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News & Events


Israel’s Diversity Shines Brightly at Festival Celebrating 70 Years of Extraordinary Achievements

Israel Bonds participates in 3-day festival organized by the German-Israeli Association

“We want to spotlight the colorful life of Israel – so much of Israel is multicolored,” said Hellmut Königshaus, President of the German-Israeli Association.   Israel’s creative energy was showcased at various booths and interactive events, including investing in Israel bonds, beach parties with DJs, Krav Maga courses, and a giant bouncing castle for kids (which was also used by ‘older’ volunteers of the New Leadership Division – after their volunteer work hours, of course!)

Michael with Jeremy Issacharoff, ambassador of State of Israel to Germany (Photos: Stephan Fichtner)

New Leadership was well represented. Stephan Fichtner participated in a pro-Israel panel and several New Leadership volunteers read children stories to their young audience.

Diversity and acheivement is reflected in the story of Israel and Israel bonds - initially, investors in Israel bonds were largely members of the Jewish community who wanted to help Israel.  Over time, as  offerings began featuring multiple rate and maturity options, the investor base became increasingly diversified. Private and institutional investors alike now view Israel bonds as a means of strengthening portfolios in addition to supporting Israel.  Other investors in Israel bonds include corporations, insurance companies, associations, unions, banks, financial institutions, universities, foundations, churches and synagogues.

Visitors to the Israel bonds booth inlcuded Yehiel "Hilik" Bar, Secretary General of the Labor Party and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset; and Volker Beck of the Green party, President of the German-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group of the German Bundestag.

Michael with Yehiel Hilik Bar, Vice President of the Knesset (Photos:  Stephan Fichtner)

Israel Bonds Booth at a 3-day festival organized by the German-Israeli Association (Photos: Annina Schmidt)

Bonds President Honors Serbian Holocaust Victims

April 11, 2018

 

On April 11, Israel Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon, together with Bonds leaders from Mexico, Panama, and Brazil, spoke at a Yom HaShoah ceremony in Belgrade adjacent to the Sajmiste concentration camp to honor the thousands of Serbian Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust.

In his remarks, Maimon declared, “A proud Jewish nation and its powerful Israel Defense Forces, are the ultimate guarantee that the words ‘Never Again’ will resonate not as a phrase, but as an unbreakable promise.”


Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon speaks of the tragedy of Holocaust victims
"who never had the chance to live in a world with a proud, dynamic Jewish state”

He added, “As we stand together in sorrow, we remain resolute in our determination to continue the miracle of Israel. We do this in honor of the six million victims of the Shoah, who never had the chance to live in a world with a proud, dynamic Jewish state.”


Israel Bonds delegates from Mexico, Panama and Brazil light candles in remembrance
of Serbian Jewry

The video of his remarks can be seen here, and the complete speech can be accessed here.

Israeli Ambassador to Serbia Alona Fisher-Kamm, also addressed the Bonds contingent. In noting the delegates were going from Serbia to Israel for the nation’s 70th anniversary, she said, “Israel Bonds, more than any other organization, is committed to a strong Israel. I would like to congratulate and thank each one of you for what you are doing for the State of Israel.”


Israeli Ambassador to Serbia Alona Fisher-Kamm tells participants, “Israel Bonds, more
than any other organization, is committed to a strong Israel”

(Photos: Milutin Labudovic)

Bonding Together for Israel

March 12, 2018

 

With a theme of ‘Bonding Together for Israel,’ Israel Bonds staff joined as one for three days of learning, connection and friendship. The shared experience took place March 12-14 in New York.


Vice President for Sales Stuart Garawitz: "We are very, very excited to have you"

Vice President for Sales Stuart Garawitz opened the retreat by saying, “We are very, very excited to have you,” with President & CEO Israel Maimon calling the retreat “an opportunity for each of you to come together and bond as one.”


President & CEO Israel Maimon highights the "opportunity to come together and bond as one"

 

The close feelings of comradery were highlighted by Board Chairman Richard Hirsch, who exclaimed, “This is not a meeting of staff – it’s a meeting of family.”

