Israeli interactive video company “Interlude”, founded by popular local rock musicianYoni Bloch, has collaborated with FOX Broadcasting for their special treatment for the music video set to the theme of new hit comedy series “New Girl”, starring actress/singer Zooey Deschanel, who also performs the song “Hey Girl”.
Interlude’s already award winning technology, basically runs along with the viewers while watching the video at hand, able to make decisions on the next scene within the plot and subsequently make own version of said music video. Meanwhile “New Girl” has been a runaway hit for Fox and was the first new series this fall season to get renewed and looks set for an imminent second season renewal.
Who is going to be Europe’s main technology hub? While London and Berlin both see themselves as claimants to the title, if you look at the numbers (and you take a Eurovision Song Contest view of the Continent) arguably neither can challenge Tel Aviv.
It was Ron Huldai, Tel Aviv’s 13-year mayor and a former combat pilot, who, while London’s Tech City was not even the subject of an interdepartmental memo, had got on with building a tech center second only to Silicon Valley. He did it not by installing high-speed fiber or hosting conferences. His approach, as he said in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, was much simpler.
“Tel Aviv had become a city that people used, not a city they lived in,” he said. “We are creating a good place for hi-tech people to live in—I am doing it for the people working in hi-tech,” he said.
It is the ”Field of Dreams” model. If you build it, they will come. It is no coincidence that Tel Aviv was recently named the world¹s best gay city.
“It is about building an environment that is supportive,” he said. Young digital entrepreneurs tend to be counter-cultural— attracted to cities that are vibrant, diverse and international. One third of the city is under the age of 35, and there is one bar for every 200 residents.
His bottom-up model—worry about the people—has proved successful.
According to a report commissioned by the city, Tel Aviv and its surrounding area, hosts more than 600 early stage companies. Access to venture capital is, per capita, 20-fold greater in Israel than in the rest of Europe. “If you take the amount of VC per capita, in Europe, it is $7. In the U.S. it is $72. In Israel it is double that,” Jan Müehlfeit, Microsoft’s European chairman asserted last year.
London has approached the problem with more of a top-down approach. The government-backed Tech City, in the region between London’s financial district, and the new Olympic Park in the east, has attempted to take an existing small tech community and build on top of it a corporate ecosystem, by courting the likes of Cisco Systems,Google, Facebook and Intel into the area, wooing the financiers (Silicon Valley Bank) and pulling in big names (McKinsey).
But to be fair to the U.K. government, it is doing a lot behind the scenes—including improving access to visas, and making capital easier to obtain. In a recent defense of Tech City, entrepreneur Glenn Shoosmith, founder of online booking service BookingBug, wrote: “The reality is that there is a long list of things that have been done over the past year. But much of it has been done in the background. It¹s like complaining a submarine isn’t very impressive because you can only see its periscope.”
It too has met with success, although a recent map promulgated by the Tech City Investment Organization, the body charged by the government with masterminding the development, that showed some 600 start-ups was met with some skepticism as companies that were not high-tech start ups had been included.
And what of Berlin? Talking to Berlin-based entrepreneurs, it is a tech hub despite itself. Asked what the German, or even Berlin, government has done, most struggled to think of anything outside of money from the IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, the VC arm of the state bank. “We don’t have a tech city like London, the same financing like Dublin or a president hosting a start-up tour,” said Nora-Vanessa Wohlert, who writes for Gründerszene, a Berlin-based blog covering the start up scene.
Instead, it is a community that has helped itself. Henrik Berggren chose Berlin over his native Stockholm to launch ebook social network Readmill. “The city, the vibe, the culture, the history and the attitude. All of these things combined creates a great city to live and run a company in,” he said, a view shared by Jochen Hummel, chairman of virtual-world creator Metaversum. “The quality of living is very high but at a fraction of the living cost,” says Mr. Hummel. “This attracts all kind of nonconventional people who often simply cannot afford to live in a city like London, Paris, Rome et al. These people create a scene which is fueling start-ups.” Or put more simply: “Party-wise there is no such a place like Berlin in the world. New York is dead boring in comparison,” said Thorsten Lüttger, CEO of Musicplayr.
Other cities, both in Europe and without, are looking at the high-tech sector to provide economic stimulus. Russia, for example, is planning a $4 billion project to build, from scratch, its own Silicon Valley—Skolkovo—just outside of Moscow. It is the epitome of top-down planning.
