- Written by Silvia G Golan
The second annual BASHAERMUN conference was held in Sakhnin on Thursday, November 8, with 250 students from 35 cities and schools participating. The conference theme was “Inequalities,” and students addressed issues relating to racism, discrimination, educational and socioeconomic gaps in six different committees. The conference was the second MUN conference of the year run by Debate for Peace, a US Embassy supported program. The program brings a diverse group of students together to debate, meet distinguished guests and discuss current world affairs in English. The goal of the program is to empower young leaders to find alternatives to conflict and hatred and to help them build a dialogue across their differences.
As part of the US Embassy Speaker Program, Stephanie Baric, a consultant with UNICEF, attended the conference and observed the students during their debates before addressing them during the awards ceremony. Baric is a relief and development professional with almost 25 years of international experience working in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans on programs focused on gender equality, education and child protection. Drawing on her experience, Baric spoke to the students about the importance of knowing one’s rights and respecting diversity and the rights of others.
Baric was impressed by the delegates and was particularly moved by the maturity and civil discourse in the advanced committee who examined the nation-state law and eventually managed to pass a resolution. She told Diplomacy that “The MUN program supported by the US Embassy is developing future Israeli leaders by providing opportunities for Arab and Jewish students to seek, through discussion, negotiation, and debate, solutions for promoting human rights including equality and non-discrimination in their communities and society."
The six committees at the conference dealt with migration and integration, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, education and socio-economic gaps, inclusive work environments, and Israel’s recently passed nation-state law and the status of minorities in Israel. Nearly 200 students participated in a Model UN conference for the first time, with a smaller number of experienced delegates.
After speeches, debates and intense negotiations, the committees voted on their initiatives. In the advanced committee, a mock Knesset simulation, the resolution which passed restored Arabic to equal status with Hebrew, called for efforts to promote social cohesion, educational programs to bridge between different communities within Israel, and national service for all citizens to perform.
During the awards ceremony, the MUN and conference director Mr. Salah Fokra thanked the participants and the MUN club who had helped orchestrate the conference, as well as the US Embassy for its support of the program. The principal of the school, Mr. Ameer Haj, expressed his own appreciation and admiration for the work of the students in running a successful MUN conference for the second year in a row. Secretary-General Yafa Nassar thanked the students for having come and taken the courageous step of joining MUN, while Shaymaa Abo Raya performed on the violin for the audience.
Finally, it was time for the awards. In the UNGA committee, Ryan Abu-Khadra, Rawan Amer, and Banan Shadafni won awards. In UNESCO, Saeed Salem, Subhy Affara, and Wajd Mahajni won awards. In the HRC, the awards went to Leo Grossman, Stav Peretz, and Jolian Azzam. In UN Women, Eyas Asli, Adele Stoller, and Salih Amer won awards. In the ILO, Amy Fisher, Haneen Shadafneh and Aviv Trumper were recognized. And in the most advanced group, the model Knesset, Baraa Massalha, Chai Margalit, and Khadeeja Nukaty received the awards.
BashaerMUN was part of the Debate for Peace MUN series, as an Interfaith Encounter group supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. The next Debate for Peace delegation takes place November 16-18 at Oxford MUN, to be followed by a conference in Kosovo in December.
For more information about future events, please see the website here: https://debateforpeace.org/
- Written by President’s Spokesperson’s Office
“Israeli industry is not only a source of pride, it is also an essential foundation for building the state and the people. We must turn Israel from a ‘start-up nation’ into a ‘tech nation’. For Israel to be a country that is a powerhouse of knowledge in traditional industries and in which everyone can participate, we have to invest in and incorporate advanced production technologies in traditional industries as well, in order to bring young people from hi-tech to industry and specifically to invest in training a skilled workforce. A vision of where Israeli industry is cutting-edge in all sectors is a Zionist vision, an economic vision, and a social vision.”
The president commented on the lack of women prize winners:
“I received many requests not to take part in the ceremony for this reason. But I decided to participate out of respect for the recipients and because industry is worthy of recognition and because it is not right that protest, however, justified, should be to the detriment of just and worthy recognition. But this is certainly the place and this is the opportunity to say that it is inconceivable that in 2018 there are no women recipients. Firstly, it is inconceivable that there were no worthy candidates who were women. Secondly, if we carry on like this and do not honor and recognize the talented female managers in industry, in 2028 we will still be making excuses and claiming ‘there were no suitable candidates.’ I would like to believe that all those responsible for the issue will make sure that at the next ceremony we congratulate prize winners who are women and that over the next seventy years we will see a growing number of women on this stage.”
