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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, March 1, 2012


JFNA in the Israeli Press

Netanyahu Meets Senior JFNA Leadership Ahead of U.S. Visit

(Israel National News) Prime Minister Netanyahu met with the senior leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America, days before his meeting with Obama.


JFNA Partners in the Israeli Press

Jewish Agency sending $1 million in emergency aid to Greece’s Jews

(Times of Israel) Most Greek Jewish communal institutions said to be on brink of collapse


Diaspora high-schoolers demand their birthright

(Times of Israel) GOI should not cut its budgets for programs like Birthright and Masa but students who participate in high-school-age trips to Israel should not have their birth right wronged


Firefighter robot contest winner heading to US for finals

(Times of Israel) (ORT) Three teams from a high school in northern Israel beat out some 40 other competitors to win the top three spots in the Roboner competition


Course teaches haredi girls job market skills

(Jpost) (JDC) Program aims to reverse trend of societal pressure to leave school at 17, and get married at 18 to start a family.


Ethiopian girl, 6, whisked to Israel for life-saving heart treatment

(Israel Hayom) Jewish Agency Board of Governors slated to meet this week to discuss implementation of 2010 decision to bring remaining Ethiopian Jews to Israel.


JAFI giving emergency relief to Greek Jews

(Jpost) Jewish Agency’s executive decides to grant NIS 4 million over two years to provide for activities of communal Jewish institutions.


'Birthright contributed NIS 2b. to Israeli economy'

(Jpost) ‘Eretz Nehederet’ sketches spoofing Diaspora Jews "show importance of program in daily lives of Israelis," says Gidi Mark.


Legitimizing Israel on US campuses

(Jpost) Jewish Agency programs are helping to create a generation of young Jews who are more robustly involved in Jewish life.


Welfare and Social Issues

The ‘lost generation’

(Times of Israel) There are currently an estimated 120,000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel, 50% of whom live below the poverty line and 63% receive some sort of governmental assistance


Liberman: Tal Law can't be extended one hour

(Jpost) Foreign minister says anyone who doesn't serve their country shouldn't be eligible for stipends or scholarships from the state.


Social Protests

Tel Aviv: Over 1,000 protest deportation of migrants

(Jpost) Activists march from Habima to Interior Ministry, chant "no children are illegal" and "no more deportations."


Religious Pluralism in Israel

Guest Columnist: Time to revamp the Rabbinate

(Jpost) Potential immigrants deserve to have their gov't provide them with religious services in a caring and respectful manner without judging their personal approaches to religion on any level.


Gov't Says Removing Women from Outdoor Ads Violates their Honor

(Israel National News) Advertisements featuring pictures of women must be allowed in all parts of Jerusalem, state prosecutors have announced.


Jewish World

Shabbat Divisions Cross Social Divides

(Israel National News) A survey revealed 51% of Israel's population supports public transportation on the Sabbath, and 55% of respondents believe businesses should be allowed to open on Saturday.


Haredi assimilation? Not yet

(Ynet) Op-ed: Given our differences, Israel not yet ready for mass conscription of haredim into IDF


Israel Philanthropy

The army confronts a new kind of enemy

(Times of Israel) IDF soldiers have been asked upon induction to give bone marrow samples, with extraordinary results


Israel Advocacy/Relations

Foreign Ministry names first Israeli of Ethiopian origin as ambassador

(Haaretz) Belaynesh Zevadia will serve as the Israeli diplomat to Adis Ababa, the capital of the country where she was born and lived in before moving to Israel.


Israeli Economy

Israeli Jobless Drops to 30-Year Low

(Israel National News) Looking for work? Come to Israel. The jobless rate dropped to 5.4 percent in the last quarter, one of the lowest in the world.



'Israel should be ‘test bed’ for renewable energy'

(Jpost) Prof. Eugene Kandel tells industry exports in Eilot Regional Council hall that renewable energy is good public policy.  


Shikun u’Binui launches Arava solar thermal plant

(Jpost) Concentrated solar power facility launched by environment and infrastructure firm includes about 100 parabolic troughs.


Science, Technology and Development

NASA Astronauts Try Out Israeli-Designed Device

(Israel National News) NASA astronauts are using a GE Healthcare device designed in Israel for monitoring the impact of space travel on the human body.


New immigrant’s Hackathon hopes to make a viral splash

(Times of Israel) The cool side of tech in Israel will be on display in Ben Lang’s Innovation Israel gathering


Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Yisrael Hayom remarks that, "How symbolic it is that on the week in which we commemorate twenty years since the death of Menachem Begin, that for the first time an Ethiopian immigrant has been appointed to the post of ambassador in Israel's foreign service. It is hard not to remember the immortal words of Israel's sixth prime minister when he requested, back in the late 70's from the Mossad Director: 'Bring me the Ethiopian Jews.'  Accordingly Beylanesh Zevadia's appointment to be the new Ambassador to Ethiopia closes both a personal and national circle."


Ma'ariv refers to recent Interior Ministry data which show that Jerusalem will soon have over one million residents.  The author suggests that, "Quality of life in Jerusalem is not high: More than a few residents in the Arab and ultra-orthodox sectors do not pay local taxes while the burden falls on the shoulders of others.  Jerusalem is not succeeding in retaining its young people.  There is endless construction and it is losing its green lungs."  However, the paper notes that, "The good things in Jerusalem are, as always, the natural beauty that it has been graced with and its unusually beautiful and attractive sites that continue to draw tourists."