Posts tagged with "Israel"

LGBT flag illustration by Symara Wilson for 360 Magazine

Yuval David – Pride In the Living Room

Yuval David, celebrated and award-winning actor, host, director, and filmmaker will host and speak at The Aguda’s Pride in the Living Room event, in Hebrew termed Gaava Basalon, currently scheduled for October 17. Yuval will also be keynote speaker at an additional virtual event shared on Instagram Live on October 6, at 1 p.m. DC/NY and 8 p.m. Israel time.

Yuval’s creative mantra to entertain, uplift, and inspire transcends into advocacy, especially for Jewish, LGBTQ, Israeli, American and human rights, as well as arts initiatives.

The Aguda is the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, and Israel’s pioneering LGBTQ organization. At their Pride in the Living Room events, participants, communities, and organizations come together to create safe spaces for dialogue about Judaism and the Jewish LGBTQ community.

The October 6 event will specifically focus on the challenges of Israeli and LGBTQ advocacy, especially amidst this past year, during the pandemic and with the rise of antisemitism globally. The intersection of Jewish and LGBTQ identity is filled with pride, but also the challenges of double marginalization.

According to Yuval, “Pride in the Living Room is a way to authentically share stories, express identity, and create community through bringing people into our homes, even if virtually.  This event also exposes those who don’t personally know LGBTQ+ individuals to have an opportunity to hear their story, as well as have an intimate discussion about LGBTQ+ and religious identity, and the intersection of both.”

According to Tomer Barash at The Aguda, “These events take place in Israel in living rooms in religious cities and the surrounding areas, Arab-Israeli villages, and more. These conversations lead to a growth of love and understanding in our society. For the second year, The Aguda is expanding the reach of this initiative not only in Israel, but globally through online forums, creating living rooms across the globe where the complexities of LGBTQ+ identity from all faiths are explored together, especially to promote understanding in all religious communities.”

Shira Banki, a 16-year-old who was murdered during the Jerusalem Pride March in 2015 by an extremist ultra-orthodox Jew, inspired the creation of Pride in the Living Room in 2016. The murder of Banki made it clear that there was a need for open dialogue between the LGBTQ+ community, the general public of Israel, and the rest of the world. Five years later, Pride in the Living Room continues to invite friends, family, neighbors, and the public to join in the conversation with LGBTQ+ speakers from their living rooms.

Yuval David finds it critically important to expand the reach of this initiative to people across the globe, including all religious groups. As the director of a feature length documentary exploring the intersection of LGBTQ+ and religious identity, Yuval has a great understanding of the positive impact that people of different faiths coming together can have on a community. The film, titled Wonderfully Made, focuses specifically on the aspirations and challenges of LGBTQ+ Catholics and their complicated relationship with the Church.

Beyond this initiative, Yuval advocates for marginalized communities through his creative work and social action, supporting the organizations below. 

Embassy of Israel to the United States: Keynote Speaker

Consulate General of Israel in New York: Speaker, Panelist, and MC for events and initiatives.

Shoah Foundation: Speaker and panelist for events and initiatives. Storytelling Fellow. Member of the Creative Council, creating new content incorporating testimonies filmed by The Shoah Foundation

Jewish National Fund: Host & Director of Documentary Content, Speaker and MC 

Jewish Council for Public Affairs: Speaker and Event MC. Host of video content.

–  Keren Kayemet: Speaker and panelist.

–  Stand With Us: Narrator and Host of documentary videos and social media content.  Speaker and Panelist.

A Wider Bridge: Speaker, MC, and advocate for the organization, connecting Israeli and American LGBTQ communities. Member of the Leadership Council.

– The Aguda, the Israeli LGBTQ rights organization: speaker, panelist, and host of events, including advocating on joint initiatives.

American Israel Cultural Foundation: Member, Performing Artist, and Speaker

– Chabad: Speaker and Panelist.

The Jewish Learning Institute: Speaker and Panelist.

