Business Scene

After 13 years as an associate of Goldman Sachs, Orit Freedman Weisman has become a partner in the company, making her one of the most influential Israelis on Wall Street.

October 31, 2006 07:34
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orit freedman weisman 88. (photo credit: Courtesy Photo)


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GUESTS ATTENDING Yad Vashem's tribute ceremony for Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson, who in addition to their handsome contributions in the past have just donated $25 million to Yad Vashem for educational purposes, may have wondered about a solo performance on the mouth organ by Assaf Levy, a member of the Ramat Gan Children's Harmonica Orchestra that was founded by the late Shmuel Gogol who managed to survive Auschwitz because of a mouth organ that was given to him by Janusz Korczak. The young Gogol, who was a natural musician, played the mouth organ in the Auschwitz Orchestra and many years later returned to Auschwitz in the entourage of Yitzhak Rabin to play Hatikva on the mouth organ. However, in Jerusalem last Friday, Levy, though not mentioned on the program, played Carnival of Venice, a special favorite of the Adelsons who spent their honeymoon in Venice, where Sheldon, a gambling and entertainment tycoon, was inspired to enlarge his casino empire and built the $2.5 billion Venetian complex on the site of the demolished Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. Adelson, who is a large scale supporter of numerous projects in Israel, has been trying for many years to introduce legalized gambling into the country to increase the government's income and to deter Israeli gamblers from crossing the Eilat border into Taba, or for that matter from flying to Eastern Europe to gamble at casinos there. Though unsuccessful, Adelson remains forever hopeful. FOR THE first time in almost 1000 years as far as anyone is aware, the medieval Tuscan walled city of Lucca, once home to the Ibn Ezra and the poet Kalonymus, is to host a group of affluent Jewish travelers with fine palates to a kosher "Taste of Tuscany." The tour, organized by Naomi International, an affiliate of the Jerusalem-based catering company Naomi -Food is Art headed by Naomi Goldberg, in conjunction with concept manager Enrico di Monte d'Oro, was sold out 12 hours after it was advertised by e-mail to its client database. Participants are people who consider themselves food connoisseurs and/or gourmet cooks. In addition to trips to Jewish Tuscany, Florence, Pisa and Pitgliano, the tour, which leaves Israel in early November, will include a cooking school by teachers of the cordon bleu of Florence - and of course time will also be set aside for shopping. Not only Israelis are participating in the tour. The appeal of freshly made strictly kosher food prepared in a Tuscan villa by Tuscan chefs is such that in addition to her regular Jerusalem clientele, Goldberg's clients are flying in from as far afield as Brazil, New York, London and Manchester. Response to the tour has been so great that two additional tours have been organized for the spring to accommodate those people who were unable to make reservations for this tour, which was over-booked from day one. The group will be accommodated in a 700-year old villa hotel in Lucca. The hotel kitchen has been koshered under the supervision of Rabbi Yosef Levi, Chief Rabbi of Florence. Italy is becoming an increasingly popular destination for Israeli vacationers Yoni Lucas, the language coach of the Gesher Theater, decided to go somewhat off the beaten Israeli track in Italy and in surfing the net came across Abano Terme near Venice. The hotel he chose is a medieval structure run by a mother and her daughters who have created a completely different world in terms of food, ambience and the numerous activities available to guests. Lucas and his wife were so charmed that they are recommending to everyone on their e-mail lists that this is the best place for the holiday of a lifetime. Lucas is seriously considering leading tours there. With his natural flair for history and linguistics, he could end up with yet another profession. WHAT'S Happening in New York? That's the title of a constantly updated pocket-size guide to what's on in the Big Apple that El Al is handing out to its New York bound passengers. According to Rami Levi, El Al's Vice President for Commerce and Aviation Relations, the guide, specially commissioned by El Al, is yet another effort to improve the company's service. It contains information about shows, exhibitions, restaurants, sightseeing tours, et al. El Al's prices for flights to New York begin at $699. AFTER 13 years as an associate of Goldman Sachs, Orit Freedman Weisman has become a partner in the company, making her one of the most influential Israelis on Wall Street. Freedman Weisman joined Goldman Sachs as a Mergers & Acquisitions associate in 1993, and in the late 90s was asked to start and head Goldman's Israel business. In 2002, she transferred to Goldman's Healthcare Group and was in charge of healthcare companies in the East Coast of the US. In 2005, she was asked to head Goldman's Israel Group. She became a vice president in 1997 and a managing director in 2001. