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Celebrating Our 8 Year Anniversary Jewish Times Asia

Established 2006 www.jewishtimesasia.org

April 2014 • Volume 9 • Issue 1 • Nissan 5774

CHINA - ISRAEL TRADE TO DOUBLE ACCORDING TO NEW ECONOMIC REPORT By Staff Writer Extracts recently released from an Annual Report 2013 from the Bank of Israel, the central bank of the State of Israel has examined the impact of China’s economy on Israel’s exports to China.

As China’s economy develops to be the most significant economic power in global trade, the report sites that China’s imports will make it possible to double China’s share in Israel’s exports, from 5% currently to 10 % by the year 2035.

The report expects Israel’s share of Chinese imports to remain constant in the future. Israeli exports are not sensitive to changes in the level of development of destination countries, and because based on previous experience, the composition of imports in East

Distribution of Israel’s goods export destinations (excluding diamonds) (Percent)

Country European Union Russia India Japan China United States Latin America (excluding Brazil) Brazil Africa Asia (excluding Japan, India and China) The rest of the world The share of Israeli exports in world imports

2000 32 1 1 2 1 30 1 1 2 12 16 0.33

2012 32 2 3 2 5 24 2 3 3 11 14 0.25

2035 25 3 5 1 10 21 2 2 4 13 13 0.23

The forecast distribution of exports based on Israel’s market share (in 2012) in the imports of the countries appearing in the table, and based on forecast growth rates (according to the World Trade Organization) of imports in each of those countries. Source: Based on World Trade Organization.

Asian countries (Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) did not change markedly as a result of their development processes. Israel’s share of China’s imports has been maintained over recent years, which is an achievement in view of the increasing shift of Chinese trade to within the Asian bloc.

However, the report indicates that this success has been limited to just two industries: fertilizers and electronics (electronic components). For the forecasted growth to be maintained the report highlights development in additional export fields, such as environmental, agricultural and water technologies key

areas in which China has a need and Israel has a relative advantage. Israel’s share of China’s imports has remained since 2001 at around 0.14% relatively low compared with the share of Israel’s exports in world trade (0.25%) and in the past three years, the annual volume of exports was about US$2.7 billion.

High technology products currently constitute 60% of total Israeli exports to China. The electronics industry and the fertilizers item alone constituted about half of all exports (excluding diamonds) and in the last year, their share was about 77%.

IN THIS ISSUE Regional News India’s Army Chief visits Israel 7-12

Business News Israeli-Chinese firm listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange 14-16

Art • Culture • Music Paula Valstein sings for Yolanda survivors

Feature Israel Museum opens new exhibition exploring traditional clothing from around the world

Space Com’s controlling shareholder Eurocom Group, which holds a 64.5% stake in the company is reportedly interested in selling Space Com for 2 billion shekels (US$700.6 million) double its current market value on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

E u r o c o m i s I s r a e l ’s largest privately owned communication group; additional shareholders of Space Com include Clal Group, Mer Services Group

and General Satellite Services Co. Space Com has hired investment bank J.P. Morgan to advise it regarding any possible deals. However, the company stated in its announcement that a possible sale was still only in the preliminary stages and there was no guarantee that any deal would take place. Its operating profit during the past 12-month period was US$63 million.

Pesach

Space Com provides satellite communication services through its satellites Amos 2, Amos 3 and Amos 5. Last year the company launched its satellite Amos 4 to provide satellite communication services to East Asia, Russia and the Middle East. The company signed an agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries to purchase a new satellite, the Amos 6, to

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Jewish communities in Asia Candle-lighting and the month’s Parshas

upgrade the services it provides and replace the Amos 2, which is expected to cease commercial use in 2016.

According to J.P. Morgan, they are currently five bidders interested in the purchase of Space Com including Spain’s Hispasat and Asia Sat.

AsiaSat, has been Asia’s premier regional satellite operator since 1988. A pioneer in advancing satellite communications in Asia, it operates four satellites and is the gateway in space connecting to more than 50 countries in Asia Pacific and bridges the communication of over two-thirds of the world’s population. AsiaSat’s two major shareholders are CITIC Limited and General Electric Company.

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Festival

Asian bidder looking to buy Israeli satellite operator Hong Kong’s Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat), announced it is one of the bidders to buy Space Com a leading global fixed satellite operator, operating the advanced AMOS satellite fleet.

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Best Wishes to Jewish Times Asia on its 8th Anniversary

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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

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April 2011

April 2011

Dear Friends,

Dear Friends,

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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

In our modern world where one In our can modern find almost worldeverything where In our one modern online, can world find it has almost whereeverything one can find online, almost it has everything online, it has become a refreshing experience become for us a refreshing to turn thebecome experience pages ofa Jewish refreshing for us to turn experience the pages forof usJewish to turn the pages of Jewish Consulate General of Israel  Times Asia, to discover important Timesnews Asia, and to discover interesting Times important stories Asia, to news that discover are and interesting important news storiesand thatinteresting are stories that are Hong  relevant andKong unique to the Jewish relevant Community and以色列總領事館 unique in to Asia. relevant the Jewish and unique Community to theinJewish Asia.  Community in Asia. News on Israel and its activities News in on Asia, Israel such and asits high-ranking News activities on Israel in Asia, andsuch its activities as high-ranking in Asia, such as high-ranking government officials’ visits, commercial government events officials’ and government visits, cultural commercial highlights, officials’ events visits, and commercial cultural highlights, events and cultural highlights, April 2014 April 2011 occupied a good part of the occupied contents of a good this monthly part occupied of the newspaper. contents a goodof Its part thisofmonthly the contents newspaper. of this monthly Its newspaper. Its involvement in and support of involvement the State ofinIsrael and support not involvement onlyofenhance the in State and the ofsupport Israel not of the only State enhance of Israel the not only enhance the of the countryunderstanding but also links of thethe entire understanding country Asian butJewish alsooflinks the country the entire butAsian also links Jewish the entire Asian Jewish Dear understanding friends, community with the country.community with the country. community with the country.

Dear Friends, For the past five years, Jewish ForTimes the past Asia fivehas years, gradually ForJewish the past and Times five Asia years, has Jewish gradually Times and Asia has gradually and It gives me In great pleasure to commend the Jewish Times Asia on reaching its 8th thriving year.only independent successfully positioned itself successfully as the region’s positioned first and successfully itself only as independent the positioned region’s first itself and as only the region’s independent first and our modern world where one can find almost everything online, it has community newspaper. Jewish I amcommunity confident that newspaper. Jewish it will community continue I am confident newspaper. that it will I amcontinue confident to that it will continue to become refreshing experience for us tothe turn the to pages of Jewish WhileJewish I knew about athis monthly Jewish community newspaper only last summer when I arrived in Hong Kong serve the community and strive serve forthe excellence. community serve and strive community for excellence. and strive for excellence.

to asTimes Asia, to discover news in and interesting stories that are sume post as Consul General of theimportant State of Israel Hong Kong and Macao, it has immediately become a source of and to the Asia. information for tome on theunique dynamic Jewish lifeCommunity in Asia andtoin news related Israel. I would relevant like commend Mr.I Philip would Jay, likeJewish Publisher to commend Iand would Mr. Editor-in-Chief, Philip like Jay, commend Publisher for Mr. to and Philip Editor-in-Chief, Jay, Publisherfor and Editor-in-Chief, for his vision and effort in producing his vision a newspaper and effortofinhis great producing vision meritand for a newspaper effort the in producing of greatamerit newspaper for the of great merit for the It does connect itson readers Israel theinpeople Jewish communities in Asia. Israeli and Jewish peoplewith living Israeli here. andand Jewish Israeli living and here. Jewish people living here. News Israel and its activities Asia, such as high-ranking The Consulate General of Israel in Hong Kong and events Macao and is pleased tohighlights, continue to support the Jewish Times Asia and government officials’ visits, commercial cultural On behalf of the State of Israel On and behalf theofConsulate the StateOn General of behalf Israel of and ofIsrael the theState Consulate in of Israel General and the ofConsulate Israel in General of Israel in occupied a good part ofKong the contents ofcongratulation this monthly newspaper. Its to theonJewish its Publisher andourEditor-in-Chief, Philip Jay. Hong Kong heartiest congratulation HongMr our to the heartiest Jewish Hong Times Kong Asia our heartiest ontoitsthe Jewish congratulation Times Asia its Times Asia on its th thsupport of the State th involvement in wishes and offuture Israel not only enhance the success in its future 5 5 5 Anniversary and best Anniversary for every success and best in Anniversary wishes its for every and best success wishes in its for future every We wish Jewish Times Asia many more years of success. Mazal Tov! understanding of endeavours. the country but also links the entire Asian Jewish endeavours. endeavours. Sincerely, community with the country. Sincerely,

Sincerely,

Sincerely,

For the past five years, Jewish Times Asia has gradually and

Ambassador Amikam Levy Ambassador AmikamAmbassador Levy Amikam Levy Sagi Karni positioned itself asMacao region’s first and only Consul successfully General of Israel in Hong Consul Kong General and ofthe Israel Consul in Hong General Kong ofand Israel Macao inindependent Hong Kong and Macao Consul General of Israel in Hong Kong and IMacao Jewish community newspaper. am confident that it will continue to

serve the community and strive for excellence.

__________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ Telephone: (852) 2821 7500 Telephone: E-mail: info@hongkong.mfa.gov.il (852) 2821 7500Telephone: E-mail: (852)701 2821 info@hongkong.mfa.gov.il Admiralty 7500 Centre E-mail: Towerinfo@hongkong.mfa.gov.il II 701 Admiralty Centre Tower 701 II Admiralty Centre Tower II Fax: (852) 2865 0220 Website: (852) http://hongkong.mfa.gov.il 2865 0220Mr. Philip Website: http://hongkong.mfa.gov.il G.P.O. Boxand 245 Hong Kong G.P.O. Fax: (852) 2865Publisher 0220 Website: http://hongkong.mfa.gov.il I would like Fax: to commend Jay, Editor-in-Chief, forBox 245 Hong KongG.P.O. Box 245 Hong Kong

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th Anniversary of Jewish Times Asia Ambassador Amikam Levy on the 8 Mazal Tov Consul General of Israel in Hong Kong and Macao __________________________________________________________________________________________ Telephone: (852) 2821 7500 E-mail: info@hongkong.mfa.gov.il 701 Admiralty Centre Tower II Fax: (852) 2865 0220 Website: http://hongkong.mfa.gov.il G.P.O. Box 245 Hong Kong

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India’s Army Chief visits Israel

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Publisher & Founder Philip Jay Sub Editor Xiaoming Jiao Contributors Catherine Dulude, Justine Markovitz, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, Design & Layout The Green Pagoda Press Ltd Chairman Robert L Meyer We welcome editorial enquiries and advertising requests. Please contact our email: info@jewishtimesasia.org Printer DG3 Asia Limited 6-9/F, Haking Industrial Bldg, 34 Lee Chung Street, Chai Wan, Hong Kong Distribution PP&D Company Ltd. Jewish Times Asia is published by Jewish Times Asia Ltd © Copyright 2014 Jewish Times Asia Limited Suite 2207-2209, Tower 2, Lippo Centre, Admiralty, Hong Kong General Line: Tel: (852) 2530 8177 Fax: (852) 2530 8100 Representative Singapore: Andrew Lim Mobile Tel: (65) 9631 7112 Email: eliyahu.avraham@gmail.com Jewish Times Asia is registered as a Hong Kong newspaper with the Government of the HKSAR. Material in the newspaper may not be used or reproduced in any form or in any way without permission from the editor. While every effort has been made that the content is true and accurate, the publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the printed text. Jewish Times Asia is distributed on a controlled circulation, complimentary to resident addresses and businesses in the region. In addition extra copies are available at synagogues, Jewish community centres, kosher restaurants, clubs and associations. The newspaper is also on EL AL flights between Israel & Asia.

