21 February 2018 - 6 Adar 5778 - ו' אדר ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Rabbi rescues Israeli backpackers in Nepal E-mail

On 16 March, Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz, who co-directs Chabad of Nepal with his wife, Chani, joined the crew of a medical evacuation helicopter in Nepal to rescue two stranded Israeli backpackers who were suffering from hypothermia at an altitude of 15,500 feet.

Backpackers Maya Butbul and Sharon Nachumi were rescued from their predicament on a ridge in the Himalayas, 100 miles from the capital, Kathmandu.

The two women had messaged the rabbi an SOS signal with a satellite phone they had borrowed from a Chabad House in Kathmandu. “Hypothermia had set in, and every minute was precious,” Rabbi Lifshitz said.

Thanks to the Chilik Magnus rescue squad, the Israeli Foreign Ministry and fellow Israeli backpackers trained in first aid, the women were cared for until the chopper arrived. They were then taken from the Annapurna range in the Himalayas to a hospital in Kathmandu, where they received treatment.

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Bank of Israel signs MoU with Reserve Bank of India Print E-mail

The Bank of Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on “Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information” with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 8 March.

The signing of the MoU is intended to strengthen the ties between the Reserve Bank of India and the Bank of Israel, and reflects the commitment of the authorities to the principles of consolidated supervision and co-operation among banking regulators.

The MoU was signed by Mrs. Parvathy V. Sundaram, Chief General Manager-inCharge, Department of Banking Supervision on behalf of RBI, and Dr. Hedva Ber, Supervisor of Banks on behalf of the Bank of Israel. The MoU also reflects the commitment of the authorities to the principles of consolidated supervision and co-operation among banking regulators.

(Issue April 2016)


Japanese tourist injured by stone-throwers in Jerusalem Print E-mail

A 69-year-old female tourist from Japan was lightly wounded last month by stonethrowers who pelted a group of visitors from a roof near Saint Anne’s Catholic Church near Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem, police said.

The woman had wounds to her head, and paramedics transferred her to the emergency room at Hadassah University Medical Center. “I’m a tourist in Israel as part of a tour group of Japanese people who love Israel; I was very surprised by the stone-throwing attack,” said the wounded woman. “At the time [of the attack] I was praying and I didn’t understand what had hit me.”

Police have launched searches for the perpetrators of the incident. The identity of the assailants was not initially known.

(Issue April 2016)


Postage stamp for “British Schindler” issued E-mail

Britain’s Royal Mail issued a commemorative stamp in March featuring Sir Nicholas Winton, known as the “British Schindler”.

The first-class stamp is part of a set of six commemorative stamps honouring some of the UK’s greatest humanitarians and their achievements, the BBC reported.

Winton, who helped rescue 669 children from Nazioccupied Czechoslovakia, died on 1 July, 2015, at the age of 106. An online petition calling for the stamp, set up later that month by Jewish News, garnered nearly 106,000 signatures. The Royal Mail commissions 12 new stamps each year that must be approved by the Queen. The other two first-class stamps feature Sue Ryder, who founded homes for people in need, and Nobel Prizewinning scientist Lord Boyd Orr. The other three stamps feature Joseph Rowntree, a Quaker philanthropist; Eglantyne Jebb, founder of the organisation that became Save the Children; and Josephine Butler, a Victorianera campaigner for women’s rights and social reform.

Winton, the baptised son of Jewish parents, was a 29-yearold stockbroker when he arrived in Prague in December 1938. He had been planning to go on a skiing holiday in Switzerland, but changed his plans when he heard about the refugee crisis in Czechoslovakia, which had just been occupied by the Nazis. In the following nine months he organised eight trains that carried children, the vast majority of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia to safety in Britain.

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Chinese automaker Qoros is considering the establishment of an advanced R&D centre in Israel, Chinese media recently reported.

According to the Chinese reports, “Qoros plans to open an R&D centre in Israel to focus on developing a smart-car, to stand at the forefront of electric vehicle development – including autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence technologies. These technologies will be integrated in the next generation of electric cars by Qoros.”

The announcement was included as part of the coverage of an event at which Qoros presented the plans for its electric vehicle division. The “E-MISSION 2016”, a prototype of a Qoros electric vehicle based on the Qoros 5, will be displayed at the Beijing Auto Show in April.

The platform will serve as the base for both an electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid that will be launched in China within 12-18 months.

Qoros is held by Kenon Holdings, which spun off from Israel Corporation last year and is controlled by Idan Ofer (55%). Unfortunately the Qoros venture has so far not been a profitable one for Kenon Holdings as it continues to finance massive losses incurred by Qoros – a total of US$1.1 billion so far. Qoros sold 13,000 vehicles in China during 2015 – more than twice as many as in the corresponding period in 2014, but those are paltry figures given the size of the Chinese market.

Qoros was launched in 2012 as a 50/50 independent joint venture between Chinese automaker Chery Automobile and Israel Corporation. The company is aiming to be one of the first Chinese auto manufacturers to meet European and international quality standards.

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