•February 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio

February 4, 2010


Heated up jazz spirit inside the Tel Aviv Cinematheque could not succumb to the winter air last Thursday’s late night performance of the Don Friedman’s Trio and saxophonist Gary Smulyan. Excited people filled the lobby, anticipating a night of enthralling experience: some standing in animated talks with their buddies drinking either wine or coffee, others had the luck to get seats by the coffee and wine bar. All throughout the night, a local jazz group was performing to the delight of the swelling lobby crowd, abuzz with much latent energy.  It was worthy to note that most jazz crowds everywhere share common traits that distinguish them from those hooked to other musical genres. This crowd for one obviously had class and culture running in their veins. Everybody was friendly, polite and sophisticated. The quiet, balmy atmosphere inside the Hall eventually crescendoed to controlled frenzy, picking up energy from the vibrant, brilliant playing of Gary Smulyan on the saxophone and the virtuosity of Don Friedman Trio composed of Don Friedman himself, on the piano, Chuck Israels, on contrabass, and Joe Hunt, on the drums. Two of Smulyan’s original compositions were part of the night’s repertoire. Jazz lovers that night must have felt privileged to have experienced the authentic soul and flair of his musical style. His enigmatic performance on the baritone saxophone fitfully complements and demonstrates his respect for the distinctive creativity of The Trio. After taking turns in improvising upon the head melodies, each yielded to the ingenuity of the other during their respective solo segments. Not surprisingly, when it was time to wrap up the performance, the audience would not let them leave just yet. Similar to a wine toast to the performers’ musical savvy, the audience’s urgent, decisive clapping for an encore stopped only when the jazz luminaries once again appeared onstage. Being one of the most attended performances during the Jazz Festival, this group proved to jazz lovers present that night that they are worthy of the accolades they have been constantly receiving worldwide.

Story by Arlene Alon / IPM                Images by Isaac Alon / IPM

©2010 INTERNATIONAL PRESS & MEDIA, All Rights Reserved Worldwide To All Stories & Images!

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Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio
L-R: Joe Hunt, Chuck Israels, Don Friedman & Gary Smulyan

Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio

L-R: Chuck Israels & Gary Smulyan

Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio

L-R: Chuck Israels & Gary Smulyan

Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio

Don Friedman

Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio

Gary Smulyan

Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio

Chuck Israels

Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio

chuck Israels

Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio

Joe Hunt on the drums

Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio

Gary Smulyan

Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio

Don Friedman & Gary Smulyan


Water Technology Solutions from Israel Donated by Israeli Government to Typhoon-hit Areas in Taiwan

•August 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Taiwan, Taipei.

© August 14, 2009  (Isaac Alon/IPM) All Rights Reserved Worldwide!

The ISECO – Israel Economic and Cultural Office (Embassy de facto) in Taipei  said Friday that the government of Israel has arranged a shipment of water tanks and purification devices, scheduled to arrive in Taiwan later in the day, for victims of Typhoon Morakot.

“When the scale of disaster caused by Typhoon Morakot began to unfold, ISECO took the initiative to approach the Executive Yuan with the idea of shipping water devices that might be useful in the situation,” the Israeli office said in a press release.

According to ISECO, the Executive Yuan welcomed the idea and immediately directed ISECO to the Ministry of the Interior, and then to the Taiwan Water Corp. in Kaohsiung.

Among a variety of solutions suggested by the ISECO, products from WaterSheer, an Israeli company that specializes in water purification, were selected.

The shipment will include two SOS Tank Systems to transport water to remote disaster-hit areas and hundreds of SulisPPD, a personal and simple-to-use device to purify flood and murky water into drinking water, the Israeli office said. Each SulisPPD can produce 700 liters of drinking water, which would be enough for a large family or a group of people, he added.

The shipment left Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv Thursday night aboard an EL AL flight. The supplies were donated by the Israeli Foreign Ministry with additional support from Giza Venture Capital of Israel and Huang Lung Engineering Co., Ltd., a Taiwanese company that has Israeli business partners.

The shipment was scheduled to arrive in Taiwan later in the day and Israeli Representative to Taiwan Raphael Gamzou was slated to oversee the direct transfer to the Taiwan Water Corp. in Kaohsiung, the ISECO said.

Gamzou also intends to be in Kaohsiung Aug. 15 to observe the efficiency of the devices, it added.

