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Photos: Mary Knight

 

Ms. Julie Fisher, wife of U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, and Mrs. Celia Gould, wife of British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould, visited the Eritrean Women’s Community Center in south Tel Aviv on November 6.  During the visit, Ms. Fisher and Mrs. Gould learned about the child care, health, education, and support services the center provides to Eritrean women in the community.  Ms. Fisher and Mrs. Gould also had an opportunity to meet mothers, play with children, and enjoy home-cooked Eritrean food.

 

Zebib Sultan, who arrived in Israel three years ago from Eritrea, started the center in July 2012 with assistance from Amnesty International.  Sultan decided to start the center to address a need for Eritrean women to be supported by women who speak their language and understand their culture. 

 

“It was a meaningful visit, filled with informative first-hand accounts of the plight of Eritrean women, men and children,” Ms. Fisher said. “Hearing about the initiatives to prevent domestic abuse, provide pregnancy support and educatio , as well as learning about the health care challenges they face, was compelling."

 

Mrs. Gould said, “It was an honor to meet Zebib and see first-hand the amazing work her and the team at the community center do every day in a difficult and complicated situation. Their compassion and hard work makes a huge difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable women in Israeli society.”

 

The center provides low-cost child care services so the women can work during the day, and offers enrichment classes in the evening, such as English, Hebrew, family planning, and computer literacy.  The center also coordinates a group of men and women who work on eradicating domestic violence in the Eritrean community by raising awareness and assisting victims. 

 

Ms. Fisher and Mrs. Gould were accompanied to the center by Ms. Mary Knight, wife of U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission William Grant, and Mrs. Jo Jefferson, wife of the British Military Attaché to Israel, Colonel Nigel Jefferson. 

 

This visit continued Ms. Fisher’s outreach to Israel’s diverse communities. On October 30, Ms. Fisher visited an early childhood day care center in the Bedouin village of Abu Kaf and Hagar Association’s Jewish Arab bilingual school in Be’er Sheva.

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday, October 30, Ms. Julie Fisher, wife of U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, visited an early childhood day care center in the Bedouin village of Abu Kaf and Hagar Association’s Jewish Arab bi-lingual school in Be’er Sheva.  The center is part of Embassy partner Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation – Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development ‘s (AJEEC-NISPED) “Parents as Partners” program to empower Bedouin – a program recognized by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.    The Hagar bilingual elementary school, which has continued to flourish and grow since its inception in 2007, is the recipient of monetary and in-kind support from the U.S. Embassy and the US Agency for International Development.

 

During the visit at the Hagar School, Ms. Fisher told the Arab and Jewish 6th graders: “I am pleased to see you, Jews and Arabs, learning together, playing together and trusting each other.  Your school demonstrates that language and cultural differences do not have to be obstacles between people, but rather, they can provide opportunities to learn from each other.”   As an educator, Fisher understands the value of bilingual education to developing open, tolerant and successful students who will help ensure a peaceful future.

 

 

Photo: Michele Dastin-van Rijn/ U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

 

 

 

 

 



Many distinguished representatives from the business and diplomatic community were present last Wednesday at the residence of Colombia's Ambassador, Mr. Fernando Alxate Donoso and Wife , to celebrate the 203-th anniversary of the establishment of Colombia as an independent state.
In an exciting evening, where the Israeli government was represented by the Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, the close and friendly relationship was clearly felt in three levels.

 

In the first level, the close relationship was strengthened notoriously with the visit of Colombia's President about a month ago, which included meetings with President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and several major ministers, such as Mrs. Livni, Minister of Science Mr. Perry, Minister of Infrastructures Mr. Shalom, and others. In the second level, it was clearly pointed out the common goals in the taking of historical decisions that will result in a peace process in our region, as well as regions of conflict. In the third level, thoroughly described by Colombia's Ambassador, there are a variety of operative plans, which will include cooperation and information exchange on natural resources, energy and agricultural matters, as well as an increase of information on technology. The Ambassador also reviewed and described additional plans dealing with visits of Israeli sportsmen and sportswomen in Colombia and vice versa, especially during this festive event, while a large delegation of Colombian sportsmen and sportswomen is participating in the Maccabiah games.

