Israel, which has the most startups per capita worldwide, and India which is the top innovation destination in Asia, are utilizing their innovative spirit and technological resources to find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. Here are 6 ways Israel & India are innovating together for a brighter future

 Israel and India - innovating together for a better future: Encouraging partnerships, creating an innovation bridge, technological cooperation and working together to create affordable digital solutions to ensure a better future for all

 Video credit MFA






Dear Friend of Rambam,

Today as I write this, it is January, 1 2018. I want to wish you a year of good health, fulfillment, and personal and professional accomplishments.

This day has special importance for us—it marks 80 years since the founding of Rambam Health Care Campus, the largest hospital in Northern Israel and a preeminent medical institution in our nation and the world.

In 1938, the British Mandatory Government inaugurated a new municipal hospital in Haifa as a regional medical center focusing on trauma and general healthcare. Eight decades later, this same hospital, bearing the name of the revered Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon (the Maimonides)—a name given to it by Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion—has been transformed into a world class medical institution.

Over the next 12 months we will be recognizing 80 years of intensive efforts and outstanding accomplishments. Within the beautiful walls of this campus, generations of superb medical professionals, educators of the next generation, and leading clinical researchers have flourished. All of this was made possible by our excellent and dedicated staff, and the generous support of our many friends around the world—including you.  


The Rambam, for whom our hospital is named, paved the path for us when he declared that a physician must care for the body and soul as one. We view our work as a mission not only to fulfill the Rambam's charge, but to act as a bridge between peoples, cultures, and nations. Our vision places the individual at the center, both with regard to each patient and each staff member.

Eighty years of excellent, uncompromising medical achievements; eighty years of medical successes affecting the lives of so many; eight decades of Israeli medical care at the pinnacle of its glory—we stand before generations of devoted Rambam workers, expressing our thanks to each and every one.

Rambam Health Care Campus, like every other health care provider, faces many challenges, including providing the highest quality medical care to each of our patients, fulfilling the needs of our dedicated and talented staff, developing the resources essential to a major health care institution, and providing our patients with the most technologically advanced treatment and care. Rambam's leadership has made, and will continue to make, every effort to meet these challenges while adhering to our values of excellence, innovation, and humanity—values that have accompanied us for the past eight decades. We will also maintain Rambam's momentum in all spheres, raising our medical campus to the highest standards of medical care and hospitalization, bringing life-saving clinical research and medical innovations to the world, and developing our rich human talent. We will accomplish all this and more—with you by our side.



Mazal Tov to Rambam!

Rafi Beyar, M.D., D.Sc., M.P.H.
Director, Rambam Health Care Campus




Christmas  & New Year greetings from


To honored members of the Israel Diplomatic corps and Embassy staff,

members of the Government OfficesCulturalCommercial

and Industrial community in Israel

and to all our  friends:

As 2018 approaches, we would like to extend our very warmest and best wishes

to you all for a joyous Christmas    and holiday season

and a Happy and Peaceful New Year.


Silvia Golan      Daniel Schwarz

 Jonathan Danilowitz  Steven Aiello 

Stella Szpira   David Altman   Pamela Hickman

Buzzy Gordon    Raquel Wainer

 & all the staff of

Facebook : Diplomacy Israel  & Diplomacy Israel Community






200 students from 40 cities and towns participated in the TamraMUN conference on Thursday December 14th in the northern city of Tamra. The conference theme was Independence, with delegates addressing the Catalonian, Kurdish, Kosovan, and Palestinian movements for independence, as well as the topic of micronations. The closing ceremony included speeches, candlelighting, and of course the awards.


The conference was the second of the year to be run by Debate for Peace, a program of the Interfaith Encounters Association supported by the US Embassy. The conference was hosted at the Eshcol Payis Tamra, and run in conjunction with QSchools Tamra.


Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze, and Black Hebrew students participated, coming from 40 different schools, both Israeli and Palestinian. They represented a range of countries in six different committees, and spent 5 intensive hours addressing their respective conflicts before arriving at consensus-based votes.


After the lively debates and negotiations, and a break for dinner, it was time for the closing ceremony. The ceremony opened with a flag display featuring students from the different schools carrying their country’s flags. As the conference coincided with the third night of Hanukkah, candles were then lit by Jewish, Black Hebrew, Christian, Druze, and Muslim students.


Mr. Jonathan Berger, Cultural Attache at the US Embassy, greeted the students and thanked everyone for their involvement and hard work, in a pre-recorded message. Mr. Abdalrahman Zidany, the principal of the Gifted and Talented School, welcomed the students for coming, congratulated them on their accomplishments, and thanked the teachers and organizers for helping to make the conference become a reality.


The mayor of Tamra, Dr. Sohel Diab, gave a rousing speech in Arabic and Hebrew, telling the maximum capacity crowd that they shouldn’t rely on current leaders to bring change, but rather that they should be the change themselves, using the strength of youth initiatives to bring peace and understanding between the different religions and communities. His challenge was met with enthusiastic applause and cheering. Dr. Dalia Fadila, founder of QSchools for teaching English and Human Development, provided encouragement for students in the importance of continuing the educational journey, and thanked the various partners in this initiative.



After a musical interlude, Zenab Abu Romy, the MUN teacher in Tamra and the TamraMUN organizer spoke about her experiences seeing the conference to fruition, and what it meant for MUN in Tamra. Yafa Nassar and Aviv Hanuka, two Debate for Peace students, spoke on behalf of the Interfaith Encounters Association about the impact of their own interfaith experiences, including visiting synagogues and mosques for the first time. Mr. Mohamed Abu Alhija spoke on behalf of Tamra’s youth department, offering words of encouragement for future endeavors and partnerships.

