- 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 Silvia G Golan
Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center commemorates its 130th anniversary of serving pilgrims in the Holy Land, probably the richest land on Earth
“Terra Sancta,” a photo-book honoring the Holy Sites of pilgrimages was launched on this celebration
Jerusalem, September 13th, 2018. The historical guesthouse, Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, commemorated 130 years of serving and welcoming pilgrims to the Holy Land. A book titled “Terra Sancta,” which honors the beauty and magnificence of the “Fifth Gospel” as St. Jerome called the Holy Land, was released before the diplomatic corps, religious authorities, media, and friends.
The book, prepared in collaboration between renowned Franciscan Scholar Fr. Eugenio Alliata, OFM, and Enrico Formica, one of Europe´s pioneers in the field of 360-degree photography, attributes the Holy Land to most likely be the richest land on Earth due to its history, people, geography, and climate. Through its 215 pages, readers are captivated by photographs that capture views that sweep across 360° and allow the beholder to appreciate the beauty and magnificence of this sacred and ageless land. The photo book is available at the boutique gift shop of Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center and costs $90 USD. Revenues will support local projects in the Holy Land.
“To be part of a Center that commemorate 130 years of serving pilgrims in this part of the world is amazing. Not only because of the richness and history that are housed within this place and its grounds, but also because serving God where everything began is priceless. It is for this reason that we are releasing this photo-book today honoring the history of the people, cultures, and sites that have received pilgrims in this beautiful land. I think some pictures tell a small piece of a story, but some others also capture memories forever.” said the Chargé of the Holy See for Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, Fr. Juan Solana, LC.
Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center is part of this land´s history and dates to 1882 when under the direction of a French religious order called the Augustinians of the Assumption (short form Assumptionist) the property on which Notre Dame sits on today was purchased. The building only partially built by 1888 received its first group of pilgrims that year. Approximately 500 French pilgrims adventured in each pilgrimage group from then on to be lodged in Notre Dame de France as it was known at the time. The building was heavily damaged in the war of 1947 and subsequently suffered drop-in pilgrimages due to the situation in the area. On March 2nd, 1972, the site was turned over to the Holy See and the restoration of the building was completed in 1978 becoming once more a center to host pilgrims on their journey to the Holy Land.
On November 26th, 2004 the Pope John Paul II entrusted the Pontifical Institute, Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center to the Legionaries of Christ, assigning Fr. Juan María Solana, L.C., as the new Chargé.
“It has been an honor to be appointed by Pope St. John Paull II to lead this significant place for the Catholic Church in the Holy Land. We will continue improving our mission of serving and welcoming pilgrims, ministering the local Christian community, training local youth in hospitality and tourism in hopes to offer them opportunities for a better future, fostering peace and dialogue among cultures and peoples, as was entrusted to us by the Pope.” concluded the Mexican priest.
Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center consists of a Guesthouse, Chapel, Auditorium, the Hospitality and Education Training Section (HETS), an educational center dedicated to training local youth in the Culinary Arts and the Tourism industry, as well as a permanent exhibition titled, “Who is the man of the Shroud?” displaying a replica of the Shroud of Turin. The guesthouse offers comfortable rooms and suites with magnificent views of the Old City; restaurants to serve every taste but most important of all, the services needed to live a profound spiritual experience in the Holy Land. Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center is uniquely located in the heart of the City, a few steps away from the Old City’s New Gate and a short walk away from the Holy Sepulcher and most of Jerusalem´s major tourist attractions.
Learn more here https://www.notredamecenter.org
Photos by Enrico Formica
- Written by President’s Spokesperson’s Office
“I promise you: we will not, and we must not let the Code Red alarm become a routine. Red will remain the color of the wildflowers that grow in the area.”
President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, 8 November / 30 Cheshvan, met the young people marching to Jerusalem from the area around Gaza as they entered the city today.
The President told the group: “I came to march with you on behalf of every citizen of Israel who is following you and is marching with you in spirit.”
“Happy is the people whose young people march at its head, and happy are the parents who raised their children with such a feeling of national pride, of the love of the country, of such a meaningful connection to our wonderful country. You are not the young people of the area around Gaza, you are the young people that embrace the whole country. We hear your call and it breaks our hearts. I promise you: we will not, and we must not let the Code Red alarm become a routine. Red will remain the color of the wildflowers that grow in the area.”
The president marched with the young people who continued from there towards the Knesset.
Photos by Haim Zach, GPO
- Written by GPO
Several Jewish holidays – some of which are full legal holidays in Israel – will take place this year between 9 September-1 October. The Government Press Office would like to provide the following brief summary.
Preparations for the Jewish New Year
The period preceding the Jewish New Year is marked by special penitential prayers, recited before the regular morning prayers, and the blowing of the ram’s horn (shofar in Hebrew) after the morning prayer service. Jews of North African and Middle Eastern origin began to recite these special prayers on 12 August; Jews of European origin began to recite them on 2 September. These special prayers are said daily (except on the New Year holiday itself and the Sabbath) until the day before Yom Kippur (18 September).
Rosh Hashanah (the two-day Jewish new year), the observance of which is mandated by Leviticus 23:23-25, will begin at sunset on Sunday, 9 September and conclude at nightfall on Tuesday, 11 September. Both days are marked by special prayers and scriptural readings.
