Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar, a 34-year-old violinist and the director of the Polyphony Conservatory in Nazareth, will be awarded the Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts.The prize has been awarded annually since 2009 by Ono to artists from various fields for their efforts to promote peace through the arts.Ashkar founded Polyphony in March of 2011 in order to promote tolerance and co-existence through classical music education. “The organization believes that through music we can develop equal opportunity for music education and dialogue between Arab and Jewish youth in Israel,” Ashkar said.
Ono met Ashkar at a concert in New York this month featuring Majd Mashour (15), a student at the conservatory, and Uri Tivon (17) from Tel Aviv. The concert was one of two organized by Polyphony in February.
Among the guests at the event were Yoko Ono and former Beatles impresario Peter Brown. “Peter Brown called me on Friday to tell me that Yoko Ono had decided to give me the prize,” Ashkar told Haaretz.
“The win gave me the feeling that there are people in the world who believe in our path,” he said, adding that he hoped more people in Israel would hear about the work of his organization thanks to the award.
“I realized that an artist seeking to tell the truth in her art takes great courage. I recognize the courage required to bring children together from Israeli and Palestinian communities to find commonality in music as a very powerful and effective beginning towards Peace,” Ono wrote on her website.
Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar is a member of the West-Eastern Divan orchestra, founded by conductor Daniel Barenboim and Palestinian author Edward Said in 1999. He studied music and physics at Tel Aviv University, and also studied at the Rostock Academy of Music and Theater in Germany.
The cash prize will be awarded by Ono to Ashkar and four additional artists at a ceremony at New York’s Museum of Modern Art on February 26.
With unemployment so high these days, and jobs hard to come by, it’s easy to get discouraged; it just seems as if there are no jobs around. But the jobs are out there – with many of them posted on social networking sites. A new Israeli web application, called JobsMiner, was designed to ferret out those jobs. JobsMiner sweeps through social networks and lists open jobs that have been “advertised” on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and forums – and it’s an approach that makes a great deal of sense these days. The proof? In just one month, January 2012, JobsMiner dug up over 700,000 jobs posted on social networks in the US.
Just how does one go about getting a job in the Internet era? That’s the question job-seekers ask, of course, but employers are often just as confused. In recent years, both have tapped job sites — websites dedicated to advertising positions and letting users apply for them — to match skills and positions. But as both parties quickly discovered, job sites haven’t exactly worked out; job-seekers flock to them, inundating employers with endless resumes, while employers are buried under masses of information, making it almost impossible for them to ferret out decent candidates.
Clearly employers needed a new way of reaching out to potential employees, one they could make sense of — and the rise of social networks in the past several years has helped solve their problem. By reaching out to people who they “know” (electronically, at least) — by definition, a trusted network — they could spread the word about open jobs, recruiting on-line colleagues to help them find suitable candidates. Friends of friends — and friends of those further afield — could spread the word as well. Eventually, logic says, someone who’s capable of doing the job will turn up.
This approach works for job-seekers, as well. The social network — the personal one consisting of friends, business acquaintances, and even family members — has long been considered the best place to look for a job. Whatever form it took before the Internet era, today’s social network has migrated online, and it takes the form of your friends and colleagues on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. You may be friends — or know someone who knows someone who is a friend — of the person looking for someone with your skill set.
But why limit yourself to just your own social network? This is where JobsMiner comes in; instead of searching through your contacts or friends for opportunities, the whole Internet is now your personal social network! JobsMiner gives job seekers access to all job opportunities that appear on social networking platforms, in one place, without the need to be part of any social community. You just search the site by keyword, job title, or location, and all applicable jobs that have appeared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, blogs, user forums for websites related to your search, as well as other social networking sites, will appear on your list.