General Bikram Singh, Chief of the Army Staff of India, arrived in Israel on an official visit on 21 March for a four day visit. The IDF Honour Guard formally welcomed General Singh at Camp Rabbin (Kiriya) in Tel Aviv. The military general met with the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benjamin “Benny” Gantz and the Commander of IDF Ground Forces, Major General Guy Tzur. These meetings focused on the close military cooperation between the two states. The military chief also toured Israeli military bases, where he was briefed on the operational procedures of the Ground Forces. General Singh discussed ongoing defence projects and ways of further strengthening military ties. The issue of delays in the completion of the mediumrange surface-to-air missile systems was expected to come up

Israel’s Embassy in New Delhi was under a security threat after a 35-yearold man was arrested last month from outside the embassy premises.

General Bikram Singh, middle with IDF Chief Lieutenant General Benjamin Gantz on the right

for discussion during the talks, a spokesperson for India’s Army official commented. Israel is one of the major suppliers of weapon systems to the Indian armed forces including critical equipment such as assault rifles for the Special Forces.

Major General Guy Zur had visited India last year and discussed the security situation in and around the region with the top military and political leadership. Israel has been building strong military-to-military rela-

tions with India in recent years and has emerged as the second largest defence supplier to India behind only Russia in the last decade-and-a-half. During his stay, General Singh also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he laid a wreath in memory of Holocaust victims. He also laid a wreath in the Indian War Cemetery in Jerusalem in honour of Indian soldiers.

Anne Frank book suspect arrested After conducting an investigation Tokyo police have reportedly arrested a city resident in connection with the vandalism of hundreds of copies of Anne Frank related books in the Japanese capital’s libraries. The suspect, identified as an “unemployed man in his 30s,” in a statement admitted to some involvement in the vandalism of the books in February. Police arrested the man on 7 March for entering a bookstore in the Ike-

bukuro district to hang a poster without permission. It is not known what the posters said.

Footage from the store’s security cameras reportedly showed the same man wandering back and forth inside the same bookstore through sections dealing with the Holocaust, including the day that some of the damage occurred.

Police spotted the man in security footage from other locations where vandalism occurred. They confiscated his

cell phone and computer. The police have yet to establish a motive and are trying to find out if he was behind all the incidents of vandalism which have taken place in libraries in western Tokyo since February. As reported in the last issue of Jewish Times Asia, Israel’s embassy in Japan has donated 300 Anne Frank-related books to Tokyo public libraries to replace those that have been vandalized.

Nepal to reduce fees to climb Mount Everest

Nepal will cut climbing fees for Mount Everest to lure more mountaineers to the world’s highest peak, already overcrowded during the peak climbing season.

Every year, around 20,000 Israeli backpackers travel to Nepal, mostly to embark on treks in the Everest and Annapurna mountain ranges. Joining other climbers, each paying thousands of dollars, they

Israel’s Embassy in India in security threat

flock to the 8,850-metre (29,035 feet) Everest summit during the main climbing season stretching from March to May.

cial Tilakram Pandey said each climber will be charged $11,000 starting next year to end the practice.

Under existing rules, Nepal charges US$25,000 per climber as a licence fee, or royalty. But a group of seven people can secure a permit for US$70,000, a practice officials say encourages climbers to form big groups.

“The change in royalty rates will discourage artificially formed groups, where the leader does not even know some of the members in him own team,” Pandey said.

Tourism

Ministry

offi-

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“It will promote responsible and serious climbers.”

The Times of India reported authorities arrested a man after the mission informed police of a suspicious person holding a parcel and trying to enter the premises. According to the report, the man was injured during a chase by police and embassy guards and, as such, has been rendered unable to provide an explanation for what he was doing. The package parcel reportedly found contained an idol of the Hindu deity, Ganesha. The incident came two years after a car bomb exploded and injured an Israeli embassy worker in the Indian capital.

Experts looking to reduce water pollution A team of experts from Israel are in Bhubaneswar the capital of the Indian state of Odisha to study groundwater pollution in the city. The Chilika Development Authority (CDA), managers of the wetlands at Chilika, is facilitating the team’s visit. The team will conduct a study called phytoremediation, use of plants for the removal of pollutants from contaminated soil or water. “We have selected wetlands near the Biju Patnaik Airport for the study. The Odisha Wetlands Development Authority and the Department of Forest and Environment along with CDA will help the team promote eco-friendly technology to reduce water pollution,” said chief executive of CDA Ajit Pattnaik. He said the study would go a long way in restoring the quality of water in urban water bodies.

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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

Regional News

Maccabi girls soccer team go one better and win Cup final Following on from last years historic triumph for the Maccabi Hong Kong girls Under 8’s soccer team where they won the Plate final, this years team went considerably higher and won the Cup final.

first whistle they played with confidence cruising through the preliminary rounds scoring 15 goals.

After finishing top of pool B they made there way to their semi finals of the cup where they played a solid team from Discovery Bay.

The annual competition held on 16 March at Hong Kong International School included 16 teams in a five-a-side tournament from all the leading soccer academies and schools.

The Under 8’s scored an impressive 20 goals in the knockout group stages without conceding a single goal. It was a great achievement for a team that has only played together for a few seasons. The competition started with a series of round robin

Scoring the winning goal in the final

The game was beyond doubt in the opening minutes with a quick goal followed up by two more goals giving Maccabi a 3-0 win.  

Maccabi Team with coaches Avi Machlin and Tunde. Back row: Sienna Caviglia, Noah Feller, Yasmin Hyams (left to right) Front row: Emily Peters. Shelly Alcobi, Jessica Jay (left to right)

games in their respective pools. Maccabi was placed in pool B with four other teams. From the

The final was against the winners of pool C, the Brazilian Football Association, a strong team that was also undefeated on its way to the finals. The game started evenly and result as nil all after a tense first half. In the second half Maccabi continued to apply the pressure and was eventually rewarded with a goal. Maccabi held their form and with some strong defence

managed to hold off a number of attempts by their opponents to equalise. In their end their composure paid with a final goal to seal the championships with a 2-0 win. “I am really proud the way the girls played. I thought they would do well. But they lifted to the occasion and went beyond even my expectations. What impressed me most were their team spirit, composure and respect which they showed their opponents,” said Avi Machlin, Coach of the Maccabi Under 8s.

“There were many highlights. Special mention must go to our goal keeper Shelly and defenders Yasmin and Jessica who were pivotal in our success

stopping the other teams from scoring and playing the ball forward and assisting with many goals and scoring a few themselves. In the midfield and forwards Emily, Noah and Sienna were outstanding their passing and finishing,” added Machlin.

Maccabi under 10’s girls comprising grades 4 and 5 also competed in the same competition and agonizingly missed out in the semi finals by a goal scored by their opponents in the last 5 seconds.

Maccabi girls soccer programme is held each week at training sessions held on Sunday mornings at Elsa High School, around 30 girls train from ages 6-13.

The line up in the final between Maccabi and Brazilian Football Association


Jewish Times Asia April 2014

Regional News

Dr Ronen Bergman provides insights Vietnam opens a consulate office in Haifa at UIA Dinner On 5 March, the KH-UIA, Keren Hayesod- United Israel Appeal, hosted a small thank you dinner for a select group of supporters with guest speaker Dr. Ronen Bergman. Israeli born, Dr. Bergman, is a well regarded international investigative journalist, author and lecturer. A military analyst and expert in his field of intelligence news reporting and commentator. He is currently the Senior Correspondent for Military and Intelligence Affairs for Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s largest circulated daily newspaper. He is also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine – writing extensively on Middle Eastern politics and affairs. In addition his articles are also published in various

Ronen Bergman

Vietnam opened an Honorary Consulate in the Israeli city of Haifa on 17 March 2014. Igal David Ahouvi, an Israeli businessman, has been appointed as Honorary Consul of Vietnam.

Attendees at the UIA dinner gathering with guest speaker

other leading titles including The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Dr. Bergman is frequently interviewed by major US broadcasting and cable networks, the BBC, and Al-Jazeera.

Around 40 guests gathered at the Hong Kong Jewish Community Centre and listened to Dr. Bergman’s stories that shed light on workings of the Israeli intelligence forces. “This evening was an opportunity to give back to our community of supporters,” said Robert Dorfman, Daniel Green and Philippe Bera, the UIA directors and hosts of the event.

guest speakers this year are two young men with unique stories: Nadav Ben Yehuda, the youngest Israeli ice climber who, on his final accent of Mount Everest, turned back only 300 metres away from the summit to rescue an injured Turkish climber. The second speaker is Alexey Kochetkov, a talented violinist who made aliya to Israel through UIA. They both will tell their stories in an evening titled “Reaching New Heights".

On the occasion, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav emphasised the importance of the opening to further boosting bilateral ties between the two countries. He underlined his city’s role in and contribution to the Israeli economy, and affirmed his wish to step up the city’s multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam, especially in economics, technology and education. Vietnam has been operating an embassy office in Tel Aviv since 2009. For his part, Vietnam Ambassador to Israel Ta Duy Chinh said the new office would enhance bilateral

ties between two countries, and Vietnam and Haifa in particular. He said he hopes the city will support the honorary consul to foster business and investment partnerships between the two sides.

Last year, two-way trade exceeded US$600 million, a year-on-year surge of 37.9%. Vietnamese exports accounted for two-thirds of the trade figure. The two sides have teamed up in agriculture, and telecom initiatives recently.

Vietnam Ambassador to Israel Ta Duy Chinh

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Israeli wins Woman’s World Thaiboxing Championship Sarah Avraham (20), of Kiryat Arba has won the Woman’s World Thai-Boxing Championship in Thailand. Officially named Muay Thai, the combat sport was held between 13-23 March at the National Stadium in Bangkok. She beat her Brazilian opponent in this year’s final. Avraham did compete in a similar competition last year in the country winning in the 57-63.5-kilogram class and is also the current Israeli champion. Sarah has an outstanding life story. Born in Mumbai, she converted to Judaism in 2008 at the age of 14 together with her family and immigrated to Israel following the terror attack on

the Chabad House in November of that year. Avraham’s father, Dr. Aaron Avraham, was a friend and family physician of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, who were murdered when terrorists attacked the Chabad House where they served. Sarah learned at the Ulpana, girl’s high school, in Kiryat Arba, and although she was challenged with the learning of a new religion and culture she decided become deeply involved in sports. She was sent to train with Fitness trainer Michael Pollack, from the Jewish neighbourhood in Hebron. In 2012, barely a year after she began training professionally, Sarah won the national women’s Thai boxing championship in Israel.

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Sarah Avraham celebrating her win

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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

Regional News

‘Loaves of Love’ Challah baking class

Shavei Israel translates the Shema into Chinese Shavei Israel launched a new series of translations into Chinese to better familiarise the small Jewish community living in Kaifeng, China, with various aspects of Jewish observance.