Typhoon Morakot lashed Taiwan Aug. 7-9, dumping massive amounts of rain on the southern parts of the country. The southernmost county of Pingtung received a record 2500mm of rainfall, which caused severe flooding in at least three coastal townships.

According to China News Agency, as of Friday afternoon, the flooding around the country, along with widespread landslides, had left 117 people dead, 45 injured and 59 unaccounted for. The casualties included three rescuers who were killed Tuesday when their helicopter crashed in the mountainous township of Wutai in Pingtung County.

Rafi Gamzou which was in the past most popular Consul of Culture Affairs in NY, was running around for the last three days helping distributing these water purification systems and actually purified water himself & distribute it to locals in disaster areas.

In late night phone interview said: “I’ve seen people suffering here (in Taiwan), and remembered this Israeli company WaterSheer, which invented water purificaton personal pills and other water purification systems, so without waiting I’ve started making phone calls to Israel and organized withthe help of the Israel Foreign Minestry these systems to help the people with the help of local government here”.

Note: Thanks to Ambassador Gamzou, Isreal was the first to give help to Taiwanese people as noted in world media, especially in major media in Taiwan!

Letters of appreciation

  • Dear sister Shen,

I got up this morning and saw the TV headline said that Israel was the first foreign country to send aid to Taiwan!

I saw Representative Gamzou and you at the airport helping people unload shipment and explain about the devices. I believe many Taiwanese are moved and grateful for your kind deeds. From this we also see how efficient Jewish people are! This is such a wonderful testimony!

Jinn-cherng Shyu

  • Dear Mr. & Mrs. Gamzou,I woke up early this morning seeing Mr. Gamzou in the airport personally checking the water purifiers from your country to the rescue of Taiwan typhoon victims. My tears of gratitude couldn’t help falling down. Thank you so very much. So many babies in the mountains couldn’t be fed because of no clean water, and you save not only the babies but also the adults there trapped in the mountain areas. How much the Taiwanese need to learn from Israel wisdom and big heart. Your hard work and compassion deeply engraved in the hero feats record of Taiwan rescuing history, which will always be remembered by every heart of Taiwanese, the victims and all the islanders.

    Much thankful,


Second Day of Pope Benedict XVI visit to Israel

•May 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Isaac Alon/IPM:     12 MAY 2009 – At 11.40 a.m. today, the Holy Father travelled by car from the “Hechal Shlomo” Centre in Jerusalem to the Cenacle, where he prayed the Angelus with ordinaries of the Holy Land.

The Cenacle is the place where the ordained priesthood and the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance were instituted. The Latin word “Coenaculum” was used to indicate the dining area, but more generally signified the upper room where guests were welcomed; it is in the upper room that the chapel is located today. The Christian tradition on the authenticity of the Cenacle goes back to the end of the third century.

The lower floor of the building houses a cenotaph called the “Tomb of David”. It is a place of national pilgrimage for Jews, although the reference to David’s last resting place has no historical or archaeological foundation. Also on the lower floor is an ancient chapel dedicated to the washing of the feet. Today the building, property of the State of Israel, is one of the places under the aegis of the Custody of the Holy Land, which since the fourteenth century has been administered by Franciscans.

This was considered to be the most important of all the Franciscan provinces as it included the land where Jesus Christ was born, lived, preached the Good News, died and rose from the dead. Indeed, according to the Franciscan order, St. Francis himself visited the Holy Land and this province between 1219 and 1220.

In 1333 Robert of Anjou, king of Naples, and his wife, Queen Sancha, negotiated with the sultan of Egypt, through Friar Ruggero Garini, to purchase the Cenacle and the right to celebrate religious ceremonies in the Holy Sepulchre. Friar Garini, with financial assistance from the queen, then built a monastery near the Cenacle. The king and queen also secured the right for Franciscans to legally own certain sanctuaries and to have the right of use in others.

In 1342, Pope Clement VI, in two papal bulls, hailed the work of the king and queen of Naples and set forth instructions on running the ecclesiastical province of the Custody of the Holy Land.

The first statutes of the Franciscans regarding the Holy Land date from 1377 and state that a maximum of 20 friars should serve the Holy Places of the Cenacle, the Holy Sepulchre and Bethlehem. In 1517 the Custody of the Holy Land was granted complete autonomy and the Holy See granted it the status of province with special privileges and particular rights. Since 1558 the Custody has had its seat in the convent of the Most Holy Saviour.