But is JobsMiner killing the goose that lays today’s golden eggs? After all, ease of access and the ability to apply at will was what killed job sites, as mentioned earlier. But JobsMiner really is different. You may get information about an available position, but you won’t get details until you befriend the person who posted it. Presumably, that person will check you out before they approve a relationship, taking you into their inner circle only if you meet their standards. JobsMiner simply gives a promising candidate the information about an opportunity. Whether their resume gets through or not is another matter. Thus, job-seekers are able to find out about jobs they might have missed out on — while employers can still exercise the control on the intake process they were seeking when they turned to social networking. According to a recent industry survey, one in six employees used social media to find their current job and about 54 percent of all job seekers use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to find jobs.
“We are extremely excited to be launching our one-of-a-kind job search tool,” said Ran Enoch, co-founder of JobsMiner. “With our extensive background and experience in providing real-time social media information analysis services and the fact that over 20 million people used online social networks to find their job in 2011, we recognized the need to unlock the wealth of hidden jobs across all online social media. JobsMiner aggregates the unstructured job postings and organizes them into a structured list search engine style interface which makes the job search faster and more effective. The system’s algorithm continuously teaches itself and improves in order to ensure the validity and accuracy of the job openings it presents.”
Source: Times Of Israel
Prime minister becomes first ever Israeli leader to visit Nicosia; will discuss boosting diplomatic, trade ties
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on a historic visit to Cyprus on Thursday, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
Netanyahu is the first Israeli leader ever to visit the nearby island nation.
A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s one-day visit to Cyprus is designed to strengthen the improving ties between the two nations.”
Netanyahu’s visit aims to boost the cooperation between Jerusalem and Nicosia in the fields of energy, agriculture, health and maritime research.
While in Nicosia, Netanyahu will meet with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, Opposition Leader Nicos Anastasiades and various government officials.
Past ties between the two nations have been chilly, as Cyprus was wary of Israel’s military and trade relations with Turkey, which does not recognize Cyprus as a sovereign state and occupies its north.
But Israel’s relations with Turkey have deteriorated, and Cyprus is looking to cement ties with neighbors as Turkey’s influence grows.
Dafna Lustig had no intention of stopping her search for the perfect garment when she became a mother. The fashion critic and writer feels there is no reason to drag toddlers to stores, but this was not just a practical decision she made as the mother of a two-year-old who does not like shopping. In fact, she prefers to buy clothes online.
When Lustig was searching for a virtual guide for the perplexed, to help her decide where to shop for clothes and accessories for her daughter, Lily, she was disappointed to find there was no such website for the Israeli market.
Instead of despairing, she decided to create one on her own.
Lustig, 32, is a busy woman. Apart from writing about fashion and music (she used to write for the Walla Internet portal ), she has a music program on Radio 99 and 102FM. She is married to Assaf Harel, an actor and the creator of TV series “Mesudarim.” The couple lives in Tel Aviv. Her blog, babyfashion.co.il (nicely designed by Idit Frank ), has been operating for around six months and is gradually attracting a following of mothers.
Lustig photographs her recommendations for clothes and accessories herself with her iPhone camera. Her daughter and her nephews model for her. The natural look of the photos reflects the spirit of the blog, which does not take itself too seriously. The writing is focused and not overweening.
Frolicking in comfort
Lustig shows up for a meeting in a Tel Aviv cafe very well dressed, as befits a fashion personality, wearing slacks and a leather jacket, both in different shades of mandarin, a Ralph Lauren off-white sweater and an American-flag print scarf around her neck. Her eyes sparkle mischievously behind a pair of sophisticated, nerdy-looking sunglasses, but she gets serious when she starts talking about her blog.
“Since having a daughter, I’ve been flooded by a new area,” she says. “Suddenly I’m being attacked with lots of children’s items. I wanted to know what to buy and not to buy. What is and isn’t worthwhile. I went into [online] forums to find out what kids wear to day care, what’s comfortable, looks good and is natural for kids, but to my surprise I didn’t find any maternal discourse on the subject.”
She says her daughter’s kindergarten teacher told Lustig she sent her daughter dressed in “uncomfortable pants.” But, fear not, Lustig has since bought her daughter tights-fitting jeans and now she can frolic in the mud more comfortably.
