7-13 Tishrei 5782                                                                 Sept. 13-19, 2021 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES--658th Web Ed.





The Entrepreneur, Erel Margalit launches the International 
Foodtech Center in the Galilee


KIRYAT SHMONA, ISRAEL – Hitech entrepreneur and investor, Erel Margalit, recently launched the International Foodtech Center in Kiryat Shmona -- Margalit Startup City Galil. The launch event was attended by senior ministers, ambassadors and diplomats, business leaders, the Israeli hi-tech and research community, together with the Galilee leadership.

The International Foodtech Center opened its gates to technology giants and startups, alongside investment groups, international brands, and even research and academic centers. Dozens of companies have already joined, and will open their first northern branch in the new building located at the entrance to the city, on the famous Route 90. This is Margalit’s fourth innovation center, joining cyber centers in New York, Beersheba, Jerusalem. Margalit also has planned centers opening up in Paris and Dubai.

Israel's International Foodtech Center in the Galilee operates in strategic cooperation with a host of ecosystem players;  public bodies and corporations - Kiryat Shmona Municipality, Upper Galilee Regional Council, and the Galilee Development Company, local and international business and technological bodies that are opening a branch the Galilee for the first time: JVP, Cisco, Deloitte, Luzzatto Group, Bank Hapoalim, Fischer & Fischer Law Firm.  Leading Academic bodies in the Galilee: Migal Research Institute and Tel Hai Academic College, local and international philanthropic foundations: JNF US Foundation, Rothschild Foundation, Foundation Ica, Keren Hayesod France, startups and technology companies: Solato, WITI, Grasshopper, Digital Valley, and the program at Digital Valley  - Galil Studio.

Erel Margalit, founder and chair of the venture capital firm JVP, said: “We are witnessing the next revolution in Israel. Foodtech is the next cyber, and I believe Israel is on its way to becoming a superpower in the field.”  Margalit added, “Together with our wonderful partners, including CISCO & Deloitte, we are creating an economic growth engine which will change the lives of young people and families, with 30,000 high-paying technology jobs like in the center of the country, and another 70,000 ancillary positions. And all this is happening together with the area’s schools, as part of the process of building an incredible and ground-breaking ecosystem, because the pupils of today are the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.” 

Margalit Startup City Galil will address the burning problems of the world, including global warming, hunger, drought, and a shortage of healthy food, while integrating the technological revolution with agricultural methods. With the MIGAL Galilee Research Institution, high quality agriculture, vast reserves of knowledge, as well as a large community of young people who want to move to the north and enjoy a quality job with a high salary, the Galilee is the perfect ecosystem for agritech and foodtech.

The launch event of Margalit Startup City Galil hosted an impressive innovation food festival representing the ecosystem of the Israeli food technology and agritech industry.  Fourteen companies presented their technologies and unique tasting experiences: Innovopro, Kinoko, Green Eye, Agrint, Solato , Blue Huna, Hargol Foodtech, Witi, Blue Tree, PleanTeam, Solveat, OrganOzone, Verstill, Save-it. Alongside the startups, schools from the Galilee presented their innovation projects, including schools from Kiryat Shmona, Majdal Shams, as well as the kibbutzim and moshavim in the area.

In recent years, Margalit adopted schools in the Galilee and Kiryat Shmona, promoting entrepreneurship, mathematics, English, and innovation. These children have won international prizes in the biggest competitions, and represented the Galilee with pride. Now the intention is to integrate all the schools in Kiryat Shmona and the Galilee for a unique program in collaboration with the Ministry of Education for startups, entrepreneurship, innovation and foodtech. This will already begin during the upcoming school year.

JVP will become the first venture capital fund in the world to work in the Galilee and to invest such impressive funds. Similarly, X ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from around the world toured the foodtech boulevard which was established at the event complex, where 15 foodtech and agritech companies presented ground-breaking Israeli innovations in the areas of food, agriculture and technology, including personal experiences and tastings. There was also a tour of the innovation avenue – a display of innovation projects by Jewish and Druze schools from the Galilee, as well as kibbutzim and moshavim. 