Women participants in Hong Kong

While once seen as an obscure Jewish tradition, the excitement of participating in the mitzvah of Hafrashat Challah (the separation of a piece of large batch of dough) has gone viral throughout the world. AURA, the woman’s division of Chabad of Hong Kong, has introduced the idea of the roving “Loaves of Love – Hafrashat Challah” parties here in Hong Kong. All a hostess needs to provide is a dining room table and some basic ingredients and Chabad will do the rest. You don’t even need a kitchen!

The programme provides mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, baking mats and other supplies needed to turn any dining room into a Challah baking room. The programme also includes directions on how to make perfect challah dough, practical and Kabbalistic ex-

planations of this mitzvah and tricks to braiding a beautiful Challah. Scheduled on Thursday evenings, participants take home their two Challah loaves to be baked at home and used for Shabbat. “There’s something very spiritual about making challah,” says Goldie Avtzon, codirector of Chabad of Hong Kong. “It has been inspiring to me to watch how deeply women have connected to this powerful mitzvah. We started this a number of years ago in memory of Rivky Holtzberg, ob’m, a Chabad Shlucha murdered in India. Initially the events were held once or twice a year in the Chabad House. This year we have taken them out into people’s homes with the hope of organising them at least once a month.” If you are interested in booking a Challah Party in your home, please contact goldie@ chabadhk.org

47th Diplomatic Red Cross Bazaar Israel’s Embassy in Thailand participated in the 47th Diplomatic Red Cross Bazaar. The annual charity shopping event is jointly held by the Thai Red Cross Society and the spouses of diplomats in Thailand, returned to the Royal Paragon Hall, Siam Paragon during 1 – 2 March. The bazaar is under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Executive Vice-President of the Thai Red Cross Society, who inaugurated the opening ceremony. The bazaar featured international products from over 55 countries and cultural performances exclusively selected by representative embassies in Thailand. The aim was to raise funds for many projects under the Thai Red Cross Society, and ultimately, for the needy and underprivileged people in Thailand as well as to promote local products from participating countries.

Ambassador Simon Roded accompanied by his wife at the Israel booth

The Israel booth, organised by U&V Inter-Trade Co., Ltd showcased dried dates, figs, prunes, nuts, award winning wine and much more. “The Embassy of Israel is honoured to be a part of this year’s Diplomatic Red Cross Bazaar. This bazaar truly reflects the international joint effort to provide assistance to people in need through the auspices of the Thai Red Cross Society,” said Simon Roded, Ambassador of Israel to Thailand.

The translations cover various prayers, blessings and ceremonies. The first two are now ready: the familiar Shema Yisrael prayer and the Asher Yatzer blessing, both of which are repeated several times during the day. The translations have been intentionally designed in a manner that will make them easy to hang on a wall in the home as well as being easy to access. Shavei Israel, is a non profit organisation that finds ‘Lost Jews throughout the World’ and helps them with many aspects of Jewish observance and orchestrates aliyah pro-

India and the Bnei Moshe of Peru, all of whom have made aliyah with Shavei Israel’s help. “Every one of the ten students who graduated is already working,” Asher Yatzer blessing Shema Yisrael prayer says Dr. Efrat Kegrammes to Israel. The organ- dem, who runs the programme isation helps the new residents for Shavei Israel. “Those jobs with financial assistance and might be in a private dental work opportunities. It also has clinic or as part of Israel’s naset up many absorption centres tional kupat cholim (HMO) in the country. system. In either case, dentists are waiting for our graduLate last year ten dental asates!” sistants from India and Peru The next dental assistant held a graduation ceremony at Hadassah Dental School in programme at Hadassah is alJerusalem. Shavei Israel has ready in full swing. Five stubeen running the programme dents, four from the Bnei Mesince 2008, enabling a total nashe and one from Peru, are of 34 young women from the studying with Shavei Israel’s Bnei Menashe of northeastern support.


Jewish Times Asia April 2014

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Regional News

Around the clock Chabad Annual Dinner The “anytime” and “anywhere” motto of Chabad of China was celebrated by a crowd of over 200 people who attended the Annual Dinner on 27 February, marking 28 years of Chabad’s presence in this part of the world. The theme, Around the Clock was woven into the entire event. Invitations, table and room decoration, menu choice and the journal were all designed to reflect the “timely” message of “Whenever you need Chabad’s services, the Shluchim are on call.” The beautiful event was held once again at the Aberdeen Marina Club.

As in the past, the dinner honoured two community members. This year’s honourees

– but remarked at how important it was to be able to have a home to call our own.

The Kleibidik band

were chosen for their important involvement in the purchase and development of Chabad of China’s head office here in Hong Kong. Both Eliad & Nura Cohen and Richard & Annie Perez received mosaic plaques, custom designed by Michoel Muchnik, in appreciation of their contribution. The Tree of Life Tribute was awarded to Eliad and Nura Cohen and the Hineni Tribute was awarded to

Le'chayim from Rabbi Avtzon with guests at the dinner

Richard and Annie Perez. Both honourees spoke passionately and warmly about the importance of Chabad and their pride to have been involved in this project. Rabbi Mordechai Avtzon, the Head Shliach to China, spoke passionately about Chabad’s commitment to Jewish growth and continuity – with or without permanent premises

A feature of the event was the performance of the Kleibidik band from Israel which entertained the crowd with a unique combination of Klezmer music and hip hop. Their joyous tunes added to the festive atmosphere. This year’s Master of Ceremonies, Tal Moriah, US Olympic Taekwando athlete spoke warmly about his affiliation with Chabad here in Hong Kong and previously in the US. “I have been to all the Chabad dinners” said one participant. “This year’s event has certainly topped the charts.” Chabad is most grateful to a committee of dedicated community members who planned the gala event down to its last detail.

Eliad Cohen receiving The Tree of Life Tribute from Rabbi Avtzon together with Nura Cohen and family with Goldie Avtzon

Jewish Times Asia 8 years May you go from strength to strength and keep up the good work

Congratulations to Jewish Times Asia on reaching 8 years

ELAL is proud to announce that a new sixth scheduled fight Hong Kong to Tel Aviv starting from April 2014. The future is here. Come and get to know it. ................................................................ On fights to/from Israel as of April 05. 2014

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Tal Moriah

Rabbi Avtzon making an address

Annie and Richard Perez


12

Jewish Times Asia April 2014

Regional News

India-Israel enter into anti-terror pact

More academic and scientific partnerships

India and Israel announced the signing of a number of agreements on cooperation in legal assistance and public and homeland security. The pacts are part of the ongoing efforts by both countries in the war against terror and are based on the shared determination to protect citizens, assets and interests. The agreements were signed in February in India.

In a further boost for more academic relationships Israel plans to launch new scholarship programmes this year to attract Chinese students to study in Israel. The scholarships will be given to BA students and MA students in various fields of studies such as life science, physics, computer science, engineering and archeology. In addition, Israel has decided to launch a special scholarship programme for excellent post-doctoral students, who will

“We believe that these agreements are another important platform for the cooperation between our countries and we would like to express our appreciation for the leadership of the ministry of home affairs in this regard,” commented Alon Ushpiz Israel’s Ambassador in India.

Israel’s Minister of Public Security Yitzhak Aharonovich said: “These agreements that were signed are a fine example of our substantial and equal partnership with India. The various types and forms of threats the two countries face make this cooperation an indispensable one. Terror is a global threat and only through cooperation between allies can peace-seek-

Forbes 2014 Billionaires List published There are currently 18 Israelis in the Forbes 2014 Billionaire’s List, which was recently published. The world’s billionaires list is an annual ranking of the wealthiest people, compiled and published by the American business magazine Forbes. The total net worth of each individual on the list is estimated in US dollars based on their assets. The richest Israeli is Eyal Ofer in 191 place with a net worth of US$7 billion. His ranking has slipped marginally from last year where he was ranked in 182nd place. Eyal’s brother Idan Ofer ranked 244 with a net worth of US$5.7 billion. The brothers own Ofer Holdings Group, and through it, Israel Corporation, Israel Chemicals Ltd and other companies. In third place is billionaire Stef Wertheimer. He is founder of Iscar Ltd ranked 267 with a fortune of US$5.3 billion. Shari Arison and Arnon Milchan tied at 319 and each with US$4.7 billion. Shari Arison is the controlling shareholder in Bank Hapoalim and other companies and is the current richest Israeli woman in the world. Beny Steinmetz is ranked 367 with US$4.1 billion and Yitzhak Tshuva is ranked 520 with US$3.1 billion. Dan Gertler and Teddy Sagi are tied at 687 with US$2.5 billion each, while Gil Shwed is at 988 with US$1.8 billion. Also listed are Alexander Machkevich (1046 - US$1.7 billion), Shlomo Eliahu and Marius

Nacht (tied at 1210 each with US$1.4 billion), Lev Leviev and Shaul Shani (tied at 1284 each with US$1.3 billion), Mori Arkin (1372 - US$1.2 billion), Zadik Bino (1540 US$1.05 billion), and Morris Kahan (1565 - US$1 billion). The Forbes Top 5 for 2014, Bill Gates continues to be the worlds richest person, the founder of Microsoft. Gates has topped the list for the last 15 years, his net worth is US$76 billion. Carlos Slim Helu and family ranked number 2, net worth of US$72 billion. Number 3 is Amancio Ortega, net worth of US$64 billion, then Warren Buffett, net worth of US$58.2 billion and Larry Ellison, net worth of US$$48 billion.

ing countries overcome such threats.” Ushpiz further remarked: “The unconditional commitment we share with India to protect the lives of our citizens is the bedrock of these agreements. By joining hands in this important field, whether it is through technology or through investment in the crucial human resource, we will be also able to better ensure the continuing development of our societies and economies.”

come to Israel to conduct their research. The scholarships will be given by the research institutes and will cover full tuition and living expenses for the three years of post- doctoral studies. In their recent visit to China, a delegation from the higher education council of Israel met with officials from the China’s ministry of education and discussed the future cooperation between the two sides and ways to implement and the new scholarships programmes.

Chinese students at TECHNION campus

Best Wishes to

Jewish Times Asia on its 8th Anniversary Michael & Judy Green and family

Shari Arison

Eyal Ofer


Jewish Times Asia April 2014

W

13

Jewish Times Asia providing niche news for the region and beyond

ith breaking news at your finger tips, the world of news reporting is now very much going through a period of innovation with news apps and devices providing content to readers. What perhaps has not changed is the option still available for readers to receive a free hard copy newspaper mailed directly to a home address or available to be picked up a selective pick up points. Jewish Times Asia provides this premium service which is very well appreciated against the backdrop of adversity.

Established in 2006, Jewish Times Asia is a shining example that niche publishing can still be popular and informative. Focusing on current affairs, event highlighting and community awareness, the newspaper spreads a simple but strong editorial platform for original content news gathering. With such a diverse community spread across many countries in Asia, different religious upbringings and nationalities, the challenge from day one and has always been to keep the newspaper diverse and refreshing.