 


Board Chairman Richard Hirsch praises the staff retreat as "a meeting of family"

 

Throughout the retreat, Bonds staff shared the excitement of being together, and welcomed the opportunity to exchange ideas, information and knowledge with colleagues.

President & CEO Israel Maimon and Board Chairman Richard Hirsch applaud staff members who have been with Israel Bonds for 35 years or more

The staff participated in a series of insightful workshops and presentations, with topics including maximizing sales, developing successful events and creating effective marketing strategies. Additionally, prominent Israel Bonds lay leaders, including Chairman of the Board Richard Hirsch and fellow board members Ken Goldberg, Andrew Hutter, Shira Lewis and Irwin Raij, together with Women’s Division Chair Laura Orzy, participated in a valuable panel discussion on leadership recruitment.

UN Ambassador Danny Danon offers praise for Israel Bonds and its staff

During a moving visit to the World Trade Center site, UN Ambassador Danny Danon greeted the staff with words of praise: “I want to thank each and every one of you for the great work that you are doing.”

Ariel Halevy leads the staff in a series of team-building exercises

Israel’s pending 70th anniversary was the prevailing theme throughout the retreat. In emphasizing the historic anniversary, President & CEO Maimon observed, “Always remember, we are members of the only organization working for Israel in its entirety. That means each of us, whatever our roles may be, are part of Israel’s storied legacy. You deserve to be part of the 70th anniversary conversation, because each of you, in your respective roles, has helped make so much possible.”

The retreat also featured a heavy team-building component with Ariel Halevy, co-founder of Vayomar, leading the group through a series of exercises to encourage bonding and develop diverse professional skills.

Bonds staffers greet old friends and make new ones over the three days of the staff retreat

(All photos SA Pro)

30th Rabbinic Israel Delegation,
Feb. 19-22, 2018

February 22, 2018

 

Walk the halls of Herod’s palace in Second Temple Period Jerusalem without a time machine? That’s an objective of the Virtual Reality Innovation Lab at the Tower of David Museum. Drink the wine our ancestors drank during Temple and Talmudic times? Already a reality at Ariel University. Briefing by Jonathan Lincoln from the Office of UN’s Permanent Envoy to the Middle East Peace process? Jonathan’s dad is a former Chair of the Rabbinic Advisory Council. Dayeinu, that would be enough, but it’s only a sample of recently concluded Israel Bonds 30th Rabbinic Israel Delegation’s program.

30th Rabbinic Israel Delegation

Group picture at Tower of David Museum with Tower of David in the background. (Photo credit: Yossi Yzamir)

Rabbis (20 men and women) from Canada, UK, France and eight US states spent three and a half days together experiencing the impact of 67 years and $41 billion of worldwide investment in Israel through Israel bonds.

Another day included a visit to the still-under-construction, not-yet-open-to-the-public Navon Fast Rail Train Station in Jerusalem just across the street from the Main Bus Station. Tricked out in hard hats, safety vests and steel-toed work boots the group descended over 80 meters below ground to track level to test both the street-to-train and train-to-street path future passengers will take.

30th Rabbinic Israel Delegation

Navon Train Station in Jerusalem. Hard hats required —still under construction.

Later that day, they went underground again sans hard hats and boots to step carefully through still active archaeological sites beneath the Old City adjacent to what were, until recently, buried portions of the Temple Mount retaining wall constructed by Herod. Fascinating as they were don’t ask anyone to explain what they saw the archaeologists themselves aren’t sure!

