Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Hebrew Name on Facebook passes 100,000 installations

Hi Everyone!

My Facebook application called My Hebrew Name, which I launched in October 2007, passed 100,000 installations.

If you would like to display your Hebrew name on your Facebook
profile, visit:

If you would like to use the program outside of Facebook, visit:

Feedback is welcome!
Shavua Tov,

Pictures of the Ground-Breaking Ceremony for the Music Conservatory in Ma'ale Adumim

Hi Everyone!

Today, June 29, there was a ground-breaking ceremony for the new Music Conservatory in Ma'ale Adumim.

The ceremony, which was attended by Bnai Zion members from the United States, took place in the Ma'ale Adumim library and at the nearby construction site.

I posted 163 pictures of the Ma'ale Adumim library and the ceremony at:

When the first page comes up, press the F11 key on the top of your keyboard for a full page view. Use the icon buttons on the bottom of each page to navigate.

Enjoy the pictures!
Shavua Tov,

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Bus Schedules for Ma'ale Adumim

Hi Everyone!

I just posted online the new bus schedules for Ma'ale Adumim.

It includes:
173 - Mishor Adumim via Nofei Sela
174 - HaNechalim, Klei Shir, Mitzpeh Nevo
175 - HaNechalim, Klei Shir
176 - Megadim, Tzemach Sadeh
177 - Nofei Sela
120 - Kikar Safra
122 - Kiryat Memshala, Givat Shaul
123 - Har Hotzfim
124 - Talpiot (morning)
124 - Talpiot, King George, Strauss (afternoon and evenings)
125 - Mevaseret Adumim (Machoz Shai Police Station - E1)
Shavua Tov,

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sirugim: New Online Television Show about Religious Singles in Katamon, Jerusalem

Hi Everyone!

During my first year in Israel (1984), I rented an apartment in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem. For those outside of Jerusalem, Katamon is well know for its high concentration of English speaking, single olim.

This week I watched the first chapter of a new TV drama called Sirugim. It is about religious singles in Katamon, Jerusalem.

It is in Hebrew but slow paced so easy to understand.
I found the show interesting and worth telling others.

I do not have Yes TV, but I watched it online at:

(btw - there is one 20 second unrelated commercial at the beginning)


Thursday, June 26, 2008

73 Free Learn Spanish Study Sheets

Hi Everyone!

Today I added a new feature to the website:
Learn Spanish with Audio and Transliterations

I created 73 Learn Spanish study sheets that you can use with the website or independently in the classroom, home, work or on the road.

The study sheets include all 40 topics and 1,400 words and phrases from the audio site.

Both the study sheets and the audio site are free to all.

The direct address of the study sheets is:

Feedback (in English) is welcome.

Please forward this message to anyone that may be interested in learning Spanish. Thank you!

Have a good day,

Thursday, June 19, 2008

JR Hotsites Updates on Facebook

Hi Everyone!

Every few weeks I send out a hotsites update to my friends and clients. The update lists the additions made to my JR Hotsites Pages over the given period.

As of today, I will be posting these updates to the JR Hotsites fan page on Facebook.

The address is:

Shabbat Shalom,

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Israeli company develops radar system that sees through walls

by Guy Grimland
The Marker Correspondent
June 11, 2008

It's not easy to locate Camero's offices in the Kfar Neter industrial zone, but it may have just gotten easier. The startup has developed a system that allows users to see through walls.

It sounds just like a comic book fantasy come true - after all, who hasn't dreamt of getting to peek into the boss's office or the spouse's doings in the other room? Not so fast, budding Poirots: Camero's product is designed not for the entertainment of our inner child, but for use primarily in military and search and rescue operations.

And such technology could indeed be beneficial for special unit soldiers, for instance, or for locating people trapped in burning buildings.

"The idea of seeing through walls has been around since the 1960s, but modern technology is now ripe enough to enable it to happen," explains Camero's technology director, Amir Beeri. "When we established the company in 2004, we intended to develop sufficiently high vision resolution to allow an untrained user to see through a wall."

Camero's unique radar utilizes Ultra Wide Band (UWB), a technology that has only come of age in recent years, and with the use of special algorithms can process data picked up by the detector to give a reasonable image of anything behind that wall. Lacking imaging algorithms, the system made by its competitor, Time Domain is able to reveal only whether there is someone on the other side of the wall.

Although the first version developed by Camero, the Xaver 800, which includes a 82cm by 82cm screen on a tripod and weighs about 10 kg, making the system too clumsy for use in battle conditions, the Xaver 400 and Xaver 300 are both lighter weight and smaller sized, meant for use as a quick-to-use tactical tool.

