February 2017 • Volume 11 • Issue 9 • Shevat / Adar 5777
CHINESE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS GET GREEN LIGHT TO WORK ON HOUSING PROJECTS our representatives signed an agreement to bring thousands of Chinese workers as a catalyst for a solution to the housing crisis,” commented Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon.
By Staff Writer & Agencies
An Israeli delegation that recently visited China to conclude the agreement was headed by Israel’s Finance Ministry’s housing chief, Avigdor Yitzhaki, and the Construction and Housing Ministry’s director-general, Asher Armoni. They met with representatives of China’s Ministry of Commerce. An official ceremony is scheduled to take place later this month.
Jewish Times Asia first reported in September 2015 that Israel was looking to hire 20,000 Chinese construction workers, mostly for the housing sector. At the time, the two countries lacked any official formal agree-
Israel’s government has finally signed a long-awaited agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Trade and the Chinese association of contractors to bring many thousands of Chinese construction workers to Israel, the Ministry of Construction and Housing announced in January.
Heading to Israel consruction workers from China
ment related to such co-operation. In general, Chinese workers are brought into Israel under private contracts between Israeli and Chinese companies. Israel’s construction sector currently employs 216,000 workers, including 37,000 Palestinians and 6,000 foreigners, with some 3,700 Chinese. The Finance Ministry said the lack of skilled Israeli and Palestinian
construction workers, as well as the instability in employing Palestinians – whose permits can be revoked due to the security situation – have created a shortage of workers. This new agreement paves the way for the 20,000 quota, with 6,000 workers slated to arrive in the first six months of 2017. “After more than 18 months of effort, I am glad that
Dr Lael Best wins Pravasi Bharatiya Award Commission I ndia’s President Pranab Mukerjee conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (PBS) for 2017 on Israel’s Dr Lael Anson E. Best, for his services in the field of medical sciences. PBS is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians by the government of India. He was one of the 30 non-resident Indians who received this prestigious award for 2017, and is only the third person from Israel to be given the award. Dr Best, a cardiothoracic surgeon, completed both his Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine
Surgery at Rambam Medical Center in Israel for 25 years.
Dr Lael Best
and his Master’s Degree in Surgery at the University of Gujarat, India, before emigrating to Israel in 1979. He has headed the Department of Thoracic
His special interests are surgery of the esophagus and trauma of the chest, lung cancer, and pediatric thoracic surgery, surgery of the mediastinum, lung and pleura. He also teaches residents and medical students and has earned numerous awards in his respective fields. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non-Resident Indian Day), conventions have been held every year since 2003, and have been honouring overseas Indians and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) since the first edition.
Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Galant said, “The Israeli housing market has suffered from a shortage of manpower, slowness, and the high cost of resources in recent years. The agreement with China will bring innovative technologies and expert personnel, in line with the vision and action we have been leading for the past two years at the Ministry of Construction and Housing.”
IN THIS ISSUE Regional News Yad Vashem holds its first Annual Dinner in Asia
Business News Israel and Thailand sign open-skies agreement 10-12
Art • Culture • Music 18th Jerusalem Film Festival 13-14
Feature Jews are the world’s most-educated religious group, research reveals 16
Jewish communities in Asia Candle-lighting and the month’s Parshas
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Jewish Times Asia February 2017
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The first Yad Vashem Dinner in Asia was held at the Jewish Community Centre in Singapore on 8 December.
Senior defence officials from Vietnam and Israel have pledged to expand defence ties.
The event was co-chaired by Philip Ong, a local Singaporean businessman, and Searle Brajtman, Director of the English Language Desk of Yad Vashem’s International Relations Division. Over 100 guests attended this groundbreaking event, including Israel’s Ambassador to Singapore Yael Rubinstein and Consul General Yitzchak Yitzchak, as well as prominent
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Publisher & Founder Philip Jay
Vietnam and Israel pledge closer defence ties
Eric Cheong, Eternal Memories Studio, Singapore
Yad Vashem holds its first Annual Dinner in Asia
Eric Cheong, Eternal Memories Studio, Singapore
Jewish Times Asia
At the Yad Vashem dinner
Eva Slonim addressing the audience
members from the local Jewish communities and local Christian groups.
pore, Eva also spoke at various other venues, including a local Jewish school that invited children from other schools to hear her.
The keynote speaker was Auschwitz survivor Eva Slonim OAM from Melbourne, who movingly described her experiences during the Holocaust and stressed how her fellow inmates in the concentration camps asked her to give testimony about what happened so that the world would learn from those experiences and not allow them to happen again. During her stay in Singa-
Whilst the Nazis sought to annihilate the Jewish people, Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, places an emphasis on the universal meanings and relevance of the Holocaust today. Therefore, in the spirit of the brotherhood of mankind, both Jewish and non-Jewish clergyman offered blessings at the event.
A statement by Israel’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Hanoi on 11 January said that following talks between the two countries, they would look to increase activities in defence research, development and production as well as technology transfers. Expanded defence ties will also facilitate training and education programmes and exchanges, it said. The MoD said the talks were led by General Pham Ngoc Minh, deputy chief of staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, and Mishel Ben-Baruch, director of the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s International Defense Cooperation Division (SIBAT).
Israeli hikers rescue injured Japanese backpacker in Nepal bi Lifshitz that Sujiyama wanted to directly thank the Israelis who had saved her life, and wanted to say that she “loves the Jewish people.”
A Japanese backpacker, Akihu Sujiyama, 40, was seriously injured in December when a rockslide fell on her while she was hiking the Annapurna Circuit. Her leg was broken and she began to lose blood rapidly. Israeli hikers in the area heard her anguished screams and ran to help her. They immediately applied a tourniquet, and were able to use a satellite phone in their possession to call a rescue helicopter. The Chabad emissary for the region, Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz, who had received word of the
Rabbi Lifshitz described the Israeli rescuers as “heroes who didn’t leave her side for even a second”.
Akihu Sujiyama in hospital
incident via a Chabad situation room located in Israel, arrived with the helicopter as well. The woman was evacuated to a hospital in Kathmandu, where she received life-saving blood transfusions and underwent surgery that saved her leg.
Later, the Japanese Consul General to Nepal went to the local Chabad house to thank the hikers who had rescued Sujiyama. “We thank the Nation of Israel,” he said. He also told Rab-
During the Japanese Consul General’s meeting with Rabbi Lifshitz, he told the Chabad emissary that Sujiyama had visited Israel five years earlier on a work trip, specialising in calligraphy, and visited several Torah scribes in Jerusalem.
Professor Adi Shamir attends Asiacrypt conference in Vietnam Israeli scientist Professor Adi Shamir, who won the 2002 ACM Turing Award in recognition of his contributions to cryptography, attended the Asiacrypt 2016 conference in Hanoi, along with nearly 250 scientists from around the world.
Asiacrypt 2016, the 22nd Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptology and Information Security, was organised by the Vietnam Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics (VIASM) and took place from 4 to 8 December.
Professor Shamir also gave a lecture at the National Economics University, Hanoi, about the 40-year history of cryptology.
of the International Association of Cryptologic Research. This was the first time Asiacrypt had been held in Vietnam.
The Asiacrypt, Eurocrypt and Crypto conferences, the three most prestigious events venues in the field of cryptology, are the flagship conferences
The event was chaired by Professor Ngo Bao Chau, the Director of VIASM, and Professor Phan Duong Hieu from Limoges University in France.
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Jewish Times Asia February 2017
Israel's Science Minister Ofir Akunis visits India Following on from the recent visit to India by Israel’s President Reuvan Rivlin in late November 2016, Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology and Space, Ofir Akunis, made an official visit to New Delhi and Bangalore from 5 to 8 December. Minister Akunis was visiting India at the invitation of his
Indian counterpart, Shri Harsh Vardhan, whom he met on 6 December. Minister Akunis was accompanied by Members of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) Yaakov Perry, the former Minister of Science, Technology and Space; Michal Rozin; Yitzhak Vaknin, the Director General of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space; Peretz Vazan, and Avi Blas-
Taiwan “Nazi rally” school principal resigns
The Nazi parade at the school
The principal of a Taiwanese school whose students held a mock Nazi rally for a Christmas parade has resigned. Cheng Hsiao-ming, head of the Kuang Fu High School in Hsinchu, said he took “full responsibility” and apologised for the “rally”, which featured a parade of swastika banners and a cardboard tank carrying one student performing a Nazi salute. Israel’s representative called the event “deplorable”, and Taiwan’s presidential office apologised, saying it showed an extreme lack of respect for Jewish people and a profound ignorance of history. Announcing his resignation, Mr Cheng said: “As educators, we should have taught students to have the right values. We will learn from the mistakes we made and have asked students to do so too.” He said the school would hold a series of educational programmes, including showing films about the Holocaust such as Schindler’s List and Life is Beautiful. The Israel Economic and Cultural Office would also be invited to address students, he said. The Taipei Times reported that one of the school’s teachers, Liu Hsi-cheng, had suggested Arabic culture as the theme for the parade, but the students decided to go with an Adolf Hitler theme after two rounds of voting. The paper said some students opted for the Nazis for
the Christmas and Thanksgiving Costume Parade because they could easily convert their school uniforms. Asher Yarden, Israel’s representative to Taiwan, wrote on the mission’s Facebook page: “It is deplorable and shocking that seven decades only after the world had witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust, a high school in Taiwan is supporting such an outrageous action. We strongly condemn this tasteless occurrence and call on the Taiwanese authorities, in all levels, to initiate educational programmes which would introduce the meaning of the Holocaust and teach its history and universal meaning.” This recent episode in Taiwan was not the first. In September 2015, a shopping mall in Taipei showcased fashion clothing with designs of swastikas and Nazi flags and in 2014 Last Rockmill, an Italian restaurant, named a pasta dish “Long Live the Nazis”. The restaurant offered a sorrowful apology over its lack of sensitivity. In 2011, a military news agency released a photo of three students in Taiwan wearing WWII German SS uniforms, with a person in a military camouflage uniform standing next to them doing a “V” sign. In yet another embarrassing incident in the same year, 7-Eleven stores stocked key rings and magnets with an image that bore a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler.
