- Written by Silvia
At their annual meeting, the Confederation’s board of directors voted to install entrepreneur David Yaari to serve as president and chairman of the board of the Confederation. This transition of leadership is reflective of the board’s desire to expand the activities of the organization and help increase the influence of the Confederation in the Zionist world.
Yaari is the founding Director-General of the Arizona-Israel Trade and Investment Office with an extensive record of community engagement and leadership. Named among the “Forward 50” of the 50 most influential Jews in America, Yaari has filled many senior roles in the business and philanthropic fields including currently serving as a director of the Israel Nature and Heritage Foundation, of the Society for International Development, and now a director of KKL - Keren Kayemet Leyisrael.
He is the proud father of Ori, Emily, and Adam and is married to Sivan Yaari, founder and CEO of Innovation Africa. “I am thankful to the Confederation Board for entrusting me to advance the cause of General Zionism and to expand ways for the Jewish world to connect with Israel,” said Yaari. “And I hope the Confederation can be such a bridge to engage the next generation and revitalize the Zionist movement.”
The board also voted to add two new directors: Sarri Singer, Founder and CEO of Strength to Strength, a not for profit that assists terror victims worldwide, and Ran Fuchs, a senior board member in the Israeli-American Council and Head of Capital Markets at IDB Capital.
As an additional step toward expanding the influence of the Confederation on the international Zionist movement, former Knesset member Dov Lipman was appointed to serve as the organization’s Secretary-General. Lipman, the author of eight books about Judaism and Israel, has spent the last 8 years strengthening the connection between Israel and diaspora Jewry and teaching university students about Zionism and Israel.
Jesse Sultanik, who served as the past Chairman of the Confederation will continue as an officer along with Marlene Post, past president of World Hadassah. It should be noted that Kalman Sultanik, Jesse’s grandfather, led the Confederation for nearly 60 years.
In a letter sent to the Chairman of the Zionist Executive Yaakov Hagoel, Yaari pledged to work with all the committees, leaders and departments in the national institutions to engage new constituencies and advance the Zionist movement.
Lipman commented, “I have long believed that Israel must serve as the great unifier of Jews worldwide and that an active Zionist movement is necessary to strengthen diaspora Jewry. David is most welcome choice to take this organization forward.”
About the World Confederation of General Zionists:
The Confederation of General Zionists is a faction in the World Zionist Congress that focuses on pure Zionism and strengthening the connection between Israel and diaspora Jewry. The Confederation does not represent any Israeli political party or religious stream and focuses on education, youth movements, next generation and future Zionist leadership and strengthening Zionist federations worldwide.
Picture of David Yaari (Courtesy: The Confederation of General Zionists).
- Written by Silvia G. Golan
The largest foreign direct investment conference in the U.S., the 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit, will be held from June 7 to 11, 2021.
While traditionally held in Washington D.C., the conference will be held virtually for the first time this year and will enable wider participation of international investors.
SelectUSA promotes and facilitates foreign direct investment in the U.S. for foreign investors from around the world.
At the SelectUSA Investment Summit, companies can get advice regarding starting a business or expanding operations in the U.S. Attendees can also learn about incentives available in different U.S. states, receive advice on legal issues, taxes and logistical considerations, plus an analysis of trends and latest developments in the U.S. economy and from C-suite industry executives and government leaders. SelectUSA participants can also participate in one-on-one virtual meetings with leading U.S. EDOs from all 50 U.S. states and territories. This year's Investment Summit will feature more than 100 sessions and is expected to be attended by 3,000 participants from over 80 markets.
Of particular significance to Israel, this year’s conference will once again feature SelectUSA Tech, designed for international start-up companies with a maximum of 40 employees and annual revenue of up to $ 10 million. These companies will have the opportunity to present their latest developments to potential investors in a unique virtual pavilion and to engage with tech incubators and industry executives. SelectUSA Tech sessions will focus on industries that are of key importance to the Israeli business community: aerospace, cyber security, e-commerce, fintech, software, 5G, AI, energy storage, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and more. Selected start-ups will pitch their developments to a special panel of 4-6 judges, including investors from venture capital funds and executives from the high-tech industry. SelectUSA Tech featured 93 start-ups from 29 countries at the last Investment Summit.
Robyn Kessler, Commercial Counselor at U.S. Embassy Jerusalem: "The U.S. is the largest consumer market in the world and is a natural choice for any Israeli company looking to grow globally. During the five days of the virtual conference companies will gain the information needed to get started with their U.S. expansion.”
Sigal Mendelovich, SelectUSA's representative at U.S. Embassy Jerusalem: "Bilateral investment and trade relations with Israel are highly valued in the United States. The economic impact of Israeli companies in the United States is evident with Israeli investments of $36.6 billion, which has generated approximately 27,000 American jobs. Israeli investment has also led to around $1 billion in investment in research and development plus $ 750 million in exports from U.S.-based Israeli companies."
Apply to the SelectUSA Investment Summit thru the following link:
In the picture: Robyn Kessler, Commercial Counselor at U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
(Courtesy: U.S Embassy Jerusalem).