30th Rabbinic Israel Delegation

Second Temple ruins discovered beneath floor at former Turkish prison.Guide holds picture of former inmate pointing to graffiti he carved in wall of his cell. (Photo credit: Yossi Yzamir)

30th Rabbinic Israel Delegation

Cellphone or tablet unlocks image to see below skin at Tower of David Museum VR laboratory. (Photo credit: Yossi Yzamir)

Innovation, infrastructure and buried structures were just the beginning. Add in lecture/discussion with Rabbinic Scholar and former MK Dr. Ruth Calderone in Tel Aviv and discussion of Israel-Diaspora relations with Natan Sharansky in the historic Jewish Agency boardroom in Jerusalem to cover the visual and intellectual elements of the itinerary but there’s more programs for the heart that bookended the experience.

30th Rabbinic Israel Delegation

Rabbis meet with Senior Deputy Accountant General Gil Cohen at Finance Ministry. (Photo credit: Yossi Yzamir)

Opening the delegation was a volunteer visit to Neve Hannah for over 40 years providing homes, love, and education to at-risk children from all over Israel; and the final scheduled event was dinner hosting a half dozen lone soldiers.

30th Rabbinic Israel Delegation

Hesed Project at Neve Hannah —homes, love, and education for at-risk kids.

In sum, it was another "can’t miss" delegation in a series has now spanning four decades.

30th Rabbinic Israel Delegation

Group picture at Memorial Hall with guides. (Photo credit: Yossi Yzamir)

Israel Bonds Launches 2018 Sales Effort in Presence of Israel's Finance Minister; President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu Send Congratulatory Messages

February 11, 2018

 

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon joined hundreds of Israel Bonds supporters from the U.S., Canada and Mexico at the International Prime Minister’s Club Dinner, held February 11th at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach. The dinner marked the official launch of the annual Israel Bonds sales effort, which this year highlights Israel’s 70th anniversary.

 

Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon (left) and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon

President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu sent congratulatory videos. In his message, President Rivlin stated, "You have helped us by supporting Israel, by investing in Israel and by believing in Israel. Thank you for all you do."

President Reuven Rivlin offers congratulations to Israel Bonds

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “You know a good investment when you see it, and Israel’s economy is a good investment, it’s booming.” He added: “Thank you for keeping that great bond between Israel and our friends in the Diaspora, Jews and non-Jews alike.”

The evening was highlighted by the presentation of the Israel70 Award to 11 honorees from throughout the U.S.
Recipients were:

  • Dr. David Feinstein, Dallas
  • Susan and Bill Firestone, Springfield, Mass.
  • Emily Fried, Metro N.J.
  • Rabbi Gary Glickstein, Miami
  • Jacqueline Goldberg, New Orleans
  • Lorin and Alan Gottlieb, Cleveland
  • Lynne M. and Howard I. Halpern, Boca Raton
  • Joanne and Rabbi Jacob Luski, Tampa Bay
  • Irina and George Schaeffer, Beverly Hills
  • Miriam and Morton Steinberg, Chicago
  • Symcha and Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, Washington, D.C.

(View photos of the Israel70 Award recipients here).

Keynote speaker Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon declared, “Tonight, as we highlight Israel’s 70th anniversary, it is important to note that for 67 of those years, the Israel Bonds organization has been by our side. The unbeatable combination of Israel Bonds and Israeli ingenuity has helped make so much possible. Your investments have been utilized to build the dynamic, inspiring Jewish nation we celebrate not just tonight, but each and every day.”

Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon, reflecting on his first year in office, observed, “Since coming to Israel Bonds, I have greatly admired the way in which individuals and institutions alike have expressed pride in Israel’s achievements through investments in Israel bonds. Our shared objectives for Israel,” he emphasized, “compel us to view success not as an endgame, but rather as something to continuously surpass. I look forward to working with all of you in attaining ever-greater levels of achievement.”

In addition to Finance Minister Kahlon, prominent Finance Ministry officials in attendance included Director General Shai Babad, Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu and Senior Deputy Accountant General Gil Cohen.

Other participating dignitaries were UN Ambassador Danny Danon and wife Talie; Consul General of Israel in Miami Lior Haiat; Economic Attaché Eran Nitzan; and FIDF National Director and CEO Major General Meir Klifi-Amir.