End Jew Hatred: Keynote Speaker, Workshop Leader

Zikaron BaSalon: Keynote speaker

JewBelong: Speaker. Member of Board of Directors.

National LGBTQ Task Force: Speaker and Workshop Leader at annual Creating Change Conference; Advocate and Speaker at numerous events, including advocating to elected officials about LGBTQ initiatives; National Leadership Council;

Host and Director of Documentary Video Content

GLAAD: Partner for advocacy initiatives in press/media

Lambda Legal: Speaker and workshop leader.

Covenant House NY: Speaker at events for homeless youth

Beyond the roles mentioned here, Yuval is frequently a guest speaker, panelist, and workshop leader for Jewish organizations, LGBTQ Centers across the US and abroad, as well as LGBTQ organizations.

About The Aguda

The Aguda, the National Association for LGBTQ in Israel, is Israel’s pioneer lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization. The Aguda is a national grassroots, volunteer-based, nonprofit human-rights organization representing the LGBTQ community. The Aguda promotes and advances new initiatives and cultivates leadership and partnership with all sectors and groups within the community. The Aguda strives for full equality for gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people. The organization aspires to create a public and social climate of acceptance and respect for the LGBTQ community and its individuals. 

About Yuval David

Yuval David is an innovative actor, host, and filmmaker with a creative mantra to entertain, uplift, and inspire. As an actor, Yuval plays major roles in short form and full-length feature films, television, theatre, web, digital media, and voice overs. These include What Would You Do (ABC), Madam Secretary, The Michael J Fox Show (NBC), Beauty and the Beast (Disney), in addition to productions with HBO, Comedy Central, DreamWorks, AFI, and theatres across the globe.

As a TV Host/Presenter, Yuval focuses on societal, humanitarian, and entertainment programming. As a filmmaker, Yuval produces, directs, and writes short and feature films, documentaries, web-series, digital and TV content, including the award-winning episodic series’: One Actor Short, Pranks of Kindness, Better World with Yuval David, What Makes You Beautiful, and numerous others.

Inspired by his Jewish and Israeli-American roots, Yuval advocates for all marginalized communities through his creative work and social action, including the Israeli Consulate, Shoah Foundation, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), Keren Kayemet, Stand With Us, A Wider Bridge, The Aguda, American Israel Cultural Foundation, Chabad, The Jewish Learning Institute, and #EndJewHate, among other organizations. Yuval is frequently invited to host, MC, and speak on behalf of cultural, humanitarian, philanthropic, social, and political initiatives and institutions.

illustration by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Announces Naomi Strongin as Vice President

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced the promotion of Naomi Strongin to vice president of its Center for Designed Philanthropy (the Center).  A 12-year veteran of The Foundation, Strongin had most recently served as the Center’s acting director.

In her new position, Strongin will oversee a portfolio of responsibilities that include developing and implementing Jewish and general community grant programs, providing capacity-building support to nonprofit organizations, advising and educating Foundation donors on effective charitable giving strategies, and managing grantmaking for major Foundation fund holders. She will lead a Center team which advances strategic, high-impact philanthropy that improves lives and strengthens society in the Los Angeles Jewish community, community-at-large, and in Israel.

Established more than a decade ago by The Foundation–the largest manager of charitable assets for local Jewish philanthropists–the Center helps donors create more meaningful and effective giving strategies to enhance the impact of their philanthropy.  

Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland stated: “We are pleased to welcome Naomi as a member of our senior management team. During her tenure at The Foundation, she has distinguished herself in positions of increasing responsibility on both grantmaking and donor-advisory sides of the Center. Naomi is an outstanding leader and manager and this promotion is well-deserved recognition of her exceptional contributions over the past decade-plus. Additionally, her thoughtful approach to strategic philanthropy will help our family of donors better achieve their charitable goals and make meaningful investments in the community.”