President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin spoke this evening, Thursday 8 November / 1 Kislev at the ceremony for the 2018 Industry Prizes of the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel this year celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary of independence. President of the Manufacturers’ Association Shraga Brosh also spoke at the event. During the event, lifetime achievement prizes were awarded to industrialists Ron Tuttnauer, owner and former CEO OF Tuttnauer; Avraham (Rami) Shani, Chairman of Hod Assaf; Rafael Alon, CEO of Alon Group; Aharon Shapira, CEO and owner of Pach Taas; and Daniel Wolfman ז"ל, Chairman of Wolfman Industries, who passed away earlier today. Recipients of the Industry and Industrialist Prizes were: Ran Meidan, CEO of Netafim; Avi Zinger, CEO of Ben and Jerry’s; Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream; Ruvi Shaibel, President of Flex and Henry Zimmerman, Chairman of Trellidor.
“Israeli industry is not only a source of pride, it is also an essential foundation for building the state and the people,” said the president. “We must honor Israeli industry and strengthen it. Israel has no economy without Israeli industry. There are areas of excellence in Israeli industry that are world-famous, and this is what we are celebrating this evening, but there are also areas of unrealized potential. We must turn Israel from a ‘start-up nation’ into a ‘tech nation’. For Israel to be a country that is a powerhouse of knowledge in traditional industries and in which everyone can participate, we have to invest in and incorporate advanced production technologies in traditional industries as well, in order to bring young people from hi-tech to industry and specifically to invest in training a skilled workforce. A vision of where Israeli industry is cutting-edge in all sectors is a Zionist vision, an economic vision, and a social vision.”
“Each of the ten prize-winners is inspirational,” said the president. “They represent the spirit of Israeli innovation, determination, and goal-orientation. They are a source of strength and of pride.” President Rivlin mentioned Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream: “SodaStream represents for me not only an Israeli success story but also a symbol of hope, that we can all – Israel Jews, Moslems, and Christians, Israelis and Palestinians – work together, live together and enjoy the fruits of success together.”
“Unfortunately, this important ceremony is missing outstanding female industrialists,” said the president. “I received many requests not to take part in the ceremony for this reason. But I decided to participate out of respect for the recipients and because the industry is worthy of recognition and because it is not right that protest, however, justified, should be to the detriment of just and worthy recognition. But this is certainly the place and this is the opportunity to say that it is inconceivable that in 2018 there are no women recipients. Firstly, it is inconceivable that there were no worthy candidates who were women. Secondly, if we carry on like this and do not honor and recognize the talented female managers in industry, in 2028 we will still be making excuses and claiming ‘there were no suitable candidates.’ It is appropriate to mention that the Israel Prize for Industry this year was awarded to Yehudit Bronicki, an exemplary industrialist who we are all proud of. The way to the top of the pyramid in the industry and in the economy as a whole has always been beset with challenges and barriers for women, and yet many of them have broken a path through for themselves, and by themselves. We need to tell these stories and not keep them in the shadows. This is both in our economy and our social interest. I would like to believe that all those responsible for the issue will make sure that at the next ceremony we congratulate prize winners who are women and that over the next seventy years we will see a growing number of women on this stage.”
President of the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel, Shraga Brosh: “I want to add a few more words about co-existence in this country. Over a month ago, there was a terrorist attack at the Alon Group factory at the Barkan industrial area, in which Ziv Hajbi ז"ל and Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel ז"ל were murdered in cold blood because they were Jews. The despicable terrorist’s aim was to attack the important co-existence and wonderful daily life that has been a feature of the Barkan industrial area for over thirty years, exemplified by Jews and Arab working together, side by side, and on the understanding that this is the only way to achieve peace. Only by creating sustainable jobs, by ensuring livelihoods, and by creating economic peace that is greater than politics and disagreement, can we bring a real peace that we all wish for so much.”
Photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO
- Written by Maccabi World Union
Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, in which we remember the salvation of the Jewish People at the mercy of the elements in Sinai and our 40-year journey from Egypt to the Land of Israel, is called, too, HeHag, The Festival, emphasizing its especially joyful and festive character. We are specifically commanded by the Divine to delight in this Festival. God unequivocally tells us, "Ve'Samach'ta be'Chage'cha" - "And you shall rejoice in your festival", a mitzvah as important as constructing the Succah (the hut commemorating this festival) or Arba'at Haminim - the Four Species we carry in the week of Sukkot.
While being joyful is an essential pillar of this festival, how can we explain the inclusion since medieval times of reading Megillat Kohelet (the book of Ecclesiastes) in Sukkot by countless Communities? - Kohelet, one of the 5 books of the Bible, along with the first part of the Book of Job, which expresses the most pessimistic view of the purpose of human existence.