Erel Margalit, founder and chairman of JVP and Margalit Startup City, is an international entrepreneur and investor, as well as one of the chief architects of the “Start-Up Nation”. In 1993, he founded Jerusalem Venture Partners, a VC fund, which focuses on building international companies. Under Erel’s leadership, JVP created more than 150 companies, facilitated 12 IPOs on NASDAQ, and orchestrated over 30 start-up exits. Erel has raised over $1.5B from the world’s leading investors, and JVP continues to be ranked as one of the top performing funds in the world. After building JVP’s high-tech ecosystem In Jerusalem, Erel established innovation centers in other regions of Israel including a Cyber Center in Be'er Sheva, Foodtech Center in the Galilee, Digital Health Center in Haifa and an International Cyber Center in New York.

Margalit’s entrepreneurial success focuses on regional and socio-economic development. Margalit Startup City establishes innovation centers that connect tech/business entrepreneurship with social and cultural entrepreneurship. Each innovation center creates an ecosystem focused on a particular area, drawing cooperation between the various players in the region. Over the years, Margalit Startup City's Centers of Excellence have created tens of thousands of jobs and changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Margalit’s regional development initiatives also target Israel’s younger generation, through “Margalit Startup City in the Community,” an NGO he founded together with his wife Debbie. The organization aims to reduce social and economic gaps among youth by offering educational and leadership development programs. “In the Community” has served around 40,000 children and youth over the years, with the help of about 800 volunteers working across the country.


LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) inspectors continue to visit businesses across the County every day to ensure compliance with required safety measures and masking guidelines, to provide technical assistance, and in response to complaints of non-compliance. Between August 14 and August 20, Public Health inspectors visited a total of 1,874 businesses, including restaurants, bars, breweries, hotels, gyms, retail stores, shopping malls, personal care businesses, and food and garment manufacturers. In general, the inspections revealed the majority of businesses were in compliance.

Public Health utilizes education and information sharing as the primary steps in gaining compliance. When compliance is not achieved, enforcement may include issuance of a notice of violation or a citation. From August 14 to August 20, five citations were issued to gyms and an office site for noncompliance with Health Officer Orders.

As the highly infectious Delta variant continues to spread, wearing masks regardless of vaccination status indoors and in crowded settings, including at outdoor mega events, reduces the risk of being infected with and transmitting COVID-19. Non-compliance at businesses can contribute to increased risk of workplace outbreaks and community transmission when COVID-19 spreads among employees and customers. Violations of safety requirements and dangerous conditions can be reported anonymously to Public Health by phone at 888-700-9995 or online at

"We wish healing and peace to everyone currently recovering from and those mourning a loved one lost to COVID-19,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “We are glad the majority of businesses are following the Health Officer Order on masking and other common-sense, best practice recommendations. Getting people vaccinated as quickly as possible is essential, particularly in places where people are at the highest risk. Unfortunately, over the past 18 months of the pandemic, COVID-19 has been the leading cause of death, surpassing coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and all other leading causes of death. We must continue to work on having multiple layers of protection across the entire county as we start to move into influenza season. By increasing COVID-19 vaccinations and wearing masks in indoor settings, at worksites, and in crowded spaces, we can slow the spread of the virus.”

Public Health encourages everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated – it is the most important step you can take to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our L.A. County community and to ultimately end this pandemic. 

Anyone 12 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated against COVID-19. Many vaccination sites across the county, including all the County-run sites, are also offering third doses of vaccine to eligible immunocompromised people. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

To find a vaccination site near you, make an appointment at vaccination sites, and much more, visit: (English) and (Spanish). If you don’t have internet access, can’t use a computer, or you’re over 65, you can call 1-833-540-0473 for help finding an appointment, connecting to free transportation to and from a vaccination site, or scheduling a home-visit if you are homebound.  