Strongin joined The Foundation in 2009 with a background in direct social services and fundraising. As a program officer, senior program officer, and associate director of the Center, Strongin has directly managed The Foundation’s institutional grants programs, including its Cutting Edge, General Community, Israel, and Capital initiatives. She also was integrally involved in leading The Foundation’s response to the pandemic as well as its Racial Equity grantmaking in 2020-2021, spearheading its COVID-19 Response Grants and Reimagine Grants programs that provided nearly $12 million in support to approximately 100 nonprofits for pressing and long-term needs. She possesses extensive experience and expertise that includes developing charitable mission and vision statements, providing philanthropic guidance to multigenerational families, and giving interest-area issues such as early childhood development, economic development in Israel, and the Jewish nonprofit landscape in Los Angeles, among others. Strongin earned her master’s degree in social work with a concentration in community organizing, planning and administration from the University of Southern California, and her bachelor of arts in human development from U.C. San Diego. She is a certified 21/64 philanthropic advisor.

About The Jewish Community Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1.4 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. It partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2020, The Foundation and its donors distributed $116 million to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 12 years, it has distributed more than $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.

Yoel Razvozov Named Israel's Minister of Tourism from Alexandra Seibt for use by 360 Magazine

YOEL RAZVOZOV NAMED ISRAEL’S MINISTER OF TOURISM

The Israel Ministry of Tourism is pleased to share the news of the appointment of its new Minister, Yoel Razvozov, Israeli politician and former judoka Olympian. As Minister of Tourism, Razvozov will work closely with the new government to create and execute a plan to bring both domestic and international tourism back in Israel following more than a year of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re encouraged with the appointment of Yoel Razvozov and are looking forward to working with him to bring North American tourists back to Israel,” said Eyal Carlin, Israel Ministry of Tourism Commissioner for North America. “With new flight routes from the U.S. to Israel launched—even during the pandemic—our initial reopening pilot program having great success and now the new Minister and the new government’s announcement of the expanded reopening to international travelers beginning on July 1, I feel very encouraged and believe that tourism to Israel will be back to pre-pandemic highs before long.”

Razvozov, who first entered the Knesset in 2013, has served as Chairperson of the Sports Lobby of the Knesset and Chairperson of the Generation and a Half Lobby since 2015. In the 19th Knesset (2013-2015), Razvozov was appointed Chairperson of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs.

“My first task as Minister of Tourism is to build a correct and effective outline for the easing of conditions for tourists to enter Israel—of course, without endangering the citizens of Israel and in cooperation with the professional bodies in the Ministry of Health,” said Razvozov.

Prior to entering politics, Razvozov served as Chairman and Director of the Israel Olympic Committee (2008-2013) and held the sports portfolio in the Netanya City Council. Razvozov is a former judoka Olympian, and at the age of 16, was named an Israeli champion, holding the title for 10 consecutive years. He served as captain of Israel’s national Judo team, winning two silver medals in the European championship and representing Israel in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

About the Israel Ministry of Tourism:

The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT), is Israel’s national tourism agency responsible for planning and implementing marketing and promotional initiatives to position Israel as a preferred travel destination. IMOT aims to increase tourism traffic to contribute to Israel’s economy, and to enhance and diversify the visiting experience. IMOT works to promote Israel’s impressive assortment of historical, cultural, culinary and religious attractions—each the perfect blend of tradition and modernity. IMOT offices in North America are located in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Toronto.

Nicole Salazar Breaking News Illustration

Weekly News Roundup: Week of May 10

Biden’s Spending Plan for Education

President Biden is planning to enact higher taxes on the wealthy to go towards free preschool, two years of free community college for young adults, and national paid leave. The 1.8 trillion spending and tax plan is aimed to expand education, while increasing the US’ social safety net, supporting women in the workplace, and decreasing the cost of child care. The New York Times recognized Biden’s tax plan as “ the biggest expansion in federal support for higher education in at least half a century.”

