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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘business’

IDF Bans Arab Workers From Gush Etzion Communities

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Etzion Brigade Commander Colonel Roman Gofman issued an order Monday morning to remove immediately all Arab workers from the Gush Etzion communities, including from stores and businesses.

The order follows a severe escalation in deadly Arab terrorist attacks on Jews in the region.

On Monday morning, a pregnant woman in her 30s was stabbed by an Arab terrorist in the eastern Gush Etzion town of Tekoa while she was busy working in a clothing warehouse.

The woman, who was seriously wounded, was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Early Sunday evening, an Arab construction worker employed in the Jewish community of Otniel, in the south Hebron Hills, entered a home in the community and viciously stabbed a young mother to death.

Daphna Meir, z’l, was laid to rest Monday morning in the Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul neighborhood after a funeral that began in Otniel.

As drastic as the ban may sound, it is unlikely to last very long.

This is not the first time the IDF has imposed such measures on Arab workers in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Last July (2015) the IDF issued a region-wide ban out of concern that some Arab employees might take revenge on their Jewish coworkers or employers over the arson murder attack on a family in the Arab village of Duma.

A similar ban on Arab workers in the region was also ordered in November 2015: that edict was issued after 21-year-old Hadar Buchris was stabbed to death in an attack at the Gush Etzion junction.

The attack on Buchris had been the third attack of the day in the region, and the second at the junction in four days – but the ban was temporary, as is obvious by the fact that Daphna Meir, z’l, was laid to rest today.

 

Hana Levi Julian

MK Michael Oren Visits Gush Etzion Startup Hub that Combines Business with Zionism [video]

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Hub Etzion is a new, vibrant and exciting coworking space located in the burgeoning “Industrial Park” nestled in the Gush Etzion hills just across from the town of Efrat, and 5 minutes from almost every community in Gush Etzion. As coworking hubs go, Hub Etzion is pretty standard – even modest. At 3000 sq. feet, it’s quite small compared to the 15000+ sq. feet WeWork locations in Tel Aviv and Herzliyah.

Yet in the mere two months since opening, Hub Etzion has been receiving national – and international attention. Including, a special visit today from MK and Former Israel Ambassador to the US Michael Oren.

Why such inordinate attention? As any real estate agent will tell you, the answer is location, location, location.

While Gush Etzion has been in the news lately as the address for increased terror attacks, and notably the vicious murder of American yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz, z”l one month ago, it is also the home to a large, independent-minded community of Olim, many of whom live in Israel while owning or consulting for companies overseas, from the comfort, or shall we say, the discomfort of home.

Hub Etzion aims to meet this strong and current market need, providing a sophisticated, professional space in which to work for those who telecommute, run their own businesses, work from home or all of the above.

At the same time, the founders of Hub Etzion perceive their business as a response to the ongoing terror attempts – and to BDS.

“Yesterday, I went to a memorial ceremony at Oz V’Gaon Park in memory of Ezra Schwartz, z”l” Hub Etzion co-owner and founder Rachel Moore told JewishPress.com. “Racheli Fraenkel [JP: mother of Naftali Fraenkel one of the three boys kidnapped and murdered last year] spoke and tried to give comfort to Ezra’s family, who had flown in from the US to be with us, here, in Gush Etzion. She spoke about how the Jewish people respond to a culture of death and destruction by celebrating life and rebuilding. We at Hub Etzion believe that the response to BDS is the same; rather than divestment and negative attacks, we need to build up and ‘INvest’; in people, in enterprise, in technology and advancements for all of the residents of Gush Etzion. That is the only way to bring about progress and solutions. We face the current situation – and our ongoing situation by increasing prosperity and success – locally and proudly.”

This approach to the current attacks on Israel, from terrorism to the rhetoric on campuses and in cities around the world, seems to resonate a great deal with thought leaders.

During today’s visit, it was clear that MK Oren already understood the Hub culture, and the need for a coworking space in Gush Etzion.

But what he wanted to talk about was the decision of the Hub – and more importantly the businesses that reside there – to remain in Gush Etzion, clearly, unapologetically.

As the coworkers gathered for a photo opportunity with Oren, he addressed the crowd and said (in Hebrew) “People have been trying to remove the Jewish presence from this area throughout the history of Israel. Those of you working here, this amazing place, Hub Etzion, is as important to the long term success here as the soldiers out there working hard at the junction and checkpoints, protecting us”

Hub Etzion was also called out recently at a new Lobby at the Knesset for Startups and Hubs, started by MKs Yoav Kish and Yoel Hasson. MK Kish, of the Likud Party, specifically mentioned Hub Etzion as an example of the “need for more Hubs and tech eco-systems outside of the mercaz [Tel Aviv] and in the rest of the country.”

