelman's memory. The ceremony was attended by Alex McCauley, second secretary of the Australian embassy, KKL-JNF and local officials, and friends and family, including two of Sir Zelman's sons, Rabbi Yosef Zvi Cowen and Ben Cowen

Rabbi Yosef Cowen and Ben Cowen plant a tree. Photo: Tania Susskind

Zelman Cowen was born in Melbourne in 1919 to a Jewish family. He served in the Royal Australian Navy during World War II and then went as a Rhodes Scholar to New College, Oxford, where he completed a Bachelor of Civil Law degree and jointly won the Vinerian Scholarship. In 1951, Cowen became Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of Melbourne, a post he held until 1966. When Sir John Kerr's turbulent period of office as Governor-General ended with his early resignation in 1977, the Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, offered Cowen the post. He served four and a half years as Governor-General, from December 1977 to July 1982. 

"Sir Zelman Cowen led his entire life as a proud Jew," Vice Chairman Grunewald continued, "and the Cowens had a firm connection with the Land of Israel. After completing his term of office as Governor-General, Sir Zelman used to visit Israel frequently, as he was a member of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University and the chair of the Van Leer Institute. It is a great honor for me, as Deputy Chairman of KKL-JNF, to pay respect to Sir Zelman’s memory. The forest dedicated in his honor attests not only to the great deeds of Sir Zelman in the past, but also points to the flourishing of his legacy and family." 
Gadi Haber, director of KKL-JNF's Australian Desk, emceed the ceremony, which took place at the KKL-JNF Donors Appreciation Center near Nachal Assaf, in a dignified and gracious manner.

Gael Grunewald presents Rabbi Yosef Zvi Cowen and Ben Cowen with a framed KKL-JNF certificate. Photo: Tania Susskind

He thanked KKL-JNF's supporters in Melbourne for contributing towards the forest, and noted thatJNF Australia hopes to make the ANZAC trail, which is 100 kilometers long, into an educational and tourist site. The Assaf riverbed, one of the stations on the ANZAC trail, is about 10 kilometers long. It typifies the area in which the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), who served under the British crown, were deployed on their military campaign to capture Beersheba from the Turkish empire in 1917. Nachal Assaf is also a KKL-JNF "laboratory" for developing methods to prevent erosion, and the knowledge and methods acquired here are being applied in the Negev andthroughout the world

Alex McCauley
, second secretary of the Australian embassy in Israel, noted that Sir Zelman had made a very important contribution to public life in Australia. "As a pre-eminent constitutional lawyer, he helped restore confidence at a difficult time in our political history, during the constitutional crisis of 1975. This forest in his memory is truly a dignified and appropriate way of paying tribute to a great Australian. I would also like to commend KKL-JNF for this site and for their other amazing projects throughout the country, a number of which I have been privileged to have visited. I would also add that the solidarity of KKL-JNF's friends in Australia with the organization is inspiring and unique." 
Basmat Galin, director of the ecological department of the Eshkol Regional Council, noted that the site "is part of our regional council's open spaces.

View of Nahal Assaf. Photo: Tania Susskind

It connects the past to the present and nature to people. It also symbolizes the connection between the Eshkol Regional Council and KKL-JNF, an organization that has been our partner in regional development and for whose support we are extremely grateful." 

Rabbi Yosef Zvi Cowen
 from the Neve Yerushalayim College for Jewish Women in Jerusalem quoted tractate Sanhedrin from the Talmud, which says that when the land of Israel flourishes, it is a sign that redemption is imminent. "The family is very glad that our father's memory is perpetuated here, in a forest in Israel's Negev, where the desert is being greened." 

Ben Cowen
 said that his father had led an extraordinary life. "My father was deeply committed to Israel, and he seized every opportunity he could to come here. He loved Jerusalem, and his connection was long, deep and productive. Our family is delighted with the forest, which is not something inanimate, but rather a living memorial. My father would have liked it. My children were young when Sir Zelman passed away, and I think that when they visit this site next September, they'll get more of an idea of what sort of man my father was." 

hairman Grunewald presented a certificate of honor to the family, and then joined the two Cowen brothers and Alex McCauley in a tree planting ceremony in honor of the occasion.