“ We s e e m t o h i t t h e right chords most months,” said Philip Jay, Founder and Publisher, Jewish Times Asia. “We also cover a lot of articles and historical features to compliment the news items. There is much Jewish involvement in Asia – it is staggering. Every month we are surprised how much content there is,” he added. The newspaper tries to maintain a balanced outlook when it comes to contribution to Jewish life in Asia with its very diverse and mixed spiritual communities. “The growth in business news, art, culture, music has increased and we are now running a lot more editorial

Robert L. Meyer, Chairman

First edition April 2006

from all over Asia and the world. I look forward to the publication going from strength to strength in the future,” Meyer added.

Philip Jay, Founder & Publisher Jewish Times Asia

pages on this then previously,” Jay noted.

Keeping with a specific objective and style for the paper, Jay wanted to provide local Jewish news content not only to local residents but equally to thousands of Jewish business travellers and vacationers that come into Asia. “People who visit the region are surprised that we have Jewish community centres for Jewish life and they are expanding,” Jay explained.

Jewish Times Asia launched an on-line flipbook version a few years ago to cater to departing Jewish expatriates and others who want to keep a foothold of Asian Jewish news around the clock. “We are read in over 70 countries and around 5000 registered readers and users to our website separate readers from the hard copy print version,” commented Jay. The website also has a unique search function that allows subscribers access to every story that has been published since 2006. In addition, all back issues of the newspaper can be retrieved and read online for free.

The website has also been instrumental in providing services for anyone wanting to contact communities in the region. “We receive hundreds of enquiries a month on various topics ranging from contacting a long lost relative in Asia to planning a Jewish wedding in Bali or looking to purchase a tallit in Indonesia,” Jay acknowledged. “As Chairman of Jewish Times Asia Limited, it is my great pleasure to congratulate Philip Jay and his team on the

special Eighth Anniversary of the publication,” commented Robert L. Meyer.

“It is wonderful to be associated with such an informative and innovative monthly publication for and

about the various Jewish communities in Asia. It is particularly gratifying to see Jewish Times Asia continuously profitable with a print and digital subscriber base of thousands of people

The number eight is very significant in Judaism. It is a number to reflect one step above the natural order, higher than nature and its limitations. Examples include the miracle of the Festival of Chanukah which lasts for eight days, circumcision of baby boys when they are eight-days old.

Thank you for

8

Years

Jewish Times Asia wishes to thank its advertisers, editorial contributors, sponsors and supporters over the past 8 years. As Asia’s first and only community newspaper in the region, we are truly grateful for the opportunity for the newspaper to succeed. A special thanks to the Jewish communities in the region, clubs and associations for your continued support and assistance. Also to Israel’s Foreign Ministries, embassies and consulates for sharing their news with us. From Philip Jay, Founder & Publisher, Jewish Times Asia


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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

Business News

Israeli-Chinese firm listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange

Withers hires lawyer Samantha Gershon

Wafer Level Chip Scale Package (WLCSP), a portfolio company of Israel’s Infinity Group, became the first company with a foreign co-founder to go public in China when it debuted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in February. Before the IPO, Israeli shareholders controlled some 3 8 % o f W L C S P, w h o s e founding investors were Infinity and China’s CVSC. WLCSP was established when, in 2005, Infinity bought semiconductor technology from Shellcase (today EIPAT) of Jerusalem and brought it to China. Infinity Group Founder and Managing Partner Amir Gal-Or and Infinity Group Managing Director, finance, Ariel Poppel, are members of WLCSP’s Board of Directors.

International law firm Withers have recruited well known lawyer in Hong Kong, Samantha Gershon, to join their expanding family law team. She will be boosting the work Withers have been doing for the International Jewish family joining their teams in Hong Kong, Singapore, the US and UK as well as Switzerland, Italy and the BVI. Samantha is well known in the Hong Kong Jewish community having been the treasurer of Ohel Leah Synagogue for 8 years until 2011. Married with 3 children ranging from the ages of 9-15 years, she was formerly a partner with Robertson’s and with her strong background in litigation and family work and she’ll be joining Sharon Ser in the Withers family department.

“We are honoured to be the co-founders of a great company which is also a symbol of China-Israel cooperation. We are witnessing several important firsts today. WLCSP is the first  company with foreign cofounders, to have gone public in China. WLCSP is amongst the first fifty companies in a long while to be approved for listing on a Chinese stock exchange and the first IPO in the Chinese Year of the Horse. And, we are exceptionally proud that WLCSP is the first company based on Israeli technology to go public in China,” said GalOr, who initiated and led the company.   Arnon Perlman, ConsulGeneral of the Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai, said, “This is an historic moment for the Israel-China relationship. We are proud and looking forward to more R&D cooperation in Israel.”

In 2004, Shellcase was heavily invested and losing money for its shareholders, which included major global conglomerates. The shareholders chose to close the company.  Seeing an opportunity, Gal-Or and Infinity Group Managing Partner Avishai Silvershatz, with support from their partners Neurone Ventures and later

Ami Dotan

Infinity Group founder Amir Gal-Or (beside the bell, to the right) and Israeli Consul-General to Shanghai Arnon Perlman (to Gal-Or’s left) prepare to ring the opening gong at the Shanghai stock exchange

Suzhou Industrial Park (today CSVC), stepped in to rescue Shellcase with a US$19 million financing round.   

Gal-Or, who is based in Beijing, continued, “Today’s news is also significant from a financial and historical perspective. WLCSP’s investor, the Infinity-CSVC fund, is the first ever limited partnership offshore fund fully endorsed by both the Chinese and Israeli governments.” 

The rescue also included a restructuring plan, a standard component of Infinity’s business model in China. Manufacturing and marketing were moved to China and the Israeli company, renamed EIPAT, moved to profit by selling licenses for its technology and through the continuation of joint R&D programmes.

 It took WLCSP only 12 months from establishment to realise profitability. In 2007, shares of WLCSP were sold to Omnivision as part of a US$22 million financing round for the company.

To d a y, W L C S P i s a global leader in wafer level packaging. Infinity believes the company value will continue to significantly increase in the future. Ami Dotan, co-founder and general partner of Neurone Ventures & CIVC, said, “Shellcase/WLCSP is a successful example of how cooperation between Israeli innovation and China’s operational, managerial and execution abilities, led by a restructuring that assures alignment of interests, can lead to impressive success.”

“The Shellcase/WLCSP case study is a model for financial “Double Gain” for investors. The restructuring of the two companies enabled

financial benefit from dual exits: initially from the Israeli entity, when Shellcase was sold to Tessera, and later from the Chinese entity, through the current WLCSP IPO,” Dotan concluded.

“This is an exciting time for us at Withers and having a

Sharon Ser and Samantha Gerson

talented lawyer of Samantha’s calibre join us fortifies the strength and development of our Family, Wealth Planning, Litigation and Commercial practices here in Hong Kong. We’re delighted she’s joining us,” Ser commented.

Withers Hong Kong was also awarded ‘Law Firm of the Year - Hong Kong’ at the Citywealth International Financial Centre Awards this past February. An international panel of executives from across the private wealth sector chose the winners.


Jewish Times Asia April 2014

15

Business News

Japanese e-commerce giant to buy Viber Media app

New wafer plants to be set up in India

Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc has announced that it will buy Israeli-owned instant messaging app provider Viber Media Ltd for US$900 million, hoping to tap the company’s rapidly expanding business in emerging markets. Rakuten said the purchase of Viber Media, run from Cyprus by Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco, would add 300 million users to its existing 200 million users.

India has approved the setting up of semiconductor wafer plants by two consortia, including IBM Corp, Israel’s TowerJazz and STMicroelectronics NV, costing a total of US$10.17 billion. India, which wants local production of chips to cut longterm import bills, has renewed a drive to attract investments after a previous attempt failed. The two groups had proposed building plants in India in September.

Bloomberg quoted billionaire Rakuten owner Hiroshi Mikitani as saying that the acquisition is expected to be completed next month. In addition Mikitani believes that e-commerce will become “a more communication-based transaction.” A statement from Mikitani praised Viber as “the most consistently high quality and

of Internet Services.”

Hiroshi Mikitani

convenient messaging and VoIP experience available.” “Simply put, Viber understands how people actually want to engage and have built the only service that truly delivers on all fronts,” he said. “This makes Viber the ideal total consumer engagement platform for Rakuten as we seek to bring our deep understanding of the consumer to vast new audiences through our dynamic ecosystem

A statement from Viber CEO Talmon Marco also highlighted the potential for instant messaging in the world of Internet commerce. “This combination presents an amazing opportunity for Viber to enhance our rapid user growth in both existing and new markets,” Marco said. “Sharing similar aspirations with Rakuten, our vision is to be the world’s number one communications platform and our combination with Rakuten is an important step in that direction,” he added.

One of the consortia is made up of India’s Jaiprakash Associates Ltd and TowerJazz and IBM. It plans to set up a plant near New Delhi at a cost of US$5.52 billion, a government statement said. The second comprises HSMC Technologies India Private Ltd, Malaysia’s Silterra and STMicroelectronics. The group has proposed an investment of US$4.65 billion for a plant in the western Guja-

rat state, the statement added.

The final agreements for the two plants are expected to be signed by August. With the goal to attract chipmakers to set up plants in India, the government is offering concessions that include 25% subsidy on capital spending, tax breaks, and interest-free loans to each plant. India’s demand for electronics products is forecast to rise nearly 10 times during this decade to reach US$400 billion by 2020, causing policy makers to worry that electronics imports, with no major local manufacturing, could exceed those of oil.

New Israel-China fund closes US$100m financing round Israel’s Catalyst Equity Management and Hong Kongbased China Everbright Limited investment fund announced in March the closing of a US$100 million round of financing for their new Catalyst CEL Fund. The fund will invest in Israeli companies that have technologies, products, and services that China needs. The deal was closed in a special ceremony at Catalyst’s Tel Aviv office, attended by top executives of Catalyst and Everbright.

The Catalyst investment strategy selects Israeli-based private equity funds investing in late stage Israeli and Israeli related including companies from the telecom, IT, enterprise software, medical devices and bio/pharma sectors. Edouard Cukierman is the Founder and Managing Partner of Catalyst Funds and serves as Chairman of Cukierman & Co Investment House. Since its establishment in 1993, Cukierman & Co Investment House has advised in more than €4 billion worth of corporate finance transactions.

Speaking to Reuters Edouard Cukierman, Managing Partner of the Catalyst CEL Fund said, “Our goal is to reach US$200 to US$300 million. We just had our first closing of US$100 million but we have

Edouard Cukierman

strong interest from Chinese, Israeli and international investors to join the fund.” “We are confident we will be able to reach our goal by the end of this year,” Cukierman added. CEL Managing Partner Shengyan Fan said the fund was looking at companies with very strong management and operations and proven track records in North America or Europe but that have not been able to make inroads into China. “We are willing to provide strategic support for such initiatives. Chinese companies are looking for investment opportunities outside China as they seek new markets, customers and resources," Fan said. “Israel is known for innovation. That’s definitely something Chinese companies and investors are interested in,” she concluded.

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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

Business News

Strong attendance at the March Hong Kong International Jewellery Show The Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show’s opening ceremony at the Asia-Expo center was an impressive one, with representatives of the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) and many industry leaders in attendance. John Tsang Financial Secretary of the HKSAR Government visited the Israeli Pavilion and was greeted by Avraham Traub, President of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association. Other guests in attendence included Sagi Karni, Consul General of Israel to Hong Kong. This year’s organisers the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC) introduced a new concept of two different shows in two venues as the organisers try to find a solution to the ever-increasing demand for exhibition space. The HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show took place from 3-7

Palomo, IDI Chief Marketing Officer.

