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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Israel On My Mind – I ❤ Israel in fall. How about you? [audio]

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

In today show Jono and Jason explore 8 great reasons to visit the Holy Land in Autumn (that’s ‘Fall’ for you in the US). We talk about the recent success of the ParaOlympic team, new marketing apps and much more! Stay tuned!

Israel On My Mind 22Sept2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

MISHPACHTONIM – Israel’s Children are Your Children.

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

As Israel continues to be the epicenter of the world and to explode in a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, she is compelled to keep up with the fast paced, growing demand of a multi-cultural and diverse society which means that the complex challenges she faces, must be addressed. Migdal Ohr is once again at the forefront of the revolution by supporting over 3,000 children in need of a better home.

Every year, thousands of Israeli children are placed into Children’s residences throughout the country. Today, there are over 10,000 children who are living out of their home environments. This has created a burgeoning need to build infrastructures to cope with the problem. Migdal Ohr offers a fulltime loving home and excellent education to children ranging from the ages of 1-18 years by supporting them in their educational facilities in the city of Migdal Ha’Emek in the North of Israel with over 350 living on campus

From the time Migdal Ohr was established in 1972, it functioned as a standard boarding school/orphanage for boys and girls. Traditionally, the Migdal Ohr style boarding school had a dorm family and each floor has its own dorm counselor. While this format worked well for many years, a new model was piloted in 2015. Following its unprecedented success, the Ministry of Education recently approved the establishment of a new and unique service at Migdal Ohr – a Children’s Residence Framework known as a Mishpachton.

The Mishpachton is an unusual model for residential care. It is headed by a married couple who usually have their own children and together the family unit scaffolds the children as a surrogate family. The Mishpachton is staffed by a social worker who stays in close contact with the biological parents; a psychologist who ensures that various therapies involving art, music, pet, group, etc.—are made available and a teacher who is responsible to ensure each child is prepared for school.

Migdal Ohr’s therapeutic residential facility represents what is for many the first real home they have ever known. Children are provided with complete care of their physical and emotional needs which are provided also by genuine and devoted staff. The nurturing environment, is for many is their first experience of love which translates into their basic needs being met, in the form of regular meals, homework supervision and family excursions; all of which help to create a stable living environment.

Migdal Ohr is rigorous in the selection of the appropriate couples who are carefully chosen according to their educational and therapeutic experience, as well as their personality profiles. They are responsible for caring for all of the children’s physical, emotional, social and educational needs and are required to maintain ongoing contact with the school and to instill discipline and good values into the children.

The children′s daily routine is structured around the family, particularly the home. They eat together as a family, receive separate therapy sessions and attend special events/go on trips as a family.

Currently, there are 2 families living in the Mishpachtonim with 24 students aged 12 – 14 under their care. Following the evident success of this model and urgent need to provide a warm home for many more children at risk, Migdal Ohr is planning to roll out 12 additional Mishpachtonim which will house an additional 144 children ages 12 – 18, bringing the total to 168.

As momentum continues to grow, we invite you, our international partners to join hands with us and partner in this holy and important work. Support Migdal Ohr by purchasing letters in the Torah Scroll that will be written in honor of Rabbi Grossman’s 70th Birthday. The proceeds will go towards building a Children’s Residence for Israeli kids at risk. Click here and help Save a child Change a life.

Jewish Press Staff

Conversations with Heroes – Is Israel Still Fighting the War of Independence? [audio]

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

The Land of Israel is often referred to as the Promised Land because of The Creator’s repeated promise (Gen. 12:7, 13:15, 15:18, 17:8) to give the Land to the descendants of Abraham. Neither this promise nor history’s overabundance of agreements, proclamations, resolutions, wars, and the establishment of The State of Israel itself seems to have convinced the world that the Jewish people have a rightful claim to this Land.

On this week’s show, Heather speaks with three inspiring Israelis who were born outside the Land of Israel, made Aliyah, and overcame many an obstacle to claim their place in the Land and even utilize their unique talents to help their fellow Jews.

Meet Nina Brenner Bukstein, who heroically overcame the challenges of moving to Israel as a single mom with almost no prospects or income, yet courageously and resolutely built a thriving business; Paint Parties Israel. In the most surprising ways, you will hear how her company’s events both entertain and transform participants across the country.

Rivka Aminoff, Founder and Principal of Kol Hadassa High School (and previous show guest!) returns to discuss her unique relationship to the Land of Israel, which began with her upbringing in Australia to her eventual relocation to Israel. It was dear old Dad who helped her reframe a particularly disappointing first visit to the Western Wall. Check out what he told his daughter about the holy site.

Frequent guest contributor, David Olesker, founder of the Jerusalem Center for Communication and Advocacy Training (JCCAT) checks in this week and makes the case for naming all of Israel’s battles, skirmishes, and intifadas: Israel’s War of Independence. If you think Israel’s War of Independence was a fait accompli in 1948, think again says Olesker.

