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July / August 2018 • Volume 13 • Issue 4 • Tammuz / Av / Elul 5778


By Staff Writer and Agencies Israel and Myanmar have signed an education co-operation agreement that will, among other things, enable each country to edit passages concerning its own history in the other’s textbooks. Some political commentators around the world see this development as controversial as Myanmar, formerly Burma, moves away from a military dictatorship but has also more recently become embroiled in claims of the “ethnic cleansing” of some its people. However, some say the move could be a positive step towards normalising its relationship with countries around the world. Israel and Myanmar do share similarities, with the world’s media creating negative sentiment towards both nations when it comes to human rights and military aggression. The official co-operation agreement was signed on 28 May. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely tweeted the news of the signing of the agreement on her official Twitter account with the headline “Education agreement with Myanmar, continuing cooperation with our friends around the world.” Under the new agreement, which Israel’s newspaper Haaretz, obtained, the two countries will “co-operate to develop programmes for the teaching of the Holocaust and its lessons of the negative consequences of intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia as a part of the school curriculum in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar”. The two countries will encourage the development of

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely signs the agreement with U Maung Maung Lynn, Myanmar’s Ambassador to Israel

other joint projects in the field of education, including encounters between educators and young people from both countries. Under the accord, which is considered standard and resembles those signed with other nations, both countries will act to encourage contacts and cooperation between academic institutions, schools and even pre-schools – as well as participation in conferences, training courses and educational and professional study tours. Both parties will also share knowledge in the field of education and encourage the development of Israeli and Jewish studies programmes in Myanmar and a Myanmar studies programme in Israel, including Hebrew and Myanmar language teaching respectively. The almost 50 years of rule by the military dictatorship in Myanmar, historically known as Burma, ostensibly ended in 2011. In the 2015 election, that regime was replaced by the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. But in recent years the United Nations has accused the country of committing ethnic cleansing against its Rohingya Muslim minority, and hundreds of thousands of Rohingya survivors are still considered to be refugees.

UN groups have described the attacks by Myanmar’s security forces on the Rohingya as examples of “textbook ethnic cleansing”. Human rights organisations reported in August 2017 that the army conducted mass executions without trial of Rohingya, committed sexual violence against the group and burned down villages. Some 400,000 Rohingya refugees fled to neighbouring Bangladesh and many others are trapped along the border between the two countries.

any military exercises with Myanmar. Diplomatic relations with Myanmar have not changed, despite the halt in weapons sales. Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said in response to questions concerning the education agreement that Israel has diplomatic relations with Myanmar, as it does with many other countries around the world. “These relations are expressed in a wide range of areas including culture, agriculture and education. Israel does not sell weapons to Myanmar. We should applaud the signing of the agreement with this nation in the field of education,” he said.

Visit our website IN THIS ISSUE Regional News Police in the Philippines uncover online scam by Israeli nationals 3-8

Business News IDE Technologies acquires stake in Sorek desalination plant


Art • Culture • Music Taiwanese Hakka culture showcased in Israel


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

Over the years, relations between Israel and Myanmar have included military ties, which continued even during the period of the European Union’s arms embargo on Myanmar as well as US sanctions against the sale of weapons to the country. In September 2017, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled on a petition against Israel’s weapons sales to Myanmar. However, the court decision must remain secret because the judges hearing the case – Supreme Court justices Yoram Danziger, Anat Baron and David Mintz – issued a gag order on it at the request of the state. Israel says that since then it has stopped selling weapons to Myanmar, and there have been no reports of any such sales by Israel or

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Ongoing investigations are still underway as at least eight Israelis suspected of a multimillion-dollar online scam are in custody in the Philippines after being denied bail by the Philippine Justice Department, according to Philippine media reports. In June almost 500 people were arrested in three adjacent call centre offices run by Israelis. This operation may be the tip of the iceberg and may result in other similar operations worldwide being investigated by Israeli law enforcement. Police chief Oscar Albayalde said that in one of the Philippines’ biggest anti-cybercrime busts in years, 474 Filipino employees and the Israelis were taken into custody following the raid on

Philippine National Police and SAF (Special Action Force) members escort Israeli nationals following a raid at Clark Freeport Zone near Manila

three buildings in Clark Freeport, a former US Air Force base north of Manila, where the alleged online fraud was committed. The suspects lured victims into investing in foreign stocks in a purportedly flourishing London-based company then took their money through an online app after obtaining their bank account and credit card details, said Chief Super-

intendent Marni Marcos, who heads the national police AntiCybercrime Group. The Israeli men were arrested “while in the act of managing, operating and manning the three target buildings,” while the Filipinos were caught communicating and doing online transactions with foreign clients from Europe, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Russia, Albayalde said

in a statement. Police video shows officers with assault rifles, backed by special forces units, barging into a vast office and repeatedly yelling “Hands up!” while ordering some of the suspects not to touch their computers. Some of the Israelis could be seen being led away in handcuffs. Police seized evidence showing that the perpetrators were “engaged in a fraudulent online trading activity that involves millions of US dollars, victimising other foreign nationals all over the world,” Albayalde added. State prosecutors are assessing criminal complaints against the suspects. Some foreign victims travelled to the Philippines to provide details of the scam.

Israel to reduce visa fee for Indian travellers To strengthen its relationship with India, the Israeli Government has reduced the visa fee for Indian travellers from Indian Rupees 1,700 to 1,100. The revised fee is applicable to the B2 visa category, which is for people travelling for business, meeting/conference or tourism purposes. In the past three years, the number of Indian tourists visiting the country has increased significantly. Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism Director (India & Philippines), said: “We are happy to announce the reduction in visa fees for Indian travellers with

reduced visa application fee would help raise those numbers.

A group of Indian tourists visiting Jerusalem

immediate effect. I am confident that this move will encourage more people to choose Israel as a holiday destination and boost inbound numbers from India.” He mentioned that with the introduction of Fast Track visa processing few months back,

Australia will not move its embassy Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, has said that Australia will not be moving its embassy to Jerusalem, despite her Liberal Party’s support for the move. The party approved a nonbinding resolution supporting the move and calling for a suspension of aid to Palestine until it stops paying jailed terrorists and their families. The motion was approved by a vote of 43 to 31, the British newspaper The Guardian re-

ported. “While I understand the sentiment behind this resolution, the Australian Government will not be moving our embassy to Jerusalem,” Bishop said, according to the newspaper. Bishop said she had recently written to her Palestinian counterpart, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, to ensure that the Aus$43 million in Australian aid is spent on health, education and governance.

Israel experienced a significant boost in its travel industry and that he was confident the

Madah commented that 2017 had been the best in terms of the number of Indian travellers to Israel – 60,000 people from India visited the country. Israel is hoping to hit a target of 100,000 in 2018, and is also working hard to introduce evisa processing to simplify the group visa process.

Jewish veteran receives MBE from the Queen A 101-year-old Jewish British veteran of WWII received an honour from the Queen on 1 June for his services to education. Mordaunt Cohen received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).

ing Nigerian volunteers. After the war he became chairman of the Association of Jewish ExServicemen, through which he worked to ensure the memory of the thousands of Jewish soldiers who served in the British Army was not forgotten.