While the term Custody of the Holy Land refers to the ecclesiastical province, the Custos of the Holy Land is the minister provincial of the friars living in the Middle East. He has jurisdiction over the territories of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt (partially), Cyprus and Rhodes. Given the importance of his role, the Custos is directly nominated by the Holy See, after consultation with the friars of the custody. The current Custos is Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

“You represent the Catholic communities of the Holy Land”, said the Holy Father in his address to the assembled ordinaries, “who in their faith and devotion are like lighted candles illuminating the Holy Places that were graced by the presence of Jesus our living Lord”.

“In the Upper Room the mystery of grace and salvation, of which we are recipients and also heralds and ministers, can be expressed only in terms of love. Because He has loved us first and continues to do so, we can respond with love”.

“This transforming love, which is grace and truth, prompts us, as individuals and communities, to overcome the temptation to turn in upon ourselves in selfishness or indolence, isolation, prejudice or fear, and to give ourselves generously to the Lord and to others. It moves us as Christian communities to be faithful to our mission with frankness and courage”.

“The call to communion of mind and heart … is of special relevance in the Holy Land. The different Christian Churches found here represent a rich and varied spiritual patrimony and are a sign of the multiple forms of interaction between the Gospel and different cultures. They also remind us that the mission of the Church is to preach the universal love of God and to gather, from far and near, all who are called by Him, in such a way that, with their traditions and their talents, they form the one family of God”.

“In the measure in which the gift of love is accepted and grows in the Church, the Christian presence in the Holy Land and in the neighbouring regions will be vibrant. This presence is of vital importance for the good of society as a whole. The clear words of Jesus on the intimate bond between love of God and love of neighbour, on mercy and compassion, on meekness, peace and forgiveness, are a leaven capable of transforming hearts and shaping actions. Christians in the Middle East, together with other people of good will, are contributing, as loyal and responsible citizens, in spite of difficulties and restrictions, to the promotion and consolidation of a climate of peace in diversity”.

“Count on my support and encouragement”, the Pope told the bishops, “as you do all that is in your power to assist our Christian brothers and sisters to remain and prosper here in the land of their ancestors and to be messengers and promoters of peace”.

“For my part, I renew my appeal to our brothers and sisters world-wide to support and to remember in their prayers the Christian communities of the Holy Land and the Middle East”.

After praying the Regina Coeli, Benedict XVI moved on to the Latin co- cathedral of Jerusalem where he greeted the 300 people gathered there to welcome him, among them various female religious of contemplative orders. Having venerated the Blessed Sacrament and listened to a brief greeting from the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, the Pope thanked the religious for their prayers for his universal ministry and asked them, “in the words of the Psalmist, … to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’, to pray without ceasing for an end to the conflict that has brought so much suffering to the peoples of this land”.

The ceremony over, the Holy Father had lunch with ordinaries and abbots of the Holy Land at the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem.

Second day visit of Pope Benedict XVI in Jerusalem

•May 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The two Israeli Chief Rabbis gives Pope Benedict XVI a Jewish Menora Gift

The two Israeli Chief Rabbis gives Pope Benedict XVI a Gift


Left-Right: Pope Benedict XVI shaking hand with Sephardic Chif Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger


Isaac Alon/IPM:       MAY 12, 2009 – This morning the Pope travelled from Temple Mount to the Western Wall, or Wailing Wall, a fifteen-metre high fragment of the wall which originally supported the western side of the esplanade of the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Chief Rabbi read a Psalm in Hebrew, and the Holy Father another in Latin. Having then stood for a few moments in silence, the Pope placed a piece of paper containing a prayer into a crevice on the wall, just as John Paul II did in 2000.

Benedict XVI then moved on to the “Hechal Shlomo” (House of Solomon) Centre, so-called because it has a form that recalls Solomon’s Temple. It is the headquarters of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, of the Sephardi and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbis, and of the Supreme Religious Court.

In his discourse, the Pope thanked the two rabbis – Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger – for “the desire they have expressed to continue strengthening the bonds of friendship which the Catholic Church and the Chief Rabbinate have laboured so diligently to forge over the past decades”. He also gave assurances of his own “desire to deepen mutual understanding and co-operation between the Holy See, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and Jewish people throughout the world.

