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Royal Visit: H.H the Belgium prince Michel de Ligne plants a tree at KKL-JNF's Belgium Forest

 

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016, H.H Michel Charles Eugène Marie Lamoral, Prince de Ligne of Belgium planted an olive tree in KKL-JNF's Belgium Forest in Neve Ilan. Other honorable guests joined the planting ceremony, among them KKL Belgium president and the Organization of Belgians in Israel (OBI) and other dignitaries.

 

 

His highness is a Belgian - French aristocrat and businessman, member of one of the most prestigious families of the Belgian nobility - the House of Ligne, which is one of the oldest Belgian noble families, dating back to the eleventh century.

 

H.H Michel Charles Eugène Marie Lamoral stated: "The tree we are planting today will live for a thousand years. It is an eternal symbol to the bravery of our forefathers. Our responsibility towards the other is important. We should be standing united in order to preserve the right for life. The location of this tree is a symbol of courage and solidarity"

 

KKL Belgium supports projects for land development, tourism, preservation and environmental rehabilitation in Israel including the Neve Ilan Park. In honor of the event, President of KKL Belgium, Jacqui Benzennou said: "There is no better place to commemorate Prince Eugene and his wife than Belgium Park in Neve Ilan, a village near Jerusalem overlooking the Holy City, the forest symbolizes the connection between Belgium and Israel. Planting a tree in this forest is a living testament to the desire to advance and develop the country, which is KKL-JNF's mission".

 

Organization of Belgians in Israel (OBI), a non-profit Belgium organization which assists new Olim, students, lonely soldiers, Zionist youths and Holocaust survivors living in Israel to receive support from Belgium. Sally Zajfman, President of OBIaddressed the Prince emphasizing that: "Your visit today threads a string between remembrance, friendship and hope – three core values to the Jewish people. Remembering the past, friendship in the present and a hope for a good future"

 

Belgium Forest in Neve Ilan is located to the west of Jerusalem. It has groves, a recreation area and lookout points that were all established thanks to the help of donations from KKL-JNF’s Friends in Belgium. As a gesture of appreciation for their generosity, KKL-JNF dedicated the forest to the Jews of Belgium, and in the 1990s, a special center was established there in their honor.

 

 Photo Caption: H.H the Belgium prince Michel de Ligne plants a tree at KKL-JNF's Belgium Forest

Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir, Courtesy of KKL-JNF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Italian delegation at Inauguration Ceremony of the KKL-JNF Expo Forest at Yatir

 

Thursday, June 23rd, the EXPO forest planting ceremony was held at Yatir Forest in the presence of the Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry as well as other dignitaries.

 

During the day, more than 200 trees were planted from a verity of broad-leaf species such as, Terebinth, Carob, Fig and Almond (trees which fit the theme of the EXPO convention), it will also include the inauguration of the rehabilitationproject to restore the forest - improving drainage and restoration of agricultural terraces in the next 2 years (2016-2017) – the restoration project of more than 300 Dunams (30 Hectare) of forest, harnessed over 45 thousand people from more than 50 countries which gave a unique donation in the KKL-JNF Israeli pavilion in the Expo.

 

Attending the ceremony were the Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, H.E. Maurizio Martina, the Italian Ambassador to Israel,H.E. Francesco Maria Talo’, KKL-JNF Director General, Meir Shpigler including representatives and donors of JNF Italy.

 

The Italian Minister Maurizio Martina played a prominent role in Expo Milano 2015. The event was a huge unprecedented success with more than 21 million visitors in six months in a wonderful festive atmosphere and in perfect security. Never a universal Expo had such a great accomplishment. Expo Milano has been visited by a great number of heads of State and government from all over the world, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was escorted there by Minister Martina. The Expo was also a wonderful opportunity for Israel to show its unique expertise in fields which are crucial for the future of mankind such as feeding the planet in a sustainable way.

 

 

 

Therefore it is only natural that the Israeli pavilion and the Italian Embassy in Israel partnered with KKL-JNF in insuring the success of Israel’s participation to Expo Milano 2015. A long-lasting follow-up of Expo Milano is the Forest that KKL planted in Yatir and is going to be dedicated to the Exposition.