Cohen told the Jewish Chronicle he was “deeply humbled” to have been recognised for the years he spent teaching young people about the war and his experiences. Born in Sunderland, he joined the British Army after hearing about the plight of the Jews in Nazi Germany. He served in the jungles of Burma, now Myanmar, with the 251 West African Heavy Anti-Aircraft Unit, command-

Mordaunt Cohen, pictured today and during WWII

Police in the Philippines uncover online scam by Israeli nationals Philippine National Police via AP

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Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018

Regional News

Indonesian Islamic leader attends conference in Israel

Yahya Staquf is the Secretary General of the 60-million-member Nahdlatul Ulama movement, the largest traditionalist Sunni Islam Muslim organisation in Indonesia, established in Jakarta in 1926. Braving angry protests at home, he was in Israel in order to spread what he called a message of interfaith compassion. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, and support for the Palestinians there is strong. Staquf’s presence triggered angry reactions, as seen on Indonesian social media. However in an interview prior to the visit, Staquf said he remained committed to the visit and hoped the controversy would bring more attention to his message of tolerance. “Some people here are amazed by my decision to come, because they think it must be dangerous for this man to come, thinking that many, many Muslims must be threatening him with death or something,” Staquf told The Associated Press. Staquf addressed the AJC conference, appearing along-

Yahya Staquf at the AJC conferecne

side a rabbi in his discussion. His also had meetings at Israel’s Hebrew University and talks with local Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders.

ing in Myanmar, where 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh to escape persecution by the country’s security forces.

One of the highlights during his stay was a meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 14 June, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Netanyahu told him that many Muslim countries are getting closer to Israel for various reasons. The first is security – the common struggle against the Iranian regime and ISIS, and the second is technology. “Israel is the innovation nation, and I’m very happy to see that the Arab countries and many Muslim countries getting closer to Israel. I hope that we have some movement with Indonesia,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu.

But Staquf remains aware of the “magnitude” of the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. “We are facing a civilisational problem here, and it is related to religions,” he said. “As Muslims, we want to do our part related to our religion.”

Staquf said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not the sole focus of his trip. Instead, he said, he was looking at interfaith co-operation as a basis for solving many conflicts, includ-

Al Quds Day marches held in the UK and Germany As in recent years, thousands of demonstrators rallied through London and Berlin on 9-10 June for the annual Al Quds Day marches. Al Quds Day was initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 as a day of support for the Palestinians and a call for the destruction of Israel. The anti-Zionist and ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta organisation was applauded by participants for its role in the event, in which Israeli flags were stomped on, ripped and burned. While the US, Israel, Canada, the Netherlands and even the Arab League consider Hezbollah as a whole to be a terrorist organisation, Germany and the UK are among the European nations that still differentiate between its political and military wings. While the military wing is outlawed, the

portions of Islam that he considers problematic, including how Muslims interact with nonMuslims. He stated that there needs to be “a new discourse” to recognise that Muslims and nonMuslims are equal and should be able to coexist peacefully. “These elements are problematic because they are not compatible anymore with the current reality of our civilisation.”

political wing is still considered “legitimate”. Small counter-protests were organised by pro-Israel groups in Berlin and London. In London, Israel supporters played the Israeli national anthem and the song Toy loudly on speakers. Toy was the Israeli winning entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In advance of the march in the UK, a spokesperson for London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Anti-Semitism or hate crime of any kind has no place in our city or in our society. Sadiq has written to the Home Secretary to raise his deep concerns about the support shown for Hezbollah at the annual Al-Quds Day march. He has called on him to urgently reconsider his predecessor’s decision not to take action to stop this.”

Staquf said he has identified

In Indonesia, Twitter and Facebook have been filled with negative comments about the visit. Many people are upset about the situation in Gaza. A montage of Staquf’s photo and the Israeli and NU flags went viral online. It was captioned: “When Muslims are wounded by an Israeli attack, the NU representative goes to Israel. This visit is a form of recognition of the state of Israel, hurting the hearts of Muslims and Palestinians.”

Taufiqulhadi, a member of parliament from the National Democratic Party, one of the parties in the government coalition, said “the majority of Indonesians” do not want diplomatic relations with Israel. In a letter to Indonesia’s foreign minister that was published online, Staquf said the government could “deny” his actions if they were deemed harmful to state interests. “But if there is a ‘benefit’, let’s follow it up to be a real advantage.”

GPO/Haim zach

A top member of Indonesia’s largest Islamic movement visited Israel in June, at the invitation of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), a US advocacy group that was holding a major conference in Jerusalem.

Yahya Staquf meets Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018


Regional News

Golan Heights wine off the shelf in Japan A major department store chain in Japan recently cancelled the participation of an importer specialising in wine from the Golan Heights at an event celebrating Mediterranean cuisine. The decision came over fear of protests from activist groups. The Japanese store Daimaru, which held the fair in May in Tokyo, withdrew an invitation to the Naturael importer to sell its products, The Associated Press (AP) reported, because it sells wine that is produced in the Golan. Naturael sells wine,

The well-known Yarden wine from Golan Heights is not welcome in Japan

by the Japanese government”. He expressed concern that such boycotts would spread to other areas of commerce, “not just food but to information and

technology systems and many other commercial products”. He added: “In the end, you won’t be able to sell anything.” Daimaru is not the first Japanese depart-

ment store chain to boycott an Israeli product, according to AP. Last year, Mitsukoshi banned Israeli products at an event in Tokyo.

Vietnam hosts international start-up event

A Daimaru store in Tokyo

olive oil and date syrup made in Israel throughout Japan. Daimaru told AP that it has no policy against Israeli products in general and that wine from other areas of Israel was sold at the fair. “Today we cannot ignore geopolitical issues,” Satoshi Nishio, a spokesman for Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores Co. “We have to start paying more attention to where products are coming from.” Naturael CEO Yoshiyuki Hongo told AP that the wines he carries are legally imported into Japan and are “all authorised

The coastal city of Da Nang in Vietnam hosted the third International Start-up Conference and Exhibition, or SURF 2018, on 29 June, attracting participants in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. The theme of the event was “linkthewaves”. Around 2,000 attendees, including 20 investors and 30 speakers, participated in the conference and exhibition at the city’s administrative centre. A start-up pitch competition, part of the conference, is the largest in central Vietnam, and this year’s event offered a cash prize of US$6,000 for the winner. Participants had the opportunity to share experiences and ideas with start-up programmes and experts from Israel, Canada, Ireland, the

UK, Finland, Singapore and Vietnam. Deputy Chief of Mission of the Israeli Embassy in Vietnam, Doron Lebovich, said SURF 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. He said Israel and Da Nang, as well as the Da Nang Entrepreneurship Support Centre, had developed positive partnerships with start-up programmes, and the city’s leadership had strongly committed to building a start-up programme and ecosystem. Da Nang launched a business start-up programme ecosystem in 2014 as a base for a young generation just beginning their business careers. Around 300 start-up projects, of which 10 received funding from investors, were born from the ecosys-

tem’s co-working space. In 2017, the Sông Hàn Incubator Centre, which was seen as the first private-sector incubator, was established as a consultancy for young people starting businesses. It aims to develop a start-up ecosystem and popularise the spirit of business among other locals in Vietnam.

Delegates at the conference


Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018

Regional News

EL AL enters into codeshare arrangement with Hong Kong Airlines

Subject to government approval, the arrangement will open up significant opportunities for both carriers. Hong Kong Airlines routes include Auckland in New Zealand, Tokyo (Narita) and Osaka in Japan and Seoul in South Korea. EL AL currently operates six weekly flights between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv with its brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Featuring a threeclass configuration, EL AL’s

Furthering opportunities to increase passenger numbers on Asian routes, EL AL Israel Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines announced on 4 June that they have entered into a codeshare agreement.

Hong Kong Airlines Vice Chairman and President Wang Liya with Michael Strassburger , EL AL Airlines VP Commercial & Industry Affairs

Boeing 787-9 offers 32 seats in Business Class and 28 in New Premium Economy Class. As an added benefit, members of Hong Kong Airlines’ frequent flyer programme, Fortune Wings Club, can earn

Agriculture students from Asia graduate in Israel A graduation ceremony was held in June in Israel for around 1,100 students from many Asian countries who attended a 10-month-long agriculture course. The students were from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. First Secretary of the Vietnamese Embassy in Israel Khuat Van Quyen said the Vietnamese students had learned about Israel’s advanced agriculture methods and will contribute to

Vietnam’s agricultural development. Le Thi My Trinh from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Agriculture and Forestry said students of the programme learnt about agricultural economy, finance, management, irrigation systems and food security. They also had opportunities to improve their life skills and practise English, she added. Four centres are currently participating in the enrolment of students in Vietnam: AICATA, Ramat Negev, Sdot Negev and Agrostudies.

