News Highlights May 2014
1. The Kibbutz Movement – the second 100 years.
2. The Israelis.
3. Israeli Towns.
4. Israeli Kibbutzim.
5. Kibbutz Enterprises.
6. The U.S.A. plan for the West Bank.
7. Israel at the World Cup.
8. The Virtual Periscope.
9. The Indigenous People of Israel.
10. Finding Your Dream Job.
11. Best Actress in Monte Carlo.
The Second 100 years
The total kibbutz population of about 143,000 is the highest in its 104-year history. More people are now joining kibbutzim than leaving and the addition of working-age adults and young children is helping to redress the balance of an ageing population.
Most kibbutzim have implemented reforms so as to become commercially viable. Privatization with differential incomes and home ownership has increased the attractiveness to newcomers reluctant to commit to pure communal principles.
Increasing numbers of families are attracted to kibbutz living by the quality of education, environment, space and security. The kibbutz enterprises also provide thousands of job opportunities.
For more than 20 years there have been attempts to regulate construction
and growth on kibbutzim. In recent years there has increased difficulties and
construction was suspended several times due to various government claims. The
kibbutz movement will not accept collective punishment. We will work together
to ensure proper and fair conduct.
Back in 1952 Ben Gurion asked a dairy worker to get permission from his kibbutz to take up the position of Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Defense. The dairy worker was just 29 years old but Ben Gurion believed that he was important for the country. The worker approached his kibbutz and a vote was held at a general meeting whether or not to allow a kibbutz member to work outside the kibbutz. That was the way the kibbutzim operated in those days. The members of Alumot voted in favor and the dairy worker, Shimon Peres, was granted leave to serve the country as Deputy Director General of Defense. Shimon Peres was instrumental in building Israel's Defense industry including its nuclear capacity. He also served in numerous ministerial posts including that of Prime Minister. He is of course Israel's current President.
The kibbutzim formed the backbone of the country before Israel gained independence in 1948 and during the first few years after independence. There was an established infrastructure in place because of the kibbutzim and many notable persons from kibbutzim took part in the political and defense organizations as the new state came into being. The kibbutzim were also the bread basket of Israel providing a large percentage of the country's food needs. Kibbutz enterprises diversified over the years and now cover almost every type of business and account for about 8% of Israel's economy.
The Israelis – Shafi Goldwasser
Shafi Goldwasser has made fundamental contributions to cryptography, computational complexity, computational number theory and probabilistic algorithms.
In 2013, Professors Goldwasser and Micali were awarded “the Nobel Prize in computing,” the Alan M. Turing Award presented by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Named after the British mathematician who defined the mathematical foundation of computing and helped break the German Enigma code during World War II, the ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.
Goldwasser and Micali created new mechanisms for how information is encrypted and secured, work that is fundamental to today’s communications protocols, Internet transactions, and cloud computing. The ACM credited them with “revolutionizing the science of cryptology” and with developing the gold standard for enabling secure Internet transactions.
Goldwasser is the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She leads the Theory of Computation Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
Israeli Towns – Metulla
Metulla was founded in June 1896. Most of the founders were immigrants from Russia.
At the end of World War I, Metula was in the area of French military occupation. The 1920 boundary agreement between Britain and France stated that Metula was to be under British control, but it was not until 1924 that the change to British control was complete. During the intervening years, the residents of Metula took part in elections for the Lebanese parliament.
In modern Israel, Metula is known as a wealthy town popular as a tourist destination, especially for Israeli schoolchildren during summer vacation.
During the 2006 Lebanon War, Metula became a ghost town as its population temporarily fled to escape Hezbollah rocket fire. The town was hit by 120 rockets during the war.
The Good Fence was a border crossing from Metula to Lebanon opened in 1976 and closed in 2000 after Israel's withdrawal of Lebanon. The border crossing allowed the population of southern Lebanon to find jobs in northern Israel, access health services, attend school in Israel, and transport goods.
Winters are usually cold and wet, with an
average annual rainfall of
Metulla has approximately 1,500 residents.
Israeli Kibbutzim – Beit Hashita
Beit HaShita was founded in1928 by members of the "Kvuzat HaHugim" of the HaMahanot HaOlim movement from Haifa and Jerusalem. The kibbutz was named after the biblical town of the same name, where the Midianites fled after being beaten by Gideon (Judges 7).
Beit Hashita served as the basis for the 1981 English language book Kibbutz Makom, which described the kibbutz society.
