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(photo credit: Courtesy)
PUBLIC CONFIDENCE is a reputation that is hard to come by, but after an intense training and testing process of three months, Comme il Faut, the women's wear chain, has won the right to display the Public Confidence sign. Launched in 1988 by Carol Godin and Sybil Goldfinger, Comme il Faut was never just a business venture. It promoted women's empowerment and social justice. Its political involvement included a fashion photo-shoot against the backdrop of the separation fence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. On the business side, Comme il Faut strove for quality in its products and its service and practiced fair policy with regard to both its employees and its customers. It also introduced a new consumer culture to Israel by way of Bayit Banamal (House in the Harbor), an all-under-one-roof retail gallery and culinary space in the old port of Tel Aviv featuring a caf restaurant and eight retail stores including Comme il Faut in an architecturally inspired area crafted from wood, metal and glass. The complex also includes a new, well-being center for women where they can participate in various exercise classes and receive beauty treatments.
ISRAEL STANDARDS Institute director-general Ziva Patir has signed an agreement in Addis Ababa with Ethiopia's Minister for Industry and Trade Girma Birru and Deputy Minister for Defense Sultan Mohammed whereby the ISI will oversee a strategic plan that will enable Ethiopia to improve its management systems and its competitive ability. The ISI will also help to develop programs for industrial plants that will enable them to be better qualified to pose a challenge for international competitors. Birru told reporters at a media conference in Addis Ababa, that the ISI had been selected after Ethiopia examined its options in relation to a number of European standards institutes. Patir said the agreement between the two countries represents a significant milestone in the strengthening of bilateral relations at both economic and political levels. Ethiopia is eager to improve and promote its flower industry and its textile industry, especially the latter so that more jobs will be available to native sons and daughters.
INTERNATIONALLY ACKNOWLEDGED Sausage King Marcel Hess, has closed his popular Ra'anana facility and has moved the whole of his production plant to the intersection of Kanfei Israel and Rehov Beit Hadfus in Jerusalem's Givat Shaul Industrial Zone. Hess prides himself on the fact that his sausages, which are strictly meat and spices with no other additives, have won numerous international competitions based on blind tasting. His success in this regard refutes the claims of those who say that kosher meat can't possibly taste good because the blood has been let out of it. Hess competes regularly with producers of non-kosher processed meat products, and comes out ahead again and again. The factory plant has a deli shop that is open three nights a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. to allow for shopping en famille. It is also convenient for out-of-town customers who do not have to disrupt a work day to do their deli shopping, and who can easily access Givat Shaul from the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway. For those who do not want to shop in Givat Shaul, Hess continues to sell deli products in his downtown Jerusalem restaurant. A native of Basel in Switzerland, which boasts the world's oldest existing Master Butcher and Sausage-Maker Guild that was founded in 1248, Hess who has been a member of the Guild for many years, sees himself as its official representative in Jerusalem.
ARCHITECT, ENTREPRENEUR and philanthropist David Azrieli celebrated his 85th birthday with a donation of $1 million to the Haifa Technion, saying "For me, the Technion is like family." Azrieli who arrived in what was then Palestine in the middle of World War II without his parents, who remained in Poland and subsequently were murdered in Auschwitz, was accepted as a student at the Technion along with other youngsters from Poland.
"For us, it was a tremendous thing to be able to study at the Technion," he recalled. "It gave us the feeling that we had achieved something. For me, the Technion was not just a place of study, it was home. It was a difficult period without reduced fees or scholarships. We took any jobs we could get in order to subsist. I worked in the laboratories of the British army fixing faults in tanks and planes. At one stage, I also worked as a dishwasher in a hotel and sometimes made toast for the British soldiers. I also happened to manage a sports field, and later I taught at the Reali School."
For all the hardships, recalled Azrieli, the students were happy, spending their weekends at the beach and meeting during the week in coffee shops in which they ordered almost nothing because they were so short of funds. Azrieli began his architectural studies at the Technion but they were disrupted by the War of Independence. He subsequently completed his studies in Canada where he made his fortune. However he has returned to Israel frequently, most recently for a reunion of students who studied at the Technion 60 years ago. Azrieli is best known in Israel as the pioneer of modern shopping malls.
FOLLOWING THE announcement by Meir Malal that he wants to resign his post at the Bank of Jerusalem in order to go into private business, the Bank has appointed Bentzi Adiri as deputy manager and head of the business department. Adiri, who has considerable banking experience, spent 16 years with the International Bank working in a number of executive positions, the last of which was as head of the construction and property department, Prior to that, he headed the financial analysts unit in the business department. A graduate of the Tel Aviv Management College, Adiri 40, is a qualified CPA and has a first degree in business administration.