Chinese customers at the IDI Pavilion

March at the AsiaWorld-Expo, showcasing rough materials for jewelry including diamonds. While the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show took place from 5-9 March at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, concentrating on jewelry. Around 150 Israeli diamond companies participated marking a noticeable increase in participation compared to last year. There were 40 new Israeli diamond companies participating for the first time. The Israel Diamond In-

Israeli diamond exhibitors at the March Fair

stitute focused its efforts on matching the buyers’ demands to the supply of products in the Israeli diamond market efficiently. The IDI’s pavilion also drew much attention this year as it featured the IDI’s “Find Your Diamond” software, which lists the inventory of all 85 Israeli diamond companies at the show. The software received positive reviews from visitors at the last show, and IDI responded to further develop it. “From the last show, we have learned that buyers prefer to search for the desired products by a simple click of the mouse. The buyers will be able to exit the IDI booth with a list of products and a map directing them to the relevant booths. The new software assists buyers, who must deal with many demands on their attention in this busy show, in tapping the full potential of their business transactions,” explains Nissim

This year the HKTDC also extended the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show’s Hall of Extraordinary, which displays distinctive high-end jewelry collections. Israeli diamond and jewelry companies Lili Jewelry Limited and Novel Collection were exhibiting in this Hall. Dehres Ltd, a major global supplier of large certified dia-

monds, which sources rough diamonds from high-quality and reliable fields and polishes them in its cutting facilities in Ramat Gan and elsewhere, displayed exquisite coloured stones and high-end jewelry in the Hall of Extraordinary. Hong Kong was Israel’s second largest diamond export market in 2013, accounting for 27% of exports worth US$1.7 billion, despite a slowdown in Asian markets.

Elbit Systems awarded defense contract Elbit Systems Ltd has been awarded a US$290 million contract by a client in the Asia-Pacific region to perform a tank upgrade programme. The contract will be performed over three years. Elbit Systems said that the upgrade programme would provide the tanks with night operation capabilities through advanced systems such as gunner sights and fire control systems. Elbit Systems president and CEO Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis said, “We are very pleased to be awarded this significant contract, demonstrat-

Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis

ing our unique capabilities and experience in upgrading main battle tanks. Asia-Pacific is one of Elbit Systems’ key markets and we are very glad to announce yet another success in this region.”

Qoros unveils the eBIQE at the Geneva Motor Show Israel Corporation and China’s Chery Automobile Company Ltd joint venture Qoros unveiled a prototype of a smart electric bicycle called the eBIQE - at the 84th Geneva International Motor Show held in March. The eBIQE Concept is created for the modern metropolitan consumer, with exceptional performance that can be used for commuting, leisurely rides or exploratory off-road adventures. It is a concept of a cloudconnected electric bike and showcases numerous Qoros design cues carried over from its production cars, as well as innovative technology and impressive performance. Riders can choose to pedal with no assistance, pedal with assistance from the electric motor, or go with motor-power only. When using the motor, users can choose between three driving modes: Street, which limits top speed to 25 km/h so it may avoid being legally clas-

sified as a motorcycle in some countries; Eco, which maximises energy-efficiency; and Power, which allows for faster acceleration and a top speed of 65 km/h. With 60 Nm of torque available throughout the rev range, on battery power alone, the eBIQE Concept in this mode can reach 25 km/h in an impressive two seconds. It has a charge time of just 80 minutes from any regular power outlet – perfect for the city dweller. The connected technology used in the eBIQE Concept is based on the innovative QorosQloud platform (which is standard on most Qoros cars) and adapts its functionality for application to the electric bike to ensure it delivers highly relevant features and services for the rider. With a permanent 3G connection it is operated through an advanced five-inch touch screen mounted on the handlebars or

with fellow riders. The eBIQE Concept features a fingerprint recognition system, with the ability to recognise multiple users. This, in conjunction with geolocation technology, could make the eBIQE Concept highly suitable for integration into vehicle sharing schemes. The eBIQE

in the cloud via the user’s smart phone, tablet, PC or Mac using the dedicated website.

The cloud-connected system will be able to offer many industry-leading functions, such as advanced route planning, intelligent navigation, the ability to remotely check the eBIQE Concept’s condition (tyre pressures, battery charge and range), and networking capabilities through social media, with the ability to share favourite routes and points of interest or arrange impromptu meet-ups

Another feature is regenerative braking. A rarity on electric bikes, it enables the electric motor to generate electricity while slowing down, with this energy fed back into the battery pack increasing efficiency and range. Gert Hildebrand, Executive Director of Design at Qoros, said: “We designed the eBIQE Concept with our modern metropolitan customers in mind. It embodies some of our key philosophies – simple and elegant design, cutting-edge technology and the desire to make our customers lives easier and more enjoyable. As with our cars we

delivered all this while creating a product with uncompromising standards of high quality.”

“There are over 130 million e-bikes in China, where several major cities have already restricted the use of gasoline motorbikes or have banned them completely. Chinese e-bikes are primarily used for commuting, but the Qoros eBIQE Concept was conceived to go further – it performs superbly as a commuter and is fun and highly-capable in an off-road situation as well.”

Gert Hildebrand


Jewish Times Asia April 2014

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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

Art • Culture • Music

Paula Valstein sings for Yolanda survivors

Tel Aviv ranked number 6th Selfie-takers

Israeli singer-songwriter Paula Valstein and Filipino rock icon Bamboo recently teamed up for a one-night performance in March at RCBC Plaza’s Carlos P. Romulo auditorium. The evening was dedicated to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.

Tel Aviv has the sixth-most selfie-takers per capita of any major city, according to a ranking in Time magazine.

Valstein was born in Tel Aviv and moved to New York many years ago but came back to Israel after missing her homeland. She gained instant fame after winning “Best Performance” in an Israeli television programme called A Star is Born. She said that Israelis and Filipinos do have a lot in a common but one particular trait stands out. “The warmth. When you go to Israel, people are very warm. And they take care of each other. It’s the same here.” This is her second visit to Manila and she shares how during her first visit, Filipino singer Freddie Aguilar told her

about his song Anak and what it means. She immediately loved the song and performed it through a duet with Bamboo during their show. She sang half of the song in Filipino while Bamboo sang the other half in English. After the event, both Valstein and Bamboo were given certificates of appreciation by Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-On who also told Bamboo that he is now officially a friend of the embassy. He says his concert with Valstein was actually very special as he got to reach out to people directly affected by the typhoon, using a universal language that transcends race and culture – music.

Among Tel Aviv residents, 139 per 100,000 frequently take selfies, or self-portraits taken with a cell phone, according to the Top 100 Selfiest Cities in the World survey published. The magazine calculated the results by surveying 400,000 selfies tagged according to location on Instagram, a popular photosharing online social network.

17.5.2014 (Sat)8pm

HK City Hall Concert Hall $340 $220 $140

The Philippines’ Makati City won the distinction of the Selfie Capital of the World, with 258 selfie-takers per 100,000. The US holds three of the top five spots, with the New York borough of Manhattan placing second, Miami placing third and the metropolitan area of Anaheim and Santa Ana, California, placing fourth.

© BERTRAND BECHAND

Valstein entranced the crowd with her indie-pop music and performed her hit singles Play with Me and Two Stars. Her soothing voice gave life to her music that is made up of catchy melodies and relatable lyrics. She says that her songs talk about everyday life and emotion that a person feels through finding and even losing love. As for her inspirations in songwriting, she said experience counts a lot. “It can be about anything. From life, people I see on the streets, politics – it can be anything. I can’t quite put my finger on it.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-On and Paula Valstein

Clarinet

Raphaël Sévère • First Prize and eight special prizes, Young Concert Artists International Auditions, New York, 2013

Programme

Berlioz Le Corsaire, Op 21 Weber Clarinet Concerto No 1 in F minor, Op 73 Franck Symphony in D minor

© YVONNE CHAN

Over 300 people among them were members of the diplomatic corps, the media, business personalities and a group of survivors from the Visayan region the area that was directly hit from the super Typhoon.

A ‘selfie’ is a type of selfportrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. Selfies are often associated with social networking.

The survey looked at selfies from cities worldwide with at least 250,000 residents. Tel Aviv, Israel’s second largest city, has a population of approximately 400,000. Jerusalem, Israel’s capital and biggest city, did not crack the top 100.

Music Director/Conductor

UpClose Encounters:

Yip Wing-sie

Class with Raphaël Sévère 11.5.2014 (Sun) 2:30pm Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre Cultural Activities Hall Participants: $250 | Observers: $80

Chamber Music & Dialogue with Raphaël Sévère 15.5.2014 (Thu) 7:30pm HK City Hall Concert Hall (Audience seated ON STAGE) Tickets: $250 Details: www.HKSL.org

Tickets at URBTIX

2111 5999 | www.URBTIX.hk Programme Enquiries: 2836 3336 For ages 6+ Hong Kong Sinfonietta reserves the right to change the programme and artists

Hong Kong Sinfonietta is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Hong Kong Sinfonietta is the Venue Partner of the Hong Kong City Hall

Co-presenter

Exclusive sponsor Venue and ticketing services sponsored by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department


Jewish Times Asia April 2014

Art • Culture • Music

Something for every musical taste this summer in Israel

Rolling Stones

An impressive line up of performers will be visiting Israel this summer. Pop star Justin Timberlake will take his world tour to Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on 28 May his first ever performance as a solo artist in Israel.

Rock ‘N’ Roll, plus a couple of unexpected gems.

Hayarkon Park will also serve as the venue for a concert on 17 July featuring rock & roll legend Neil Young and his band Crazy Horse in a show entitled The Past, the Present and The Future. This will be the second time that Neil Young has performed in the country. The popular band The Pixies will headline a two-day music festival to take place on 17-18 June at Bloomfield Stadium in Jaffa. The Pixies will play on the 17th, followed the next day by Soundgarden, another popular rock band.

Justin Timberlake

The US singer-songwriter, performs a mixture of pop and R&B soulful tunes. He was the former lead singer of the boy band ‘N Sync in the 1990’s. Timberlake has more recently developed into an accomplish actor, record producer, philanthropist and businessman.

The iconic band The Rolling Stones have announced a performance in Tel Aviv on 4 June at Hayarkon Park. The group are set to perform a memorable, first-time-in-Israel concert to some 50,000 fans of all ages, including hundreds of tourists who are expected to join the local fans.  Outside in the warm June Mediterranean air, The Rolling Stones will treat their generations of fans to a set packed full of classic Stones hits such as Gimme Shelter, Paint It Black, Jumping Jack Flash, Tumbling Dice, It’s Only

The Pixies

Neil Young

Soundgarden

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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

Art • Culture • Music

Sarouf performs to encore in Singapore A very memorable night was held in Singapore as Einat Sarouf performed a special one night concert with her band on 4 March at the Vault Lounge. The event was entitled Erev Shira Betzibur (a night of singing) with Einat and her band. Sarouf played for nearly three hours to a packed house with over 130 people in attendance. Performing eight songs after the crowd demanded an encore. Everyone was left on a natural high with many staying behind long after the event finished to catch a glimpse of the star and take some photos. The whole Singapore community was buzzing the next day. Einat travelled to Singapore together with her guitarist and partner Tamir Harpaz with keyboard player Amitai. They were

Einat Sarouf in Singapore

on route to Sydney where they had been booked to perform at a private function. Plans are already underway to bring her back to the region with Hong Kong and Shanghai stops on the horizon. Einat Sarouf is very commonly referred to as ‘the queen of Hebrew singers’, known for her rare talent that excites any crowd with her ability to find special intimate

Jewish Judo Champion to be made into a film A film called “Don’t Call Me Sir!” is about to be made about Brooklyn’s resident Rusty Kanekogi who was also Jackson Pollock’s niece.