Survivor of Warsaw Ghetto and Auschwitz testified in Eichmann trial and was a trailblazing historian of the Holocaust

(October 1, 2013 – Jerusalem) Yad Vashem is saddened by the death of Prof. Israel Gutman, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Auschwitz who was a leading and trailblazing historian of the Holocaust in Israel and abroad. Prof. Gutman passed away last night (October 1, 2013), in Jerusalem at the age of 90.  Prof. Gutman, was among the founders of the Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research, and lived in Jerusalem.  A widower, he is survived by two daughters, and 3 grandchildren. The funeral will take place tomorrow in Jerusalem. 

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said: "My mentor and friend, Professor Israel Gutman, made a deep impression on historiography in Israel and around the world, and made a significant and unique contribution to the propagation of historical awareness regarding the Holocaust and its meanings among the wider public forum in Israel, especially among the youth. Professor Gutman's personal resume – as someone who experienced in the flesh the horrors of the Holocaust, fought in the Warsaw ghetto, was imprisoned in Auschwitz and was a member of the camp's Jewish underground, survived the death marches and was a witness to all that occurred – added an enormous weight to his rare and exceptional strength as a researcher, teacher and leader. We will miss his insight and his friendship.”

Israel Gutman was born in Warsaw in 1923. His parents and older sister died in the ghetto, and his younger sister was a member of Janusz Korczak’s orphanage. As a member of the Jewish Underground in the Warsaw ghetto, Israel Gutman was wounded in the uprising. From Warsaw he was taken to Majdanek, and from there to Auschwitz. In May 1945 he was sent on the death march to Mauthausen. Gutman spent two years in the camps. After the war, he helped in the rehabilitation of survivors, was active in the Bericha movement, and immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1946. He joined Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan where he raised a family and was a member of the kibbutz for 25 years. In 1961 he gave testimony during the Eichmann trial. 

In 1973, Prof. Gutman moved to Jerusalem, and in 1975 received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University for his thesis The Resistance Movement and the Armed Uprising of the Jews of Warsaw In the Context of Life in the Ghetto, 1939-1943. Beginning his academic career at the Hebrew University, he later headed Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Department for the Study of Contemporary Jewry, (1983-1986). He was a visiting professor at UCLA in 1980-1981.  Gutman retired from Hebrew University in 1993.

At the same time, Gutman was a leader and an integral part of the research activities at Yad Vashem. From 1993-1996 he headed the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, of which he was a founder. Between 1996-2000 he served as Yad Vashem’s Chief Historian. Since 2000 Prof. Gutman was an Academic Advisor to Yad Vashem. He was a member of the Yad Vashem Council, the International Institute for Holocaust Research’s administration, Yad Vashem’s Scientific Board, and a member of the editorial staff of Yad Vashem Studies.  He was also a founder of Moreshet, A Testimonial Center in memory of Mordecai Anielewicz, and Deputy Chairman of the International Auschwitz Council.

One of his main projects was the comprehensive and groundbreaking Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.  He published many works on the Holocaust, including The Jews of Poland Between Two World Wars; Unequal Victims:  Poles and Jews During World War Two; The Jews of Warsaw, 1939-1943; Resistance:  The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising;  Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp; and Nazi Europe and the Final Solution. 

Some of the numerous awards his work has received are the Salonika Prize for Literature, the Yitzchak Sadeh prize for Military Studies, and the Polish Unification Prize. Gutman received honorary doctorates from Warsaw University in 1995 and from Brandeis University in 2009.