Increasing Vaccination Numbers in the EU

The pace of people being administered the COVID vaccine in the European Union is steadily rising. Just last week, nearly three million doses of the vaccine were being administered daily according to Our World in Data, a University of Oxford database. The EU is primarily utilizing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The New York Times reports that in a rate adjusted for population, the amount of people being administered the vaccine daily in the EU is now roughly equivalent to the US. Usula von der Leyen, the European Commision president, announced her goal of vaccination 70 percent of adults in the EU by the end of the summer. Due to an early shipment of doses from Pfizer last month, and the company’s partnership with BioNTech, it is predicted that this goal will be reached.

DarkSide Ransomware Attack

On Monday, President Biden announced that the United States will “disrupt and prosecute” the criminal gang of hackers, DarkSide. The hackers have been the culprit of a huge ransomware attach that effected the flow of gasoline and jet fuel supplies to the country’s East Coast. Federal investigators believe that the attackers aimed at uncovering corporate data and back-office operations, rather than taking control of the pipelines. After taking note of the ransomware attack that which locked Colonial Pipelines–up a major pipeline in Texas that transported gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from Texas’ Gulf Coast to New York Harbor– the F.B.I. sent out an emergency alert to other pipeline operators and electric utility and gas suppliers. Colonial Pipelines has remained closed since the attack and hopes to restore operations by the end of this week. The city governments of Atlanta, New Orleans, and the Washington D.C. Police Department have also been victim to DarkSide’s attacks.

Violent Clash Between Palestinian Protesters and Israeli Police in Jerusalem

Recent escalations between Palestinians and Israeli Jews regarding control over a single neighborhood in Jerusalem has exploded into major conflict. Israeli efforts to eradicate Palestinians from parts of the city have incited upset between the two groups. While Israeli Jews attempt to ensure Jewish landownership and control over East Jerusalem, Palestinians argue that their attempts are illegal and a form of ethnic cleansing. On Monday, right-wing Israeli protestors and the police erupted into military conflict with Palestinian protesters. As a result of a raid on the Israeli police on the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Gaza militants retaliated with rocket fire. Countering, Israeli airstrikes were fired back. Due to the violent conflict, at least twenty Palestinians have been killed, including nine children.

Offshore Wind Plan to Create Thousands of Jobs

On Monday, the Biden Administration announced their plan to use offshore wind power along the East Coast. Through utilization of off-shore wind turbines in coastal waters nationwide, the plan is aiming to deliver 30,000 megawatts of wind power to power 10,000 homes by 2030, reports the New York Times. To start, the eco-conscious project will begin in the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. It is predicted that offshore wind deployment projects will create 44,000 new jobs in the offshore window sector and 33,000 other new, indirect job positions. According to the American Clean Power Association, “States along the East Coast are driving demand for offshore wind. Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia have established targets to procure a total of 25,400 MW of offshore wind by at least 2035 and have selected over 6,000 MW of projects as of February 2020 to help meet these goals.”

CDC Announces Vaccinated People Rarely Need Masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear mask in most situations. Whereas it is still encouraged for vaccinated people to wear a mask inside to contribute to the culture of mask wearing, they are at virtually no risk of disease and minuscule risk of transmitting the virus to others. The New York Times talked to Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: “The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are ‘essentially 100 percent effective against serious disease.’”

Furthermore, it has been announced that there have been few, if any, instances of COVID-19 transmission occurring from brief outdoor interactions. The risk of exposure from outdoor contact is too small to lead to infection.  However, unvaccinated people are still advised to wear masks when in close conversation with people both outdoors and indoors, when not at home.

However, with the child population of Americans unvaccinated, it raises questions about how families will be able to return to normalcy. While children under 16 haven’t been eligible to receive the vaccination, their demographic poses a low risk to fatal coronavirus cases. For children, it is believed that COVID-19 presents no greater risk than the average flu season. As America looks towards the rest of 2021, it can be hoped that a return to normalcy will soon come. To read the current CDC COVID-19 guidelines, you may visit this website.

Breaking News by Nicole Salazar

Breaking News Roundup – Week of April 27

A Jewish gathering in Israel resulted in the deaths of 44 people, and the injury of some 150 others.

