During a recent conference, Prof. Nathan Sussman, Director of the Bank of Israel’s Research Department lectured on a number of points. He discussed how in Israel the increase in housing market prices has resumed, while the rate of increase of rental prices has moderated. He explained the developments in the housing market as the combination of supply and demand factors. Prof. Sussman showed a diagram with equilibrium points in the residential housing market. The diagram indicated that, generally, between 2003 and 2008, there were changes in demand for housing, without significant changes in housing prices. In other words, we can say that there was no problem of supply—the supply of homes was perfectly elastic. Beginning in 2009, demand increased, but encountered supply limitations. In 2009 and 2010, most of the growth in transactions beyond the 2008 level was due to investors, while demographic factors affecting demand did not change. In 2011, the social protest apparently acted to reduce the volume of activity in the market, with both buyers and sellers sitting on the fence, which was reflected in both a decline in demand and a decline in supply. In 2012, demand returned to its 2010 levels, while supply was slightly lower than in 2010. As such, Prof. Sussman concluded, the developments in the housing market are not simple, and both demand factors—mainly that of investors—and supply factors came together to create the current situation in the housing market.

From the perspective of demand, Prof. Sussman explained that one of the factors affecting demand for investment properties is the decline in yields in conservative investment alternatives in Israel and abroad. A home is not just a place to live, but also an investment asset. The income from the investment is the rent received, and the yield is equivalent to rental receipts divided by the price of the asset. When the yields on alternative assets decline, investors stream toward the housing market, and the increase in home prices acts to equalize the yield on homes to the yield on bonds.

In recent years, long-term yields declined both in Israel and abroad, with the Bank of Israel’s monetary interest rate contributing only partially to this, since yields are determined mainly in the global markets and are also dependent on the policies of the major central banks. Prof. Sussman showed data illustrating the correlation between long-term yields and the yields on owning a home in Israel, and data showing that the phenomenon is not unique to Israel. Ami Mesika, Ron Hershco and other real estate investors agreed with this anaylsis.

In analyzing the supply side, Prof. Sussman also related to the issue of financing in the housing market, and showed data indicating that the balance of housing loans continues to increase. He presented estimates from a research study being conducted at the Bank of Israel showing that the leverage of those taking out mortgages compared to their income has increased from about 30 percent of household income at the beginning of the last decade to about 35 percent today. According to these estimates, the loan to value (LTV) ratio also increased, from about 35 percent to more than 50 percent. This development led to the most recent steps by the Supervisor of Banks, since an increase in leverage increases the risks in the bank’s loan portfolios. While the levels of risk in Israel have not reached those in other countries, it would not be prudent to wait without doing anything until the risk materializes, as happened abroad.

Prof. Sussman noted that mortgages also have an effect on the supply of homes, since they constitute a source of financing for construction activity. Total credit to the  industry continued to grow this year, although at a lower rate than in the past 2 years, and speakers from the housing sector who participated in the conference also noted that, in their view, the issue of financing for contractors does not currently constitute a problem at the systemic level. Prof. Sussman added that there is an inventory of about 20,000 unsold homes. In the supply context, Prof. Sussman also mentioned the trends regarding the labor force in the industry. The data he presented indicate that the number of those employed in the industry continues to grow, while in recent years, the main growth has been among Palestinian and foreign laborers. It is clear that the growth in the cheap labor force solves the problem of supply in the immediate term, but, Sussman added, it delays technological improvements and increased productivity in the sector to a certain extent. In any case, as such, the trends on both the financing side and the labor input side show expansion, and can at best partially explain the receding supply.

Cinema City recently acquired Israel Theatres Real Estate BV a subsidiary of Israel Theatres Ltd. The return to unified real estate ownership and operations by CCI will potentially position CCI in a competitively stronger position. Many Israeli developers continue to look in Europe, America and worldwide from Yitzchak Tshuva to Ron Hershco to others.