The kibbutz has been privatized and today has a population of approximately 1,000. Many of the member families of the kibbutz are secular; therefore the kibbutz is defined as a secular kibbutz.
Beit Hashita is Israel’s leading pickling factory. Since its establishment in 1938, the factory has developed increasingly, and the Beit Hashita brand name has become synonymous with quality pickles and product variety.
Beit Hashita’s pickling factory was among the first industrial initiatives in the Jezreel Valley in general, and within the kibbutz movement in particular.
The kibbutz members decided not to surrender to the seasonal fluctuations in the agriculture industry, and they built a factory to provide themselves with employment during the months in which agriculture has lesser demands.
Thus, ten years after the inception of Beit Hashita, kibbutz members began pickling olives and cucumbers in the newly established pickling factory. Over the years, more vegetables were added to the pickling repertoire: assorted vegetables, hot peppers and pickled eggplant and cabbage. At the same time, Beit Hashita began producing an increasing variety of pickled cucumbers and olives.
In 1998, Osem purchased 51% of the factory’s shares and merged Beit Hashita with the Asis Company.
Since 2004, Beit Hashita has been fully owned by Osem.
The rate of consumer preference for Beit Hashita products is the highest in the industry.
85% of consumers of pickled goods claim that they intend to buy Beit Hashita products.
The USA Plan for the West Bank.
The Americans who built the failed Iraqi army have drafted a security plan for the West Bank as well.
The Iraqi army has collapsed like a pack of cards upon the occupation of Iraq's second biggest city, Mosul, by al-Qaeda and the Jihad.
The Americans built this army, trained it and have invested tens of billions of dollars in it in the past decade. But its thousands of soldiers have escaped without fighting, leaving their shoes and clothes behind, as well as advanced American military equipment, an airport, hospitals and prisons – all the disposal of the al-Qaeda terror.
The jihadists are only
And now, after al-Qaeda's takeover of the Sunni cities in western Iraq, it has also seized control of the northern Mosul. This Salafi "state" joins the Salafi state of Syria, and the soon-to-be Salafi state of Jordan – and so the Western illusions are collapsing and international borders are erased.
By attacking Iraq, America and its allies ignited the fuse that created a humanitarian disaster for millions of unfortunate people.
The U.S.A has also designated a security plan for Israel when the West bank is handed over to the Palestinians. It is widely believed that jihadists will take over the Palestinian state in a matter of hours.
The moment the Israel Defense Force withdraws from the West Bank the jihadist groups will enter in its place and brush aside the government of Abu Mazin and his army like what has already happened in the Gaza Strip. That will create a major security headache for Israel.
In Iraq, with tens of thousands of trained soldiers, the Americans failed – so how could they expect Palestinian soldiers to stand up to the well trained and motivated jihadist fighters.
The West Bank is already filled with thousands of jihadists, who are only waiting for an order to storm the Palestinian Authority – an artificial entity which they don't accept and never will.
American and European style democracy cannot succeed in the Middle East and North Africa as the people have deep roots in their tribal past and religious beliefs and are not willing to compromise on anything.
Without strong dictators controlling these countries they are likely to fall apart and at best disintegrate into tribal and religiously controlled areas.
Diplomatic agreements may have been relevant decades ago, with stable Arab regimes, but today, when everything around us is falling apart, talking about an agreement – not to mention peace agreements – is a risky business as the Palestinian partners to peace will be bulldozed by the jihadists in less than a day.
may not be officially represented on the field at the World Cup, but several
Israeli companies are playing a prominent role behind - and in some cases above
- the scenes.
Technion Engineers develop Virtual Periscope
Prof. Yoav Schechner, of the Technion’s electrical engineering department, and colleagues developed the virtual periscope.
‘Up periscope!” may become an
outdated order thanks to a team of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
researchers who have developed a new technology for viewing objects above the
water’s surface without the need for a periscope poking its head above the
waves. The researchers modeled their virtual periscope on technology used by
astronomers to counter blurring and distortion caused by layers of atmosphere
when viewing stars.
Native Canadian activist says Jews are Israel’s
Many immigrants left behind thriving careers and good paychecks in professions such as law, real estate and marketing to make immigrate, but how do they overcome language and cultural barriers to tackle a job market that even many Israelis find daunting?
