Grapevine: A gathering of moguls

News briefs from around Israel.

Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka speaks during joint statements with Binyamin Netanyahu (photo credit: REUTERS)
Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka speaks during joint statements with Binyamin Netanyahu
(photo credit: REUTERS)
■ To coincide with the visit to Israel last week by Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who came with six ministers and a business delegation comprising representatives of 50 companies, the Israel-Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the Czech Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Czech-Israel Mutual Chamber of Commerce, the Czech Chamber of Commerce and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized the Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony for Company of the Year 2013-2014.
Among the 170 guests were Science, Technology and Space Minister Ya’acov Perry; David Brodet, chairman of Bank Leumi; Eyal Desheh, CFO Teva; Rami Levy, chairman, Rami Levy Shivuk Hashikma; MK Elazar Stern; MK Aliza Lavie; Gad Propper, chairman GadPro Investments and L’Oreal Israel; and Dan Ornshtein, CEO Champion Motors (Importer of Skoda Auto). The visit included a Czech-Israeli business forum.
■ During A visit to Israel last week, the Rt. Hon. Francis Maude, minister to the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General of Great Britain, accompanied by British Ambassador Matthew Gould, toured a large part of the country. In Beersheba, he participated in a working lunch at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev with major players in the city’s evolving CyberSpark ecosystem. Maude, whose responsibilities include the UK’s national cyber security strategy, was hosted by BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi.
As part of his government’s long-term economic plan, said Maude, “We want to make Britain one of the safest places to do business online. When I took office four and a half years ago, during a troubled economic period, we decided to spend more on cyber security as one of four top-tier national security threats.”
In discussions with representatives of BGU, IBM, EMC, JVP Cyber Labs and CyberSpark, Maude gained an understanding of how they reduce turnaround between academic research and applications from years to months. He heard many examples of the paradigm shift that characterizes research in Beersheba. From Dr. Nimrod Kozlovski, partner, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Cyber Labs, Maude heard about how JVC supported a start-up that went from creation to an evaluation of hundreds of millions of dollars in just nine months. Maude also heard from Dr. Orna Berry, corporate vice president, growth and innovation, EMC Centers of Excellence; Roni Zehavi, CEO of CyberSpark; and heads of major cyber security laboratories, companies and incubators. These included Prof.
Dan Blumberg, vice president and dean for research and development; Prof. Yuval Elovici, Department of Information Systems Engineering, director, Telekom Innovation Laboratories at BGU (T-Labs) and director of Cyber Security Labs at BGU; Dr. Yaron Wolfsthal, head of IBM Center of Excellence at BGU (CCOE); and Dr. Yaniv Harel, GM of EMC Cyber Solutions, Beersheba.
■ Hungarian Ambassador Andor Nagy is hosting a literary evening at the Hungarian Embassy next week in honor of the works of Hungarian poet Judit Havas. Special guest will be poet Itamar Yaoz Kest, while poet Eli Netzer will be the moderator for the evening. The poetry readings will include works by Netzer and several Hungarian poets. The program will be enhanced by musical renditions of adaptations of Hungarian folk songs by Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly.
■ During Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s entertainment community pulled out all the stops in voluntary appearances for wounded soldiers and those returning to the battlefield. Among the entertainers was Shlomo Artzi, who continued to sing to wounded soldiers long after the cease-fire and who at his intimate performances, as well as his mega concerts, dedicated songs to wounded soldiers in the audience.
Artzi also sings gratis for other good causes. This week he appeared at Habimah on behalf of Eran, a volunteer-based community health service that provides first-aid support to people suffering emotional and psychological distress, especially those contemplating suicide.
On December 21, Artzi will be performing in a voluntary capacity at Zappa Herzliya on behalf of Bakol, which is fund-raising for the deaf and people with impaired hearing.
■ Today (Friday) at 11 a.m., Leyvik House, the Israeli Center for Yiddish Culture at 30 Dov Hoz Street in Tel Aviv, is hosting American-Israeli stage and screen performer Mike Burstyn, who is currently in Israel and co-starring with Ya’acov Budo in the Yiddishpiel adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s immortal classic comedy of errors The Government Inspector, also known as The Inspector General or, as it is called in Yiddish, Der Revisor. The final curtain on the production will come down tomorrow night. This is a last-chance opportunity for Burstyn’s fans to chat with him before the actor returns to the US.