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bank leumi horses 88 224.(Photo by: Courtesy Photo)
Market Wise
Bank Leumi is using horses to market Israel for the state's upcoming 60th anniversary celebrations.
REAL ESTATE guru and best-selling author Robert Kiyosaki who wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad came to Israel ostensibly to promote his new book We Want You to Be Rich, written with Donald Trump, another real estate maven, who is currently investing in Israel. But what Kiyosaki was really here for was to promote the concept of educating school children towards financial independence. It was Kiyosaki's first visit to Israel, and one that as a former US pilot who served in Vietnam, he had eagerly anticipated because, he said, "Israel has the best pilots." While in Israel, Kiyosaki sat down with local youngsters to play CASHFLOW, an educational board game he invented and developed to teach players the concept of investing. Kiyosaki is very gung-ho on education, possibly because his father was head of the Education Department in Hawaii. But his father, despite his position and degrees from Stanford and Northwestern, was not a rich man - something that rankles Kiyosaki to this day. He sincerely believes that people would be much more affluent and financially independent if they were educated towards financial and investment savvy. Kiyosaki proved his dedication to education by donating all his speaker's fees in Israel to two educational projects - Hinuch LePsagot (Summit Education) and Kav Hazinuk (Starting Line). Both focus on youth with high potential from low socio-economic backgrounds and give them educational opportunities that they might otherwise be denied. Several young people in Israel will owe their future education to Kiyosaki. AMERICANS LIVING in Israel may be familiar with OPI Products, which rank among the leaders of the professional nail care industry. Believe it or not, OPI has a link with dental care. George Schaeffer, the company's founder and president, who ran a successful sportswear business in Manhattan, decided to move to the West Coast and set up a dental supply business in Los Angeles. By sheer coincidence, he realized that the porcelains used by dental technicians were similar to those used by nail technicians in the creation of artificial nails. This vital information could have remained an eternal piece of trivia, but Schaeffer decided instead to use this knowledge to set up a nail care and nail products business based on high standards of research and technology. The business flourished to the extent that he was able to establish the Schaeffer Family Foundation , which has donated millions of dollars to charities around the world, primarily in various fields of medical research, but also in areas of social welfare. Schaeffer will be in Israel next week for the launch of the county's first OPI Nail Studio. Schaeffer travels to trade shows talking to people in all avenues of the fashion and beauty business with the aim of setting new trends, developing new products and working on nail-related issues. ANOTHER AMERICAN-headquartered brand that has recently arrived in Israel is BabyLegs, which offers a wide assortment of leggings for infants aged from one to six months. The leggings keep their legs warm in winter and spare mothers the need to overdress and overheat them. BabyLegs products are exclusively imported and distributed by Baby Giraffe Ra'anana, which is owned by Hadar Fogel, who comes from the world of hi-tech but who as a mother believes that infants other than hers are entitled to BabyLegs. In fact she can't believe that no-one else got in ahead of her to import these leggings which are 80% cotton, 15% polyester and 5% spandex. Bank Leumi is sponsoring an Israeli horse-riding trail as part of its involvement in marketing Israel for the state's upcoming 60th anniversary celebrations. Horse riding is not something for which Israel is especially known, even though there are some very fine equestrians in the country. Among them is Uri Peleg, who has developed a humanitarian style of riding which causes the horse minimal discomfort. Another keen rider is Leumi Investments Manager Danny Barak who knows how to combine business with pleasure. The time will not be long in coming when Israel's tourist attractions will include a ride on the prairie. TELEVISION PERSONALITY Mickey Boganin, who is one of Israel's leading make-up artists and hair stylists in high demand for fashion and beauty tv shows and as a personal make-up man and stylist for people such as Dana International, Yael Bar Zohar, Miri Bohadana, Einat Ehrlich and others, has been selected as the first ever presenter for the lighting store chain Machsenei Te'ura. Itzik Haimov, the chain's joint CEO said his company had not used presenters until signing up with the Inbar Merhav Shaked advertising agency, through which it decided on a new life style strategy that would require a personality such as Boganin to set the tone. Boganin will head the 2008 campaign, for which he will receive $100,000. If it works out, he may be seeing the light in 2009, as well. SWAROVSKI, THE famous Austrian-headquartered company whose very name is synonymous with crystal jewelry and fashion, is represented in Israel by Elyakim Yalon, who also sponsors Swarovski projects for final year students at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. When Swarovski's vice president Jacob Bartela came to Israel, Yalon held a cocktail reception in his honor and combined it with an exhibit of the work of Shenkar's final year students. Jewelry and fashion designer Michal Negrin, who was among the guests, fell totally in love with one of the designs and would have dearly liked to meet the student who created it - but because these designs were part of a group exhibit and had also been submissions for final exams, there were no names attached. If the designer recognizes his or her work in the photograph on this page, he or she may be in line for a job with Negrin's design team. IN THE hurly-burly of fashion revivals, the vintage look and the retro specials, apparel stores are hard-pressed to know what really appeals. At H&O, they've hit on an interesting tack to try to find out. Knowing that everyone has something in their closet that they dearly love and will not part with regardless of current fashion trends, H&O has set up an Internet project devised by Saachi Interactive. The project will be run through H&O's own Web site, Walla, MSN, Tapuz and others and will feature the favorite items of anyone who wants to participate. Surfers will be able to look at these items and join in fashion forum chats to discuss and grade them. The most popular item of clothing as voted by surfers will win for its owner a holiday for two in Barcelona. This includes the cost of the hotel as well as the flight. In addition, every participant in the project, namely everyone whose own favorite garment will be viewed by surfers, will receive a NIS 50 discount voucher to be used on purchases in excess of NIS 199 in any of the 30 H&O stores.
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