The systems are capable of penetrating various types of walls, but not solid metal ones, like the walls of shipping containers.

Camero CEO Aharon Aharon says that the company has already sold the system to various armies and police forces around the world, and is optimistic about the future of the technology.

"Like the Israeli army's night vision system, which was once an expensive product and eventually came into broad, general use, we hope that our radar too will become standard issue for all military units," Aharon said.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Israeli technology may offer cheap solar power

June 12, 2008
Associated Press

A team of Americans and Israelis launched an experimental solar technology plant Thursday in Israel's Negev Desert, a prototype designed to drastically cut the cost of energy produced from the sun.

Israeli company Luz II, Ltd. and its American parent, Brightsource Energy, Inc., plan to use the Israeli solar array to test new technology for the three new solar plants they are building for California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Arnold Goldman, founder of the Oakland, California-based company, called the array "the highest performance, lowest cost thermal solar system in the world." His previous company built the first commercial solar plants in the 1980s.

The new technology uses fields of computer-guided flat mirrors called heliostats to track the sun and focus its rays on a boiler at the top of a 200-foot tower.

Water inside the boiler turns to steam, which powers a turbine and produces electricity. The steam is then captured and cooled naturally so the water, scarce in the desert, can be reused.

The concept is in the final testing stage. Results from the experimental facility, a fraction of the size of the commercial plants, are expected by the end of the summer. The plan is to complete full-sized facilities in California's Mojave desert by 2011.

The test plant does not have a turbine to create electricity, but engineers can measure the pressure and temperature of the steam to estimate how much energy the towers would produce.
As fossil fuels become more expensive, solar power is sought-after as a clean, renewable source of electricity. But harnessing the sun's rays has proved expensive and often inefficient.
BrightSource CEO John Woolard estimated that the new technology could cut the costs associated with solar energy by 30 to 50 percent. Although the tower technology is not a new idea, "No one's ever put it together in the right way before," he said.

The flat mirrors and sun-tracking technology improve on previous designs, he said.

Creators employed simpler cost-cutting strategies as well, such as using many small mirrors that can be mass-produced, instead of special-ordering a few large ones.

BrightSource says its deal, delivering at least 500 megawatts of solar energy to Pacific Gas and Electric, is the largest solar energy agreement ever signed.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Updated List of Jewish and Israeli Groups on Facebook

Hi Everyone!

I just completed an update of the list of Jewish and Israeli groups on Facebook. The list now has 1,102 groups.

The address of the list is:

To make browsing this large list easier, I divided the list into sections including:

Support / Love of Israel
Israeli Causes
Israeli Causes with Donation System
Volunteer in Israel
I Visited or Plan to Visit Israel
IDF Groups
Israel Social Groups
Israeli Cities / Towns / Communities
Israeli Kibbutizm
Israeli Schools and Learning Centers
Israeli Businesses / Innovation / Technology
Israel Sports
In Memory of
Israel Mixed Bag
Israeli Media
Israel Political Parties

Jewish Causes
Jewish Social Groups
Jewish Camps
Jewish Schools
Jewish Inspiration Groups
Jewish Outreach Organizations
Hebrew Language
Yiddish Language
Jews Around the World
Keeping Kosher / Kosher Cooking / Restaurants / Food
Jewish and Israeli Music
Jewish Media
Jewish Business
Jewish Mixed Bag
Jewish Related Facebook Applications

Feedback and suggestions are welcome!

Have a good day,

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pictures of the Dekel Fair to Raise Money for IDF Soldiers in Need

Hi Everyone!

On Thursday afternoon, June 5, the Dekel Vilnai school in Ma'aleh Adumim had a school fair to raise money for IDF soldiers in need.

I took pictures at the fair and posted them online at:

When the first page comes up, press the F11 key on the top of your keyboard for a full page view. Use the icon buttons on the bottom of each page to navigate.

Kol Hakavod / Congratulations to all those participated in the fair.

Shabbat Shalom,

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Israeli solar power companies hail new 'household' energy plan

Solar power companies hail new 'household' energy plan

by Ehud Zion Waldoks
June 4, 2008

Solar power companies were enthusiastic on Wednesday about the approval this week of a plan to encourage household solar electricity generation.

The Public Utilities Authority approved a plan Monday to buy electricity, at NIS 2.01 per kilowatt, from individuals and companies who install a photovoltaic solar panel system on their roofs.

