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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘hotel’

Jews Rally, Counter-Rally outside Hoenlein’s Group’s Hanukkah Party at Trump’s DC Hotel [video]

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

More than 150 Jewish young adults yelled anti-President-Elect Trump slogans and sang traditional Hanukkah songs with anti-Trump twists marching from Freedom Plaza to the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC Wednesday night, during a pre-Hanukkah party that was being held inside by the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations, the Washington Post reported.

Another, albeit smaller group of about 15 Jews called Jews Choose Trump held a counter-protest nearby. Lee Green, a Jewish member of the electoral college from North Carolina, traveled from his home state to voice her objection to the idea that US Jews demonstrate against Trump.

The group opposing Trump and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents, was made up of the usual leftwing, Reform-affiliated suspects, including Rabbi Rick Jacobs, head of the URJ, who called Hoenlein’s decision to celebrate Hanukkah at a Trump owned joint “tone-deaf at best, naked sycophancy at worst.” The protest was organized by If Not Now, a leftwing, anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian Jewish group.

Hoenlein told the Post a week ago that the Trump hotel was picked for the party “purely on a pragmatic basis,” and that “the reasoning behind it was nothing to do with the Trump name.” He explained that the Azerbaijani Embassy, which co-hosted the party with the Conference of Presidents, planned it close to a month ago, and couldn’t find a venue that was able to accommodate a kosher gathering.

The counter-protesters sang patriotic Israeli and American songs, and at one point, according to the Post, pro-Trump protester David Goldberg yelled at Sharon Kleinbaum, the clergywoman of New York City’s LGBT Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, “What is it that you think we celebrate on the festival of Hanukkah?” adding, “You would have been on the side of Antiochus rather than Judah the Maccabee.”

Back in 2014, Kleinbaum was chastised by many in her own congregation for reading the names of Arab children who were killed in the Gaza war, alongside the names of Israeli soldiers who gave their lives in the same war, creating the impression that the latter bore responsibility for the former. She is also infamous for her statement: “I do believe that Israel violates the human rights of Palestinians every single day. Both things are true.”

JNi.Media

The Five-Star Hotel Called Life

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

After these matters, Hashem appeared to Avram in a dream and said, Do not fear, Avram. I will guard you. Your reward is great.’ ” – Bereishis 16:1

 

When Avraham Avinu was informed that his nephew Lot had been captured, he waged war against the combined armies of four kings. Miraculously, he was victorious and freed Lot.

After these events, Hashem appeared to Avraham and said, “Do not fear; your reward is great.” Rashi explains that Avraham was afraid that since this great miracle had been done for him, he had used up all of his merits and had no reward waiting for him in the World to Come. Hashem allayed those fears by saying, “Everything that I have done for you will not cost you. Do not fear; your reward is great.”

This Rashi is very difficult to understand. How is it possible that a man as great Avraham could have thought he used up all of his reward? After years of serving Hashem, surely the reward waiting for him was phenomenal.

The answer to this is based on viewing life from a different vantage point.

Pesach in Arizona

Imagine that your father-in-law invites you to join him for Pesach in Arizona. This is the ultimate Pesach extravaganza. No expense is spared; the guests are showered with every imaginable luxury and amenity. A five-star hotel, French chefs, an 18-hole golf course on premises – the best of the best. You graciously accept and are ready to have the time of your life. But as it turns out, by the time Pesach comes around, things at work aren’t going well, and lately you’ve been fighting with your wife. As a result, you’re in the worst mood you’ve ever been in. For the nine days you’re there, you barely leave your hotel room.

When the vacation is over, your father-in-law approaches the hotel manager and says, “My son-in-law hardly ate the entire time he was here. He didn’t come to a single gala kiddush. He didn’t use the golf course. Not once did he step foot in the spa. Normally, I am not the type to complain. But I just can’t see paying the regular rate, so I’ve decided to pay half the bill, and expect you to waive the other half.”

How do you think the hotel representative would respond?

This planet we occupy is a five-star hotel. We have every imaginable pleasure and amenity available to us. We enjoy majestic sights and experiences that constantly surround us. From magnificent floral scenes to exotic sea life, from the glory of the night sky to the clear aqua green of the ocean, from a flower in bloom to the plumage of a jungle parrot, this is a world created in Technicolor.

And more than that, we were given the tools with which to enjoy it. We have legs with which to walk and hands with which to hold. We have ears, a tongue, a nose, and fingers that bring us an astounding array of pleasures from the world around us. We have foods that explode with a burst of different flavors, aromas, textures, and colors. We are surrounded by untold pleasures and riches.

But more than anything, we have been granted the extraordinary privilege called life. We were given this golden opportunity to shape ourselves into what we can be for eternity. Is there any way to measure the value of life? Is it worth a million dollars? Ten million? A hundred billion? Is it even possible to put a value on our existence?

Whether we recognize it for its extraordinary value or not, we are the recipients of an unfathomable amount of good. And as such, we owe. From the moment we are born the clock starts ticking and the debt begins. For every breath we breathe, for every pleasure we enjoy, for every moment of our being, the bill increases. We owe our Creator for that which He has given us.