berger, Head of the Israel Space Agency. Minister Akunis said: “Deepening the relations between India and Israel are a critical strategic goal for both countries. I am visiting India, a true friend of Israel, to broaden the scientific and technological cooperation between our countries. India and Israel are at the forefront of technology worldwide and we will continue to ensure they remain so.” In New Delhi, Minister Akunis inaugurated an exhibition titled “Israeli Discoveries and Developments That Influenced the World”, organised by the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, and visited the India International Science Festival at NPL. The cross-party Israeli delegation also met Indian parliamentarians and research institute fel-
Minister Ofir Akunis and Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, sign an MOU
lows. In Bangalore, the Minister delivered a special address at The Global Technology Summit, met with the Minister of ITDT of the State of Karnataka, and visited the India Institute of Science. Israel’s Ambassador to India, Mr. Daniel Carmon said: “Israel has proven time and again that it is India’s technological partner. Our ecosystems of innovation and technology do not compete but rather complete
each other. Solutions created in the development laboratory that is Israel are adapted to answer the shared challenges India and Israel face together.” During Minister Akunis’s visit, Israel and India signed a bilateral scientific collaboration treaty that calls for each of the two countries to budget one million dollars in 2017 for mutual research projects as well as joint initiatives for young scientists.
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
Celebrating 25 years of Jewish education in Hong Kong On a warm winter’s evening last December in Hong Kong, Carmel School welcomed parents, teachers and community members to celebrate an incredible milestone: 25 years of providing children in Hong Kong with a stellar Jewish and secular education. Carmel’s Elsa High School auditorium was transformed into a beautiful ballroom for an epic evening of fun, togetherness and an appreciation for our heritage. Carmel School is the only Jewish school in Asia that offers a full pre-school through to high-school education. The school’s remarkable 25-year story had very humble beginnings: the school was founded by a small group of dedicated parents wanting to provide a good Jewish education for their children. Carmel School started with 11 children, and now, a quarter of a century later, it is stronger than ever, with nearly 400 students over three campuses, serving the community and having a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence. Months of planning by a dedicated team of parent volunteers culminated in a truly special night to honour the Carmel family past and present. Gala Dinner chairperson Anya Apelbaum worked tirelessly with many other volunteers to ensure the success of the evening, alongside Natalie Ricklow from The Plan, who managed to turn the school auditorium into a spectacularly elegant venue. Rachel Friedmann, Principal of Carmel School, welcomed the assembled company at the reception. She likened the school’s journey to that of our patriarchs and matriarchs in terms of overcoming obstacles and sustaining the vision. She paid tribute to the Ohel Leah Synagogue Trustees for their on-going support. Mrs Friedmann then introduced Eddie Ng, Secretary of Education of the Hong Kong
Carmel School Choir performing
SAR, who congratulated Carmel School on its achievements. Carmel School was also honoured at the dinner by Regina Ip, Legislative Councillor and Chairperson of the New People’s Party. Hosted by MCs Jenny Selevan and Darryl Ricklow, the night delivered some wonderful treats and surprises, with a sidesplitting show by Jewish comedian Jim Brewsky and a special performance by the Carmel Elementary School Choir, accompanied by Michael Harpaz from Israel’s famous 90’s boyband Hi Five. Carmel’s very own “boyband” of past and present Board Members followed suit, with a song specially written for the evening, celebrating Carmel’s 25 years with warmth and humour. Shay Razon, who gave the Chairman of the Board address, shared his family’s commitment to Carmel School: his wife Hagit is the Assistant Coordinator at the Holly Rofé Early Learning Centre; their eldest son Rom, currently studying at an elite programme of the Technion University in Haifa Israel, graduated last year with a perfect score of 45 points in the International Baccalaureate Programme – one of only 170 out of 15,000 candidates worldwide to do so; and the three younger Razon boys all attend Carmel School.
Rachel Friedmann, Eddie Ng and Dr Rafael Aharoni, BBS, Chairman, Israeli
Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong
The dinner’s silent and live auctions were intensified this year by fun events such as “rock, paper scissors” and a 25 year l’chaim whisky shot with Dima Apelbaum. The whole evening was special in so many ways, acknowledging the school founders, board members, past dinner chairs and other community members who have contributed to Carmel School’s successful 25 years. It was an evening filled with laughter, memories and the special sense of community that makes Carmel so unique. It is that sense of community, that feeling of belonging that is “caught” by the children. This is what has made Carmel thrive for a quarter of a century – and will ensure it continues to grow and flourish in the future. Here’s to the next 25 years!
Attendees at the dinner
Silent auction bidding
Holly Rofé Early Learning Centre dedicated On 15 December, Carmel School Association dedicated The Holly Rofé Early Learning Centre in memory of Holly Rofé OBM. The dedication of Carmel’s Ganeynu pre-school was a bittersweet occasion for her husband Andre Rofé and their daughters, Rachel and Sarina, as well as many friends of the family and Carmel School and Hong Kong community leaders. There were many beautiful words said, champagne toasts and, of course, talk of Holly’s signature red lipstick. Those who were privileged to have been acquainted with Holly know that she would be so proud of the new Centre. The spaces and classrooms have been beautifully renovated, with new flooring,
Andre Rofe with his daughters
storage and furniture. The new rooms and common areas are bright and welcoming to all the students and staff. Imparting Jewish values in her daughters was important to Holly, and she was not at all daunted by the lack of facilities or small class sizes when the school first opened; in fact, it invigorated her and compelled
her to put her amazing positive energy in to it. Holly continued to be one of Carmel’s foremost active “moms” and her presence is still felt today. Holly was an inspiration who truly loved Carmel School and everything that went with it. May her name be for a blessing.
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
The small crowd that kept Mark Ejlenberg shares his insights on shaping Hong Kong Jewish community life growing Over 3,000 years ago, the Jews witnessed the miracle of a small flask of oil in the story of Chanukah. As we all know, something much bigger and grander than their expectations took place.
On 11 December, the Hong Kong Jewish Historical Society (JHS) hosted a special Fireside Chat with guest speaker Mark Ejlenberg, who was visiting from Israel with his wife Vera. Mark, Vera and their two small children first arrived in Hong Kong in the 1980s. At that time, Mark was a young banker from Holland, and he and his family immersed themselves in all aspects of Jewish life. At the Fireside Chat, Mark shared his interesting and entertaining insights about his efforts as one of the key catalysts bringing about a transformation of the Jewish Recreation Club (JRC) into a Jewish centre with purpose.
He recalled that, as a young Jewish boy growing up in the Netherlands, he came from
Judy Green and Mark Ejlenberg
Mark Ejlenberg, guest speaker at the Fireside Chat
an orthodox home. He was disappointed with the limited community services and felt an obligation to change things. At that time there were many strong religious families providing a host of important services such as kosher meat and together pushed the infrastructure to a new greater level.
Jewish residents. In 1984 he was elected chair of the JRC, and worked to make the centre more relevant and kosher. With a team in place they managed to organise the first kosher JRC kitchen in time for Pesach. “Well over 150 people attended the seder night,” Ejlenberg recalled.
He felt that his timeframe of Jewish life in Hong Kong was “meant to be – Beshert (Yiddish),” as he recalls. “Every chance meeting with a Jewish resident gave me the desire and impetus to improve the quality of Jewish life in Hong Kong.”
“Everything fell into place, even to finding a Chinese cleaner to arrange a kosher kitchen. By chance he was wearing a Magen David and had previously worked in a kitchen in Israel, and he knew exactly what to do!”
Mark had received a call to set up a bank branch in Hong Kong in 1978, and had a chance introduction with some longterm Jewish residents as he was standing in the arrivals queue at the airport. Through this contact he found an apartment and was introduced to some
Other notable achievements included establishing the JHS with Dennis Leventhal and SJ Chan. Ejlenberg’s wife Vera, with a team developed the Hong Kong Jewish Chronicle, providing community dialogue and announcement notices for members.
Disabled youth in Myanmar enjoy soccer programme
Participating footballers and their trainers in Myanmar
n educational therapeutic A football programme for children with disabilities was held in Myanmar from 5 to 10 December. The “Game of Life” project was a joint effort of MASHAV, the Israeli aid agency; Mifalot: Sport for Education, Development and Peace, and the Myanmar Paralympic Sports Federation. The course educated football trainers from all over Myanmar about how to use football as a method of therapeutic education for youth with disabilities.
Around 27 male and female coaches participated, along with 20 youngsters with cerebral palsy. Israeli coaches included Yael Paz and Nadav Dagan. A final tournament to conclude the seminar, and a closing ceremony of the week-long course, were held on 10 December. The participants enjoyed learning about playing football. Israel’s Embassy in Myanmar, MASHAV and MIFALOT are looking forward to further similar collaborations with the Myanmar Paralympic Sports Federation in future.
Something similar took place in Hong Kong this Chanukah. This year’s celebrations were forecast to be smaller than usual, as Chanukah coincided with the winter holidays, when many families were expected to be travelling. The organisers of Chabad’s Chanukah events therefore planned for a much smaller attendance than usual. So everyone was pleasantly surprised when the expected crowd of 100-200 people quickly grew to over 400. Adults and children alike all enjoyed the exciting carnival (featuring the world’s only latke-producing bicycle!) and the fire-and-light show that preceded the ceremony.