The New York Times estimated that crowd of approximately 100,000 people had been congregating at Mount Meron the night prior to the stampede in celebration of Lag b’Omer. This even had been the first legal huge religious gathering since India’s curtailing of coronavirus mutations. A 24-year-old witness told Army Radio that a first row of people collapsed, resulting in the second row of people to also fall due to the pressure of the stampede, and so on. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan tweeted Thursday night, “Our hearts go out to the people of Israel tonight following the tragedy at Mount Meron. We offer our condolences to the families and friends who lost loved ones in this disaster and wish a full and swift recovery to those injured.”

Coronavirus cases soar in India.

A global, record-number of cases has been set for the fifth day straight as of Monday in India. 352,991 cases had been confirmed over a 24-hour period. Immediately, the United States moved to send over medical equipment, medical gear, and other coronavirus resources. President Biden tweeted on Sunday night: “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need.”

North Carolina sheriff requests body camera footage of Andrew Brown Jr.’s death.

A North Carolina sheriff requests that the footage of Andrew Brown Jr.’s death be made publicly accessible. However, a court motion will have to be made to do so. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten clarified “only a judge can release the video.” Wooten has allowed four of the deputies back on active duty after video evidence proved that they didn’t fire their weapons. Three sheriffs who did fire their weapons will remain on leave until the investigation is complete. As of Wednesday, the judge denied making the footage publicly accessible, but allowed Brown’s family to view the recording.

New Orleans Shooting Resulted in Injury to Five People

Early morning on Saturday, a shooting on Bourbon Street in New Orleans resulted in the injury to five people, though none of the injuries are believed to be life threatening. One person was treated on scene, and the rest of the injured people were taken to a nearby hospital. The reason behind what led to the shooting is currently unknown, but detectives are investigating the crime scene.

Wisconsin Casino Shooting resulted in tragedy.

Saturday night, a shooting at the Oneida Casino near Green Bay, Wisconsin, resulted in the death of two people, and serious injury to a third victim. Investigators believe that the gunman had a “personal relationship” with an employee who worked inside the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center at the Duck Creek restaurant. The targeted employee wasn’t working when the gunman took to opening fire, so the gunman instead attacked his target’s “co-workers or friends,” says Lt. Kevin Pawlak of the Brown Country Sheriff’s Department. The main casino and other facilities are closed until further notice, and the investigation is still unfolding.

Medina Spirit Wins 147th Kentucky Derby

The winner of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday was Medina Spirit. This year’s derby is believed to be the most attended event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The prized pony was trained by Bob Baffert, the most accomplished winner of the Derby–this win counting as his seventh victory. Medina Spirit won over second place Manaloun, third place Hot Rod Charlie, and Essential Quality at fourth.

On Wednesday, federal agents executed search warrants to investigate Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment.

The criminal investigation into Giuliani, who served as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has been underway for more than two years already. Trump’s activities in Ukraine, which may or may not involve illegal lobbying, are one of the main focuses of the investigation. Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing, claiming innocence, and has not been charged. A search warrant for a lawyer, such as Giuliani, requires a sign-off from the highest levels of the Department of Justice. Giuliani’s electronic devices including the computer belonging to his assistant. Giuliani’s assistant, Jo Ann Zafonte, has also received a subpoena to appear before a grand jury in court next month.

President Joe Biden surpassed 100 days in office.

During his speech to mark this event in Duluth, Georgia, Biden was interrupted by protesters rallying for prison reform. Biden agreed with their demand and took to praising and acknowledging Derek Chauvin’s conviction.

Some of the other biggest feats of Biden’s 100 days in office so far include administering 200 million vaccines doses as of April 21, passage of the American Rescue Plan to bolster funding vaccinations and improve economic recovery. President Biden also reopened the federal Affordable Care Act exchange, with additional assistance as part of the Democrat’s $1.9 trillion dollar relief package.