Out Sages ascribe Kohelet to the pen of King Solomon in his old age. It is totally different from the rest of the Tanach, and questions some of the conceptual foundations on which a large part of the Bible rests. This is possible because it is one of The Writings, the third part of the Bible: if The Torah is the direct revelation of God to the People of Israel and, through us, to all Humankind; and if The Books of Prophets bring the revelation of God through His Chosen Leaders on topical issues of their time (except the theme of Messianic redemption, which pertains to the future), The Writings go in the opposite direction, when Man, from his particular circumstances, speaks to God. So the Psalms, Proverbs ... and Kohelet (the King of Jerusalem who says: "Vanity of vanities: all is vanity") express different human existential realities and circumstances, according to the author of each work.
So, of all the various human expressions embodied in the Bible, why is the Festival of Joy an occasion to read a book that expresses weariness, boredom, and despair?
To the traditional answers to this question, I venture to add two further possible directions: Kohelet, King of Jerusalem, was a man who enjoyed everything that we see today as success: wealth, power and surrounded by beauty. However, he comes to see all this as worthless vanity, symptoms of wrong emphases in his own life, of an unbalance between what he achieved and the really important things he postponed. The Post-Talmudic Tractate of Sofrim introduced the Book of Kohelet into our Festival of maximum Joy perhaps to remind us of the reasons why we need to celebrate again and again, reasons we often forget or take for granted: our good health; love, companionship and communication with our family and friends; the opportunity to earn our livelihood through work; life in a Jewish Community based on mutual support and shared values we hold dear; involvement in activities like Maccabi that stimulate us and become part of who we are; the ethical bases that sustain us - our Torah; our gloriously flourishing national life, the State of Israel.
On the other hand, perhaps we are commanded to read about Kohelet's despair, skepticism and confusion on our Festival of Joy do that we shall be reminded that pain, disappointment, and downfall are integral features of life and that despite this, we are able to enjoy all that is good in our lives, the good never disappears, even in our darkest, hardest and distressful moments. That's life: a combination of the really important things which elevate and make our lives sublime and happy, and everything else, those things that reduce and devalue our lives to "vanity of vanities."
May God grant us the opportunity to celebrate the profound bliss of another joyful Succot, full of song and dance, with our families and communities.
May God give us the wisdom to differentiate the real reasons for our joy from the vain, futile, and transient things devoid of genuine value, things so often confused in our World as marks of true success.
And may God enlighten us to always find light in the darkness, sense in the void, and joy in the challenges which life presents to us.
With best wishes,
Chag Succot Sameach!
RABBI CARLOS TAPIERO
Deputy Director-General &
Director of Education
Vayk. XXIII, 39, 41; Bamid. XXIX, 12; Dev. XVI, 14; I Mel. VIII, 2; Yechez. XXXXv, 25; Nech. VIII, 18.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) XVI, 15.
Vaikrah (Leviticus) XXIII, 42.
The four species we shake during Succot: LULAV - palm frond, ETROG - Citron, HADAS - Myrtle & ARAVA -- Willow. "And you shall take for yourselves on the First Day the fruit of a beautiful tree, the branches of date palms, branches of the myrtle tree, and branches of the willow tree, and you shall rejoice before Hashem, your G-d, for Seven Days." (Vayikra 23:40). See also Mishnah Succah III, 4.
"This custom is not obligatory since it has no Talmudic basis and even the obligation mentioned in the post-Talmudic Tractate of Soferim is doubtful. Indeed, this custom was never adopted by most Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jewish communities." Excellent article of Prof. Rav David Golinkin in http://www.schechter.edu/responsa.aspx?ID=18
Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) is one of the five Megillot (scrolls) read in the Three Pilgrimage Festivals, the 9th of Av and Purim: Esther on Purim; Eikhah (Lamentations) on Tisha Be'av ; Shir Hashirim (The Song of the Songs) on Pesach, and Ruth on Shavuot.
Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), I, 2.
Maccabi World Union, 7 Peretz Berenstein, Ramat Gan, 52105 Israel
Photo provided by Maccabi World Union
- Written by Talma Gotteiner
Babyland, the largest baby products exhibition in Israel organized by Philip Hadad Consultants in cooperation with the Super-Pharm chain will be held for the 11th consecutive time this year.
The Babyland Exhibition will take place at the Tel-Aviv Exhibition Grounds between Tuesday-Thursday, 30 Oct 18 -1 Nov 18.
The Babybuild Exhibition deals with parenting, pregnancy, toddlers, and babies. The exhibition includes more than 100 stands of leading baby brands, including Life Baby's, Similac, Materna, Huggies, Dr. Fisher, and others. The exhibition will include several innovative Israeli developments for babies: new unique products, strollers, accessories, safety chairs, baskets, toiletries, lactation, textiles, and related products from leading companies. In addition, the exhibition will offer activities such as booths offering a variety of benefits and surprises, a huge Gymboree complex, a luxurious breastfeeding area, a café-restaurant and more.
