The Hebrew month of Elul signals the approaching Jewish New Year where most Israelis understand that we cannot succeed by being selfish or working alone. We have to combine our resources by developing relationships, establishing links and utilizing connections in order to build a better world. Last week’s news contained many examples of these situations.
You can now get a combined view of the history of Israel’s scientific and technological achievements under one roof. The Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem features Israel’s 50 Greatest Inventions; from the cherry tomato to the Better Place electric car, and much more. In its latest technological construction project, Jerusalem City Council has been installing NIS 35 million of solar power systems on the roofs of municipal buildings in the nation’s capital city. It has already connected 25 schools and community centres to the electricity grid and another 23 are due to be completed by mid-September.
We will soon be able to view Jerusalem at cinemas in another dimension. A 45-minute IMAX 3D film of the city is currently in development. When released, it is scheduled to play in over 35 countries. Did you know that the scenes of Jerusalem produced by Hollywood filmmakers are actually shot in Italy? Now this missing link is being rectified thanks to Israeli government incentives.
Israeli diplomats are also finally starting to connect to technology. Staff from Israeli embassies across Europe have realised that they need to get to grips with Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook in order to fight political battles on behalf of the Jewish State. One Israeli government employee who needs no training in Technology is Professor Stanley Fischer, head of the Bank of Israel. He has all the right connections as can be seen by the fact that Global Finance awarded him the top ‘A’ grade in its annual report. Bank of England’s Mervyn King only got a ‘B’ and the US Fed’s Ben Bernanke got a poor ‘C’. One of Prof Fischer’s achievements has been the signing of a new Statement of Co-operation that allows information between Israeli and US banks to be exchanged much more freely than previously.
The Israeli city of Kfar Saba features in both these next two stories. First, it is leading the way in a project that combines recycling of used billboards with the organisation ‘Green Hands’ that employs people with special needs who use the material to manufacture toys, newspapers, wallets, lamps and bags. The second story is more unconventional. How about bus stop libraries? Well we are the ‘People of The Book’, so what better way to combine the time waiting for your bus in Kfar Saba with borrowing a few books? I just hope that you’re not fined if the return bus is late!
A musical combination won the 2011 Hallelujah song contest in Ramat Hasharon. Mexican Adam Kleinberg sang ‘Zeh lo kal’ in Hebrew, which couldn’t have been easy! He did have another connection to Israel, being a distant cousin of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. At another performance, a combination of writers, actors, artists and friends of the theatre attended Gesher’s 20th anniversary celebration by watching a special show at the home of Israel’s President Shimon Peres. The theatre has been an important cultural link for Russian-speaking Israelis since the beginning of their mass immigration over two decades ago.
Two sports stories are linked by their promotion of co-existence. The combined Israeli-Palestinian Arab Australian Rules ‘Peace’ Team has been winning over fans in Australia. They may not have won the tournament, but their camaraderie was the highlight of the International Cup event. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Boxing Club is really sporting a varied combination of punches. Israeli Jews, Arabs and Palestinian Arabs, religious and secular are happily squaring up to one another.Our friends in the Diaspora have also been busy putting up a fight on our behalf. UK supporters of the Jewish State linked up last week to display a strong show of solidarity in London’s Trafalgar Square. StandWithUs UK chairman Joy Wolfe addresses supporters at Trafalgar Square rally
Photo by permission: Adrian Korsner Photography
Also, the Zionist Federation of Great Britain together with Israel Journey are producing a video that hopefully will link thousands of loyal fans of Israel worldwide. Buy one of their T-shirts; take a photo of yourself and upload it to their facebook site. Follow that combination and you too will appear in the video.
The Jewish State has a friend in the massively popular Nigerian spiritual leader Enoch Adejare Adaboye. The favourable connections he made with Israeli leaders in Nigeria recently, spurred him to visit Samaria where he made a point of supporting Jews’ right to settle anywhere in Biblical Israel.
Finally, Rabbi Rafael Halperin, who passed away recently at the age of 87, began his career as a professional wrestler. He then went on to set-up a chain of opticians before obtaining Rabbinic ordination and finally achieving fame through his writings. He was therefore a fighter, an entrepreneur, a religious man and he left his mark on the world. I’d call that a winning combination!
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.