Israel's government announced it would more than double its investment in the popular Birthright Israel program. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the announcement Thursday night before 3,000 program participants in Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post reported. "My government will give more than double its investment in Birthright, and over the next few years we will invest more than $100 million in Birthright," said Netanyahu, according to the Post. "Together with private donations we can increase the number of people to 50,000 a year."
As the community looks forward, it is imperative that the oversight of investments be executed in a manner that meets the highest fiduciary standards.
"This may have started as a dispute," said district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison, "but we have evidence that he was roughed up and held against his will for a ransom of $4.5 million."
What does it mean that Spielberg's other founding partners, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, are no longer with the company?
The graffiti on the Galilean bomb shelter that greeted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert wasted no words: "Wake up Sharon, Olmert's in a coma."
Spurred by skyrocketing oil prices and growing interest in energy alternatives, a wave of new companies and investors are scouting out new clean technologies in Israel.
Just another 30 seconds at the Milken Institute Global Conference, the annual gathering that attracts everybody you've ever seen on CSPAN, the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour and FOX, including the owner of FOX, Rupert Murdoch -- I bumped into him coming out of the men's room.
Commercial space interests are now playing a critical role in the dawn of the second space age -- one built on business ventures and international cooperation. Instead of Hilton and Pan Am, the corporate names associated with the commercialization of space include Budget Suites and Virgin.
The Jewish Journal spoke to Cohen about the recent reversal in the local housing market.
Warren Buffett is not a Jew; in fact, he describes himself as an agnostic. Still, the billionaire investment guru, who made big news in May when his Berkshire Hathaway corporation bought an 80 percent share in the Israeli metalworks conglomerate, Iscar, for $4 billion, for years has been making his mark on the U.S. Jewish community back home -- although sometimes in a roundabout way.
Harry Sondheim, a retired criminal prosecutor for the L.A. County D.A.'s office, was traveling in Holland when he simply noticed an artifact that appealed to him. "They had a museum, Der Weg, which means the Weighing House. They had an artist named Bicart. I bought some postcards with depictions of Jewish ceremonies on them. You can't buy those postcards any longer."
Move over fountain pens. If the Blue and White Fund has its way, the trend in bar and bat mitzvah gift giving might be instruments of the financial kind.
The two young, sari-clad women, one in blue and one in orange, stand in the thatched-roof meeting hall, take hold of the microphone and join their voices.
"We don't need any fancy materials," they croon by heart. "What we need is just some food to live. We don't ask for a refrigerator, a TV or a car. We just need some small capital to start a business."
The audience of women in the village of Alamarai Kuppam applaud with enthusiasm. The few men, seated or hovering around the edges, are more circumspect, but they, too, nod approvingly.
Call it women's lib, post-tsunami-India style.
The outpouring of financial support that followed the 2004 tsunami has accelerated efforts to improve the lives of rural women -- an initiative that goes well beyond helping families recover from the tsunami.
I have a friend who may come into a large sum of money. Not millions, but tens of millions. Sometimes, she told me, shedaydreams about all the charities and causes she'll donate to.
"That's what I want to be, one of those people who sits around all day and gives out money," she said.
Always an ardent patriot, after Sept. 11, Robert Rosenthal felt strongly that he had to do something constructive. When he learned that in contrast to USO shows for troops overseas, there was no similar entertainment at stateside bases, he suggested to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that something be done to close the gap.
Shlomo Eplboim sees green in the arid landscape that is Israel.
So confident is he of the Holy Land's future that the 30-year-old financial adviser has helped launch a new mutual fund that will invest solely in Israeli high-tech, health care, biotech and other companies.
For people who like to make money -- and who take the long-range view -- now is the time to invest in the Israeli economy, despite the current situtation, according to Stanley Gold, president and CEO of Shamrock Holdings, the investment arm of the Roy Disney family.
For some time, Shamrock has been the largest private investor in Israel. With a new capital-growth fund of $170 million fully subscribed, of which $65 million is earmarked for Israel, Gold is looking for new opportunities.
"The combined effects of the intifada and the world recession have stopped the kind of Israeli economic growth we saw in the mid-1990s, and a lot of investors got scared and ran away," Gold says. "We look on this as an opportunity to buy at bargain prices and reap the rewards later."
Israel Bonds: They're not just for bar and bat mitzvahs anymore.
With unpredictability the only certainty about the current market, opinions about the best course of action vary, but the consensus seems to be "stay the course."