Among the innovations to be presented at the exhibition:
- Super-Pharm's Life BABY's first collaboration in Israel with the global toy giant Fisher Price.
- The Kaftor company is upgrading their baby button system and will be launching the BABY cam 5 system - a real-time car camera that captures the rear seat while driving.
- The first folding stroller-wagon in Israel Keenz7S by Audiocare - an innovative product in Israel that allows carrying 2 children and additional equipment weighing up to 50 kg comfortably and easily.
- Easy Night will launch the Brolly - a waterproof sheet that provides solutions for dealing with wetting and infant emission problems that come from New Zealand and is marketed worldwide.
- Rokit, the portable baby rocker for prams, pushchairs, and strollers that works on batteries and mimics the movement of the human hand thus helping to calm the baby
- A unique Huggies area with a movement guide for parents and babies.
- Nanobebe - a new bottle by BBK - the world's first feeding bottle designed specifically to maintain the nutritional value of breast milk.
- BIBA M with a new stroller that is suitable from birth, a variety of developmental electronic games, DIY creation kits for creating a baby's handprint or footprint and more ...
- Babyland Hebrew Website - http://baby-land.co.il/event/ 40 NIS per single adult entrance + 2 children (ages 0-12)
- At Super-Pharm branches: For every purchase of 59 NIS or more from the store's products, an entrance ticket (including 2 children) is only 30 NIS.
- Exclusive for Life Style customers - a family entrance ticket (couple + 2 children) for 40 NIS
- At the exhibition booth: 40 NIS
Each card is credited with an elegant gift bag that includes products worth 69 NIS. What is in the bag? Materna Extra Cure To Go, Milk Substitute 150g, Materna Porridge 200g, a Diaper Pack of 8 units of Huggies Freedom Dry Pants, Baby Bathing Shampoo & Shampoo 2 in 1, 400 ml of LifeBreeze, Energy Snack Slim Delis, Sugar Free Apple Puree 130 g by Prinok and a 15 mL hand cream with sunscreen by Neutrogena.
Photos PR / Amit Tarash
- Written by Prime Minister's Media Adviser
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 23 July 2018), addressed the 13th Annual Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington DC by video link. Following are his remarks:
"Thank you, Pastor Hagee. Thank you CUFI for supporting Israel. We appreciate your support, and we thank you for it. We appreciate the support of Christians around the world.
Jews, Christians, so many others can agree on one thing—Israel is a miracle, a state in the heart of the Middle East that has known democracy, pure democracy and liberty every day of its 70-year history, a pluralistic, open society, a democracy where diversity is celebrated, not feared. Christians also know another fundamental truth: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 70 years. And Jerusalem will always be our capital.
Thank you President Trump, and thank our many, many Christian friends around the world, for recognizing this basic truth.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Israel is also the only country for thousands of miles where Christians not only survive, they thrive. Christian holy sites are protected and Christian worship is done without fear. Christians have achieved incredible heights in Israel. We have an Arab-Christian who served on our Supreme Court for 15 years. We have others – diplomats, businesspeople, university professors, doctors, everything. They’re in every field – many, many examples of Christians who contribute greatly to Israeli society and share in the great miracle of Israel’s success.
Sadly, some countries don’t respect Christians. In Iran, Christians are brutally persecuted. Christian pastors have spent years in prison. Now, this is an issue which I believe should concern everyone. And let me say clearly: Israel stands in complete solidarity with persecuted Christians in Iran. And I ask: Why are so many people silent as Christians are jailed and tortured in Iran?
Well, I can say this: We in Israel will not be silent, and I will continue to raise the plight of the long-suffering Iranian people – Christians, Bahai’s, students, journalists. Iran’s regime is a point of darkness in the Middle East. Israel is a point of light.
The great news is that Israel has never been stronger. Nations from around the world are flocking to Israel. They seek our ingenuity. They seek our technology. They seek our intelligence, in both senses of the word.
Israel still faces many threats. On our southern border, the fanatic terrorist group Hamas calls for genocide of Jews. In the north, Hezbollah is stockpiling massive numbers of missiles aimed at Israel. And Iran, well, Iran openly calls for Israel’s annihilation.
But Israel is strong. We will not let thugs and tyrants bully us. We will always defend ourselves. We will prosper. We will thrive. And Israel’s strength is not merely because of our army; it’s because of our spirit. And it’s because of the spirit of friends like you around the world.
Thank you for always standing with Israel. You are truly among our greatest friends in the world. I cherish that friendship, and I cherish your solidarity. Thank you for standing with Israel. Thank you for standing with the truth. Thank you all."