Israel bond investments attributable to the dinner totaled $265 million. Moreover, it was announced that Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis made an Israel bond investment of $10 million,raising Florida's Israel bond holdings to $50 million.

UN Ambassador Danny Danon and wife Talie greet Finance Minister Kahlon

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis (center) holds a display check highlighting the state's most recent Israel bond investment. Pictured with Patronis are, from left: Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon; Miami Executive Director Michael Yavner; Finance Minister Kahlon; and Palm Beach Executive Director Mark Ruben

The evening was the culmination of a full weekend of events, including the annual New Leadership Blue & White party; the installation of Laura Orzy as Women’s Division chair; and meetings with Israel Bonds board and councils.

Outgoing National Women’s Chair Shira Lewis (left) welcomes successor Laura Orzy

Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu expressed appreciation for the work of Israel Bonds and the organization’s importance to Israel’s economy. He emphasized the role Israel Bonds plays in strengthening Israel’s credit rating with Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch (Israel bonds are not rated), adding Israel’s strong economy enables the country to build relationships with other countries, ultimately leading to peace and security.

The scene at New Leadership's Blue & White Party

Emcee Lior Suchard, famed Israeli mentalist, amazes a member of the audience

President & CEO Israel Maimon and the Israel Bonds staff gather for a post-dinner photo

A dramatic scene awaits dinner attendees

(Photos: Peter Halmagyi)

Women’s Division Inducts Laura Orzy as Chairperson, Honors Shira Lewis as former Chair at Installation Ceremony during International Prime Minister’s Club Weekend

February 11, 2018

 

Over an exhilarating weekend filled with significant events leading on through the Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds annual International Prime Minister’s Club Dinner, Israel Bonds’ Women’s Division marked the occasion by ushering in a new chairperson, Laura Orzy of Toronto, while paying tribute to now former chairperson, Shira Lewis, after her three years of service. The installation ceremony, held at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, commemorated Ms. Lewis for her ongoing commitment to the Israel Bonds organization, who formerly served as Rockland County’s General Chair, Campaign Chair of New Leadership and Women’s Division Chair, and Associate Campaign Chair of the Women’s Division, and welcomed Laura Orzy, who has held the position of Women’s Division Chair in Toronto for the last six years. The assembly included Israel Bonds’ leadership, board and council members, Women’s Division and Prime Minister’s Club members, in which guests heard remarks by Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel Bonds’ Chairman of the Board, Richard L. Hirsch, Women’s Division Director Michelle Klahr, and former and present Women’s Division Chairs Ms. Lewis and Ms. Orzy over lunch.

Laura Orzy, current Chair of Women’s Division, accepts the traditional yad from former Chair Shira Lewis in the presence of guests at the Women’s Division Installation ceremony amidst a series of gatherings during Israel Bonds International Prime Minister’s Club Weekend held February 9 – 12 at the Fontainebleau hotel. (Photo credit: Peter Halmagyi)

Accompanied by his wife Talie, Ambassador Danon addressed the audience by expressing gratitude for all involved with the organization in their tireless pursuits to strengthen and uphold the Jewish nation’s economy and its people. Israel Bonds’ Chairman of the Board, Richard L. Hirsch, followed by acknowledging Women’s Division as a key component in the successful legacy and historied tradition for which the Bonds establishment is recognized. Michelle Klahr subsequently spoke on the decades of achievement of the Women’s Division over the span of nearly seventy years, then illustrated its triumphs by outlining Shira Lewis’ accomplished tasks such as leading two fruitful delegations to Israel and conducting a highly productive Prime Minister’s Circle Forum in New York in which women investors learned from prominent speakers such as Nancy Spielberg. In admiration for Ms. Lewis’ unwavering dedication and on behalf of the Women’s Division and Bonds’ institution, Ms. Klahr presented Ms. Lewis the Woman of Valor pin in addition to a special, personalized award statue as a gesture of appreciation. Thankful for the praise and treasured items, Ms. Lewis spoke to the honor in which she held the Women’s Division position and of victories to come through the leadership of Laura Orzy.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon addresses attendees of the Women’s Division Installation ceremony on February 11, 2018 in Miami Beach at the Fontainebleau hotel. (Photo credit: Peter Halmagyi)

