NOT THAT there was any paucity of Peres anecdotes in the past, but now that he's become president, everyone is jumping on the Peres bandwagon. Pensioners' Union Chairman Gideon Ben Israel, who has been a Peres crony for some six decades, naturally sent the Union's greetings to Peres on the eve of his inauguration, and was among the thousand or so guests who thronged to the Knesset to witness Peres's hour of glory, told an executive committee meeting of the Union that several years ago he had asked then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Peres to sign a letter addressed to the nation's senior citizens, in which the text began: "I write to you as a veteran among veteransâ€¦" Rabin had no qualms about signing the letter, but Peres refused. Ben Israel's conclusion: "Peres is ageless."
BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR and philanthropist Leon Recanati was the recipient of the President's Award of Merit given by Shraga Brosh, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel in recognition of his continuing involvement and striving for quality and excellence. The award was given at an emotional event at Air Force House, Herzliya in the presence of Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai and Rona Ramon, the widow of deceased Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. In addition to Recanati, eight high school students received Ilan Ramon awards for excellence and leadership. Recanati said it was imperative that the government encourage and develop biotech education.
GERMANY WILL strengthen its cooperation with the Netanya Academic College's Center for Strategic Dialogue, said German Ambassador Dr. Harald Kindermann, during a visit to the college, noting the Center's existing relationship with German foundations such as the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Kindermann pledged the cooperation of his government in encouraging visits by German scientific experts as well as outstanding people in academia to NAC. Germany's finance minister is scheduled to visit the College in November.
BYNET DATA Communications Ltd. has appointed Tiran Levi, 40, as executive vice president sales. Levi will head the company's communications division. Bynet recently announced the establishment of two dedicated divisions, one devoted to communications and the other to computers with the goal of providing specific professional solutions for customers' problems. Levi will be responsible for getting the communications division up and running in order to be able to cater to customers' real needs. Levi has been with Bynet Communications since 1998 and was in charge of its Jerusalem branch.
THE FLOWER Growers Association of Israel is dealing with a very thorny problem. According to FGA secretary Haim Hadad, the assets of the flower growers are in jeopardy and can only be rescued if the 800 flower growers hold general elections for a representative committee to take care of assets currently under the purview of the Plant Growers Council. The Flower Growers Council, which was abolished earlier this year, used to be part of the Plant Growers Council, which includes vegetables and fruits including citrus orchards. Yet even though the FGC no longer exists, its assets have remained within the domain of the PGC, some of whose members are operating under dire deficits. According to Hadad, such a situation contradicts a High Court decision to the effect that each branch of the PGC should be economically independent. He is afraid that under the present status quo, assets belonging to the FGA will be utilized to reduce the debts of others. The flower growers' assets include shares in Agrexco and in CAL Cargo Airlines and also real estate holdings.
PRIVATELY AND through their various business holdings, members of the Ofer family contribute to an extraordinary number and variety of causes; among the more recent is a NIS 200,000 donation by Israel Chemicals, owned by the Ofer Brothers, to the Abu Basma Council for the purchase of 25 garbage compactors. The donation was made at a festive ceremony in which Israel Chemicals was represented by senior executives Asher Greenbaum, Asher Rapaport and Arik Bar. Also present were Basma Regional Council chairman Amram Kalaji and Bilha Givon, director of Sustainable Development for the Negev. This was the first phase of Israel Chemicals' activity in the Beduin sector. Further funds will be forthcoming from a NIS 700,000 budget, which is being utilized in accordance with needs.
AHAVA DEAD Sea Cosmetics has appointed May Or, 33, as head of its international customer service division. Or, who has a Masters degree in Public Administration, has had managerial experience in other companies. In her new capacity, she will be responsible for strategic marketing of Ahava products in Europe and South Africa.
EDS ISRAEL has appointed Anat Cassoy-Hatvany as sales manager for its ITS clients, the company's consulting division. In her new position, she also will be responsible for recruiting new customers. She was previously sales manager for DB@net, and before that was sales manager at ACS.
THE ANNUAL Michael Bruno Memorial Awards, named for the late governor of the Bank of Israel who served from 1986-1991 who also chaired the board of the Rothschild Prizes Organization, will be distributed at the Israel Academy of Science on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The awards totalling $216,000 for each recipient with neither strings nor restrictions attached are granted to Israeli scholars and scientists of exceptional promise. The purpose is to give the awardees a period of three years of freedom from financial and institutional obligations in order to engage in creative and self-fulfilling activities of their choosing. The awards follow the pattern of the McArthur Fellowships in the US. The candidates are selected in a confidential process, based on evaluations provided by world leading scientists in their fields. Yad Hanadiv (The Rothschild Foundation) is proud of the opportunity to acknowledge the scientific activities these of outstanding scholars who represent the younger generation of Israeli academics.
The winner for 2007 are:
Professor Uri Banin, a full professor in the Department of Physical Chemistry at the Hebrew University , from which he received his PhD in 1994. He did postdoctoral work at the University of California in Berkeley, in nano-science. Upon his return to Israel, he established a laboratory at Hebrew University devoted to the study of semi-conductor nano-crystals and established himself as an outstanding experimentalist.
Dr. Irit Dinur, a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, Hebrew University. Dinur completed her PhD at Tel Aviv University and did post-doctoral work at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. Her work focuses on issues related to Computational Complexity Theory, aimed at classifying computational problems into those that are efficiently solvable and those that cannot be solved efficiently. Although only 34, she has already established herself as "the unquestionable leader in the area of Probabilistically Checkable Proofs (PCP)." A recent paper "The PCP Theorem by Gap Amplification" is described by evaluators as "remarkable and unexpected," and is credited with fundamentally transforming her field. "With these results," one evaluator wrote, "Irit stands at the top row of Theoretical Computer Scientists worldwide."
Dr. Michael Karayanni, senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University, from which he received his PhD and went on to a second PhD at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. His field of research is procedural law, as well as comparative law, and he has recently focused on the place of national and religious minorities within the liberal state and on constitutional law in relation to these issues. Karayanni specializes in the field known as "conflict of laws." Evaluators described him as an "outstanding scholar with a first-rate analytical mind." In a short time, he has become one of the central figures at his law school, serving as vice dean while continuing to publish widely.