Students at the graduation ceremony

Philippine Red Cross officially takes delivery of desalination vehicle Following the celebrations earlier this year of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Israel and the Philippines, the Pass It Forward Foundation recently officially delivered a donated GalMobile vehicle to the Philippine Red Cross. Developed by G.A.L. Water Technologies, the GalMobile desalination vehicle is the world’s first water-purification vehicle. “This achievement underscores G.A.L. Water Technologies’ commitment to cleaning water and saving lives,” said Deputy CEO Sigal Levi. “What

started out as a simple solution with the intent of saving lives is signified as one of the leading solutions for supplying clean and safe drinking water in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.” GalMobile is a self-contained automatic system on a vehicle to provide treatment, storage and distribution of safe drinking water from any water source, in line with World Health Organization standards, in less than 30 minutes. The vehicle produces approximately 8,000 cups of water per hour.

loyalty points when they travel on EL AL codeshare flights, similar to when they travel on Hong Kong Airlines-operated services. The codeshare agreement will also enable EL AL to add destinations in New Zealand, Japan and Korea to its growing network around the globe, strengthening its presence in Asia Pacific. Customers of Israel’s flag carrier will now

benefit from one-stop travel connections to Auckland, Tokyo (Narita), Osaka and Seoul via Hong Kong. Hong Kong Airlines currently serves Auckland five times weekly and offers multiple daily flights to the other popular Asian cities. EL AL customers travelling in Business Class on Hong Kong Airlines will also enjoy exclusive access to the airline’s flagship lounge, Club Autus, at Hong Kong International Airport. The lounge features a suite of facilities, including a food hall and shower facilities. Hong Kong Airlines Vice Chairman and President Wang Liya said: “We are delighted to welcome EL AL as our newest codeshare partner. This collaboration reaffirms our commitment to going global and offering our customers more travel options to see the world. Given the culturally rich yet modern

appeal of Tel Aviv, there is huge travel potential and we are excited to bring travellers from all around the world to this beautiful city through our codeshare partnership. At the same time, we also look forward to welcoming EL AL customers to experience our truly Hong Kong service on our flights.” “In offering codeshare flights with Hong Kong Airlines via the Hong Kong hub, we are able to expand the options for our EL AL customers to various cities throughout the region,” said Michael Strassburger, Vice President of Commercial and Industry Affairs at EL AL. “Hong Kong Airlines is a pivotal partner for EL AL as they will also be codesharing on the EL AL flights from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv and we are excited about the opportunities with such a dynamic airline,” he added.

Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018


Regional News TAU professor awarded honorary professorship from Tsinghua University

A further 225 members of the B’nei Menashe Jewish community, which claims descent from one of Israel’s lost tribes, made Aliyah to Israel in June.

On 13 June, Tel Aviv University (TAU) President and Professor Joseph Klafter became the first Israeli to receive an honorary professorship from Tsinghua University in China.

As in previous arrangements, this was organised by Shavei Israel, a Jerusalembased nonprofit that aims to strengthen ties between the Jewish people and the descendants of Jews around the world.

Laura Ben-David

The 225 new immigrants all hail from the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, which borders Burma and is home to the largest concentration of B’nei Menashe. Among those making Aliyah was Seingul Lotjem, a father of one, who had not seen his parents in the 18 years since

Abel Hangshing (second from left) reuniting with his two grandsons and his brother

More B’nei Menashe make Aliyah to Israel

New immigrants arriving in Israel

they moved to Israel in 2000. “It has always been my dream to return to Zion,” Lotjem said, adding, “but it is especially emotional for me because my beloved father and mother made Aliyah in 2000 and I am overwhelmed to think that I will be able to meet them again and be reunited with them in the Land of Israel.” Also among the immigrants was Abel Hangshing, 80, who was reunited with his brother, whom he hadn’t seen in 10 years. He also met his greatgrandchildren, who were born in Israel, for the first time.

nashe having made Aliyah since January, we are determined to continue until all the remaining B’nei Menashe still in India are able to return to Zion as well.”

“We are thrilled to be welcoming home 225 members of the lost tribe of Israel,” said Shavei Israel Founder and Chairman Michael Freund. “It has been an incredibly busy year – and we are only getting started. With 429 B’nei Me-

The B’nei Menashe are descendants of the tribe of Manasseh, one of the Ten Lost Tribes exiled from the Land of Israel more than 2,700 years ago by the Assyrian empire. So far, some 3,500 B’nei Menashe have made Aliyah to Israel.

The new immigrants arrived in Israel on five special flights between 11 and 14 June. From the airport, the new immigrants travelled to Shavei Israel’s absorption centre in Kfar Hasidim, outside of Haifa. They plan to settle in the Galilee, in Israel’s north, where many of the immigrants have made their homes in recent years.

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The prestigious honour is considered one of the world’s highest honours, and has been bestowed upon top academics, including Nobel laureates. TAU and Beijing-based Tsinghua University, one of China’s leading universities, have been collaborating closely in the field of nanoscience since 2014. The award was presented to Professor Klafter for his “impressive leadership”, which contributes to the bold and successful partnership between the two universities.

Zvi Heifetz, Israel’s Ambassador to China, congratulated Professor Klafter at the ceremony, saying: “Prof. Klafter is an outstanding scholar, scientist and university president. On behalf of the state of Israel, I would like to congratulate him for receiving an honorary professorship from Tsinghua University. This appointment stands for Israel and China’s flourishing relations, as well as Tsinghua University and Tel Aviv University’s close relations.” Ambassador Heifetz added that he believed the co-operation between Tsinghua University and Tel Aviv University could help deepen the communication and understanding between China and Israel.

Joseph Klafter receiving his honorary professorship from Qiu Yong, the President of Tsinghua University


Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018

Regional News

Israeli tourist killed in car crash in India

Indian-origin woman running for mayor’s post in Ashkelon

Four Israelis were injured and one died in a traffic accident in a remote mountainside area of India in June. Eli Sneh, Israel’s Consul General in Delhi, met the four Israelis to help them fly back home and also return the body of 36-year-old Adva Ben Dahan to Israel for burial.

One of the candidates running for a post as mayor in the city of Ashkelon in Israel has Indian ancestry in Vadodara, a city in Gujurat, a state in western India.

The vehicle in which the tourists were travelling swerved off a mountain road and plunged into a valley between Manali and Leh in the Spiti Val-

ley in the Himalayan mountains in northern India. Roads in the area are steep, with sections of gravel and loose soil, and are criss-crossed by streams. Sneh said the accident happened after the vehicle hit a bus and veered off the road, plunging more than 150 metres down a slope. Sneh arrived in the city of Kullu, some 500 kilometres (310 miles) north of India’s capital, Delhi, and visited the Israelis hospitalised there, one of whom was in serious condition.

Ben Dahan, who lived in the central Israeli city of Givatayim, had worked in the human resources department of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Hebrew-language media reported. She had decided to travel to India after being fired from the company. India and neighbouring Nepal are popular destinations for Israelis, particularly those who have just completed their compulsory military service.

