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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Singapore’

Israeli 8th Graders’ Math Scores Ahead of All Western Democracies

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar on Tuesday morning presented data from international tests TIMSS (math and science) and PIRLS (literacy) of the The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

The tests examine the abilities of eighth graders in science and mathematics as well as the capabilities of fourth graders in literacy.

According to current statistics, in mathematics, Israeli eighth graders have risen from 24th to seventh place in the world. Korea is in first place, followed by Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia and Israel. This makes Israeli eighth graders the best in math in the entire western world.

Science tests show Israeli eighth grade students rising from 25th to the 13th in the world. Israeli fourth graders reading tests came up from 31st to 18th in the world.

East Asian countries continue to lead the world in mathematics achievement. At the eighth grade, the Russian Federation, Israel, Finland, the United States, and England also were included in the top ten high-achieving countries. The U.S. states of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and North Carolina and the Canadian province of Québec also had high achievement, but lower than the East Asian countries.

Singapore, Korea, and Hong Kong SAR, followed by Chinese Taipei and Japan, were the top-performing countries at fourth grade literacy.

At the eighth grade, clearly the East Asian countries, particularly Chinese Taipei, Singapore, and Korea, are pulling away from the rest of the world by a considerable margin. Capitalizing on the head start demonstrated by their fourth grade students, these same five East Asian countries had by far the largest percentages of eighth grade students reaching the Advanced International Benchmark. Very impressively, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, and Korea had nearly half of their students (47–49%) reach the Advanced International Benchmark. Hong Kong SAR had about one-third (34%) reach this level, and Japan had over one-fourth (27%).

Next, the Russian Federation and Israel had 14 and 12 percent, respectively. At the High International Benchmark, Japan (61%) trailed the other four Asian high achievers ( 7 1–7 8%) , but the next highest were the Russian Federation and Israel with less than half (40–47%) achieving at the high level. At the Intermediate International Benchmark, the Russian Federation (78%) followed the five top-performers (87–93%), and at the Low International Benchmark Finland and the Russian Federation joined the five East Asian countries (with 95–99%), followed by Slovenia (93%).

Education Minister Sa’ar noted that the improvement in all three areas of learning included all of Israel’s socioeconomic groups. “A sharp improvement has been marked in the ratio of high scoring students. This rate is now higher than the world average in all three disciplines. There has been an absolute improvement of tens of percentage points in students’ achievements, as well as a dramatic improvement relative to teh comparable data.”

Sa’ar noted also that the improvement took place in both the Jewish and the Arab sectors, although the gap is still wide between Hebrew and Arab speaking students.

“This success was not achieved using magic but through hard work,” Sa’ar said.

Al Jarida: Israel Foiled Plot to Assassinate Barak on Singapore Visit

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

According to a report in the Kuwaiti newspaper al Jarida that cites an Israeli source, Israel managed to thwart an attempt to assassinate Defense Minister Ehud Barak during his visit to Singapore this week.

The source told al Jarida that Israel’s Mossad approached authorities in Singapore with confidential information on a cell directed by Iran and Hezbollah. The cell was planning to assassinate the defense minister, who was scheduled to appear at the celebrated Singapore Airshow 2012, to promote Israel’s advanced technologies in the production of civil  and military aircraft.

Al Jarida‘s source said the cell had received accurate information on Barak’s daily agenda, and set up observers and trackers, with the aim of assassinating the minister as he was entering his hotel.

The source said Mossad alerted Singapore authorities well before Barak’s arrival, leading to the secret arrest of three individuals, who are currently undergoing interrogation in hopes of discovering new Iraniian-Hezbollah plots.

Fried Banana Chips

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

It was a chilly Shabbos morning in 1984 when my friend, a pearl importer, and I were walking up the long steep road to the hilltop synagogue in Kobe, Japan.

When we finally reached the flat street on top of the hill, I was out of breath. There was a feeling of joy and accomplishment when the shul came into view. Only 50 more feet to go!