Menorah Lighting Ceremony in Central
Rabbi Avtzon officiating at the AIA Carnival
The giant Menorah in Hong Kong is one of thousands lit around the world to bring the message of Chanukah and light to the world. Rising high above the crowd in a crane were Dr Perkin, Antony Greenstein and his son Benjamin – three generations of Jewish men who proudly lit the Menorah this year. For the 31st consecutive year, these flames stood out against the backdrop of the “city of lights” as they shone the message of religious freedom for all to see.
Two other large outdoor Menorahs were lit in Hong Kong this year. The Lantau Menorah stood proudly in the Discovery Bay Square to bring the Chanukah message to the residents of Lantau. And for the first time, a beautiful LED, electric Menorah illuminated the AIA Carnival – a popular destination for thousands of people each night.
One good deed will bring another How many pairs of Tefillin are ordered on the occasion of a boy’s Barmitzvah? Usually the answer would be one. Sometimes two or three pairs if Dad and Grandpa want to upgrade their own sets.
Barmitzvah gifts. A fundraising sports day on a Sunday afternoon in December was organised to encourage his friends to take part in the project. A goal of HK$50,000 was set. Donations, big and small, started to come in from friends in Hong Kong and abroad, and the initial goal was soon met. And the donations kept coming. So many people were touched by this beautiful initiative of a young boy.
How then did it happen that over 20 sets of Tefillin – complete with a Talit and embroidered bag – were ordered on the occasion of just one boy’s Barmitzvah?
It all started with the desire of Hong Kong resident Benjamin Greenstein to make his Barmitzvah something more than just visits to the Rabbi for Barmitzvah lessons, the detailed planning of the celebrations, and the co-ordination of guests who would be flying in from overseas.
All of that certainly did happen, but in the case of Benjamin’s Barmitzvah, there were some other important things going on in the background. A seemingly chance visit (at just the right time) by Rabbi Chaim Danzinger, the Chabad Shliach
to Rostov Russia, turned into a campaign to provide Tefillin for the boys of that impoverished community. When Benjamin heard that the boys in Rostov all shared just one pair of Tefillin because they couldn’t afford their own, he decided to do something about it. Emails were soon sent out to friends of the family asking for their assistance in lieu of
So far, the Tefillin Campaign has raised HK$101,000. One of the most beautiful parts of this initiative is that it was seen as a game-changer, and there are now other children in Hong Kong developing and co-ordinating initiatives to benefit others in honour of their big day. Mitzvah Goreret Mitzvah – one good deed will bring another. In the case of Benjamin Greenstein, this has certainly been the case. Donations to this worthy cause can still be made via http://www.fjc.ru/rostov. Please specify that the donation is for the Tefillin project.
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
IsCham Shanghai branch launched
Comparing the Jewish diaspora and overseas Chinese
The Hong Kong Friends of Tel Aviv University (TAU) hosted a fascinating talk at the Jewish Community Centre on 12 December. Well over 120 people attended the evening’s event, including local Hong Kong Chinese and Jewish community members, TAU alumni, business leaders and academics. Also present were Sharon Ser, Chairperson of Friends of TAU; Michal Mor Shtorch, Executive Director of Friends of TAU; Sagi Karni, Israel Consul General to Hong Kong, and Meir Buber, Head of Resources Development in English Speaking Countries TAU.
The guest speaker was Professor Roger King, the Founder & Director of the Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University.
In his talk, titled “Overseas Chinese & Jewish Diasporas: A Comparative Study”, Professor King explained that there are many similarities between the overseas Chinese and the Jewish diasporas. Both communities are close-knit, self-reliant, hardworking wealth accumulators, and they value education and family. And both have at times had to survive
discrimination, prejudice and atrocities in their countries of residence.
In his talk, Professor King highlighted the similarities and differences, and discussed why the 14 million Jews are so influential in today’s world. He also argued that the 40 million overseas Chinese could be more influential and impactful globally by adopting some Jewish behaviours while still retaining their Asian values. The evening’s address offered captivating insights into the ongoing study of why Jews are so influential around the world, despite the fact that in many countries, the percentage of Jews in the population is very small. As an example, a high percentage of Nobel Prize-winners are Jewish. The talk was followed by a lively discussion, with questions and comments from many attendees. In summing up, perhaps the reason Jews are
AJC delegation visits Myanmar and Vietnam An AJC delegation led by AJC Asia Pacific Institute (API) Director Shira Loewenberg and API board member Cliff Goldstein concluded an eight-day visit to Myanmar and Vietnam in December. In Myanmar the 15-member delegation met with, among others, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander in Chief of the Defense Forces; Mr U Aung Ko, Minister of Religious Affairs, and Lieutenant General Sein Win, Minister of Defense. The delegation also met with Israeli Ambassador Daniel Zonshine and US Ambassador Scot Marciel. In Vietnam the delegation met with Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Dinh Quy and other high-level Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials. The delegation met with US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, and was hosted by Meirav Eilon Shahar, Ambassador of Israel to Vietnam, at her residence in Hanoi. Topics discussed in both countries included bilateral
Amikam Levy, Consul General of Israel to Shanghai (left), at the ribboncutting ceremony
Professor Roger King
relations with Israel and the US, regional developments in Southeast Asia, and support for Israel at the UN and other international foray. “We are encouraged by positive developments in Myanmar and Vietnam and their growing closeness with the US and Israel,” said Loewenberg. “AJC is committed to deepening our relationship with these strategically important Southeast Asia countries, and we are keen to work together on areas of mutual concern.” The group spent Shabbat with the Jewish community in Yangon, and visited the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue, Myanmar’s only remaining synagogue, with community leader Sammy Samuels. In Vietnam, the group visited a VietnamIsrael joint dairy demonstration and experimental farm. AJC maintains close ties with Burmese and Vietnamese officials across the US and in Israel.
disproportionately successful stems from their deep tradition of questioning everything, even in Torah studies. Open education, dialogue, debate and the search for deeper meanings and understandings are valued, and can result in increased business acumen. By comparison, the Chinese Confucius way of teaching doing things is generally more closed and thoughtful, and less argumentative.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce launched its Shanghai branch on 30 November, with the aim of strengthening bilateral business ties. IsCham is a non-profit organisation established to represent and assist the Israeli business community in developing commercial relations between China, Israel and the Jewish world. IsCham strives to promote Israeli businesses in China and to serve Israeli companies and individuals in China. It
was launched by former Israeli president Shimon Peres in August 2008 during the Beijing Olympics. Yuval Ben-Sadeh, Chairman of the Israel Chamber of Commerce in China commented: “Our goal is to make the Chamber a home for all the people who want to know Israel, to all Israeli who want to know China, to all the people who want to co-operate about culture, business and tourism and to meet friends,” he said.
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Jewish Times Asia February 2017
United Nations Holocaust Memorial Day A special programme in Hong Kong to mark this year’s United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day was held on 23 January, organised by the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Resource Centre (HKHTC). The event was held at the Sai Ying Pun Community Complex. This year’s theme was “Holocaust Remembrance: Educating for a Better Future”. Holocaust survivor Micha Gelber, who was born in the Netherlands, shared his incredible story in his keynote address. In special attendance was Under Secretary for Home Affairs for the Government of Hong Kong SAR, Ms Florence Hui. Also in attendance was former Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Tung Chee-hwah. In a packed auditorium, the audience included a mix of Jewish community members, Hong Kong locals, foreign consulate representatives, rabbis and many school students.
The evening’s programme started with the United Nations Resolution, read by community members Professor David Zweig and Mira Hasofer. Sagi Karni, Consul General of Israel to Hong Kong, provided an introduction of the Candle Dedications. The lighting of the Six Memorial Candles was performed by Consuls from Germany, Poland, Austria, The Netherlands and the US. A special sixth candle was lit by Francois Curiel in memory of Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Peace Prize-winner, who died last year aged 87. Wiesel was the author of dozens of books and became the witness for the millions of Jews slaughtered.
Musical interludes performed by the Sing City Choir
Bergen Belsen, over half did not return.“Should I believe in humanity after witnessing such horrific scenes?”, he asked the audience.
Attendees young and old remembering the Holocaust
being moved from their home the family was finally arrested in 1943 and sent to Westerbork transit camp. From Westerbork, the majority of the Dutch Jewish population was deported to Poland to be exterminated, however the Gelbers fortunately found themselves on a list of prisoners who were to be exchanged for German nationals interned by the Allies. “Protected” by this list, the family was interned for five months before being transported to Bergen Belsen on 11 January1944.
Ms Annemieke Ruigrok, Consul General of the Netherlands, introduced Micha Gelber, who told his remarkable story. The younger of two sons, he was born in Ede near Arnhem, The Netherlands, in 1935. In his own words, Micha vividly recalled his early childhood from the age of four.
The family survived in Belsen for 15 months in the “star camp” (Sternlager), which held those on prisoner exchange lists. On 10 April 1945, just five days before the British liberated the camp, the Gelbers were sent on a train eastwards towards Theresienstadt. Micha and his family endured 14 days’ transport on the sealed train before being liberated by the advancing Russian army just south of Berlin.
The Germans occupied Ede in 1940 and after twice
Of the 4,000 Dutch Jews who had been deported to
Jeremy Amias, Chairman of the HKHTC, gave a welcoming address
Dr Rafael Aharoni, BBS, Chairman, Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong reciting the special Kaddish prayer
“Death was everywhere; if you did not obey orders they would shoot you, there was no way to escape.” Gelber witnessed so many of his close friends dying in front him, mostly from hunger or disease. “There was so much subhuman treatment.”
“I do not see myself as a victim; I am survivor,” he concluded. The Gelber family returned to Holland in June 1945 and then moved to Israel in about 1951. Gelber joined the army in 1956 and after a period in the US studying, he opened a large textile factory in the nascent Jewish state.
in Holocaust education and memorial projects and was awarded the Knighthood in the House of Orange by the Dutch queen.
