JORDANIAN, PALESTINIAN and Egyptian dairy farmers and agricultural experts who participated in a regional conference organized in the Jordan Valley by the Peres Peace Center were impressed, when touring Kibbutz Afikim, to see the kibbutz dairy's high-tech operations. The conference was convened to examine ways of increasing milk yields and dairy product quality through the use of advanced technology rather than traditional farming methods. Over the past decade, milk yields from Israeli cows have surpassed those of much of the rest of the world, and Israel is willing to share the technological know-how of this phenomenon with its neighbors. According to Ofir Langer, the sales and marketing manager for Afikim Computerized Dairy Management Systems, his company is interested in expanding its client base to include all the countries in the region. ACDMS is already active in Egypt, he said, and would be happy to conduct operations in other Arab countries with the aim of improving milk yields and managing herds.
PROPRIETORS OF art galleries combine business with culture. Ronald Fuhrer, who owns the highly successful Golconda Gallery in Tel Aviv - which handles the works of Israel's major artists - rubs shoulders on a daily basis with leading collectors. But Fuhrer wants to introduce a younger generation of Israelis to the joy of collecting art by making it more affordable, and displaying it in a place where young people are likely to congregate. Working in cooperation with Comme-il-Faut, which operates a large multi-disciplined facility on the port of Tel Aviv, Fuhrer will run a three-day sale with works by Igael Tamarkin, Meir Pichadze, Yossl Bergner, Irit Bloch, Yair Garboz, Moshe Gershoni, Tamar Getter and other well-known artists at prices from as low as NIS 500. Even though his profit margins will be slashed, Fuhrer reasons that because so many young people frequent the large Comme-il-Faut restaurant, the chances are that they will take time to look at the art and possibly to buy. For those who are genuinely captivated by their acquisitions, this will be the start of an adventure into art. Sales will be conducted from June 19-21 inclusive from 10 a.m. to midnight.
SENIOR FINANCE Ministry officials who opt to make their mark in the private sector appear to have no trouble in getting top-notch jobs. Case in point is former director general Yossi Bahar, who has been appointed strategic adviser to the Blue Square supermarket chain. An accountant by profession, Bahar 53, initiated significant reforms in capital markets. Before joining the Finance Ministry where he served from 2003-2007, Bahar was a partner in the well-known accounting firm of Leibowitz Kasierer.
ALL JEWISH festivals, in addition to their religious connotations, are food-related. So it's no wonder that prior to each festival, the many organizations that provide food for the needy make an extra effort to ensure that people living below the poverty line will have something special in addition to the regular food supplies they receive. Most of the time this involves the goodwill of the general public in that extra funds or donations are needed to supplement the regular food packages. Advertisements in the press and commercials on radio and television urge people to give money or to make additional purchases at their local supermarket and to put them in a special box near the entrance to the supermarket. Table to Table went one better and got kindergarten children from Kfar Yona to join them in picking strawberries as a treat for the poor. It was an important lesson in volunteerism, and gave the youngsters an early start in philanthropy. Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog, who was touring the country to oversee pre-holiday preparations for the poor by some 150 not-for-profit organizations, doffed his jacket and joined Table to Table director general Joseph Gitler and the youngsters. Herzog told Gitler that he had met recently with noted economist Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, who, inter alia, acts as a special adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Sachs had not painted an optimistic picture, said Herzog, and had warned that food prices would rise much higher in the months ahead. Such a situation said Herzog, demanded even greater effort on the part of organizations such as Table to Table.
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