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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘business’

Bennett Says China to Study Free Trade Proposal

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett announced during his visit to China that Beijing officials have agreed to carry out a survey to determine the value of a free trade policy.

China previously has rejected approaches from Israel that it conduct a study, and this week’s agreement, a pre-condition for a trade agreement,  was unexpected.

It probably will take one to two years to complete the survey, which will be the basis for a free-trade agreement with Israel if the results are positive.

Bennett told Globes, “Trade between Israel and China totals about $8 billion annually, and forecasts are that such an agreement would considerably increase the amount so that more and more small and medium Israeli companies could become involved in bilateral economic activities with China.”

Israel’s exports to China in 2012 rose 0.9% to $2.74 billion, with a large part attributed to  exports from Intel and Israel Chemicals.

“The Chinese pay major attention to Israel. The Chinese government has taken a strategic decision to strengthen economic relations with Israel and good things are happening between the two countries in this sphere” an official accompanying Bennett told Globes.

Israeli-Founded Traffic Safety ‘Mobileye’ Firm Raises $400 Million

Monday, July 8th, 2013

The Israeli-founded Mobileye firm, which develops camera-based program for the auto industry to assist drivers, has raised $400 million through five investors, including Enterprise Rent A Car, to raise the company’s value to $1.5 billion.

“This successful transaction is a testament to the strength of our business and the company’s future prospects. We are excited to have such world-class investors joining forces with us as we move into the next growth phase of our company,” said Mobileye CEO and co-founder Ziv Aviram.

The company plans an IPO, probably in New York, by the end of 2014 to help it introduce more products and reach out to more international markets.

The New York Times reported that the new investors are three of the largest asset management firms in the United States – BlackRock, Fidelity Management and Wellington Management, the Chinese investment company Sailing Capital, and Enterprise.

July 4, Day of Operation Entebbe, Israel Upgrades Uganda Airport

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

An Israeli firm won a contract this week to upgrade systems at Uganda’s Entebbe airport, where a daring IDF mission on July 4, 1976, rescued 105 hostages from a hijacked airplane

Trilogical Technologies won the bid to integrate and implement systems that cover manpower, vehicle and equipment serving the airport’s ground services,  according to Israel Defense.

It said Trilogical’s software and hardware products will be integrated for management of existing resources  and carrying out missions in its airspace. Its computer system will be installed for the first time in Entebbe’s luggage, passenger and maintenance departments.

Ironically, the control systems will be installed “for control and warning in the event of operational or security irregularities” according to the report.

“There is a great deal of symbolism in the date when we are beginning the project,” said Trilogical CEO Erez Lorber.

The ability of the Israeli commandos to land at the airport without being detected was the key to its success, which was marred by the death of the commander of Operation Entebbe, Col. Yoni Netanyahu, brother of the prime minister.

One of the officers on the mission, a neighbor of mine, recently told me that almost no one in the hand-picked units believed that they would take off for the rescue operation because the scheme was “beyond imagination.”

The hostage crisis began on June 27 when Arab terrorists, helped by a German revolutionary cell, hijacked an Air France plane en route from Tel Aviv to Paris via Athens and demanded the release of prisoners in Israel in return for releasing the Israeli hostages.

After a week of planning, Operation Entebbe began on July and lasted approximately one hour. Besides the death of Netanyahu, five commandos suffered injuries and three hostages were killed.

The commandos landed in the dark of night, killed 45 Ugandan soldiers and destroyed 30 Soviet-built MiGs to prevent them from being used against the Israeli force.

Israeli firms had helped build the Entebbe airport, and their possession of blueprints of the facility was crucial towards the operation’s success.

When the Israeli planes, a cargo plane rolled out a black Mercedes that was a duplicate of Uganda President Idi Amin’s vehicle.

The element of surprise enabled the commandos to eliminate opposition forces and rescue the hostages, except for two who were killed by IDF fire and a third who was caught in crossfire.

The raid has been attributed to putting a stop to the wave of international terrorist hijackings, but United Nations Secretary General at that time, Kurt Waldheim, condemned Israel for “a serious violation of the national sovereignty of a United Nations member state.”

Court Orders Tel Aviv to Enforce Law Banning Business on Shabbat

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

The Supreme Court has ordered Tel Aviv to enforce the law that prohibits stores from operating on the Sabbath. It overruled a February ruling by a lower court, which accepted the city’s claim that it carried out its responsibility by fining business owners without a need to force them to close.

The three-judge panel, including Court President Asher Grunis, ruled that under the “current legal management, the municipality in effect allows violating the law.” He added that there is concern that the city prefers to profit more from sales on Shabbat than it can collect from fining businesses violating the law.

Haredi Tycoons Raising $100 Million to Replace Lapid’s Budget Cuts

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Haredi tycoons are organizing to fill a $100 million gap for yeshivas following Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s elimination of the same amount of money that yeshivas have been receiving from taxpayers.

The Mishpacha magazine called the tycoon’s fund-raising campaign “a Lapid bypass plan “to help the world of the Torah get through the years of distress with a minimum of harm.”

If it works, everyone wins: The budget will come closer to being in the black, pardon the expression; the vast majority of Israelis will be relieved of blatant government purchases of Haredi votes in return for funding for yeshivas; the Haredi community will be more self-dependent; Torah study can continue; and perhaps the Hardy tycoons that men registered at yeshiva actually learn and do not simply pocket money to sit at home.

Wealthy Haredi businessmen are setting up a special $100 million fund in the next several weeks, according to Mishpacha.

Many of the rich Haredim already have committed large sums of money to replenish the bank accounts of yeshivas and to guarantee income to Torah students.