He met his wife Ria, raised three children and now has four grandchildren. He is active
While in Hong Kong, Gelber visited 13 schools and universities to talk to students about his experiences as a young man during the Holocaust. In addition, on 17 January, he gave a talk and met members at the Hong Kong Jewish Community Centre.
Congratulations to the State of Israel on its 65th Anniversary
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
avid Round, a long term client at Ultimate Performance has blown us away with the complete lifestyle change he has made with his personal training programme. David has been training with UP for a year and has achieved a colossal drop in body fat percentage from 40.3% to a staggering 13.8% – a remarkable success for all involved.
Results. Not promises Over the last year, David has completely revamped his lifestyle and has accomplished things he never thought would be possible by competing in a Spartan Race and Half Marathon. We take great pride in the job as personal trainer’s, being able to touch the lives of the clients and those around them; so much so, David’s mum contacted his trainer, to say “thank you” – she could hardly believe his new look. How does David feel about all of this? We’ll let him tell you himself.
started, I mean I have been away on business and things, so had to reschedule in advance. But I have never just missed a session because I was tired or busy or got a hang-over or whatever.
WHAT WAS THE OBSTACLE THAT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED YOU FROM STARTING THE PROCESS? I am not sure really, I guess probably just not realising I needed the help. I had tried to lose weight myself a few times and hadn’t really gotten anywhere because I did not know what I was doing. I just didn’t think I really needed a trainer. But in the end I thought I would try it and then wished I had done it much sooner! I just thought we all know “Eat Less, Do More” but I tried that and it didn’t work because I had no real plan. Once I met my trainer, he gave me a real plan to follow and showed me how to perform exercise routines with the correct form, calculate my meals and macro nutrients – I realised there was a lot more to know than just “try to go jogging and eat more salad”. WHAT DID YOU FIND AS A RESULT OF TRAINING WITH UP? The change was immediate. I started losing weight right away, which really motivates you to carry on. The gym sessions were tough to start with and Fariz would really push me. I was going home feeling my muscles burn, because I was pushed harder than I ever would have done by myself. But it grad-
ually got easier and in the end I enjoy it. Now I have entirely changed my whole outlook on food, exercise and life. I now exercise basically every day whether at UP or on my own. I have joined a running group and did my first half marathon recently. I did a Spartan Race, have taken up paddle boarding, all sorts of things that I would never have done before. WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFIT DID YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY WITH UP? The main benefit, at least at the start is just having booked and paid your sessions and knowing you have someone there waiting for you; it motivates you to go. I have not missed a session since I
If you said to yourself “I am going to go to the gym 3 times a week and really push myself” of course that is possible to do by yourself. But will you really do it? It is all too easy to just say “Oh I will go tomorrow”. Now I prioritize it above almost everything. Seriously nobody is that busy that you can’t go if you really want to, it’s 3 hours a week. When I’m busy I just get up earlier or whatever to make enough time to be able to go. That to me, was the best part because it just made me go. Now you could say any gym or any trainer would give you that, but they wouldn’t. You force yourself to come and stick to your diet because at UP they actually care about your results.
hope not to do that of course). I got a lot of questions from friends and colleagues asking for advice after they saw my results! Finally I have made a lot of new friends from this experience and broadened my social circle with all of my new activities; it really is a completely different existence and a much better one too! WOULD YOU RECOMMEND UP? IF SO, WHY? Absolutely yes -in fact I do all the time! I understand that it’s quite a lot of money, but that’s because UP are the best. The cost is going to
put some people off for sure, but if you can afford it, then definitely you should do it. What is more important than your health in the end? I know for sure it works and it will work for anyone. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD? I would just like to thank the whole team at UP and especially Fariz for all their help and for being a great bunch of guys and girls who want to see me succeed. I really enjoy coming to UP and can hardly believe the change in my physique and health. I just wish I had joined years ago!
When I see my trainer is really pleased when I do well and genuinely disappointed when I slip up on the diet (we all will occasionally). WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOU’VE ACHIEVED? I was pretty fit as a teenager and not that overweight until my 30s really. But now, I genuinely think that I would beat me, at any age, in basically any physical challenge, which is pretty good for a 40 year old who used to be 40% body fat. Aside from that I think I have gained a lot of knowledge about diet and exercise that will last me a lifetime. I feel I know what to do and how to do it now, if I ever let my belly creep up on me again (I
Visit our flagship location conveniently located in Times Square, Causeway Bay and enjoy a HK$500 discount on our Personal Training Packages. For information contact email@example.com Or call +852 3543 5219 Ultimate Performance Causeway Bay. 11th Floor, Midtown Soundwill Plaza 2, 1-29 Tang Lung Street Causeway Bay, Hong Kong http://upfitness.com.hk Ultimate Performance Hong Kong
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
Israel and Thailand sign open-skies agreement In yet another sign of the opening up of flight routes between Asia and Israel, an agreement between Israel and Thailand was signed in December. El Al Israel Airlines Ltd is currently the only airline operating direct flights from Israel to Thailand. The alternatives are flights with stopovers in various countries. The Ministry of Transport expects the agreement to substantially increase the number of passengers and to reduce ticket prices. Competition on the Tel Aviv-Bangkok route and flights to additional destinations in Thailand are expected. Thailand has become an important business and vacation destination for Israelis, with 165,000 passengers flying to and from there each year in recent years. El Al has been the only scheduled airline to fly that route; other Israeli carriers, such as Arkia, have flown in the context of charters. Nir Dagan, Chairman of Arkia, commented now that
From left: Benjamin Weiss and Tayman Kan Thai Ariways may soon be flying to Israel
the airline will bid on flying the route as well. The agreement allows for more Thai companies to fly to Israel, and the only international carrier from that country that could do so is Thai Airways. The company has reportedly not yet decided whether to go ahead with a Tel Aviv route.
Under the agreement, each country can operate up to 28 weekly flights, with no restrictions on capacity or the type of airliner, compared with the eight weekly flights currently operated by El Al. The agreement also allows commercial co-operation agreements between airlines on both sides and code-sharing
Stem cell developer in Japan venture In December, Israeli stem cell developer Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd and Japanese Sosei Group Corp unit Corporate Venture Capital Ltd announced the signing of a binding term sheet for the establishment of a new Japanese corporation (NewCo) for the clinical development and commercialisation of Pluristem’s PLX-PAD cell therapy product in Japan.
Following completion of fundraising, the parties plan to establish NewCo in Japan. Pluristem will own 35% of NewCo in return for its contribution of a perpetual licence to commercialise PLX-PAD for Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) in Japan.
The first indication to be developed by NewCo will be CLI. The design of a 75-patient study of PLX-PAD in CLI was previously agreed upon with Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA).
Pluristem chairman and CEO Zami Aberman said, “We are pleased to partner with Sosei CVC to commercialise PLXPAD in Japan. The development of our CLI programme through the accelerated regulatory pathway could allow a more rapid entrance into the sizeable Japanese market, as has been our
CreditEase raises more funds to invest in more startups
strategy. Our co-operation with Sosei CVC also creates the potential to develop additional indications in this market, by drawing on our robust portfolio of cell therapy product candidates in development.” “We are eager to begin the joint development of PLXPAD in critical limb ischemia with the goal of commercialisation, and believe that our cooperation could lead to an efficient and successful entry into Japan’s substantial market,” said Toshimi Miyoshi, Director, Sosei CVC. “The NewCo is expected to be a meaningful investment by Sosei RMF1 into the regenerative medicine space, and will support our goal to stimulate the biotechnology industry in Japan.”
agreements between Israeli and Thai carriers and carriers from third countries. Late last year Air India announced that it will launch flights to Tel Aviv. The possibility of the new route comes hard on the heels of news that Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific will be operating flights between Tel Aviv and Hong Kong starting this March, and that Singapore Airlines is also looking to fly to Israel later this year.
China’s CreditEase Wealth Management announced in January the first closing of its second fund dedicated to investing in Israeli tech startups. The China-based fund, CreditEase Israel Innovation Fund (CEIIF), has closed US$32.2 million and the final target of CEIIF II is US$50 million. CreditEase Israel Innovation Fund I, which closed in October 2015, raised US$30 million. Led by managing partners
Benjamin Weiss and Tayman Kan, CEIIF II will look to invest in Israel-based startups operating in six sectors: virtual and augmented reality (VR/ AR), Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, digital healthcare, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and data storage, and advanced manufacturing. Established in 2015, CEIIF is a venture capital firm that provides support to its portfolio companies, leveraging its extensive relationships in China.
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
India’s Edugild to partner with China and Israel platforms
China and Israel eye cooperation on medical robots Chinese and Israeli research institutes and companies that attended an exposition in Guangzhou in December are keen to co-operate on developing medical robots.
Edugild, an edtech accelerator based at MIT Academy of Engineering in Pune, India, has joined hands with JMDedu of China and Edtech Israel to enhance the number of Indian startups that want to expand their horizons in China and Israel. Edugild is focusing its enrollment efforts for the third batch of edtech startups while strategically designing a programme that’s global in nature and that collectively embeds edtech startups in the larger ecosystem. It is also committed to developing a comprehensive and long-term edtech development programme that will raise business opportunities and funding possibilities for edtech startups.
Edugild to Israel.
“JMDedu is excited to partner with Edugild while continuing to provide innovative opportunities that equip startups with the cross-cultural skills and knowledge essential for success in today’s global landscape,” said Sophie Chen, Partner of JMDedu China.
Dr Yaki Dayan, the founder of Edtech Israel, has shared a comprehensive multilevel engagement plan for Edugild startups to leverage the Israel market. He is also excited to explore bringing a couple of Israel-based edtech startups to India.
