Posts tagged with "Isreal"

Innovative Visitors’ Center Opened in the Caesarea National Park

The innovative Visitors’ Center established by the Caesarea Development Corporation has recently opened to the general public following the completion of the massive preservation and restoration project of the Harbor Vaults at the Caesarea National Park. The Visitors’ Center further enriches the experience of visiting the National Park and Caesarea Harbor – one of the leading tourist sites in Israel.

The structure was erected by the Great Builder King Herod on the unique harbor pier, built on the open sea, and was the first of its kind in the ancient world. With an investment of more than NIS 150 million by the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, the complex and challenging engineering design of the Caesarea Development Corporation and five years of research and intensive work by the best archaeologists of the Israel Antiquities Authority and experts from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority,  treasures hidden for over 2,000 years in the land of Caesarea have been revealed and the immense Harbor Vaults have been restored.

Herod built the huge vaults – standing 740 meters high and 21 meters in depth, with an average width of 5.2 meters. The vaults were part of the storage system at the port and served as a base for the temple podium dedicated to Herod’s patron, Emperor Augustus. The temple was the beating heart of the impressive city, which in antiquity was a central junction of the global economy and trade between the East and West. The Visitors’ Center, which was built within the reconstructed vaults, combines artifacts from Caesarea’s hidden treasures with innovative technology, and introduces the audience to the daring, complex and conflicted image of King Herod- as no one has dared to show him before. 

The restoration of the vaults, which were in danger of collapse, was particularly complex and required more than five years of intensive, collaborative work by archaeologists, engineers and preservation architects. In addition to the archaeological excavation, engineering buttresses were required, a meticulous examination of the stability of the walls and the soil layers throughout the area of the vaults, and the careful dismantling and reassembly of the walls of the complex. During the excavation, it was revealed that Herod’s original vaults had collapsed in the past and were reconstructed in the Byzantine period. Notably, the Byzantine restorers were careful to preserve them in the original outline.

The exhibition halls within the heart of the vaults, which include a variety of exhibits and archaeological treasures uncovered during the excavations, are also safely accessible to visitors with special needs. At the center of the exhibition is a screening of an internationally produced historical epic about the very complex figure of King Herod.

The lavish production brings back to life the great vision, intrigues, desires, passions, murders and dreams that Herod experienced, right here – in the heart of Caesarea’s antiquities. The film was filmed entirely in a vertical format, corresponding to the “screen” which takes the form of an arched vault, standing at a height of 7 meters and built by the hero of the epic- King Herod himself. Hundreds of hours of filming and editing, dozens of extras and sophisticated studios in Europe were required to complete the unique experience now offered by the new Visitors’ Center, in addition to the authentic exhibits uncovered by archaeological excavations at the port, sea and in the region.

The excavation, preservation and restoration of Caesarea Harbor included the preservation and restoration of the ancient synagogue, the construction of a promenade at the Crusader walls, restoration of the Roman aqueduct and the restoration and preservation of the temple vaults, the temple platform and the staircase leading to it.

As part of the project, digs of the Israel Antiquities Authority, have recently uncovered three more exciting finds near the vaults: A mosaic floor from the Roman period, which was found in a bathhouse next to the temple’s podium and has been replicated in the entrance area to the Visitors’ Center. The colorful mosaic floor with geometrical patterns was part of a semi-dome structure that may have been used for ritual or public purposes and was probably built during the 2nd or early 3rd century CE. It was part of the embellishment of the western façade of the podium of the Temple of Augustus and Hera, the goddess of Rome in Caesarea. The walls of the building were covered with marble slabs, and in front were two pedestals originally carrying statues or other architectural decorations.

The second archaeological find uncovered during the excavation was a cache of about 500 bronze coins from the Byzantine period (6th-4th centuries CE). The treasure, identified by Dr. Donald Zvi Ariel of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was probably buried in a leather bag or other material that had eroded over the years. It was discovered when one of the vaults was exposed. In the absence of a “bank”, as known to us today, the coins were hidden “under the tiles,” that is, under the floor of a magnificent church building from the Byzantine period- probably the cathedral of the city, which served as the bishops’ seat.