Paris, Singapore, Dublin and Barcelona have plans to lure entrepreneurs. The question for these and other cities is who to follow: London, Tel Aviv, or Berlin? “You need people with crazy ideas who are willing to build something very big and then go to the next club around the corner in order to have some fun. You need people from all nations. The next big player will be a very diverse company,” said Gunnar Berning, founder of twago.
But then he is from Berlin.
For Valentine’s day Dreed*Tea teamed up with the Israeli site IL Couture, to put together various looks for the all important day: ranging from romantic, to sexy, to cute. IL Couture is a brand new, Israeli based internet shopping site we discovered, that carries exclusively Israeli designers, and is made specifically for international customers. Right now they are having a 20% off – Winter sale, and since Dreed*Tea loves nothing more than to spoil readers, you can get an extra 10% off by using the code DREED30 – a little Dreed*Tea present to you. Take a look at one of the looks we put together below and for the full story and some majorly discounted shopping go to IL Couture.
Nothing says Vixen like the color RED. So if you like to dress on the sweet yet spicy side, this Vintage inspired red floral dress can be worn demure or given some edge with Ayelet Schahar’s black leather waist belt and Shoemaker’s black suede high heels. Add glam red swarovski earrings and heart shaped ring by Netaly Shany, and your definitely ready for V-night looking sexy yet classy.
1. Waist butterfly belt by Ayelet Shachar // 2. Oma swarovski earrings by Keren Hermelin // 3. Cnaan dress by Tal Yefet,4. Heart ring by Netaly Shany // 5. Kingdom ring by Hagit Fink // 6. Marilyn manson heels by Shoemaker
“There are so many great connections between Canada and Israel,” Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird told those gathered at the dinner at the Inbal Hotel.
The event was hosted by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the Canadian Embassy and the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation.
Baird and Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty spent last week in Israel holding meetings with their Israeli counterparts and reaffirming Canadian support for the Jewish state.
The Canadian ministers held brief meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. They also travelled to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his prime minister, Salam Fayyad.
Canada’s decision to stand by Israel when much of the world is only too happy to condemn Jerusalem is something Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said should not be taken for granted.
“Certainly in this day and age when there are dark forces turning, it’s important that countries that share the same values share a good relationship. We have appreciation for the Canadian government,” Ayalon told The CJN. “We’re very honoured that John Baird is here.”
With harp and flute notes in the background, dozens of parliamentarians from both countries mingled with embassy staff, reporters, army officials, philanthropists and businessmen.
Guests-of-honour Baird and Flaherty, who attended numerous policy roundtables during their visit to Israel – including speaking at the Herzliyah Conference in Tel Aviv, and meeting with Israeli heads of industry – were cheery and full of praise for the Israel-Canada alliance.
“The saying, ‘If I’m not for myself who will be for me’… I think that for many years Israel felt there was no one in its court,” Flaherty said. “But as Minister Baird said, it’s not that Canada is behind Israel, it’s that Canada stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel.”
Such sentiments were reiterated throughout the evening.
“Canada was always Israel’s friend but in the last 10 years became one of Israel’s best friends in the world – some people will say Israel’s best friend. Our second-best friend is ourselves and the United States and some others, but we cannot compete with Canada. I think the Canadian government is better friends with Israel than we are sometimes with ourselves,” said Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.
“We’re a little tiny Jewish democracy in the Middle East and we need friends,” he added. “Canada has become one of Israel’s most committed friends.”
Though an overall feeling of optimism prevailed at the event, there was no missing the perforations of threats from the Arab world and specifically Iran.
“We’re living through a period in which support for Israel is important. There’s a critical mass of threat… a triangular threat from Sinai, from Gaza and from Egypt,” Liberal MP and former justice minister Irwin Cotler told The CJN.
In addition, he warned of Israel’s position in the wake of the Arab Spring.
“Now, Hezbollah is part of Lebanon’s government, Syria’s always a threat, a threat from Iraq on the eastern front and over and above all, the Iranian threat,” he said. “I commend the Canadian government for this support of Israel.”
Baird said it was during a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center that the danger Israel faces from Iran really hit home.
“[Nazi leader] Adolf Hitler wrote about his plans in great detail. He had already published Mein Kampf. What [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad has said about what the Jews are and wanting to wipe them off the earth is something the world should take very seriously,” Baird told The CJN. “I’m not saying this is what is going to happen. But when people look back 50 or 60 years, no one can say we didn’t know. No one can be surprised. The Holocaust tells us that we must take Iran’s threats seriously.”
