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El Greco: St. John the Evangelist, 1597-1604
October 5, 2011 – January 15, 2012.

Celebrating twenty-five years of diplomatic and cultural relations between Spain and Israel, the Museum presents a special loan from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, El Greco's St. John the Evangelist (1597–1604).

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) painted the apostle as he was usually portrayed, young and somewhat effeminate, keeping the green and red-rose colors traditionally associated with him, as well as his attribute – a chalice containing venomous liquid taking the shape of a dragon.

The style of the painting is in the spirit the Counter Reformation's ideal of presenting the saints as real-life men and women, and recalls the Apostolados, a pictorial ensemble of thirteen canvases that El Greco created for the Toledo Cathedral in the early 17th century. This special exhibit is curated by Shlomit Steinberg, Hans Dichand Curator of European Art.


The Israel Museum , in Jerusalem and the Embassy of Spain in Israel organized un special evening on the occasion of the display of the visiting masterpiece of EL GRECO , St John the Evangelist 1597-1604, on loan from the Prado Museum of Madrid in celebration of twenty -five years of diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel in the presence of Mr Yitzhak Navon fifth President of the state of Israel and H.E. Alvaro Iranzo Gutierrez , ambassador of Spain in Israel, greetings by professor Fania Oz- Salzberger.


The two countries decided to establish diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level as of today.


The Government of the State of Israel and the Government of the Republic of South Sudan,

Guided by the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1963,

Desirous to promote and strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation between their countries and peoples, on the basis of equality, mutual respect and non interference in the internal affairs of one another,

Have decided to establish diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level as of today.

The practical aspects of this decision, including the accreditation of Ambassadors, will be pursued through diplomatic channels.

Delegation members will participate in five central panels, and will also host a special event in cooperation with the International Organization of Migration (IOM)

UN Commission on Status of Women. (elgonpm.com)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is sending a delegation to the fifty-fifth session of the United Nations’ Commission on Status of Women (CSW), which will take place between February 22 and March 4 at UN headquarters in New York. This year the commission will focus on the inclusion of women in education and science, and increasing their access to the workplace.

Members of the Israeli delegation include: Adv. Tziona Koenig-Yair, Commissioner of Equal Opportunities in the Workplace of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron, President of the Open University, Prof. Miriam Erez, Head of the Faculty of Engineering and Industry at the Technion and chairperson of the National Commission for the Advancement of Women in Science and Technology, Ms. Mazal Renford, manager of the Carmel Center, the Golda Meir International Training Center, Ms. Ilana Ravid, supervisor of the status of women at the MFA and Ms. Marina Rosenberg, of the MFA’s Division for International Organizations. In addition, delegates from Israeli women’s organizations (WIZO, the Council of Women’s Organizations) will attend.

The delegation members will participate in five central panels, and will also host a special event in cooperation with the International Organization of Migration (IOM) on the topic “Can education and training create a dignified workplace.”

During the session, the new UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, headed by the former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet, will be launched.

The MFA has been active during the past few years at the UN and around the world in increasing Israel’s involvement in the empowerment of women. This is Israel’s second year of membership in UN’s Commission on Status of Women and is active in UNWOMEN as well. Israel has significantly increased its annual donation to the sum of $ 250,000.

The official Israeli speech will be made this year by Adv. Tziona Koenig-Yair. She will emphasize Israel’s commitment to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women as a basic right, as an effective tool in the struggle against poverty, hunger and disease, and in encouraging sustainable development.

In addition, Ms. Koenig-Yair will note that during the past decade public awareness as well as efforts to promote women in Israel have grown considerably. Several committees have been established to centralize the issue of gender equality and to position the discussion on the promotion of women at the top of the national agenda.

The Commission for Equal Opportunities in the Workplace was established in 2008. Since then, it has handled some 1300 applications, 787 of which were from women; The commission has filed 17 claims of discrimination in the Labor Court, 11 of which were on behalf of women, and has published 14 legal opinions, 8 of which were in regard to discrimination against women. In addition, the commission holds intensive training seminars with employers on the implementation of equal opportunities and prevention of discrimination.


June 21, 2011 – Jerusalem, Israel – Led by internationally acclaimed recording artist Shakira, Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales and comedienne Sarah Silverman, the speakers in the first plenary session of the Israeli Presidential Conference presented their own prescriptions for bringing about "a better tomorrow."  The panel also included Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, and Professor Dan Ariely of Duke University.



