Little Known Facts That Connect Jews and Coffee

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Coffee originated in Africa over a thousand years ago. Over the centuries, the Jews had played a vital role in shaping the coffee and way people drink the beverage. This article examines the roles that Jerusalem Jews had played in shaping this beverage. Here are some little-known facts that connect Jews and coffee.

Coffee beans
In the past, French and Venetian traders, who are majorly Jewish, supplied coffee beans to Europe and the Middle East. The Ottomans made a lot of money from the sale of coffee; they shipped the beverage from Yemen to Suez and then moved by camel to Alexander. The Ottomans never allowed visitors to take the coffee seed or trees out of Yemen; they only allow the seeds that have been partially cooked out of Yemen. In the 1600s, the coffee was smuggled out of Yemen and grown in India. Also, a fearless Dutch explorer smuggled a whole coffee tree out of Yemen. This led to the cultivation of coffee in a number of Dutch colonies. The Dutch colonies where coffee was grown are Bali, Sumatra, Timor, Ceylon, and Java. The Jewish merchant started the selling of coffee drink directly to the public in coffee houses. This invention was as a result of their Experience in the coffee trade.

Jewish coffee houses
The Jewish merchant was responsible for bringing the beverage into new cities. The first coffee house in Europe was established in Livorno in 1632 by a Jewish merchant. Also, the first coffee house in England known as Angel’s inn was established in Oxford. In 1650, the angel’s inn was established by a Lebanon who was also known by the name ‘Jacob the Jews’. The Queen’s lane coffee house was established four years after, it is the second coffeehouse in Oxford opened by a Jew named 50 Cirques Jobson’ An important fact to know here is that the queen’s lane coffee house is the oldest operating coffee house in the whole world. Due to the proliferation of the Jews coffee trade, they were faced with some anti-Semitic laws to curtail their limit in the coffee world.

Ethiopian origins
The origin of coffee was traced back to Ethiopia. The coffee leaves were chewed and the beans roasted and brewed. The Ethiopian affirmed that coffee has a stimulant power. The stimulating ability of coffee was discovered in wild goats, the wide goats were seen to prancing around after taking coffee leaves.

Café culture
The café coffee houses became very common in the 1800s in central European cities. These cities were Prague, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, and Warsaw. The Café Culture was identified with highly intelligent Jews. On this note, many of the coffee cafe house patrons in central Europe were Jews.

The All American Drink
Coffee was an acceptable drink by the Americans; it flourished as a favorite American drink served as meeting places, important occasions, and the likes. The proliferation and acceptance of this beverage were occasioned by the Jewish coffee merchants who assisted in boosting the demand for coffee in the United States. Today, some of the American’s most prestigious coffee and café brands were established by the Jews.

How to Survive in a War-Torn Country

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War; the projection of an idea of a few men at loggerheads but mostly always suffered by civilians and the innocents. No one should like war and the truth is that no one really wins in the end. When you take into account the lives and infrastructures lost, families displaced and put in complete disarray, and future leaders reoriented by the tunes of war, then nobody really wins.

War most times is a long and exhausting endeavor. Another hard fact is that by the time the war is over, nobody really remembers why it happened in the first place. But it happens and war is real, most people never really under how real it is till it begins.

Although soldiers go through horrendous nightmares at the war front, civilians also don’t have it any easier. Surviving in a war-ridden country can be tough and extremely hard but we’ve seen cases of people who have devised excellent means of getting by This ingenuity shown by these lots is the reason why I can come up with this write up today. With lives being lost every day, it kind of makes it hard to get anything done or going. But still, people, when pushed to the brink, our survival skills as humans come to the for. Humans are survivals after all.

How then do these people persevere and overcome this hardship and hard times? The truth is, in war times, the rules are different and you must survive how you must. It’s your ultimate task. This doesn’t, however, mean resorting to the life of crime. There have been cases of people showing ingenuity to promote health and food supply.

As earlier stated, war is a different rule; certain things that you’d get away with normally, you won’t now. Preserving is the number one rule of war, and that means no room for wastage. Use only what you need and know that everything can be used and serve a purpose. For example, during the World War II, throwing away of paper was deemed a criminal offense. Do you know how many good sheets of papers can do?

The same goes for food. Food rationing and planning is essential in war zones, especially as the bulk of it is stored for emergency situations. This is why it is essential in a war-ridden country to try as much as possible to grow your own food. At the very least, have your own garden.