No Free Lunch

Somehow, we assume that all of the pleasures of this world are on the house. I certainly won’t be charged for them. However, the Chovos HaLevavos explains that in reality, we do owe for them. They were given to us by Hashem, and as a result we owe for them.

For this reason, Avraham was afraid. He made a calculation based on what he received from Hashem versus what he had given in return, and he came out only slightly ahead. “Now that Hashem has wrought this great miracle for me,” he thought, “what possible reward do I have left? Surely it has been all used up, and there is nothing left for me in the World to Come.”

Avraham Avinu wasn’t out of touch with reality. Quite the opposite. He was highly attuned to a part of the calculation we rarely think about; namely, that we are not entitled to anything. Hashem didn’t have to create us. Hashem isn’t obligated to shower us with good. Everything Hashem gives us is because He wants to share His good with us. Because of this, we owe a debt to Hashem that can never be repaid.

This perspective should be a major driving force in our service of Hashem, prompting us to attempt as much as we can to pay back the astounding good that He constantly bestows upon us.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier

Hotel Guests’ Credit Cards Hacked in United States

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Hotel guests in at least 10 U.S. states and Washington DC have had their credit card information compromised due to a breach in the payment system security firewall, according to a report by Associated Press, and broadcast by ABC News.

Malware was found on the payment processing systems of more than a dozen properties belonging to HEI Hotels & Resorts, based in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Among the locations affected were 12 hotels in the Starwood network, six Marriott hotels and one Hyatt hotel.

The company, which operates nearly 60 hotels and resorts under a variety of brand names, was notified by its credit card processor that a potential breach had taken place between December 2015 and June 2016, although malware may infected systems at a few locations as early as March 2015.

According to the report, the hack affected cards used at point of sale terminals, such as the restaurants and stores within the hotels.

HEI said in its notice to consumers that as soon as the breach was made known the firm separated its payment card processing from the rest of its network, and now uses a stand-alone system. The malware was disabled and programmers are working to tighten security of the network and payment system.

The company added it’s continuing to cooperate with law enforcement officials in the investigation, and said the breach has been contained.

Hana Levi Julian

Luxury Berlin Hotel Denies Claude Lanzmann’s Claim It Erased Israel

Friday, August 12th, 2016

French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann on Thursday published an op-ed in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Le Figaro claiming that when he was staying at the Luxurious Hotel Bristol near Kurfürstendamm in western Berlin Tuesday, he discovered that management had removed the Israeli dialing code from its directory, to avoid offending its Arab customers.

But the Süddeutsche Zeitung published the hotel’s statement, saying the dialing code directory only includes the names of 35 countries. “There is no instruction on the part of the hotel management or from the [hotel owners, the] Kempinski Group to take the Israeli dialing code out of the telephone directory.”

Lanzmann wrote that he was leafing through the hotel’s service brochure, looking for country phone codes and noticed that the Israeli code was absent.

In his op-ed, the Jewish filmmaker wrote that he inquired with hotel staff, who replied that Arab clients had specifically urged the hotel not to include the Israeli dialing code in its list. Lanzmann explained he was writing to help himself understand what had taken place and to inform others about his experience.

“One cannot fight against Arab terrorism and at the same time allow Israel to be eradicated at one of the noblest and most important hotels in Berlin,” Lanzmann wrote.

He insisted this seemingly petty issue was particularly significant because it happened in the same hotel where he stayed for the first time in 1986 to present his film “Shoah” to the Berlin Film Festival.

Bristol director Birgitt Ullerich, told the Associated Press that omitting Israel from the list “was simply an oversight.”

JNi.Media

Something New for Worldwide Travelers: Meet Sweet Inn, Your Home Away from Home

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

There is something new in the hotel-tourism industry. Get the comforts of home with the luxury of a hotel in one destination – Sweet Inn. A brand new enterprise spanning Europe and Israel, Sweet Inn offers homey apartment rentals in many top cities under full management of a hotel-like concierge. Offering personalized services, the guest relations staff will handle many logistics for its guests and can even offer real insider tips to give tourists a more authentic vacation in a foreign city.

Sweet Inn owns apartments throughout the best locations in Paris, Barcelona, Brussels, Rome, Lisbon, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, offering a wide selection of apartment types, sizes and prices to make Sweet Inn the perfect destination for any type of traveler.

“All Sweet Inn apartments are characterized by their uncompromising attention to detail: a contemporary design created by a dedicated team of local interior designers, committed to embedding a unique character within the apartments, one which suits the atmosphere of the surrounding neighborhood,” said Paul Besnainou, CEO and founder of Sweet Inn.

“Growing up, I got to travel a lot, and I was very used to checking in luxury hotels. When I got a little bit older, I wanted to discover another way to travel. This is way I got interested in short-term rental apartments, such as Airbnb,” Besnainou recalled. “Quite honestly, I was unimpressed with the standards and quality of services available in these kinds of rentals. More often than not, short-term rentals offer a standard product that holds many unpleasant surprises in store: A disappointing location, a run-down building, a dirty room, little comfort or unappealing design. And of course, the majority of short-term rentals are let by private owners, who offer no proper guarantee in terms of security and quality. Sweet Inn was born from this lack. The thought was: why not offer this customer something better? A solution for this cool, urban wanderer who is bored with the traditional hotel, yet seeks the benefits of its qualities and standards?”

