International communications giant British Telecom has chosen Israel’s Cyber-Ark Software to monitor and secure its privileged accounts, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. The deal is estimated at several million shekels.
As a large communications services company, providing a range of products to a vast number of business and consumer customers, BT’s infrastructure is complex and broad – covering numerous business units and many geographical regions. BT required a single solution, standardized across the global organization that could easily scale, as required.
This solution needed to complement BT’s existing security services, providing its rapidly expanding customer base with proven privileged access management.
Israeli company Cyber-Ark is the leading global information security provider for protecting and managing critical applications, identities and sensitive information
Founded in 1999, the company employs 200 workers and recently raised $40 million with the help of the JVP venture capital fund and Goldman Sachs.
Cyber-Ark CEO Udi Mokady said that BT’s choice is a reflection of the high level of security his company offers.
Gadi Tirosh, a partner at JVP, said: “This is further proof that Israel is a leading force in the cyber protection field.”
A paralysed woman has become the first person to complete a marathon in a bionic suit.
Claire Lomas finished the London Marathon 16 days after the race began. The 32-year-old said she was “over the moon” as she completed the 26.2-mile route, which she started on 22 April with 36,000 other participants.
The former chiropractor was in tears as she became the first person to complete any marathon using a bionic ReWalk suit at 12.50pm on Tuesday.
Hundreds lined the streets as she made her final steps to complete the race. Three mounted members of the Household Cavalry gave her a guard of honour as she crossed the finishing line on the Mall.
Lomas, a jewellery designer who was left paralysed from the chest down following a horse-riding accident in 2007, said: “There were times when I questioned whether I would make it when I was training.
“Once I started, I just took each day as it came and every step got me a step closer.”
A spokeswoman for the mounted regiment said the riders were there to give Lomas “extra support because she is passionate about horses”.
Lomas will not appear in the official results and did not receive a medal when she finished as competitors have to complete the course on the same day to qualify for a medal, organisers said.
But a number of marathon runners decided to donate their own medals to Lomas. Jacqui Rose, from Southampton, who contributed her medal along with about 12 others, said: “She has epitomised what I thought the London Marathon was all about.
“That medal, when you have completed it and gone through all the pain of it, symbolises that achievement of what you have gone out of your way to do for charity.
“For her not to have got one ridicules what the marathon was all about.”
Holly Branson, daughter of the tycoon Richard – whose company Virgin sponsors the race – was at the finish line waiting to give Lomas the Virgin trophy for endurance. The company hands out the award annually.
She said: “She has done the most amazing job. It was so emotional when she crossed that line. Tears welled up in my eyes and everyone was cheering.”
Lomas, from Eye Kettleby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, raised more than £86,000 for Spinal Research, a charity which funds medical research around the world to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck.
She said: “When I was in hospital I saw a lot of people with similar injuries to me and a lot worse.
“I have had tremendous support since my accident which I am so grateful for. Some don’t have that. Some people lose the use of their arms as well. A cure needs to be found.”
She walked about two miles a day, cheered on by her husband, Dan, her parents and her 13-month-old daughter, Maisie.
Lomas said she was now going to write a book and “spend some good time with Maisie”, adding: “Then I’ll think of something else daft to do.”
A number of celebrities have also lent their support by walking a mile alongside her, including the TV presenter Gabby Logan and her husband, the former international rugby star Kenny, and the TV presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle.
Lomas broke her neck, back and ribs and punctured a lung when her horse Rolled Oats threw her off as she took part in the Osberton horse trials in Nottinghamshire in 2007.
The £43,000 ReWalk suit, designed by the Israeli entrepreneur Amit Goffer, enables people with lower-limb paralysis to stand, walk and climb stairs through motion sensors and an onboard computer system.
A shift in the wearer’s balance, indicating their desire to take, for example, a step forward, triggers the suit to mimic the response that the joints would have if they were not paralysed.
Source: The Guardian
London makeover ladies Trinny and Susannah were here last year, telling Israelis what not to wear in their ever-so-subtle manner — not — which is why Israelis probably liked them.
Now they’re featured in an Isracard commercial by ad agency Bauman Bar Reuveni showing off their Hebrew — “Tagidi lo!” (Tell him!) and offering puns onkenyon (which can mean a canyon as well as a mall):
Boyfriend: “Just three hours and we’ve crossed the canyon.”
Girlfriend: “It will take us no more than three hours to cross the canyon” — said with a smirk.
Laugh if you will, but the ad is one of ten competing for the dubious honor of being named the most sexist advertisement by WIZO, the Women’s International Zionist Organization.
Are Trinny and Susannah worried? Probably not.
Source: Times of Israel
Last Sunday Homeland debuted on Channel 4, attracting overnight ratings figures of more than 2 million and a clutch of impressive reviews. Much has been written about the latest US import, a labyrinthine terrorism drama from the writers of 24. But while you will have read all about Homeland’s awards haul and Claire Danes’ triumphant return to the small screen, that the show is based on an Israeli series called Hatufim (Prisoners of War) has been less well reported.
