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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘business’

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.

The Road to Oligarchy

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Regardless of how many wars on poverty are declared and how often calls are issued to make the rich pay their fair share, neither the rich nor the poor will be going anywhere anytime soon. The question is what forces will keep the poor impoverished and where the rich will derive their wealth from.

The founder of Subway recently said that he could not have started up his company today. Similar messages have come from the founders and heads of other major companies. That isn’t to say that companies will cease to exist. What we think of as business has been changing for some time.

In most countries, starting a business does not begin with a great idea. It begins with connections. Knowing the right people is still important, but in most places it’s the most important thing.

Under the current American model, a company becomes successful and then begins to lobby Washington to gain a competitive advantage or to avert hostile lobbying directed at negating its existing competitive advantage. That is a perversion of free enterprise, but in much of the world companies begin lobbying first and then become successful. This is the model that has evolved under Obama. And it’s a familiar model to anyone doing business in Russia or China. Political connections come first and then the business becomes feasible.

Oligarchy is the inevitable outcome of an economic climate where the governments acts as a gatekeeper to the country’s customers. Measures that began as limited safety and fraud regulations have become a comprehensive political economic system that controls every aspect of every economic transaction.

The government creates markets. It creates companies and customers. It sets prices and taxes industries that it does not favor out of business.

Corporate lobbying isn’t just about the proverbial 200 dollar screwdriver. It’s about making it more expensive for some companies to make screwdrivers than others. It’s also about forcing independent screwdriver manufacturers out of business. It’s about government grants to make environmentally friendly screwdrivers and heavy taxes on companies that don’t make environmentally friendly screwdrivers.

Tactics like these aren’t new. The Esch Act eliminated white phosphorus matches through a punitive tax back in 1910. But a century later, the government wiped out the incandescent bulb industry, not for health reasons, but to comply with a trendy ideology. Microsoft, which had hardly bothered to lobby before, was dragged to Washington on monopoly charges that Google, the ultimate dot com insider, today laughs off. And Microsoft learned its lesson, investing in sizable amounts of lobbying capital.

The government is a bigger factor in business models for both large and small businesses than any other. Whether it’s struggling against the mountains of paperwork or looking for ways to profit from the latest regulations, business has come to be defined by government. The tier of governments at every level have accumulated huge amounts of wealth and power. Government power is used to control how business is done while government spending makes political officials into the country’s biggest consumers.

The fusion of business with government leads to oligarchy. The rich are not going anywhere, but wealth becomes a factor of their government connections, rather than skill or even inheritance. Government control over business began under the banner of combating monopolies only to end by creating government monopolies. The war against income inequality will end the same way and with the same results as the oligarchies in Russia, China, Mexico and everywhere else.

The future of Obamerica is a country full of corrupt government officials and tycoons. The future is an aristocracy of union bosses running their own guilds, corporate monopolies that change with each election and government officials with mansions and armed bodyguards.

Income inequality will be huge with oceans of poverty and small islands of wealth locked away behind gated communities. Populists will promise power for the people, only to make the system even more corrupt. One company or one boss will be brought down, only to be replaced with the favorites of another party.

Everyone will despise the tycoons and the government. The government will promise to protect the people from the tycoons, even as it works closely with them, and the tycoons will lavish money on certain areas in exchange for loyalty. Both the government and the tycoons will be closely tied up with organized crime which will launder its drug profits through the tycoons and use its political connections to gain protection and sanctions against rival organizations.

Big Business and Realizing Your Dreams (Podcast)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Meet Julie Deane, who managed to fulfill her dreams when she opened The Cambridge Satchel Company. Julie and her mother originally founded the company in order to reach the goal of sending Julie’s children to a good, private school, and they became more successful than they ever imagined. Julie shares with Doug how she managed to run a company from her kitchen at home, eventually getting listed as one of the 100 most influential figures in fashion. Don’t miss this inspiring interview on the Goldstein on Gelt show.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/goldstein-on-gelt/big-business-and-realizing-your-dreams-podcast/2013/01/30/

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