The third recent discovery was a mosaic from the 5th century CE bearing a Greek inscription “He who knows all is Hosea and he is blessed.” During an archaeological dig in the huge warehouse complex that was built at the port in the Byzantine period, an inscribed greeting was discovered in one of the entrances to the warehouses. It appears to have been intended for the warehouse operators and sea farers. During the Byzantine period, Caesarea was a bustling port city and one of the largest ports of the Byzantine Empire. The warehouse area, which served as transit warehouses for the entire region, extended over 2,500 square meters and included public and private goods. The excavations revealed evidence of trade with Italy, Greece, Turkey, and even the area known today as England.

Caesarea Harbor and its antiquities is one of the most popular tourist sites in Israel. The Visitors’ Center is included in the entrance fee to the National Park, which is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists and Israelis. They visit the beautiful Roman theater, tour the fort promenade with its fortifications and watchtowers, admire the ancient synagogue that attests to Jewish life in the city, walk among the remains of the palace and temples and marvel at the aqueduct. During holidays and breaks, horse racing performances are held in the ancient hippodrome preserved on the site. This, in addition to the artists’ square, cafes and restaurants, overlooking the open sea.

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation is spearheading the project through the Caesarea Development Corporation. The excavation, restoration and preservation of the harbor vaults and the other hidden treasures of ancient Caesarea are managed by the archaeologists and staff of the Israel Antiquities Authority and in coordination with the Israel Nature and Park Authority.

Entrance to the center is free of charge for National Park ticket holders (NIS 39 per adult, NIS 24 per child, free of charge for Israel Nature and Parks Pass Members).

For details on upcoming events and attractions in Israel, visit IMOT’s website at israel.travel. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to receive the latest updates

Rising Isreal Tourism

Israel Tourism continues to rise, as more travelers are choosing the country as their next travel destination. In 2019 so far, the country has seen a total of 1.9 million visitors, compared with 1.75 million during the same period in 2018. This past May, 440,000 tourists entered Israel, marking an increase of 11.3% over the previous year, and a 26.8% increase when compared with May 2017.

“The May 2019 tourism statistics continue the consistent upward momentum and record-breaking trend in incoming tourism to Israel,” stated Tourism Minister Yariv Levin

Below are some of the latest hospitality updates in Israel:

NEW DEVELOPMENTS & RENOVATIONS:

  • Dan Caesarea Unveils Renovations: After eight months of renovations, the Dan Caesarea Hotel has reopened. The hotel underwent a NIS 80 million renovation to attract a younger generation, upgrading 116 rooms and suites, the lobby, dining room, event halls, spa, children’s club and public areas with sleeker options.
  • Jordache Enterprises Group to Open Six New Hotels: Jordache Enterprises group is expanding its hotel business in Israel by opening six new hotels in Israel in 2019. The group will open three new four and five-star hotels under the Herbert Samuel brand: the 162-room Milos Dead Sea Hotel; the 110-room Opera Tel Aviv Hotel, and the 30-room Boutique Tel Aviv Hotel. In addition, the Setai hotel brand will also open three hotels with a five-star rating.  
  • Isrotel Announces Plans to Open 11 New Hotels in Israel: Isrotel announced that it has plans to open 11 hotels in Israel, eight of which will be built by 2022. Five hotels will be in Tel Aviv, with others being built in Eilat, Jaffa, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the Negev Desert.

