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Jewish Journal

This week from Israel

by Noga Gur-Arieh

December 9, 2012 | 11:30 pm

When Osher Grencel found out she was pregnant, she decided she wanted to remember every little bit of the process of her becoming a mother for the first time. Her husband, Tomer, had the most original idea. He decided to use his editing, writing and directing skills to create an original memoire of the nine month long process. He took 1000 pictures of his wife which he edited and uploaded. In the video description Tomer writes, "it was nine months of a growing belly and one month of video editing".  The original stop-motion video soon became a hit in Israel and abroad. The video received massive exposure and was talked about in many newspapers and websites in Europe and in the States and the couple will even soon be hosted in Good Morning America. On their website, the couple continues uploading funny photos of their newborn.

Canadian singer and songwriter Alanis Morissette, which I'm sure you all know, performed in Israel last Monday. The concert, which took place in the Nokia Arena in Tel-Aviv, was Morissette's second performance in Israel. She last visited in 2000, in the highlight of her musical career, and now, much like back then, she wowed the audience with an electrifying performance. Her arrival in Israel wasn't a simple matter. Prior to her landing in Israel, she received threats on her, and her son’s life from anti-Israeli organization which called on her to cancel her performance. Instead of giving in to them, like many others have done before, Morissette landed on Saturday and toured the country for a couple of days prior to her concert. She visited the Western Wall, worked on her tan at one of Tel-Aviv's beaches (yes, our December is quite sunny…) and hung out with her husband and son.

While German Chancellor Angela Merkel disagrees with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the question of settlements, she still agrees with Israel on one of the most important issues: Neo-Nazism. Last Wednesday, Germany's government started the process of legally banning the 6,300-member Neo-Nazi political party, NPD.. This historical move will be officially approved in a week's time, after the German authorities manage to collect enough intelligence and legal information to make NPD illegal. The official reason for this decision is that this party believes in values such as racism, violence and anti-Semitism, which contradicts the German constitution. What prompted the need for such action was last year's revelation of a Neo- Nazi terror cell, which worked for years right under the authorities' noses. The members of this terror cell murdered nine immigrants and a German cop, and were later discovered to be connected to the NPD.

According to Dr. E. Williams Colglazier, science and technology adviser to the US secretary of state, "Israel is a world leader and a model not only for small countries but for all countries." Colglazier said those words at The Chief Scientist’s Annual Conference for Research and Development, held at Airport City, as he addressed Israel's achievements in the translation of innovative success into development. Other entrepreneurs from around the world, who were present at the conference, agreed that when it comes to innovation, Israel is a role model.  Colglazier also said that in the era of globalization, there is potential for rapid economic growth and to achieve this, governments need to invest in science education. Colgazier also added that Israel  has managed to create an "innovation ecosystem" by providing more research and development opportunities for scientists, sometimes even through joint programs with the U.S.

On December 1st, the Junior Eurovision contest took place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, which allows children from all over Europe to participate. The Junior Eurovision operates in a similar way to the official annual Eurovision song contest, where each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and radio and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular one in the competition. While Israel has participated in the official contest since 1973, and has won three times,, this year was the first time that an Israeli delegation was invited to take part in the Junior Eurovision.. The Israeli delegation, starring six junior singers, ages 10-14, performed a song named "Let the Music Win," and came in 8th place.

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