You may contact any of Heather’s guests from today’s show via their websites: Nina Brenner Bukstein paintpartyevents.com Rivka Aminoff kolhadassa.org David Olesker jccat.org

Conversations with Heroes 21Sept2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

A Homrun for Israeli Businesses

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

Daniel Gradus’ business education was a trial-by-fire.

At the age of 30 and newly married, Gradus found himself relocated from Tel Aviv to New York while his wife pursued a graduate degree. Both to occupy himself and to stay financially afloat, he purchased a home renovations franchise and tried hard to meet with building managers and contractors in order to build the business, only to repeatedly get stuck in the lobby.

Eventually, Dan and David Singer, the owners of Robison Oil, a major New York provider, agreed to meet Gradus and take a look at his operation. Eventually, they were impressed enough to buy into the business, sparking a jump in its growth revenue from US$500,000 in 2011 to $9.5 million in 2014.

But Gradus says his partners never really took an active role in the company, 911 Restoration.

“All they really did was introduce me to the right people and put their name behind me,” Gradus recalls. “Their connections opened doors for me – the rest was up to me.”

Fast forward five years: Gradus returned with his family to Israel, bent both on paying the lessons he had learned from the Singers forward and on building a new model to connect American businesspeople with Israeli businesses.

The result is Homrun, a for-profit organization dedicated to building a network of American businesspeople committed to helping Israeli companies enter the US market. The model is simple: 60 US businesspeople pay $15,000 each to join the organization and commit to review Israeli companies online once a week. Gradus, co-founder Eli Elfasi and their five-member team vet the companies according to the current state of the company, the entrepreneurs involved, and most importantly what connections the company is looking for. Then, when the company is ready, members with connections in the relevant field are expected to make introductions for the Israeli side.

“Look, it’s Zionism and it’s business,” Gradus told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “The first part of that statement means we’re committed to building and supporting Israel in any way we can. The second part of it means that the best contribution we can make is to Israel’s economy, by helping businesses break into the American market.

“Lastly, as an Israeli who has spent time in America, I know there are so many people who want to be connected to Israel, involved with Israel, who want to help. But the traditional ways of being involved – things like planting trees or donating ambulances – that’s not really where Israel is at anymore.

“That was a great model years ago, but Israel needs different things today. So by connecting our members with Israeli companies, we add a third dimension of supporting Israel – namely, nourishing Israeli-American relationships,” he added.

Gradus, 38, said his experience in building a business and his connections in the New York business arena places him in a position to offer a unique service to Israeli companies.

“Top-level connections in the American market are a game changer for Israeli businesses, but it’s not always clear that a company is ready to shoot for the top. For instance, if a company asks us for help getting them a meeting with Home Depot, our team has to make sure the Israeli company is ready for that. Perhaps they should go to a small, local hardware store first, make their mistakes there and then move on to the big time?

“You just have to understand the product and the individuals involved, and develop an understanding of how to best help them out. Arranging the wrong meetings for them could actually be very bad for them, both in the short- and long-term,” Gradus says.

For members, in addition to fostering connections with Israel, there is a financial incentive – once the company becomes profitable, Homrun will keep 40 percent of the profit, and the members will split 60 percent of the profit equally. But for most members, the fiscal considerations are secondary.

“Homrun is a great way to involve people, both in Israel and here,” said Mark Berger, the founder of Securitech, a New York lock manufacturer. “For me, it’s a great opportunity to connect and really support Israel – if I can open my phone book and help out a business as it is starting out, I’m happy to help.”

Since launching in September, 2015, more than half of the member seats have been sold. Gradus says he is not in a rush to fill the spots, and that he is committed to building a diverse, committed group. He and Elfasi have met with more than 150 companies, and six have come on board. At least one company, Wigo Analytics, a video analytics solution, has signed a pilot deal with a Texas-based distributor.

Looking forward, Homrun says the company aims to create $150-200 million a year for Israeli businesses in the next two-to-four years – a lofty goal, Gradus admits, but not impossible. “If we have 200 people playing ‘Jewish geography,’ I believe we can open every door in North America. So we’ve got members deepening their ties with Israel, and Israeli companies are getting feedback and connections from seasoned business professionals.

“There’s a phrase for that model. It’s called win-win,” he said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Netanyahu, Australian PM, Share Views on Innovation, Aussie Cavalry Charge

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in New York, and the Israeli PM’s office released the following exchange between them:

Netanyahu: “It’s always a pleasure to see you. You’re a great friend of Israel. Australia and Israel have a solid friendship and I’m looking forward to coming to visit Australia. And I’m looking forward to seeing you in Israel soon.”

Turnbull: “Very good. Well, Lucy [Turnbull] was there earlier this year. We’ve launched our first innovation center there with you. Really, the start-up nation has been great inspiration to our whole innovation agenda. So our innovation launch pad is there and we will see a lot more collaboration between Australian and Israeli innovators and financiers. It’s a very important step. As you know, that’s the way you have to stay ahead in the 21st century – you have to innovate, to take on the challenges of technology and bring the imagination to bear on technology. That’s how you secure prosperity.”

