- Written by Jonathan Danilowitz
Last week the outgoing Baha’i Secretary-General, Dr. Joshua Lincoln, took leave of his many friends, colleagues, and co-religionists in Israel and welcomed the new incoming protégé, Dr. David Rutstein, at a sparkling reception at Jerusalem’s lovely David Citadel Hotel. The guests included what appeared to be the crème de la crème of Israel’s religious, cultural, political and business society. Mingling with the guests were several volunteers from the world Baha’i centers in Haifa and Acre, who chatted with the visitors, explaining the faith and answering questions of the curious. The delicious buffet dinner, accompanied by a range of colorful fruit drinks, was the background for a friendly “shalom” to the two gentlemen. A musical interlude added to the pleasure, while brief welcome and farewell speeches rounded out the reception.
A new Baha’i international website for the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Bab was launched in early September. The website will unfold in stages over the next eight weeks. Currently featuring artistic endeavors created for the occasion, and articles on the lives and teachings of the Bab and Baha’u’llah, the site will expand dynamically over time. A special letter from the Universal House of Justice about the historic anniversary will be published. Dawn of the Light, a feature film commissioned for this upcoming bicentenary, will also be released by the end of this month. The website is available in 10 languages—Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili.
The bicentenary website will connect the world by capturing the celebrations of people in selected communities across the globe as they recall the lives of the Bab and Baha’u’llah and Their unifying message. These glimpses will be illustrative of the thousands of other celebrations that will be unfolding in virtually every country.
On the Twin Holy Days, the website will capture glimpses of a wave of celebrations that will sweep across the planet. This coverage begins at sundown on 28 October in Kiribati and ends at sundown on 30 October in Hawaii. Photos, news, and other media from scores of locations will be published over the course of those 72 hours. There are also plans to include video coverage from Baha’i Houses of Worship.
The worldwide energy of the bicentenary preparations is prompting an efflorescence of activity in country after country. In Europe, communities calling to mind this significant anniversary are producing music inspired by the Bab’s life and teachings, bringing history to life through drama, and redoubling their commitment to constructive action.
France, Moldova, N.Macedonia, the UK and many other countries are deeply involved. For example, seeing the relevance of Bab’s message to today is one of the topics explored in an album of music being recorded in honor of the upcoming bicentenary by Spain’s Baha’i community. Artists from around the country and the Canary Islands are writing and recording pieces in a diversity of genres and styles as well as different local languages from Spain. Young people in Switzerland have written and narrated a short film about the life of the Bab in the style of a Kamishibai theater, a form of street theater and storytelling from Japan. Hungary’s Baha’i community is one of several that are channeling interest in Faith’s history into a printed publication. A 46-page book published in honor of the bicentenary details the 10 days that ‘Abdu’l-Baha spent in Budapest toward the end of His two-year journey through Europe and North America.
The Director and staff of www.diplomacy.co.il join in extending their best wishes to Dr. Rutstein in his new position here in Israel.
With thanks toThe Baha’i World News Service forpermission to use the material.
Photos by Silvia Golan
- Written by President’s Spokesperson’s Office
"We must work harder to ensure there are more women ministers and MKs. As elections approach, I urge all Israeli women to make your voice heard."
President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Tuesday 10 September / 10 Elul, hosted the Women in Diplomacy Network at Beit HaNasi, which brings together Israeli women diplomats and women diplomats representing their countries in Israel.
The network was established in 2012 by Israeli women diplomats together with the diplomatic community in Israel. It is a support network for women diplomats throughout their career and a platform for ideas and initiatives to address the question of gender equality in the world of diplomacy.
“Women have fought and continue to fight for the right to represent their countries as diplomats. The fight for equality was and still is, a just cause, and you are proof of its success,” said the president. “In your professional life, you bring greater diversity, a different perspective and fresh thinking to the world of foreign policy conflict resolution and diplomacy. In our complex and challenging world, that has never been more important. It is not just for women to fight for gender equality. We must all demand it and work towards it.”
The president added, “We cannot imagine history without the many great and courageous woman who did not wait for any man's approval in order to fulfill their calling and change the world. Here in Israel, Golda Meir served as an early role model for us.” The president also remarked that he hopes to see a woman president in the coming years.
“We are proud to see Israeli women in the roles of President of the Supreme Court, Governor of the Bank of Israel, government ministers, party leaders, IDF general, Nobel Prize winner and CEOs of major companies. But there is still much more to do. We must do more to bring Arab and ultra-Orthodox women into the workforce and to positions of leadership, and we must work harder to ensure there are more women ministers and MKs. As elections approach, I urge all Israeli women to make your voice heard and seek elected office and positions of influence, especially in decision- making on conflict resolution, foreign policy, and security,” he concluded.