Rena “Rusty” Kanokogi was born on 30 July, 1935 née Glickman, was a renowned Jewish-American judo expert. In 1959, Rusty, a single mother, had to disguise herself as a man in order to compete in the New York State YMCA Judo Championship. She beat the reigning champion but was made to return the medal after admitting she was a girl. The niece of the painter Jackson Pollock, Rusty endured a rough childhood and fought the norm that a woman’s place was in kitchen. She went on to train at the cradle of judo, the Kodokan in Tokyo, married judo great Ryohei Kanokogi, had two more children and got women’s judo accepted as competitive sport and Olympic event!

The screenplay is written by Bo Svenson, a Hollywood actor, writer, producer and director with high-ranking black belts in several martial arts and a USA Judo National coach. Rusty will be portrayed in the movie by 23-year-old Kayla Harrison, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in judo, the first American, male of female, to be Olympic champion. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Rusty Kanokogi was a commentator for NBC’s coverage of judo. In 2008, she was awarded the Order of the

Rena “Rusty” Kanokogi

Rising Sun, 4th Class (Gold Rays with Rosette), one of Japan’s highest civilian honors. In April 2009, she was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. In August that year, some 50 years after she had been stripped of her YMCA judo medal, the New York State YMCA awarded her a gold medal to honor her lifetime’s work. Kanokogi died on 21 November 2009, at the Lutheran Medical Center in New York, following a battle with multiple myeloma. She was survived by her husband, children Ted Kanokogi and Jean Kanokogi, and two grandchildren. The film recently launched its crowd-funding campaign and welcomes financial contributions from individuals and organisations to help promote Jewish women that make a difference in the world.

moments in every performance. A veteran in expanding the original singa-long Israeli tradition into more modern songs. She is often invited to perform in the US and Europe. She has been on the list of the 100 most influential people in Israeli culture. Sarouf also released a multi-platinum selling CD compilation that was recorded in her various live shows, entitled Singing with Einat Sarouf. Her contemporary hits include Shira Be’Tzibur which draws crowds of all ages. She is also a hostess on the Israeli music channel, Musika 24.

Sounds of the ‘Old City Festival’

Spread throughout the courtyards, squares and alleyways of the Old City in Jerusalem, the Sounds of the Old City Festival runs from 31 March through to 3 April offering visitors live concerts and shows that highlight different musical traditions.  The sounds of the ancient city of Jerusalem mixed together to create a musical symphony steeped in thousands of years of traditions, different religions and cultures. For the third consecutive year, musicians are spread out throughout the four quarters of the Old City with

performances in the Armenian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter and the Christian Quarter.  This years musical fusion includes: Klezmer, Persian music, Ethiopic, Arabic music, country and jazz.   The Sounds of the Old City Festival joins other annual festivals such as the Light Festival in June and the Knights of the Old City Festival in November as an anchor event that brings visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City from near and far to enjoy the unique nighttime charm of the Old City.


Jewish Times Asia April 2014

The Waltonovitz Family and their estate planning adventures... Episode 2: Focus on Israel

I

n the first episode, we introduced the family Waltonovitz: parents David and Susan living in London, their children Simon (married with three children and living in the UK), Daniel (living in Israel) and Naomi (studying in the US). David’s brother, Raphael, has been living in Hong Kong for 30 years. He wants to engage in some lifetime estate planning to benefit his niece and nephews as he has no children of his own. Raphael has been to see his estate planning lawyer at Withers in Hong Kong and they have discussed his domicile. Together they decide he is domiciled in Hong Kong and he is told he can freely set up structures for the benefit of his family without incurring any gift or estate tax charges on doing so. Raphael is happy to do this in principle but he really does not

feel like he wants to lose control over the assets during his lifetime. The discussion Raphael and his adviser have centres this time on Daniel in Israel. Raphael is keen not to incur the expense and burden of tax and reporting in Israel but still wants to benefit Daniel. Raphael and his Withers lawyer start to discuss trusts. An Israeli tax lawyer has confirmed that in 2014 there was a major change to how trusts are taxed in Israel. Raphael thought that as a non-Israeli he could create a trust for the benefit of Daniel who could receive distributions without tax or reporting in Israel. He is now told, however, that the old “Foreign Settlor” regime has been abolished and that if he creates a trust for Daniel’s benefit, it might be classified a “Family Trust”. In this case, during Raphael’s lifetime, Daniel will be taxed on income distributions at 30% or the trustees can elect to pay tax

on their income at 25%. Further, Raphael is told that since Daniel is his nephew and not his direct descendant, the Israeli tax authorities might even decide that the trust is not a Family Trust after all but rather an Israeli Resident Trust and taxable on its worldwide income! Raphael is concerned about these new tax and reporting laws. He asks instead whether direct gifts to Daniel would be taxable or reportable in Israel. He is told that in general cash gifts would not be reportable as gifts or taxable (only on income or gains arising from them would be taxed). Raphael thinks further about why he is creating a trust at all. He wants to put his affairs in order now that he is getting older and to have a vehicle to benefit himself and his wider family in the longer term. He wants some control though and likes the idea of being investment adviser to the trustees. Further, he is keen to protect the assets from potential

creditors, divorcing spouses or wayward children and would not want Simon’s, Daniel’s or Naomi’s children to get their hands on the assets at too young an age. After further discussion with his Withers lawyer, Raphael decides not to include Daniel for the time being as a beneficiary of the new trust. He decides this because Daniel does not yet have children or a spouse, is not involved in business and actually has very modest needs. He lives in a seminary and studies. The need to protect Daniel’s share of the assets is not therefore a prime consideration at this stage and Raphael might just as well achieve what he wants through his Will. Instead of including Daniel as a beneficiary of the trust immediately, Raphael will make outright gifts to Daniel but will also ask his trustees to consider adding Daniel as a beneficiary of the trust at a later date. Raphael will also pay particular atten-

LLP

tion to his Will and how Daniel might benefit from that. In the next episode we examine whether Raphael faces the same issues with Naomi in the US...... Supplied by Justine Markovitz, Partner & Head of Swiss Operations, Withers LLP. If you would like to contact Justine on any further related issues concerning estate planning, her email address: justine.markovitz@withersworldwide.com or in Hong Kong you can contact Katie Graves: katie.graves@withersworldwide.com Withers Hong Kong 20/F, Gloucester Tower, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 3711 1600 Fax: (852) 3711 1601

One team working together in one newsroom. i24news available on AsiaSat 5 and streaming live on tablets and smartphone.

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A new perspective from Israel in English, French and Arabic.

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Jewish Times Asia can provide a unique and targeted distribution channel to reach professional Israel Museum opens new exhibition exploring expats and business owners in Asia traditional from around the world Who clothing do you want to reach in 2014?

Jewish Times Asia April 2014

T

he first comprehensive exhibition of its kind, Dress Codes: Revealing the Jewish Wardrobe at the Israel Museum brings together an array of traditional apparel from the 18th through the 20th centuries from the Museum’s worldrenowned collection of Jewish dress.

of clothing. Dress Codes offers a cross-cultural celebration of the history of Jewish dress and the ways in which traditional clothing has stimulated fashion design throughout history and continues to inspire the styles of today. The exhibition runs from 11 March - 25 October.

only a netted opening for the eyes.

“Our treasury of Jewish dress – the richest of its kind in the world – was assembled over The exhibition features over many years and holds a special one hundred costumes from four place of pride among the Mucontinents in a visually rich dis- seum’s collections - most espeplay that showcases the colours, cially as a testament to the traptextures, history, and symbolism pings of Jewish life and their universal context,” said James Business owners/entrepreneurs/CEO’s S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Professionals/academicsFisher Director of the Israel Expatriate families Museum.

We mail a hard copy monthly newspaper to a proprietary mailing list, all qualified recipients – Sari Wedding Dress, Bene Israel mid no wastage! 20th century India

Exposing the unseen. This section of the exhibition provides an opportunity to examine the fine and often hidden details of clothing. Underclothes, linings of garments, and icons stitched into clothing – whether hidden or in plain view – can be carriers of intriguing cultural symbols, often understandable only to some.

Highlights include items attire Mashhad Iran early worn by women in the Bagh- Woman’s 20th century of modesty, these trappings re- dadi community in India that copy traditional and digital to a qualified dressdistribution from Little women veal important aspects of Hard her blend and little men. Baghdad with strong Victorian readership identity relating to religion, Many of the children’s garA bodice or regions bras- ments status, and place of origin.Jewish In influences. displayed in this section Times Asia is the first and only the mid-20th century in Herat, siere, worn under the shirt and of the exhibition appear as mincommunity newspaper, established in 2006 Afghanistan, for example, the visible through it, accentuates iature versions of adult clothing, Affluent high-net worth individuals The exhibition is organised everyday attire of the Jewish the bosom, while also covering a reflection of children’s roles in around five themes, providing women differed from that of it. traditional societies, in which In addition we have extra copies distributed coma framework for exploring theto Jewish Muslim women. Fusion in dress. In many dif- they were considered adults-inmunity centres, schools, range associations, chamber of of clothing onembassies, view. the-making from an early age. Philip Jay, Publisher Email: places in the world, thephiljay@netvigator.com While Jewish women ferent commerce members and Through on airlines 2530 the Veil. Clothing wrapped themselves withTel: melding of 8177 fashions www.jewishtimesasia.org imported a (852) Because of the higher value from Central Asia, influenced black chader and hid their faces from afar with local costumes often placed on boys by tradiby local Islamic cultures, the behind a white netted and em- led to innovative creations in tional societies, superstitious wraps, cloaks, and facial veils broidered veil, Muslim women dress. A fascinating example attempts were made in some on display were worn as outdoor covered themselves with a of this early fusion is a popular communities to confuse the evil garments by Jewish women. In wide, colorful one-piece wrap Persian women’s costume from forces intent on harming young Women’s ceremonial outfit Baghdadi addition to covering a woman’s (chader burkah) that hid their the early 20th century that re- boys by dressing them in girls’ Jews Calcutta India late 19th century body and face as an expression bodies from head to toe, with calls a tutu. clothing.

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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

23

Legal Issues b) the general knowledge, skill and experience that the director actually has (subjective test).