Further, Biden rescinded Trump’s national emergency declaration regarding the former president’s “zero tolerance” policy regarding migrant families. Biden has reversed Trump’s travel ban that targeted mostly Muslim countries and secured the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for children brought into America as children.

Biden has also looked to address foreign policy issues, committing to withdrawing troops for Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. Additionally, Biden has looked to salvage the US-Iranian nuclear deal previously put into place by former President Barack Obama. The Biden administration has also issued diplomatic expulsions against Russia in response to Moscow’s interference in the 2020 election.

Looking to address issues of climate change, Biden looks to lower the US’ emission of greenhouse gases. Biden has already pursed this commitment by formally rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement back in February.

Finally, the President has showcased his commitment to social justice by hosting the most racially diverse cabinet in history, dissolving the 1776 commission, signing executive orders surrounding racial equity, and repealing Trump’s ban unto transgender people joining the military.

Biden looks to continue the national shift to greener energy, improve the US’ infrastructure, and invest in a $1.8 trillion federal investment program regarding education, childcare, and paid family leave.

Jewish Community Foundation of LA COVID-19 Relief

By Cassandra Yany

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles reported Thursday that its donors have recommended grants of $5.4 million to COVID-19 response and relief programs. These grants come from donor advised funds and family support organizations that are administered by The Foundation.

The Foundation is the largest manager of charitable assets for Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists. According to the institution, Foundation donors have directed a total of 412 grants to 121 nonprofits to date for COVID-19 relief. 

Among the Los Angeles organizations to receive the largest grants from donors are the Mayor’s Fund, The Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Service and Food Forward. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee was a significant national beneficiary, as well.

After the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March, The Foundation created an online COVID-19 Response Hub, where donors could find vetted nonprofit organizations. These included “safety-net” programs that address food, housing and financial insecurity, as well as access to healthcare locally and in Israel. 

“In response to the sudden and most profound crisis of this generation, our family of donors has demonstrated its remarkable capacity for generosity and compassion,” said Foundation President and CEO Martin I. Schotland. “Our donors are selflessly drawing on their charitable funds established with The Foundation at a time it’s needed most – as demand for services surges and nonprofits experience sharp declines in giving.”

The Foundation previously announced that it was redirecting its own institutional grantmaking this year to support COVID-19 programs, approximating $8.5 million— the largest amount ever directed to a single cause. This brings the total amount of grants awarded in response to the pandemic by the institution and its donors to nearly $14 million. These institutional grants include $2.5 million that was directed during the summer to 22 nonprofits that serve Los Angeles, with the remaining $6 million dollars to be awarded later this fall.

About The Jewish Community Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. It partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2019, The Foundation and its donors distributed more than $129 million in grants to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 10 years, it has distributed nearly $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.

*Food Forward Photo Courtesy of Andrea Sipos

Rita Azar illustrates a story about wine vineyards in Isreal for 360 MAGAZINE.

Israel Tourism × Wine

On August 19, the Israel Wine Producers Association (IWPA) will host “A Sip of Israel in North America” in partnership with the Israel Ministry of Tourism in North America (IMOT) for a virtual wine tour of Israel. Believed to be the first such event of its kind for travel advisers, this virtual tour will illustrate how extensive and deep-rooted winemaking is in Israel.

The tour will feature wines from each region of Israel – Tel Aviv, Galilee, Golan, Jerusalem and the Negev – with commentary from the director of each corresponding region in North America (Western, Midwest, Canada, Northeast and Southern respectively). Each will share highlights of activities and attractions tourists can discover in these regions. In addition, the directors will be joined by the winemaker of each of the five wines as well as host, Joshua Greenstein, Executive Vice President of the IWPA.  

“We have done a number of collaborations with the IWPA on a regional basis, but with webinars and virtual tours on the rise, Josh and I saw an opportunity to do something much bigger,” said Chad Martin, IMOT Director of the Northeast Region. “The Ministry of Tourism has long wanted to get the point across that not only is Israel a wine destination, but with the convenience of Israel’s small size, a wine experience can easily be added to almost any day of touring.” 