In a rite of passage, Ms. Lewis passed the entrusted yad to Ms. Orzy, stating, “Just as the yad traditionally guides us through the inspirational words of the Torah, may this one point you in the direction of wisdom and truth as you accept the responsibility and privilege of leading the finest group of women in North America.” Ms. Orzy, accepting the yad and a bouquet of roses from Ms. Klahr, recognized her new role by conveying to the room her pride and enthusiasm. Over the past six years in her former role as Chair in Toronto’s Women’s Division, Ms. Orzy contributed to the success of Golda events and the esteemed Bar/Bat Mizvah program. She served on Women’s Division council for over three years, recently co-chaired a delegation to Israel in the fall of 2017, and served as the Women’s Division Associate Chairperson for the past year. Ms. Orzy is known for her perseverance and passion for the Jewish homeland, and will assuredly carry on the ethos and prosperity of Women’s Division through direction of innovative programs, conferences and delegations for years to come.

Israel Bonds Women’s Division Director Michelle Klahr presents Shira Lewis, former Women’s Division Chair a special award for her three years of service.

(Photo credit: Peter Halmagyi)

Wall Street Journal: "Buffett Sings the Praises of Israel Bonds”

In an article highlightiing Warren Buffett's participation in his second Israel Bonds event in less than a year, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article headlined, "Buffett Sings the Praises of Israel Bonds."

The article said Buffett "likes to invest in Israel because it is a success story similar to the U.S." In speaking of investing in Israel bonds, the Journal quoted Buffett as saying, "From the standpoint of accomplishments beyond financial
returns . . . I think it's an excellent choice."
To access the Wall Street Journal article, click here

 

Sharing a moment are, from left: Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon;
developer Larry Silverstein; Warren Buffett; and Bonds Vice President
for Sales Stuart Garawitz

The famed ‘Oracle of Omaha’ came to New York June 15 and addressed Israel bond investors from the United States, Brazil, Canada and Mexico, each of whom agreed to make a new minimum Israel bond investment of between $1 million and $5 million to participate. Buffett spoke at an intimate luncheon at the World Trade Center and a dinner at a private club in Manhattan. Developer Larry SIlverstein welcomed luncheon guests, and David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, greeted attendees at the evening event.

Enjoying lunch with the 'Oracle of Omaha' at the World Trade Center

Accolades for Buffett came from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. The prime minister who, in addition to recording a tribute video, wrote, “As one of the world’s most successful leaders in business, your words and actions are closely followed and emulated. Your personal investment in Israel bonds is a powerful endorsement.”

 

Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon presents Warren Buffett
with a framed letter of appreciation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Finance Minister Kahlon praised Buffett’s “unwavering confidence in Israel – its creative spirit, forward-looking attitude and, of course, its strong, resilient economy. We take pride in calling you a friend.” The Finance Ministry was represented by Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu.

Finance Ministry Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu with Warren Buffett
at the World Trade Center luncheon

Israel Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon told Buffett, “Your personal investment in Israel bonds underscores your belief in the Jewish state and the resilience of its economy.”

Buffett’s presence in New York was a follow-up to a dinner held in Omaha last November. Events in the two locales resulted in a combined total of over $210 million in Israel bond investments and indications to invest.

Additionally, participants were given a private tour of the World Trade Center complex, hosted by Larry Silverstein, founder and chairman of Silverstein Properties and developer of One World Trade Center. Tour participants included Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon.

UN Ambassador Danny Danon speaks during a visit to the
World Trade Center, hosted by Larry Silverstein

Buffett’s New York appearance on behalf of Israel Bonds generated global media coverage. It also trended extensively on Twitter and other social media.

Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon and Warren Buffett engage in
a friendly tussle over the famed investor's wallet

Photos: Shahar Azran/Mark Von Holden