Suspect wanted for stabbing in Thailand Thai police are pursuing a warrant for the arrest of an Israeli tourist who fled the country after stabbing an Australian tourist in a nightclub in the seaside resort of Pattaya in June. Immigration officials informed police that the male suspect had left Thailand, The Nation newspaper reported. Australian tourist Jaydon Sienkiewicz, 21, was stabbed while partying with a group of 10 peo-

“After the Vadodara-Ashkelon pact was signed some years ago, I began working on several programmes that were organised to bring these cities closer,” Shay told the Times of India.

ple, including his father and his Thai stepmother, in the Mixx night club. He suffered abdominal wounds and was rushed to a local hospital. Police captain Sombat Kaewmoolsuk told the newspaper that security-video footage showed the Australian sitting at a table in the nightclub when the Israeli walked in with his girlfriend. He said Sienkiewicz grabbed the woman’s bottom, leading to a dispute that resulted

If Israel elects its first mayor of Indian origin this year, Vadodara will have its named etched in history forever. Dr Ricky Shay is the first person of Indian origin to run for the mayor’s post in Ashkelon. She was inspired to run for the post while working on the twin-city pact between Vadodara and Ashkelon.

Mixx night club

in the Israeli pulling out a knife and stabbing the Australian. The woman tried to stop the stabbing. Police have interviewed nightclub staff over the incident. Thailand has no extradition treaty with Israel.

“Before this pact, there was little contact with India. I came to Vadodara and met many people there. When I connected to my Indian roots and culture that is based on values of giving, patience and tolerance, I decided to run for the mayor’s post.” “I have worked a lot for

women’s empowerment here and I am banking on them for my victory. Ashkelon also has a Maharashtrian Jew community,” Shay said. Shay, who is a city council member, played an important role when a cultural and musical festival was organised by the Vadodara-based Friends of Israel in Ashkelon last year. “Shay came in contact with many people in her city who suggested that she is doing very well as a city council member and hence she should run for the mayor’s post. If Shay becomes Ashkelon’s mayor, it will not just create history but also benefit the ties between India and Israel through Vadodara. She has a chance of winning,” said Nikitin Contractor, the convener of Friends of Israel. Shay has worked as a lecturer and academic director and has trained women educators. She became a city council member five years ago. Her parents, who are Maharashtrian Jews, were born and brought up in Mumbai, and moved to Israel in 1964.

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Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018

Business News

IDE Technologies acquires stake in Sorek More military sales in India desalination plant Israel’s desalination company IDE Technologies is strengthening its grip on the water desalination sector, announcing the exercise of its first refusal rights to acquire the holdings of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Water, its partner in the Sorek desalination plant franchise (49%), for NIS 195 million before adjustments, as reported by Globes.

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There are also reports that that India may also procure two more Phalcon-Awacs deep-penetration radar systems for US$1 billion. India already has three of the systems, produced by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd unit Elta Systems. Another possibility would be a deal with Israel Weapons Industries to produce TAVOR-21 assault rifles in India.


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for a much smaller number of missiles to be manufactured in India.

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Noy Fund, headed by chair-

Spike anti-tank guided missiles

The deal was reportedly renegotiated in January in government-to-government talks when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited India. The new deal was


Israel currently has five desalination plants: Ashkelon, Palmachim, Hadera, Ashdod, and Sorek. These facilities use the reverse osmosis (SWRO) method to supply drinking water to the National Water Carrier. The five facilities supply an aggregate total of 585 million cubic metres of desalinated water a year, while a target production capacity of 1,100 million cubic metres by 2030 has been set, double the current capacity. This target will be reassessed in 2023, based on the state of Israel’s water resources.

person Pinchas (Pini) Cohen, managing partner Ran Shelach and managing partner Gil-Ad Boshwitz, has been operating since May 2011 and has been involved in a long series of infrastructure projects in Israel. Among other things, it is a partner with Hutchison Water in Star Pumped Storage, which is building the Kochav Hayarden hydroelectric power station, where a waterfall powers turbines that produce electricity.


Construction of the US$400 million plant began in January 2011. The plant, which has supplied drinking water since August 2013, has an annual production capacity of 150 million cubic metres.


The Sorek facility is the largest desalination plant in Israel and among the largest in the world. It is located one kilometre south of the Dan Sewage Reclamation (Shafdan) Project, close to the Sorek River in the sandy area of Rishon Lezion.

The Hindustan Times reported that the deal awaits final approval from India’s government. India originally wanted to purchase 8,000 Spike missiles, with 3,000 of the missiles to be manufactured in India. But the deal was called off, because Israel did not agree that so many of the missiles should be made in India.

The Sorek desalination plant


The announcement of the sale comes six months after Hutchison Water selected the bid submitted by the Noy Fund to acquire its share in the desalination facility. Noy Fund, which wanted to acquire a foothold in the hot water desalination sector, confirmed the report, saying: “We have been notified by Hutchison that IDE has decided to exercise its first refusal rights. We are studying the decision and its consequences.” Following the completion of its acquisition, IDE will hold 100% ownership of the franchise for the desalination facility for Sorek (the SDL company).

According to local media reports, Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd will be awarded a contract to supply 4,500 Spike anti-tank guided missiles to India’s Ministry of Defence for US$500 million.

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Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018


Business News

TDK eyeing expansion in Israel Japanese multi-electronics giant TDK is about to fund a second development centre in Israel, according to Globes. The company will also expand the workforce in its existing development centre by 40%. It has not yet issued an official press release about its Israel expansion.

Tamar Matsafi

According to Globes, TDK is also in the final stages of negotiations with a number of Israeli startups to develop products for the company, which TDK will distribute worldwide through its distribution channels. TDK’s investment in Israel will be in the tens of millions of dollars.

Narutoshi Fukuzawa

TDK has opened offices in Karmiel, and company representative Narutoshi Fukuzawa has been living in Israel for over a year, looking for suitable technologies and companies. In his first Israeli media interview, Fukuzawa said that the decision to establish the development centre in Israel was taken by the company’s management council in Japan. He added that the amount of investment and the size of the centre were almost unlimited, and depended on the sphere of development that TDK selects from among the available alternatives. TDK already operates a development and manufacturing centre of TDK Lambda in Israel, with 260 employees. Another decision taken by the company’s management is to expand the business of the Israeli plant by 40% and add a new product line to it, while recruiting dozens of new employees. TDK Lambda-Israel sales director Yaron Eyni says that the Israeli company has shown its efficiency in production and

TDK-Lambda Israel industrial complex

has brought production processes back from China to the plant in Israel. As part of opening the planned R&D centre, TDK plans on bringing to Israel an exhibition of hundreds of products and technologies that it produces around the world in order to display them to the Israeli high-tech industry for the purpose of creating co-operative efforts, technologies and innovation. TDK representative director president and CEO Shigenao Ishiguro will also attend the exhibition to meet with economic and political leaders and examine R&D opportunities first-hand. Fukuzawa says

that the exhibition is being sent outside Japan for the first time, showing the importance that the company attaches to Israeli high-tech. TDK has abandoned the media products, CDs and cassettes that it produced in the 1980s. It now makes power supplies, sensors, energy storage devices and energy converter devices installed in the products of companies such as LG, Toshiba, Siemens, Microsoft and others. TDK says that Israel is its fourth R&D centre after the US, Europe and China. TDK recently invested in Israeli startup StoreDot, with which it signed a joint develop-

ment agreement (JDA) for an investment of millions of dollars to develop technology for high-speed charging of lithium batteries. Fukuzawa says that the deal demonstrates TDK’s intentions, because it is not confining itself to just a capital investment; it is bringing added value in production, the purchase of raw materials and the distribution of the product. He said that startups in Israel are producing amazing ideas and TDK is offering them the ability to open doors and promote the product in global markets. TDK is currently in negotiations with several Israeli startups and is likely to reach final agreements soon. Among other things, it is considering energy storage, contact sensors and wireless charging products and technologies. Another agreement to develop energy technology is slated for signing in which the Israeli company will develop a product according to the specifications of TDK itself. TDK said it was already recruiting personnel for this project.