Baird announced from Israel last week that Canada had decided to tighten sanctions on Iran and had frozen the assets of three Iranian-born Canadians and five Iranian companies operating in Canada, and prohibited them from conducting business using the Special Economic Measures Act.
Israel’s Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein also spoke of the Iranian threat.
“Iran is a great danger. Ahmadinejad is saying that he will increase by 127 per cent the nuclear budget. He’s on a mission and is determined to fulfil it. The question is whether the world is on a mission and determined,” Edelstein told The CJN.
“Israelis are more aware and understand how important the Canada-Israel relationship is,” he added.
“Whether coming from Iran, Al Qaeda or Hamas… we need some more clear voices like [Canada’s] when it comes to challenges ahead of us,” Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon said. “The Canadian people and the Canadian government are so admired here in our tiny country, the State of Israel.”
Nevertheless, the positive vibe at the party managed to overcome the mention of warnings and threats emanating from Israel’s enemies. After all, this was a reception to celebrate friendship, where most guests were sporting a lapel pin with the Canadian and Israeli flags that were handed out at the entrance to the reception.
“We’re honoured and pleased by the ministers’ visit and the support of the Canadian government of Israel as a fellow democracy,” CIJA chair David Koschitzky said.
The waiters weaved through the crowd with hors d’oeuvres – salmon was a main theme _ likely a tribute to the Canadian guests – while a who’s who of diplomats and distinguished guests mingled about.
Canadian Ambassador to Israel Paul Hunt, a co-host of the affair, and Miriam Ziv, Israel’s ambassador to Canada attended, along with many of their embassy staff.
Baird acknowledged the high turnout of Israeli ministers to the event, saying that he knows only too well that most parliamentarians prefer to duck out of engagements of this nature. Even David Weinberg, director of the Israel Office of CIJA, who has hosted many events, told The CJN that not only was it easy to secure the attendance of Israeli guests but also other influential people requested they be invited to the affair.
“I have never in all my years been more proud to be a Canadian and a member of [Prime Minister] Stephen Harper’s team than on this visit to Israel, where we’ve been able to connect with so many friends,” Baird said. “The warm reception we have received has been phenomenal.”
He and Flaherty were scheduled to travel to China from Israel over the weekend.
Source: Canadian Jewish News
Five of world’s leading chefs prepare six-course ‘peace meal’ to raise money for activities bringing Israeli, Palestinian children closer together
Imagine having world leaders’ chefs abandon their bosses for several days in order to cook a royal meal just for you. Most of us can keep on dreaming, but 220 wealthy people from Israel and abroad were lucky enough to fulfill this culinary fantasy last week.
The five leading professional cooks arrived in Israel at the invitation of Chef Shalom Kadosh, the first and only Israeli chef who made it into the prestigious Club des Chefs des Chefs.
The event was planned about half a year ago with the aim of preparing a gourmet meal at a Peres Center for Peace fundraiser for activities that would help bring Israeli and Palestinian children closer together.
This fabulous quintet, along with Kadosh, gathered Wednesday at the Herods Hotel in Tel Aviv to prepare the splendid meal. Each chef was asked to cook his special dish, and make it kosher of course.
The first course was prepared by US President Barack Obama‘s chef, Tommy Kurpradit, who made lasagna from market vegetables with artichoke and truffle vinaigrette.
For second course, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev‘s chef Jerome Rigaud prepared Kremlin-style borscht soup.
Christian Garcia, the head chef of Prince Albert of Monaco, made a fillet of red mullet with fish broth, fennel and beans as the third course.
For fourth course, Chef Shalom Kadosh prepared warm grain and bean salad wrapped in chard leaves with a dressing of roasted peppers.
The fifth course was made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s chef, Bernard Vaussion.
Dessert was prepared by German Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s chef, Ulrich Kerz, who made a symphony of apples with yogurt mousse and rum-caramelized raisins.
The five chefs said they were extremely impressed by the excellent raw materials in Israel.
They did not leave before going on a culinary tour: Kadosh, who serves as the chef of Jerusalem’s Leonardo Plaza Hotel and the executive chef of the Fattal Hotels chain, took his colleagues on a tour of the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem and the Levinsky Market in Tel Aviv.