Hundreds of Young Jews celebrated in the first ever Taglit Birthright Israel Mega Event in French

The celebration was held on August 6th throughout the day, ending with a Mega Event in the evening, in the presence of 700 young adult Jews from France at the "Wohl Amphitheater" in Ganey Yehoshua.

August 6th, 700 young Jews from France marked Taglit-Birthright Israel’s 18th birthday in a special day of urban activations in Tel Aviv and a Mega Event in French. This is the first time such an event is organized especially for French speakers, with a record presence of 700 participants.

Participants attending the events in Tel-Aviv enjoyed a full day of unique activations including –Zumba classes and volleyball at the beach, a Mayumana show at the Abraham Hostel, self-navigated tours in the city and a colorful Mega Event at the evening. The Mega Event was held at the "Wohl Amphitheater" in Ganey Yehoshua.

1,800 French-speaking participants have arrived this summer season with Taglit Birthright Israel. They are arriving from different countries such as France, Belgium, Switzerland, and more. Most of the participants come from Paris and its suburbs, Marseille, Strasburg, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lyon, and surroundings.

 

 

About Taglit-Birthright Israel

Birthright-Israel was founded in 1999 with the aim of strengthening Jewish identity among young Jews worldwide, enhancing their ties to their home Jewish communities and solidify their association with the state of Israel. BRI is a gift of the Jewish people to its young generation in form of a free educational trip in Israel. Since its establishment 18 years ago, over 650,000 young adults from 67 countries have enjoyed their free gift of an educational tour of Israel. Over 100,000 young Israeli soldiers and students have joined various groups on their tours. The trip wishes to establish an understanding, friendship and a lasting bond with the state and the people of Israel and to reinforce the solidarity of the Jewish people worldwide. Over the years, several studies have been conducted by Brandies University, demonstrating the lasting effect on Birthright Israel participants’ Jewish identity, communities, and connection to Israel.

 

 Photo credit - Birthright Israel

 

 

 

A statue in memory of Shimon Peres was dedicated in Tirana, Albania

The statue is in the shape of the Star of David and bears the Ninth President's image
 

 

Citizens of Albania, led by Prime Minister Edi Rama, expressed their love for Shimon Peres. Peres, who was the first Israeli leader to visit Albania during his tenure as Foreign Minister in 1995, was greatly admired and loved by the Albanian people.

 

 

The end of August will mark two years since President Peres' passing. To honor his memory, a large statue was erected in his honor in the center of Tirana. His son, Yoni Peres, attended the dedication ceremony, together with Deputy Ambassador Yuval Fischer, Chairman of the Albania-Israel Friendship Association Petrit Zorba, Honorary Consul of Israel in Albania Rudolph Jeliri, and more.

 

Yoni Peres: "Tirana is a wonderful city, and the people are warm and loving. It was a moving experience."

 

Yuval Fischer, Deputy Ambassador: "My initiative to name a square in Tirana after Shimon Peres is a tribute to the great friendship between these two countries."

 

 

 

Photo Credit: GENTI

 

 

PMO statement regarding US withdrawal from UNHRC

 For years, the UNHRC has proven to be a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.

 

 Israel thanks President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Haley for their courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council.


For years, the UNHRC has proven to be a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.

Instead of dealing with regimes that systematically violate human rights, the UNHRC obsessively focuses on Israel, the one genuine democracy in the Middle East.

The US decision to leave this prejudiced body is an unequivocal statement that enough is enough.

Israel welcomes the American announcement.

 

 

 

 


On Thursday, June 22, the Cultural Attaché at the U.S Embassy Jonathan Berger hosted an end-of-year reception to recognize the achievements of the Debate for Peace (DfP) Model United Nations program supported by the Public Diplomacy office. Nearly 100 Jewish and Arab students, parents, educators and representatives from various Embassies attended the reception at the Cultural Attaché’s residence to honor and be inspired by the students and their achievements.

 

Cultural Attaché Jonathan Berger opened the evening by welcoming the guests and expressing his own admiration for the dedication for peace that he has witnessed from among the students in Debate for Peace. Following his remarks, Risa Levi, Cultural Program Specialist at the US Embassy moderated a panel titled “The MUN Impact from an Educational Perspective. Hassan Hassan, a teacher and MUN coordinator in the Negev and among the Bedouin sector, and Salah Fokra, a teacher and MUN coordinator at Bashaer high school, shared their experiences using Model UN to supplement learning in the classroom, and answered questions about the impact they have witnessed in their own students through participation in Debate for Peace programming.

 

In the second panel, Jewish and Arab students from six different cities discussed the Debate for Peace impact from the perspective of students. The panel, which was moderated by Yoni Eshpar, Political Affairs Officer at UNSCO, included Amalia Cedar Kellner, Avi Scharlat Baraa Massalha, Sharehan Alwakily, Yafa Nassar, and Yuval Zonensein. In addition to introducing the impact each has felt personally, the students answered questions from the moderator and the audience.


Dr. Yehuda Stolov, Director of the Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA), spoke in conclusion of the evening. Debate for Peace is one of the most active, and youngest, of the IEA’s dozens of interfaith groups. Following Dr. Stolov’s remarks, a number of students were called up to be recognized for outstanding participation in Debate for Peace: Omar Yaseen; Lea Sarsour; Yafa Nassar, Sharehan Alwakily, and Yuval Zonensein. Amalia Kellner was called up to receive the Best of Delegation award for the DfP delegation to the MEDIMUN conference in Cyprus.


