City Notes: Bloomberg fund grants $1 million to Beersheba

The endowed funds are set to go toward recruitment and employment of urban innovation professionals to staff a technology-oriented division within the municipality.

Beersheba (photo credit: BEERSHEBA MUNICIPALITY)
Beersheba is slated to receive a $1 million donation within two years from Bloomberg Philanthropies for the purpose of boosting innovation in Israel’s cyber capital.
The Beersheba Municipality announced the grant last week from the charity organization founded by American businessman and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The endowed funds are set to go toward recruitment and employment of urban innovation professionals to staff a technology-oriented division within the municipality.
The municipal innovation team is to include four or five members who will report directly to the mayor.
The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ innovation grants program was established for the purpose of assisting municipalities to cope with rapid growth and meet the needs that arise in the areas of housing, transportation, social tensions, the high cost of living and more.
Gran Fondo bike race rolls into Dead Sea next week
Hundreds of cyclists from Israel and around the world are due to take part in one of the country’s top bike races in the lowest place on earth – the Dead Sea.
The fifth annual International Arad-Dead Sea Gran Fondo on March 2-4 offers a challenging road cycling event based on the traditional type of long-distance road bike ride that began in Italy in the 1970s and has since developed throughout the world.
The race, touted as the largest international road cycling event in Israel, includes multiple participation options for riders of all levels: a two-day stage race for elite men and women’s teams, a two-day stage race for agegroup riders modified per age and a competitive and noncompetitive 155-km. Gran Fondo circuit.
The Gran Fondo course starts and ends at the Ein Bokek Dead Sea Hotel and passes through the area’s scenic landscapes. After setting out from the hotel, the race continues through the Arava junction and the notedly grueling Scorpions Ascent incline, before coming to the final stretch, after 125 km., at Hatrurim junction.
Registration is open to participants from the Israel Cycling Federation aged 15 and up and all other participants aged 18 and up. Sign up at en/pages/registration_form/.
Gindi fashion week sashays into White City
A range of established and up-and-coming Israeli fashion designers will have their wares displayed on the catwalk during the annual Gindi Tel Aviv Fashion Week starting on March 12 and strutting along until March 15.
The fifth edition of the fashion show will also mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Israeli fashion giant Gottex. A fashion show paying homage to the swimwear brand is set to open the fashion week at a gala event on March 12.
More than 300 international and local fashion and retail brands will be in the spotlight during the event, which is due to take place for the first time at the yet-to-be-opened Gindi TLV Fashion Mall.
Among the labels taking part in the celebration of couture include Gideon Oberson, Tovale+, Maskit, Gadi Elimelech, Tamara Salem, Nouveau Riche Dog and Shai Shalom.
A highlight of the event is a show by students from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design.
Wizz Air to launch new TA flights
European budget airline Wizz Air announced last week the launching of new low-fare routes to and from Tel Aviv to various destinations in the continent in the coming months.
Starting in March, the airline will operate a route from the Israeli city to Hungary’s second-largest city of Debrecen. In late June, flights from Tel Aviv to London Luton Airport are to begin, before additional flights from Bulgaria’s Black Sea resort town of Varna to Tel Aviv take flight in July.
The London route is due to run four times a week – on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
“The opening of an air route is further proof of the success of our marketing efforts, and that airlines view Israel as a sought-after tourism destination with economic potential,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, in light of the announcement.
NFL players visit Haifa hospital
A group of professional football players from the NFL visited Rambam Medical Center in Haifa last week, days after the Super Bowl.
The five players – Delanie Walker of the Tennessee Titans; Mychal Kendricks of the Philadelphia Eagles; Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints; Calais Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals; and Dan Williams of the Oakland Raiders – toured the Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital on Wednesday and met hospitalized children from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Gaza and Jordan, as well as medical, paramedical and support staff.
During their visit to Israel, the football players also toured Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, Christian holy sites throughout the country and Yad Vashem, along with meeting members of the African Hebrew Israelite community in Dimona.