Now UK audiences will be able to judge for themselves just how good the Israeli original is when it comes to Sky Arts in May. The series will follow hot on the heels of another Israeli drama In Treatment (BeTipul), the original Hebrew version of the hit HBO series of the same name, which gets underway on Sky Arts on Monday.
Hatufim and BeTipul are Israeli TV’s big international success stories – but they’re far from the only Israeli shows finding an international audience either in their original form or as an English language remake. There are a slew of Israeli shows being adapted by major US networks including sitcoms such as Life Isn’t Everything, police procedurals in the form of HBO’s The Naked Truth and the much-touted NBC murder-mystery Pillars of Smoke, while in Britain, David Mitchell’s topical quiz show The Bubble was adapted from an Israeli idea.
It’s part of the unlikely rise of Israeli television; an industry that only got its first commercial channel in 1993. “Israeli dramas are very much driven by auteurs, by people who have their own unique story and own unique voice to tell it,” says Avi Nir chief executive of Keshet Broadcasting, the programme makers behind Hatufim. “They provide an antidote to American television, which is usually more commercial … It’s a different way of making a show. Hollywood is much more of an industry, but in Israel our shows are slowly, carefully and originally tailor made.”
The shoestring budgets that Israeli programme makers work with have also played their part in this surge of creativity. Hatufim for example, was shot for $200,000 an episode, a fraction of the budget its US counterpart. The result is that Israeli producers put a stronger emphasis on storytelling, while financial constraints have seen programme makers work in more creative ways. The effects can be seen in the stripped-back settings of shows such as In Treatment, which like police procedural The Naked Truth, stages almost all of its action in a solitary room.
While fuelling creativity, the lack of financial investment has also taken away an element of risk. Without massive financial outlay there is arguably more freedom for writers to experiment with what is conventionally expected from small screen dramas.
At its heart however, the boom in Israeli broadcasting comes down to the quality of the programmes that are being produced. Lucy Criddle, the Sky Arts acquisitions manager, says: “It wasn’t our intention that we were looking at Israeli drama, it was really that the quality of the drama stood out for us. We watched BeTipul and Hatufim and we just loved them. They’re both powerful pieces that are utterly compelling and most importantly they’re high quality TV.”
It has been difficult to miss the recent boom in Scandinavian drama on British screens – but it appears that Denmark may not have cornered the market in classy subtitled imports. BeTipul in particular will offer a strange viewing experience for fans of In Treatment. Unlike Hatufim, which was more of an inspiration for Homeland, the HBO drama is an almost like-for-like remake of the Israeli original. As a result it’s impossible to watch either show without comparing and contrasting it with the other.
With the rise of foreign language remakes and imports, watching a show twice is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly common – and at times original shows can end up overshadowed by a strange sense of deja vu when watched after their English language remakes. But what’s striking about these Israeli series is the quality of the storytelling which has translated seamlessly from original to adaptation. For viewers that means they are essential companion pieces – testament to the quality of programming that the country is currently producing.
Source: The Guardian
The British Film Festival is returning to Israel after a two-year hiatus, with a selection of movies by new and interesting voices that give audiences a glimpse into modern-day Britain.
The festival, the flagship event of the British Council in Israel, will be showing ten films in seven cities – Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem, Sderot, Rosh Pina, Holon and Herzliya – from February 4 to 15.
In the past, the program of choice U.K. movies has drawn some 20,000 cinema-goers across the country. This year, says British Council Arts Manager Naomi Michaeli, “We hope to have more”
The selection is certainly an eclectic one. The British Council wanted to showcase various aspects of contemporary British cinema, and most of the movies are by relatively new filmmakers.
The festival opens with Andrea Arnold’s remake of Emily Bronte’s classic nineteenth century novel, Wuthering Heights, and closes with the much anticipated Shame, directed by Steve McQueen, winner of the U.K’s top contemporary art award, the Turner Prize.
Other movies on show include Ralph Feines’ directorial debut, Coriolanus, and Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur, one of the biggest Sundance Festival winners of 2011, which Michaeli describes as “the kind of bleak, hard-hitting drama that British cinema is famous for.”
Perfect Sense starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green will also be showing.
Along with the screenings, audiences will be able to meet up-and-coming British indy actor Tom Cullen, who stars in one of the Festival’s featured movies, Weekend, which Michaeli describes as” a gem.”
Sandra Hebron, who was artistic director of the London Film Festival for 15 years, will share her insight into British and international cinema with audiences at screenings of Weekend on February 9 in Jerusalem, and Tyrannosaur, on February 10.
“We are proud to bring to Israeli audiences the best of new British cinema. The films represent the work of a new generation of British film makers giving us a fascinating peek into current day Britain,” says British Council Director in Israel, Simon Kay.