JMDedu currently serves as a major community platform in China for industry conversation and collaboration in education technology. Edtech Israel is a global edtech business hub that successfully connects the Israeli edtech community with international entrepreneurs, investors and business partners, and brings global partners such as
Leading up to the partnership, Indian startups will engage
with educators, institutions and the edtech ecosystem in China and Israel at all levels, facilitated by the respective partners. Having signed up EPG for a European scale-up, adding JMDedu and EdTech Israel to the network is a very important step in the direction of an internationally competitive world. This will ensure that stakeholders in the public and private edtech sectors will be able to drive meaningful, innovative action and increase the fame of edtech opportunities on both sides. JMDedu, Edtech Israel and Edugild have signed off the details of the programme, and the first pilot project is being carried out in the first two quarters of 2017.
Nine Israeli companies at the event brought with them robotics currently used in spinal surgery, 3D imaging and medicinal dosage-handling devices. Israeli Robotics Association Chairperson Zvi Shiller said Israel has developed robots to help the disabled to shower, go to the toilet and climb escalators. Israeli firms are actively looking for partners to produce and sell their robots in the Chinese market. More than 40 Chinese companies showed interest during the expo, while others pitched business ideas to their Israeli counterparts. Chinese tech firm Gosuncn Technology Group is investing heavily in patrol robots. A senior company official said his team has had a hard time overcoming some technological is-
sues two years into the project and is hoping to find Israeli partners. Du Lan, Senior Vice President of iFlytek, is working to combine speech recognition with health care. The company is working with its major shareholder China Mobile on a series of voice-to-text and textto-voice applications.
In a recent experiment with Peking University School of Stomatology, the company designed a voice recognition device for doctors. It captures the dialogue between doctor and patient and transcribes it into a formal diagnosis report without the doctor lifting a finger. Du said the technology helps stressed medics save time and energy by delegating tasks to robots. iFlyteck, Du said, wishes to bring Israeli counterparts onboard to explore business opportunities. Chinese research institutes and tech companies are looking to robotics and other innovations as new drivers of the economy, in the manufacturing, services, finance and health sectors.
Maccabi (HK Chapter) Chapter)Ltd. Ltd. MaccabiWorld WorldUnion Union (HK Hong Kong – Macau – China Hong Kong – Macau – China
Looking forward forward to Looking to th th Maccabiah Games in 2017 the2020 the rd Maccabiah Games in 2017 *World’s rd 3 Largest International Sports Event*
We are dedicated to promoting trade and development between Hong Kong SAR and Israel for mutual benefit.
*World’s 3 Largest International Sports Event* We wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year with lots of lots of peace on earth. The Maccabi spirit is working wonders all over the Jewish world and The Maccabiah is the world’s largest Jewish sporting event in the tradition and values of Maccabi, emphasizing the centrality of the State of Israel in the life of the Jewish people. takes place every four (4) yearsto in life Israelas - "the Olympics" as took they are oftenincalled, Maccabi TodayThe theMaccabiah vision of Yossef Yekutieli came the Jewish first Maccabiah place Israelare84 yearsWorld ago. The Union's and most famous enterprise. Games, the largest first ever held during the British Mandate of Palestine were opened in Tel Aviv by Mayor Meir MWU who has enjoyed a year of the excellent mass infused Jewish Horse. and Zionist motivation, working towards the the Dizengoff, rode through streets of events Tel Aviv onwith a White The openingallceremony witnessed th th Maccabiah Games place the on 11 Julyto the Maccabi to the10 difficult timesfor thateach we live in. Twelve years the 17 release of 120answer pigeons; pigeons of the 12 tribes ofago, Israel, whose mission wastook to send news 2005 in Israel; it was absolute success, especially when China, Hong Kong and Macedonia participated in the games for the worldfirst letting them know about the first Maccabiah. Almost 400 athletes from 18 countries participated, including time since 1932. We, the Hong Kong team, brought some medals back. over 60 athletes from Arab countries such as Syria and Egypt. In the past 84 years, we have achieved a lot! There is no doubt that the 20th Maccabiah is not only symbolic of being 85 years old and the 20th Games, but it is also being 50 years sincespirit Jerusalem united, 100 years since the Balfour Declaration and 120 yearshas since the establishment the Zionist mass The Maccabi is working wonders all over the Jewish world. MWU enjoyed a year ofof excellent eventsMovement. infused with Jewish and Zionist motivation, all working towards the Maccabi answer to the difficult times th th that we live in. Eleven years ago, the 17 Maccabiah Games took place on 11 July 2005 in Israel was absolute The especially principal mission the Maccabiah is to facilitate a worldwide gathering of in young Israel, staging the1932. success, whenofChina, Hong Kong and Macedonia participated the Jewish gamesathletes for theinfirst time since highest possible levels of sports competitions, and strengthening their connection to the State of Israel and the Jewish people. We, Hong broughtthere some back.categories; Open, Junior, Masters, and Paralympics. In order to participate in the WithinKong the Maccabiah aremedals four separate Maccabiah, athletes must represent a delegation. Delegations are formed by each of the Territorial Organizations that participate, i.e. Hong Kong, France, States, Hungary, Australia, etc. myself; I must say we had This year, we, Hong Kong took partBrazil, in theGermany, MWU United Congress in Canada, Israel which I participated very productive and significant discussion. Obviously, everybody is doing their jobs to make the 20th Maccabiah We offer opportunities to toursymbolic. the land of Israel and integrate all Maccabiah participants with the Israeli society and localities in not even successful but more the country; initiating and creating an unforgettable experience comprised of competitive sports, cultural events and lifetime memorable experiences. In addition to being competitive, the sports competitions are also dedicated to the values of fair play,
Our loyalties lie first and foremost with our members, acting as their voice in advising and sharing with Hong Kong officials, matters affecting businesses and the economy, providing members with business information and facilitating networking through a variety of chamber activities. If all countries work together, we could overcome all difficulties on the road ahead and the risk, in promoting lasting peace and common prosperity.
In thismutual opportunity, I would like to congratulate Steve ofLyons as Head Delegation forand thecultural 20th Maccabiah Games respect, victory of body, intellect, and the pursuit excellence. Theseofspectacular sports extravaganzas uniting to ten thousand athletes from all over the world every four–years have–aChina tremendous Zionist in 2017, andclose Mark Skurnik as Jewish President of Maccabi World Unionin –Israel Hong Kong Macau for the years of history, stretching back to the imagination of a Jewishtheir youngster in 1912 dedication who made histodream come true.. 2016-2018. I am sure with allvivid their past experience, devotion, Maccabi Hong Kong; they will even bring us to a higher, faster and stronger team in the world. At this opportunity, I would like to thank again Steve Lyons, Head of Delegation of Maccabiah Games 2017, Erica Lyons and th their devotion and dedication to organize this event. Thereour is President no doubtMark thatSkurnik the 20for Maccabiah is not only symbolic of being 85 years and the 20th set of games, but also beingPlease 50 years since Jerusalem united 100 years since the Baifour Declaration and 120 years since the establishment try the best effort for the 20th Maccabiah which will take place from 4th -18th July with the opening ceremony in of theJerusalem Zionist Movement. where we will welcome 80 countries or more with 10,000 athletes and 22,000 supporters who will participate in over
40 different sports.
Please try the best effort for the 20th Maccabiah which will take place during the summer of 2017 with the opening With the largest team ever participating from Hong Kong, Macau, China, I assure you will have the best time of your life. ceremony in Jerusalem where we will welcome 80 countries or more with 9500 athletes who will participate in over 40 different sports. CHAZAK CHAZAK V'NITCHAZEK!
With even a larger team from Hong Kong, Macau, China which will participate in the games. have the best time of your life.
I assure you will
Rafael Aharoni, BBS V'NITCHAZEK! CHAZAK CHAZAK Chairman
Thank you. We couldn’t have come this far without you. Room 712 East Ocean Centre, 98 Granville Road, TST East, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Rafael Aharoni Tel. (852) 23121111 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Fax. Chairman
Thank you. We couldn’t have come this far without you. Room 712 East Ocean Centre, 98 Granville Road, TST East, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Rafael Aharoni Chairman
The Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong c/o The Jewish Community Centre, One Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel. 852-2312-1111 Fax. 852-2311-6999 E-mail: email@example.com
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
Israeli dentists explore opportunities in the Philippines A large group of senior dentists from Israel was in the Philippines in January to look at the prospects for establishing medical co-operation between Tel Aviv and Manila’s leading dental practitioners.
Ofra Bar-Shalom, CEO of AB Dental, said Israel is considered a worldwide leader in the industry because of the number of its dental companies relative to the population, including a vast number of dentists who are involved in the practice of implantology. “Our products are sold in more than 60 countries, from North and South America to Europe, Russia and Asia,” Shalom said, adding that the company’s vision is to change the standard practice in dental implants.
She said that any dentist can visit the company’s website
In direct co-ordination with Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau, 120 Israeli dentists held their annual conference in the Philippines, and hosted a meeting with the Philippine Dental Association, led by its president, Dr Carlos C. Buendia.
dentist, allowing them to succeed with their efforts and attract more patients,” Shalom said.
Israeli Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau (centre), AB Dental Technology CEO Ofra Bar Shalom (fourth from left), PDA President Dr. Carlos Buendia (sixth from left), AB Dental Marketing Manager Raz Bar David (fifth from right)
and order a 3D computerised implant by sending them CT scans of the patient and his or her mouth. Upon confirmation, AB Dental sends a full package of everything the doctor needs for surgery, including a surgical guide and all the correct implants, prosthetic, tools and even teeth.“We believe we are bringing the future to the implant industry, which will change the implant process around the world, and soon the technology will arrive in the Philippines,” she said. Shalom said their innovative technique is reflected in their ability to plan in 3D and then also print in 3D, with titanium powder using a laser sintering technology.
