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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tiberias’

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.

Generosity Satisfies Body and Soul in Tiberias’s Meir Panim Free Restaurant

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

The Meir Panim Free Restaurant located near the Sea of Galilee shores in Tiberias, Israel is a touching tribute to a special couple. Dedicated by Mrs. Lee Steinberg nearly thirteen years ago in memory of her parents, Eva and Morris Fish, this restaurant style soup kitchen satisfies both the body and soul of its patrons and staff alike.

As one of six Meir Panim Free Restaurants in Israel, this one was established by Mrs. Steinberg in recognition of her late husband’s love for the area. “On our last trip to Israel together, Harold especially liked Tiberias,” Steinberg reflected.

Mrs. Steinberg also noted that her late parents supported the early Zionist efforts of their family members. “Called Palestine then, my father’s cousins [The Baum family of Fort Wayne, Indiana] were among the early pioneers and visionaries who helped to establish the first agricultural school for girls in Israel.”

The early pioneers recognized that building a successful state for the Jewish people required self-sufficiency in all areas, especially by providing food for the masses.

In that light, Meir Panim works to ensure that needy families receive sustenance in a respectful and caring environment. As Dudi Roth, President of American Friends of Meir Panim noted during a recent visit to the Tiberias restaurant, “The great Rabbi Maimonides [Rambam] is buried just a few blocks from here. He taught that the highest form of charity is to help people in a dignified manner. Meir Panim strives to provide proper meals and kind words to help strengthen those who need it most.”

About one hundred and sixty hot, nutritious meals are served daily in this location. Patrons range from holocaust survivors to younger people who have been hit by hard times. “Beyond the good food,” shared Meir Harvard, an immigrant from South Africa who eats at the restaurant almost every day, “this place is like a home for me. The staff here even helps me navigate the Israeli bureaucracy.”

Not only are patrons served a fresh, delicious meal, they may also pack food to bring home. Additionally, through Meals-on-Wheels, over sixty special packages are delivered to the homebound daily. Before holidays and Shabbat, the restaurant donates extra food and packaged meals to the needy.

According to Shmuel Levy, the logistics manager for Meir Panim, patrons and volunteers all benefit from the unique free restaurant model for helping others. He reiterated that a pensioner volunteer who has worked at the restaurant for over four years likes to say that volunteering is better for his health than any medicine.

Not only has Mrs. Steinberg’s philanthropy sustained the Meir Panim Tiberias Free Restaurant, she is also a strong supporter of the Mortimer Zuckerman and Abigail Zuckerman Israel Nutrition Center, soon to open in Kiryat Gat, which will provide hot meals to hungry people throughout Israel. “I am looking forward to the opening of this revolutionary new facility which will further broaden the wide range of food and outreach programs of Meir Panim,” she shared.

Thanks to the open heart and thoughtfulness of Mrs. Lee Steinberg and the Meir Panim staff, many people not only feel physically satisfied but are emotionally comforted as well.

Update: Northern Israel Terror Suspect Released, Deemed Innocent

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

Northern District Police have completed their investigation of what appeared to be a possible terror attack in process, and have concluded that the suspect is innocent and can be allowed to go home.

They have released him.

In Tiberias, alert citizens called police officers who promptly responded to the scene where a man appeared to have possibly been a terrorist raising suspicions among people in the area.

The man reportedly proclaimed that he “wanted to be a shahid” – the Arabic word for “martyr” – which in current parlance is used by suicide terrorists.

The suspect boarded a bus near Kibbutz Gesher, but police intercepted the bus shortly thereafter, and took him into custody for questioning.

During a routine search, police found a knife in the suspect’s bag. A yarmulka was also found hidden in the suspect’s pocket, according to a report by Northern District Police.

The suspect was taken into custody and questioned, and then later released.

ISIS Fighters in Syria May Be Felled By Lesions (Not Legions)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

To everything in its season, and so the tide has turned once more in the Middle East. What bombing could not end, God’s Mighty Hand may accomplish with a tiny fly.

Fighters for Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization, are now being attacked by a terrible skin disease called Leishmaniasis.

Two types of the disease have been identified in the region: Leishmaniasis major, and Leishmaniasis tropica. Both are carried and transmitted by parasites hosted on sand flies in the environment.

Although an article by Hadassah Medical Center says the disease cannot be transferred from person to person, researchers found in a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases in 2003 that such transmission may indeed be possible, since parasites can jump.

An outbreak of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) in the Galilee region of northern Israel in 2003 was discussed in the article which noted 33 cases in four villages and in the city of Tiberias were diagnosed between 1996 and 2003. The disease, which spread through parasites and sand flies, had mutated from its predecessor, Leishmania major and other tropical diseases.

CL due to Leishmania major as opposed to MCL and VL (two other forms) was defined as being zoonotic and much more difficult to treat. The cutaneous lesions were said to last much longer and the disease was described as life-threatening if it progressed to visceral leishmaniasis (VL). The study found that rock hyraxes found in northern Israel around Lake Kinneret were the most probable reservoir hosts for the parasites that carry the disease.

If that is true, then so too is it likely that ISIS fighters are facing a difficult time because it was mentioned that the parasites also jump from person to person, as well from the living animals around them.

