How Lucky is Israel?


Last week, Ben Gurion University researchers made an “accidental” discovery, when testing an experimental anti-inflammatory drug, that could signify a breakthrough in the treatment of deadly infections.  My immediate thought was how “lucky” the BGU scientists were - but in reality, the discovery followed the proscribed use of methodical testing procedures and meticulously careful observations.  Here are some further recent cases of where Israelis definitely do not rely on “luck” when it comes to vital innovations and activities.

Traditional cancer chemotherapies depend on the laws of chance in that sufficient numbers of cancer cells will be destroyed alongside the (unwanted) death of normal, healthy cells.  Several Israeli companies, however, are working on removing this random, “splatter-gun” approach.  One of these, Quiet Therapeutics, has developed the “GAGomer,” a new class of nano-particle that specifically targets tumors and blood cancers.  Another Israeli biotech, Compugen, has announced positive initial experimental results for two Antibody-Drug Conjugate (ADC) treatments.  ADC therapy uses antibodies to target proteins present at high levels in cancer cells, releasing a toxic payload to kill the cells.

Some say that those who inherit a high risk of cancer are simply “unlucky”.  That may indeed be the case, however with genetic screening, it no longer needs to be a question of luck as to whether the onset of cancer is detected and treated early enough to save their lives.  So it is fortunate that researchers at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem have discovered a genetic mutation that can identify those at risk of colon and uterine cancers.  Similarly, doctors and researchers no longer need to rely on luck when examining patients for the early onset of Parkinson’s disease.  Patients can now be monitored continuously, using smart watches linked to smartphones. The data is then transmitted to an advanced analytics platform developed by Intel Israel that can handle 300 observations per second from each patient.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJX9f8goIq8#t=139 

On a Syrian street, a 23-year-old man was unfortunate to have been hit by a bullet that shattered his lower jaw and blew his teeth to bits.  Luckily for him, he was rushed across the Israeli border and taken to Haifa’s Rambam hospital where doctors implanted a custom-made 3D-printed titanium jaw in a pioneering operation. One day after surgery, the patient was eating and speaking.  Meanwhile, a Palestinian Arab baby with heart problems suffered a heart attack whilst on his way to Jordan for treatment.  Luckily for him, IDF medics arrived to resuscitate him and evacuated him and his grateful parents to Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQvH5Saw5ZA 

Many Israeli children were “lucky” to enjoy a couple of days playing in the snow that fell across the country.  Following a request by the Palestinian Authority, the IDF have been helping to clear snow blocking roads to the PA city of Ramallah, helping to clear flooding in Tulkarem and pushing a not-so-lucky Palestinian Arab taxi driver out of frozen mud.  Overseas, the Philippines has been very unlucky with the weather, as typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) has just devastated a country still reeling from last year’s typhoon Haiyan.  Luckily, an IsraAID emergency response team has again responded quickly with medical relief and humanitarian aid.

Anyone unlucky enough to have lost their water supply due to a burst water main will appreciate the monitoring systems from Israel’s TaKaDu.  The water utilities that have engaged TaKaDu’s services don’t wait for a lucky phone call from a dutiful member of the public and instead are saving billions of liters of water otherwise lost through leaking pipes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDsmIhhmE3U 

Having proved that Israelis don’t rely on luck, I will conclude with two recent news stories where fortune (or something else) must have been involved.  First, it was lucky that art historian Nirit Shalev-Khalifa stopped to answer her cell phone when she was driving away from Jerusalem.  The tour guide that called her had just happened to be visiting Jerusalem’s Ades “Great” Synagogue and seen someone begin some very amateurish restoration work.  Nirit made a quick “U” turn, just in time to save the Stark Murals – an early 20th Century masterpiece of Jerusalem’s Syrian Jewry.

Finally, a baby faun in Hebron had a lucky escape from being eaten by poachers.  Israeli police were busy uncovering a weapons and drugs cache when they heard noises coming from inside a barrel.  Instead of dismissing the noise as just rats, they checked the barrel and found the faun (a protected species in Israel) chained up inside it.  The faun was transferred to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo for medical treatment.

Put your trust in Israeli ingenuity - you won’t believe your luck.

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
For a free subscription, email a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com

2015 – So what’s new?