Despite the rosy unemployment picture painted by the Central Bureau of Statistics and Israeli Employment Service, the personal experience of many is that it’s hard to find adequately paid work in the Israeli job market. For new immigrants, presumably, the task is that much harder. And yet, despite the challenges, a few individuals have left behind successful careers overseas to take a chance.
One immigrant described how it took about eight months to find a position as an analyst at Amdocs, with the help of a career development program offered by the non-profit organization Gvahim. The program includes workshops for learning about the local job market, personal counseling from HR consultants and professionals in your field, as well as hands-on assistance from a career placement staff.
“A good personal recommendation is worth 1,000 resumes,”
Gvahim was founded in 2006 by the Rashi Foundation, with the purpose of placing new immigrants with higher education and work experience in high-level jobs. The organization’s executive director, Michael Bensadoun, says that the greatest inhibitor of immigration by successful professionals is the fear that they will have difficulty finding work. As a result, the Israeli economy loses high-quality manpower with work experience and international business connections.
“It varies by profession,” he says. “Some have an easier time than others. Programmers and engineers, for instance, don’t really need our help, but it’s harder in areas like law or business administration, leading many people to try their hand at entrepreneurship.”
“For instance, we know many lawyers who brushed up on Israeli law and passed the bar exam, but they can’t even find an internship because the industry is flooded and law offices are not interested in them.”
According to Gvahim, some 5,400 people immigrated to Israel in the last two years. About 45 percent of these can be defined as “highly skilled".
Of these highly skilled professionals, 17 percent work in engineering and the sciences, 16 percent have business experience, 11 percent studied social sciences or the humanities, 8 percent have medical training, 7 percent are lawyers and accountants, while 3 percent have experience in the public sector. The remaining 39 percent have professional experience in other areas.
Bensadoun relates that the organization collaborates with about 400 companies across various industries to place immigrants in jobs or internships, and Gvahim welcomes queries from additional companies. So far, Gvahim’s career development program has 750 alumni, about 300 of whom have found work with Gvahim’s direct help. McKinsey and Company found that 80% of Gvahim participants are employed in high-quality positions by the end of their program.
The salaries are usually higher and employee benefits are better in terms of vacation days and social benefits in other countries.
Gvahim offers yet another program called “The Hive” that helps immigrants and returning residents develop their start-up companies. The program offers participants a communal work space, legal and financial advice as well as help connecting with investors.
One immigrant, found her current position through The Hive. She is VP Marketing & Strategy and Co-Founder of TrulyProtect, a company that develops defenses against cyber attacks.
“Unlike in France, I had no connections, no familiarity with workplace culture and no one to help me.” At one point, she joined Gvahim’s career development program as well as “The Hive,” where she connected with TrulyProtect, her current employer.
Mentlik says she finds Israeli employers to be more pragmatic and more “capitalistic in their mind-set.”
“It’s easy to hire someone and easy to fire them, while in France these are drawn-out processes. Employee social benefits are relatively low in Israel.”
On the other hand she finds that there is almost no management in Israeli companies, in contrast with the strict management practices of large French companies.
“Work is less organized and it’s not always easy to know what a specific worker’s job is, which allows you to take more initiative and define your job yourself.”
Ayelet Zurer named Best Actress in Monte Carlo Festival
Israeli series 'Hostages' wins Best International Drama Series award at 54th annual Golden Nymph Awards ceremony in Monaco, beating 'House of Cards.' Lead actress Zurer takes home Best Actor in Drama Series award.
"Hostages" lead actress, Ayelet Zurer, took home the Best Actor in a Drama Series award.
The 10-episode series, created by Rotem Shamir and Omri Givon, was broadcast on Israel's Channel 10. It tells the story of the Danon family members who are kidnapped and held hostage by four people and get caught in a political conspiracy.
The mother (played by Zurer) is a senior and highly esteemed surgeon who is ordered by the kidnappers to kill the prime minister on the operating table in order to save the lives of her children and husband.
"Hostages" beat eight other drama series at the Golden Nymph Awards, including Netflix's "House of Cards." Zurer, 45, who was named Best Actor in a Drama Series, beat Golden Globe winner Robin Wright ("House of Cards").
The win joins another international achievement for the series' creators: Even before it was first broadcast in Israel, "Hostages" was purchased for production by the American CBS network, although the ratings of the American version failed to meet expectations and it was canceled after its first season.
Meanwhile, the show's original version was purchased for broadcast in Britain and France.