More to the point, the disease is caused by poor hygiene and bad living conditions; it has affected at least 100,000 people in Syria, according to the latest reports. It can result in open flesh wounds, ulcers, an enlarged spleen and liver, anemia and ultimately lead to death.

Although it’s pretty easy to treat, there are very few medics and trained medical professionals left in Syria and ISIS-controlled Iraq who know how to manage it.

Volunteers with the Doctors Without Borders organization of course know how to handle it – but since ISIS is deeply dedicated to kidnapping, torturing and murdering those helping hands, it’s not likely they are going to see any help from them. Ditto for Syrian government troops for the same reason.

Ironically, a new project was launched last year by the Israeli Pharmaseed research company to track down a treatment for this disease.

Four partners were recruited for the project. Two of the four — the Dead Sea and Arava Science Centers – identified 70 plant extracts that may be relevant for fighting the parasite.

The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, meanwhile, will test the efficacy of the extracts on leishmaniasis samples.

Pharmaseed is coordinating the project and is responsible for safety tests, and for assessing the potential efficacy of the extracts being tested.

Jordan University of Science and Technology Prof. Nabil Hailat will carry out advanced live and clinical trials (on humans) in Jordan, which should yield the test results.

Tiberias Marathon Underway

Friday, January 9th, 2015

It’s only 35.6 degrees (F) outside, but that won’t stop the runners.

The Tiberias Marathon is currently underway this cold Friday morning.

Dutch City Says Nazareth, Jerusalem in ‘Palestine’

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

A Dutch municipality is facing criticism for describing Jerusalem, Nazareth and Tiberias as “cities in Palestine.”

Likkud Netherlands, a local association, published on its website Friday an article which carried a screen capture photo from Google Street View of the street sign of Tiberias Path in the city of Eindhoven with the description, in which Likkud Nederland accused the municipality of “wiping Israel off the map.”

An intersecting street, Hebron Path, also described Hebron as a city in Palestine, as is Jerusalem Lane – all located within the Woensel district. The sign on Judea Lane described it “an area of Palestine,” as does the street sign of Samria Lane.

A spokesperson from the municipality of Eindhoven declined to offer any immediate reaction to the publication when he was contacted by the Hilversum-based broadcaster RTL.

Pesach at the Kinar

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

The Wife and I have been debating – what was our favorite part of staying at the Kinar Resort over Pesach?

Was it the overabundance of good food? The great service? That most of the guests were Americans (some very strangely holding 2 Sederim and keeping 8 days of Chag while in Eretz Yisrael)? That we were right on the Kinneret lake? Free wi-fi. That it’s a great jumping off point for all the Tiyulim (day trips) we were doing?

Nope. All that was good and fine, but that wasn’t the best part.

The best part was that we didn’t see our kids (except for trips and meals) for the entire week. I don’t think we heard “we’re bored” even once (well maybe once).

I know the hotel likes to market itself as the resort for religious people and Hareidim, and they think that this is their biggest selling point (and it is important), but it’s not just that. They had Pesach programs and activities for the kids that kept them so busy all the time, that it gave us adults time to actually relax and actually enjoy our vacation – and I think that’s an even better selling point.

How often does that happen?

The hotel has a massive lawn, huge. It reminded me of the Catskills (except for the palm trees and exotic green birds flying around).

The hotel brought in an entire mini-carnival with rides and jumping balloons that kept the kids busy for hours. And when the kids weren’t at the carnival, they were on the swings and slides.

Jumping at the Kinar

If that wasn’t enough, there was an arts and crafts camp, organized basketball games, ping pong and soccer tournaments, not to mention story telling, ice cream, and God knows what else.

Rides at the Kinar

Children’s paradise.

So what did that mean for us adults?

First of all, it meant we were able to enjoy our meals. Because you can never eat enough on Pesach.

Though I will admit I found one aspect of the meals quite amusing.

The hotel caters to a wide range of religious people (this particular crowd ranged from typical Young Israel to Yeshivish black hat, with a Chossid and Hiloni or two thrown in for good luck).

The dining room’s buffet provided different meat stands with clearly marked Kashrut certifications (Machfud, Rubin, Beit Yosef, etc.), so everyone could select which Rabbi’s Hashgacha they were happiest with (I have absolutely no idea who’s Hashgacha it was, but trust me, the steak and hamburgers were excellent).

They even had a stand with Matzah Brei (Oy Gebrochts!).

A piece of advice, if you can, talk to the Maitre D about getting a window seat, it’s such a pleasure to sit and eat while watching the lawn and the lake.

Our rooms were nice, and relatively big for Israeli rooms. Not ultra-fancy, but certainly clean and well appointed. They also have bungalows right on the grass, as well as ground floor rooms that lead right onto the main lawn. I didn’t get to see what the bungalows look like from the inside.

Kinar Room

The hotel has a basketball and tennis court, a small workout room, and an outdoor swimming pool.

My advice, the pool is cool, but instead, go to the pool area, grab a few towels, walk across the lawn, and jump into the Kinneret. Well, don’t jump, walk down the path into the super-clear water, and then jump in. (And don’t forget to bring the towels back).

The water is much warmer, and it’s a lot more fun.


The hotel has a separate beach for men and women, and off to the side, past the fishing pier is a (shhh) mixed beach.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/travel/pesach-at-the-kinar/2014/04/27/

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