Photos by Silvia Golan
More pics at Facebook Israel Diplo
- Written by Silvia Golan
The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation - the home of the Innovation Nation
“It takes more courage to make peace than to make war.” - Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres’ legacy was realising dreams. As you approach the entrance to the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, an enormous sign reminds you to “DREAM BIG.” It’s framed on one side by the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea, and on the other, by a modernist angular building, commissioned by Shimon Peres and completed in 2009, that now houses the Israeli Innovation Center: four floors of Israeli innovation past, present and future.
Shimon Peres established the Peres Center for Peace in 1996 to bring people together - people of all ages, genders, cultural backgrounds, religions, and from all walks of life, from Israel and around the region - through mutual interests in innovation, medicine and healthcare, business and entrepreneurship, education, and more.
Since Peres’ death in 2016, the original Peres Peace House (designed by Massimiliano Fuksas and local architect Yoav Messer) has been transformed in line with his vision to exhibit the world’s first interactive innovation hub; the Israeli Innovation Center.
The Israeli Innovation Center, which opened to the public in February 2019, highlights the global human impact of Israel’s achievements - from Cherry Tomatoes and Drip Irrigation to Waze and Mobileye - and explores how to expand the “Start-up Nation” into the “Start-up Region”. It also continues to run its scalable and impactful programs designed to bridge the region’s communities.
The Peres Center is proud to partner with Israel’s leading organisations, and friends from across the globe. This unique network of partners and supporters include the Israeli Innovation Authority, the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Trade and several innovation partners: Adama – Crop protection and innovators in global food security; Orbotech – Innovators in electronics; Checkpoint – One of Israel’s innovators in cyber security since 1993; Intel – Computing; IAI -- Israel Aerospace Industries; and the Manufacturers Association of Israel.
One of the country's leading non-profit NGOs, the Center has hosted delegations of global leaders in politics and business to learn about Israeli breakthroughs, connected professionals to the local start-up ecosystem, and supported youths from all backgrounds to discover their inner techie, entrepreneur, and peacebuilder.
Visiting the Israeli Innovation Center
- The Hall of Inspiration: As you enter the lobby you are struck by the films showing on the screens that take up the entire right wall and continue onto the circular screens scattered on the ceiling. The films depict the global innovations developed in Israel: in agriculture, medicine and healthcare, aerospace and security, hi-tech, and information communication technology.
- Secrets of Innovation room: Have a chat with one of 18 life-sized innovator holograms from across the hi-tech, agriculture, cyber and medicine sectors. Speak to them in Hebrew, English, Arabic or Chinese to learn about their inspiration and the problem they were trying to solve. Behind each hologram screen you can find some of the personal artefacts and books that inspired our innovators, that they have donated to the exhibit.
- Shimon Peres’ Study: A replica of Shimon Peres’ study houses his desk, as well as artifacts including his Nobel Peace prize, his collection of his role model David Ben-Gurion dolls, and pictures of the highlights of his achievements.
- Innovation Nation Room - Find out how Israel became the Start-up Nation with an interactive timeline and a chance to see original examples of Israel's technological and medical achievements, including the first Israeli Airforce flag in space and the capsule endoscopy (a miniature camera in a pill that can be swallowed to see what’s happening inside the gastrointestinal tracts).
- The Capsule - An unrivalled VR experience, The Capsule, designed with input from Roey Tzanana and Yuval Noah Harari features technology provided by Inception, to enable users to play futuristic games in which they perform medical procedures, travel into space or design the city of the future.
- The Israeli Expo - DSV and Intuit are the hosts for this floor which was curated in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Trade and the Israeli Innovation Authority. The room is divided into four islands showcasing the 45 most exciting Israeli innovations today:
○ 1. ICT – Information, Communications and Technology
○ 2. Aerospace and Security
○ 3. Healthcare
○ 4. Agriculture and Energy
Above each Island is a loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority representing ancient innovation from days of old, bringing full circle the idea that this region has always been a basin of innovation.
Flagship programs the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation runs:
The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation is a leading non-profit and non-government organization focused on developing and implementing unique and cutting-edge programs that promote peace and build bridges. It serves hundreds of thousands of participants of all ages, religions, genders and cultural backgrounds. It runs special programs in Innovation, Sports, Cultivation of Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Medicine and Healthcare, Business and Environment. The programs are implemented with a network of local, regional, and international partners.
