15 December 2018 - 8 Tevet 5779 - ח' טבת ה' אלפים תשע"ט
All-female delegation brings health-tech innovation to Japan E-mail

A delegation of elite female Israeli technology executives visited Japan in October to bolster Israeli-Japanese health technology ties.

Organised by mHealth Israel, an organisation that aims to create global awareness of Israel as a world leader in health technologies, the delegation met with Japanese government representatives and officials from tech giants such as Sony, Mitsubishi and Canon, as well as Japanese women in medical technology.

The three-day visit included meetings in Tokyo and Osaka with potential partners seeking co-innovation and investment partnerships, and startup managers, in addition to visits to major tech companies, including NTT Data and BIO Japan.

Members of the delegation included Efrat Ramati of Ladysense, Oranit Ido of DreaMed Diabetes, Ravit Ram Bar-Dea of Well-Beat, Merav Weinstock of IMNA and Hilla Ben Pazi of Neurocan.

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Car accident outside Hong Kong Jewish Community Centre E-mail

Police are investigating an incident that happened on Shabbat morning 20 October during Kiddush luncheon at the Ohel Leah Synagogue (OLS), outside the Hong Kong Jewish Community Centre (JCC).

According to eyewitnesses and police statements, a 60-year-old female driver of a private car lost control of her vehicle on Robinson Road, tragically hitting two pedestrians – a mother and her young son – then collided with another car that then mounted the curb and careened into the fence near the OLS gate.

After that second car hit the wall, smoke poured out of the engine and the car caught fire. The driver was pulled out of the burning vehicle by a security guard at the JCC and was safe. The incident was the first ever involving a car mounting the pavement next to the OLS gate.

The two pedestrians who had been hit by the first car were severely injured and were taken to hospital.

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Asia Society Hong Kong Center hosts interfaith talk E-mail

Consuls general, locals, businesspeople and university students participated in an interesting dialogue at an Asia Society luncheon on 15 October. Entitled “Inter-religious Tolerance and Friendship: Jews and Muslims in Hong Kong”, the dialogue was moderated by Ronnie C. Chan, Chairman of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center and Chairman of Hang Lung Properties.

Attending the luncheon were the Consul General of Pakistan and the Consul General of Israel, who shared a table with Muhammad Arshad, Chief Imam of Kowloon Mosque, and Rabbi Asher Oser of Ohel Leah Synagogue.

Glen Steinman, a board director of the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre and one of the co-organisers of the event, gave an opening address, speaking about inter-religious tolerance and the importance of advancing understanding between people of different backgrounds.

In a world where religion sometimes appears to be a force of division, Hong Kong remains an oasis of inter-religious tolerance. Both Jews and Muslims each have vibrant histories in Hong Kong dating back to the mid-19th century. The two communities regularly organise events to further strengthen the bridges between them, including reciprocal visits to the Kowloon Mosque and Ohel Leah Synagogue, as well as regular interaction between religious leaders of each community.

Muhammad Arshad, Chief Imam of Kowloon Mosque, gave an update on the numbers and operations of the Muslim religion in the territory. There are currently around 300,000 Muslims in Hong Kong, and well over a third of them are Indonesians (mostly domestic helpers). There are five fulltime mosques and a further 18 temporary prayer places.

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Israeli national aims to become Chinese Medicine practitioner Print E-mail

An Israeli national gave up his career as a doctor three years ago to pursue an unlikely profession in Taiwan: becoming a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.

Gil Elazar Ton, 34, had served as a paramedic in the military for three years, during which he found his calling and became determined to go into medicine. After being discharged from the military, he spent a few years travelling to India and Beijing, where, after being impressed by a classmate, he fell in love with Oriental culture and developed a yearning to visit Taiwan, reported Liberty Times.

With the assistance of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, Ton received a scholarship from the Ministry of Education and embarked on a new life, taking up studies in acupuncture science at the China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan. Unintimidated by the abstruse and obscure terminology of acupoints and their respective applications written in Chinese – knowledge that even locals find daunting – Ton said he has enjoyed acquiring the Chinese language through studying alternative medicine, and even called it an “enthralling” experience to break down the components of Chinese characters, each of which has its own story.

(Issue Nov 2018)

WJC co-signs German Council of German Jews’ declaration condemning AfD E-mail

The World Jewish Congress co-signed a joint declaration initiated by the Central Council of Jews in Germany on 8 October condemning the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party as a “racist and anti-Semitic party” and a “threat to Jewish life in Germany”.

The declaration, entitled “No Alternative for Jews”, stated: “The AfD is not a party for Jews... the AfD is a party in which hatred of the Jews and the denial of the Shoah have a home. The AfD is antidemocratic, inhumane and, in many parts, right-wing extremist.” It was released on the same day that a separate group called “Jews for the AfD” was officially launched in Weisbaden.

Founded in April 2013, AfD last year became the first far-right party to win seats in the Bundestag in more than half a century year.

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