Throughout the evening the guests enjoyed the musical performances of pianist Omri Weinstock, accompanied by singer Yonit Vareika, and a lavish reception provided by the US embassy. Distinguished guests included Ambassador Jean-Daniel Ruch (Embassy of Switzerland); Ambassador Esteban Penrod (Embassy of Costa Rica); DCM Ramunas Davidonis (Embassy of Lithuania); Jesse Shaw from the US Consular office; Dr. Rachel Tal, head of English Studies at the Amal network; Phil Saunders (European Platform for Middle East Dialogue); Steve Ganot (Israel Hayom); Karen Stiller (JCRC); Alona Timofeyeva (NYU Alumni club), and Mor Beer and Eyal Tur (IMUNA).


Debate for Peace is a youth empowerment and program that teaches leadership, conflict resolution, critical reasoning, debate, and other key skills using Model United Nations as a platform. Over the last two years, Debate for Peace has engaged nearly 1,000 Israeli and Palestinian students from about 60 different cities, towns, and schools; met with more than a dozen embassies; led Israel’s first three Jewish-Arab youth MUN delegations abroad; been hosted at the European Parliament, and helped nearly 100 students get into international youth camps in the US, Europe, and Asia. In the coming academic year Debate for Peace already has MUN conferences planned for October and November, and delegations to London (November); Kosovo (December), Cyprus (February), and Belgium.


Mr. Yoni Eshpar, Political Affairs Officer at UNSCO, told Diplomacy:


“Over the past few years, I have seen Debate for Peace evolve into a very special and impressive Model UN programme. It brings together Jewish and Arab high school students, who otherwise have limited opportunities to get to know each other, and provides them with the knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for becoming active participants in shaping the future of Israel, the region, and the world. It is inspiring to see how through learning and debating some of the toughest issues, they become more optimistic about advancing peace, and more eager to take part in that work. By empowering these youth and putting them on a path of peacebuilding based on education and dialogue, this programme truly embodies the vision of the UN”

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=KBVhPr6amDY

 

Steven Aiello

Founder--DebateforPeace
 
 

 Photos by Silvia G. Golan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time in Israel – A Therapeutic Relaxation Garden in the Maternity Ward which utilizes elements from nature with an emphasis on attention to the needs of the new mother. The garden, which cost about 1.5 million NIS and was a donation by Jewish National Fund – Holland, is located in the center of the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center Maternity Ward, and is unique product of the project’s architect, Zvika Kanonitz.

Today, Monday, June 18th, a therapeutic relaxation garden was inaugurated in the maternity ward of the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera – the first of its kind in a hospital maternity ward in Israel. The garden, which cost about 1.5 million NIS and was donated by JNF Holland through the Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) in Israel, was designed by Zvika Kanonitz, an architect with rich experience in therapeutic gardens.

The inauguration ceremony included members of JNF Holland and KKL-JNF in Israel, the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center management, maternity ward staff and more.

About the therapeutic garden – a relaxing and private experience in the maternity ward

The relaxation garden is built entirely of rejuvenating and comforting motifs for postpartum women – planned and designed exclusively for the new mothers. The garden includes walking paths made of pebbles for a reflexology massage for swollen feet, winding through shaded and intimate areas. Comfortable seating throughout is incorporated with plants to create a microclimate which shades and protects patients from the sun, and a small water pool at the foot of a green vegetation wall attracts butterflies and birds. The garden is located at the heart of the maternity ward in a closed courtyard that is only available to mothers and their newborns, and entrance to the courtyard is only available through the maternity yard. The area is carefully guarded to provide patients with a sense of comfort and security and provide a quiet and calm environment in the days after giving birth, before their return home.

JNF Holland President, Prof. Moshe Kon, said during the ceremony that, “We are happy for the cooperation that brought about not just any garden, but a piece of heaven. As a doctor, I understand the importance of a relaxing and healing environment and I am proud of the result. KKL-JNF will continue to support amazing social projects such as these for Hillel Yaffe, out of our sense of duty and commitment.

Director of the medical center, Dr. Miki Dudkevitch, said, “We are proud that we have the ability to provide our maternity patients not only a professional team and well-equipped department, but also a private garden accommodated specifically to their needs. I want to thank JNF Holland for the generous donation and to KKL-JNF for their collaboration along the way.”

KKL-JNF Chairman, Mr. Daniel Atar, sent his blessings and said that, “This is not a donation; this is an investment. There is no asset more worthwhile than humanity. There is no better investment than an investment in society, and there is nothing more important than investing in public health and equality. It is my privilege that the organization that I head is taking this part of the community’s mission and part of the country’s responsibility upon itself.”

Photo credit – Tal Zigdon
In the photo (R-L): Prof. Moti Halak, Maternity Division Director; Dr. Miki Dudkevitch, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center director; Dr. Amnon Ben Moshe, Administrative Director of Hillel Yaffe; Dr. Moshe Kon, JNF Holland President; Dr. Ehud Huchman, Deputy Director of the hospital; Mr. Freddy Rosenberg, JNF Holland CEO.