New Companies Ordinance Supplied by

Catherine Dulude, Partner Harvey Law Group

The new Companies Ordinance, Chapter 622 of the Laws of Hong Kong commenced operation on 3rd March 2014 and applies to every registered company. The new law is intended to enhance corporate governance, ensure better regulation, facilitate business and modernize the Law. Following is a brief overview of some of the key changes. Adoption of Articles of Association (AA) instead of Memorandum of Association (MA) • The requirement for a company to have a MA as a constitutional document is abolished. New companies can be registered by submitting a new incorporation form and

a copy of the company’s Articles of Association (“AA”). • For companies already registered under Cap. 32, the current provisions in their MA will be regarded as provisions of their AA. • Some provisions in existing Articles of Association may become void due to changes in the new ordinance. These are detailed further at; http://www.cr.gov.hk/en/ companies_ordinance/docs/ articles_made_void-e.pdf Abolition of par value of shares • All shares issued, before, on and after the commencement date of the new ordinance shall have no par value. • The law will deem all shares issued before the abolition to have no par value (Section 135 of the new ordinance).

That’s why, there is no conversion process required from companies unless individual companies would like to have some specific changes to their AA having regard to their circumstances New requirements for directors • Every private company must have at least one director who is a natural person. That means, if a corporation is the only director in the company, then, under the new ordinance, the company will be considered as not complying with the Law. • There is a grace period of 6 months after the commencement date of the new ordinance in order to give companies time to comply with the new requirements. • If a company fails to appoint a natural person as a direc-

tor, the company and every responsible person commits an offence and each is liable to a fine of HKD 100,000 and a further fine of HKD 2,000 for each day for a continuing offence. New Standard for Directors ‘Duty of Care’ • The new ordinance sets out a new statutory standard by which directors must exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence in their work. It contains both objective and subjective elements. In carrying out their duties, a director must demonstrate:a) the general knowledge, skill and experience that may be reasonably expected of a person who is carrying out the functions of the director in relation to the company (objective test); and

• The new standard of care will also apply to shadow directors, meaning a person who is not officially a director of the company but gives instructions or directions to the existing directors. Simplified Reporting Requirements • New provisions have been incorporated to facilitate more small and medium enterprises to prepare simplified financial and directors’ reports. • A private company that qualifies as a “small private company” and a holding company of a group of companies that qualifies as a “group of small private companies” will qualify for simplified reporting. The full text of the Companies Ordinance is available at Companies Registry’s Website. (www.cr.gov.hk)


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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

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From servitude to freedom

n Seder night, we observe a vast array of customs and symbolic rituals, through which various elements connected to the Exodus come to the fore. Yet, for all the rich diversity of the Seder night, it has one central leitmotif: “Once we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt; now we are free.” The concept of freedom is expressed in the Haggadah through ritual and symbolic acts, through poetry, and through the overall atmosphere. The Seder participants recline, as is the custom of free people; they drink four cups of wine to emphasise the bounty, free choice, and ease of liberty. The text of the Haggadah itself reiterates in different forms and various ways this one central idea: We are free. It would seem that there is nothing easier to understand than the meaning of slavery. The superficial image of suffering and degraded slaves, beaten and afflicted, is clear. The slave performs hard labor under the watchful eyes of overseers and supervisors, who make sure that he faithfully fulfills his daily quota of work. The slave’s wage is low and his labour is great. But is that the essence of slavery? The reality of life in this world is that almost everyone, although free, labors hard and with all his energy in order to earn his livelihood. At any given time, only very few do not work under the pressure of time and non-optimal conditions; it is rare to find someone who does not suffer from the necessity of working hard to meet expected quotas and the oppression of those in charge of them. The whip of the struggle for subsistence is applied almost constantly to the backs of the workers. Throughout the generations, most people have worked hard and yet brought home only enough to meet their basic needs. The ratio between labor and rest, work and ease, changes from place to place and from one profession to another. Ultimately, however, the life of a free person is similar to a life of servitude – even hard labor. Both are composed of a certain combination of these two elements, work and rest. The essence of slavery,

between the work of the slave and that of the free person is not in the difficulty of the work or in a higher wage for a day’s labor, but in the work’s purpose and goal. The free man works for his own purposes and goals, for his own sake.

Seder Night - The Feast of Freedom

then, lies not in its outer manifestations but in its inner content. The hardship and suffering entailed in the labor are not what create the servitude, just as wealth and prosperity do not define freedom. The essence of slavery lies in the fact that the slave’s labor is done entirely for others. The one who determines the purpose of the work is not the worker, nor are the worker’s desires and aspirations expressed through his work. The other, superior person determines the purpose and sets the goals; the slave is forced to always do the will of the enslaver. What the slave is compelled to do is of little import. It makes no difference whether the slave performs hard labor with mortar and bricks or sits in an air-conditioned room and writes literary essays. Even in the latter case, he would still be a slave.

employment in this work transformed the people into slaves – a people that produces for others and does their work.

free. Israel’s passage to its own land and devotion to its own goals do not exempt it from the obligation to work.

Even one who barely toils can be a slave, and even one who labors endlessly may be

In fact, the new objectives may entail difficult and exhausting work. The difference

On Seder night we emphasise the essential point: “Once we were slaves, and now we are free.” As we go through the rituals and recite the Haggadah, as we discuss the written text and what lies beyond it, we must bring ourselves to understand that escape from slavery is not enough; we must also be our true selves, thereby becoming truly free. Supplied by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz - (excerpt from his book: Change and Renewal: The Essence of the Jewish Holidays, Festivals and Days of Remembrance, published by Koren Publishers, Maggid Books, Jerusalem)

Chag Pesach Sameach Wishing all Communities in Asia a Joyous & Happy Passover 5774

Pharaoh understood this quite well. When he feared the growing strength of the people of Israel in Egypt, he expressed the concern that the people might attain self-identity “and fight against us and leave the land.” (Exodus 1:10). To ensure that the people of Israel remains in Egypt, Pharaoh must prevent the formation of self-identity, and so he forces the people of Israel to occupy themselves with things that are not their own concern – “to afflict it with their burdens,” the burdens of the Egyptians. “And the people built store cities for Pharaoh, Pithom and Raamses.” (Exodus. 1:11) These projects may have been important, and the work on them helpful and productive, but this work was for Pharaoh and for Egypt. Hence, Israel’s

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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

25

Passover

T

The Festival of Pesach and its significance

he holiday of Pesach / Passover begins on 15 Nissan and marks the anniversary of the birth of the Jewish nation.

Apart from its historical significance it also has agricultural importance and represents the beginning of the harvest season in Israel. The festival lasts for seven days (eight days outside of Israel).

The first and last days of the holiday (first two and last two outside of Israel) are days on which no work is allowed. The intermediate days on which work is permitted are referred to as Chol Ha-Mo’ed. The primary observances of

Matzah - unleavened bread

from slavery into freedom.” The Seder is comprised of 15 sequential steps.

Pesach are related to the Exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery. The name Pesach literally means to pass through, to pass over. It refers to the fact that G-d “passed over” the houses of the Jews when he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt. The holiday is also known as Chag Ha Aviv (the Spring Festival), Chag Ha-Matzot, (the Festival of Matzahs), and Z’man Cheiruteinu, (the Time of Our Freedom. The most important observance related to the festival involves the removal of chametz from our homes. It includes anything made from the five major grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt) that has not been completely cooked within 18 minutes after coming into contact with water. Ashkenazic Jews also avoid rice, corn, peanuts, and legumes (beans) as if they were chametz. All of these items are commonly used to make bread, thus use of them was prohibited to avoid any confusion. Such additional items are known as kitniyot.

All chametz, including utensils used to cook chametz, must either be disposed of or sold to a non-Jew (they can be repurchased after the holiday). The process of cleaning the home of all chametz in preparation is an enormous task and spend several days scrubbing and covering all surfaces that come into contact with food. The morning before the Seder, a formal search of the house for chametz is undertaken, and any remaining chametz is burned. The festival is marked by the celebration of an elaborate Seder on the first two nights (in Israel, on the first night only). The Seder is designed to give each Jew the experience of “going

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The text of the Pesach Seder is written in a book called the Haggadah, that tells the story of the Exodus and explains some of the practices and symbols of the holiday. We recount the Ten Plagues. We eat symbols of slavery and freedom, and partake in a festive meal. During the holiday we eat symbolic food such as Matzah, which is unleavened bread, made simply from flour and water and cooked very quickly. This is the bread that the Jews made for their flight from Egypt. The day before the festival is the Fast of the Firstborn, a minor fast for all firstborn males, commemorating the fact that the firstborn Jewish males in Egypt were not killed during the final plague. Supplied by Judaism 101 website: www. jewfaq.org

THE SEDER

KADESH: To begin we make Kiddush and sanctify the day. URCHATZ: Wash our hands without a blessing. KARPAS: We take a green vegetable and bless G-d for creating fruits from the ground. YACHATZ: We break the middle matzah, and put it aside. MAGGID: The power of speech given to humanity. RACHTZAH: We wash our hands. MOTZI: We make a blessing to thank G-d for bread. MATZAH: We eat the unleavend bread. MARROR: We eat the bitter herbs in combination with matzah. KORECH: The Hillel Sandwich “bricks-and-mortar:” SHULCHAN ORECH: A festive meal. TZAFUN: The last thing we eat is the Afikoman. BARECH: Grace After Meals. HALLEL : We recite Hallel. NIRTZAH: Conclusion


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Jewish Times Asia April 2014

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Yad Vashem receives rare Purim manuscript

his years Purim Megillah reading from the Book of Esther held at Yad Vashem Synagogue in Jerusalem on 16 March featured a scroll that survived Krakow Ghetto.

Zvi Hershel Weiss, a prisoner at the camp, decided to write a text for the holiday to uplift the mood of his fellow Jews imprisoned alongside him. Recently, Zvi’s son, Shmuel Yitzhak Weiss donated the manuscript, written in Yiddish, to Yad Vashem as part of the ‘Gathering the Fragments’ campaign.

 The Megillah scroll written in elegant calligraphy and estimated to be 300-450 years old, was discovered by Professor Kazimierz Kowalski during the Holocaust among a pile of rubbish in the courtyard of a Jewish school in the Kazimierz district in Krakow. Beryl Shore, a survivor from Krakow and a member of the Association of Cracowians in Israel, brought the handwritten scroll to Israel a few years ago, and delivered it to Yad Vashem for safekeeping. The Megillah was displayed during the Purim event in which the Director General of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Professor Jonathan HaLevy read from the scroll. Also in attendance were survi-

 Shmuel Yitzhak recounts in his testimony that on the evening of Purim 1943, inmates of the camp did not have the traditional Megillah scroll of the Book of Esther to read from.

Zvi Hershel Weiss’s Megillah Purim manuscript

vors from various organisations and students at the Midreshet Moriah seminary. Purim evening at the Ilia camp in Transylvania in 1943 was a very difficult one. Conditions were unbearable and spirits were very low.

His father, Zvi Hershel Weiss, who according to Shmuel was known for his sense of humor and his love of joking around, hand wrote a text in Yiddish, combining the story in the Book of Esther with the story of the inmates. Zvi read the manuscript accompanied by music, and that is how the Ilia camp celebrated Purim in 1943. (In his testimony to Yad Vashem in 2007 Shmuel Yitzhak recited the text in its original cantillations).