Self-production of manure and fertilizers are the best way to keep the agricultural going. People turn to local resources like rubble and trash to keep the farms fertile and yielding. One example of this case was displayed by the residents of Eastern Ghouta.

Various organizations, NGO’s and the UN-run food programs in these areas but it’s usually never enough to satisfy the growing masses. The UN World Food Program in Aleppo alone cooks and serves thousands of meals a day. It is essential to find these camps or outlets.

Health like food is also paramount and you must endeavor to try as health safe as you possibly can It is never easy but you must try. There are really inspiring cases of medical practitioners who keep clinics up and running with the help of volunteers from the local or neighboring communities. A lot of these clinics are usually underground and are ever on the move as they can become easy targets of attacks.

In some countries, people bath with melted snow in order to preserve water. There have also been cases of people burning their furniture and personal effects in other to stay warm. People also try to purify their water with chlorine. People in some countries have even generated electricity from scraps.

The truth is that there is no definite way to survive in war-torn countries like Syria, personal experience in such situations is usually the best factor in devising a survival plan. After all, the saying is that experience is the best teacher. The biggest advice to anyone in a war-ridden country is that you should get out when you still can That can be the biggest survival tip.

Alumni Event

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Alumni Event

On May 24th 2012 the Jerusalem Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty welcomed its new interim director, Dr. Rolf Freier. On this occasion the Foundation invited all our Palestinian and Israeli Alumni to a reception and to a lecture from Dr. Freier on the topic: “The Euro Crises and the Middle East Region”. Furthermore the Alumni used this event to exchange ideas and experience with us and among them about their cooperation with the FNF.

To view Dr. Freier’s presentation, please click here.

Survey: Most Arabs Are Interested in Integration in the State of Israel, Including Mandatory Civil Service

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A new survey about relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel indicates that a decisive majority of Arab citizens would like to be integrated into the State of Israel on the basis of full and inclusive citizenship, including mandatory civil service. The survey reveals that Arab citizens are interested in being equal and integrated Israelis within the state, even though it defines itself as Jewish and democratic, as long as the state does not discriminate against them on civil matters of citizens’ rights. The survey also reveals that most Jews are interested in granting equal citizenship to Arab citizens and are even willing to grant them some degree of collective rights based on their national minority status.

The survey was initiated by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty and was carried out on their behalf by the Smith Research Institute, which surveyed a representative sample of 500 Jews and 500 Arabs in Israel. The aim of the survey was to explore the positions of the Arab public and the Jewish public regarding 16 action proposals for promoting the equality and integration of Arab citizens within the state. The proposals were presented in a document produced by an inter-disciplinary academic think-tank that was headed by Prof. Yitzhak Reiter and composed of Jewish academics. The document proposed a way to strike a balance between Israel’s two values as a Jewish state and as a democratic state in such a way that Israeli citizenship would encompass Israel’s Arabs on an equal basis, while reinforcing the democratic nature and Jewish character of the state. (The document, entitled “Towards Inclusive Israeli Citizenship,” is available on the websites www.jiis.org and www.fnst-jerusalem.org .)

The document proposes an inclusive approach according to which each side would recognize the essential needs of the other community: Arabs would participate in civil service, which would gradually (within five years) become mandatory service; they would recognize Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with Hebrew as the primary (first) official language; and they would accept the continued existence of the Law of Return for Jews. The Jews, for their part, would recognize Arabs as a national minority; they would grant equality to Arabs in civil matters, in addition to the rights and status derived from recognizing them as a national minority. This approach can be regarded as a “package deal” of sorts in which each side concedes on matters that are less crucial to its interests in order to construct a shared and inclusive system of citizenship and keep internal relations stable.

The survey found that a decisive majority of Arabs – 80% – accepted the 16 action proposals as a “package deal” while a minority of 14% opposed it. The number of Jews who support the package deal exceeds the number of those who oppose it (48% vs. 43%, respectively). Overall, 73% of Arabs and 72% of Jews agree that Israel is defined as and will continue to be a Jewish and democratic state, provided that the definition of the state as democratic will ensure equality of citizenship, non-discrimination against Arabs, and progressive human rights.