 

Italian Minister Maurizio Martina: "We hope that the important message of protecting the world's resources will be implemented and assist us to act for a better world for future generations"

 

KKL-JNF Director General Meir Shpigler: "It is symbolic that this forest, which represents ecological values and the safekeeping of the environment, we inaugurate in the biggest forest in Israel, which is a marvel by itself since it is planted in a desert region. KKL-JNF works to distribute its forestry knowledge around the world and in the upcoming month a students' delegation from Lombardy, Italy, to learn from KKL-JNF foresters planting methods, forestation in harsh climate conditions and more."

 

The Ambassador of Italy in Israel, Francesco Maria Talo’ joined the ceremony and commented that he "hopes every Italian child in the world will be able to plant his tree" and that “after the great successes of Israel and Italy in Expo Milano raising fundamental issues for the future of our planet in fields such as water management, agriculture and food sustainability, we can once again stress the slogan that we launched last year: Israel and Italy are EXPOnential Partners!”

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Caption: Left to right - KKL-JNF Director General Meir Shpigler; Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, H.E. Maurizio Martina; Ambassador of Italy in Israel, Francesco Maria Talo’; KKL-JNF Department Director, Karine Bolton Laor – Receiving the Certificate

Photo credit: David Greenspan, KKL-JNF

 
 

 

 

 

 

The Wives of Ambassadors and Diplomats were hosted in "Tapuz" Coffee House

 

The Annual Congress of the Ambassadors' Wives, took place in the heart of the Eucalyptus Grove within Herzliya Park, in "Tapuz" Coffee House.

 

Only in Israel such an important, impressive and enjoyable, and at the same time so different event, can take place …

 

The Ambassadors and Diplomats Wives met in such a pastoral site, in Herzliya Park, with its peaceful lawns. During the event, although previously announced, the National Home Front drill took place, and the alarm sounds to alert the public to enter the protected spaces. All this in accordance with the National Home Front expression: "ready during routine – ready in emergency".

 

The Ambassadors' Wives reacted to this alarm as if they have always exercised this drill, which head me thinking how well they have mingled in our society – with its honey and its sting …

 

I sat, by chance, besides the Canadian Representative. I expressed my love and that of the Israeli people, to the Canadian people and to its Prime Minister Mr. Steven Harper, on the friendship and partnership of both countries. She told me that her children too, have become attached to Israel, and that the return to Canada will be difficult for them. Who needs more than this to express such a close friendship on political and personal level?

 

The upgraded activities of the Ambassadors’ Wives over the years, and their contributions to the success of this consolidating and enjoyable event, were utterly expressed in the ceremony.

 

The volunteer teachers of Hebrew and English were sequentially called to receive gifts and appreciation diplomas for their praiseworthy activity. I watched women from all over the world, uniting and talking in this annual event, which crosses countries and cultures.

 

At the end of the ceremony all sung the song "Shalom Haverim" ("Good-by Friends") – how symbolic.

 

 

 

About "Tapuz" Coffee House:

 

"Tapuz" Coffee House, located in the heart of the Ucalyptus Grove in Herzliya Park, is built within a beautifully designed wooden structure, and offers its customers a culinary entertainment in nature. This year, it was chosen to host the Annual Congress of the Ambassadors' Wives. Michal Weitz, owner of "Tapuz" Coffee House led the event, and served an Israeli breakfast with her experienced and polite crew.

 

"Tapuz" Coffee House offers a culinary experience in nature without leaving the city, and suits all kinds of meetings: family (friendly for children), couples, romantic or business-like. In the place, you can relax on arm chairs with low tables dispersed in the lawn, or enjoy sitting on chairs with tables below a wooden pergola watching what goes on in the park.

 

These days, "Tapuz" Coffee House launches a new and refreshing summer menu that includes a variety of dishes aimed also to the vegan and heath-minded customers. It also organizes private and business events (up to 200 guests).

