The Lounge: February 13, 2018

The latest social news from Israeli life.

Mayor Nir Barkat (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Mayor Nir Barkat
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
1. Sodexo
Sophie Bellon, chairwoman of the board of directors of Sodexo, came to Israel on her first business trip to familiarize herself with the local market and innovative technologies. Bellon met with business leaders and CEOs of leading companies, including Chemi Peres, managing general partner of Pitango and chairman of the Peres Center for Peace; Dor Skuler, CEO of Intuition Robotics, which helps physically disabled adults stay active through a special robot; Mark Smargon, co-founders of COLU, and executives from Assuta Hospital.
2. Blavatnik Awards
For the first time, a gala evening was held at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to honor the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel. The awards were given to recipients by Len Blavatnik, who came to Israel especially for the event. Three young faculty members from Israeli universities were awarded the prestigious awards, given by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the New York Academy of Sciences (where a similar prize was founded a decade ago). Attending were Prof. Aharon Ciechanover, Nobel Prize laureate and chairman of the Prize committee; Prof. Nili Cohen, president, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities; Alice Rubinstein, president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Peter Thorne, vice president of the Israel Science Academy Access Industries; and Ron Prosor.
3. Friends of Maccabi
Friends of Maccabi Health Services held an event called ‘Tomorrow’s Medicine is Already Here,’ during which they launched a program to reduce gaps and promote equality in health in Israel. The event was hosted by Ran Sa’ar, CEO of Maccabi, and Yehudit Plotkin, chairwoman of the association. Attending were Prof. Moshe Ruch, Prof. Shuki Shemer, Prof. Nachman Ash, Reuven Kaplan, Hanna Pri-Zan, Moshe Terry, Naomi Blumenthal, Moti Friedman, Moshe Debi, Micha Geiger, Silvan Shalom, Roy Chazak (owner of Hunter), Orna Hozman-Bechor and Avi Baum.
4. Saban Capital Group
Haim and Cheryl Saban recently announced that they were offering a $1,000 bonus to every employee at the Saban Capital Group so that everyone would benefit from the new tax reform introduced by US President Donald Trump, which lowered maximum corporate tax from 35% to 21%. In a letter to employees, the group, which invests in entertainment, the Sabans wrote that they were inspired by Disney. “We recognize that our most important assets are you – our employees.”
Last Sunday, the opening ceremony for the 2018 IMTM International Tourism Conference took place at the First Station in Jerusalem, under the auspices of the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality. Hundreds of participants attended the event, including Tourism Minister Yariv Levin; Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat; Tourism Ministry Director- General Amir Halevi; Jerusalem Development Authority CEO Eyal Haimovsky; UFTAA President Sunil Kumar-Romela; and director of Tourism Ilanit Melchior. The guests enjoyed the crisp Jerusalem mountain air, delicious food and cocktails, as well as musical, circus and theater performances.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.