To help round out the experience for the travel advisers, IWPA is offering a special wine package so that participants wanting to taste the wines and really have a “A Sip of Israel in North America,” can get the full virtual experience. 

The event is on August 19th and begins at 4:30 p.m. EST, 3:30 p.m. CST, 1:30 p.m. PST, and 9:30 p.m. BST. The five-bottle wine package is $99 with free shipping and is available across the continental US, Canada, and the UK.

To stay up-to-date with future travel to Israel or to plan your trip when the country reopens to international travel, visit https://israel.travel/. To stay inspired, follow IMOT on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter.

Sun and Cloud illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

IGTO Canada × ACTA

As a proactive initiative to begin the reopening of the international tourism industry and travel abroad – and more importantly to Israel from Canada – on July 21, 2020, the Israel Ministry of Tourism / IGTO Canada signed a corporate partnership with ACTA.  

The Israel Ministry of Tourism was eager to build a stronger collaborative relationship in Canada’s travel industry and with ACTA retail travel agency members and their clients from coast to coast. The ACTA partnership with the Israel Ministry of Tourism will promote education, Israel specialist accreditation and other public relations and sponsorship avenues designed for Canadian companies to learn just how broad  a spectrum Israel niche experiences offer – and the bottom line revenue that can be generated.

Through the agreement, ACTA and Israel Ministry of Tourism will support each other in growth through their mutual commitment to work together in the best interest of the travel agency community.

Gal Hana, Consul for Tourism, Director for Canada – Israel Ministry of Tourism stated: “I am pleased to sign another significant cooperation agreement with a main stakeholder in the Canadian market such as ACTA. With this, Israel continues to increase our investments in the Canadian market as a result of the record tourist numbers of the last three-to-five years and with the Canadian travel industry understanding the potential of Israel. When it comes to responsible tourism, ACTA is a natural and meaningful partner to promote such an important topic within the industry. We cannot wait to open the borders between Israel and Canada and to welcome tourists back into both countries.”

Wendy Paradis, ACTA President stated: “It is fantastic that Israel and ACTA will be working together to educate travel agents across Canada on this very unique and intriguing destination, as well as jointly promoting Israel and the value of working with a professional travel agent when planning for a trip of a lifetime.”

ACTA is a national member-based trade association that represents the retail sector of Canada’s tourism industry. Over 24,000 travel agents across the country work with member travel agencies representing more than 80% of the travel businesses booked through a travel agency in Canada.

ACTA is an industry led, non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of members with governments, regulatory agencies and travel suppliers in the best interests of the retail travel sector and consumers who benefit from the professional services provided by our members.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT), is Israel’s national tourism agency responsible for planning and implementing marketing and promotional initiatives to position Israel as a preferred travel destination. IMOT aims to increase tourism traffic to contribute to Israel’s economy, and to enhance and diversify the visiting experience.  IMOT offices in North America are in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Toronto.

Uzy Rozenthal Botswana

Botswana eVisa Applications

Travelers to Botswana will soon be able to complete visa applications online and ease their entry into the country with Pangea IT. The new service will be hugely beneficial to travelers as well as reduce the government’s investment of funds, time, paperwork, and manpower allocated for visa applications.

Israel’s Pangea IT, which specializes in digital transformation of government and business services, has been selected by the government of Botswana to integrate its eVisa solution. This will enable visitors to Botswana to obtain a visa online and have a seamless entry upon arrival at all the land and air arrival points in the country.

Online visas are becoming more popular as both governments and travelers are increasingly embracing the digital age. The Covid-19 global health crisis is expected to accelerate the trend, as tourists will be looking at reducing their contacts in their home countries and at the travel destination. In the case of Botswana, this is extremely important since the country has a limited number of diplomatic offices abroad so the eVisa option will make traveling to the popular safari destination easier for visitors from various countries.