 

Address: Jabotinsky St. (Herzliya Park)

Opening hours: Sunday thru Thursday, and Saturday: 9 am - 11 pm

Friday: 9 am - 4 pm

Phone: 09-9744050

Parking: Free and ample

 

 Link to the original article in Hebrew written by Sima Lahat

 : http://www.sima-blog.com/#!נשות-השגרירים-מתארחות-בקפה-תפוז/c1kod/5575b6760cf2df2eae3b4b88

 

Photos by Silvia G Golan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas at Layam Sakal Duty Free for diplomats

 

 Israel is the Jewish homeland, but Christmas is well recognized here. Out and loud in recognizing this holiday is the Ambassador’s Club of Israel, under the able auspices of Ambassador Yitzhak Eldan. Last Sunday, in a planned celebration to wish the Israeli Diplomatic Corps a happy holiday season, Mr. Eldan, together with the president of Layam Sakal, Mr. Meir Sakal, arranged a party day for diplomats at the Layam Sakal diplomatic store. Guests were invited for a tour of the store, and at 16:00 a toast was raised to the diplomatic community for a joyous holiday season.

 

As is the practice worldwide, stores like this, where everything is duty free and tax free and where no VAT is charged, exist for the exclusive convenience of accredited diplomats. Attractive shelves, attractive products and very attractive pricing make shopping there an incentive. Items range from the simple (deodorant, toothpaste), through supermarket specials (coffee, imported cheeses), clothes, shoes, perfumes, alcoholic beverages; even washing machines and gifts of all kinds.

 

Among the fascinating gifts we found were products marketed by entrepreneur Avi Marom Milberger, chairman of Marom F.G.P. Ltd. The Dead Sea, at 424 meters below sea level, is the lowest place on earth. The sea has a high concentration of natural minerals – and these are the magical components of many products, including cosmetics and – surprise! – candies. Marom Ltd is now marketing various candies, marzipan, chewing gum, energy bars – and of course, salt.

 

 

Not just ordinary salt, and there lies the surprise. The richest mineral from the lowest point on earth, in a range of exciting flavors, including rosemary, spinach, dill, paprika, garlic and pepper, amongst others. There is pink salt and black salt and golden salt; wild fire salt and hot chili salt. All marketed under the 424 brand.

 

Diplomats searching for unique gifts for colleagues and friends will find that Marom products come in attractive gift packs of all sizes. They are unique to Israel (although are to be marketed worldwide in duty free diplomat stores too). The taste is there, the look is there and the price is right. A perfect gift combination.

 

At the party were ambassadors from many countries, including from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Moldova and Ethiopia. Wines and refreshments added to the festivities, and guests were given gifts of Dead Sea cosmetics and other Dead Sea products.

 

 

 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

 

 Photos by Silvia G Golan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A rich blend of select Arabica beans handpicked from the coffee farms of Benguet Province, got the nod of coffee connoisseurs in Israel after the Philippine Embassy had presented the brew as the country's official entry to the first Diplocoffee Tel Aviv -- an international tasting competition/exhibit held on 25 February 2015.

 

Organized by the Ambassadors' Club of Israel whose objective is to initiate business forums for foreign diplomatic missions in Israel, the Diplocoffee Tel Aviv featured global leaders in the coffee industry such as Angola, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Italy, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Thailand, and Vietnam. The event was widely covered by the media and attended by major coffee importers and distributors, as well as coffee shop owners throughout Israel.

 

The Benguet Arabica beans were sourced from the Philippine Coffee Board, Inc. which supported the Embassy in the international coffee exhibit by providing the official entry to the tasting event and magazines/guides on the Philippine coffee industry. The PCBI is a private sector-led group currently serving as the Philippines' National Coffee Development Board responsible for developing the country's coffee industry and promoting it both in local and international markets.

 

The Philippines, which used to be the world's fourth largest coffee producer and exporter, currently produces around 20,000 metric tons of coffee every year in contrast to its total consumption of 100,000 metric tons. However, the PCBI is taking the lead in reviving and expanding the country's coffee industry through various initiatives and development programs.

 

Benguet Arabica was chosen as the Philippines' official entry to the Diplocoffee Tel Aviv as the province and its neighboring farms are considered to be among the sources of the country's finest Arabica coffee. With mountains scaling between 5,000 to 7,000 feet, the Cordillera region gets enough moisture and cloud cover to produce richly flavored Arabica beans and other coffee varieties.