 

The great appreciation of the Ambassador for the Minister of Justice Livni was clearly perceptible, as well as his familiarity with local politics. He praised her for her unceasing efforts in the establishment of peace relations and agreements between the Israelis and Palestinians, and regional cooperation for the thriving of the region. The Ambassador pointed out his appreciation for the fact that Mrs. Livni is tirelessly active keeping this issue on top of matters.

 

Minister of Justice Livni thanked the Colombian President for his productive and important visit, expressed her appreciation for the support of Colombia to Israel, and mentioned her hope and belief that, following the notorious efforts of US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, we will be able to, not only carry negotiations, but also reach agreements. She also expressed her hope that the European Union joins and participates in this effort, and that, finally, the two parties will summarize their differences and their common goals in direct negotiations. Mrs. Livni ended her address with a chord of humor, mentioning that her son is one of the travelers in South America, so she must maintain good relations with her South-American friends.

Photo  Tomer Peled

tranlated  from hebrew by  David Altman

 

 

 

President Peres sent a gift to the new baby with a special message embroidered on it - "From Israel with Love"

 The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, sent a special message of congratulations today on the occasion of the birth of the Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's baby. Along with the letter President Peres sent a special gift of a baby suit with an embroidered message on it – "From Israel with Love"

 President Peres said of the royal birth, "From Jerusalem, Israel, I want to express our happiness and prayers for the young prince. Never in my life did I see the people of the world so united in happiness. It was a demonstration of where royalty helps democracy and where the people have shown what a true democracy is. The streets were full and smiles were on everybody’s face.  I am happy to see the whole world so happy with the birth of this young boy. I am 90 years old, so I saw his father when he was a young boy and now I hope we shall see this newly born prince, doing his job in the most democratic and royal manner. The world became richer with this event. God bless the Queen, From Jerusalem Mazal Tov!"

 



President Francois Hollande celebrated the Bastille Day in Paris, with the Annual Military Parade, while in Israel, Mr. Christophe Bigot, the French Ambassador, held his traditional reception on July 14 at his beautiful residence in Jaffa.

The French National Holiday commemorates the Bastille Day, which took place on July 14, 1789, and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute power of Louis XVI's Ancient Regime. By capturing this prison, the people signaled that the power should be based on the nation and be limited by a separation of powers.

The ambassador, Mr. Bigot, accompanied by his wife, by the honorable guest Mr. Shimon Peres, president of Israel, by Mr. Meir Habib, Jewish member of the French Parliament, and the French- to-Hebrew translator, congratulated all the guests, stressing the warm and special relationship and cooperation between France and Israel.

 

Almost five thousand honorable guests participated in the event.

In his speech, Ambassador Bigot announced the end of the 4-year period of his diplomatic service in Israel. He pointed out his fascination of Israel, mentioning exciting moments that he experienced during his service in Israel, an also his involvement in the process of releasing soldier Gilad Shalit from captivity. Mr. Bigot ended his speech with the words: "Long live France!, Long live Equality!, long live the friendship between France and Israel!"

Israel's president, Mr. Peres, started his speech by quoting the late president of France, Charles De Gaulle: "one cannot mention France without its greatness, as one cannot mention the good relation between Israel and France without the great contribution of the host, the ambassador Bigot." Mr. Peres mentioned the Jewish contribution to France; for example, the Jewish engineer Gustav Eiffel, who designed the famous Tour Eiffel in Paris.

Mr. Peres ended his speech stressing the three important values to the French people, on which the French society is based on Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, thus making July 14 an important day to the whole humanity.

President Peres said to the Ambassador Bigot, that he will change his place of service, but Israel will not change the friendship to him.

After the speeches, both national anthems, French and Israeli, were played and sung.

A remarkable and quite long fireworks show was then performed.

Among the distinguished guests, the following were present:

Mr. Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister

Prof. Daniel Shechtman, the Israeli scientist that won the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry,

Mr. Silvan Shalom, Minister of the Regional Development, Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Energy and Water.

Mr. Shlomo Morgan, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Elie Chouraqui, the famous French Jewish film director and scriptwriter, who is going to "make alia" to Israel,

Noam Shalit, ambassadors, diplomats, businessmen, and many representatives of the French community in Israel.

 

Photo  Silvia Golan