- Starting-Up Together - Launched in 2017, Starting-Up Together addresses challenges of inclusivity and opportunity by encouraging underrepresented communities in Israel to become involved in entrepreneurship, innovation, and the high-tech sector while promoting shared-living and creating a sense of community among its Israeli Arab and Jewish participants.
The participants, aged 25 and above, possess the motivation and vision to succeed in their field, but do not have access to the training or connections needed. Each program cycle includes 30-40 participants, half Israeli Arabs and half Israeli Jews, with an emphasis on women, minorities and underrepresented communities. This holistic pre-accelerator program grows entrepreneurs and opens the door for their participation in the Start-up Nation through workshops, boot camps, meetings with experts, mentoring, networking opportunities, and more. Alumni continue to receive support for 12 months following the end of the program. Starting Up Together is conducted through an important partnership with the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation.
- CityZoom - Launched in 2018, CityZoom creates connections between innovators, local and multinational companies and city governments by implementing meet-ups between industry leaders, municipal stakeholders and academics; round table discussions and webinars with innovation experts, entrepreneurs, researchers and city leaders; and an International Smart City Conference. Partners include Tel Aviv University, Atidim, the Israeli Ministry of Economy, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior, and Digital Israel.
- Strengthening Private Sector and Business-to-Business Cooperation - Together with local, regional, and international stakeholders, the Peres Center identifies and targets challenges and opportunities in order to facilitate easier trade and economic growth through policy, structural research and practical action. Ongoing programs work to assess needs, build capacities, and link the Israeli and Palestinian economies, while fostering cross-border, people-to-people interaction.
- Startup-Link - Startup-Link aims to expand the Start-up Nation into the Start-up Region by the creation of a new Palestinian startup incubator-accelerator, which trains the next generation of Palestinian entrepreneurs. The project also brings together experienced
Israeli innovators and young Palestinian entrepreneurs to strengthen ties and mutual understanding and invigorate the Palestinian innovation ecosystem.
- SharakehTech – Partnership for New ICT Horizons - The potential of the Palestinian hi-tech sector is widely recognized but struggles to penetrate markets. Launched in 2018, this program exposes 40-60 Palestinian and Israeli professionals and ICT companies over 3 years to mutually beneficial business opportunities and capacity building through a multilayered process and match making opportunities.
In addition, 50-70 Palestinian students and recent graduates receive work experience and exposure to the ICT industry. This program connects the Israeli and Palestinian hi-tech sectors and promotes cooperation, thus strengthening innovation in the Palestinian private sector and forging unique cross-border business relationships.
- Sport in the Service of Peace – Twinned Peace Sports Schools - Launched in 2002, twinned groups of Jewish and Arab, Israeli and Palestinian girls and boys come together through sport, breaking down barriers and building lasting friendships. Over 20,000 participants from 60 communities have participated in the Peres Center's unique methodology that includes bi-weekly training and peace education sessions, joint soccer training, inter-language learning, and the annual "Mini Mondial" tournament. During the last activity year (2017-18), the project reached 500 participants from 20 communities. Member of 8 international networks; 19 delegations sent abroad; recipient of 8 awards including: Beyond Sport 2016 "Leadership in Sport Award"; Peace and Sport, Monaco 2011 "Best NGO"; the Wingate Award 2010 "Best NGO in the Field of Peace and Sport".
- YaLa Young Leaders – Launched in 2011, this program connects almost 1 million young people from around the MENA region through Facebook and virtual platforms. Over 1,500 participants from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Sudan, Algeria, and more have participated in in-depth virtual training programs. 4 regional face-to-face conferences and 5 on-line conferences have been held.
- Training Doctors - Launched in 2005, Training Doctors trains Palestinian physicians and medical personnel in Israeli hospitals for 2-5 years, creating a network of Israeli and Palestinian medical professionals. To date, over 260 Palestinian healthcare professionals have been trained, in turn treating over 1.5 million Israeli patients. Of program graduates, 90% continue to serve in the Palestinian public healthcare system, and 20 have gone on to become heads of hospitals or heads of departments. 40 are in training today.
- Saving Children - Launched in 2003, Saving Children has provided lifesaving treatment to Palestinian children in Israel when treatment is not available within the Palestinian healthcare system. Working with every major public and non-profit hospital in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, over 12,500 children have been treated. Following years of
successful best practices and by request, this program was expanded to include Syrian children when the geopolitical situation enabled us to do so.
Israel Innovation Center is the first and only visitor center of Israeli innovation in which you will be exposed to the unbelievable story of the state of Israel, the innovation nation, in a fascinating journey inspired by the vision of the late Shimon Peres.
-Tour of the Israel Innovation Center for NIS 30 until the end of August
- Planning a convention, event or gathering?