One of the surprising findings of the survey is that a majority of Arabs – 62% (and 61% of Jews) – responded affirmatively to the following question: “Do you agree [with the proposal] that Arab citizens participate in voluntary civil service that within five years would become mandatory” (receiving the full rights that Jews who complete service receive)? Only 31% of Arabs surveyed (and 35% of Jews surveyed) responded negatively to this question. This finding clashes with the position of the Arab leadership, which calls for the boycotting of civil service, and it indicates that a large gap exists between the Arab leadership and the general public on all matters related to integrating into the social fabric of life in the state. In previous surveys only a third of Arabs surveyed was prepared to have civil service become mandatory. It should be noted that Arab support for mandatory civil service rises to 74% when it is proposed that administration of the civil service be transferred from the Prime Minister’s Office to a social services government ministry in cooperation with the local Arab authorities.

A surprising finding on the Jewish side is the relatively widespread support for equal citizenship for Arabs. Most Jewish respondents – 68% – agreed with the proposal that a statutory body be established within the Ministry of Justice to oversee equality of citizenship; 50% supported (while 45% opposed) the appropriate integration of Arabs in senior public service positions; a larger majority (57%, with 38% opposed) accepted appropriate integration of Arabs in all areas of the media and all levels of employment therein. In addition, a larger majority – 60% – accepted the teaching of Arab culture in Jewish schools, and 69% agree that the Arabic language be taught in Jewish schools.

At the same time, however, support within the Jewish sector was lower for those proposals that were based on recognition of the Arabs as a national minority: 45% agreed while 48% opposed; 36% accepted while 54% rejected the implementation of a progressive immigration law along the lines of Western European policy in addition to the Law of Return; and 38% accepted while 56% rejected the granting of a more independent standing to the Arab educational system, comparable to that of the national-religious education; 39% accepted while 48% rejected recognition of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel as an elected leadership. Nevertheless, a majority of 51% of Jewish respondents (with 46% opposed) agreed that the status of the Arabic language as the second official language be reflected in the public sphere.

The survey reveals that within the Arab sector, 47% believe that Arab-Jewish relations within Israel will improve in the future, as opposed to 14% within the Jewish sector. At the same time, 74% in the Jewish sector and 87% in the Arab sector think that relations can be improved. Only 22% of Jews and 9% of Arabs claimed that relations are on a collision course and that nothing can be done about this.

In Prof. Reiter’s opinion, the survey’s findings indicate that the Jewish public is interested in integrating Arab citizens when it comes to civil matters but opposes any change in matters of identity, that is, when it comes to issues that the respondents see as challenging or threatening to the Jewish character of the state. The fact that only 43% of Jews surveyed opposed the collection of proposals as a package deal is encouraging. This means the government could enact policy reforms integrating Arab citizens without significant loss of political support among Jewish citizens. The survey’s findings allow the government to make gradual progress towards an Israeli citizenship that would encompass Arab citizens as equals. A starting point could be the implementation of those proposals that a clear majority of Jewish respondents support: teaching the Arabic language and Arab culture in Jewish schools; establishing a commission for equal citizenship within the Ministry of Justice; and making civil service for Arabs mandatory within five years. It is also proposed that administration of the civil service be transferred to a social services government ministry in coordination with local Arab authorities. Such a measure would greatly reduce opposition to civil service among Arabs.

12th Session of the Palestinian – Israeli Young Business Leaders Forum

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12th Session of the Palestinian – Israeli Young Business Leaders Forum

The 12th session of the Forum took place on Thursday, November 24th, 2011 as a site visit to the newly Palestinian planned city called “RAWABI” near Ramallah, followed by a discussion meeting with two Palestinian businessmen Mr. Bashar Masri, Chairman of Massar International and Mr. Talal Nassereddin, CEO of Birzeit Pharmaceutical Company.

At “RAWABI” site, the forum members had a very fruitful, detailed and interesting presentation on this city project, how it will look like and what it would contain in 5-6 years when the project would finish. The project will be a full city with housing units, hospital, schools, shops and convention centres. The obstacles and challenges facing this major project were also discussed.

Afterwards the Forum members had an open discussion with our two guest speakers, Mr. Masri and Mr. Nassereddin mainly on the economic and political conditions in Palestine and on the background of the Rawabi-project.

It was noted at the end that building bridges between Palestinian and Israeli business people is a very crucial step in this state of missing peace.