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Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018

Business News

4th China-Israel Investment Summit held in Zhuhai The annual summit is co-organised by Zhuhai Huafa Group and Israel-based Infinity Group. The China-Israel Investment Summit is the largest national dedicated technological innovation investment event between the two countries. As in previ-

Business-matching delegates at the summit

Intel signs MoU with Consulate of Israel in India to boost innovation

Dana Kursh, Consul General of Israel to South India (second left), signing the MOU with Nivruti Rai, Country Head of Intel India

Intel India has announced a partnership with the Consulate of Israel in India to boost innovation by connecting the startup and technology communities in both states. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 25 May between Nivruti Rai, Country Head – Intel India, and Dana Kursh, Consul General of Israel to South India. With this collaboration, Intel India will offer the capabilities of Intel India Maker Lab (its in-house hardware/systems-based startups accelerator in India) to Israeli startups to support the development of products and solutions. In addition, it will provide mentorship, advising the Israeli startups about the requirements of the Indian market and connecting them to opportunities to test and deploy solutions in the Indian market. In turn, people in the Israeli technology ecosystem, who have strong business acumen, specifically with regard to new usage models and future technologies, will make their knowledge and technical capabilities available to people in the Indian startup ecosystem. This will be accomplished through training

and workshops. The collaboration also entails the involvement of academia through the Israel Center at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), which will provide its students with access to the Indian and Israeli technology ecosystems. IIMB will also help conduct seminars and workshops for entrepreneurs from both countries. “This year marks Israel’s 70 years of ‘heritage of innovation’, and India has been a key partner on this exciting journey. The Consulate of Israel to South India’s mission is to strengthen the Indo-Israeli bilateral and economic ties. Choosing to sign this MOU with Intel India as a highlight around Israel’s 70th Independence Day will bring us closer to achieving our mission. We are honoured to be part of this collaboration that so intrinsically combines the values and strengths of India, Israel and Intel to advance innovation through these two vibrant technological ecosystems. We look forward to working closely with Intel and the India technology ecosystem in this endeavour,” said Dana Kursh, Consul General of Israel to South India.

ous years over 2,000 companies and more than 6000 visitors from the two countries participate. Last year, agreements for 14 Sino-Israeli co-operation projects were signed and 2,653 discussions took place between companies, resulting in the signing of over 1,000 letters of intent valued at billions of US dollars. The summit drew widespread attention from the business communities in both countries. This year’s edition, with a theme of “Cooperating on innovation, and intelligently creating a bright future for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area”, invited influential guests from China’s and Israel’s political, academic and business circles, as well as more than 2,000 guests, who gathered to share their wisdom and discuss important topics

Xinhua/Deng Hua

Summit in Zhuhai on 2-3 July.

Xinhua/Deng Hua

With support of the Chinese and Israeli government agencies, the International Cooperation Center of the National Development and Reform Commission of China and the Zhuhai municipal government recently hosted the 4th China-Israel Investment

The opening address

including Sino-Israeli co-operation on technological innovation and furthering development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area under the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Zhuhai also kicked off a corporate entrepreneurship programme this year. The programme is expected to further expand co-operation in the areas of technology, commerce and trade between the city and Israel, drive entrepreneurship

among the city’s many businesses through technological innovation, and create a new area of growth.

A guest speaker: Cindy Chow, Executive Director Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund

Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018


Business News

Innoviz Technologies gains China partner to develop its automaker solutions Israel-based Innoviz Technologies, a leading provider of remote-sensing solutions for the automarket, announced a partnership to bring its LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and computer vision technology to Chinese automakers through HiRain’s sales channels in the country. This will enable Chinese OEM’s to access the automotive industry’s most comprehensive mass-market LiDAR solution, as an integrated component of their overall autonomous driving systems. In addition, Innoviz’s advanced solution provides a complete computer vision software stack and algorithms to turn 3D vision into critical driving insights. Innoviz’s LiDAR system enables autonomous vehicles to sense their surroundings with unparalleled clarity and accuracy, even at long distances, in varying weather and light conditions and in multi-LiDAR environments. “China is helping lead the way towards the autonomous vehicle future, and HiRain

ers achieve the standards they demand for safe and reliable LiDAR sensors, at the price point they desire.”

Innoviz’s expansion into the Chinese market through HiRain adds another milestone to the worldwide expansion the company has experienced over the past months. BMW recently

selected Innoviz’s automotivegrade LiDAR, InnovizOne, and its computer vision software for its series production vehicles starting in 2021.

“LiDAR is one of the most critical technologies for automated driving systems, and we partnered with Innoviz because not only is its technology more

advanced than other LiDAR solution, but the company has proven it can deliver on its promises,” said Yingcun Ji, CEO of HiRain. “Innoviz’s cutting-edge LiDAR will help us expand our leadership position within the Chinese automotive industry and continue to blaze a trail towards the autonomous driving future.”

Second GoforIsrael conference held in China

Omer Keilaf

is one of the most influential companies in the Chinese automotive industry. Last year, around 26 million vehicles were manufactured in China, making it by far the largest automotive manufacturing country in the world,” said Omer Keilaf, CEO of Innoviz. “The HiRain team has extensive experience with driver assistance and autonomous driving systems in China and we are honoured to partner with them. Together, we will help Chinese auto manufactur-

More than 100 Israeli startup founders and entrepreneurs met with hundreds of Chinese investors at the GoForIsrael Conference in the Chinese city of Foshan on 31 May. “More than 800 one-onone meetings were held between Chinese investors and Israeli companies, which continued well after the conference ended,” said Haggai Ravid, CEO of Cukierman & Co. Investment House, one of the sponsors of the event. “All the Israeli companies have received a great deal of interest.” The



pitching themselves specialise in fields such as artificial intelligence, the “Internet of Things,” life sciences, cybersecurity and autonomous driving technologies. “I was surprised by the amount of investors and their interest in Israeli technology… [for] our penetration into the Chinese market,” said Meron Leibovich, who runs global sales for Real Imaging, an Israeli startup developing tools for the early detection of breast cancer. The Foshan conference was sponsored by the Cukierman & Co. Investment House, Catalyst

CEL Fund and Rits Leaguer Group. It came on the heels of the annual GoForIsrael Conference in Tel Aviv held in March this year. Also attending the Foshan event were Israel’s Ambassador to China, Zvi Heifetz, and Israel’s Consul General in Guangzhou, Nadav Cohen, who noted Foshan’s role in China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, creating a vast metropolis of technological innovation. This is the second time that the conference had been held in China, following the inaugural one in Shanghai in September 2016.


Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018

Estate Planning

All about Guardians, Executors and Trustees (Part 4 in a series)

We continue our series about Will writing and estate planning by explaining some of the main appointments made in Wills. Guardians Legally, any child under the age of 18 must have an adult who is responsible for them. So what happens if both parents die in an accident? There are various possibilities, depending on whether or not the parents have appointed a legal guardian.

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In summary, an executor is the person responsible for the administration work connected with a Will, and a trustee looks after something that will become the property of somebody else.

This process can be lengthy, and often professionals are engaged to carry out the work on behalf of the executor. The executor then has authority to distribute the various gifts and bequests to the beneficiaries in

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It is an important appointment and one made in absolute trust and confidence that the appointee is the right person to carry out the task, so if you are appointed as a trustee you should take it as a great compliment.

The Executor will have to approach banks, other financial organisations, employers, etc., in order to call in any money owing to the estate. A bank account is opened in the name of the executor and money is paid into it as it arrives. Outstanding bills, taxes and any other debts of the estate must be paid from this account.



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Temporary guardianship Families in Hong Kong who are isolated from their normal extended family support group are particularly at risk in a situation such as the one described here. So it is wise to draft temporary guardianship documents in which you appoint local friends or neighbours to take care of your children until the legal guardians arrive from overseas. Once you have completed these documents, keep them at home and give a copy to the temporary guardians. Then, if necessary, the temporary guardians can immediately produce the Deed to prove their legal position, thereby ensuring that the children are not removed from their home.

a Will and is responsible for carrying out the terms of the Will. They must take the Will to the Probate Office, together with a death certificate and various other documents, and will be given a certificate known as a Grant of Probate. This important piece of paper gives government approval for the Executor to carry out his or her tasks immediately.