Votiro teams up with Netpoleon for Singapore distribution Israel-based Votiro, a global provider of solutions that protect organisations against ongoing cyber threats, announced recently that it had signed a distribution agreement with leading security solutions provider Netpoleon Solutions to provide its cybersecurity solutions to the Singaporean market. Under the agreement, Netpoleon Solutions will distribute Votiro’s products in Singapore, provide customer installation and support, and represent the product in marketing activities and at relevant industry events. “As Singapore pushes forward towards becoming a Smart Nation, cybersecurity has to become a top priority,” said Itay Glick, CEO of Votiro. “We see great potential in Singapore for Votiro’s solutions to help counter cyberattacks, specifically advanced persistent threats that use undisclosed and Zero-Day exploits.” Over the next two to five years, the data security market in Singapore is expected to be worth billions of Singapore dollars, due to increasing adop-
tion of mobile, cloud, social and information technology. As Singapore aspires to become a “Smart Nation”, the country has put forth a holistic national cybersecurity strategy, calling for advanced cybersecurity solutions. “Votiro offers a unique proposition in neutralising zeroday exploits with its patented Advanced Content Disarm and Reconstruction technology. Attackers today are deploying sophisticated evasion techniques posing massive security challenges for all organisations, big or small alike,” said Francis Goh, Managing Director of Netpoleon Solutions Singapore.
Founded in 2010, Votiro is headquartered in Tel Aviv, with its sales office in the US.
She said the U implant, already sold to experts and hospitals in Israel, provides a response to boneless patients and unusual cases, such as broken jaws resulting from car accidents or war accidents, and amputation as a result of cancer.
“AB Dental has built a toolbox, with courses and training designed to help distributors all over the world increase their business and provide knowledge of the procedures to the
Raz Bar David, the company’s Marketing Manager, said the Israeli dentists spent a week in the Philippines as part of their annual social and professional activities. They visited Manila, Boracay and Pangasinan. Lecturers from Israel, Portugal and the UK spoke about the latest technology on bone augmentation, bone implants and 3D implants by laser machines. “No matter what dental problem a person has, there is always a solution,” David said, adding that many civilian victims of the ongoing war in Syria were taken to Israel to be treated. He said that people whose faces are disfigured by the war have an excellent chance of having their jaws or teeth returned to normal thanks to the creation of
missing bones through 3D printing with titanium powder. The group showed a video of the latest maxillofacial technique, where damaged jawbones are created by 3D printing and the new set of teeth is screwed in place permanently. “When the new set of teeth is screwed on the jaw, we then build an abutment support and the person can enjoy his old way of life. This technology is growing so fast, we predict that it will achieve 100-percent application in the next 10 years,” he said. Data show that the ratio of dentists to population in the Philippines is six dentists for every 10,000 people. In Israel, the National Center for Biotech Information said the country has one dentist per 1,400 people, a ratio that is still far above that of many other countries.
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
Art • Culture • Music
18th Jerusalem Film Festival
Oded Davidoff visits Myanmar
The 18th Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival (JJFF) took place from 24 to 29 December at the Jerusalem Cinemateque.
Renowned Israeli film director Oded Davidoff met with film directors and executives of the Myanmar Motion Picture Association in December, to discuss his and their creative processes.
In addition, the festival featured a selection of films depicting Jewish intermarriage, accompanied by lectures and conversations with film-makers; live musical performances, including a live singalong event set to a restored version of Fid-
Stefan Zweig – Farewell to Europe
dler on the Roof; “Great Jewish Minds”, with films about Jewish comedian Jerry Lewis, 19thcentury German painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, renowned television producer Norman Lear, and rock’n’roll producer Bert Berns. Of special note was the screening of the film Cloudy Sunday, a cinematic and musical homage to the Greek musi-
Suzanne Dellal Centre highlights Chinese performers
Kung fu performance by the Shaolin monks
The Suzanne Dellal Centre Tel Aviv was the venue for recent celebrations marking 25 years of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Israel.
A packed audience of local and tourists enjoyed two spectacular performances. The events were presented jointly by the Suzanne Dellal Center, China’s Embassy and the Ministry of Culture of China. From 16 to 21 January, 20 monks from the famed Shaolin monastery in Henan Province, China, performed a show combining the art of kung fu with a spectacular and colourful display of movement.
In addition early February, modern dance troupe the Jin Xing Dance Theatre performed
Xing Dance Theatre
a show starring and directed by Jin Xing, a famous Chinese choreographer who is also an internationally renowned film actress and a beacon of freedom of speech in China. She is followed by millions of adoring fans and is known for being public about her sex change. For this reason, she has become a model of human freedom and expression in China.
cian Vasilis Tsitsanis and the Jewish community of Thessaloniki. JJFF has become a magnet for local audiences, including those who do not necessarily attend the Cinematheque throughout the year, as well as visiting tourists. The festival, which screens some 50 movies, has grown tremendously since its inception in 1999 and has taken its place among the major cultural events in Jerusalem.
Davidoff showed some of his creations, shared his experiences, and explained his objectives when creating films and the difficulties faced during shooting. A Q&A session followed.
While visiting the country, Davidoff also gave lectures on film making in Yangon and
Davidoff’s work in film and TV has won him the most prestigious film-making awards in Israel. He produced his first film in 2005, titled Someone to run with. In 2007, he directed a TV series called All Honey, which won him a Best Television Director award. He attended the San Spiegel Film and Television School. Oded expressed his desire to film in Myanmar, adding that films should depict one’s true feelings about current situations.
It included an international competition, featuring the cinematic adaptation of Nicole Krauss’s novel, The History of Love (directed by Radu Mihaileanu) and the award-winning Austrian/German/French production about the last days of Stefan Zweig, Stefan Zweig – Farewell to Europe (directed by Maria Schrader).
Mandalay National University of Arts and Culture.
Oded Davidoff with U Soe Htike , Former Film Director and Visiting Professor of Yangon National University of Arts and Culture
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
Art • Culture • Music
“Open A Door To Israel” interactive exhibition in Singapore A free exhibition titled “Open A Door To Israel” was held in December at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore. The multi-sensory exhibition transported visitors to Israel through interactive doors that revealed videos about various aspects of Israeli life.
The 15-day exhibition was created by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Strategic Affairs to celebrate the nation’s history, culture and innovation.
Instead of seeing a series of wordy information panels, visitors experienced slices of Israeli life through large LED screens that were hidden behind nine doors. The videos reflected on specific themes such as family, heritage, culture and education. For example, visitors were able to sit down to a Shabbat dinner with an Israeli family, play a game of matkot (a beach paddle-ball game popular in Israel),
One of the “Doors” at the exhibition
and join the merry-making at a traditional Chasidic wedding.
The exhibition’s unconventional format made for a more “fun and engaging” experience for visitors, “aside from just reading content”, said curator Zavi Apfelbaum, who is also deputy director of the public diplomacy, academic and branding department at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She hopes that ultimately, the exhibition will help to bridge the gulf between the people of Sin-
gapore and Israel. “The doors will encourage visitors to notice the similarities between their lifestyle and Israelis’,” she said. The showcase has travelled to countries such as Poland, Italy and India, and has been seen by more than 100,000 visitors. It made its South-east Asian debut in Singapore, thanks to the strong ties between the two countries, said Mr Yuval Rotem, acting director general of the foreign ministry.
Eilat Chamber Music Festival hosts international artists The Eilat Chamber Music Festival, one of the leading international festivals in Israel, took place from 1 to 4 February.
The event was hosted in Israel’s southern-most sea resort destination, Eilat, where attendees had the opportunity to enjoy many concerts, the beautiful water of the Red Sea, spectacular views of the hills that surround the resort, water sports, biking and hiking.
Soloists from all over the world; the festival’s master class professors Amir Katz, Marianna Vasileva, Grigory Kalinovsky and Hillel Zori, and others joined together to present a fascinating chamber music programme. Trumpeter Jens Lindemann returned for a special jazz concert with leading musicians from Israel and abroad, and opera singers from the Vienna Tel Aviv Vocal Connection sang famous arias from popular classical and romantic operas. Ian Bostridge, one of the world’s greatest tenors, joined Geneva Camerata, conducted by David Greilsammer, to present a programme featuring masterpieces from Baroque times to the present day.
Fifteen-year-old pianist Alexander Malofeev, who won the young Tchaikovsky Competition in his first performance in Israel, performed a complex and varied programme of exqui-
Malaysian comedian judged world’s funniest person Malaysian stand-up comedy king Harith Iskander, 50, was judged the world’s funniest person in a contest held in Helsinki, Finland, in December. Harith, who was announced the champion of The Laugh Factory’s “Funniest Person in the World” 2016 competition, joked his way ahead of four other contenders: Alex Calleja from the Philippines, Katerina Vrana from Greece, Mino Van Nassau from India and David Kilimnick from Israel.
As the winner, Harith bagged US$100,000 and a comedy tour in the US, while runner-up Calleja took home US$10,000. Vrana in third place received US$5,000. In a Facebook post, Harith, who is referred to as the Godfather of Malaysian stand-up comedy, said he was “so excited and thrilled” to win the competition.
“It was a tough journey,” he commented. “In the semifinals we had Murilo Couto
(Brazil – with two million fans), Michael Mittermeier (Germany) and Jimeon (Ireland) – comedy giants in Europe, and I’m thrilled to share the stage with them.” He added: “It’s time to put comedy from Malaysia on the world map.” The competition, organised by US-based comedyclub chain The Laugh Factory, consisted of three rounds. In the first round, 89 comedians from 56 countries battled to earn a spot in the top 20. The top 20 contestants proceeded to the second round before the final five vied for the top spot in the third round.