- Written by Prime Minister's Office, the Health Ministry and the Finance Ministry
.Communicated by the Prime Minister's Office, the Health Ministry and the Finance Ministry
Pursuant to the Cabinet decision of Tuesday evening, 5 January 2021, on a tight lockdown to take effect at 24:00 this evening (Thursday, 7 January 2021), the Cabinet, yesterday evening (Wednesday, 6 January 2021), in a conference call, approved the Health Ministry regulations, which are in addition to those regulations that are already in effect.
The new regulations and restrictions shall be in effect from 24:00 this evening (Thursday, 7 January 2021), until Thursday, 21 January 2021.
Restricted activity – Restriction of exceptions to the prohibition on leaving one's place of residence:
1. Restriction of gatherings to up to five people in a closed area and up to ten people in an open area (with exceptions for weddings, circumcisions and funerals, that will remain according to the existing rule – ten people in a closed space and 20 in an open space).
2. Restriction of permission to fly from Israel to those who purchased flight tickets starting from the taking effect of the regulations, except for reasons detailed in the regulations or with approval from the Transportation Ministry Director General.
3. Restriction of professional sports activity so that venues for training for premier league games may not be operated except for training only.
4. Cancellation of permission to leave a residence for activity to counter isolation for senior citizens (except for essential social work activity).
1. There is a prohibition on opening educational institutions to learners and employees except for special education and exceptions determined by law.
2. Closed boarding institutions for up to 30 days without the possibility of readmitting pupils who have left the institution.
1. Employees may not enter their places of work except for places of work for which exceptions have been made including those that provide essential and vital services and those engaged in construction or infrastructure work.
2. All employers shall be entitled to allow employees to go to their place work if their presence is necessary for its maintenance or continued functioning. This includes necessary repairs, security, deliveries, payment of wages, etc. Specific instructions were determined for enterprises with special permission to employ workers during hours of rest, security industries, government ministries, local councils, religious councils and institutions of higher education.
3. Lawyers have been added to the list of essential places of work under the regulations in instances where they are representing or preparing to represent clients in court or in other institutions, or are providing essential services to clients that will not admit delay and cannot be performed digitally. Included in the foregoing are employees of the Central Elections Committee and regional elections committees who are working on the upcoming Knesset elections.
4. Employers who meet the various conditions and continue to operate will do so under the purple badge standard.
* A list of work sectors for which exceptions have been made will be published on the Finance Ministry website.
Occupancy on public transportation will be reduced to 50% of capacity (including on buses)
Participation in political party primary elections
1. Person voting in political party primary elections may leave their residences to do so. The foregoing includes candidates and service providers on behalf of candidates or parties, in order to prepare for Knesset and political party primary elections.
2. Polling places for political party primary elections may be operated.
3. People entering polling place locations will not be asked about the existence of symptoms that do not require quarantine so as not to impair their right to vote because of these symptoms. There will be no questioning of those arriving at designated polling places for people under quarantine.
Reminder of currently existing restrictions that are also valid during the aforementioned 14-day lockdown:
1. Restrictions on going out from one's place of residence beyond 1,000 meters, apart from exceptions such as going out to be vaccinated, receive medical treatment or social work care, attend a demonstration or legal proceeding, do individual exercise (without use of a vehicle), transferring a minor between separated parents, going to a permitted place of work or to permitted educational activity, or going out to attend a funeral, wedding or circumcision (subject to the restrictions on gatherings).
Fine for violation: NIS 500.
2. A prohibition on leaving one's place of residence in order to be present in another person's place of residence.
3. Closure of public and commercial places except for essential stores: Food, hygiene, optical, pharmacies, and electric products and products that are necessary for essential home repairs.
4. Closure of guest units and b&b's, zoos, safari parks and nature reserves, national parks, national and commemorative sites, places for giving non-medical treatment including beauty and cosmetics treatment, places for giving complementary medical treatment, drive-in cinemas, malls, markets and museums. The option of opening an eating establishment for pick-up service is cancelled.
5. Practical driving lessons are cancelled; organizing – or participating in – an organized hike is prohibited.
6. Take-away service is prohibited; delivery service is permitted.
Photo Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (archive). Photo: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom.
- Written by Israel Ministry of Defense
Extensive Defense Export Agreement to be Signed between Israel and Slovakia
The Israel Ministry of Defense will deliver 17 radar systems produced by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), to the Slovak Ministry of Defense in an agreement that amounts to approximately €150 million.
Defense Minister, Benny Gantz: "As I told the Slovak Minister of Defense during our discussion, Israel’s defense industry is at the forefront of global technology and development and produces excellent operational and military capabilities. This agreement reflects the excellent capabilities of Israel’s defense industry, as well as Israel’s strengthening relations and cooperation with NATO countries.”