“A great source of satisfaction for me since the beginning of my pontificate”, he added, “has been the fruit yielded by the ongoing dialogue between the Delegation of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s Delegation for Relations with the Catholic Church”.

After highlighting how goodwill on both sides “has already paved the way to more effective collaboration in public life”, he went on: “Jews and Christians alike are concerned to ensure respect for the sacredness of human life, the centrality of the family, a sound education for the young, and the freedom of religion and conscience for a healthy society. These themes of dialogue represent only the initial phases of what we trust will be a steady, progressive journey towards an enhanced mutual understanding”.

“In approaching the most urgent ethical questions of our day, our two communities are challenged to engage people of good will at the level of reason, while simultaneously pointing to the religious foundations which best sustain lasting moral values”.

The Pope took the opportunity to repeat “that the Catholic Church is irrevocably committed to the path chosen at Vatican Council II for a genuine and lasting reconciliation between Christians and Jews“. At the same time “the Church continues to value the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews and desires an ever deeper mutual understanding and respect through biblical and theological studies as well as fraternal dialogues”.

I am confident that our friendship will continue to set an example of trust in dialogue for Jews and Christians throughout the world. Looking at the accomplishments achieved thus far, and drawing our inspiration from the Holy Scriptures, we can confidently look forward to even stronger co-operation between our communities – together with all people of good will – in decrying hatred and oppression throughout the world”.

At the end of the ceremony in the “Hechal Shlomo” Centre, the Pope travelled to the Upper Room or Cenacle, site of the Last Supper.

Pope Benedict XVI visit at Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem

•May 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Pope Benedict XVI speaking at Yad Vashem Pope Benedict XVI speaking at Yad Vashem

Laying down flowers in memory of the dead

Laying down flowers in memory of the dead

A moment of silence in memory of 6 Millions who slaughtered by the Nazis

A moment of silence in memory of 6 Millions who slaughtered by the Nazis


By Arlene B, Alon/IPM: MAY 11, 2009, Benedict XVI arrived at the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem.

Yad Vashem – which literally means “a monument and a name” – was officially founded by the State of Israel in 1953 to commemorate the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust Memorial is composed of two museums, exhibition halls, outdoor monuments, and documentation and information centres. The name of the complex comes from a passage in the Book of Isaiah: “I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name. … I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off”.

Other memorial sites within the complex include the Children’s Memorial, a tribute to the approximately one and a half million children who died in the Holocaust; The Valley of the Communities, a monument dug in bedrock which commemorates the over 5,000 Jewish communities which were destroyed, and the Avenue and Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations, which honours the non- Jews who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.

The Pope was welcomed on arrival by the president and the director of the centre. He then walked around the perimeter of the memorial until reaching the entrance of honour to the Hall of Remembrance, where he was greeted by the president of the State of Israel, and by the rabbi chairman of Yad Vashem.

The Hall of Remembrance is a tent-like structure on the floor of which are the names of the six death camps and some of the concentration camps. There is also a memorial flame in front of which there is a crypt containing the ashes of some of the victims.

Benedict XVI stoked the flame and laid a floral wreath. Then, having met and conversed with six Holocaust survivors, he pronounced his address:

“I have come”, he said, “to stand in silence before this monument, erected to honour the memory of the millions of Jews killed in the horrific tragedy of the Shoah. They lost their lives, but they will never lose their names: these are indelibly etched in the hearts of their loved ones, their surviving fellow prisoners, and all those determined never to allow such an atrocity to disgrace mankind again. Most of all, their names are forever fixed in the memory of Almighty God.

“One can rob a neighbour of possessions, opportunity or freedom”, he added. “One can weave an insidious web of lies to convince others that certain groups are undeserving of respect. Yet, try as one might, one can never take away the name of a fellow human being”.

“The names enshrined in this hallowed monument will forever hold a sacred place among the countless descendants of Abraham. Like his, their faith was tested. Like Jacob, they were immersed in the struggle to discern the designs of the Almighty. May the names of these victims never perish! May their suffering never be denied, belittled or forgotten! And may all people of goodwill remain vigilant in rooting out from the heart of man anything that could lead to tragedies such as this!