Jacob’s Ladder folk music festival
site pianistic discoveries.
One of the highlights was a concert of jazz, blues and classical improvisations with virtuoso jazz pianist Jacky Terrasson and Geneva Camerata.
The festival also offered master classes focusing on string instruments, piano and trumpet, aimed at serious pre-
college, undergraduate and postgraduate students to further develop their musicianship and improve their technical skills. There was also a workshop for opera singers, led by the Vienna Tel Aviv Vocal Connection. The artistic director of the Eilat Chamber Music Festival is violinist and conductor Leonid Rozenberg.
4th Blues Festival in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv’s fourth Blues Festival took place from 11 to 14 January in clubs and bars across the city. The winter edition of the festival was an opportunity for festivalgoers to fully experience the magic and warmth of acoustic blues, from the fields of Mississippi to the alleyways of New Orleans. The festival took place across 20 venues and attracted well over 10,000 blues-lovers. It took a more intimate approach, offering dozens of performances, lectures, jam
sessions, sweepstakes, collaborations and original productions exclusive to the festival. Rural Grammy-winning blues artist Alvin Youngblood Hart, one of today’s top blues guitar players, was the headline act, opening the festival with one show in the Barby Club. Additional lineups included The Deep Down South duo (New Orleans) in a solo act and accompanied by SOBO band, The Hazelnuts, Radio Inshallah (actor Tomer Sharon and musician Yair Yona) in their
Over 3,000 tourists and Israelis are expected to attend this year’s Jacob’s Ladder Festival, a family-friendly folk music festival to be held in the grounds of the Nof Ginosar Hotel on the Sea of Galilee from 18 to 20 May. The festival will showcase all aspects of folk music, from bluegrass, world music and Irish jigs to country, blues and renaissance. Beginning on Thursday evening and continuing until late afternoon on Saturday, it will include activities for all the family on six different stages or activity centres. Festival tickets include en-
debut performance, Yair Dalal and Micky Shaviv – Baghdad Memphis blues (when early blues meets Jewish-Arabic music). The celebrations continued at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque with two special blues events: a lecture by Sharon Kantor, with screenings of episodes from the first-ever blues reality-documentary series Moonshine Blues and Mojo Hands; and Motown and Blues: Lecture by Idan Alterman, with a screening of the cult movie The Blues Brothers.
trance to all concerts, jam sessions, dance and music workshops, the story tent, yoga and tai chi sessions, a swimming pool, a crafts fair, parking and free camping. Most activities and the Main Stage concerts are held outside. Festival-goers can choose to stay on-site (in rooms or tents) or in local hotels or zimmers. Since 2003, Nof Ginosar has been the home of the Jacob’s Ladder Folk Festival and the Jacob’s Ladder Winter Weekend. Since 2000, Jacob’s Ladder has hosted many overseas guests, including Rory McCleod (UK), Ben Sands (Ireland), Pete, Joan & Will Wernick (US) and Orrin Star (US), plus performers from the local Israeli scene.
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
Investing in Precious Metals
The Rush for Gold (Part 1) Supplied by
Joshua Rotbart Founder of J. Rotbart & Co.
For over 5,000 years mankind has been looking at gold as a symbol of prosperity, wealth and stability. We have been fascinated with the yellow metal. From Oscars to Olympics to James Bond’s Goldfinger, gold plays a distinct role in our civilisation. As Christopher Columbus phrased it, “Gold is a treasure. He who possesses it does all he wishes to in this world”. LOSS OF TRUST Gold has become ever-more popular since the financial crisis of 2008 started to unfold. Events such as the collapse of entire markets as well as renowned banks, most famously Lehman Brothers, in 2008 or the freeze on bank cash holdings imposed by the Cypriot government in
2013 led to a decline in the trust in the financial institutions and the government in charge of preventing such events. WHY GOLD? • Traditionally gold performs well in unstable times, so it has a balancing effect on other components of a portfolio. • Gold’s purchasing power has remained stable over the past few decades, especially when compared to most currencies. • Gold is the “real” global currency backed by its intrinsic value rather than by governments. We can therefore understand why gold became even more popular as an important tool for wealth protection value hedging instrument and store of value. THE TREND OF A DECADE From 2008 we saw a dramatic increase in the demand
for gold holdings, whether in the form of ETFs, mining companies, future contracts or options. However, in this series of articles we will focus on the demand for physical holdings of gold and other precious metals, both by private individuals and by sovereign banks. We will discuss this in more detail in our next article. GO PHYSICAL The case for physical holdings vs “paper gold” • The upside price potential is not capped at all, while the downside potential is limited due to mining and refining costs. This means that supply of material is limited while the demand is there. • Cybersecurity - Physical holdings (on fully allocated and segregated basis) cannot be compromised, while paper holdings can be manipulated.
ever, at this time of uncertainty, prudent investors should diversify and hold between 5% to 10% in gold and other precious metals. We strongly recommend these holdings be kept in physical form, especially if the intention is to hold them for mid to long term.
• Counterparty risk – gold bullion is one of the few assets in the world with zero counterparty risk because it is a physical, allocated, and universally accepted asset.
“You have to choose between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the Government. And, with due respect for these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the Capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.” George Bernard Shaw.
• A global, highly liquid currency - gold is a currency more than a commodity, and as such it is truly universal and always liquid. A gold ingot can be always be redeemed for cash, almost everywhere.
About Joshua Rotbart Joshua Rotbart (LLM, MBA) is the founder and managing partner of J. Rotbart & Co. (Strategic Transactions Limited), a Hong Kong-based company that provides reliable solutions for clients wishing to ship, store and purchase precious metals and other tangible assets. Originally from Israel, Joshua studied marketing and law in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s special programme for outstanding students. He has worked as a corporate lawyer for some of the most reputable law firms in Tel-Aviv, Israel. In 2010 Joshua joined Malca-Amit and was appointed head of business development for the group’s flagship vault in the Singapore Freeport. In 2013 Joshua was asked to move to Malca-Amit global head office in Hong Kong in order to set up and manage the new Malca-Amit Precious Metals (“MAPM”) venture.
• Eternal - can be melted and remelted over time and does not erode. All the gold that was stored in the World Trade Center in New York, was recovered after 9/11 attack. • As tangible assets, physical holdings offer better security than paper contracts. Gold bullion can also be moved in times of need for the mid to long term. It is our view that more than
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Jewish Times Asia February 2017
Jews are the world’s most-educated religious group, research reveals
ews are the world’s most-educated religious group, with an average of more than 13 years of formal schooling, according to a new study published in December. The study, undertaken by the Pew Research Center, a USbased non-partisan “fact tank”, found that Jews worldwide have four years more of schooling on average than the next-most-educated group, Christians, who average about nine years of schooling. One important note in the research relates to both religion and region matter for educational attainment. Within the world’s major religious groups, there are often large variations
drops to 65% among those aged 25 to 34.
in educational attainment depending on the country or region of the world in which adherents live. Muslims in Europe, for example, have more years of schooling, on average, than Muslims in the Middle East. This is because education levels are affected by many factors other than religion, including socioeconomic conditions, government resources and migration policies, the presence or absence of armed conflict and the prevalence of child labor and marriage. At the same time, this study finds that even under the same regional or national conditions, there often are differences in education attainment among those within religious groups.
Pew attributes the decline to the growth of America’s Orthodox Jewish population, which attains formal secular education at lower rates than non-Orthodox Jews.
Muslims and Hindus are the least-educated religious groups, each with about 5 1/2 years of formal schooling. The global average is less than eight years. Jews led the groups in several other categories. Jewish men and women have the smallest average gap in years of formal schooling at zero (Hindu women, on the other extreme, trail men by 2.7 years). Jews were the most educated in the 55-to-74 category, and 61% of them have at least some post-high-school education, while the global average is
14%. And 99% of Jews have had at least some formal schooling.
Among Jews worldwide aged 25 to 34, women are more educated than men. Jewish women in that age group have more than 14 years of formal schooling on average, and nearly 70% have attended some form of higher education.
Jewish men in that cohort, by contrast, have an average of 13.4 years of formal schooling, and 57% have had higher education.
While 81% of US Jewish men aged 55 to 74 have had higher education, the number
US Jews have the highest rate of higher education, at 75% (compared to 40% of Americans generally), and have an average of 14.7 years of schooling. Jewish Israelis have an average of 12 years of schooling, and 46% have had higher education. The least educated Jewish population is in South Africa, where Jews have an average of 12 years of schooling, and only 29% have higher education. In the country as a whole, only 3% of the population has higher education. Jews in Israel have far more education, on average, than Muslim Israelis, though the gap is narrowing. Among the oldest Jews and Muslims, there is a nearly-six-year gap in formal schooling. Among Jews and Muslims aged 25 to 34, however, the gap shrinks to 3.7 years.
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
Comprehensive care transforms the lives of Israeli children at extreme risk
When a patient is brought to an e m e r g e n c y ro o m , he or she doesn’t necessarily know how to say what is wrong. Professionals who care for children in severe distress often face the same challenge in seeking to understand the source of the trauma experienced by a child,” says Ofir Murad, Director of the Schusterman C h i l d r e n ’s E m e r g e n c y Center in Jerusalem. The centre is one of four urgentresponse facilities directed by A Home for Every Child in Israel (Bayit LeKol Yeled, or BiLY in Hebrew). The story of 12-year-old Dana offers insight into the sensitive investigative work essential to providing the safe
dren who have suffered sexual abuse or demonstrate abusive behaviour.
haven and therapeutic treatment essential to help them toward a better future. A year ago, social service authorities referred Dana to one of BiLY’s fifteen therapeutic after-school centers in Jerusalem. Her troubled mother was unable to care for her and is was apparent that Dana was in urgent
need of supervision and guidance during the afternoon and early evening hours. Dana’s behaviour at the after-school centre was aggressive toward the other children, and it was suspected that she was committing sexual offences against other children. The after-school programme supervisor recognised that Dana’s troubled behaviour had its roots in her complex home. It was suspected that both she and her sister had been abused by her father.