COVID-19 Sector Protocols, Best Practices, COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Recovery Dashboard, and additional actions you can take to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, 


SACRAMENTO – With wildfires raging throughout California, State Board of Equalization (BOE) Member Ted Gaines reminds those affected that they may be eligible for property tax relief.
“We are currently experiencing a number of devastating wildfires ravaging California with hundreds of structures lost or damaged, and the season isn’t close to being over,” said Board Member Gaines. “Although property taxes aren’t the first thing that come to mind when dealing with the aftermath of a wildfire, the next property tax installment is due to local counties in a few short months this December. I'm a taxpayer advocate looking to help Californians at all times and especially during extraordinary hardship. It is important that families and small businesses impacted by these disasters understand the available resources and relief so they can begin to rebuild their lives.”
This summer, a State of Emergency was declared in response to the fires occurring within 12 specific counties, nearly all located within Gaines' BOE District, including Alpine, Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Tehama, Trinity, Shasta, and Siskiyou. Affected properties in proclaimed disaster areas may qualify for property tax relief so long as the loss estimate is at least $10,000 of the current market value of the property. In many cases, the damaged property can be reappraised in its current condition, with some taxes refunded to the property owner. Once rebuilt, the property's pre-damaged value will be restored.
The BOE serves a critical role in the assessment practices and administration of property taxes statewide. To qualify for property tax relief, property owners must file a claim with their County Assessor's Office within 12 months from the date of damage or destruction or the time specified in their county's ordinance, whichever is later.
Owners of eligible property may also apply for deferral of their next property tax installment, without penalties or interest. Affected property owners are strongly encouraged to contact their County Assessor's Office to begin their claim for property tax relief.
Please visit the BOE's Disaster Relief page for more information, additional resources, and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).


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                                                 Benjamin P Hernandez-Stern

SACRAMENTO – Gov/ Gavin Newsom recently announced his nomination 22 appointments to Superior Court Judges, which include the below judges, as follows:

Benjamin P. Hernandez-Stern, 40, of Washington, D.C., has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Hernandez-Stern has served as Counsel for the Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security since 2019. He served as an Attorney in the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Civil Rights from 2014 to 2019 and as Special Counsel in the Office for Access to Justice at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2016 to 2017. Hernandez-Stern also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia from 2013 to 2014 and was Acting Associate Deputy Director for Enforcement and Special Assistant to the Deputy Director for Enforcement and Regional Operations in the Enforcement Division at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, from 2012 to 2013. He served as a Regulatory and Civil Rights Analyst in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights from 2010 to 2012 and was an Associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson from 2008 to 2009. He has served as a Judge Advocate General in the U.S Air Force Reserve since 2014. Hernandez-Stern also served as Judge Advocate in the California Air National Guard from 2009 to 2014. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. He fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Victor E. Chavez. Hernandez-Stern is a Democrat.

Abraham C. Meltzer

 Abraham C. Meltzer, 55, of Glendale, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Meltzer has served as a Deputy Chief at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California since 2018, where he has also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney since 2004. He served as Counsel at the California State University, Office of General Counsel from 2000 to 2004 and an Associate at Irell & Manella LLP from 1997 to 2000. Meltzer served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office from 1995 to 1997. He was an Associate at Nossaman LLP from 1994 to 1997 and at Fulbright & Jaworski from 1992 to 1994. Meltzer earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Ray A. Santana. Meltzer is registered without party preference.



Polish President Andrzej Duda recently signed into law shameful legislation that both violates the rights of Holocaust survivors and their families and distorts the memory of the Holocaust. Specifically, the law significantly limits the possibility of restitution for Jewish-owned property stolen by Nazis during World War II, and later nationalized by the postwar communist regime.

This law not only prevents families from accessing property that is rightfully theirs, it also removes one of the few ways Poland acknowledges the incredible suffering and loss experienced by Jewish families during the world's worst genocide.

Sadly, this is just the latest in Poland's long history of antisemitism. In recent years, publications containing anti-Semitic content and pro-Nazi propaganda are being disseminated throughout Poland — including being sold in more than 30 different online bookstores — in violation of Polish law.

The Lawfare Project and the global law firm Dentons initiated criminal and civil actions in Poland to curb the publication and dissemination of such materials, and to deter future publications.