- Donate ;Be a part of our work! legacy of innovation, creativity, and the pursuit of peace.
Your support matters. Thank you!
*Please note - donations made through this page are tax deductible only in the USA but can be made from any country.
Site Web : https://www.peres-center.org/
Photos Silvia G. Golan
- Written by The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation's
Israeli partnerships with Bloomberg.org recognized as "revolutionary" by President Rivlin
Unique partnership to address challenges in 12 Israeli municipalities
For the first time, local “i-teams” will be established to address the problems identified by municipalities; and apply Design Thinking, Monitoring and Evaluation methodologies to them
The launch event on 4th September hosted by the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation features a keynote by Facebook Israel CEO Adi Sofer Teeni and leading figures from the Israeli municipal and innovation ecosystems
September 4, 2019, 16:00 IDT: Bloomberg Philanthropies announced today the launch of Hazira, a national hub for city innovation and a major new effort to accelerate civic innovation in municipalities across Israel. In partnership with the Ministry of the Interior and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, Hazira will scale the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams (i-teams) program to 12 new cities across Israel over the course of five years and provide municipalities with the tools needed to tackle their most difficult, complex challenges.
On Tuesday, 3rd September, representatives from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Ministry of Interior and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation met with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem to introduce him to the program. President Rivlin commented: “Hazira is not only innovation, it can be a revolution. It is not simply a project, it is a thought, it is a way.”
Through the innovation program, the partnership seeks to increase the number of cities using a tested, impactful approach to urban innovation to support the growth of all communities in Israel, including minority and peripheral communities. This proven method provides mayors and city leaders with a reliable way to test, adapt and implement effective solutions that improve the lives of residents.
“Cities have to find creative ways to address complex challenges with limited resources. Innovation teams help them do that, and our program has had a lot of success working with cities in Israel,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, three term mayor of NYC and founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We’re glad to be working with the Ministry of the Interior and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation to expand the model nationally to equip more cities to innovate – and we’re looking forward to seeing the results.”
Hazira will also support the existing i-teams in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva.
In Israel, i-teams have been working in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv since 2015, and Be’er Sheva since 2017 with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Building on the success of these programs, the Ministry of the Interior, which advances new models for municipal innovation and strategic development across Israeli municipalities, and The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, one of Israel's leading non-profit NGOs, were inspired to spread government innovation more broadly across the country with the support and technical assistance of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
In Tel Aviv, the i-team tackled the high cost of living for young families by working with community members to find and implement cost saving initiatives like shared study spaces, peer-to-peer tutoring youth-led summer camps, and an affordable school lunch program. All together these programs have the potential to save families as much as $1,400 annually per child. In addition the team improved the quality of life and social cohesion for residents in the Neve Sh’anan, a neighborhood that is isolated from the rest of the city. The i-team helped to transform a derelict, crime-ridden bus station into a vibrant new hub for entrepreneurial organizations and helped launch a new youth center with educational, cultural, and sports programming for kids as well as adults, services.
The i-team in Be’er Sheva has secured grants to help small- and medium-sized businesses in the city thrive. This includes funding to host a series of forums with business owners to create an online information hub for businesses, and a grant from the Israeli national government to develop a mixed-use “Innovation Quarter” to strengthen existing high-growth, knowledge-based businesses and attract new ones. In addition, the i-team is focused on fostering clean and vibrant public spaces and is working with a private partner to support a renewal effort in the Beit Neighborhood.
In Jerusalem, the i-team has helped 600 entrepreneurs receive consulting services to strengthen their small businesses as part of the program’s focus on improving the business environment and secured $620,000 in funding from the City to fund alumni programs and civic organizations for young professionals. In addition, the i-team helped create a service delivery model that makes connects homeless youth to services and tracks outcomes. To date, 700 unsheltered youth are being monitored and supported and the model has been adopted to serve at-risk ultra-Orthodox youth as well.
“The Ministry of the Interior is thrilled to collaborate with Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Peres Center, creating a new platform for the Israeli municipalities to develop innovative solutions for the challenges they are facing and innovative ways of operating and giving the best possible service to the citizens” says Mordechai Cohen, Israeli Ministry of the Interior Director General. “The Ministry puts large efforts in the past few years in developing the fields of municipal innovation and the development of advanced, digital services to citizens of our cities and towns.”
The Israeli Ministry of the Interior will publish a call for applications for cities to join Hazira. If accepted, cities will hire a Chief Innovation Officer who will work alongside a dedicated team of city employees and will receive technical assistance and support to create measurable impact on a project that is a top priority for the Mayor. Hazira, which will be hosted by the Peres Center will help map each city’s innovation strategy, providing specific examples of evidence and consistency of approach.