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE:

  • Ben-Gurion Airport to be Expanded: Israel’s Transportation Ministry approved a NIS 3 billion expansion plan of Ben-Gurion Airport, expanding Terminal 3 by 80,000 square-meters, adding 90 new check-in counters, four new baggage hall conveyor belts, and expanding immigration checkpoints and parking facilities. In addition, a fifth passenger concourse will be constructed to accommodate additional aircrafts. This expansion will allow the airport to increase to accommodate up to 30 million more passengers a year.
  • Bubble On-Demand Shuttle Service Launches in Tel Aviv: Bubble, a new on-demand van shuttle service, has launched in collaboration with the Dan Bus Company in Israel to bring easier transportation to travelers in Tel Aviv. Passengers can now be picked up and dropped off at existing bus stops in Tel Aviv by ordering through the app.
  • New Bus Line Connecting Ben-Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv Hotels: Kavim has launched a new public bus route, 445, which will operate 24 hours a day, Sunday through Thursday, to connect the Ben-Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv’s hotel areas. Stops will include Ben Yehuda Street, Yehuda Halevi Street, Menachem Begin Street and the railway complex.

OTHER NEWS:

  • Neil Patrick Harris Appointed Tel Aviv Pride Ambassador: American actor, writer, producer, magician and singer, Neil Patrick Harris, was honored as the official International Ambassador for Tel Aviv Pride 2019, joined by husband, chef and actor, David Burtka. Download images here. Photo credit: Ilan Spira.
  • Israel Ministry of Tourism Introduces Interactive Map: The new interactive map of Israel displays thousands of items of information, including attractions, hotels, restaurants, hiking routes and other accommodation options. Tourists can filter and search items to easier allow them to navigate the country. In addition, the site is translated into 11 languages.
  • Mobile App Released to Make Old City Jerusalem More Accessible for the Visually Impaired: The Tower of David Museum and the Center for the Blind in Israel partnered to launch a mobile app that provides guided tours and routes for the visually impaired to experience Old City Jerusalem. The app provides evocative descriptions of the sights and encourages the listener to physically interact with the area through touch.

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.

Israel’s Medical Miracles

Information was made available today for donors interested in contributing funds to “Israel’s Medical Miracles,” an exciting new educational series. Produced by award-winning content creators Windsor Broadcast Productions, “Israel’s Medical Miracles” will air on PBS to more than 100 million viewers, informing and educating them of this small country’s impressive advancements in medicine and is opening up opportunities for viewers to support this ground-breaking documentary.

Initial necessary funds were provided by board members of the Jewish Federation and proud supporter of Water Project in Israel, David Delrahim, who currently serves as the President and CEO of Platinum Energy a customer-focused fuel distributor, gas station and convenience store operator with 150 locations throughout the West Coast.

Mr. Delrahim notes, “Israel does more research and development than any other country in the world providing lifesaving technologies that touch all our lives, and it is a pleasure to be a small part of helping share these stories with the world.”

Hosted and narrated by, three-time Emmy award winner, Hal Linden this documentary will explore the historical and modern-day commitment this small nation has long wanted to share with the world. Focusing on the untold stories of 8 medical research companies who have agreed to share the untold stories of their discoveries in the fields of cancer, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic devices and the latest in stem cell research.

This initial funding has been allocated to Windsor Broadcast Production’s content research, scripting, and satellite assignments for the 2019 filming calendar. Roland Perez, President of Windsor Broadcast Productions and Executive Producer of the documentary, plans to shoot the entire 60-minute production on-location in Israel with eight companies who are in the development stages of innovative devices and/or procedures.

Those interested in contributing to this production are directed to 501c3 The National Healthcare Media Organization.

Global Data Center Isreal

Israeli company Global Data Center doubled the capacity of its facility in an investment of millions of dollars

Global Data Center, a leading provider of a cutting-edge data center facility in Israel, has completed the doubling of its facility in an investment of millions of dollars.

Most of the expanded area in Global Data Center’s facility in Herzliya (near Tel Aviv) has already been filled with IT infrastructures of both existing and new clients of the company. The expanded area provides all the standards, services and levels of service provided by the facility’s original area. The expansion of the data center’s area by more than twice joins other measures that the company has taken recently, such as tripling the data center’s business continuity space, allowing the company’s clients to quickly move to work at the Herzliya facility in an emergency.

Global Data Center operates a secured underground data center facility built in compliance with the latest global standards. The tier-3 site provides hosting services for IT operations units, full business continuity and disaster recovery, as well as on-site and remote back-up, cloud computing services, on-demand control and operating services, and smart hands services.

