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March 28, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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March 28, 2003

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PAGE 10 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS HANDYMAN SERVICE Handy man and General Maintenance Air Conditioning Electrical Plumbing Carpentry Formerly handled maintenance at JCC References available STEVE'S SERVICES Call Steve Doyle at (386) 668-8960 To a full audience of par- ents, grandparents, siblings and friends, the Hebrew Day School Elementary Division shared music, talents and songs on Sunday, March 9 at their Zimriah at the Lyman High School Auditorium. Beth Schafer, music director and singer extraordinaire led the spirited program for grades kindergarten through fifth. Students in kindergarten and first grade proudly sang the songs 'Sarah Laughed,' 'V'ahavta,' and 'Buttering Bread.' Students in second and third grade sang 'Sukkot Shalom,' and a medley which included 'Rom'mu, 'Iv'du, GesherTsar M'od,' a bit of diversity to end with sun glasses and rhythm 'Can't Buy Me Love. 'Fourth and fifth grades sang 'Non Como Muestro,' 'As We Gather in Your Presence,' a fun 'We are Jews,' and end- ing with 'Salaam.' Schafer performed a beau- tiful rendition of'Al Kol Eileh' with Oren Linder, a talented middle school teacher and fa- ther of three. The Zimriah was the 'only' reason to go out this past Sunday on a terribly day. Filled with song proud parents and student~ as the full auditorium ceeded to leave the rain di~ appeared and sunshine 3eeked the the Hebrew Day School the Patricia R. Seizni, Middle School call 0713. There's No Home Like and Mcmory Czm 24-Hour Nursing Asmum With All ~nonal Ca~ Mdkation Management Full Activity Calendar Houx~ing & Linen Setv~ Secured Esi= 8 Wander l'atln For Al~eimer's ll~idenu Day & Overni~t Recite Plivat & Companion Suites By Buzzy Gordon LOS ANGELES (JTA) - With the intifada continuing and the international high- tech economy still in the dol- drums, private Israeli high- tech companies in 2002 raised their lowest amount from domestic and foreign venture capital firms in three years. The $1.14 billion figure also marks the first time since 1999 that investment fell be- low $2 billion. According to the annual survey conducted by the IVC WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE NEXT SUMMER? Overnight Camp Teen Camp School/US & Abroad Cross Country Trip Wilderness Trip Community Service US & Abroad Worldwide Touring Semester Program/ Graduating Seniors LET US POINT YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION STUDENT CAMP & TRIP ADVISORS Susan Schwartz 770-951-8747 800-522-5883 Fax: 770-955-1497 email: ON LAKE LILY A Unique Mediterranean Dining Experience Located in Maitland on Lake Lily in a beautifully restored historic Mediterranean Villa Fresh Mediterranean Food with affordable Tapas and a full lunch and dinner menu Extensive Wine List with over 70 selections Complimentary Valet Open Daily from 11:30 till Close Reservations not required 630 Maitland Avenue Maitland,' F1 32751 407-622 Research Center, a division of Giza Venture Capital, ven- ture capital investment in Israel decreased by 43 per- cent in 2002 from 2001. IVC polled 159 venture in- vestors, of which 91 were Is- raeli VC funds and 68 were other - mostly foreign - in- vestment entities. Not surprisingly, both the number of companies rais- ing investment capital and the average company financ- ing round were down in 2002. A bump in the final quarter of 2001 signaled a possible rebound, but investment in the first quarter of 2002 plummeted by nearly $100 million from the previous quarter, to $376 million. Each successive quarter in 2002 saw VC investment fall further. The low reached in the fourth quarter- only $205 million, the lowest fourth quarter figure since 1998 - was the lowest quarterly to- taJ since the first quarter of 1999. "The decrease in fund- raising by Israeli start-ups reflects global trends," said Ze'ev Holtzman, chairman and CEO of Giza. "However, Israeli companies experi- enced a smaller decline than U.S. or European firms, in- dicating that there is still substantial interest in Israeli companies." On the other hand, "Funds at the disposal of Israeli VC firms are lim- ited, and foreign investors are hesitant to invest. This points to 2003 being another year of reduced investment in Israeli start-ups," Holtzman said. "The high- tech sector is of prime na- tional importance, and the negative trend will therefore be another blow to Israel's economy." Israel's high-tech industry is critical to the country's economic well-be- ing. High-tech exports in 2002 amounted to $4.6 bil- lion, or 25 percent of the nation's total