Another objective is to help encourage employment that is consistent to the Haredi lifestyle, similar to the Agudah communities in the United States.

There is also an initiative to foster employment and training of Haredi women in jobs consistent with the Haredi way of life.

However, the Haredi community has not given up on hopes of going back to the days of government handouts.

It hopes that after the fund runs for approximately 18 months, “the government will be replaced by a government more congenial to the Haredi public,” according to the magazine.

In Hebrew: ‘Focus’

Monday, May 20th, 2013

לְהִתְרַכֵּז

I learned today from a LinkedIn article that it’s important for a business leader to focus in order to succeed. The truth is, focusing – putting our energy into something – is what makes things move in the world.

The Hebrew word for to focus or to concentrate is לְהִתְרַכֵּז. The root of this reflexive-intensive הִתְפַּעֵל verb is ר.כ.ז (r.k.z). It’s the same root as the word for centerמֶרְכָּז.

An example:

הִיא מִתְרַכֶּזֶת כְּשֶׁהִיא עוֹבֶדֶת.
She focuses when she works.

Concentration or focus is רִכּוּז, while focused is מְרֻכָּזin the masculine and מְרֻכֶּזֶתin the feminine.

For example:

בְּרֶגַע זֶה אֲנִי לֹא מְרֻכָּז, אָבָל אֲנִי בְּאֶמֶת רוֹצֶה לְהַקְשִׁיב לָךְ.
At this moment I’m not focused, but I really do want to listen to you (a female).

Visit Ktzat Ivrit.

How a Jewish Online Magazine Was Launched

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

This week, Doug speaks to Alana Newhouse, who has extensive experience in the world of American Jewish journalism, having worked as culture editor at the Forward before moving over in 2008 to Nextbook, which was eventually relaunched as Tablet Magazine. Alana tells Doug about how the Internet has become a valuable tool for spreading Jewish news. Tune into this interesting Podcast to hear more, along with all of your favorite financial columns and advice.

Scottish Brewer from Gush Etzion Crafts Traditional Beer

Monday, April 15th, 2013

The Israeli beer industry includes a wide range of brew masters from native Israelis to North American immigrants whose microbreweries can be found across the country from the Golan, Western Galilee and Jezreel Valley, to Ein Hod and Emek Hefer in the north and in the Negev.

In the hills of Judea, Gush Etzion also has its very own brewery known as the Lone Tree Brewery. Established four years ago by David Shire, originally from Glasgow, Scotland and his wife, Miriam from Tunisia, along with an American couple, Yochanan and Susan Levin, the brewery offers a wide array of flavors to the Israeli market.

Most likely the only Scottish brew master in Israel and maybe even in the Middle East, Shire has been living in Israel for the past 30 years.  A biologist, who was studying for a PhD when he first made aliyah while working at Hadassah, Shire made a career switch to landscape gardening and eventually discovered the brewery business as well.

“Back in the UK, you feel as though you must have a certain professional status, but once in Israel, I found that this was largely not the case – it’s acceptable to work in all sorts of jobs. I would rather work in gardening and making beer than in a lab with mice,” Shire told Tazpit News Agency.

Growing up in Scotland, Shire was very familiar with beer and believed that there was a void to fill in the Israeli market. Along with his American counterparts, the Levins, who are also his neighbors in the Neve Daniel community, Shire and his wife discussed one night the possibility of opening a boutique brewery. “We didn’t necessarily drink a lot of beer growing up, but we knew what good beer is supposed to taste like,” said Shire whose mother still lives in Glasgow.

“With that in mind, we wanted to make the best beer possible,” Shire explained, pointing to a periodic table of beer styles tacked on the brewery wall.

The initiative didn’t begin with sweeping expectations. “We started out small, making our own styles of beer based on traditional recipes. The next step was to see if the beer would sell.”

In addition to creating seven unique flavors of beer which include London Pale Ale, Belgian Piraat Ale, California Steam Ale, and Extra Oatmeal Stout, an Irish flavor, Shire and his partners also had to come up with a unique label for their beer. “We wanted a name that would reflect that the beer was crafted in the hills of Judea, and therefore we chose Lone Tree, a symbol of this region.”

The lone tree is a 700 year-old oak tree that stands in Gush Etzion near the Alon Shvut community. The tree became a symbolic landmark to Jewish residents forced to leave behind their communities when Gush Etzion fell to the Jordanian Legion in May 1948. Among the heavy losses, the Jordanians destroyed Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, established in 1935 while also killing its 127 Jewish defenders the day before Israel’s Declaration of Independence. During the 19 years that Gush Etzion was under Jordanian control until Israel’s victory in the 1967 war, the children of Gush Etzion would go to certain observation points in Jerusalem to glimpse the oak tree from afar, dreaming of their return home.

Today, the Lone Tree Brewery, which is located a few minutes away from the famous oak tree, sells its brews across Gush Etzion and Jerusalem, producing a few hundred bottles each month with plans to expand. The brewery also makes specialty beers for Jewish holidays including a popular date and pomegranate beer for Rosh Hashana.

“There is something magical about making beer here in Israel,” adds Shire, pouring a glass of Extra Oatmeal Stout. “When tourists come to visit us, they get to experience phenomenal views of the Judean hills and the coast, soak in the area’s history, all while drinking a quality hand-crafted beer. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The Lone Tree Brewery is located in the Gush Etzion forest in the Abu-Cleb Recreational Park, a 15-minute drive from Jerusalem.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/scottish-brewer-from-gush-etzion-crafts-traditional-beer/2013/04/15/

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