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Prime Minister Netanyahu and Honduran President Hernández are expected to talk in the near future.

The State of Israel welcomes the decision of the Honduran Congress to support the transfer of the Honduran embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The decision was passed by a huge majority of Congress.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Honduran President Hernández are expected to talk in the near future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Avner Shalev presenting the "Kolchem Shamati" anthology to IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot

 On 9 April, in the week leading up to Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018, a daylong seminar was held at Yad Vashem for the IDF General Staff Forum, headed by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen Gadi Eizenkot. During the seminar, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev presented the Chief-of-Staff with Kolchem Shamati (I Heard Your Voice), a special anthology to be used in discussions between commanders and their soldiers on the topic of Holocaust remembrance. The anthology was initiated by the IDF's Education and Youth Corps in cooperation with Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies.

Kolchem Shamati includes a range of texts and songs that enable a dialogue centered on ethics and values, and raise relevant questions for IDF soldiers today, such as: What memory is engraved in your mind? Where did you first encounter the story of the Holocaust? Which of the texts in the anthology touch you directly? And how do these voices echo into the future?

Kolchem Shamati enables the participants to listen to the voices and examine the words of both victims and survivors. This unique anthology presents texts written in the midst of the Holocaust – entreaties to remember, the destruction, the human spirit, the return to life, and appeals to the generations to come – writings that open a window to understanding how Jews experienced and understood the events at the time, when they did not know what the future held for them. The texts are combined with musical performances (accessible by scanning a QR code included in the anthology) of poems written by famous authors such as C.N. Bialik, Hannah Szenes and Leonard Cohen, which accompany the different topics of discourse. Listening to the music and reading the texts in groups creates a connection between the participants, enabling a meaningful dialogue on Holocaust memory.

"In recent years we have witnessed a welcome process in which many sections of Israeli society, including the IDF, are seeking to discover their own involvement in designing Holocaust memory," said Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. "Kolchem Shamaticontains a fabric of voices, combining both written sources and Holocaust art with the legacy of the victims and the survivors. When participants touch the story of the individual during the Holocaust, it is possible to create a connection to the past from which we can fill our present and future with content and meaning."

"The Passover Haggada is based on the fundamental Jewish value 'vehigadta levnincha (and you should tell your child),'" explains IDF Chief Education Officer Brig. Gen. Yehuda (Zvika) Fairaizen. "The responsibility for transmitting the information is physical, from parent to child, and instigates a process of building memory that is seared in both the private and collective consciousness. Kolchem Shamati enables our officers and soldiers to discuss and internalize these eternal Jewish values that survived the Holocaust and were central to the rebirth of the Jewish State of Israel."

 

Photo : provided by YadVashem

 

 

 

 

 

Air India to inaugurate new route to Israel  In cooperation with the Tourism Ministry, India’s national carrier, Air India, will land in Israel tomorrow for the first time.

 

In cooperation with the Tourism Ministry and  

for the first time, 

Air India will land in Israel tomorrow

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin: “I am pleased that the great efforts we made with Air India over the last two years are bearing fruit and a direct route from New Delhi to Israel has now opened. The new route will contribute to an increase in tourist traffic from India, which is enjoying significant upward momentum. The opening of the route is part of the marketing revolution that I am leading in the ministry, that has brought record numbers of incoming tourists to Israel."

Jerusalem, March 21, 2018 – Tomorrow (Thursday), Air India will launch its direct flight from New Delhi to Tel Aviv, with the grant from the Tourism Ministry. The route opened following the marketing efforts of the Tourism Ministry that included a grant for marketing the new route, the opening of an Israel Government Tourist Office in India and dedicated campaigns that resulted in a steady increase in the numbers of tourists from India. In 2018, the upward momentum in tourist traffic from India has increased, with a 33% increase in incoming tourism in Jan-Feb 2018 on the same period last year and 54% on the same period in 2016.

 

 

In 2016, Tourism Ministry Director-General met in India with the CEO of Air India, presenting him with the business potential inherent in opening a direct route to Israel. Today, it is possible to point to the beginnings of the realization of this potential, with a 47% increase in tourist entries from India in 2017 as opposed to 2015. More than 50 million Indians hold passports.

The Tourism Ministry’s Inbound Tourism Survey shows that the Indian tourist stays an average of 6.2 nights in Israel, spending on average $1,066. According to a market survey that the ministry carried out, more than 350 million people, some of whom surf the internet, view Israel as the Start-Up Nation and a leading destination in culinary, wine and lifestyle tourism.

Incoming tourism from India to Israel:

2014                 34,600

2015                 39,300 (+13.5%)

2016                 44,500 (+13.2%)

2017                 58,000 (+23.2%)

Having identified the significant potential in incoming tourism from India, the Tourism Ministry increased its marketing budget in India and, four years ago, opened a tourist office in Mumbai to promote Israel as a tourism destination. The ministry is working to bring 80,000 – 100,000 tourists from Indian within the next few years.