“We are thrilled to be part of the Hazira program. We believe innovation is the key to solving a lot of global issues, and integrating it at the municipal level will have a huge impact on some of the challenges facing Israelis today,” said Efrat Duvdevani, Director General at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. “We look forward to working with the i-teams to bring innovation into new cities within the StartUp Nation!”
At 1600 on 4th September, The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation will host the launch event for this innovative program, The event, which will be attended by city mayors and other leaders of the municipal and innovation ecosystem, will feature a video greeting by Michael Bloomberg and introductions by James Anderson, Head of Government Innovation programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mordechai Cohen, Director General of Ministry of Interior and Efrat Duvdevani, Director General of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. This will be followed by a speech from Mayor Ruvik Danilovich about Beersheva’s experience implementing innovative methodologies in municipal work and a keynote by Adi Sofer Teeni, CEO of Facebook Israel.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 510 cities and 129 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $767 million.
About the Israeli Ministry of the Interior:
The Ministry of the Interior plans and implements national policy in matters of local government, population registry, local emergency services, and local and regional development, as well as supervises of local government elections. The Ministry operates on two levels: the national level, which sets guidelines and policy, and the regional level, an implementation level which maintains close contact with the local authorities and the public that needs the Ministry's services.
In the past few years, the ministry had shifted its focus from regulation and supervision over municipalities, to the development of the cities and towns of Israel, and allocated it’s resources and budgets towards programs of economic and strategic development, human resource development and the development of digital services and local innovation in Israeli municipalities. In addition, the ministry leads in the past few years a large scale regional act, supporting the formation of Regional Clusters to improve regional cooperation and advance economies of scale.
About The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation
Founded in 1996, The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation is one of Israel’s leading non-profit NGOs that develops and implements unique and cutting-edge programs to promote peace and innovation through Sports, Cultivation of Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Health, Business, Technology, and Environment. The flagship programs serve hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries of all ages, religions, and genders, and are implemented with a network of local, regional, and international partners.
The Peres Center for Peace houses the Israeli Innovation Center in Jaffa which showcases Israeli innovation past, present, and future.
- Written by Economy and Industry Ministry Spokesperson
.An Israeli government delegation visited Chad between 5-7 August 2019 at the initiative of the National Security Council. It will be noted that relations were resumed with Chad, which has a Muslim majority, this past January after an almost 50-year break. Following the resumption of relations, Chad President Idriss Deby asked the Israeli government to send representatives to evaluate the advancement of bilateral economic cooperation and the transfer of information on – inter alia – agriculture, water management, and education.
The delegation was led by Economy and Industry Ministry Foreign Trade Administration Export Policy Director Dr. Itai Melchior; among the other participants were Regional Cooperation Ministry, Director-General Dr. Joseph Draznin, ASHRA Director of Marketing Alex Averbuch, Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry Center for International Agricultural Development Corporation Special Projects Director Daniel Werner and Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute Deputy Director-General for International Business Affairs Sabine Segal.
The delegation met with ministers and director generals from the ministries of Economy, Finance, Agriculture, Water, Energy, Mines, Communications, Education and Health. Meetings were also held with international elements such as representatives from the World Bank and the US Embassy, in order to consider increased foreign investments in Chad.
The local chamber of commerce invited the delegation to meet with leading local business people in order to consider cooperation with the Israeli business sector. The government mining company briefed the delegation on the relevant economic potential of Chad.
Chad, most of the GDP of which stems from the export of petroleum and cattle, is interested in attracting foreign investments in the mining sector, which they believe to be of great potential, in upgrading local physical and social infrastructures and in diversifying the national economy.
It was agreed – inter alia – that senior Chadian officials – including the Minister of Agriculture and Mines, and from the business sector, would visit Israel.
Economy and Industry Ministry Foreign Trade Administration Export Policy Director Dr. Itai Melchior noted that members of the delegation were impressed by the desire of the Chadian government, and of the private sector, to cooperate with Israel. "After an intensive two days of meetings, I can say with certainty that there is definitely room for cooperation with both the government and the business sector. I assume that we will see Chadian visits to Israel soon in order to continue the dialogue," he said.
Regional Cooperation Ministry Director-General Dr. Joseph Draznin: "The developing ties between Chad and Israel are part of the fabric of Israel's relations with countries in the region. This fabric combines both bilateral and regional cooperation between Israel and African, Mediterranean and Persian Gulf countries in energy, water, agriculture and technology."
Photo credit: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development