Jewish Journal


September 9, 2013

This week from Israel



Birthright for Christmas

Israeli Tourism Minister Uzi Landau came up with a new initiative to increase the number of tourists arriving in Israel: bringing young Evangelical Christians to Israel for a trip of a lifetime. In a press conference held in Tel Aviv ahead of Rosh Hashannah, Landau said his future plans for increasing the volume of tourism to Israel included a Taglit (Birthright) -style journey for them.

Read more here.



High-Tech park opened in Beersheba

Last week, all eyes were on the capital of southern Israel- Beersheba. The Beersheba Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) was officially inaugurated in a gala ceremony featuring top figures from government, business and academia. The park will eventually include almost two dozen buildings with 190,000 square meters of office and shopping space.

Read more here.


Hummus in Budapest

Hundreds of Hungarians attended the big opening of The Israeli Market in Budapest last weekend. The market, an initiative of the Israeli Embassy in Hungary, includes stands presenting the best produce the Jewish state has to offer, alongside exhibitions about Israel and travel agents making offers Hungarians couldn't refuse. The highlight of the event was an extremely large plate of Hummus, offered to the visitor for a taste.

Read more here



Currency of the future?

Jonathan Rouach, founder of Bits of Gold, is introducing the world with the “Internet-mined” money that is not under the control of any central bank and has proven to be far more popular than anyone could have imagined a few years ago. In fact, Germany already recognizes BitCoin as a currency that can be used in business, to pay taxes, and more.

Read more here



When Israel and Disney work together

Haven't you always dreamed of drawing like an artist without actually having the talent? Israeli researchers are working with the technology arm of Disney to develop software that learns artists’ drawing style and how they select features to highlight as they interpret a face in a portrait. In order to do so, the team develops a database representing abstractions of a set of artists. Each one of the seven artists recruited for this task sketched portraits based on 24 photographs of male and female faces using a stylus pen that enabled the researchers to record each stroke.

Read more here.



Israelis who give everything to others

An organization founded by a group of Israeli volunteers operates countries where human rights are being violated and provides refugees with food, medication and equipment. Some of the volunteers are currently assisting Syrian civilians who can hardly survive under Assad's regime. 

Read more here



The end of another World Cup dream

Bad news for Israel's national soccer team: Saturday night's match against Azerbaijan at National Stadium in Ramat Gan ended with a draw, which means that any hope Israel may had of advancing to a first World Cup since 1970 - ended. Another four years of drought.

Read more here.


Israelis take over Vanice

The 70th Venice Film Festival was struck by a wave of Israeli talents. Some Israeli actors and directors were honored with nominations but left empty handed, but two Israeli directors left the even with big smiles on their faces and shiny awards in their hands: Yuval Alder's film "Bethlehem" won an award on Friday on behalf of the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean (FEDORA) as part of the independently-run Venice Days event, and the Lion of the Future Award for a Debut Film Jury was given to Noaz Deshe for his film "White Shadow."

Read more here

Watch White Shadow's teaser: 



Rosh Hashannah may be behind us, but the pomegranate leftovers are still everywhere, including our favorite white shirt…Check out Israel 21c's Top 10 reasons to love  pomegranate:

Read them here.



An update on Shurat HaDin's complaint

On July 31, 2013, an Israeli civil rights group, Shurat HaDin, has filed a class action complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 with the Australian Human Rights Commission over a Sydney professor's participation and public support of boycotts of Israel including an academic boycott of Israeli universities.  A few days ago the Human Rights Commission replied and terminated the compliant.

Shurat HaDin said to Israelife: "The Human Rights Commission has terminated the compliant as expected because Prof. Lynch effectively refused to conciliate. We are now preparing to take the next step which is bringing representative proceedings in the Federal Court. "

Prof. Lynch said to Israelife: "The complaint to the AHRC is without merit. Supporters of the military-security lobby in Israel are stepping up their attacks on BDS because it is beginning to take effect. Hence their revival of the tired old smear – any criticism of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians must be anti-semitic. It's nonsense, and will be shown to be so."

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