industrial ex- ports. Due to a general de- crease in global demand, this translates to a drop in blue- and-white.high-tech exports of nearly 11 percent from 2001. Meanwhile, investments made by Israeli venture capi- tal firms totaled $481 mil- lion last year - a drop of 40 percent- and represented less than half the total amount invested in Israeli companies. In addition, foreign invest- ment without Israeli VC par- ticipation declined by 49 per- Joanne Fink of Lakeside Design developed a lovely ce- ramic pin for Jewish Profes- sional Women who donate a dollar a day or more to sup- port the Jewish community locally and abroad. This $365 cent from the previous year, to $156 million. At the same time, the pro- portion of total investment without Israeli VC participa- tion remained roughly con- stant in both years, at about 15 percent. This undimin- ished interest by foreign in- vestors is a consistent bright spot in an otherwise grim picture. "Despite the global tech downturn and Palestinian terrorist attacks, Israel's high-tech scene is still flour- ishing," said Jon Medved, general partner of Jerusalem venture capital firm Israel Seed Partners. "In fact, there are still exits. Just a few weeks ago, Precise was bought by Veritas for over $500 million. "The future bodes well be- cause Tier 1 venture firms around the world are actu- ally stepping up their activi- ties in Israel," he continued. and early-stage together attracted less one-third of investment 2002 - the figures are to discourage from going "The continuin investments in 2002 cially impacted seed coml~ nies," Holtzman said. "This decrease is likely t affect the number of ups as well as the Israeli high-tech in the com" ing years." Nearly all of the high-tech industr fered in 2002 as corn with 2001, though the munications sector best, attracting 37 percent total investment. Software companies wctC also popular in 2002 20 percent share of total nancing. The Internet tor, on the other hand lapsed to a new low, ing only 4 percent of "Funds such as Benchmark, investment. Sequoia, Accel and Semiconductor firms Lightspeed are now making counter to this trend - ra~" more investments and focus- ing 12 percent of the to , ing more investment profes- triple the previous year s~ sionals' time in lsraelthan p;:;e~n:i?nS~:;t~S~Omr~h:o~d~ ever before." The second bit of good news is the decision by Moody's Investor Service to continue its A2 rating and stable rating outlook on for- eign and local currency bonds issued by the State of Israel. Moody's move reflects the international community's respect for the core strength of Israel's technological com- petence, as well as for the country's ability to withstand its persistent security prob- lems. The IVC survey divided high-tech companies into four categories: seed, early stage, mid-stage and late- stage. During the past two years, early and mid-stage companies raised the largest amounts of capital. Mid-stage companies at- tracted 54 percent of total investments in 2002, with $614 million, while early- stage companies garnered 29 percent of the total, a 40 per- cent slide. Seed companies are hardly being supported at all by the investment community: They received only 2 percent, or $23 million, of total fi- nancing in 2002, and only 19 seed-stage start-ups received any VC backing. Considering that seed companies were already down to 5 percent of total financing in 2001 - and seed industry a vote of confidenCe' In fact, Intel's latest cbiP, the Centrino- which is sch [" uled to be unveiled next to great fanfare - was deVd" oped in Israel. In what might be a harDIo" ger of the future, howeVe~ the fourth quarter of 200~ saw life science companl, especially those medical devices - doubling the financing raised in the third quarte! Life sciences ended the year with a cent share of total With universally research powerhouses as the Weizmann Institute Science, the Technion the Hebrew Universit ment-supported cubators or spun commercialization arrns plus the renowned Science Park, Israel is at forefront of the frontier of advanced life s ences, which offer the pect of better ment and drug therapie~ Riding this trend - For~ Magazine reports that 20 l~at' cent of VC investment wor~ wide went to life scien /,44 companies last year, uP a~[tI matically from 8 percen~i 2000 - is likely to be healtai' ~, for Israel's economy, as w"ll as for patients everywhett " pledge can be paid through- out the year. Contributors will receive the pin when they attend the Jewish Professional Women's dinner on Thursday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. at Maison & Jardin. To find out more aboUtJ ish make a reservation Nancy ext. 239, or e-mail he1 nancyl@orlandojeW Bring this ad for one when you purchase another of equal or lesser value!