Pangea has been active in Botswana since 2003 when the company installed a digital birth and death registration system which is still in operation. In 2010, the Israeli company deployed a computerized immigration and citizenship system (ICS) in Botswana.

“We are in the process of integrating our eVisa solution and expect to have it operational till the end of the year,” said Uzy Rozenthal, Pangea EVP and general manager government division. “eVisa will dramatically speed up the entry process in Botswana and will translate into a substantial savings in both administration costs and time needed without compromising border security.”

360 Magazine, Hotel

The King David Hotel Reopens

The King David, the Dan Hotels flagship hotel, will re-open its doors on July 2nd, 2020, 90 years after its original unveiling in 1930. Known worldwide as Israel’s “official” residence for visiting presidents, world leaders, royalty, heads of state, celebrities and sophisticated travelers, the King David has long been considered Israel’s most prestigious hotel.

The reopening will coincide with the appointment of its new General Manager, Tamir Kobrin, succeeding Haim Shkedi who oversaw Israel’s most iconic hotel for a quarter century. Tamir Kobrin has over 20 years of experience in luxury hotels worldwide and comes back to Israel after managing the Anantara Hotel in Portugal, the Leila Palace in Udaipur, and Leila Palace in New Delhi. Early in his career, Kobrin was Reception Manager at the King David, so his appointment brings him back to his hotelier roots. 

In the wake of Covid-19, the Dan chain has initiated a health charter “Stay Safe & Enjoy,” detailing a mass of requirements to maintain social distancing, hygiene and to safeguard all guests and staff while upholding the high level of service and cuisine associated with Dan Hotels. Prior to re-opening, each Dan Hotels property is undergoing “deep cleaning” of all public, service, kitchen areas and guestrooms,utilizing state-of-the-art disinfectants. 

On arrival at the King David or at any Dan Hotel, guests’ temperatures will be remotely checked and if over 37.8 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit), the guest will be transferred to a private testing area. If a second reading remains high, the visitor may not enter the hotel and medical care will be sought. A sealed package will be provided to every guest containing masks and disinfecting materials. Sanitizing gel dispensers with touchless sensors will be positioned at the hotel entrance and throughout public areas. 

The hotel pool and gym will operate according to the guidelines of Israel’s Ministry of Health. Furniture has been rearranged and floor markings installed to maintain social distancing. The King David’s legendary buffet breakfast has been reformatted so that it is protected by glass. Certain items will be offered in individual covered containers, and masked and gloved waiters will fill guests’ plates. 

The King David will continue to provide full room service under the strictest sanitary conditions. After reopening, the King David will offer special weekends that include a sunset cocktail reception on the hotel’s newly configured rooftop with its mesmerizing 360-degree view of the entire city of Jerusalem, along with a talk on “The Story of Jerusalem from the Beginning to the New Age.”

Special tours are also being offered to hotel guests during the weekends:

  • Tour of the Old City and the Yemin Moshe neighborhood – a journey to the heart of Jerusalem, visiting the Armenian Quarter, Mount Zion’s David’s Tomb, the Room of the Last Supper, the Church of the Dormition and finally a visit to the Western Wall.
  • A tour of the ancient walls and the western side of the city beginning in the quaint Nahalat Shiva neighborhood, from there to the National Institutions, the Bezalel School of Arts, the Nahalot neighborhood and ending at Mahane Yehuda market. 

In addition to the reopening of the King David, the Dan Accadia Herzliya will reopen on June 25, and the Dan Carmel in Haifa on July 7. These hotels will join the Dan Eilat and Dan Caesarea Resort which reopened at the end of May, the Dan Panorama Eilat and the Ruth Safed Hotel (opening this week), and the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel which remained safely open and operational throughout the pandemic.

The Dan Hotels chain was founded in 1948 and has grown up alongside the State of Israel, earning its place as the longest established luxury hotel chain in the country, with a reputation for excellence in accommodation, service, and cuisine. The King David is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World.

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