Business Scene

Famed basketball coach Pini Gershon who, despite praying at the Wall before he went to Prague, and notwithstanding his prayers in Prague at the grave of the Maharal, did not come home with the European Cup.

pini gershon at wall 88  (photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
pini gershon at wall 88
(photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
NOT EVERYTHING is business. Television channels may be charging for air time to present the campaign promoting visits to and celebrations at Jerusalem's Western Wall, but Eyal Gefen, along with Shalmor-Avnon-Amihai, have given their services gratis to promote the site, which strikes such an important chord in Jewish emotions. But the star of the commercial is famed basketball coach Pini Gershon who, despite praying at the Wall before he went to Prague, and notwithstanding his prayers in Prague at the grave of the Maharal, did not come home with the European Cup. That hasn't shaken his faith in the importance of the Wall and, whether waxing enthusiastic on film or in person, he thinks that every parent should celebrate the Bar or Bat Mitzvah of their sons and daughters there. According to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the Rabbi of the Western Wall who often guides celebrities around the Wall and its surrounds, this is the first time that a television campaign has been mounted to promote the Western Wall as integral to Jewish family celebrations. ELBIT SYSTEMS Ltd., has announced that its American subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America, a leading provider of high performance defense and commercial aviation products and sub-system solutions, has appointed Donald G. Goff as vice president of government relations. Under Goff, the Elbit Systems of America's Washington office will further develop its legislative, regulatory, and end user community activities relating to commercial aviation, homeland security and the Department of Defense. Goff comes to Elbit Systems of America from Boeing where he directed legislative affairs in support of aerospace programs for the US and allied countries. Prior to Boeing, Goff was vice president for government relations for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) where his leadership helped change the small aircraft tort statutes. During his tenure at GAMA, Goff was appointed to the Industry Sector Advisory Committee and counseled the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative on a wide range of international and aerospace issues. An instrument-rated helicopter and airplane pilot, Goff is a West Point graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and a Master's degree in education from Duke University. KOTERET GROUP, one of Israel's leading public relations agencies, has announced the appointment of Rachel Neiman, who is joining its expanding international division, as a PR consultant. Neiman previously served as managing editor of Globes Online, the English-language edition of Globes, Israel's business news daily. A veteran journalist and media specialist from the US, Neiman who joined Globes in 1999, will be working with International PR Director Caroline Cohen, a new immigrant with an extensive background in technology PR and strategic communications consultancy for start-up businesses. Koteret International works with growing Israeli companies to raise their corporate profile abroad. Over the past half year, the division has expanded rapidly to include a full international package of media and analyst relations, conference and trade-show support, crisis communications and international brand management. Prior to her employment with Globes, Neiman worked at The Jerusalem Post, where she was a business reporter, feature writer, and consumer columnist. She also was an editor and writer at The NoHo News in Los Angeles, and at LINK Israel Business and Technology Magazine, she wrote features about Israeli technology companies. Neiman also has worked as a freelance PR consultant for Israeli and US companies. Along with a background in news, Neiman brings to Koteret a wealth of media experience, from Internet to theater and TV. THE JERUSALEM Municipality has issued a statement announcing that it has approved 17 construction plans in eastern Jerusalem. Prior to the announcement, residents of east Jerusalem, who tried to get approval for construction of new projects or for extensions to existing ones, were often frustrated in their efforts. If they built without approval, more often than not the structures were torn down by agents of the municipality after an appropriate court order had been obtained. The local committee that approved the plans has passed on its recommendations to the regional committee whose approval is necessary if the plans are to be implemented. According to the Jerusalem Municipality statement, Mayor Uri Lupolianski, while still chairman of the municipality's committee for planning and construction, initiated the move for approval of the construction plans for projects in Beit Hanina and Shoafat so that Arab residents of the capital could receive equal consideration and improve the quality of their lives. Altogether, 23 construction plans were presented to the municipal committee for approval. Five were fully approved, 17 were subsequently discussed and approved and now 22 of the 23 plans are awaiting the approval of the regional committee.