Tag Archives: Palestinian Authority

Jew of the Week: Rami Levy

Israeli Supermarket King and Palestinian Hero

Rami Levy (b. 1955) was born in Jerusalem to an impoverished Iraqi-Jewish family. After completing his military service, he took over his grandfather’s failing grocery stall at the local market. He decided to slash his prices and sell without profit for the first three months to attract customers. After that, he continued operating at wholesale prices, becoming Israel’s first official discount store. A few years later, he was able to open a bigger, second location, and in 1992 his first supermarket, Rami Levy Shivuk HaShikma, named after himself and the street where his first shop was located. He has since expanded to 44 locations across Israel. He also operates 4 locations in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) that, despite being boycotted by the Palestinian Authority, employ Palestinian workers at double the wages of other supermarkets in the area, and are hugely popular among Palestinian shoppers who appreciate the low prices. More recently, he opened a shopping mall on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where a third of the stores are Palestinian-owned. Rami Levy has supported Jewish settlements in the area and does not see them as a barrier to peace, because he strongly believes Jews and Arabs can coexist no matter where they live, and peace can be achieved through Palestinian economic development. He has been described as “the Israeli supermarket king that became a Palestinian hero”. Today, Rami Levy supermarkets are famous for their clever marketing and epic pre-holiday sales (for example, chickens, apples, and honey for less than a shekel per kilo before one Rosh Hashanah). The company went public in 2007, and has since expanded into clothing, real estate, and cellular communications, becoming Israel’s fourth mobile network. They are even trying to develop a home-delivery system using drones. Rami Levy Shivuk HaShikma is now the third largest supermarket chain in the country.

Recognizing and Fighting Fake News About Israel

Words of the Week

The state and progress of the Jews, from their earliest history to the present time, has been so entirely out of the ordinary course of human affairs, is it not then a fair conclusion, that the cause also is an extraordinary one—in other words, that it is the effect of some great providential plan?
– Alexander Hamilton

Jews of the Week: Eric Cantor and Moshe Kantor

Mineral Leader, Majority Leader

Moshe Kantor: “the Boss”

Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Recently named one of the world’s most influential Jews, Moshe Kantor (b. 1953) serves as president of the European Jewish Congress and World Holocaust Forum. The owner of Akron, one of the world’s largest chemical producers, he is on Forbes’ list of self-made billionaires. Meanwhile, Eric Cantor (b. 1963) is the current House Majority Leader in the U.S. Congress, making him the highest-ranking Jew in American political history. He’s been representing Virginia for over 10 years, and in recent months has pushed a bill to cut all aid to the Palestinian Authority. He is marked as a potential vice-president in next year’s elections. He’s already been shot at.

Words of the Week

If one walnut is removed from a pile, each and every other nut is shaken and disturbed. So too, when a single Jew is in distress, every other Jew is shaken.
– Midrash Shir HaShirim Raba 6:11


This Week in History

July 15, 1834: the Spanish Inquisition is abolished by the Queen Mother Maria Christina. However, practicing Judaism in Spain was still officially forbidden until 1967.