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If there is no Will, both sets of grandparents might apply to be guardians. In such a situation, there might unfortunately be a major falling out between the two families, which benefits nobody, least of all the children.

The appointment must be made in a legal document, e.g., in your Will or by a deed. Nothing else will guarantee that your wishes regarding the preferred

The court can then ask for applications from people who h our

alternative parents of your children are carried out. The peace of mind that comes knowing that this small but important task has been completed is well worth the time and effort spent on it.

What to do? Make a Will appointing the legal guardians of your choice and outlining the financial arrangements that will ensure support for the guardians in their job. This is the hardest decision to make, especially if your children are still very young, but the alternative is very unappealing.

If there is no Will… If there is no Will, or if a Will has not been updated since the birth of the children, there is a problem. If both parents have passed away the state takes over that responsibility until a guardian is found.

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might be interested in taking on the legal guardianship. It will consider the applications, and then award the most appropriate person the right to be the children’s guardian.

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Matthew Lloyd, Managing Director Professional Wills Limited

Trustees The trustee is often the same person as the executor, although their role is potentially longerterm. Their task is to look after assets that are given to children or other beneficiaries aged under 18, or if certain types of trusts are created under the Will. The trustee must look after these gifts and keep them safely and properly invested until the minor reaches the specified age. This can be straightforward, however it can be quite complicated, requiring the help of a professional to set up a trust.


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Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018


Art • Culture • Music

Taiwanese Hakka culture showcased in Israel

The Hong Kong International Choreography Festival grammes dance.

A photography exhibition spotlighting Hakka culture was held from 22 May to 3 June in Jerusalem as part of government efforts promoting people-to-people exchanges between Taiwan and Israel. Organised by the Hakka Affairs Council, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ), Hakka Journey—Taiwan Romantic Route 3 as a Formosa Landscape featured 50 images encapsulating the cultural customs and lifestyles of the ethnic group. The shots were taken by nine local photographers at points along Hakka Romantic Route 3, a 150-kilometre section in northern and central Taiwan that is part of the 438.7-kilometre Provincial Highway No. 3. The route winds through 16 Hakka townships in Taoyuan City, Hsinchu and Miaoli counties and Taichung City. At the opening ceremony of the exhibition in Jerusalem,



In all, around 12 international artists-in-residence, together with five world-renowned choreographers and five local Hong Kong artists, participated in the festival.

David Matan

Asher Yarden, Chief Representative of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, with Li Yung-te, Council Minister

Hakka Affairs Council Minister Li Yung-te said the exhibition was the first on Hakka culture staged in Israel. The exhibition also aimed at helping visitors, including those attending a conference about Asian Studies held at HUJ in May, to better understand this unique aspect of Taiwan’s multicultural society. According to the Hakka Affairs Council, the Hakka Romantic Route is one of the central components in a cabinet-level project promoting

greater awareness of Hakkas and their significant contributions to Taiwan. The initiative, which also involves the Council of Agriculture and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, aims to promote the route as a major tourist destination and revitalise the economies of the townships involved. The tour of the exhibition to Israel was prompted by Professor Nissim Otmazgin of HUJ, who was amazed by the exhibition when it was shown in New Taipei City last year.

The Hong Kong International Choreography Festival (HKICF) returned for the third time from 28 to 30 June at the Sheung Wan Civic Centre Theatre. Each evening, the festival featured several artistic performances and creations. This year, three Israeli choreographers, David Matan, Dana Katz and Efrat Galai, took part in the performances and workshops, offering their own unique multicultural pro-

HKICF was presented and produced by Unity Space. Sponsors included the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the CCDC Dance Centre and the Consulate General of Israel.

Dana Katz

Israeli films showcased in Vietnam

Niv Petel to perform at new Tai Kwun arts and cultural hub The former Central Police Station compound and prison in Hong Kong has been revitalised and transformed into a heritage, contemporary arts and performing arts centre. Located in the heart of Central on Hong Kong Island, the complex, now known as the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, is bordered by Old Bailey Street, Hollywood Road, Arbuthnot Road and Chancery Lane. “Tai Kwun” means “Big Station”. The old Central Police Station was fully decommissioned in 2006. As part of the opening season of the venue’s Performing

Arts Programme, Israeli actor Niv Petel will perform Knock Knock, his powerful one-man show, from 19 to 22 July. The Artistic Advisor and Co-Director of the show is Maia Levy. “How would you raise your child, if you knew that one day their turn will come to hold a rifle?” In one of the most acclaimed shows in the Edinburgh Fringe 2017, Niv Petel’s Knock Knock weaves a poignant and heartfelt tale about the effects of conscription on everyday life for a single mother and her only son. Told with innovation and imagination through minimal sets and props, the physical mono-drama evokes sympathy

through laughter juxtaposed with a deep emotional subtext. Petel delivers a controlled yet moving performance, making both roles come to life through nuances of emotions and telling an intimate story about parenthood, friendship, love and sacrifice.

Israel’s Embassy in Vietnam presented the Israel Film Festival 2018 in Hanoi from 1 to 4 June, with various films touching on a number of topics, ranging from daily life to monumental dramas, and from documentaries to kids’ films. Niv Petel

Embassy celebrates Environment Month The Embassy of Israel in Nepal organised a tree plantation and clean-up programme to mark the Environment Month in June. World Environment Day is on 5 June, World Oceans Day is on 7 June and World Desertification Combat Day is on 18 June. The embassy organised the programmes at a government-run school at Kuleshwor Madhyamik Vidyalaya, Kathmandu, on 29 June. The school has around 350 students. Fruit trees and flowers

cleaned up, to promote environmental awareness. The embassy also donated fans and sports materials to the school.

Ambassador Benny Omer (right) helps with the clean-up operation

were planted around the school premises and the area was

Hill Start

Israel's Ambassador to Nepal Benny Omer, embassy staff and Shalom Club members participated in the programme. Students and staff of the school had also joined in. Shalom Club members are Nepalese people who participated in various courses presented in Israel by MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation).

“Through the films, Vietnamese audiences will have a chance to contemplate the beautiful landscapes of Israel, as well as learn more about the culture, traditions and identities of the Israeli people,” said Nadav Eshcar, Israel’s Ambassador to Vietnam.

The opening film on 1 June was Wedding Doll, which tells the story of Hagit, a young

Wedding Doll

woman with a mild mental deficiency who works in a toiletpaper factory and lives with her mother Sarah, a divorcee who gave up her life for her daughter. Other films on the programme were Abulele, about a boy living in Jerusalem. He befriends an ancient local monster called Abulele. By helping his new friend get back home, he reconnects with his parents. A Quiet Heart features Naomi, a young secular woman who seeks refuge from the pressure of her life in Tel Aviv as a concert pianist. Presenting Princess Shaw is a documentary on the collaborative relationship between New Orleansbased songwriter and YouTube star Samantha Montgomery and composer and video artist Ophir Kutiel. Hill Start brought the festival to a close. It’s the drama of the Geva family, a bourgeois family from Jerusalem. When the mother of the family, Ora, falls into a coma after a car accident, the family members try to bring her back in every way possible.


Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018

Art • Culture • Music

Akko Opera Festival 2018

Yoga enthusiasts celebrate International Yoga Day

The highly anticipated Akko Opera Festival in the city of Akko, Israel, will take place for the fifth consecutive year in the Old City’s Crusader Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from 2 to 4 August. The unique backdrop creates a spectacular setting for the festival’s three performances. Akko (also known as Acre) is a 4,500-year-old city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Tourists and visitors attending the festival can enjoy an exceptional cultural experience, thanks to the unique combination of enchanting music productions created especially for the festival. This year’s programme includes a new production for

White Box

Orfeo ed Euridice

the festival, Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Wilibald Gluck. The mythical poet Orfeo arrives at the Crusaders’ Court in Akko on his journey towards Hell. What about the Deer?, directed by Shirit Lee Weiss, is a musical fantasy based on popular Israeli children’s songs. A journey back in time towards our childhood dreams and the fantasies about the crying soap, the child who never came and

the animals of our imagination: the zebra, the deer and the choir of chirping birds. Childhood delights come alive on stage with a little bit of opera magic. The final performance is White Box by Roni Brendshteter. Where did we come from and where are we going? What do we remember and what have we forgotten? This new work deals with memories and the body that occupies them. A highly interactive performance for the entire family. The festival is a joint initiative of the Israeli Opera and the Ministry of Tourism via the Old Akko Development Company, the Akko municipality and the Treasures of the Galilee initiative.

Yogis in action

As part of a global movement, the 4th International Day of Yoga took place in Tel Aviv on 21 June. Israel’s yoga community and all yoga enthusiasts were invited to participate in the yoga festival at Tel Aviv port. On the longest day of the year, yogis from all over the world come together in city centres and celebrate yoga at the same time. The programme typically attracts thousands of participants, who join in several parallel yoga sessions. This year’s free programme in Tel Aviv started at 6.15pm

with classical Indian music, meditation classes and yoga practices led by two renowned teachers, Viyay Amar from India and Carrie Owerko from the US. At 8pm there was an official ceremony attended by the Ambassador of India in Israel, together with a performance of Indian dance and songs. The evening’s activities finished at around midnight. International Yoga Day was initiated by the Prime Minster of India, Narendra Modi, and was adopted by the United Nations with a Resolution that was co-sponsored by 177 countries.

Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018


Art • Culture • Music

White Night shines in Tel Aviv

Jerusalem Wine Festival 2018

Initiated in 2005 to celebrate the recognition of Tel Aviv’s White City (the city’s magnificent collection of Bauhaus buildings) as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the annual White Night event in TelAviv is a gathering at which the city comes alive.

One of the most anticipated events of the summer in Jerusalem each year is the Jerusalem Wine Festival. This year, the four-day event will take place in July at the Israel Museum. As always, it will feature dozens of Israel’s best wineries, live music and a vibrant crowd.

This year’s event took place on 28 June. Concerts, shows and other cultural activities promote the city’s architecture. Outdoor performances run until late at night, and art centres and clubs stay open very late and are mostly free to enter.

Residents dressed in white indulge in late-night snacks

highlighting their unique architectural elements.

Many of the Bauhaus buildings on Rothschild and Bialik Streets are lit up throughout the night, with special spotlights

The streets are filled with circus acts, street bands, and dancers dressed in white, “lit up” and flitting through the crowds. In Rabin Square is a

At the headphone party

Kids enjoying the evening’s celebrations

headphone party, with music (all via headphones) and dancing continuing way past midnight. Legendary Israeli singers perform at dawn on Tzuk beach, and endless offers are available at many great restaurants/bars.

This year, the 14th Jerusalem Wine Festival will open on 26 July, on the eve of Tu B’Av, with an evening of wine and love. Tu B’Av is known as Jewish Valentine’s Day, and there will be a special performance by two Israeli rock bands, Red Band and Mercedes Band.

Come and sample some local wine

The annual Wine Festival is held in the beautiful Japanese Art Garden of the Israel Museum, with dozens of famous and local boutique wineries showcasing hundreds of different types of wines. Free wine-tasting and sampling is the norm. Also on offer from many vendors are delicious appetisers and finger foods, ranging from cheeses to chocolates, olive oils and unique sauces and jams. Every year, more than 20,000 wine-lovers and culturelovers travel to Jerusalem from all around Israel for this special wine celebration. L’chaim!


Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018

Special Days


Mourning the destruction of our Temples

n annual mourning period that takes place over t h e s u m m e r, catastrophic events for the Jewish nation covers Three Weeks beginning on the 17th Hebrew month of Tammuz. The fast day of the 17th of Tammuz marks the day when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans in 69 CE and other disasters that occured. We refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to nightfall. It reaches its climax and concludes with the Fast of Tisha B’av (9 Av - Hebrew month), the date when both Holy Temples were set aflame. This is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, and it is also the date of other tragedies spanning our nation’s history. During the Three Week period no weddings or other rejoicing activities are permitted. Nine days prior to Tisha B’Av, further restrictions are included. These also cover personal grooming such as no haircuts and eating meat.

Fve national calamities that occurred on the 9th of Av:

Tisha B’Av is a major fast day and a more stringent than the Fast of 17 Tammuz. It begins at sundown and ends at nightfall. Shortly before the fast begins, we eat a “separation meal.” The final meal consists of a hard-boiled egg and a piece of bread dipped in ashes. The synagogue is dimly lit and the mood is sombre. There are restrictions on putting on Tefillin, eating, drinking, marital relations, business related dealings, bathing, swimming and wearing leather. As this is a day of mourning, until midday, we sit on the floor or on low stools. Even the study of Torah, other than Lamentations, the Book of Job and certain other permitted texts is forbidden as Torah study is seen as a joyous pursuit.

The Book of Eicha (Lamentations), Jeremiah’s poetic lament over the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple, is read in the synagogue as part of the evening service. Special Kinot (elegies) are also recited, both at night and during the day. We also minimise business and leisure activities. Through the process of teshuva – self-introspection and a commitment to improve we have the power to transform tragedy into joy. In fact, the Talmud says that after the future redemption of Israel and the rebuilding of the Temple, these days will be re-dedicated as days of rejoicing and festivity. Limited restrictions continue until midday on the 10th of Av because the First Temple was still burning.

• During the time of Moses, the Jewish people in the desert accepted the slanderous report of the 12 Spies, and the decree was issued forbidding them from entering the Land of Israel. (1312 BCE). • The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzar. (586 BCE). • The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans. (70 CE).

• The Bar Kochba revolt was crushed by Roman Emperor Hadrian. (135 CE). • The Temple Mount was plowed under, and Jerusalem was rebuilt as a pagan city. Other grave misfortunes throughout Jewish history coincided with the 9th of Av, including the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, the outbreak of WWI in 1914, and the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942.

Tu B’Av

Tu B’Av is celebrated on the Fifteenth day of the month of Av. It has been called the Jewish day of love and that is why it has become a very popular date for Jewish weddings. It may be also be significant because the mitzvah of fasting on your wedding day is dropped. Tu B’Av falls one week after the sombre Tisha B’Av, yet it is considered one of the most joyful days of in the Jewish calendar. First mentioned by Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel in the Taanit, on this day restrictions on men and women associating were lifted, so young people could consider love and finding their intended. The women would all dress in simple white dresses so as to not appear distinctive from the others. They would not wear jewelry or make up so the men would get to know them for their intelligence and kindness rather than for their external attributes. Through the years, Tu B’Av has become a symbol not only for romance, but for hope, since a number of positive events that have affected the Jewish people have taken place on this date.

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Jewish Times Asia July / August 2018


July / August Parashas 7 July 2018 / 24 Tammuz 5778: PINCHAS

As a reward for his act of zealousness, Pinchas is appointed as a Kohain. Although a grandson to Aaron, he was not included in the original selection of Kohanim. No other person would ever be so honoured. Moshe is told to do battle against the Midianites in retaliation for the incident at Baal Peor. Moshe counts the Children of Israel in preparation for entering the Promised land. Moshe divides Israel through a lottery that miraculously matched each tribe to its proper portion. The Leviyim are counted. Moshe is told to prepare for his death, and Joshua is chosen as his successor..