In August 1944, the Weiss family were liberated, and later Shmuel and his parents immigrated to Israel.  Shmuel explained his decision to give the rare document to Yad Vashem: “The handwritten document is very dear to my heart and it was difficult for me to part with it, but my wife urged me to give it to Yad Vashem, and in the end I decided that it is important for the Jewish people as a whole and that other people should also know about its existence. I made a copy of the manuscript at home and gave the original to Yad Vashem, and after handing it over wished I

had done it earlier.”  Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said: “In many homes in Israel there are personal items and documentation from the Holocaust period that are unknown and not accessible to the public. Many of the owners of these items are unaware of their importance and the necessity to properly and professionally preserve them.” “We urge people to hand these precious items to Yad Vashem as here they will be well preserved and made accessible to the wider public,” Shalev concluded.

Deportation of Jews from the Ghetto, March 1943

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April Parashas 5 April 2014 / 5 Nissan 5774: METZORA

Metzora, discusses the purification process for one who contracts tzara’at (skin maladies which are contracted as a result of engaging in forbidden gossip), and the symptoms and laws of “house tzara’at,” indicated by certain stone discolorations. Also incudes ritual impurities, including the laws of the menstruating woman. The Torah provides a description of the purification procedure for a person who contracted tzara’at. After the priest determines that the tzara’at has been healed, a ceremony involving two birds, a cedar plank, a scarlet thread and water from a live stream, is used for the initial stage of the purification. The individual also shaves his entire body. After a seven day wait, the person shaves again, and brings three animals and an oil offering to the Temple. Torah also discusses the ritual impurity of a man. All such people must immerse in a mikvah (ritual pool) in order to be purified. The parasha concludes under certain circumstances a menstruating woman was required to bring to the Temple two bird offerings in order to attain purity.

12 April 2014 / 12 Nissan 5774: ACHAREI MOT SHABBAT HAGADOL

The Parasha of Acharei Mot is possibly best known as it is also read on Yom Kippur and contains the key Yom Kippur service that was performed by the Kohen Gadol. The Kohen Gadol cast lots to designate two goats – one to be sacrificed, the other

HOLIDAYS/ FASTS/ ROSH CHODESH/ SPECIAL DAYS Rosh Chodesh:

Yom Hashoah:

Fast of the First Born:

Rosh Chodesh:

1 April 2014 (1 Nissan 5774)

28 April 2014 (28 Nissan 5774)

14 April 2014 (14 Nissan 5774)

30 April 2014 (30 Nissan 5774)

Pesach (First Night Seder 14 April): 14 April 2014 (14 Nissan 5774) 22 April 2014 (22 Nissan 5774)

to be driven to a place called Azazel. The parasha also covers laws relating to not to consume blood. When slaughtering fowl or undomesticated animals, we are commanded to cover their blood with earth. Various types of relationships are described specifically - sexual laws – who you are not allowed to marry or have relations with. The Shabbat before Pesach is called Shabbat Hagadol, the Great Shabbath, because in Egypt it was the day when the Jewish people took the sheep they would bring as their Pesach offering. Each family tied their sheep to its bedpost, this infuriated the Egyptians as it was there dietary food and the sheep was to become a sacrifice to G-d.

19 April 2014 / 19 Nissan 5774: SHABBAT CHOL HAMOED PESACH

The Torah reading for Shabbat Chol Hamoed Pesach is taken from the Book of Exodus, chapter 33:12-34:26, Parasha Ki Tisa. Moses pleads for G-d’s nearness. Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai praying to G-d that G-d would restore Israel to its previous state of eminence. G-d responsed to Moses that there were limits to what even Moses could perceive of G-d’s ways.

26 April 2014 / 26 Nissan 5774: KEDOSHIM SHABBAT MEVARECHIM

Parasha Kedoshim deals with the commandment to be holy, accomplished by observing both the ritual and ethical laws of the Torah, including from honouring ones parents to keeping Shabbat. From being honest in ones’ business dealing and to making offerings on time. From this we learn that if one makes a pledge to give charity, it should be redeemed promptly. The Torah repeats the prohibition of incest and other forbidden sexual relationships. We are introduced to the laws of “orlah,” the prohibition against eating the fruit of a new sapling for the first three years, and the obligation to sanctify the fruit of the fourth year. We are enjoined not to engage in witchcraft or prostitution, or tattoo our bodies. Men are instructed not to destroy the hair at the edges of their scalp or the corners of their beards. We are also commanded to love converts. Candle Lighting Times for April

Countries

4 April

11 April

Bangkok 6:12 Beijing 6:22 Guangzhou 6:25 Hong Kong 6:21 Katmandu 6:04 Kobe 6:04 Manila 5:51 Mumbai 6:35 Perth 5:52 Shanghai 5:56 Singapore 6:54 Seoul 6:38 Taipei 5:53 Tokyo 5:46

6:13 6:29 6:28 6:24 6:08 6:09 5:51 6:37 5:44 6:01 6:52 6:45 5:56 5:52

18 April 6:14 6:36 6:31 6:26 6:12 6:15 5:52 6:39 5:35 6:06 6:51 6:51 5:59 5:58

25 April 6:15 6:43 6:33 6:29 6:16 6:20 5:53 6:41 5:28 6:10 6:49 6:57 6:03 6:03

Candlelighting times are taken from Chabad.org.

JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN ASIA CAMBODIA

Chabad Jewish Center House # 32, Street 228, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: (855) 85 807 205 www.jewishcambodia.com

CHINA

Beijing Chabad House and Community centre: Fang Yuan Xi Lu, next to the south gate of Si De Park, Beijing, PR China Tel: (8610) 8470 8238 ext. 210, (86) 13910740109 www.chabadbeijing.com Chabad of Ya Bao Lu: Jian Guo Men Diplomatic Bldg, Building 3, 2/F, 223 Chaoyangmennei Street, Beijing, PR China TeL: (86) 1352 2016 427 Email: rabbaimendy08@gmail.com

HONG KONG

Jewish Community Centre: One Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2801 5440 www.jcc.org.hk Chabad of Hong Kong: 1/F Hoover Court, 7-9 Macdonell Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2523 9770 www.chabadhk.org Ohel Leah Synagogue: 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2589 2621 www.ohelleah.org United Jewish Congregation (Reform): Jewish Community Centre, One Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2523 2985 www.ujc.org.hk

PHILIPPINES

Beth Yaacov Synagogue: 110 H.V. de la Costa cnr, Tordesillas West, Salcedo Village, Makati City, Metro Manila 1227, The Philippines Tel: (632) 815 0265 www.jewishphilippines.org

SINGAPORE

Chesed-El Synagogue: 2 Oxley Rise, Singapore 238693 Jacob Ballas Community Centre & Maghain Aboth Synagogue: 24-26 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187950 Tel: (65) 6337 2189 www.singaporejews.org United Hebrew Congregation (Reform): email:uhcsingapore@hotmail.com

Shuva Israel (Orthodox): 2/F Fortune House, 61 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2851 6300 www.shuva-israel.com

SOUTH KOREA

Kehillat Beijing (Reform): Capital Club Athletic Center, 3/F., Ballroom, Capital Mansion, 6 Xinyuan Nanlu Chaoyang District, Beijing, PR China Tel: (86) 10 6467 2225 www.sinogogue.org

Kowloon Kehilat Zion (Orthodox): Unit 105, 1/F, Wing on Plaza, 62 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon Tel: (852) 2368 0061 www.kehilat-zion.org

TAIWAN

Guangzhou Guangzhou Chabad: 31 He Ping Lu, Overseas Village, Guangzhou, China Tel: (86) 137 1050 5049 www.chabadgz.org

Chabad of Kowloon: 11 Hart Avenue, 2/F, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Tel: (852) 2366 5770 Email: kowloon@chabadhk.org

Shanghai Shanghai Chabad (Shanghai Jewish Center): Shang-Mira Garden Villa #1, 1720 Hong Qiao Road, Shanghai, 200336, PR China Tel: (86) 21 6278 0225 www.chinajewish.org

Magen David Synagogue: 340 Sir J.J. Rd, Byculla, Mumbai Tel: (91) 22 23006675

Chabad of Pudong: Vila # 69, 2255 Luoshan Road, Shanghai, 200135, PR China Tel: (86) 21 5878 2008 www.chinajewish.org Sephardi Shanghai Center: Building B. Apt. 3 (Room 103), 1000 Gubei Road, Shanghai, PR China 201103 Tel: (86) 21 6208 8327 Mobile: (86) 15900808733 Email: sscshanghai10@gmail.com, ssc_shanghai@walla.com Kehilat Shanghai (Reform): XinTianDi – Lakeville 2 Regency Club, 168 ShunChang Lu, Shanghai, China Tel: (86) 13817825201 www.kehilatshanghai.org Email: info@kehilatshanghai.org, Facebook: facebook.com/KehilatShanghai Shenzhen Shenzhen Chabad: No.4, Block A, Guishan Xiaozhu Yanshan Road, Industrial Area, Shekou Nanshan District, Shenzhen, PR China Tel: (86) 755 8207 0712 www.chabadshenzhen.org

INDIA (MUMBAI)

Kenesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, 43 Dr V.B. Gandhi Marg, Fort, Mumbai Tel: (91) 22 22831502 / 22839617 Kurla Bene Israel: 275 C.S.T. Rd, Jewish Colony, Kurla (W) Mumbai, India Tel: (91) 22 511-2132

JAPAN

Kobe Ohel Shelomoh Synagogue and Community Center: 4-12-12, Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650, Japan Tel: (81) 78 221 7236 www.jcckobe.org Tokyo Tokyo Chabad: 1-5-23 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan 108-0073 Tel: (813) 5789 2846 www.chabad.jp JCC Japan: Tokyo Jewish Community Centre, 8-8 Hiroo 3-Chome, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150 0012, Japan Tel: (813) 3400 2559 www.jccjapan.or.jp

NEPAL

Chabad House: GHA-2-516-4 Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: (977) 980 324 1294 chabadnepal@hotmail.com

Chabad: 744-18 Hannam-Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul 140-893, South Korea Tel: (82) 107 730 3770 www.jewishkorea.com Taipei Jewish Center: No. 12, Lane 46, Anju St, Daan District, Taipei City 106, Taiwan Tel: (886) 9 2392 3770 email: Rabbi@jewish.tw Taipei Jewish Community: 16 Min Tsu East Road, Second Floor, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC Tel: (886) 2 2591 3565 email:einhorn912@xuite.net Taipei Jewish Services: Sheraton Taipei Hotel, 12, Zhang Xiao East Road, Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan Tel: (886) 2 2321 5511, (886) 2 2394 4240

THAILAND

Jewish Association of Thailand: 121 Soi Sai Nam Thip 2, Sukhumvit Soi 22, Bangkok, Thailand Tel: (662) 663 0244 www.jewishthailand.com Chabad of Thailand: 96 Rambutttri St. Banglamphu, 102000 Bangkok, Thailand Tel: (662) 629 2770 www.chabadthailand.com Bet Sefer Chabad: 221 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Bangkok, 10110 Thailand Tel: (662) 258 3434 Chabad of Phuket 52/32 Ratch U-thit Song Roy Pee Rd. (opposite Patong Post Office), Second row of town houses, Patong, Katu District, Phuket 83150 Chiang Mai 189/15 Chang-Clan Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand, On street of Night Bazaar, 100 Meters before The Empress hotel Tel: (66) 81 870 2249

VIETNAM

Chabad: 5A (villa) Nguyen Dinh Chieu St., Dakao ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Tel: (84) 90 9166770 www.JewishVietnam.com


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Jewish Times Asia April 2014


April 2014 • Volume 9 • Issue 1 • Nissan 5774