The Lounge: June 19, 2018

Business news from around the country.

Daniel Birnbaum, Talal El Karnawi and ambassadors at the Ramadan Peace Festival (photo credit: GIL DOR)
Daniel Birnbaum, Talal El Karnawi and ambassadors at the Ramadan Peace Festival
(photo credit: GIL DOR)
1. Ramadan Peace Festival
Last week, SodaStream held its annual Ramadan Peace Festival, the largest Ramadan event in Israel, at the Idan Hanegev Industrial Park in Rahat, 22 kilometers from Gaza. The factory, headed by CEO Daniel Birnbaum, which has been dubbed ‘The Island of Peace,’ champions diversity and coexistence by employing workers from all walks of life, including Beduin, Arab Israelis, Druse, new immigrants, and Palestinians who live in Judea and Samaria. More than 1,000 guests, including factory employees, Rahat Mayor Talal El Karnawi and ambassadors from a number of countries where SodaStream is distributed, including Canada, Austria, Colombia, Ecuador, Ireland and Panama.
2. Prince of Monaco
The Prince of Monaco, Albert II, visited Israel last week. Entrepreneur and philanthropist Aaron Frenkel, president of the Jewish community in Monaco and deputy chairman of the World Jewish Congress, was treated to a friendly hug from the prince.
3. Indigo Hotel
New York real estate tycoon Rotem Rosen, in partnership with Indian industry tycoon Anand Mahindra and outgoing CFO of Deutsche Bank, Jerry Rotonda, bought the new and trendy Indigo Hotel on the lower east side of Manhattan for $162 million from Brack Capital Real Estate and InterContinental Hotels Group. The hotel has 294 rooms, a rooftop swimming pool and is home to the Mister Purple restaurant run by Rande Gerber, the husband of supermodel Cindy Crawford and George Clooney’s partner in the Casa Amigo Tequila business. It will be interesting to see what lies ahead for Rotem Rosen, who owns the Zuma restaurant chain and the Nusr-Et chain headed by master chef Salt Bae.
4. Taglit-Birthright Excel
The opening ceremony of the Taglit-Birthright Excel program, which aims to cultivate young American business leaders, was held at the Taglit Innovation Center at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Attending the event were businessman Michael Steinhardt; Amnon Neubach, chairman of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange; Yoram Tietz, managing partner of EY Israel and CEO of Taglit-Birthright Excel; Yifat Oron, CEO of Leumi Tech; Len Rosen – CEO Barclays Israel; Modi Rosen, co-founder of Magma Venture Partners; Ruthi Simha, co-director of Viola Credit; Tova Dorfman, director of the Steinhardt Family Foundation in Israel; and Gidi Mark, Taglit-Birthright CEO.
5. Leyada School
Leyada, the Hebrew University High School, held a special ceremony for two of its graduates – Gil Shwed and David Grossman – both of whom recently received the Israel Prize. During the event, Shwed and Grossman, who were students 20 and 30 years ago, met with the school principal, Dr Gilad Amir. In addition, they met with students who are majoring in literature and computer science.
The highlight of the evening was when their names were revealed on the wall of the school which lists all of the former students who have since received the Israel Prize, the Nobel Prize and the Fields Medal. The two were surprised when their former principal Dr. Shmuel Kanler, who is 93, and their teacher, Tamar Shiloh, came in person to congratulate them.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.