"The best decisions we can make for a better tomorrow are those about educating and caring for our children," said Shakira, who is visiting Israel for the first time at the invitation of President Shimon Peres. "Israel is the perfect place to discuss education and our future because it is the melting pot, the location where all nations and religions were born. We are all inheritors of Abrahamic culture, therefore we are all Israel."

Through her Barefoot Foundation, a U.S. non-profit, non-governmental organization, which is devoted to ensuring that every child can exercise his or her basic right to a quality education, Shakira is one of the world's leading advocates for securing a proper education for children all over the world.


Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales, who is participating in the conference for a second time, highlighted the importance of giving the young generation a voice; educating them and ensuring that freedom prevails. "It is essential that we harness technology for that purpose, so that we can spread it through the internet and through the culture to ensure that real change is made. Social and technical innovations must always work together to ensure a better future."

In her remarks, Sarah Silverman, the American comedienne, writer, actress, singer and musician, noted that the differences between Israelis and Palestinians is not as great as thought to be. "My recipe for a better tomorrow would be to raise an entire generation without hate," she said. "The solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a simple 'buddy movie formula.' If you have these two hostile entities, find a common goal, and work together to fulfill it, in the end they will realize that they have much in common."


Facing Tomorrow 2011, the third annual Conference under the auspices of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, is taking place in Jerusalem from June 21-23. Attended by more than 4,000 people from around the world, including numerous VIPs, the Conference focuses on the vital issues, initiatives and decisions that must be implemented today in order to guarantee a better tomorrow for the world, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel


About Facing Tomorrow 2011

Facing Tomorrow 2011, the third annual Conference under the auspices of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, will take place in Jerusalem, June 21-23, 2011. The Israeli Presidential Conference took place for the first time in May 2008, one week following the 60-year anniversary of the State of Israel. Attended by more than 4,000 people from around the world, and dedicated to designing a better tomorrow, the 2011 Conference will focus on the vital issues, initiatives and decisions that must be implemented today in order to guarantee a better tomorrow for the world, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel.






The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Tel Aviv celebrated and rejoiced in commemorating the 19th anniversary of its nation's independence in what could only be defined as the finest and classiest Kazakhi style.


Display's of traditional Kazakhi dress


A large contingent of foreign dignitaries, Israeli MK's and representatives of the Foreign Ministry attended the lavish gala which was accompanied by traditional Kazakhi styles and cultural elements.  Amongst the notable guests, Minister of Industry, Labor and Trade, Binyamin (Fuoad) Ben Eliezer and MK Yossi Peled gave encouraging speeches honoring the Central Asian Nation.

H.E. Galym Orazbakov, Kazakhstan's ambassador to Tel Aviv gave a moving speech as he discussed the natural bond between his country and Israel. Mr. Orazbakov spoke of the warm and fortified diplomatic relations between the State of Israel and Kazakhstan as he explained that "since 1992, the relations have become more understanding and stronger."  

Israel was one of the very first countries to recognize the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 1991, and since then, the two countries have always maintained a solid and amicable friendship.

Kazakhi-Israeli relations have been categorized across many sectors: political, scientific, humanitarian, military-technical and economic.  Trade and economic relations between the countries has increased heavily over the past few years.  

Ambassador OrazbakovThe Ambassador described how trade started as virtually nothing but has reached, '250 million US dollars in 2008, as more than 250 Israeli companies are now doing business in Kazakhstan,' - more than double in comparison with the previous year.

Kazakhstan and Israel successfully sustain relations beyond the business and economic sphere as well.

Mr. Orazbakov highlighted and made his admirations known with regards to the current special exhibition at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, which ends on the 24th of December.  He noted pridefully that the exhibition contains works of Kazakh artist, Erbolat Tolepbay.

Later on into the evening, Mr. Ben Eliezer spoke about his visit to Kazakhstan and his meetings with government officials and heads of the business sector.

"Those meetings have created the foundations for continued joint work between our two countries and help in achieving closer and better economic ties."

He concluded his speech by wishing Kazakhstan a happy independence day.

Minister Ben Eliezer at the podium

The eventful evening also featured traditional, delicious Kazakhi food, music and women beautifully dressed in typical and exotic Kazakhi attire.  

Clearly, those in attendance were inspired by the rich cultural traditions on display as well as being encouraged by the direction of Israeli-Kazakhi relations headed into 2011.

For more information on Kazakhstan's diplomatic mission to Tel Aviv, click here


Photos  Silvia Golan