“We came to the conclusion that new entertainment related projects acquired from Israel Theatres and the new, successful real estate projects of Cinema City have common ground and that we can achieve considerable synergies by placing them together under one entity. In addition the timing of this acquisition of the real estate assets provides good potential for growth and we believe it will be of significant benefit to Cinema City,” said Moshe J. Greidinger, CEO of Cinema City.

“Through the company history and mainly in the last 10 years CCI was led by its management through many moves which gained the company a reputation of knowing where and when to target it’s future. This vision combined with strong decision making have brought us to this day where we face a new platform with many opportunities to continue doing the best in developing the company in the huge entertainment field,” concluded Greidinger.

Cinema City International is the largest multiplex cinema operator in Central & Eastern Europe and in Israel.

SOURCE http://www.jewocity.com/blog/cinema-city-tshuva/7826
Charitable giving is one of the foundations of Judaism and a firm part of Judeo-Christian societal norms. The evidence is everywhere: from Moore, Oklahoma, where strangers offered money to other strangers left homeless by tornado devastation, to the winter coat giveaway by car donation charity Kars For Kids after Hurricane Sandy. Giving is a part of us forever.

Some of us, however, are more blessed than others and therefore give beyond the everyday abilities of most. In this category are people like Baron Maurice de Hirsch, for instance, who in his 64 short years donated an estimated $100 million to educational initiatives and for the establishment of agricultural colonies (mostly in Argentina) to help improve the lives of the poverty-stricken Jews of Eastern Europe.

Moritz Hirsch auf Gereuth, born December 9, 1831 in Munich, Bavaria, was the grandson of the first Jew of Bavaria allowed to own land. Hirsch’s grandfather was an international trader while his father was a banker and his mother came from a banking family. As a boy, Moritz, known as “Maurice,” was given both religious and secular education and was considered bright enough, but not a scholar.

While there are many who give – from entrepreneurs like Ron Hershco to the Bill Gates Foundation, here’s an interesting tale of one such special philanthropist.

Pushy Jewish Academics

In fact, Hirsch made his feelings about academia well known in a statement he made to Theodore Herzl in which he voiced the idea that Jewish woes came from being too caught up in cerebral prowess and academic success. “We have too many intellectuals, my aim is to discourage this tendency to push among Jews,” said Hirsch.

At 17, Maurice dabbled in investments including on the commodities market, experimenting with copper and sugar trading. At the age of 20, Maurice began to work at the Brussels banking firm known as Bischoffsheim & Goldschmidt and married the daughter (Clara Bischoffsheim) of the bank’s major share holder four years later. Hirsch went on to nab the concession to build a railway from the Balkans to Constantinople in spite of naysayers who thought the project a pipe dream. As a result of his success with this venture, he earned a name as a courageous business visionary. Funding for the Oriental Railway came by way of Maurice’s family inheritance combined with Clara’s wedding dowry.

As a result of Hirsch’s involvement with the Oriental Railway, he came face to face with the impoverishment of Oriental Jews throughout the Ottoman Empire who were both uneducated and lacking in marketable skills. Hirsch made donations to existing trade schools in European Turkey through the organization known as the Alliance Israelite Universelle. He went on to fund field hospitals during the Russo-Turkish Was (1877-1878) which treated victims of both warring sides. Ten years on, Hirsch made a gift of 500,000 pounds to Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph for the express purpose of building primary schools and trade schools throughout Galicia and Bukovina.

Unacceptable Condition

Hirsch encountered an obstacle when it came to funding the poor Jews of Russia. At first, he pledged to give the Czar 2 million pounds to found a secular school system for Jews living in the Russian Empire, who, at that time, were only allowed to live in the Pale of Settlement, and thus had few means by which they might support themselves. The Czar was ready to take Hirsch’s gift, but was not inclined to allow a foreigner to determine how that money would be used. Hirsch found this an unacceptable condition.