On blogs written by mothers in Israel and abroad, Lustig found “long texts about the mother’s most intense experiences.” Her blog, on the other hand, openly state that it is purely about the consumer side of things. “I give answers to questions about whether clothes are worth the money, where to buy and what is worth buying. When there’s a debate over whether to spend NIS 90 on some pants for a child, for example, I want that mother who is standing in the store to feel that I helped her. It’s not cheap, spending NIS 90 on pants to wear to nursery, unless it’s a pair of corduroys and they are thick and warm.”
Lustig thinks the price of children’s clothes, mainly imports, in some stores are too high. She prefers clothes from small businesses and independent designers, also because they are more interesting. At chain stores you can find some good, basic items. The art of mixing things is, after all, a fine skill. She also recommends Internet purchases, and points to specific sites and items she has found.
Her posts suggest different price ranges. So, for example, Lustig will soon present outfits for NIS 200-300 that she feels are unjustified, and others that are available for NIS 40 shekels at the local market.
Lustig is not a fan of applique or prints. In general she is opposed to overly fussy designs or kitschy clothes. In the photos, Lily does not look like a little doll, but like a normal girl dressed in comfortable clothes that are ordinary but good, but also with some kind of twist – for example, purple Puma shoe or heart-shaped sunglasses.
Without saying as much, it seems important to Lustig to promote several other matters – for example, “shattering conceptions of boys’ and girls’ clothes,” as she puts it. In other words, she is against pink or spangles for girls and blue and tractor prints for boys, and always favors unisex clothes.
The second thing that stands out on the blog is the pointed omission of tailoring for children. “I scorn couture for kids, and that’s the case even though I like brand names,” she states. “It’s a mockery to invest hundreds of shekels in children’s clothes. I buy expensive clothes for myself, but I also wear them for years. There is something offensive about this phenomenon. It’s not faithful to what a child needs. The agenda of my blog is that a child should have what he needs – and he doesn’t need a Baby Dior sweater.”
Lustig says part of the blog’s success stems from “its offering normal prices and instilling confidence that you can dress a child without extra expenses.” She says her own approach has changed: “I used to waste money on clothes. Something shifted in my approach. I no longer make purchases compulsively. It’s been a good thing for me.”
A look at her blog shows that Lustig does not always practice what she preaches. For example, she recommends for kids a line of umbrellas by the expensive luggage brand Samsonite, each costing 50 pounds. But she is careful to balance the picture, and also suggests similar umbrellas from toy store Toys-R-Us for NIS 20.
There is something admirable about such a carefully thought-out website. Still, I try to challenge Lustig and ask if she has turned motherhood into a career. Lustig admits frankly that she sometimes also asks herself that question. “In the past, I had a hard time with this, that people who had a child turned him into the center of their world,” she says. “For years I was a music and culture writer. When I’m asked what I do, I think, what should I say? That I’m a blogger on fashion and babies? “But the blog is something I started from nothing,” she adds. “I created it myself and I invest money, effort and time in it. And I believe in it. This overpowers the hesitations. It’s an important experience for me. I’d say that I couldn’t have done something like this before I had a daughter. I wasn’t able to devote myself in this way.
Lustig, who grew up in Kfar Shmaryahu, adds: “As a child, I wasn’t one of those kids who were the best dressed, because my mother really wasn’t into fashion. The most important thing in life for her was comfort – my sister and I wore pants only. It was important to her that we wear cotton shirts and they were bought one size larger so that they’d be comfortable for us.” Only during her adolescence did she rebel, dye her hair red and start to develop her own original sense of style.
From her conversations with other mothers, Lustig realized that today’s children are not the same, and she says she is already preparing herself for all those cute whims that little girls have at the age of 4 or 5. And when it happens she will be there for her daughter with the pinkest tulle skirts, the flutteriest dresses and the shiniest patent-leather shoes – the coolest and best quality around.