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Some cool facts he mentions:
At 52 KM2 Tel Aviv is the largest small city
14 KM of beaches
120KM Bike routes
Every 2 hours a tree is planted in Tel Aviv
http://www.FTV.com/videos ISRAEL – Model Tal Mahin looks stunning in this photoshoot taking place at the Eilat Mountains in Israel. She walks the barren landscape in high boots and stares pensively at the scene through thick lashes. Her clothes are from the label Status.
Model: Tal Mahin
Hair: Zenzura Liron & Zvika
Makeup: Maya Raz & Diana Alkazov to Il Makiage
Clothes: Status Moda
KIRYAT SHMONA, Israel — This city is one of Israel’s smallest, a hardscrabble place with a population of 23,000 that is less than two miles from the Lebanese border and through the decades hasrepeatedly found itself caught in the crossfire of Arab-Israeli strife.
In 1974, Kiryat Shmona was the scene of a terrorist attack in which 18 Israelis, many of them children, were killed. Rockets have clobbered the town during cross-border fighting. Underground shelters are as familiar to the city as traffic lights. And jobs can be scarce.
Yet somehow, Kiryat Shmona’s professional soccer team has become the runaway leader of Israel’s top league, has captured a separate tournament that concluded this week and has begun to turn perceptions of this often-beleaguered community upside down.
For now, the king of soccer in this country is a team that plays in a 5,500-seat stadium, has a diverse 23-man roster that includes six Israeli Arabs and is still adjusting to the curiosity it is creating.
When The New York Times recently contacted Adi Faraj, the club’s 26-year-old press officer, about doing an article about the team, he was initially convinced the phone call was a hoax.
“Why would The New York Times want to write about us?” he said.
But as its remarkable run of victories mounts, more and more attention will come its way. On Tuesday, a sizable contingent of the city’s residents traveled south to Petah Tikva to watch its team take on a traditional Israeli power — Hapoel Tel Aviv — in the final of the Toto Cup, the first major tournament of the season.
In a grueling contest, Kiryat Shmona surrendered a late goal that tied the score but prevailed in a penalty-kick shootout.
More impressively, the club has an 11-point lead at the top of Israel’s 16-team Premier League, putting it on course for its first league championship and, remarkably, a qualifying spot in the world’s richest and most prestigious soccer club competition, the Europe-based UEFA Champions League.
If Kiryat Shmona gets that far, it will become one of the smallest clubs to qualify for the Champions League and will find itself, at least technically, alongside powerhouse clubs like Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid. For comparison, think, perhaps, of a community college somehow showing up in the N.C.A.A. Division I basketball bracket in March.
That this long-shot team — officially known as Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona — has been able to get this far has already shaken up Israeli soccer, which is normally dominated by clubs from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, with their bigger budgets.
Beyond that, the team has given a city that has often felt marginalized and neglected a sense of pride.
“Today, it’s like a dream,” Almorg Moryoussef, a 23-year-old student, said as he stood outside Ironi Stadium in Kiryat Shmona last Saturday as the team prepared to play Ironi Nir Ramat HaSharon and local fans — nicknamed the Blue Lions — gathered with drums and banners.
“This is the very first time since Kiryat Shmona was established that the city was in the news not because of the connection with missiles, attacks and war, but football,” he said.
The team’s rise can largely be traced to one man — Izzy Sheratzky, a millionaire from Tel Aviv who made his money in Global Positioning System devices that help track stolen cars and who founded the club 10 years ago.
Sheratzky, a native Israeli, began investing heavily in Kiryat Shmona after being moved by images of its being pounded by Katyusha rockets 13 years ago. Eventually, he decided to buy two local clubs and merge them with a dream of taking his new team to the highest level of European soccer.
“In 1999, I saw the wars and the Katyushas and many bombs,” he said in an interview last Saturday an hour before his team took the field. “Many people left Kiryat Shmona. The situation was very bad. There was no work and there was the bombs. I decided to take care of Kiryat Shmona and to help them.”
At first, Sheratzky looked to the city’s immediate needs: a soup kitchen for the poor, a children’s dental clinic, an English-language school. But he concluded that the city’s residents needed something else to bolster their morale, namely soccer. He bought the two teams, one in Israel’s fourth division, the other in the fifth, and began thinking big.
“We were 11th in the fourth league and now I hope we take the championship, and maybe next year I am coming to London for the Champions League!” he said, laughing.
When Sheratzky first arrived, the players thought his talk of rising through the divisions and of one day winning the Champions League was fanciful at best, deluded at worst.
In 2011, 546 Israeli or Israel-affiliated high-tech companies raised a total of $2.14 billion from Israeli and foreign VC investors, according to a report by the Israel Capital Venture Research Center (IVC) and KMPG.
This is the highest amount raised in the past 11 years since the dot-com crash last decade.
The figure reflects an increase of nearly 70% as measured against the $1.26 billion raised by 391 companies in 2010, and a 91% increase as compare with the $1.12 billion raised in 2009.
IVC and Money Tree released different figures due to the fact that IVC includes a larger number of companies in its calculations, including companies that are indirectly connected to Israel such as those founded by Israelis or Israeli activity in Silicon Valley.
According to IVC, the average investment per company was $3.92 million in 2011; $3.23 billion in 2010; and $2.51 in 2009.
A total of 124 Israeli high-tech companies raised $569 million from Israeli and foreign VC investors on the fourth quarter of 2011, constituting a 9% raise as compared with $522 million raised by 137 companies in the previous quarter and a 65% leap from the $344 million raised by 100 companies in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The average amount per round per company was $4.59 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, as compared with $3.81 in the previous quarter and $3.44 million in the same quarter the year before.
In the fourth quarter of the previous year, 77 companies raised more than $1 million each. Five of the companies raised over $20 million, 13 companies raised $10-20 million each, and 17 companies raised between $5 million and $10 million each.
In 2011, the amount raised by Israeli companies in financing rounds for foreign investors alone was $785 million or 37% – the highest in the past decade. For comparison’s sake, in 2010 only $269 million were raised from foreign investors (21% of the investments) and in 2009 – $ 205 million (18%).
In the fourth quarter of 2011, foreign investments amounted to $218 million – an 8% decline from the $236 million in the previous quarter, which had the highest amount of foreign investments in the past decade.
In fact, Adam and 36-year-old Drew have grown so close while working on several movies together that “he’s even helping her with the process of converting to Judaism,” a source tells In Touch.
“Those two absolutely adore each other, so it only made sense to Drew that he will be right by her side playing an important role at her wedding.”
Although her rep denies the story, Drew, who has gotten very close to Will’s family, has told them she will raise their children Jewish, says the friend.