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Freedman Weisman worked in merchant banking and as a securities lawyer. She graduated from Tel Aviv University Law School in 1987 and earned an MBA at New York University's Stern School of Business in 1993. She lives in New York with her husband and three children. THE SEARCH for new horizons has prompted Yael Greenwald to leave her position of Vice President Marketing at Meitavit Atidot Pension Fund, which is affiliated with the Clal Insurance Group. Greenwald, who has been with the pension fund for four years and who can take some of the credit for its growth, is exploring the business sector to find a new niche for herself. SOME 60 diplomats, including ambassadors and commercial attaches, were hosted in Ashkelon last week by Oren Shahor, Vice President of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Chairman of the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline. Shahor and FCC director-general Yehezkiel Daskal introduced them to Israel's fuel and oil refineries operations. BEST KNOWN in Israel as the pioneer of shopping malls he has also designed and built in Canada and the US, along with high rise office blocks, David Azrieli has just won the controlling interest in Granite Hacarmel, which will give him a certain degree of influence in Israel's energy market. Listed by financial publications as being one of the wealthiest people in Canada, the Polish-born Azrieli fled to Palestine during World War II and fought in the War of Independence. He moved to Canada in 1954, and from modest beginnings made his fortune to the extent that he is a prize-winning, multi-millionaire. Eighty four years old, Azrieli is not content to rest on his laurels - although he lives in Canada where he engages in many philanthropic as well as business activities, his heart remains in Israel where he continues to create shopping malls. His latest, in Modi'in, is in the final stages of construction. MORE THAN 600 people, some two-thirds of whom came especially from Israel, participated in the inauguration of Bank Leumi Romania. Among them were many leading business people with interests in Romania, which prompted Leumi CEO Galia Maor to comment that their intensive and ever-growing operations in Romania provided more than a valid reason for Leumi to expand in that direction. The chairman of Bank Leumi Romania is Zalman Segal. Maor wanted to open her address with at least a word of welcome in Romanian and was coached by Israel Ambassador Rudika Gordon. THE NEW Israel Marketing manager of Continental Airlines is Iris Lewit, who has been with the company since 1999, serving as sales manager in charge of commercial accounts. Lewit replaces Shaul Shambico, who has been appointed Continental Airlines' Regional Marketing Director, Europe, Middle East and India. Shambico, who will be based in the Netherlands, will supervise marketing activities in the 12 countries served by Continental Airlines. INTEREST IN the products of Israel's security industry is growing all the time reports Richard Fry, president of MSD Security who has just returned from participating in the ISC East (International Security Conference and Exposition) in New York, which is one of the largest shows of its kind held annually in the US. Hundreds of people visited the MSD booth where they were introduced to the new product line of CCTV cameras and digital video recorders. MSD's new "Intelligent Dome," which offers a sophisticated tracking system, was one of the key features. Fry and his staff represented the only Israeli closed circuit TV company exhibiting at the show this year. Due to the success which this generated, MSD will exhibit at the ISC show in Las Vegas in March 2007. ON THE local scene, at an information security conference that opened Monday at the Avenue Convention Center at Airport City, Aladdin Knowledge Systems, which is winning awards for its eSafe integrated gateway-based anti-virus, spyware control Web browsing security and application filtering solution, caused a little excitement when it introduced some real-looking police who came ostensibly to arrest or fine criminals who have illegally accessed information systems. Aladdin chairman and CEO Yanki Margalit promised those participants who had not been fined for breaking the law, an intellectually stimulating program. Jerusalem bureau - one of the busiest and most important in the network. Kevin Flower, who has been with CNN since 1995 and was formerly CNN Bureau Chief in Baghdad, now will be bureau chief in Jerusalem and responsible for all CNN operations in the capital. Ben Wedeman, former CNN bureau chief in Cairo, will be the network's key reporter in Jerusalem. CNN opened its Jerusalem bureau in 1983. DHL, ONE of the leading air cargo express delivery companies, has appointed Gilad Kroner as its marketing director. Kroner comes to DHL after four years with international chewing gum company Wrigley, where he also headed the marketing operations - initially for Israel and later for the Middle East, Africa, South America and Southern Europe. Before that, he worked for seven years with BBDO-Gitam international advertising agency.

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