20 September 2014 - 25 Elul 5774 - כ"ה אלול ה' אלפים תשע"ד
Israel-China Friendship Forest inaugurated on Tu Bishvat E-mail

Tu Bishvat is a minor Jewish festival celebrated annually to commemorate the New Year of the Trees. Modern day observance of the festival is commonly marked by communal efforts to plant trees and spend a day visiting nature reserves and participating in a special festive meal or seder.

The festival has significant importance with the Land of Israel. The charity organisation Kayemeth Le Israel – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), Israel’s largest green NGO, and has been planting trees and engaging in environmental issues for over 100 years. This year to celebrate Tu Bishvat, the Israel-China Friendship Forest was dedicated in Lahav Forest in the northern Negev region on 16 January.

The ceremony was specially attended by members of a Chinese delegation visiting Israel and hosted by KKL-JNF. The Israel-China friendship delegation, led by Li Xialin, President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, had an opportunity to learn about different KKL-JNF initiative projects.

“I believe that the friendship and cooperation between our countries will grow and flourish just like this forest,” said Ms Li. Gazing at the green landscapes of the Negev, she added, “It is hard to imagine how you succeeded in turning a desert into an oasis. In this spirit, the nations of China and Israel should continue working hard in order to make their countries better places.”

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Thai workers paying less service fees when working in Israel Print E-mail

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) organised a review meeting in Bangkok on 29 January to mark the anniversary of the first full year of the implementation of the Thailand-Israel Cooperation on the Placement of Workers (TIC) Project.

The TIC project, jointly implemented by the Thai Ministry of Labor, Israel and the IOM, is a pilot model aimed at cutting the service fees paid by Thai migrant workers in the agricultural sector, it had successfully cut the service fees by 80%.

Due to the competitive salary, fair treatment by the Israeli employers and the 5 years working visas, Israel is considered an attractive work destination for Thais. Around 24,000 Thai workers are currently working in Israel, out of which 8,000 have been recruited through the TIC process. Prior to TIC project, a migrant worker had to pay around US$10,000 to a recruitment agency. At present, the service fees had dropped to about US$ 2,200.

(Issue March 2014)  

First report on Auschwitz in Chinese language Print E-mail

A Taiwanese publishing house, Acropolis, has released a Chinese edition of the first known Holocaust report on Auschwitz-Birkenau written by a Polish resistance fighter who infiltrated the Nazi death camp.

The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery is about Witold Pilecki and his stay in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He voluntarily entered and described what he experienced there.

“In Taiwan we know about Auschwitz, we know the history of WW II, but did not know about Pilecki, that is why we decided to publish the report in Chinese. Constantly we discover truth about what happened in the twentieth century also owing to Pilecki. That is why I see him as a hero of our time,” said Patience Huang, owner of Acropolis publishing house.

(Issue March 2014)  

Israel granted an ‘Observer Status’ of the Pacific Alliance E-mail

Israel has been accepted as an ‘observer state’ of the Pacific Alliance. The combined GNP of the Pacific Alliance member states amounts to over US$2 trillion and constitutes 36% of the GNP of Latin America.

It is the eighth largest economy in the world, accounts for 50% of Latin America’s trade and 26% of its foreign investments (over US$70 billion). Israel currently exports US$864 million worth of goods to the Pacific Alliance countries per annum, approximately 1% of Israel’s total exports.

The decision to accept Israel as an observer state was made in February at a Pacific Alliance summit in Cartagena, Colombia with the participation of the member state presidents. Israel joins the US and Canada among others as an observer state. Israel will be invited to take part in the staff work of the Pacific alliance and attend its conferences, which will facilitate the advancement of cooperation with its member states.

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A 12-day seminar for South Korean educators at the International School for Holocaust Studies of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, was held in January. A group of some 20 educators, among them teachers, principals and administrators, participated in a comprehensive programme designed specifically for them.

This is the first time the school has hosted a South Korean delegation. While at Yad Vashem, participants attended lectures and discussions on Holocaust history. The delegation also met with Holocaust survivors.

“Over the past few years, we have seen growing interest in the Holocaust around the world, including in countries geographically far from the events themselves,” said Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem.

“The seminar for educators from South Korea joins others we have held recently for Asian educators from China and India. I welcome the increasing significance of Holocaust education in Korea, and pleased that we are able to host this first group of educators at our school,” Shalev added.

Participants also toured Jerusalem and other areas in Israel. The seminar was made possible by the support of the Adelson Family Foundation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel.

The International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem was founded two decades ago to provide Holocaust education to a broad audience. The school conducts dozens of seminars annually for educators from around the world, and produces educational material in over 20 different languages.

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