"Whether it's Poland's new law that restricts the civil rights of Holocaust survivors and their families or the selling of pro-Nazi propaganda throughout Poland, it's clear that Jew-hatred continues to reign in Poland 80 years after the Holocaust began. The Lawfare Project will continue to take action against discrimination like this and calls on allies from across the globe to loudly condemn Poland for this Jew-hatred," said Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project.
Please join us in voicing your opposition to Poland's new law by tweeting at Polish President Duda (@AndrzejDuda) and using the hashtag #EndJewHatred.

The Lawfare Project is dedicated to protecting the civil and human rights of the Jewish people. We must call out discrimination against Jews where it exists. We've seen the horrific things that can happen if we don't.
The Lawfare Project is the only organization in the world dedicated to enforcing and protecting the civil and human rights of the Jewish people.


Agudath Israel of America commends Governor Doug Ducey and the state of Arizona for taking formal action against Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, in response to Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop all sales in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem.  

Governor Ducey has said that Arizona will not do business with companies that boycott Israel. Arizona’s state treasurer has reportedly given Unilever 90 days to be in compliance with the state’s law.

Arizona is the eighth state to investigate taking formal action against Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s for Ben & Jerry’s boycott. Other states that are investigating action under anti-BDS state laws or Executive Orders include New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, and Rhode Island.  

Rabbi Ariel Shoshan of Ahavas Torah, the Scottsdale Torah Center, praised his state’s response, saying, “The Arizona law the governor is enforcing was passed to combat the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel in an attempt to destroy Israel economically. The movement is rooted in antisemitism. We are pleased that Arizona has joined the growing list of states taking serious action against Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever for their discriminatory boycott.” 

Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel, added that “we call on all of the remaining states that have anti-BDS boycott statutes or Executive Orders to take action to enforce them against Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever, and to do so promptly. The lesson for all companies to learn is that if you boycott Israel, your company will be boycotted by many American states that will no longer do business with you or invest in your company. There is no more effective way to stop companies from supporting the anti-Israel and antisemitic BDS movement.”  

Some twenty states have laws or Executive Orders that bar them from doing business with and/or investing in companies that boycott Israel, explicitly including the territories. At least a dozen more have laws or Executive Orders that prohibit the state from doing business with or investing in companies that are engaged in discriminatory boycotts Agudath Israel continues to call upon all of these states to take action against Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s.  


LOS ANGELES -- Save the date for the Plan to House LA Virtual Public Hearing. This is your opportunity to give a public comment on the Draft 2021-2029 Housing Element. The City is also soliciting comments on the targeted update to the Safety Element, and amendments to the Health and Wellness Element, or Plan for a Healthy LA.  

A full revised draft of all documents will be released ahead of the hearing in September. Prior to the public hearing, staff will give a short presentation highlighting changes to the documents that have occured since the last draft was released in early July. For information on the draft plans please view the Draft Housing and Safety Element webinar.

Each hearing will have the same format. Please feel free to attend at whichever time is most convenient. Registration is not required.

Tuesday September 21, 2021
6 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Presentation 6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Public Comment 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Click to Join Meeting
Zoom Meeting Password: 499352
Dial by your location:
US: +1 213 338 8477 or +1 669 900 9128
Use Meeting ID No. 820 2304 7796 and then press #
Press # again when prompted for participant ID

Wednesday September 22, 2021
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Presentation 11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 
Public Comment 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Click to Join Meeting
Zoom Meeting Password: 824297
Dial by your location:
US: +1 213 338 8477 or +1 669 900 9128
Use Meeting ID No. 819 0769 3424 and then press #
Press # again when prompted for participant ID
Instructions for Access (Computer):
Go to webinar link and enter password when prompted OR
From the Zoom application, Join > Enter Meeting ID > Enter Password

Instructions for Access (Telephone):
Dial one of the listed phone numbers.
When asked for a Meeting ID, enter “820 2304 7796”, followed by “#” (pound sign).
When asked to enter a participant ID, enter “#” (pound sign) to continue.



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