At Sweet Inn, all guests can customize their stay exactly as they choose with a selection of “a la carte” additional services: a local smartphone, a car rental with exclusive discounts, a private driver or a restaurant pass card with exclusive discounts at hundreds of restaurants. The apartment-hotel rooms are always located near to public transit and places of interest. The professional guest relations staff will make sure visitors have all their needs met, including housekeeping and sending fresh grocery baskets straight to the front door.

Besnainou explained, “Sweet Inn offers the same signature blend of the best of both worlds. It offers a degree of excellence in all the apartments, together with a uniqueness and hominess in each and every one of them.” The model is built for changing times, where travelers are seeking, “life to become a journey where no trip resembles another,” he said. When seeking a unique travel opportunity, Sweet Inn is the destination.

Daniela Berkowitz

A New Luxury Hotel in the Upper Galilee Set On Attracting More Tourists

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

A new luxury hotel, which took more than 20 years to complete, is set to open in Israel’s Upper Galilee. The Galilion hotel features 120 luxury rooms, a large conference center, a health spa and a swimming pool.

The project was planned and overseen by chief architects Gadi Rubenstein and Oshrat Brown, who were able to secure an investment totalling NIS 90 million ($23 million) for the project, which began in 1995. In an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS), Rubenstein said that residents from Kibbutz Kfar Giladi of the Upper Galilee approached him with the idea to transform kibbutz-owned land into a tourist project.

Rubenstein said that while the hotel was not the first in the region, it is the first independent hotel unattached to a kibbutz or pre-existing enterprise since the land was acquired from Kfar Giladi some distance from the kibbutz itself. The hotel, whose construction began in 2011, is part of a larger venture which will include the opening of an industrial center that will have a farmers’ market, a spa health club and restaurants.

“There has never been such a project in the Upper Galilee,” Rubenstein told TPS.

Additionally, tourists will also have the opportunity to fly in an observation balloon and see the entire Galilee region and Mount Hermon from a height of 150 meters. Organized walking and driving tours will also be available into the Agamon Hula bird nature park in the Hula Valley.

“The Agamon Hula nature park is a great tourist attraction – hundreds of bird species come here during migration seasons,” pointed out Rubenstein.

“Previously people would come to the north just to travel around but now I hope that they will stay for longer periods of time,” said Rubenstein.

Rubenstein anticipates that the Galilion hotel will be open for business by May or June.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Ministers Aim To Reduce Vacation Costs In Israel

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon presented a national plan earlier on Wednesday, November 11 that aims to reduce vacationing costs in Israel.

“We are jointly presenting today a broad national program that, for the first time, deals with the core issues of tourism and creates a historical procedure which, according to professional sources, will reduce the cost of vacationing in Israel by about 20% over five years,” explained Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. “This is a step that will be felt in the pocket of each and everyone of us.”

As part of the plan introduced by Ministers Levin and Kahlon, approximately 15,000 hotel rooms will be built over the next five years and 27,000 hotel rooms over the next ten years. The increase in the number of hotel rooms is meant to increase competition, helping to reduce vacation costs by about twenty percent.

Additionally, hotels will be considered “national infrastructure,” allowing for the approval process of hotel construction by the National Infrastructure Committee, to be much more fluid and quick.

In particular, the plan seeks to make an easier business environment for entrepreneurs in the hotel industry. “The program will ensure that entrepreneurs will not be forced to go through the bureaucratic ordeals, and the construction of a hotel in Israel will no longer be a dream,” Levin said.

The plan also attempts to minimize risk for entrepreneurs. Independent local committees for example, will be able to approve up to 20% of hotel rights for residential purposes, helping to reduce risk assumed by entrepreneurs in a hotel project.

“We are providing an answer and a solution to entrepreneurs and investors from Israel and overseas that, until now, have been prevented from investing in hotels in Israel, and we are reducing the economic risk inherent in investment,” explained Levin pointing to the potential benefits for entrepreneurs.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Chairman of the Kulanu Party echoed Minister Levin’s remarks. “Strengthening the tourism sector in these times in particular is in the national interest,” said Kahlon.

“Shortening the procedures for planning and construction in the industry joins the other initiatives in the housing market that we are leading, by removing the obstacles and reducing unnecessary bureaucracy,” continued Kahlon. “We will continue to work to increase competition, reduce the cost of living and ease the lives of citizens in all spheres of life.”

Bureaucratic hurdles and a shortfall of hotel rooms pushed Ministers Levin and Kahlon to initiate reforms in the hotel industry. Despite the construction of approximately 3,000 new hotel rooms in Israel over the last decade, the cost for overnight hotel accommodations increased by about 70% over the same time period.

The national plan aims to match supply with increasing demand and is scheduled to be presented for government approval on Sunday, November 15.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ministers-aim-to-reduce-vacation-costs-in-israel/2015/11/12/

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