Business Scene

Matthew Bronfman wins an Israel Land Administration tender.

AFTER BEING wooed by several mayors who hoped he would open Israel's second IKEA store in their territory, Matthew Bronfman, who is the franchisee for IKEA Israel, opted for Rishon Le'zion and won an Israel Land Administration tender for the construction of the store and a commercial center. Bronfman will purchase a 100-dunam site in the southern part of the city and commence construction almost immediately. He plans to open the second IKEA store by the end of 2007 and to lease out surrounding stores to retail chains dealing in a variety of products so as to make the area as attractive as possible to shoppers. The estimated cost of the project is $20 million. PERRIGO HAS announced the appointment of Ran Gottfried as a director. Gottfried was previously a director in Agis Industries, the pharmaceutical company that was acquired and absorbed by Perrigo in March 2005. Gottfried also sits on the Bezeq board of directors. TARO PHARMACEUTICALS has adopted the philosophy that in addition to its business goals, it will work towards the creation of a better society by encouraging its employees to donate their service to projects aimed at disadvantaged youth, and educating youngsters towards environmental awareness. As a result, 28% of Taro's 650 employees volunteer for community service programs, with 20% of them volunteering on a weekly basis. One of Taro's main projects is the Neve Yosef neighborhood in Haifa. Taro has been involved in this project since October 2004. Aside from the financial assistance that Taro gives to the local community center, company employees volunteer to improve the community's quality of life by renovating schools and kindergartens and providing extra-curricular classes on a weekly basis. In addition, employees reconstructed the balcony of the community center, repaired the lighting and brought in tables and pot plants to create a pleasant environment for the young people to gather and enjoy the view. Beit Ayala Clubhouse in Kiryat Haim is another of Taro's community projects, which started in July 2005. This clubhouse established primarily for teenage girls at-risk operates throughout the week from noon until evening. Taro's employees cleaned up a neglected courtyard, landscaped the grounds and created a comfortable, shady sitting area that offers the girls a warm environment in which to relax, have hot meals and a place to do their homework. Taro's general manager Shmuel Rubinstein considers it an obligation on the part of a successful company to give back to the community through hands-on involvement and through significant contributions. "This is an essential element of the values of the company and its employees," he says. THE JERUSALEM Economic Corporation controlled by Eliezer Fishman is continuing its overseas expansion policy and has acquired eight stores from a large Swiss retailer in a buy-and-lease-back arrangement. The Jerusalem Economic Corporation also has properties in France, Russia and Canada. ISRAEL DISCOUNT Bank New York's new general manager is Reuven Spiegel, appointed in place of Arie Sheer who served in the post for nine years but was given mandatory leave after it was discovered that the bank had failed to report a Brazilian money laundering operation. Although Sheer was not personally involved, he was responsible for the bank's activities. The discovery of the money laundering by the US authorities cost the bank $25m. in fines, and ultimately, it cost Sheer his job. THE MINISTRY for Agriculture has announced the appointment of Shmulik Friedman, 33, of its Open Fields division. Friedman who has a master's degree in livestock sciences from the Hebrew University's Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot, will be responsible for maintaining the country's green land, the accumulated area of which is in the range of 4.5 million dunams. In his previous position, Friedman was manager of the Pasture Authority, of which he will now become chairman. The Pasture Authority is a partnership between the Ministry for Agriculture, Israel Lands Administration, and the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet L'Israel). AFTER SERVING as general manager of Shilav Baby & Kids, Anat Levin has been promoted as general manager of the Shilav chain of stores. Levin will serve concurrently in both positions. Her promotion was announced by Shilav proprietor and chairman of the Shilav Board Itzik Oren. Levin who is married and the mother of three, served as general manager of Baby & Kids for 18 months. A subsidiary of Shilav B & K focuses on fashion product development for infants ranging in age from newborn to four years. Within the framework of her B & K duties, Levin was responsible for the company's operations both in Israel and the US. CHANNEL NINE deputy chairman Ilan Tuviyahu, has announced the appointment of Keren Cohen as the channel's head of media. Cohen will be responsible for the broadcast line-up as well as for commercials. Cohen, 28, spent the past seven years at Telad, where she was the head of media. Telad, which was one of the original three franchisees for Channel Two broadcasts, lost out under a new arrangement last year, in which only two production companies Keshet and Reshet, won broadcasting franchises. Nir Markowitz, Channel Nine's deputy manager for marketing, who is familiar with Cohen's work, welcomed her aboard, saying that she was an excellent professional, whose long, in-depth experience would make her a valuable asset to Channel Nine which is in the process of recruiting top professionals. THE ISRAEL Sociological Association has elected Prof. Noemy Carmon of the Haifa Technion's Faculty for Architecture and Urban Construction to serve as its President for a three-year term. Carmon was elected at the Association's 37th annual general meeting. In her acceptance speech, Carmon said that she would work towards expanding the association's ranks and activities and to renew its vision through contributing its utmost to serve the needs of Israeli society.