Israel Briefs: Holocaust Survivor Rescued From Fire and More

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Vegan Knesset Member Wants Nonleather Chair

New Knesset member Miki Haimovich, who is a vegan, wants her seat in the chamber to be made of a man-made material instead of leather, JTA reported.

The Blue and White party member wrote Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, saying she would be willing to pay for the man-made chair, which she said should look like all the other chairs. She also suggested that all seats be switched to a man-made material.

The Jerusalem Post reported that prior requests to switch out seating have been rejected. Meretz Party head Tamar Zandberg is also a vegan.

The next Knesset session begins on May 9.

Amazon to Sell in Israel

Amazon has invited a number of Israeli retailers to join its local delivery program, enabling them to sell directly to Israeli customers, Reuters reported.

Firms will be able to use their current Amazon.com seller account to directly fulfill customer orders with local inventory.

“This new service is a positive addition to the current Amazon shopping experience for Israeli customers, providing them with quicker and cheaper delivery, while also offering a great opportunity for local, Israeli businesses to grow their businesses on Amazon,” a source close to Amazon said on May 1.

Amazon is placing stringent requirements on Israeli sellers, with five days being the maximum delivery time and shorter two-to-three day ranges available, Globes reported.

Large local retailers and shopping malls weren’t as pleased, as stock prices for both fell in the wake of the news.

Record-Low Israeli Unemployment Matched in March

Israeli unemployment fell to 3.9 percent in March, matching a record low rate set a year earlier, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics report published April 30, Globes reported.

Unemployment among people over the age of 15 was 4.1 percent in February. The lower number is a sign of economic expansion prior to a May 20 interest rate decision by the Bank of Israel.

For the quarter, unemployment was 4.1 percent, down from 4.2 percent in the last quarter of 2018.

In all, employment totaled 3.97 million in the first quarter. The proportion of full-time workers did decline to 78.5 percent, while the average number of hours worked per employee per week rose 0.8 hours to 36.6 hours.

Holocaust Survivor Rescued from Fire on Yom Hashoah

Firefighters in Givatayim rescued a Holocaust survivor from a burning building on May 2 — Yom Hashoah — The Jerusalem Post reported.

The rescuers used ladders to reach the apartment and rescued Hungarian-born Yehudit Schindler, 87, through a balcony.

“You are angels compared to the devils of back then,” Schindler told the firefighters.

“I have no words. I feel 20 years younger,” she told The Times of Israel. “I suppose I am meant to live. At the age of 12-and-a-half, I left Budapest alone without parents, without a soul, I saved myself.”

The firefighters invited Schindler to a Holocaust memorial ceremony at a fire department station in Ramat Gan later in the day.

Two people suffered minor injuries in the blaze, which was under investigation.

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Andy Gotlieb is the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent. He holds 31 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too. Prior newspaper stops include the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Tampa Tribune and the Philadelphia Business Journal. The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various times, business, politics, crime and government, among other beats. The final 2.5 years in that stretch was an editor at the Philadelphia Business Journal, where my responsibilities included complete control over a weekly section and working with both staff writers and freelancers. In late 2005, I switched gears and began working in public relations for the next decade. I learned the ins and outs of public relations -- including being on the other side of the media-PR equation -- and made numerous contacts. I rejoined the ranks of journalism in March 2016, starting as the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent.

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