Adj Marshall spoke on behalf of the Jerusalem Peacebuilders, calling up students from a dozen schools who had been selected for spots at the Jerusalem Peacebuilders summer leadership programs in the US: Avi, Aviv, Baraah, Yafa, Fitnat, Gadi, Layle, Lea, Lucy, Maayan, Moriyah, Nicholas, Sally, Sharehan, and Stav.


Finally it was time to give out the awards. In the Catalonia committee, Amit Biton and Tiffany Rashed were chosen Outstanding Delegate, and Gadi Isaacs was chosen Best Delegate. In the Palestine committee, Ben Peled and Fitnat Waked were chosen Outstanding Delegate, and Lucy Goldman as the Best Delegate. In the Kosovo committee, Maayan Dahan and Forat Nasser were chosen Outstanding Delegate, and Nicholas Levy was Best Delegate. In the Kurdistan committee, Roy Haas and Naima Dallak were the Outstanding Delegates, and Sally Mustafa was the Best Delegate. In the Historical committee, Chai Margalit and Tal Tzipori were chosen Outstanding Delegate and Shahd Abu Safat was the Best Delegate. And in the most advanced group, the micronations committee, Adam Kremer and Noam Williams were chosen Outstanding Delegate and Oren Sitton was the Best Delegate.


The next Debate for Peace conference will be QASMUN on February 27 in Baqa al-Gharabiya. That will follow the second MUN delegation abroad, to MEDIMUN in Cyprus. For more information, see


Steven Aiello
Photos Debate for Peace



  • 20% increase in Christian pilgrims expected this year
  • Tourism Ministry to provide free shuttles between Jerusalem and Bethlehem for Christmas Mass celebrations

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin: “Israel invites the faithful from all religions to pray, worship and visit all the holy sites in Israel, in freedom and security.  I am proud to take this opportunity and announce that, this year, we have broken all previous records for incoming tourism and are set to end 2017 with a record 3.5 million tourists, half a million more than the previous record. This growth is the result of the many changes and developments spearheaded by the Tourism Ministry.”

Jerusalem, December 20, 2017 - The Tourism Ministry is working to welcome the tens of thousands of visitors expected to arrive in Israel for the Christmas period. From 15:00 on Christmas Eve (December 24) through to 03:00 on Christmas Day, the Ministry of Tourism will offer free shuttle transportation, helping pilgrims travelling between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Buses will leave every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour from the bus stop near the Carta Parking lot (opposite Jaffa Gate and near to the Mamilla Boulevard). The bus will also stop near the entrance to the Mar Elias Monastery, and at the Rosmarin junction, before continuing via Rachel's Crossing to Bethlehem - and then back again.  There may be changes to the schedule due to demand.

The Tourism Ministry held last week the traditional annual pre-Christmas reception for Church leaders and members of the Christian communities in Israel. The Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi lit the Hanuka candles. Participating in the event, among others, were Apostolic Nuncio to Israel H.E. Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli,  Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton and Dr. Juergen Buhler, Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Among the diplomatic corps present at the reception were, among others, Italian Ambassador Mr. Gianluigi Benedetti, French Ambassador Mrs. Hélène Le Gal, Australian Ambassador Mr. Chris Cannan, as well as representatives from the Christian tourism sector.

His Eminence Archbishop Aristarcos from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem spoke of Jerusalem as the “universal symbol of peace and the most important destination of pilgrims in the world.” He noted that there is an “extraordinary number of pilgrims visiting the city, a number which grows with each passing year.” Father Koryoun Baghdasaryan from the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate and Dr. Juergen Buhler, Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem both spoke about the importance of making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the holy sites around the country, which offers a unique and meaningful experience for the faithful as they walk in the footsteps of Jesus.



Events in Nazareth:

Saturday, 23.12.17

15:00 Traditional parade through the main street of Nazareth to the Basilica of the Annunciation, with the participation of thousands of youth from the local youth organizations, heads of the Christian churches and other local dignitaries.

18:00  Firework display to open the festivities, courtesy of the Tourism Ministry

Sunday, 24.12.17

19:30 Main mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation

Detailed information about Christmas services and festivities at the website of the Christian Information Center

Statistics on Christian tourism:

According to Tourism Ministry statistics, more than half of all tourists in 2016 were Christian. The ministry estimates that about 120,000 of the tourists who visited Israel in December 2016 were Christian pilgrims. An increase of about 20% is expected over the 

Christmas period this year as compared to last year, in line with the overall expected increase in incoming tourism.

53% of the 2.9 million tourist entries (those staying at least one night) in 2016 were Christians. Of these, 38% were Catholic, 28% Protestants, 28% Orthodox. Among the Protestants, 75% were Evangelicals (who comprise 21% of all Christian tourists and 13% of all tourists) while 21% were from the mainstream and the Afro-American church. Among the Orthodox, 71% belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, and29% to the Greek Orthodox and others.

23% of all visitors to Israel defined the purpose of their visit as pilgrimage. The vast majority of all Christian visitors visit Jerusalem, with about 40% visiting Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The most visited sites by Christians (by descending order) Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Jewish Quarter, Western Wall, Via Dolorosa, Mount of Olives, Capernaum, Church of the Annunciation and City of David.

Photo Silvia Golan