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said: "Professor Gutman achieved academic successwith social and cultural ramifications that cannot be overstated: he gave legitimacy and even a historiographical centrality to the Jewish point of view regarding the Shoah. Professor Gutman succeeded in making "room" in the world of research for the experiences, positions and points of view of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, so that their voices would achieve the consideration and attention they deserved.

"From the end of the 1970s, when his position as a leading researcher of the Holocaust and Polish Jewry had been established, as well as his central role among the "scholars of Jerusalem," Professor Gutman turned towards a new horizon of activity: creating active scientific contacts between Israeli Holocaust research and that taking place abroad. He achieved this through, among other things, international research conferences, which he pioneered, and which, together with the publications that came in their wake, were cornerstones of Holocaust research. Professor Gutman invested a great deal of effort into nurturing scientific contacts with Poland. Even during the Communist era, the Poles accepted much of his critiques, and he became a greatly valued guest (the University of Warsaw even awarded him an honorary doctorate). In his research on the Warsaw ghetto, Professor Gutman established his position at the forefront of Holocaust research, and attained international acclaim. His research on the ghetto was the point from which his academic writings broadened into a range of basic Holocaust-related issues: resistance, the Zionist youth movements, the Judenrat, Jewish forced labor, Jewish-Polish relations, the uniqueness of the Holocaust, the social aspect of the camps, and more."

For more information about Prof. Gutman’s life, research and writing, including testimony: 

Photo attached: Prof. Israel Gutman (courtesy Yad Vashem)


Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, was established by the Knesset in 1953. Located in Jerusalem, it is dedicated to Holocaust remembrance, documentation, research and education.




Shimon Peres"The elections are intended to set our goals for the future. They should be conducted with respect, with sensitivity to one another and with restraint."

The President of the State of the Israel, President Shimon Peres, delivered a speech to the opening of the winter session of the 18th Knesset. During the speech President Peres addressed the Iranian issue and said, "We are operating against Iranian attempts to build a nuclear weapon. The current Iranian regime is a genuine and immediate threat to the entire world, not just to Israel. The world cannot live in the shadow of a nuclear Iran and under the dark clouds of the policy of a fanatical regime. The coalition that has been built to deal with the threat of a nuclear Iran is a coalition that is not necessarily pro-Israel. But it is committed to protecting the peace and security of the world. If that coalition relents it will not know victory. All the options, including the military option, must remain on the table so that Iranian understands their seriousness. The military option is not the preferred option but in the eyes of the world, and of Israel, it is a serious option. The policy of the Iranian regime is not for show. We must treat it as the real, serious existential threat that it is. The Iranian people are not our enemies. The Ayatollahs, who are busy enriching uranium and inciting to violence, are the real enemy of the Iranian people. And of many other nations."

Right now, if you look at North Africa into the Middle East and further East, Israel is the only one stable, genuine, open, transparent democracy and therein lies our internal stability.

Photo: GPO


As we gather in this chamber, an alarm bell is ringing. Never has it been so clear that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapon.

UN Security Council convenes on the situation in the Middle East (UN Photo/Evan Schneider)

After 38 years, Israel has officially reopened its embassy in Ghana, which was historically the first African state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Bureau)
Israel and Ghana's flags.

After 38 years, Israel has officially reopened its embassy in Ghana. Israel's ambassador in Accra, Sharon Bar-Li, presented her credentials to Ghana's President John Evans Atta Mills, at a traditional and moving ceremony in which the name "Israel" was beaten out on "talking drums".

In her speech, Ambassador Bar-Li noted that this event marks the deepening of the historic relations between the two states. Ghana was the first African state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, and Israel was very active in Ghana in the areas of development, training and education, and provided assistance in setting up local institutions. Ghana established itself as a preferred destination for investments in the western part of the continent and is an economic target for Israeli businesspeople.

The decision to reopen the embassy in Ghana was made during Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's visit to the country in September 2009, in accordance with an agreement by both states to open embassies.

This move is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' policy to strengthen and expand relations with African states and Israel's activity on the continent.

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