The centerpiece of the Rosh Hashanah service is the blowing of the shofar during morning prayers. (The shofar is not sounded on the Sabbath should either of the two days fall on Saturday.) Both days are full public holidays and, as on the Sabbath, there will be no public transportation or newspapers. In addition, many businesses, museums and other institutions, which are normally open on the Sabbath, will be closed over the holiday. The GPO will be closed on Sunday-Tuesday, 9-11 September.
Rosh Hashanah is also characterized by two special customs. The first is the eating of apple slices dipped in honey, symbolizing the hope that the coming year will be “sweet.” The second involves going to a natural source of flowing water (such as an ocean, river, or spring), reading a selection of scriptural verses and casting pieces of bread into the water – to symbolize the “casting off” of the previous year’s sins; this practice derives from Micah 7:19 (“…and You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”) This ceremony takes place on the first day of Rosh Hashanah (or on the second, if the first day falls on the Sabbath).
The Period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
The ten days between New Year and Yom Kippur (inclusive) are known as “The Ten Days of Repentance”. Jewish tradition maintains that this is a time of judgment when all people and nations are called to account for their deeds of the past year, and when their particular fates for the coming year are decided.
The day after the New Year holiday is a day of fasting known as the Fast of Gedaliah, and commemorates the murder of Gedaliah, the Jewish governor of Judea, who was appointed by the Babylonians after they captured Jerusalem in 586 BCE; the episode is recounted in II Kings 25:22-25. (When the day after Rosh Hashanah is a Saturday, the fast is postponed by one day.) The fast will extend from sunrise on Wednesday, 12 September until nightfall the same day. Special scriptural readings are recited; the day is not a public holiday.
A single Sabbath, known as the “Sabbath of Repentance”, always occurs between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This Sabbath (15 September this year) is marked by a special reading from Hosea 14:2-10, beginning with, “Return, Israel, to the Lord your G-d.”
Yom Kippur (Hebrew for “The Day of Atonement”) begins at sunset on Tuesday, 18 September, and concludes at nightfall on Wednesday, 19 September. Its observance is mandated by Leviticus 16:29-31 and 23:27-32. The holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur is the day on which, according to Jewish tradition, our fates for the coming year are sealed. Synagogue services – centering on the penitential prayers – will continue for most of the day and include special scriptural readings (including the Book of Jonah in the afternoon). Memorial prayers for the deceased, said four times a year, are recited on Yom Kippur. At nightfall, the shofar is sounded once to mark the end of Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is a full public holiday in Israel and almost all establishments (including the GPO, on Tuesday-Wednesday, 18-19 September) will be closed. There will be no radio or television broadcasts. Since Yom Kippur is a day of introspection, completely separate from the normal course of daily life – the physical aspects of our lives are sublimated while we concentrate on our spiritual concerns – the day is marked by a full (sunset to nightfall) fast. The wearing of leather, the use of cosmetics, bathing and marital relations are likewise forbidden.
The seven-day Sukkot festival, mandated by Leviticus 23:34-35 and 23:39-43, begins at sunset on Sunday, 23 September and concludes at nightfall on Sunday, 30 October. The first day, from sunset on Sunday, 23 September, until nightfall on Monday, 24 September, is a full public holiday. All seven days of the holiday are marked by special prayers and scriptural readings – including the Book of Ecclesiastes, which is read on Saturday, 29 September. Sukkot is a joyful, family-oriented holiday, which follows – and provides a contrast to – the somber, introspective and private character of Yom Kippur. Many businesses and institutions will either close or operate on a reduced basis. The GPO will be closed from Sunday, 23 September, through Monday, 1 October, and will reopen on Tuesday, 2 October.
Sukkot is characterized by two main practices. Jews are enjoined to build, take all of their meals in, and (if possible) sleep in, temporary huts topped with thatch or palm fronds during the festival. These huts (Sukkot in Hebrew) commemorate the temporary, portable dwellings in which the Jewish people lived during their 40-year sojourn in the wilderness that followed their liberation from slavery in Egypt. The second main Sukkot observance is the special bouquet – consisting of a closed palm frond, a citron, a myrtle branch and a willow branch – that is held during morning prayers on each of the seven days (except the Sabbath); its origins derive from Leviticus 23:40, many traditional explanations of its symbolism have been cited.
Shemini Atzeret (Simhat Torah)
The Shemini Atzeret (literally “The Eighth Day of Assembly” in Hebrew) holiday immediately follows the last day of Sukkot, beginning at sunset on Sunday, 30 September and concluding at nightfall on Monday, 1 October. Its observance is mandated by Leviticus 23:36. It is a full public holiday. (Even though it follows the seven-day Sukkot festival and is often considered part of Sukkot, it is, in fact, a separate holiday. The special bouquet is not used and the obligation to sit in the sukkot no longer applies.) The day’s prayer services include the memorial prayers for the deceased, as well as the prayer for plentiful rainfall during the coming winter.
Shemini Atzeret, however, centers around its special scriptural readings. On Shemini Atzeret, the yearly cycle of Torah (the first five books of the Bible, i.e. Genesis to Deuteronomy, one section of which is read on each Sabbath during the year) readings is both completed and begun anew. This event is accompanied by dancing and singing, sometimes continuing for several hours; in religious neighborhoods, these celebrations often spill out into the streets. Thus, the holiday is also referred to as Simhat Torah (“Rejoicing of the Torah” in Hebrew).
Happy New Year from www.diplomacy.co.il
Silvia G Golan and Diplomacy Staff