Among the designers currently hosted at Talin's is Gregory Larin, who has designed a gold ring with removable stones.

gold ring 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
gold ring 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
MARKETING ISRAEL is not an easy job, but the Facing Tomorrow conference initiated by President Shimon Peres to mark the nation's 60th anniversary generated more positive publicity over a few days than some of the country's beast spokespeople were able to achieve collectively in the space of a year. Of course, it helped to have people like US President George W. Bush in attendance, as well as presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and top-ranking former officials from other countries, along with global personalities from hi-tech, academia and the business world from more than half the countries with which Israel enjoys diplomatic relations. How much would all the publicity have been worth if Israel had to pay for it? Charley Levine, CEO of Lone Star Communications, at a meeting with Peres this week, put forward a conservative ball park figure of $25 million, with well over 1,000 reports on television channels and radio stations and in newspapers and periodicals around the globe, and close to 500 correspondents reporting from the conference. Lone Star handled the foreign media at the conference, and Levine presented Peres with a review and analysis of the coverage. According to Peres, there's going to be a similar conference in 2009. Will it attract the same kind of top-ranking attendance? Perhaps - especially if it's related in some way to the Tel Aviv centenary celebrations. After all, Tel Aviv is the cultural, hi-tech and business capital of Israel, and its 100th birthday warrants a conference with 3,000 or more participants. NOBLE SENTIMENTS and an admirable record for philanthropy notwithstanding, it's a fact of life that any business enterprise that engages in large-scale philanthropy is also marketing its image, if not necessarily its products. Thus, Yitzhak Tshuva, the controlling shareholder in Delek, though a major and frequent support of the Netanya Academic College, next Tuesday will be presenting scholarships to discharged soldiers; they will be awarded not from his personal bank account but from the Delek Foundation. Tshuva will this year celebrate the 10th anniversary of his takeover of Delek, and also his 60th birthday. His life, in a sense, is a mirror reflection of the State of Israel, which was created the same year he was born. Israel was such an impoverished country in 1948 that no one would have believed it could progress to the extent that it has in a period of only six decades. Tshuva, who grew up in Netanya, was born into an extremely poor family. Given his humble beginnings, he has undeniably come a very long way, emulating Israel in risk-taking and good strategic decisions. Also attending the scholarship awards ceremony will be Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Haim Neeman, who is responsible for dispensing guidance to discharged soldiers, and NAC President Prof. Zvi Arad. HAMASHBIR WILL launch its Kitan concept "store within a store" next Friday at its flagship branch in the Ramat Aviv Mall. The plan is to have 10 Kitan stores within Hamashbir stores by the end of 2008, plus an additional 10 by the end of 2009. The store-within-a-store investment is in the range of NIS 2m. Kitan, which is a subsidiary of Clal Industries and Investment, which in turn is part of the IDB Group, is one of Israel's leading textile companies. In 2009 it will celebrate it 50th anniversary. Many of its loyal customers do not want to go looking through all the textile merchandise in Hamashbir to find their favorite brand name. The store within a store will enable those customers to make a direct beeline for Kitan. MINI-MUSEUM galleries within commercial jewelry and watch stores are not uncommon in Europe, but are still a comparative rarity in Israel. Talin's opened this month in the northern end of Tel Aviv's Ben Yehuda Street as a showcase for budding Israeli designers. It will attract a lot of attention because designers in the early stages of their profession tend to be more disposed toward artistry than to commercial considerations. Anyone looking for truly unusual, creative pieces will find them at Talin's, which is an offshoot of the well-established Israeli jewelry firm Goldfine, owned by brothers Shaul and Erez Azar. The Azar brothers decided to provide a springboard for jewelry design students and graduates of Shenkar College. This collaboration with Shenkar will help to open many doors around the world for Shenkar jewelry and watch designers, and will at the same time promote Made in Israel. Among the designers currently hosted at Talin's is Gregory Larin, who has designed a gold ring with removable stones. The stones are held in place by clips and can be changed at the whim of the wearer. It was not unusual in the past to change watchbands so that they would be better coordinated with the rest of the outfit. Changing stones is a much more advanced concept, and enables anyone who owns the ring to continue wearing a favorite item of jewelry while simultaneously alternating the stones. DOMO, THE chain of stores that specialize in cooking utensils and an enormous variety of flatware, crockery and glassware used in both home and commercial entertaining, is expanding. It is opening two new branches - one in the Savionim Mall and the other in Ramat Hehayal - at an investment of NIS 3.5m. IT'S DOUBTFUL that you'll find a bottle of wine for NIS 1,000 on the shelves of your local supermarket, though you probably might come across one or two expensive brands at your local wine shop. Moti Teperberg, the CEO of Teperberg 1870 is not selling a wine whose vintage dates back to the founding of his company, but he is selling a relatively old wine produced in 1950, in a limited edition of 1,000 bottles of sweet old wine. Of course sweet wine is generally not the wine connoisseur's cup of tea, but still, at NIS 1,000 per bottle, it is a conversation piece. SHELI FELDMAN, the owner and CEO of Landwer Coffee - Israel's oldest coffee company, which was founded in 1919 - has changed the company's brand name, logo and packaging, in a kind of linguistic reversal. The company is now called Landor, which in Hebrew is spelt with one vav. Landwer is spelt almost exactly the same way, except that it has two vavim. Aside from being a letter in the alphabet, the word vav in Hebrew means hook. In creating the new brand name, Feldman has literally unhooked himself from old legal tangles, while at the same time preserving the veteran company's traditions and position in the market. The company has invested NIS 15m. in improving its infrastructure, including the acquisition of new equipment and an additional NIS 2m. in promoting the logo and adding new flavors. The projected sales figure for 2008 is NIS 50m., Feldman said.