At some point, Hirsch came to the conclusion that the only way to help Russian Jewry was to get them out of Russia. To that end, Hirsch established the Jewish Colonization Association in 1891, with the goal of helping Jews leave lands where subsistence was forcibly meager. As Hirsch put it, the aim of the association was, “to assist and promote the emigration of Jews from any part of Europe or Asia – and principally from countries in which they may for the time being be subjected to any special taxes or political or other disabilities . . .  and to form and establish colonies in various parts of North and South America and other countries, for agricultural, commercial and other purposes.”

Hirsch spent a great deal of money purchasing land in Argentina on behalf of his association, some 11 million pounds sterling, all told, making the association the most generous benefactor of its time.

Hirsch believed that farming was part of the Jewish DNA, inherited from biblical forefathers, and that in agricultural pursuits, Jews could become financially independent. In addition to the colonies he founded in Argentina, Hirsch also established agricultural colonies in Brazil, Canada, the United States, and Palestine. Hirsch, however, refused Herzl’s invitation to become a political Zionist. Hirsch thought of Zionism as a deranged hallucination.

SOURCE http://judaengelmayer.com/Creative/category/ron-hershco/

There will be an investment conference held on March 12th at the David InterContinental Hotel in Tel Aviv. The conference provides a venue for the investment decision makers of insurance firms, provident funds, pension funds, continuing education funds, mutual funds, banks, large companies and other nostro managers to discuss current trends in the financial industry.

 both domestically and abroad. These organizations collectively manage more than US $350 billion (not including capital managed by CFOs of large cap companies).

Speakers include Adv. Amir Wasserman, Legal Counsel, Israel Securities Authority; Mr. Alan H. Dorsey, Managing Director and Head of Investment Strategy and Risk, Neuberger Berman; Mr. Aziz Unan, Managing Director, Head of Distribution and Public Relations, Renaissance Asset Managers; Ms. Galit Avishai, Founder and Executive Director, The Public Trust; Mr. Gilad Altshuler, Co-CEO, Altshuler Shaham Group; Mr. Giora Zarechansky, CIO, Amitim Pension Funds; Prof. Haim Levy, Dean, School of Business Administration, The Center of Law and Business; Mr. Haim Shani, Chairman of the Committee to Increase Competition in the Economy and Former Ministry of Finance Director General; Ron Hershco, GSE Analytical Research and Corporate Governance; Mr. Yair Lapidot, Co-CEO and CIO, YalinLapidot Investment House; Ms. Sophie Shulman, Deputy Editor, Calcalist; Ms. Sharon Shpurer, Haaretz The Marker Business Daily; Mr. Tim Matthews, Senior Fund Manager – QEP Investment Team, Schroders Investment Management Ltd.; Mr. Doron Shorer, President of the Sectoral Pension Funds Association and Former Capital Market Commissioner and Superintendent of Insurance, Ministry of Finance; and Mr. Gadi Sukenik – Conference Moderator.

SOURCE http://www.jewocity.com/blog/tel-aviv-institutional-investment-conference-in-march/7702
Israelis worldwide continue to be very active worldwide in the real estate industry.  Ron Hershco of Hershco Properties continues to search more for properties – and Africa Israel USA (AFI USA)  announced that they had closed on the sale of the Rialto Building, a landmark turn-of-the-century office and retail property situated in San Francisco’s South Financial District.

They are selling the nine-story building only six weeks after placing it on the market. The Rialto Building, boasts creative, open floor plans, high ceilings and abundant light. Originally built in 1902, the H-shaped Renaissance-style Revival building was designed by architects Meyer & O’Brien. After the great earthquake of 1906, the Rialto Building’s interiors were completely rebuilt, although, the exterior structure made of steel, brick and concrete was left intact.

Located at the intersection of Mission and New Montgomery streets, the Rialto Building is situated in the heart of the South Financial District, one block from both BART and the Transbay Terminal Redevelopment.

