20 June 2018 - 7 Tammuz 5778 - ז' תמוז ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Zichron Menachem Chanucut at Elsa High School E-mail

In December, the girls of Elsa High School gathered together for an afternoon of pampering for those who had signed up to have their hair cut. This was in aid of the Israeli charity Zichron Menachem Chanucut, which supports children with cancer, as well as their families. The hair will be donated to the charity and made into wigs for those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.

It was a really magical experience, both for the donors and for the receivers on the other side of the world. While the girls were cutting their hair, there were activities for those whose hair was not long enough or who did not wish to cut their hair.

Chanucut offers people the chance to donate their hair during the festival of Chanukah, to make wigs for Israeli children undergoing treatment for cancer. Hair was also cut in London, Eilat and Toronto for the first Chanucut in 2017. Chanucut is the creation of Zum Zum, the UK arm of the Israeli charity Zichron Menachem.

All girls who donated their hair were happy with themselves and left with the feeling of doing a huge mitzvah. Liana Tang, one of the girls who got the chop, said: “The more you give, the more you receive.” All donors were happy with the result. The experience was very meaningful to everyone and the initiative will continue and grow in the future at Elsa High School in Hong Kong. Special thanks go to the teachers who organised the event, and to the students who participated.

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Carmel School partners with Israel’s GreenStart Academy E-mail

Carmel School Association of Hong Kong, in partnership with GreenStart Academy from Ha Kfar HaYarok (“the Green Village”), Israel, launched Carmel’s Elsa High School GreenStart Academy.

This unique new educational programme is focused on the art of autodidactic learning via technology, science and innovation projects, led by Israeli innovation experts and students visiting Elsa High School for a week in December.

GreenStart Academy, founded by Israeli engineer Yooda Or, is a technology youth movement with an outstanding record of achievements in science and innovation competitions. It has produced numerous successful startups in Israel and around the world. Some of its studentled innovations, driven by human and societal concerns and approaches, are now either fully operational or in development. Examples include:
• An app that helps autistic children express themselves.
• An app that helps groups of people (youth, elderly, etc.) travelling in areas with no internet or Wifi to stay connected through their phones, and to trigger alarms when one member gets separated from the group.
• A device that helps hearingdisabled people to distinguish sounds from ambient noise.

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All of Hong Kong lights up for Chanukah E-mail

For most kids (and adults), Chanukah is a time for latkes, donuts, gifts, gelt and colourful candles. Last December, Chabad of Hong Kong inspired a new Chanukah highlight for the children and parents of 20 families here. The third night of Chanukah brought a new way to celebrate as nearly 50 people fanned out across Hong Kong to spread the true message of the Festival of Lights.

From Lantau to Repulse Bay and from Kowloon to Central and the Mid-Levels, light stations were set up and over 2,000 bracelets with the message of “Light up the world with Kindness” were distributed to passers-by. The response from the recipients of these bracelets and the participants in these events was truly beyond Chabad’s expectations. Each light station was equipped with a pull-up sign, a large supply of rubber bracelets in English and Chinese, and light-up bracelets and hats for the station “managers”.

The event grew out of a simple discussion at a Kiddush lunch at Chabad a few weeks prior. A WhatsApp group was quickly put together, details were discussed, supplies were ordered from China and within a week the organisers and volunteers were ready to “hit the road”.

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Celebrating Thailand’s National Day in Israel E-mail

The Royal Thai Embassy in Tel Aviv hosted a reception on 5 December to mark the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Thailand. Many distinguished guests from the Israeli Government, the diplomatic corps, the public and private sectors and the Thai community attended the event at the Hilton Hotel.

In special attendance was Ayoub Kara, Minister of Communications; guest of honour Meron Reuben, Chief of State Protocol, and Gilad Cohen, Deputy Director General, Head of Asia and Pacific Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ms Penprapa Vongkovit, Thailand’s Ambassador to Israel, delivered a speech emphasising the importance of 5 December as Thailand’s National Day, the Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and Thailand’s Father’s Day. In addition, the United Nations General Assembly has declared 5 December as “World Soil Day”.

It also marked a very special occasion for Thais: a sandal-wood-laying ceremony to bid a sad final farewell to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol, which was held at the Thai-Israel Friendship Pavilion in Ben Shemen Park, Modi’in.

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Shimon Biton sentenced to death for Thailand killing E-mail

An Israeli man has been sentenced to death for murdering and dismembering a countryman in a fit of jealousy in Nonthaburi, Thailand, in 2016.

Shimon Biton, 50, admitted to killing 63-year-old Eli Cohen and burying parts of his body in freshly poured concrete under the stairs in his home, as reported in the December 2016 issue of Jewish Times Asia.

Biton was arrested along with his 17-year-old son when police found traces of blood and then discovered some of Cohen’s remains in concrete at their home in the Phattharawan housing estate in Bang Bua Thong district of Nonthaburi in November 2016.

Biton, who has a long criminal record and was a former police informant in Israel, told police he had killed Cohen, reportedly a friend, after discovering that Cohen had had an affair with Biton’s wife, Nantiya Saengurai.

Ms Nantiya disappeared before the killing took place. Her family believes she is also dead and they suspect Biton of involvement in her disappearance after he gave them conflicting accounts about what had happened to her.

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