Companies using the services of Global Data Center’s facility include leading institutional organizations in Israel such as Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd., Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd., IBI Investment House Ltd., alongside industrial firms. Global Data Center also hosts at its facility some of Israel’s leading high-tech companies such as Infinidat Ltd., Zerto Ltd., SolarEdge Technologies Inc. and DSP Group, alongside multi-national corporations, government organizations and other entities.

Global Data Center was founded by Moshe Lasman in 2013 in cooperation with and the financial backing of Viola Group and Leon Recanati’s GlenRock Investments. Lasman previously served as the head of the Outsourcing Department at IBM Israel and head of Global Services at HP Israel. Alongside Lasman, the company’s executive team includes experienced managers from tier-1 companies in Israel.

Moshe Lasman, founder and CEO of Global Data Center, said: “the expansion of our data center is a significant milestone for us and good news for Israel-related companies and organizations which would like to host their IT infrastructure in a way that ensures business continuity, around the clock service, security, survivability and cost savings. Digital transformation, the critical role of data in business processes and the flexible model for consuming electricity and area drive organizations to receive services from high quality specialized vendors such as Global Data Center.”

Lasman continued: “As a data center which has been active for five years without any fault, the expansion serves as a proof for the strong momentum we are experiencing, when large Israel-based organization have stopped hesitating whether their infrastructure should be hosted at an external facility, and just ask how and where the hosting should take place. We will continue to be an essential foundation for any large organization which aims to leverage the benefits of hosting its IT and communications systems at an accessible data center which complies with the most rigorous international standards and is equipped with all the required certifications and licenses.”

CartiHeal

Seth L. Sherman, MD, a sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon at University of Missouri Health Care’s Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, recently became one of the first American surgeons to enroll patients in a clinical research study aimed at earning FDA approval for a new knee-cartilage implant.

Agili-C™ (CartiHeal, Israel) is a new implant designed to help patients with knee-cartilage defects regenerate their own healthy cartilage. The implant has been shown to be safe and effective in a series of clinical trials previously conducted in Europe and Israel. Sherman is one of 15 primary investigators in the United States conducting the FDA-approved study, which is the final step before earning FDA approval for the implant.

“We are thrilled to be on the leading edge of orthopaedic sports medicine and joint preservation,” Sherman said. “In the U.S., there are limited options for off-the-shelf cartilage repair that can be performed during a single surgical procedure. Benefits of this technology include its relative low cost, ease of use, and strong basic science and clinical track record.”

Cartilage damage is a common knee problem that occurs in patients of all ages. It can happen as a result of an injury, like a blow to the knee, or due to wear and tear over time. In any case, it causes knee swelling, stiffness and pain that can reduce function and decrease quality of life.

The Agili-C™ implant is a cell-free implant made of the inorganic exoskeleton of sea coral. The implant can be used in this study to treat a variety of cartilage defects and patient types, which is another reason it is attractive to orthopaedic surgeons.

“Often in studies like this one, we can enroll only a very strict subset of young, active patients with a single, isolated cartilage defect,” said Sherman. “In reality, that’s not the type of patient we see every day. This implant is different because it’s medically indicated for a wide range of situations, including patients with multiple cartilage defects and even those with mild to moderate osteoarthritis. We can use it in patients who are in their 20s or in those who are in their 60s. This versatility allows us to find more patients who may benefit from this procedure.”

Those who qualify for the study are randomly assigned either one of the traditional surgical options or the new implant. So far, Sherman has enrolled four patients in the study. He plans to enroll at least 25 before submitting his research to the FDA.

The implant is manufactured by CartiHeal, a medical device company headquartered in Kfar Saba, Isreal and Closter, New Jersey. To date, more than 400 patients in Europe and Israel — where the device has already been approved — have received the new implant. The Agili-CTM implant is not available for sale in the United States. It is an investigational device limited for use in the device study.

To find out if you qualify for this study, visit this link on the CartiHeal website.