Grapevine: Lion to roar into NY

Movers and shakers in Israeli society.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion is seen addressing the Jerusalem Post annual conference at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, on October 12, 2021. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion is seen addressing the Jerusalem Post annual conference at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, on October 12, 2021.

IT APPEARS that Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion is poised to take a huge bite out of the Big Apple. The mayor has been listed among the speakers at The Jerusalem Post Annual New York Conference on September 12, and is also listed in the Calcalist Mind the Tech 2022 conference, which will be held in New York on September 14. Calcalist is the financial supplement of Yediot Aharonot.

Whether Lion will be sightseeing or fundraising or both between the two events, it still makes for a pleasant change from recent crises in Jerusalem. Nice work if you can get it. Lion, who wants to transform Israel’s capital into the Silicon Valley of the Middle East, will be looking for hi-tech investors.

Ambassadors presenting credentials

■ MANY TRADITIONS have fallen by the wayside as technology and innovation increasingly take over our lives. One thing that has remained constant, even with the glut of new luxury hotels in Jerusalem over the years, is the venue from which new ambassadors leave to present their credentials to the president of the state, and to where they return for the vin d’honneur, the reception at which they meet fellow ambassadors, high-ranking Foreign Ministry personnel, former Israel ambassadors to their countries, leading trade and industry figures whose companies do business with their countries, and academics whose institutions have exchanges with their countries.

During the pandemic, such receptions were either very low-key or not held at all. But as life returns to normal in Israel, so do social and diplomatic events. While various diplomatic events are held at the Mount Zion, Inbal, David Citadel, Waldorf, Leonardo Plaza, Vert and Renaissance hotels, the King David remains the hotel of choice for new ambassadors to officially take up their new posts.

Even though some have been here for several weeks or even months before presenting their credentials, there are certain duties that they cannot perform as ambassador-designate and are able to perform only after presentation of letters of credence.

 FROM LEFT, German ambassador Steffen Seibert, Vietnamese ambassador Ly Duc Trung and Nepalese ambassador Kanta Rizel. (credit: MULI GOLDBERG) FROM LEFT, German ambassador Steffen Seibert, Vietnamese ambassador Ly Duc Trung and Nepalese ambassador Kanta Rizel. (credit: MULI GOLDBERG)

Last week, even though the Foreign Ministry’s Chief of Protocol Gil Haskel was out of the country and unable to introduce them to President Isaac Herzog, three new ambassadors – Ly Duc Trung of Vietnam, Steffen Seibert of Germany and Kanta Rizal of Nepal – escorted by a police motorcade, left from the King David for the President’s Residence and returned for the vin d’honneur.

The Vietnamese and Nepalese ambassadors wore the traditional attire of their respective countries, but the Vietnamese ambassador changed from the royal blue outfit that he wore to his meeting with the president to one of brilliant red for the vin d’honneur. King David general manager Tamir Kobrin greeted each of the ambassadors personally and escorted them to the reception room.

The existing luxury hotels will soon face additional competition with the opening of the 17-story Intercontinental Hotel on King George Avenue, opposite the Jewish Agency, on what was for years the neglected site of the Solel Boneh building. The 229-room Intercontinental will also have a 130-square-meter presidential suite. The hotel will be extremely convenient for local and international conferences held by the Jewish Agency, the World Zionist Organization, the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund and the United Israel Appeal.

Shopping malls in Jerusalem

■ BEFORE ARCHITECT and shopping mall entrepreneur the late David Azrieli established the Malha Mall, which opened in 1993, Jerusalemites who wanted to buy something fashionable for a special occasion went to Tel Aviv. But as other malls opened throughout the city and major brands became readily available in the capital, the need to set aside a day to go shopping in Tel Aviv became unnecessary.

Several of the popular manufacturers did not confine themselves to malls, but also opened stores in downtown Jerusalem and in several neighborhoods. Among them were Dorin Frankfurt, Castro, Lord Kitsch, AristoShmat, Hagara, and Golbary.

Last week, the Golbary Group, which already operated a store on Jaffa Road, launched its expanded Jerusalem flagship store by taking over a much larger next-door store which was previously operated by businesswoman, former fashion model and beauty queen Ravit Asraf, who in 1992 was crowned Miss Israel.

The Golbary Group, which includes David, Moshe, Yaakov and Linor Golbary, also has the franchise for Sacara Israel, which specializes in beauty products such as makeup and cosmetics, beauty accessories and perfumes. The new Sacara store is also on Jaffa Road, closer to the market, and it, too, was launched last week. There are also Sacara stores in malls around the city.

CEO Moshe Golbary said that the family is very excited to open its two-story flagship fashion store in the Holy City.

Helping businesses get exposure, haredim to learn marketing

■ AN INITIATIVE that will help small businesses to gain greater online exposure and will enable haredi students to understand more about marketing and how a business operates is the result of a collaborative effort between the Jerusalem College of Technology, the Azrieli College of Engineering and the Jerusalem Municipality.

Dr. Livia Levine, a researcher and project adviser of the JCT business management program, was approached by the municipality and asked to pair her students with local businesses so they can draft a comprehensive digital marketing plan to address each company’s unique needs.

This initiative, under the title of Yerushalayim Shel Digital, is a hands-on project whereby final-year students in a three-year business administration course apply their theoretical knowledge to create something practical. The initiative involved 21 ultra-Orthodox students. In creating a website and a marketing plan, they learned more about the business to which they were assigned and more about Jerusalem in general.

Proprietors and managers of the various businesses reported back that the students went above and beyond their assigned tasks and truly dedicated themselves to producing something that would benefit the company. In fact, the ideas that they conceived proved to be more effective than those previously tried by some companies with professionals.

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