As we turn the pages of our calendars to begin a new secular year, what are the latest groundbreaking, life-changing discoveries, treatments and innovations to emerge from the Jewish State?

Israeli medical researchers continually uncover vital new information about our complex biological makeup.  Technion Professor Itai Yanai has been studying the on-off status of each of the 20,000 genes in a cell for nearly 3 years and his discovery of embryonic development sequences could help understand how cancer develops.  Meanwhile, scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have demonstrated that brains of mammals (including humans) contain a 3D compass.  It explains conditions such as vertigo and disorientation.

Moving into the medical treatment development pipeline, positive results of trials of ND0612H from Israel’s NeuroDerm, may mean that severe Parkinson’s disease patients could avoid surgery - the only current alternative.  Almost simultaneously, Israeli biotech BioLineRX has announced successful Phase I/II trials of its BL-7010 co-polymer for the treatment of celiac disease, for which there is currently no cure or formal treatment.

Other recent Israeli developments include a new MRI technique from Israel’s Ben Gurion University that can detect damage to the brain much earlier than previously, when it is still treatable.  Also, Israeli biotech Efranat Ltd. is developing a novel immunotherapy treatment for cancer.   Meanwhile at Tel Aviv University, scientists have developed a new technique for detecting hazardous particles in the lungs.  The test can be used in emergencies such as fire rescues or as a warning of high pollution levels.  Finally, on Dec 3rd (International Disabilities Day) Beit Issie Shapiro launched its Technology Consulting Center, to share its expertise in the field of disabilities and technology.



Israel continues to be a world leader in the development of medical devices.  Israel’s Novocure has announced that its NovoTTF-100A portable scalp device extends the life of brain tumor patients.  The day when the blind can see comes even closer thanks to scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University. They have developed a wireless, light-sensitive, flexible implantable film that mimics the function of the photosensitive cells in the retina and could potentially form part of a device to replace a damaged retina.  The Israeli 3D printing company Stratasys is accelerating its expertise in building medical devices using 3D printed injection molding.  With 3D printing, device prototypes can be produced in 95% less time and at 70% less cost compared with traditional aluminum molds.



So many of Israel’s latest hi-tech innovations could make a huge positive impact on society. In fact, Israel even has an organization called “Tech for Good,” that promotes technology development to solve social problems. So it was unsurprising that the Israeli winners of the inaugural Untold News Awards in New York included Professor Dan Peer, who developed the "Cancer Bullet" (an inject-able form of chemotherapy) and Professor Idan Tobis, who invented a metal ligament prosthesis that reduces recovery time dramatically.  Then when Ben-Gurion University held a 28-hour “wearable technology” development marathon, the three winners were a student feedback system, a wearable locator device and a real-time translator.

Israel’s LifeBEAM has announced two more wearable innovations.  The first is its new “smart” baseball cap that measures vitals such as heart-rate, calorie usage and walking posture.  It complements Lifebeam’s cycling helmet, which has been available since 2013.  LifeBEAM’s technology is also providing the technology to power Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch.  LifeBEAM’s sensor algorithms are embedded in Samsung’s Simband, measuring pulse, temperature, blood flow, skin conductivity and more.



Here are three recent Israeli innovations that can assist those involved in saving lives on a massive scale.  Firstly, Israeli startup Kalisaya, which has developed the KaliPAK – a portable renewable power solution.  It generates solar energy that can be used as an emergency backup generator in case of natural disasters.  Staying with the disaster theme, Tomer Simon, a Ph.D. student at Ben Gurion University’s Department of Emergency Medicine, has developed TwitterMate - a tool for filtering Twitter for only those tweets connected with a particular incident or subject.  And the development of the pocket printer by Israel’s ZUtA Labs moves forward with its latest prototype – enabling computer printing in challenging conditions.



Finally, to those readers who traditionally at this time of year make a resolution to lose weight.  Israeli technology has arrived to help you succeed.  Israel’s BitBite literally will whisper a word in your ear about your diet and provide you with real-time data to help you change your eating habits.  BitBite is an app and an earpiece containing a microphone, Bluetooth chip and other sensors that track what you eat, how much and how quickly you eat.



Stay healthy in 2015 – with Israeli technology.