Philips Medica Systems has appointed Guido Pardo-Roques to the position of General Manager Haifa CT and Senior Director of Global CT Research and Advanced Development. Concurrent with his position in Haifa, Pardo-Roques will continue to serve as senior advanced research and development director for Philips Medical worldwide. In accepting his new position, Pardo-Roques made the point that Philips Medical is committed to the development of new, essential technological solutions designed to improve the quality of medical care and, ultimately, the health of patients in the course of treatment and rehabilitation. The ability to diagnose correctly, he emphasized, enables illnesses to be treated faster and more efficiently with better end results.
THE NEW General Manager of the Jerusalem Gate Hotel is Josh Avin , replacing Rachel Goldberg, who has been appointed manager of the Jerusalem Pearl Hotel. Prior to joining the Jerusalem Gate, Goldberg was manager of the Mount Zion Hotel where she was succeeded by Irit Gazit. Avin was appointed by the Jerusalem Gate's new owner, Morris Willner, an American businessman, who is chairman of WRDC (Willner Realty & Development Company) USA, which owns, develops and manages retail complexes, mid-rise office buildings, apartments and condominiums throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and South Florida. Willner is currently focusing on expanding his real estate holdings in Israel. Active in numerous community organizations, Willner is chairman of Israel Elwyn and is also closely involved with several other philanthropic causes. Avin has managed and worked in hotels both the US and in Israel, including Mitzpe Hayamim and some of the Dan hotels.
IT'S BEEN talked about for more than a decade, but finally Poland's first Hilton Hotel, the 22-story Warsaw Hilton, believed to be the largest conference hotel in Poland, has become a reality. Its opening has been delayed several times, but towards the end of last month, it opened its doors without fanfare for an initial run prior to the official opening this week.
For Jewish guests, the Warsaw Hilton, notwithstanding its glamor, will have a special poignancy given that it is located on Grzybowska Street, which was one of the key areas of battle during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It is the street on which the Judenraat headquarters were located and it is within easy walking distance of the famed Nozyk Synagogue. The hotel was built by Israel-based Elran Holdings, which is headed by Gadi and Dori Dankner, who are taking more than 200 of the leaders of Israel's business community to Warsaw for the gala launch. The hotel which is destined to become Hilton's European flagship - until at least such time as someone builds a grander Hilton - brings the total number of countries with Hilton hotels to 75. Also scheduled to attend the opening is Wolfgang Neumann, the President of Hilton International. Because the opening is so close to Holocaust Memorial Day, the Dankners, as a mark of respect for the victims of the Holocaust, have organized a special walking tour of the Warsaw Ghetto for their guests. The Warsaw Hilton was planned as a comprehensive project and will be expanded at some time in the future to include office premises, prestige apartments and a state-of-the-art shopping center. Like most of the luxury hotels in Warsaw, it has a sparkling casino and an ultra-modern spa and fitness center, plus several restaurants, 314 rooms and suites, including a presidential suite, along with numerous conference rooms and a huge conference hall that can comfortably accommodates 1,850 people.
IN ADDITION to buying up properties in the US and Russia, business tycoon Lev Leviev is spreading his wings in Jerusalem and recently acquired two large, downtown properties for which he shelled out several million dollars. Leviev's Africa Israel company already had extensive holdings in Jerusalem including a shopping mall and the now derelict, former President Hotel, which was the capital's first hotel with a swimming pool. The building which has been condemned, is in an upscale neighborhood, and served for several years as a facility for new immigrants during which time it lost all of its former glory. Empty for years except when homeless people and drug addicts manage to break into it, the building is part of a complex that houses the Government Coins and Medals Corporation, which for the time being is staying put. This may be one of the reasons that Africa Israel has not gutted the structure and put up a new luxury residential complex in its place. The late Haim Shiff , who built the President Hotel as well as several other hotels in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, regretted having sold part of the building to the Israel Coins and Medals Corporation, which may be as much a thorn in the side of Africa Israel as it was to him.
GALIL MEDICAL, a market leader in cryotherapy systems to treat cancer and non-cancerous tumors, has announced the appointment of Karen Sarid as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Galil Medical Israel. "The addition of Karen Sarid as CFO and COO to our leadership rounds out a talented global team as we expand cryotherapy treatments in the urology, interventional radiology, and gynecology markets in the US and Europe," stated Chen Barir, Chairman and CEO of Galil Medical. Sarid has a track record of more than 10 years of management and financial experience in global technology companies. As general manager of Galil Medical Israel, she will be responsible for operational leadership of the company's Israel headquarters. As CFO and COO, she will manage the entire company's finance and administration.