Alan Weinkrantz, “Product Ambassador” from Rackspace, the world’s largest provider of managed cloud storage, has also brought international attention to Hub Etzion. In a recent post, he wrote that “It’s interesting to see workspaces and hubs like…Hub Etzion that are no more than 30 minutes from Jerusalem, and dot landscape and the periphery of the Nation’s Capital. These communities and workspaces are sort of like being in Fairfax, VA or Chevy Chase, MD, but with a slightly longer time line that go back to the cradle of civilization.”

Coinciding with MK Michael Oren’s visit, Weinkrantz came to Hub Etzion today for a day of consultations and help for the co-working /start-up community of Gush Etzion. He had an opportunity to personally present MK Oren with a Rackspace poster that points an arrow at Israel as “The Five-Thousand Year Old Startup”.

“We are a private enterprise that is focused on empowering the people and businesses of Gush Etzion and Efrat to thrive and grow.” co-owner Amy Shuter told JewishPress.com. “We have so much more to do. We know that as long as our region is an area of controversy we will garner attention to what we are doing. But we are going to help the next huge idea turn into the next huge startup, right out of our modest Hub. This is only the beginning. We hope that the international attention continues, but for the benefit of the businesses we serve. “

Below is a short excerpt (in English) from what MK Michael Oren said during his visit to Hub Etzion.


Video courtesy: Alan Weinkrantz

Jewish Press Staff

Government to Vote Wednesday on Billion Shekel Plan to Help Arab Sector

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Arab officials have expressed outrage at the government’s decision to delay by three days a vote on a major five-year plan involving funding in huge segments of Arab municipalities.

The government postponed the vote until Wednesday on a NIS 15b funding plan for education, transportation, housing and employment because the targeted cities did not include mixed Arab-Jewish populations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Social Services Minister Gila Gamliel created the plan allegedly hoping to change the way government allocates its funding for such purposes.

The ministers were reportedly hoping to give a swift economic push for development of Arab society in Israel, thereby narrowing the gaps between the Jewish and Arab populations.

But Likud Science Minister Ofir Akunis and Culture Minister Miri Regev both objected to the plan due to its lack of balance.

“It’s very important to include the mixed cities,” said Regev. “We’re allowed to represent them and we should not apologize because they [the mayors] are from Likud … not all of them are. We’re talking about Haifa, Tel Aviv-Yafo (Jaffa), Ramle, Lod and Akko – these billions of shekels need to serve the Arab public in mixed cities as well,” she said.

If passed, NIS 1.2 billion will be allocated to promote construction in Arab municipalities and NIS 1.4 billion will be used to improve public transportation in local authorities. For example, information about public schedules will be translated to Arabic for the first time and there will be an increase for subsidies to public transportation in Arab communities.

A full 40 percent of the State of Israel public transportation budget will be used in the Arab sector. In addition, 32.5 percent of funding in the economic development and employment sector will be allocated in 2016 to the development of industrial zones in Arab municipalities. Plus, 17.5 percent of the Small and Medium Business Agency budget will be allocated to Arab sector businesses.

The plan also includes significant investment in Arab sector education, particularly in the field of training educators in both elementary and higher education.

But nothing ever seems to be enough: Arab officials were outraged by the decision to postpone the vote three days, till Wednesday.

Hana Levi Julian

20 Multinational Corporations to Converge on Israel’s Top Startups

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

(JNi.media) Israel is well known as the startup nation with a thriving entrepreneurial spirit, groundbreaking technologies, exceptional workforce, resilient economy, and high investment returns. These are just a few reasons why the world’s leading multinational corporations—more than 200—have set up shop in Israel and are looking to invest and do business with startups. Those companies’ corporate venture arms are becoming increasingly active investors in local startups.

Which is why senior representatives from leading multinational companies including AVG, Ford, GE, Tyco, GM, ProSieben, Mail.ru, Bloomberg, Yahoo, Visa (yes, them too) and many more—see the complete list here—will converge on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange December 16 for the Axis Tel Aviv Corporate Edition 2015, an event aimed at connecting international companies actively looking to invest in Israel with the country’s top startups.

The Corporate Edition’s participating startups will be from a variety of tech sectors including big data, cloud, cyber security, mobile and e-commerce. This is the only event in Israel connecting global entities and Israeli startups, assisting them to break into the local ecosystem and generating optimal platforms for networking and deals.

The one-day event will be broken down into 4 sessions of corporate venture categories (ICT & Big Data/ Fintech & Cybersecurity / Mobile & E-Commerce / IOT). Each session will include pitches from each Corporate panelist, followed by startup pitches and feedback from the panel. In addition there will be a roundtable discussion on corporate investing, keynote speakers, focused networking sessions, and an exclusive lunch for startups, investors, and corporate executives.

Axis Innovation is a boutique advisory firm connecting investors and corporations with the best technology startups globally. Its core services include capital raising and coaching for startups, filtered deal-flow for investors and innovation scouting for corporations, global conferences, and corporate consulting.

JNi.Media

Gasoline Prices to Drop by Nearly 5 Percent

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The government once again is preventing Israeli motorists from enjoying the full effect of the plunging price of oil and will limit the drop in the price at the pump to 25 agorot midnight Monday.