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
For a free subscription, email a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com

History of Israel's Good News - Oct to Dec 2014


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In the 21st Dec 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli scientists have developed an early test for brain damage from trauma.
·        Israel is the first country in the world to recognize the Arameans.
·        Israeli high-school students have proved that life develops slower in outer space.
·        In Israel, prices are falling and productivity is rising.
·        UNESCO has named Tel Aviv as a creative city.
·        More evidence of 2000-year-old Jewish settlement uncovered in the Judean desert.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Israeli MRI detects brain damage earlier.  Researchers at Israel’s Ben Gurion University’s Brain Imaging Research Center have developed a method that can detect damage to the brain much earlier than previously thought.  Detection, soon after a trauma, means that the damage might still be reversible.

Generic blood pressure treatment.  Israel’s Teva has launched a generic version of Exforge HCT – a popular treatment of high blood pressure.  Teva’s generic products save money for patients and health services.

Life expectancy rises again.  In Israel in 2013, men had an average life expectancy of 80.3 years while women had 83.9 – an increase of nearly five months for men and three months for women in comparison to 2012.

50,000 wear Israeli remedial shoes.  Israel’s AposTherapy has developed a treatment for knee and back pain using unique individually calibrated shoes.  AposTherapy currently treats 50,000 patients and has just raised $15 million to help expand its business in the US market.

New test for foreign matter in lungs.  (Thanks to San Diego Jewish World) Scientists at Tel Aviv University have developed a new technique for detecting hazardous particles in the lungs.  The test can be used in emergencies such as fire rescues or as a warning of high pollution levels.

New cancer center is a communal success.  (Thanks to Stuart) The Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel is one of many successful stories showing how ethnic groups in Israel can successfully work side by side.  Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze raised funds together for a new cancer center, via an inspiring radio campaign.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israeli women are making hi-tech history.  Shecodes, a network of around 4,000 female programmers in Israel has grown so fast in its first year it hasn’t even had time to finish its own website yet.  Its goal is that 50 percent of Israeli programmers will be female within a decade.  It has just held its inaugural 3-day hackathon.

Captain Cohen gets her ship.  The Israeli Navy has selected Captain Or Cohen to become the first woman appointed as an IDF Navy ship’s commander. Cohen will be first appointed as deputy commander of a navy vessel, and following that will go on to take the Navy’s advanced commander’s course.

Israeli hi-tech for good.  “Tech for Good,” is an Israeli organization that promotes technology development to solve social problems. To actualize its goals, the group last week inaugurated The Rally, Israel’s first “social tech” accelerator that aims to solve social issues like obesity, cyber-bullying, teen pregnancy, and much more.

A network for dog-owners.  Israeli start-up app Dogiz is a social network for dog owners and it's building a marketplace where you can find a veterinary, dog walker, hair dresser and more.  It is described as a community app for people who love their dogs.

Israeli Arabs prefer Israel to the PA.  A new poll conducted by the Statnet Research Institute, headed by Israeli Arab statistician Yousef Makladeh, reports that 77 percent of Israeli Arabs preferred to live under Israeli rule than under the Palestinian Authority.  It confirms the results of a survey by Haifa University in late 2013.

Israel recognizes Arameans.  Israel is the first country in the world to recognize the Arameans as a separate nationality.  There are 130,000 Aramean Christians in Israel – up from 60,000 in 1948.  The global estimate of Arameans is 1.65 million.

Israel “ticks” all the freedom boxes.  British Prime Minister David Cameron fired back at critics of Israel's "Jewish State Law" in parliament Wednesday, noting that Israel is one of the only countries in the Middle East which actually grants equal rights to all its citizens.  See the video at 17 min in response to an anti-Israel MP.

Israel welcomes four new ambassadors.  New ambassadors from Angola, Jamaica, the Philippines and South Sudan presented their diplomatic credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem.  Many Israelis are involved in trade and/or humanitarian work in all four countries.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Hi-tech clothing.  The WearSheva! Hackathon at Ben-Gurion University was a 28 hour marathon in which 210 developers and designers had to come up with a new, innovative wearable technology product.  The winners were a student feedback system, a wearable locator device and a real-time translator.

9th graders’ ground-breaking experiment in space.  On the International Space Station, astronauts have conducted an experiment designed by four 14-year-old girls from an Israeli high school.  The experiment showed that low gravity slows the development of living organisms.