"This plan makes these systems economically feasible for the first time," Shirasol Ltd. owner Aviva Konforty told The Jerusalem Post at the twelfth annual CleanTech Exhibition at Airport City on Wednesday.

Efi Luzon, general manager of RAND Energy Systems Ltd. concurred.

"This changes the entire market. We have customers who were waiting for this plan to be approved before closing the deal," he told the Post.

According to the authority's plan, individuals can put up a system to generate as much as 15 kW and businesses 50 kW. They can then use the output either to power their houses during the day, selling the rest back to the Israel Electric Company, or they can sell the entire output to the grid.

"It's not about how much electricity you can generate, it's about covering your electricity bill," Konforty explained.

Since the individual pays NIS .50/kW for electricity, she said, but the government will buy solar electricity at NIS 2.01/kW, you can easily cover your electricity bill.

However, she admitted, the initial costs are steep: In order to cover an electricity bill of NIS 550 requires 20 square meters of solar panels at a total cost of around NIS 70,000.

However, she said, the investment should be returned within six to seven years. The government has committed to paying NIS 2.01/kW for those who invest now and a slightly lower rate for those who begin over the next few years, for the next 20 years. Solar panels
are also very durable, with a more than 80 percent effectiveness rate even after 20 years, she added.

She also pointed out that the systems are mostly designed for warehouses, barns and other larger structures; multi-story apartment buildings are problematic because they don't have
enough roof space for all the tenants to install such a system, she noted.

Both Konforty and Luzon also stressed the reduction in pollution using solar energy would bring.
"The money saved over time in less pollution is very much worth it," Luzon said.

"Feed-in tariffs" such as this one are not new, according to Konforty. Europe and the US have been encouraging such plans for the last five years. What's more, photovoltaic technology has been around for 30 years, Luzon said.

It's only now that the world is becoming more environmentally aware, and the energy crisis is rising, that solar energy has really become popular, according to Luzon.

The Arava Power Company called the authority's decision "brave and historic" and praised the Authority's head, Amnon Shapira, and National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer for being the first regulatory body to approve a plan that "encourages alternative energy production by setting a realistic tariff which will enable the quick establishment of effective use of alternative energy."

The Arava Power Company, based in Kibbutz Ketura, fought hard to modify the plan to enable kibbutzim to participate as well.

Ben-Eliezer praised the authority's decision saying, "We will continue the revolution we began to turn Israel into a solar energy center and to increase its energy independence."

He then called on the Authority to draft tariffs for household wind energy as well as per his instructions.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Educational Resources for Shavuot

Hi Everyone!

Shavuot is the Jewish holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah, the first harvest, and the ripening of the first fruits. The two day festival (1 day in Israel) begins on Sunday night, June 8, 2008.

The J Site - Jewish Education and Entertainment

has several entertaining features to celebrate Shavuot:

Jewish Trivia Quiz: Shavuot

What are the five names of Shavuot ?
On what mountain did Moses receive the Ten Commandments ?
How many letters are there in the Torah ?
In the days of the Temple what did people do on Shavuot ?
Who married Ruth ?
Who was Ruth the great-grandmother of ?
What is the connection between the number 7 and Shavuot ?

The above questions are examples from the multiple choice Flash quiz. There are two levels of questions, two timer settings. Both kids and adults will find it enjoyable.

Additional Shavuot resources and games on the J site include:
Free Shavuot Clipart
Hebrew Hangman Game
The Multilingual Word Search Game (English / Hebrew / Russian)
My Jewish Coloring Book (online / offline)

The J site has something for everyone, but if that is not enough, I posted on my website 65 links about Shavuot, from laws and customs to games and recipes. Site languages include English, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German.

The web address is:

Please forward this message to relatives and friends, so they can also benefit from these holiday resources.

Enjoy the holiday,

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pictures of the Jerusalem and New York Parades

Hi Everyone!

Today (June 3) I took pictures of the Regional Councils Salute to Jerusalem Parade. The 256 pictures were taken on Agron Street where the parade started.

I posted the pictures at:

On Jerusalem Day (June 2) I took pictures of the Jerusalem Day Flag March.
The 212 pictures include Independence Day Park, Yaffo Street, Kikar Tzion, Kikar Tzahal, Sha'ar Shechem, the old city, the Kotel.

I posted the pictures at:

On Sunday (June 1) my friend Steve (thanks) took pictures of the Salute to Israel Parade in New York City. The 135 pictures were taken in front of the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan

I posted the pictures at:

It is great to see how Am Israel celebrates the anniversaries of our return to our homeland.

L'shana Haba'a B'Yerushalayim Habenuya!

Enjoy the pictures!