The Slovak government approved the recommendation made by the Slovak Ministry of Defense to procure 17 radar systems manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The agreement, led by the International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT), in the Israel Ministry of Defense, includes the transfer of technology and knowledge from Israel to Slovakia as well as industrial cooperation. The radar components will be manufactured in collaboration with defense industries in Slovakia, under the professional guidance of IAI and the Ministry of Defense.
The Israeli radar systems will be interoperable with NATO defense mechanisms. In recent years, similar systems have been incorporated into the command and control systems of additional countries in the NATO alliance.
The flagship MMR Radar manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) subsidiary, ELTA systems, is combat proven and has extensive operational experience in Israel and around the world. The radar detects airborne threats, classifies them, calculates their threat level and provides essential data that enables systems to neutralize multiple threats simultaneously.
Defense Minister, Benny Gantz: "As I told the Slovak Minister of Defense during our discussion, Israel’s defense industry is at the forefront of global technology and development and produces excellent operational and military capabilities. I congratulate the employees of the Israel Ministry of Defense and IAI on another significant achievement, which reflects the excellent capabilities of Israel’s defense industry, as well as Israel’s strengthening relations and cooperation with NATO countries. Under my leadership, the defense establishment will continue to promote technology procurement and development agreements, which are part of the security concept of the State of Israel and are particularly important for Israeli resilience at this time due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
SIBAT Director, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Yair Kulas: "The Slovak government's choice to equip its forces with Israeli radar systems is another significant step in strengthening defense relations between our countries. The choice is also indicative of the excellent capabilities of Israel’s defense industry, which provides advanced solutions to a vast range of ever-evolving threats. We thank our Slovakian partners and look forward to continuing exchanges of information and technology, further expanding our partnership.”
IAI VP and CEO of ELTA, Yoav Turgeman: “We are honored to be the Slovakian government's choice and to incorporate IAI’s MMR Radar into their air defense solution, and we thank the Israel Ministry of Defense for the cooperation. The MMR leverages state-of-the-art technologies to provide a dependable picture of the air and awareness of the situation at hand. Approximately 130 MMRs have been delivered to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, and are already operational in the United States and Canada, in addition to Israel. We are confident this is the best radar system to enable the Slovakian Air Force to confront a wide range of aerial threats and we look forward to further cooperation."
Photo Israel Ministry of Defense
- Written by Spokesperson of the President's Office
President Rivlin held the traditional new year’s reception for heads of Christian denominations in Israel, this year online
“The State of Israel will always remain committed to freedom of religion, and will always be proud of the strong Christian communities in the Holy Land”
President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin this morning, Wednesday 30 December / 15 Tevet, held the traditional new year’s reception for heads of the Christian denominations in Israel, this year online. Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri and Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III also delivered remarks.
“This is the last time that I will have the privilege of sending my New Year’s blessings to you and your communities, as President of the State of Israel. I wish I could do so in person, in a festive meeting. Unfortunately, that is not possible due to corona, which knows no difference between countries, peoples and religions,” said the president at the beginning of the event, held online this year.
“Despite the physical distance, I am deeply thankful for the close relationships we have built. Thank you for your cooperation and friendship. The State of Israel will always remain committed to freedom of religion, and will always be proud of the strong Christian communities in the Holy Land,” he added.
The president expressed his hope that he would soon be able to announce the opening ceremony of the Land of the Monasteries, saying “I hope and pray that this will be a year in which the Christian communities in Israel continue to grow and thrive, and in which Christians throughout the Middle East know peace and safety.”
The Land of the Monasteries is a wide-ranging tourism project in the area of the abandoned churches and monasteries on the banks of the River Jordan close to the site where, according to Christianity, John the Baptist baptized Jesus and his apostles. In recent years, the president has advanced plans to increase tourism to the area and develop the sites to visitors from around the world. South of the baptismal site there are a number of key sites – churches, chapels and monasteries – that give the area its name. The area, which his of major religious significance to Christians, has been developed and restored in recent years ahead of its opening to visitors. As part of the project, mines laid in the 1970s and which prevented access to the churches and the surrounding area, have been cleared.
Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri: “At a time when the coronavirus is claiming victims around the world, closing down economies and harming religion and education, we see that it does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race or gender. It is precisely now that we must be united in our war against the virus and in our prayers to return to better, saner days.”
“As well as this difficult time, we have seen a global peace process with the State of Israel, of which the Abraham Accords are a part. This is a welcome process of peace around the world that will save us from blood and tears, orphans and widows. Peace is wonderful! And you, religious leaders, have the capacity to preserve and take it to additional places. The State of Israel and Jerusalem will be home to all religions and each will have its place to hold its rituals, to preserve its traditions and its place of prayer, to strengthen its historical memory and to pray to its god in freedom, companionship and equality that will bring us all together.”
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III: “We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to you, Mr. President, for your steadfast support of the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious character of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. We have deeply appreciated the personal concern that you have shown us by speaking individually to each of the Heads of the Churches during this pandemic. We wish to extend to you, Mr. President, our greetings and best wishes for this holiday season, in which the Abrahamic faith traditions keep festivals of light and life.”
Photo credit: Mark Neyman (GPO)
Photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)