A hike in the excise tax will rake in another 5 agorot a liter for the Finance Ministry.

The new price of 95 octane will be 6.05 shekels at self-service stations, but discounts often are available at several stations run by smaller companies.

The price of oil has dropped by nearly 20 percent since last month, but the shekel-dollar rate has risen by 2 percent.

The government adjusts the price of gasoline at the pump at the of every month, ostensibly to prevent gasoline companies from charging too much money

In effect, the price control actually guarantees the companies a fat profit, which explains why discount stations cut the rate even further and still make lots of money.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

2 Israelis Nabbed in US-Israel-Russia Securities Fraud Sting

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

The FBI linked with Israel Police organized crime unit 433 to uncover a securities fraud scheme that has spanned the globe via the Internet from the U.S. to Israel and all the way to Russia.

Authorities also discovered that the “pump and dump” scheme had a connection with last October’s massive cyber breach of JP Morgan Chase and other financial institutions.

“Pump and dump” is a stock fraud scheme in which promotional spam emails are sent to victims encouraging them to buy “hot” stocks. Perpetrators sell their own stocks and make millions on the deal.

Two Israelis — Gery Shalon, 31, and Ziv Orenstein, 40 — were charged in connection with the scheme. Joshua Samuel Aaron, 31, a U.S. national residing in Moscow and Tel Aviv, has not yet been arrested but is accused; he remains at large, officials said.

U.S. officials have requested extradition of the two Israelis and also permission to interrogate the pair following their arrest Tuesday at home. But the Israel state prosecutor planned to request permission to extend their remand in Israel at a hearing in Jerusalem District Court today (Wednesday, July 22) in order to allow time for Israel Police to question them as well.

According to the indictment, Shalon and Orenstein were also charged with running an unlicensed BitCoin exchange, Coin.Mx.

U.S. nationals Anthony Murgio and Yuri Lebedev were taken into custody in Florida, according to U.S. District Attorney for Southern New York Diego Rodriguez. Murgio and Lebedev were charged with “knowingly [exchanging] cash for people whom they believed may be engaging in criminal activity.”

At least some of the men met more than a decade ago while attending Florida State University, Bloomberg News reported.

There was no mention in the indictment of any connection with last October’s massive cyber theft of data from JP Morgan Chase, Fidelity Investments Ltd. and E*Trade Financial Corp. Some 83 million accounts were compromised in that breach, which affected accounts in 76 million households and seven million small businesses.

However, a source close to the case told Bloomberg News the FBI believes data stolen in the JP Morgan Chase hack may have been sought for promoting stocks through a massive spam campaign in the “pump and dump” scheme.

Murgio and Lebedev were also charged with using the bitcoins to purchase ransomware – a type of malware – and of using a fictitious organization (Collectible Club) to gain “beneficial control” over a small New Jersey-based credit union. The suspects allegedly used Collectible Club to “trick the major financial institutions through which they operated into believing their unlawful BitCoin exchange business was simply a members-only association of individuals who discussed, bought, and sold collectible items such as sports memorabilia.”

According to an affidavit submitted by FBI Special Agent Joey DeCapu, “the credit union normally handled the modest banking needs of a small group of primarily low-income residents and had little or no experience with the business of ACH processing.” Red flags were raised when the National Credit Union Association noticed the bank was processing more than $30 million a month in ACH transactions through the Credit Union account. NCUA put a stop to the processing and forced the removal of the new board members.

Hana Levi Julian

F.A.O. Schwarz Closing Flagship July 15 on NYC’s Fifth Avenue

Monday, July 6th, 2015

It’s the end of an era.

F.A.O. Schwarz on New York City’s Fifth Avenue is closing its doors because rising rent prices have finally exceeded even the fiscal ability of this iconic tribute to childish fantasies.

The brand itself will not die, according to Toys R Us, which bought out F.A.O. Schwarz in 2009.

However, the corporation has yet to find a new location for the toy store, hopefully a process that won’t take too long.

“In working with the property owner, the company was able to agree on an early exit in advance of the 2017 lease expiration, providing the opportunity to realize meaningful rent savings,” the company explained in a statement on its website. “As a result, we plan to formally close the Fifth Avenue location on Wednesday, July 15.

“The decision to vacate this space is due to the continuing rising costs of operating a retail location on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The company is committed to the FAO Schwarz brand and growing its legacy. In fact, it is actively searching for another location in midtown Manhattan where FAO Schwarz can welcome shoppers from around the world.”

It seems, however, that wherever that may be, it will be a somewhat smaller operation, according to the company’s statement.

“The company is working diligently to place as many full- and part-time team members as possible at Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us locations in the greater New York/New Jersey area.”

The New York City flagship store on Fifth Avenue has for decades been a “must-see” stop on the tourist route in the Big Apple for visitors from around the world.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/f-a-o-schwarz-closing-flagship-july-15-on-nycs-fifth-avenue/2015/07/06/

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