14 July 2018 / 2 Av 5778: MATOT / MASEI

Matot begins with the laws of oaths. The Israelites wage battle against Midian and the spoils are divided and tithed. The tribes of Reuben and Gad request and receive territory outside the mainland of Israel. The parsha discusses the laws of verbal vows. The Israelites are commanded to exact revenge from the Midianites for their part in seducing Jewish men to sin. A 12,000-strong army of Israelites, led by Phinehas, waged battle against Midian. In Parasha Masei, Moses reviews the forty years of Israelite journeys through the desert. The Torah discusses the boundaries of Israel, its division amongst the tribes, the cities which the Levites would receive, and the cities of refuge.

21 July 2018 / 9 Av 5778: DEVARIM – SHABBAT CHAZON The beginning of the last of the Five Books of Moses. Also called Mishneh Torah (repetition of the Torah) as it includes many commandments already mentioned in the Torah, but also many other commandments that are mentioned for the first time. Moses begins his final monologue, five weeks before his passing. He recounts the story of the Israelite’s travel through the desert, placing emphasis on, and rebuking them for, the story of the spies.


4 August 2018 / 23 Av 5778: EKEV Moses continues his address to the Children of Israel by telling them to trust in G-d and that they should diligently listen to G-d. The laws of Birkat HaMazon. The seven foods for which the Land was blessed, and for which we say a special blessing after eating them (wheat, barley, grape, fig, pomegranate, olive and dates). Warning against thinking that Israel could achieve a victory with their own might.

11 August 2018 / 30 Av 5778: RE’EH A choice is placed in front of the people. They can choose to keep the Torah which will bring blessings, or they can choose to forsake the Torah and bring about curses. The sanctity of the Land of Israel. The commandment to destroy all idolatrous images. Private altars would only be permitted until a more permanent Sanctuary (in Jerusalem) would be built. The laws of the Tithe, prohibition of eating blood and the different animals, birds and fish that can and cannot be eaten and the laws of the Shemittah year.

18 August 2018 / 7 Elul 5778: SHOFTIM The Torah teaches us the importance of upholding the law, both religious and civil law. It commands us to appoint judges of good standing. It also commands us to appoint a king who will be one of our own, who will be a person of stature, both morally and in wealth, but will not be allowed to live a life of such great opulence that he will loose sense of what his role is. Two Sifrei Torah will be written for him, one to be placed in his archives, one to be with him at all times, and also that he should always read from it.

25 August 2018 / 14 Elul 5778: KI TETZE

Fast of 17 B’Tammuz: 1 July 2018 (17 Tammuz 5778)

Fast of Tisha B’Av: 22 July 2018 (9 Av 5778)

Rosh Chodesh: 13 July 2018 (1 Av 5778)

Tu B’Av: 27 July 2018 (15 Av 5778) Rosh Chodesh: 11 August 2018 (30 Av 5778) 12 August 2018 (1 Elul 5778)

Fast of Tisha B’Av Eve: 21 July 2018 (8 Av 5778)

28 July 2018 / 16 Av 5778: VA’ETCHANAN Moses prays that he should be allowed to enter the Promised Land, but G-d upholds the decree that he will not do so. Moses exhorts the Children of Israel to uphold the Torah and tells them of G-d’s promise that there will always be a remnant of Israel. The Ten Commandments as were written in the Book of Exodus with few differences. The first paragraph of the Shema.

There were cultures that utilised women to entice the soldiers of the opposing army, for which the Torah provides guidelines of how to treat such a woman. The laws of a wayward son, who rebels against his parents. The laws of respecting other people’s property. The prohibition of men wearing women’s clothing and vice a versa – included in this law is engaging in other acts that are specific for the opposite sex, e.g. dying ones hair. The Torah is specific in the types of marriages we may enter into, and those we are not. The law of fulfilling our vows and promises – including making good our charitable pledges.

Candle Lighting Times for July / August Cities Bangkok Beijing Guangzhou Hong Kong Kathmandu Kobe Manila Mumbai Perth Shanghai Singapore Seoul Taipei Tokyo










6:32 7:28 6:59 6:54 6:45 6:57 6:12 7:02 5:07 6:44 6:57 7:39 6:30 6:42

6:32 7:25 6:58 6:53 6:44 6:55 6:11 7:02 5:11 6:42 6:58 7:36 6:29 6:40

6:31 7:21 6:56 6:51 6:42 6:52 6:11 7:01 5:15 6:39 6:58 7:32 6:27 6:37

6:30 7:15 6:53 6:49 6:38 6:48 6:09 6:58 5:19 6:35 6:58 7:27 6:24 6:32

6:27 7:08 6:50 6:45 6:34 6:42 6:07 6:55 5:24 6:30 6:58 7:21 6:20 6:26

6:24 7:00 6:45 6:41 6:29 6:35 6:04 6:51 5:28 6:24 6:57 7:13 6:15 6:19

6:21 6:51 6:40 6:36 6:22 6:27 6:00 6:47 5:33 6:17 6:55 7:05 6:09 6:11

6:17 6:41 6:34 6:30 6:15 6:19 5:56 6:42 5:37 6:10 6:53 6:55 6:03 6:02

6:12 6:30 6:28 6:24 6:08 6:10 5:51 6:36 5:41 6:01 6:51 6:45 5:56 5:52

Candlelighting times are taken from


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




Chabad of Hong Kong: 1/F Hoover Court, 7-9 Macdonell Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2523 9770


Jewish Community Centre: One Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2801 5440

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

Ohel Leah Synagogue: 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2589 2621

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:

Shuva Israel (Orthodox): 2/F Fortune House, 61 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2851 6300

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 Guangzhou Guangzhou Chabad: 31 He Ping Lu, Overseas Village, Guangzhou, China Tel: (86) 137 1050 5049 Shanghai Shanghai Chabad (Shanghai Jewish Center): Shang-Mira Garden Villa #1, 1720 Hong Qiao Road, Shanghai, 200336, PR China Tel: (86) 21 6278 0225 Chabad of Pudong: Vila # 69, 2255 Luoshan Road, Shanghai, 200135, PR China Tel: (86) 21 5878 2008 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:, Kehilat Shanghai (Reform): XinTianDi – Lakeville 2 Regency Club, 168 ShunChang Lu, Shanghai, China Tel: (86) 13817825201 Email:, Facebook: Shenzhen Shenzhen Chabad: No.4, Block A, Guishan Xiaozhu Yanshan Road, Industrial Area, Shekou Nanshan District, Shenzhen, PR China Tel: (86) 755 8207 0712

United Jewish Congregation (Reform): Jewish Community Centre, One Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2523 2985

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 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 United Hebrew Congregation (Reform): email:


The Israeli Chamber 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 email:

Chabad: 744-18 Hannam-Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul 140-893, South Korea Tel: (82) 107 730 3770

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

Taipei Jewish Center: No. 12, Lane 46, Anju St, Daan District, Taipei City 106, Taiwan Tel: (886) 9 2392 3770 email:

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


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 Kurla Bene Israel: 275 C.S.T. Rd, Jewish Colony, Kurla (W) Mumbai, India Tel: (91) 22 511-2132


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


Chabad House: GHA-2-516-4 Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: (977) 980 324 1294


Taipei Jewish Community: 16 Min Tsu East Road, Second Floor, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC Tel: (886) 2 2591 3565 Taipei Jewish Community Synagogue Services: 11F, 54 Minsheng East Road, Section 4, Taipei, Taiwan email:


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


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

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July / August 2018 • Volume 13 • Issue 4 • Tammuz / Av / Elul 5778  

Jewish Times Asia, was established in 2006, and is the regions first independent community newspaper for Jewish residents, business travelle...

July / August 2018 • Volume 13 • Issue 4 • Tammuz / Av / Elul 5778  

Jewish Times Asia, was established in 2006, and is the regions first independent community newspaper for Jewish residents, business travelle...