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A Year of Crisis

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Market Enjoys Favorable Trends

{image_1}The positive trends in the Israeli market are continuing, said the
Central Bureau of Statistics [CBS]. Data show that the
market’s financial indicators for June, July, and August 2007
point to a continuance of annual growth in imports and exports,
increased proceeds in the service industry, and an accelerated
production rate in the general industries. Exports were up 12%; the
hotel business enjoyed a 17% increase in occupancy; and industrial
production was up by 6.2%. The CBS report also said that the
summer’s positive trend was also noted in the prior three
months: exports were up 18%, and industrial production went up by 3.6%.

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New Arrival

{image_1}A baby rhino was born in Ramat Gan Safari Park and was a big draw for
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) visitors. With less than 12,000 white
rhinos in the world today, it is truly an important event when one
rhino is born in captivity. There are 450 rhinos in zoo parks around
the world today. This endangered species, hunted almost to extinction
for its horns, is the largest land animal after the elephant.

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IDF Soldier receives American kidney

{image_1}Ayelet Katz, a 19-year-old soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, had to leave the army because of kidney failure. Ayelet is a twin, who, at two, contracted an infection that damaged her kidney. Doctors told her parents that the day would come when her kidneys would fail. That day came, and Ayelet’s father began to search for kidney-donation organizations. He discovered that the average wait in Israel for a kidney is five years, so he began looking elsewhere. He finally found help from the Halachic Organ Donor Society (HODS) based in New York City.

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Israel’s Economy 5 Good Years

{image_1}“Israel’s economy now has experienced five years of continuous growth, the longest period in the state’s history,” reports Israel news agency Arutz Sheva, and unemployment is down to 7.6% from 9.2% in 2005. Whereas the United States only experienced a 0.6% gross domestic product (GDP) increase in the first half of 2007, Israel’s was 6.6%, jumping beyond the predictions of even the Bank of Israel and Finance Ministry. And, ISRAEL21c reported that the “Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) seems unstoppable,” and that the “market has appreciated 20% in the first half of this year.”

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A Pollution Solution

{image_1}A wadi (stream), polluted by solid waste, runs between two municipalities (East Baka in the West Bank and West Baka in Israel) 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Tulkarem and separated by the Green Line and the security barrier. The polluted wadi has actually brought the two sides together. Both mayors have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to protect and beautify the wadi, hoping it will eventually become a recreational area.

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From Israel To The Nations

{image_1}Israel will donate NIS 20 million (US $5 million) to victims of genocide in Darfur, Sudan. “Israel cannot stand by while such a severe humanitarian crisis is taking place—the most severe in the world today—without trying to reach out and help,” Daniel Miron, head of the foreign ministry’s human rights division said. Israel will transfer NIS 16 million (US $4 million) to four international aid organizations and purchase US $1 million worth of medicine and water desalination equipment. The donation will put Israel on the top 10 list of donors to this region. The foreign ministry also intends to establish a camp in Kenya, where two Israeli doctors will care for hundreds of patients.

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A New Museum at Masada

{image_1}The story of Masada, Herod the Great’s desert fortress (built between 37 and 41 BC), comes to life in a new museum. The display, spanning one century, combines archaeological findings with a theatrical setting, exploring Masada’s cultural, architectural, and artistic place in the Roman–Hellenistic period. Nine scenes are divided into three main topics: the relationship with Rome, Herod’s and the rebels’ Masada, and the Roman army.

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Israeli Engineers Develop Mobile Bomb Shelters

{image_1}With residents of Sderot and its vicinity suffering a daily Kassam bombardment, Israeli ingenuity has developed mobile bomb shelters that can be deployed and redeployed. Josh Adler, the cofounder of Operation Lifeshield, and his partner, recent US immigrant Shep Alster, were volunteering in the north of Israel during last summer’s Second Lebanon War when they saw the need for mobile shelters.

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New Jewish Museum in Munich

{image_1}For Jewish people, Munich is a city that lives in the shadow of its past: first, as the birthplace of the Nazi party and the nearby Dachau camp, then later as the city where 11 Israeli athletes were murdered during the 1972 Olympic Games. It seemed, until in recent years, as if Munich was hesitant to acknowledge its checkered history with the Jewish people as no formal monument or museum had been erected to their memory some 50 years after the Holocaust.

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97-Year-Old Makes Aliyah

{image_1}Herta Lowenthal, a British Jew, has become one of the oldest people to ever make aliyah (immigration to Israel) at 97 years old. She joined her 12 great-grandchildren in Israel in March 2007, emigrating from Britain, where she lived most of her life. Lowenthal told the British Totally Jewish (TJ) Web site that moving to Israel was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

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