23 September 2018 - 14 Tishri 5779 - י"ד תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Tzohar’s mission reaching Asia E-mail

Last month saw a return visit of Tzohar representative Adam Segal, International Resource Development Manager to Hong Kong. Segal is working to raise the profile of Tzohar across Asia, reaching out to community members who are not familiar with the Israeli organisation, its important pivotal role and the services it provides voluntarily.

Founded in 1995, Tzohar is an Israeli national religious and zionist rabbinical organisation dedicated to securing the Jewish future of the State of Israel by promoting initiatives and programmes focused on Jewish identity and national unity. It is a household name across Israel, attracting thousands of secular Israelis who turn to it in particular to conduct marriages and other life-cycle events.

He met with Jewish Times Asia to chat about the organisation and how it goes about uniting a Jewish Israel. When asked why so many secular Israelis turn to Tzohar, he explained that the attraction is its very warm, personal and non-judgmental approach to people. “With almost 10,000 couples opting for a civil wedding overseas to avoid a Jewish wedding, Tzohar realises the need to engage secular Israel in a very positive way.”

Tzohar is an independent organisation guided by halacha (Jewish law). Its projects, including weddings, are recognised by the Rabbinate, as is required by Israeli law. This provides couples with the very real option of having a wedding with a Rabbi and a bridal teacher who take the time to get to know each couple and create an experience that is meaningful for them.

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More collaboration between Israel and Vietnam on bilateral defence ties Print E-mail

Vietnam’s Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh hosted a reception in Hanoi on 8 May for the Director of Israel’s Defence Export and Cooperation Agency (SIBAT) Mishel Ben Baruch, who was on a working visit to Vietnam to seek ways to strengthen bilateral defence ties.

Stressing positive developments in Vietnam-Israel defence relations, Senior Lieutenant General Vinh expressed his hope that the visit of the SIBAT delegation will help to further enhance ties. He affirmed that the Vietnamese Defence Ministry’s leaders will create all the favourable conditions for the delegation to meet and seek opportunities for co-operation with Vietnamese partners in line with Vietnam’s laws. In particular, he suggested that both sides speed up collaboration in education, training, search-andrescue missions and the defence industry.

For his part, Baruch informed the host of the outcomes of his working session with representatives of the Vietnamese Defence Ministry’s Department of Foreign Relations, and affirmed that the Israeli side is willing to boost defence co-operation with Vietnam, especially in the areas that Vinh pinpointed.

Vietnam is currently the second-largest importer of military equipment from Israel in Asia.

(Issue Jun 2018)

TAU collaborates on new Indian centre for agriculture E-mail

In yet another development in Asia for Tel Aviv University (TAU), the university has announced a collaboration with the Indian philanthropic organisation Tata Trusts to launch a new Indian Centre for Agri and Allied Tech (ICAT) that will bring Israeli know-how and innovation to the farmers of the state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India.

The initiative, supported by the government of Andhra Pradesh, will include an advanced R&D centre, as well as activities of agricultural experts in villages and farms with the aim of overcoming various technological, agronomic and economic barriers, and promoting sustainable agriculture and food security. In future, the programme is set to expand across the whole country.

TAU’s Boris Mints Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions to Global Challenges will offer its expertise to a joint TAU-Tata steering committee, collaborating with experts from both Israel and India in order to identify problems in rural India and find potential solutions in Israel.

As part of the programme, experts, corporations and research institutes in Israel will adapt existing technologies and develop new solutions to meet the needs of Indian agriculture. The central R&D hub in Andhra Pradesh will test the various solutions under local conditions while training local workers to operate the new technologies.

Additionally, a network of satellite farms will conduct further experiments and supply farmers with guidance and various services. Farmers in each of the hundreds of villages throughout the state will implement and test the new technologies in their own fields, and business models will be developed to support wide diffusion of the innovative solutions among the broader farming population. This initiative marks the fruits of the university’s growing relationship with India in recent years.

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Israel hosts first international scientific conference E-mail

From 28 to 29 May, under the auspices of the Science and Technology Ministry, the first international ministerial-level science conference was held in Jerusalem.

More than 20 countries around the world sent delegations headed by ministers and deputy ministers of science, including two from Asia: India and Thailand. The theme of the conference was Thinking Out of the Box.

The main topics included scientific intellectual innovations, from the birth of an idea until execution and global success; Israel’s efforts to supply creative and innovative solutions to scientific challenges resulting in great importance to humanity, and the role of public policy and the prioritisation of resources while advancing innovative research and application in efforts of discovering solutions to future challenges.

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Remembering those who perished in the Holocaust E-mail

Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, is observed every year. It is a day of commemoration of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of actions carried out by Nazi Germany.

The day was inaugurated in Israel in 1959 and takes place on 27 Nisan, a week before Israel’s Independence Day. In Israel, flags are flown at half mast and a state ceremony is held at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Authority. At 10am, air-raid sirens are sounded for two minutes and all activity comes to a halt.

Outside of the country, the day is marked with ceremonies and programmes that include the lighting of memorial candles. Jewish communities get together and solemnly observe and remember the millions of Jews who were murdered.

The Hong Kong Jewish community held its Holocaust Remembrance Day on 11 April at the Jewish Community Centre. The event was organised by the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre (HKHTC), with the support of Kingdom of the Netherlands, Anne Frank House and the Consulate General of Israel in Hong Kong. This year’s theme was “Remembered: Children of the Holocaust”.

All of Hong Kong’s Jewish congregations were represented. In addition, representatives from many consulates, including those of the Netherlands and Germany, joined the evening’s gathering. Opening remarks and introductions were read by Glen Steinman, HKHTC Director. The evening’s programme started with the screening of a moving and tearful video in memory of the children of the Holocaust.

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