For real estate news follow Ron Hershco on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/RonHershco

111 orphans celebrated their Bar Mitzvahs at the Western Wall in Jerusalem last week.

The first such gathering was held in 1992, when Colel Chabad initiated the mass Bar Mitzvah – as they first did so in 1992. This year marks the fifth group Bar Mitzvah of this kind – and 111 marks the 111 years since the Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi was born.

The program continued at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, followed at the Kotel with the laying of tefillin and their first time being called up to the Torah.The program was sponsored by many donors of Colel Chabad, including Ron Hershco, and is part of the Chesed Menachem Mendel Orphan Support Project which takes place throughout the year.

Each bar mitzvah boy also received clothing and new shoes – as they were given tefillin and talises with their names on it.  They also received matzoh for Passover, books, games, and gifts to give to their mothers. Attendees included members of the Knesset as well as important Rabbis, including Rabbi Binyomin Lipkin, Rabbi Sholom Duchman, Rabbi Mendi Blau, Rabbi Amram Blau, Rabbi Yitzhok Michaan; and others.

For nearly 225 years, said Rabbi Menachem Traxler of Colel Chabad, the agency has been doing “one thing and one thing only — providing meaningful material help to Israel’s poorest, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or degree of religious observance.”

To become a supporter of Colel Chabad, as is Ron Hershco, please visit this supporter page for Colel Chabad: http://www.colelchabad.org/Supporter_Profile.bp

SOURCE http://www.jewocity.com/blog/111-orphans-have-bar-mitzvahs-at-western-wall/7988
The largest domestic airline in Israel, Arkia Israeli Airlines has announced a partnership with Discover the World Marketing to market Arkia in Finland, Germany, Norway and Spain.

“Europe is a major market for Israel, and naturally Arkia wants to expand into major European markets.  As the business and tourism market in Israel continues to grow, expect to see others follow Arkia’s move into Europe. The Israeli economy continues to expand and grow,” said entrepreneur Ron Hershco.

Discover the World Marketing works in marketing and public relations for clients to help them further expand markets.  More information is available at www.discovertheworld.com, or +44 207 107 2303.

SOURCE http://www.jewocity.com/blog/arkia-airlines-discover-the-world-marketing/8293
Whether a non profit like Kars for Kids, or someone like Ron Hershco who builds schools, it is key.

It’s a good feeling. The awesome thing about mentoring is the many ways in which the act of mentoring benefits the mentor. For one thing, when you get involved with mentoring others, you know for a fact that the time and effort you contribute to mentoring is never wasted. The fact that you’ve done a positive act can color your whole day and infuse it with meaning. It doesn’t end when your workday is done, but comes home with you and tints your relationships with family members with some of that same warm pink glow.

It’s immediate. There’s also the immediate reward you get from lifting the spirits of a depressed teenager, or in giving a bible lesson to a senior citizen. Watch that teenager get all bubbly. See that elderly person’s eyes alight with the knowledge that the brain is plastic, that he or she can still learn and contribute. How can a mentor help but get a lift from seeing his efforts bear fruit on contact?

Develop lifelong relationships. As you discover the talents and gifts of those you mentor, you might just find someone you’d like to hire to work in your organization or have on your team. Mentoring doesn’t have to end with the mentoring sessions but can be a lifelong process where you really build a mutually-beneficial solid relationship for the long term.

Mentors are mentored, too. Teachers are always quoted on how they learn from their students. The same is true of mentors. Mentors are learning on the job, being mentored even as they mentor. They learn what tack to take with each person they mentor. They learn what does and doesn’t work. They learn to listen. And they might just learn something about a different culture or find that the one being mentored has some pretty awesome stuff to give back, too.

In short, as is true of all good works, you get as good as you give. If mentoring is a good thing (and you know that it is), then mentoring is going to do you every bit as much good as it does for the one being mentored. Remember that when the going is rough and don’t give up.