The Catholic Church, committed to the teachings of Jesus and intent on imitating His love for all people”, said the Pope, “feels deep compassion for the victims remembered here. Similarly, she draws close to all those who today are subjected to persecution on account of race, colour, condition of life or religion – their sufferings are hers, and hers is their hope for justice. As Bishop of Rome and Successor of the Apostle Peter, I reaffirm – like my predecessors – that the Church is committed to praying and working tirelessly to ensure that hatred will never reign in the hearts of men again. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the God of peace.

“Gazing upon the faces reflected in the pool that lies in stillness within this memorial, one cannot help but recall how each of them bears a name. … Who could have imagined that they would be condemned to such a deplorable fate! As we stand here in silence, their cry still echoes in our hearts. It is a cry raised against every act of injustice and violence. It is a perpetual reproach against the spilling of innocent blood. It is the cry of Abel rising from the earth to the Almighty”.

Then, in order to “give voice to that cry”, the Pope read some verses from the Book of Lamentations which begin: “The favours of the Lord are not exhausted, His mercies are not spent”.

Having complete the reading, the Pope said: “I am deeply grateful to God and to you for the opportunity to stand here in silence: a silence to remember, a silence to pray, a silence to hope”.

At the end of the ceremony, the Holy Father signed the Yad Vashem visitors book in which he wrote a verse from the Book of Lamentations: “His mercies are not spent”. He then bid farewell to the authorities as a choir accompanied his departure, before travelling by car to the Notre Dame Pontifical Institute of Jerusalem.


•May 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

L-R: New York Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni; Israel Consul General in New York, Asaf Shariv; New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari & American Friends of Migdal Ohr President Tony Fromer.

Left - Right: New York Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni; Israel Consul General in New York, Asaf Shariv; New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari & American Friends of Migdal Ohr President Tony Fromer.

Exhibition Game Returns to Madison Square Garden to Benefit Migdal Ohr,

The World’s Largest Orphanage and One of Israel’s Most Innovative Charities

(NEW YORK) — The New York Knickerbockers announced that they will once again host Israeli basketball club Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 1 p.m. Proceeds from the game will again benefit Migdal Ohr, which for more than 36 years has been transforming the lives of impoverished and disadvantaged children in Israel.

“We are pleased to welcome Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv back to Madison Square Garden,” said Knicks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh. “This game against a top-caliber opponent provides our team with an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season and, more importantly, to help raise money for a worthy charitable organization.”

New York defeated Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, 112-85, on Oct. 11, 2007, which marked the first time the Knicks hosted an international team at Madison Square Garden. This year’s meeting with Maccabi Electra will mark the Knicks fourth overall exhibition game versus an international opponent as New York also defeated a pair of Spanish clubs as part of the 1990 McDonald’s Open in Barcelona, Spain.

“Migdal Ohr’s experience two years ago with the Knicks, Madison Square Garden and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv was breathtaking; and it was a night that those who were there will never forget,” Robert Katz, executive vice president of the American Friends of Migdal Ohr said. “We look forward to watching these teams compete to benefit our orphans and children at risk.”

“The opportunity to once again bring these two great franchises together deserves our full support because we all know the value of Migdal Ohr and the role it plays in helping at-risk children,” said Asaf Shariv, Israel’s consul general for New York.

Tickets for the exhibition go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 1, and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, and Ticketmaster outlets. Those interested in purchasing lower-level and courtside seating can call 212-397-3700 or A complete Knicks preseason schedule will be released at a later date.

In 2005, Maccabi became the first international team to win on North American soil when they defeated the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. Maccabi Electra will also play a 2009 exhibition game against the Los Angeles Clippers on October 20 at the STAPLES Center.

The NBA’s New York Knickerbockers basketball team, completing its 63rd year of operation, is part of Madison Square Garden, L.P. Madison Square Garden, L.P. is owned by Cablevision Systems Corporation and includes the New York Knicks (NBA); the New York Rangers (NHL); the New York Liberty (WNBA); the Hartford Wolf Pack (American Hockey League); MSG Entertainment, which includes concerts and events at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, and the legendary Chicago Theatre as well as an exclusive co-booking agreement with the venerable Wang Theatre in Boston, and which manages wholly owned live entertainment properties including the Radio City Rockettes and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular; MSG Media, which is comprised of television networks MSG and MSG Plus, MSG Interactive, which oversees all company wireless and online initiatives, and Fuse, the only national music television network; and the Madison Square Garden arena complex, located in the heart of the New York metropolitan area.