The festival is also a way for the British Council to promote Israeli-British cooperation in film. With the ratification the first Film Co-Production Treaty between the two countries in September last year, the British Council is hoping to see more cooperation in the future.
“Our priorities are very clear now,” says British Council Arts Manger Naomi Michaeli. “We want to invest a lot in creating co-productions between Israel and the U.K., it was really important for us to bring festival back and use it as a way of promoting film and invigorating dialogue.”
JN: What do you most admire about Israeli food?
PV: The celebrated Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi recently filmed a wonderful TV show called Jerusalem On A Plate, focusing on Israeli food. People in the UK are really starting to enjoy Lebanese, Israeli, Iranian and Iraqi food. The focus of my show is to basically find out about falafel and hummus. I know they are the stereotypical dishes which people associate with Israel, but it’s what people can relate to in the UK. I wanted to take that on board but find a different angle. It fitted all the criteria needed for the programme.
JN: Which areas of the country did you visit?
PV: I flew to Tel Aviv and spent two days there. We filmed some great scenes in the markets with young guys making falafel. Then we went to Jaffa for the day and went to a fantastic hummus bar where they served three different types. We relaxed, ate and talked hummus! They serve it warm there which surprised me. And they beat it with pure tahini as well, which makes it very creamy, then add warm cooked chickpeas and onions. It was completely different to anything in the UK. The hummus bar did one version with cooked broad beans and cumin. It was to die for! I’ve never eaten anything quite like it in my life. Then we went to the Judean Hills and cooked with a chef who worked for Heston Blumenthal in London. He uses purely local ingredients – primarily wild herbs from the Hills. He made a lamb dish that was just beautiful. Then we went to Jerusalem to the Yehuda market. The array of nuts and dried fruit there was fantastic. I said to the camera: “Look at these fabulous olives. What a great market.” As I said these words a lady walked past me and said: “This is the best market in the world!” I couldn’t disagree. We ate cakes, sheep’s cheese and a kind of baklava. From there we went towards the West Bank to the Mount of Olives. We went through the desert and met some Bedouins and went to the highest point of the desert where we could see the Dead Sea. From there we went down to the Dead Sea where I mad falafels by the side of the shore. I’d never made them before so I used tips from chefs I’d met. I think they tasted pretty good!
JN: Were the locals as warm as the food?
PV: Yes, they were so generous and kind. All a first-time visitor really knows is what’s been reported in the media. I thought the people would be distant and cold towards outsiders, but they were charming, funny, engaging, polite and so helpful.
JN: What are your lasting impressions of Israel?
I was expecting it to be more built up and modern. Jerusalem has fast roads outside the city and the Old City is beautifully preserved. In UK we tend to only hear the bad things – not just about Israel. Sri Lanka is another country I recently visited which is misrepresented in the news.
JN: Did you compare Jewish, Palestinian and Arabic cuisine?
PV: Yes. The This Morning show is only eight minutes long, so I would have loved to find out more. In the market the chefs indicated which foods came from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Israel. And, as Ottolenghi says, and a lot of our guides pointed out, after the Second World War a lot of Jews arrived from America and Eastern Europe and brought their influences with. So Israel has a mish-mash of cuisines which I wasn’t aware of before visiting. Some people in the UK think Israeli food is just chicken soup and chopped liver. I met lots of young chefs who worked in Europe and took their influences back to Israel. I noticed there were a lot of Italian and sushi restaurants. While it isn’t difficult to find Israeli food, you have to seek out the very best hummus and falafel bars.
JN: Where did you stay during Shabbat?
PV: Jerusalem on the Friday, where I couldn’t even buy a cup of coffee during Shabbat. I had a 15-course dinner at a Jerusalem restaurant called Eucalyptus which only serves biblical-style food.
JN: Will Israeli and Jewish techniques now influence your cooking style?
PV: I will certainly be looking at bread in a whole new way. As the bread gets so hot in Israel you don’t have to ‘prove’ it (allow the yeast time to work and raise the dough). It doesn’t work in such heat. I like this approach to bread and also their salad ingredients, especially including roast aubergines. The main technique I’ll adopt is making dishes simple. You don’t need to play around with food. And I love hummus (in the background, Phil’s daughter suddenly chimes: ‘We love hummus’ in agreement).
JN: Do you plan to return soon?
PV: One of my guides invited me back for dinner. Her father is Russian and her mother is Persian so she wants them to cook for me. My wife has always wanted to return to Israel so we’ll go back at some point and take my eldest daughter with us. I’ve been to Alaska, which has spectacular scenery, and recently returned from Vietnam, so I was concerned Israel wouldn’t live up to those places. But I think out of all the countries I’ve visited, Israel could be the most spectacular.
Phil Vickery travelled to Israel as a guest of the Israel Government Tourist Office. You can watch him in Israel on This Morning on ITV1 at 10:30am on Monday 23 January. For more on Israel’s unrivalled fresh produce and culinary innovations, read about Israel’s “Hidden Gems” at www.thinkisrael.com