The Jewish sages said that since Moses taught the children of his brother Aaron, it was as if he gave birth to them. Every person you mentor carries a bit of your philosophical DNA with him, and vice versa. In the end, building connections is what this life is all about.

SOURCE http://ronntorossianfoundation.com/uncategorized/the-benefits-of-mentoring-including-kars-for-kids-ron-hershco/
The Housing Authority swears up and down it has no plans to convert the Whitman/Ingersoll Houses into private condos. Why, then, have these rumors persisted?

First, as Ed Brown, the head of the Ingersoll Tenants Association, pointed out, public housing tenants have ample fodder for existential anxiety. They’ve watched their neighborhood transform into one of luxury condos, multi-million-dollar brownstones, and $3.25 lemonades. Where, exactly, are they supposed to fit in?

Then there’s another issue at play: the blogosphere. On Aug. 2, in a posting entitled, “What’s really going on at the Ingersoll Houses?” Brownstoner.com reported that Ron Hershco (developer of the luxury high-rise, the Oro) told a meeting of local real estate types at the Brooklyn Historical Society that the public houses would be converted to middle-income units.

Brownstoner’s report was picked up by other online outlets. As the saying goes, a lie can travel half way around the world before the truth gets its boots on. A couple of hours later, Brownstoner later posted a correction: “We just received the following statement from Ron Hershco’s attorney. ‘Ron answered the question based on what he had been told by Bob Scarano a couple of years ago. He has no current information regarding the Housing Authority’s plan. We apologize for any confusion.’

This isn’t the first time Brownstoner helped spark hysteria by failing to use the telephone. On July 27, it posted an article — “llegal paint job on landmarked block of Clinton Hill” — alongside a photo of a lovely brownstone partially painted white. The ensuing online uproar was deafening. Fortunately, the Daily News walked over to the house and asked its 82-year-old owner what was going on. It turned out the white substance was primer.

“Blogs sure got the word — the wrong word — out very quickly,” said Housing Authority spokesman Howard Marder, of the Whitman/Ingersoll Houses incident. The right word, according to Marder, is that the city has no plans to turn over the houses to private developers.

“I’ve been saying that for five years,” said Marder, in frustration. He’s been saying it ever since the city began a $150-million modernization of the buildings. The refurbishment of the apartments and their 61 elevators has necessitated moving residents out of their homes in stages. The city has promised tenants that they will return starting this fall.

Given the often-rocky relations between residents of public housing and the city, and the insane pace of development in the neighborhood, it’s no surprise that those being moved out are somewhat dubious.

The higher that anxiety level, the more incumbent it is upon us — professional journalists and citizen-journalists, — to at least try to discern the truth.

Dana Rubinstein is a staff reporter for The Brooklyn Paper

SOURCE http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/30/31/30_31whitmans.html
Brooklyn is really taking off and is amazingly hot – and it is funny that in many ways Ron Hershco of United Homes and some others who broke ground in downtown Brooklyn with a $400 million, two-tower project were the 1st ones – beating even world-renowned entrepreneur Jay Z to the area.

This week alone, there are presentations of ‘Videozones’ short videos by artists from Brooklyn and Montreal, curated by Boshko Boskovic and La Fabrique d’Expositions, to be held at Anthology Film Archives, 32, 2nd Avenue, New York. And its all the time, from art exhibits to the Brooklyn Nets.  In Year one alone there were major concerts – from Barbara Streisand to hip-hop, and yes the Nets will beat the Knicks.  Jay-Z and many others had concerts there.

Real estate pricing is soaring, retail is booming in the arena and its really a great thing for the area on so many fronts.

306 Gold Street and 313 Gold Street were the first ground-up residential high-rise projects built – and of course many new projects have followed after them.  Also designed by Ismael Leyva Architects, of course the ever-present charismatic Brooklyn Borough President was tremendously beneficial for the project.  Ron Hershco bought the land in 2005.

Brooklyn:  Onward & Upward!

SOURCE http://5wpr.net/ron-hershco-brooklyn-is-back/