Dana was referred to the Meital Center, a BiLY programme whose expertise is the diagnosis and care of chil-
At the Meital Center, the therapeutic consensus was that Dana’s well-being was dependent on removing her from her very problematic home and enabling her to live in a setting where her urgent needs could be assessed and treated. She was placed in BiLY’s Emergency Center in Jerusalem, where she lived for four months. She received therapeutic care in a safe and supervised residence that helped her begin the process of emotional healing. Dana’s mother sadly acknowledged that she couldn’t properly provide for Dana, and she took the courageous step of consenting that her daughter be placed in a therapeutic dormitory school, where Dana is now thriving.
Child was established as an NGO in 1975 as a partner to Israel’s social service authorities: BiLY’s mission is to provide expert therapeutic care and warm-hearted rehabilitation for children who have suffered severe neglect and abuse. BiLY’s comprehensive approach to therapeutic care relies on both core government support and the generosity of friends throughout the world. Philanthropic gifts assure that children’s needs are fully met.
From welcoming and wellcared for facilities to state-ofthe-art therapeutic care and nurturing activities for the children, BiLY’s supporters prove that there is no better return on investment than a brighter future for a child at risk. To learn more: www.bily.org.il
Dana, and hundreds of vulnerable children and youth like her across Israel are dependent on Bily’s time-sensitive intervention of caring experts and the preparedness of emergency facilities and professional programmes. A Home for Every
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Jewish Times Asia February 2017
The menorah engraved on the wall of the cave has a base with three feet, and it evidently portrays the menorah that stood in the Temple during the Second
Sa’ar Ganor, IAA
Touring enthusiasts Mickey Barkal, Sefi Givoni and Ido Meroz, who are members of the Israel Caving Club, went out to visit hidden caves in the Judean foothills. According to Meroz, “We heard there are interesting caves in the region. We began to
peer into them, and that’s how we came to this cave, which is extremely impressive with rockcarved niches and engravings on the wall. Just before we were about to return we suddenly noticed an engraving that at first glance seemed to be a menorah. When we realised this was an ancient depiction of a menorah, we became very excited. Its appearance was quite distinct. We left the cave and reported the discovery to the Israel Antiquities Authority.”
A hiker at the site
period.” Ganor added: “The menorah was probably etched in the cistern after the water installation was hewn in the bedrock – maybe by inhabitants of the Jewish settlement that was situated there during the Second Temple period and the time of Bar Kokhba – and the cross was etched later on during the Byzantine period, most likely in the fourth century CE.
Engraving of a seven-branched menorah
Temple period. A cross was engraved near the menorah. Another engraving was found on the side of the cave that seemed to resemble a type of key that is characteristic of antiquity, as well as other engravings, some of which have not yet been identified. Alongside the cistern is a columbarium with dozens of niches that were used to raise doves in antiquity. During the Second Temple period doves were used as part of the sacrificial rites in the Temple.
According to Sa’ar Ganor, the District Archaeologist of Ashkelon in the Israel Antiquities Authority, “There are buildings and hiding refuges from the time of the Bar Kokhba uprising (second century CE) at the site and buildings that date to the Byzantine period. It is rare to find a wall engraving of a menorah, and this exciting discovery, which was symbolically revealed during the Chanukah holiday, substantiates the scientific research regarding the Jewish nature of the settlement during the Second Temple
Sa’ar Ganor, IAA
ikers exploring a water cistern in the Judean foothills during the Chanukah festival in December made a rare and intriguing discovery: on the walls of the cistern, which is hewn in chalk bedrock, were incised ancient engravings of a seven-branched menorah and a cross.
Sa’ar Ganor, IAA
Hikers discover engravings of seven-branched menorah
An engraving that appears to depict a key
Jewish Times Asia February 2017
February Parashas 4 February 2017 / 8 Shevat 5777: BO The last three of the Ten Plagues – locusts, darkness and the killing of the first born. Before the last plague G-d describes to Moses how the coming out of Egypt will happen, gives the very first commandment to the Children of Israel – that of sanctifying time with the institution of the system of the months, and the command to keep Pesach with taking of the pascal lamb, killing it and placing its blood on the door post of the houses of the Israelites and eating it with Matzah, unleavened bread. At exactly midnight on the 15th Nisan the process of redemption began with the killing of the first born, and Pharaoh commanding that the Israelites leave Egypt. The institution of Pesach, the law of the first born and the Mitzvah of Tephillin.
11 February 2017 / 15 Shevat 5777: BESHALACH / SHABBAT SHIRA The Shabbat upon which Beshalach is read is traditionally called “Shabbat Shira” because it contains the beautiful song that was sung by Moses and the Children of Israel after the crossed the Red Sea and saw the final vanquishing of the Egyptian army who were caught by the returning waters that had just parted to allow the Israelites to pass through on dry land. The song is not one of victory, but of faith that G-d will protect us from our en-
HOLIDAYS/ FASTS/ ROSH CHODESH/ SPECIAL DAYS Tu B’Shevat: 11 February 2017 (15 Shevat 5777) Rosh Chodesh: 26 February 2017 (30 Shevat 5777) 27 February 2017 (1 Adar 5777)
emies. Miriam led the women in a separate song, which was different from that of the men, in that it was accompanied by musical instruments.
18 February 2017 / 22 Shevat 5777: YITRO The Torah records the reunion between Moses and his father-in-law Yitro (after whom this Shabbat Torah reading is named). Yitro blessed G-d on His saving of the Children of Israel for Egyptian bondage and sits down with Moses to eat bread. (From this has arisen the tradition in many especially Sephardi communities to have a special Seuda [meal] on this Shabbat). The Children of Israel arrive at Mount Sinai and prepare to receive the Torah with thunder, lightning and the sound of the Shofar. Moses goes up to Mount Sinai and receives the Torah, which symbolised by the 10 Commandments. Moses is commanded to build an altar that has not been fashioned with weapons of war.
25 February 2017 / 29 Shevat 5777: MISHPATIM / PARSHAT SHEKALM SHABBAT MEVARECHIM The parasha of Mishpatim contains various civil laws, starting with the law of the Hebrew slave. Jewish civil law differs from many ancient legal systems in that it begins by addressing the rights of the lowest of any society – the slave. The slave who was forced to sell himself into slavery or was sold by a Beth Din because he could not repay the value of property he had stolen, had to be released in his seventh year. Other civil laws include; personal injury, loans, usury, and property damage. The end of the portion speaks of the preparations the Israelites made before receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai.
Candle Lighting Times for February Cities 3-Feb
Bangkok 6:01 Beijing 5:18 Guangzhou 5:58 Hong Kong 5:55 Kathmandu 5:28 Kobe 5:13 Manila 5:38 Mumbai 6:15 Perth 6:59 Shanghai 5:13 Singapore 7:02 Seoul 5:40 Taipei 5:22 Tokyo 4:52
6:04 5:26 6:02 5:59 5:33 5:20 5:41 6:19 6:53 5:19 7:03 5:48 5:27 4:59
6:06 5:34 6:06 6:03 5:38 5:26 5:43 6:22 6:47 5:25 7:03 5:55 5:31 5:06
6:07 5:42 6:10 6:07 5:43 5:33 5:45 6:25 6:39 5:30 7:02 6:03 5:35 5:13
Candlelighting times are taken from Chabad.org.
JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN ASIA CAMBODIA
Chabad of Hong Kong: 1/F Hoover Court, 7-9 Macdonell Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2523 9770 www.chabadhk.org
Chabad Jewish Center House # 32, Street 228, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: (855) 85 807 205 www.jewishcambodia.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jewish Community Centre: One Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2801 5440 www.jcc.org.hk
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
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 Chesed-El Synagogue: 2 Oxley Rise, Singapore 238693 Tel: (65) 6732 8862, (65) 9740 8109 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: email@example.com
Shuva Israel (Orthodox): 2/F Fortune House, 61 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2851 6300 www.shuva-israel.com
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.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
Kenesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, 43 Dr V.B. Gandhi Marg, Fort, Mumbai Tel: (91) 22 22831502 / 22839617
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:email@example.com Taipei Jewish Community Synagogue Services: 11F, 54 Minsheng East Road, Section 4, Taipei, Taiwan email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bangkok Jewish Association of Thailand: 121 Soi Sai Nam Thip 2, Sukhumvit Soi 22, Bangkok, Thailand Tel: (662) 663 0244 www.jewishthailand.com
Chabad of Pudong: Vila # 69, 2255 Luoshan Road, Shanghai, 200135, PR China Tel: (86) 21 5878 2008 www.chinajewish.org
Kurla Bene Israel: 275 C.S.T. Rd, Jewish Colony, Kurla (W) Mumbai, India Tel: (91) 22 511-2132
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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kehilat Shanghai (Reform): XinTianDi – Lakeville 2 Regency Club, 168 ShunChang Lu, Shanghai, China Tel: (86) 13817825201 www.kehilatshanghai.org Email: email@example.com, Facebook: facebook.com/KehilatShanghai
Tokyo Tokyo Chabad: 1-5-23 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan 108-0073 Tel: (813) 5789 2846 www.chabad.jp
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
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
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
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
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
Chabad House: GHA-2-516-4 Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: (977) 980 324 1294 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: 5A (villa) Nguyen Dinh Chieu St., Dakao ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Tel: (84) 90 9166770 www.JewishVietnam.com