Netanyahu: “I agree. I think the future belongs to those who innovate. We both have innovative nations and we can do a lot more together than we can separately. And also, we owe you one for the Australian troops and the liberation of our country from the Ottoman Empire. That was a great event. I think it was the last cavalry rush in history.”

Turnbull: “The last cavalry charge – that’s right, in Be’er Sheba.”

Netanyahu: “You have to come and see it.

Turnbull: “I will. I’ll do that. I look forward to coming back.”

David Israel

How Some Muslim Nations are Forging a Real Peace with Israel

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the IPT website}

It was a customary political gesture, the welcoming of a foreign leader on Sept. 7 by local dignitaries in The Hague. Benjamin Netanyahu, on a two-day state visit to The Netherlands, was being introduced around the room, shaking hands with Dutch parliamentarians, when he reached Tunahan Kuzu, the Turkish-Dutch founder of the pro-immigration, pro-Islam Denk (“Think”) party. Directing his gaze straight at the Israeli president, Kuzu pointed to the Palestinian flag pin he sported on his lapel, and placed his hands pointedly behind his back.

Netanyahu nodded his understanding and moved on.

If Kuzu’s gesture was meant to insult the Israeli leader, it backfired. Instead, he came under fire from both fellow members of parliament and the press, who accused him of disrespect, lack of professionalism, and anti-Semitic behavior.

But his critics missed an even larger point: those like Kuzu, and gestures like the one he made, are becoming outdated. Rather, in the larger picture, even some of Israel’s most stalwart opponents are starting to change course, with some discouraging Western calls for economic sanctions (like the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction, or BDS, movement), and others even engaging in joint military exercises with the Jewish state.

Unsurprisingly, American politicians have taken the lead in this. Just days after the episode in The Hague, for instance, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi put the kibosh on a planned BDS event scheduled for Sept. 16 on Capitol Hill. Several U.S. states have passed anti-BDS bills throughout the past year, and in signing the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 in February, President Obama declared, “I have directed my administration to strongly oppose boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel.”

But more unexpected have been the military cooperation exercises involving less Israel-friendly countries. In August, Pakistan and the UAE both joined Israel and the U.S. Air Force in exercises at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Israel and Jordan also recently participated in joint exercises with the U.S..

Much of this new military cooperation results from concerns within the region of the growing threat of Iran, Commander Jennifer Dyer, a retired naval intelligence officer, explained in a recent e-mail exchange. “Obviously, the joint participation with Muslim countries is a step beyond participating with NATO. Politically, it’s new territory,” she observed. “The growing concern in Sunni nations about Iran is, of course, the big driving factor.”

As an example, she noted that the chief of staff of Pakistan’s army warned in January that “Pakistan would ‘wipe Iran off the map’ if Iran threatened Saudi Arabia,” and that Sudan cut ties with Iran at around the same time. (For its part, Israel has since begun a campaign encouraging the U.S. and other Western nations to repair relations with the African country.)

NATO has played a crucial role in this new cooperation, Dyer said.  “The common link through NATO allows Sunni nations and Israel to facilitate military cooperation without going very far in terms of overt political outreach” or “having to make high-profile political declarations first.”

“Overt” is probably the key word here. Where outreach in any Muslim country towards Israel could lead to public outcries and violence, collaborations such as these allow these countries to build relationships with Israel “behind closed doors,” a potential first step towards long-term normalization.

They also help create a more supportive climate for activists like Sheikh Abdullah Tamimi, who recently spoke at a seminar on Jewish and Arab relations in Israel.  As the Gatestone Institute noted in a report on the event, “Tamimi and his colleagues do not believe in boycotts and divestment. They are convinced that real peace can be achieved through dialogue between Palestinians and all Israelis.”

That position is shared by many, including hundreds of entrepreneurs collaborating in joint Palestinian-Israeli tech startups and other business ventures. And while Palestinians involved in those projects do not view them as a “substitute for a political solution,” Forbes‘ Richard Behar reported in 2013, they do view them as a way of “improving relations.”

Even Kuzu’s own Turkey made amends with Israel recently, ending a six-year conflict that began with an Israeli raid on a Turkish flotilla said to be carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. The reconciliation between the two countries has already led to important cooperative ventures, including a major Turkey-Israel gas pipeline.

All of which combines to make efforts like the BDS movement and the token gestures of politicians like Kuzu the more ridiculous. They are the reasons why Netanyahu could demonstrate respect for Kuzu’s position and still so easily shrug him off. Because clearly, while some continue pounding out old arguments, repeating themselves into banal inconsequence, others are already busy building new solutions, based on new realities. The future of the Middle East depends most of all on them.

Abigail R. Esman

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad ♫

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Repair and upgrade work on three of Tel Aviv’s four railway stations is causing major traffic jams as Israel Railways carry out extensive repair and upgrade work on the tracks leading into the city over the next few days.

Railroad Worj & Repair Tel Aviv

Railroad Worj & Repair Tel Aviv

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/ive-been-working-on-the-railroad-%e2%99%ab/2016/09/21/

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