 

 

 

Apart from Benguet Arabica, the Embassy also exhibited other products such as the popular and strong flavored Barako coffee and the exotic Alamid coffee which is one of the most expensive and highly coveted coffees in the world. To provide guests, especially potential buyers/importers, with more information about the Philippine coffee industry, the Embassy distributed a CD/kit containing details of the products exhibited, including their manufacturers, a directory of local coffee exporters from DTI and copies of the publications provided by the PCBI.

 

The Embassy also took advantage of the opportunity to promote Philippine tourism by giving out It's More Fun in the Philippines brochures and including tourism videos in the kit distributed during the event.

 

The Embassy hopes to contribute to this national thrust through promotion activities such as the recently concluded Diplocoffee Tel Aviv and other economic programs that would attract potential importers and promote Philippine coffee and other local products in the global market. 

 

 

 

History of Philippine Coffee

 

The Philippines is one of the few countries that produces the four varieties of commercially-viable coffee: Arabica, Liberica (Barako), Excelsa and Robusta. Climatic and soil conditions in the Philippines - from the lowland to mountain regions - make the country suitable for all four varieties.

 

In the Philippines, coffee has a history as rich as its flavor. The first coffee tree was introduced in Lipa, Batangas in 1740 by a Spanish Franciscan monk. From there, coffee growing spread to other parts of Batangas like Ibaan, Lemery, San Jose, Taal, and Tanauan. Batangas owed much of its wealth to the coffee plantations in these areas and Lipa eventually became the coffee capital of the Philippines.


By the 1860s, Batangas was exporting coffee to America through San Francisco. When the Suez Canal was opened, a new market started in Europe as well. Seeing the success of the Batangeños, Cavite followed suit by growing the first coffee seedlings in 1876 in Amadeo. In spite of this, Lipa still reigned as the center for coffee production in the Philippines and Batangas barako was commanding five times the price of other Asian coffee beans. In 1880, the Philippines was the fourth largest exporter of coffee beans, and when the coffee rust hit Brazil, Africa, and Java, it became the only source of coffee beans worldwide.


The glory days of the Philippine coffee industry lasted until 1889 when coffee rust hit the Philippine shores. That, coupled with an insect infestation, destroyed virtually all the coffee trees in Batangas. Since Batangas was a major producer of coffee, this greatly affected national coffee production. In two years, coffee production was reduced to 1/6th its original amount. By then, Brazil had regained its position as the world's leading producer of coffee. A few of the surviving coffee seedlings were transferred from Batangas to Cavite, where they flourished. This was not the end of the Philippines' coffee growing days, but there was less area allotted to coffee because many farmers had shifted to other crops.


During the 1950s, the Philippine government, with the help of the Americans, brought in a more resistant variety of coffee. It was also then that instant coffee was being produced commercially, thus increasing the demand for beans. Because of favorable market conditions, many farmers went back to growing coffee in the 1960s. But the sudden proliferation of coffee farms resulted in a surplus of beans around the world, and for a while importation of coffee was banned in order to protect local coffee producers. When Brazil was hit by a frost in the 1970's, world market coffee prices soared. The Philippines became a member of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) in 1980.


Today, the Philippines produces 30,000 metric tons of coffee a year, up from 23,000 metric tons just three years ago.


Source: Philippine Coffee Board

 

 Photo :Ambassador Neal Imperial (left) invites guests of the Diplocoffee Tel Aviv to the Philippine Booth and promotes

Benguet Arabica and other coffee products exhibited such as Amadeo Coffee Liqueur, Barako Coffee,
and Alamid Coffee, one of the most expensive and most sought after specialty coffees
in the world. At the right is Ambassador Yitzhak Eldan, President of the
Ambassadors' Club of Israel.

 

Photo : Ambassador Neal Imperial and Second Secretary and Consul Pamela F. Durian-Bailon at the Philippine
Booth (left photo). The Philippines' poster for the Diplocoffee Tel Aviv (right photo).

 Photos copyrigth Philipine Embassy