Outgoing tourism from India is the fastest-growing in the world, with significant tourism potential. Today, India is the second largest source country in the Far East for incoming tourism (after China).     There are about 300 million middle class Indians and about 34% of Indians prefer to spend their disposable income on travel and vacations.

Photo credit: Havas Media

 

 

 

 

Crypto experts to discuss the future of blockchain in Israel on March 28 at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Israel 

On March 28, Tel Aviv will host Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Israel, a large conference dedicated to blockchain, cryptocurrencies and ICO. Speakers will discuss the future of the crypto industry, and blockchain companies will present their new developments.

Why Israel?

Blockchain community said that Israel is the startup nation. The country started to develop blockchain in 2015, and a year later, according to the audit company Deloitte, there were about 500 fintech startups.
In addition, according to the Bloomberg 2017 Innovation Index report, the economy of Israel is among the Top 10 most innovative world economies. It is not surprising, since the
country allocates 4.25% of annual GDP to research and development. 

Such a development of fintech is facilitated by the Israeli authorities. The country has a state incubator supporting startups. And Investment Law allows foreign companies to
reduce the rate of tax deductions to 10%, which makes the state attractive for foreign entrepreneurs. In addition, the Israeli Venture Capital Industry ranked 5th in the world for
venture capital availability.

Israel is also one of the countries where cryptocurrencies have no defined legal status, but are still subject to taxation. Israel Tax Authorities issued a statement saying that any
business connected with cryptocurrency should pay taxes on profits. Thus, cryptocurrencies in Israel are in fact included into the legal field. In addition, the authorities
have intentions to protect the interests of investors and entrepreneurs by controlling the ICO. To do so, the national securities regulator ISA has created a special committee
aiming at finding out whether the securities legislation is suitable for ICO regulation. 

Activities and participants 

Guests of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Israel are entrepreneurs, developers, investors, founders of blockchain startups, lawmakers, marketers, miners, traders, lawyers
and crypto enthusiasts.

The event will be held in the format of ‘conference+demozone’. The conference discussions will focus on the blockchain development in 2018. Being top experts, the
speakers will share their experience of integrating blockchain into business, talk about the regulation of cryptocurrencies and tokens in Israel and abroad, as well as advise in which startups it is better to invest.
The demozone will bring together companies of the crypto industry from around the world, demonstrating their achievements and developments, as well as presenting their services.

Event organizer

The event is organized by the international company Smile-Expo, which has been carrying out events from the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference network since 2014. Currently, its
portfolio includes 16 countries. And Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Moscow, held in November 2017, was the largest one in the CIS according to the Analytical Center under the Government of the Russian Federation.

Follow the news of the event and the program updates on the official website of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Israel.

 

 

Mazal Tov! "Yachad House" for Social Integration Opens Its Doors to The Special Needs Community

 

The "Yachad Gifts" Project trains and employs people with disabilities and helps them integrate into the work force.

 

This week, OU Israel participated in the inauguration of Yachad House, a project that employs people with special needs and prepares them for full integration in Israel's work force. The project also offers daily programming, Shabbat hospitality in communities throughout Israel, special outings, summer camp experiences –all of which are fully integrated. Members of OU Israel's upper management team, including CEO Rabbi Avi Berman and Assistant Director Haim Pelzner, participated in the grand opening of Yachad's new home, which will house offices, an employment-training center, and a shop that will be operated and staffed by people with disabilities. The mezuzah was affixed to the new premises by OU Israel's R' David Katz.

 

For the past several years, Project Yachad, which mainstreams English-speaking people aged 6-75, has offered confidence-building activities, life-skills classes, and more, for special-needs olim and their families. The Yachad shop sells gifts and gift packages created by people with special needs in a unique, inclusive, integrative environment.

Yoel Sterman, Director of OU Israel's Yachad Project, explains: "Creating appropriate training and employment opportunities enables people with special needs to mainstream into the community completely and to make a respectable living. Customers from around the country and around the world hold this project in high regard, and enjoy purchasing gifts and gift packages created by people with special needs."

 

"This year, we decided to open a shop in which people with special needs can work in an integrative environment; it's important to us that it's done together, " adds Yoel Sterman.

Rabbi Avi Berman, CEO of OU Israel, explains why the project was initiated. "The Torah commands us to assist those who have different needs, and to accept all members of the community equally. It is our privilege and our responsibility to enable every person to live with dignity. It's so exciting to see the progress, to see our vision for Yachad take shape. The Yachad House is a place that represents the central values of human dignity and acceptance of the other. We are happy to be a part of this family and this great vision."

Photos credit: Netanel Ariel