The two of us completed the minyan, which was composed of Kobe resident foreign exporters and New York pearl importers. The credit for getting 10 Jews together from all over the Kobe, Osaka and Tokyo areas went to the local Syrian religious leader, Rav Yoseph Gamliel. To accomplish this feat, Rav Gamliel must have had spies in every hotel lobby in Japan!

The shul’s outstanding architectural features included a beautiful green marble floor and brass-laced mechitzah. The Sefer Torah was kept in a decorative metallic encasement. The credit for building the shul went to Jewish Iraqi-Afghani businessmen, which accounted for its Sephardic flavor.

After the morning service, the community invited us to a simple, tasty kiddush. There were three long, linen-covered tables set with large bowls of tuna salad, egg salad, potato salad and small bottles of grape juice. According to the shul’s custom, the participants related their names, where they were from, and their mission in Kobe. We all got to know one another, which resulted in a warm Shabbos tisch.

A very distinguished gray-bearded rabbi sat at the head of the table. He introduced himself as Rabbi Berel Levy. He wished everyone a good Shabbos, and explained that he was a mashgiach for the OK Labs.

He told us, “This trip has turned out to be a very illuminating one for me. Hashem sent me from Brooklyn to Osaka, Japan to check on the kashrus of a Japanese company’s new snack, banana chips fried in coconut oil. The bananas were fine. However, the coconut oil was imported from Singapore/Malaysia, and shipped in vats by boat to Japan. My job was to check the vats from point of origin to finish. This meant that I had to travel to Singapore.

“After getting settled in Singapore, I attended a Shabbos kiddush where I was introduced to a very nice young man. He was also from Brooklyn, and attending medical school. At his side was a lovely young gentile lady. The man introduced her to me, and then took me aside for a private conversation. He explained that he was in love with this young woman, and had just given her a diamond engagement ring. However, he had not had the courage to break the news to his parents. He asked me to visit his parents and told me how beautiful and fine his fianc? was. He then gave me his phone number.

“Two weeks later I was back in Brooklyn, in his parents’ apartment, and called his number.

” ‘Hello, Rabbi Levy. Is that you?’ ” he asked excitedly.

“Yes, it’s me. I just gave your parents your news, and we are dealing with a nightmare scene. Your mother is clutching her chest with one hand, and hanging on to the kitchen table with the other. Your father fell to the floor, and is kneeling on both knees. I have to call Hatzolah. I don’t want to be responsible for what is happening here. The only way to save your parents is for you to break your engagement, and ask your parents’ forgiveness. Should I call the ambulance, or are you going to give me your word that your engagement is over?”

“Yes, it’s over! It’s over! Please tell them I am sorry. I am giving you my word.”

“I thought Hashem had sent me to the Far East to check on fried banana chips. It turned out that my trip had an additional dimension. We never know when Hashem will make us a messenger for a lifesaving mission.”

This story is dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Berel Levy, z”l, and all the rabbis who put their lives at risk by flying overseas to supervise the kashrus of food products.

George H. Gisser has recently completed his exciting new children’s book, to be released soon, entitled, Happy Kappy – The Flying Kangaroo. His creative cartoon, “It’s Kappy Time,” can be seen onwww.kappythekangaroo.com.

Matzot Back To Egypt

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

        Matzot produced in Israel will be heading back to Egypt, where the Israelites first produced matzah in their haste to leave ancient Egypt.

 

         In addition to Egypt, Matzot Aviv will also be shipping matzot to such new destinations as Ethiopia, Singapore and via Singapore to Malaysia and Indonesia. The company is expecting more than $2 million in sales of matzot and other kosher for Passover items, a 10 percent increase over 2006.

 

         David Wolf, Managing director of Aviv told Ynet Internet newsthat they export to over 40 countries from the U.S. and Canada, to Ukraine and African states, as well. “The company is expanding its export targets this Passover and is providing matzot to all Jewish communities, however small they may be.” The Bnei Brak factory has been working around-the-clock to supply the international demand. Matzot Avivowned by the Wolf family is marking its 120th year of operation.

 

(www.koshertoday.com)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/matzot-back-to-egypt/2007/03/28/

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