Hats off to the smart baseball cap.  I featured Lifebeam’s smart cycling helmet in March 2013.  Now non-cyclists can wear the hi-tech head-covering that measures heart-rate, calorie usage, walking posture and more.

The Weizmann Institute goes where no one has gone before.  A gala celebration of Weizmann Canada’s 50th anniversary raised $5.7 million for the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.  One honored guest was Canada’s William Shatner, better known as Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.

One hand movement to control them all.  The onecue system by Israel’s eyeSight lets users interact with almost any device in their homes just by moving their hands.  The system uses gesture recognition technology to operate any device with a control system, from the TV to the cable box to the thermostat.

Whatever happened to Yo?  In June 2014, the smartphone app “Yo” was the fourth most popular app in the App Store.  But then the novelty wore off.  After all, who really needs something that just sends a message “Yo” to a friend?  But now the Israeli developers of Yo are planning a comeback.

Protecting our energy.  The Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) is investing $4 million into five joint US-Israeli projects that seek to commercialize clean energy technologies.  The projects also will help enhance the energy security of Israel and the United States.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

More flights this winter.  Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority expects an extra 106 weekly flights to and from Israel this winter.  The main reason is the first stage of the Open Skies agreement between Israel and Europe.

New car sales soar.  One indicator shows an improvement of confidence in the Israeli economy – sales of new cars for 2014 are 14% higher than the same period in 2013.  229,294 were delivered from Jan to Nov 2014.

Israeli prices are falling.  Israel’s annual consumer prices declined for the third straight month in November as commodity prices fell worldwide.  Prices dropped 0.1 percent from a year ago, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. November prices fell by 0.2 percent.

Productivity is rising.  Israeli wages may be low compared to the US and Europe, but latest research from the Hebrew University shows that Israeli productivity is on the rise – contrary to previously disputed statistics. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-productivity-is-rising-while-wages-are-being-eroded-1000990332

Jerusalem – the startup capital.  Over 800 investors and entrepreneurs converged at OurCrowd’s Jerusalem offices to participate in its startup conference.  OurCrowd manages a network and website that has raised $80 million for hi-tech Israeli startups, with investors able to place $10,000 or more in each new enterprise.

A solar field for Georgia.  Israeli solar company Energiya has won a $30 million contract to build a 17.68 MW solar field in the US state of Georgia.  It is the first of a dozen projects the company plans to launch in southeast USA.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Tel Aviv is now a UNESCO creative city.  Tel Aviv was among 28 cities designated by UNESCO as new members of its creative cities network, with a focus on media arts.

Haifa’s festival of festivals.  (Thanks to Stuart) For the past 21 years, thousands of visitors have been attending the annual Holiday of Holidays Festival in Haifa.  The festival falls on the crossroads of Hanukka, Id al-Adha and Christmas and has come to stand for coexistence and multiculturalism with theatrical and musical performances, vendors and art exhibits.

Five Israeli swimmers in Qatar.  Five Israeli swimmers have qualified for this year’s world short course swimming championships in Doha, Qatar.  The organizers promised there would be no recurrence of the incident at Doha’s last event when the Israeli flag was erased on the display monitors.


THE JEWISH STATE

When the Mayflower docked in Haifa.  Remarkable recent account of a historic sea voyage by two lone soldiers to the fledgling Jewish State in 1948.  The Mayflower was a former US Presidential yacht; it previously served in the Spanish-American War and had later been sunk and raised from the sea bed.

Coffee for a shekel – to help drivers stay awake.  Hundreds of intercity gas stations in Israel will lower their coffee prices to one shekel ($0.26) between midnight and 6:00 a.m. The one shekel coffee initiative will last until April 2015 to encourage late-night motorists to remain more aware on the road.

Discoveries at King Herod’s palace.  Archeologists have uncovered an elaborate entrance to King Herod’s 2000-year-old palace at Herodian in the Judean desert.  They also found hidden tunnels used by Bar Kochba’s army, used in the 132-136 CE revolt against the occupying Roman forces.


141130


In the 30th Nov edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli electrical device extends the life of brain tumor patients.
·         Israeli experts are helping Kenya save wildlife from poachers.
·         Israeli bio sensors are powering Samsung’s new healthy smart watch.
·         An Israel app can save you thousands on retirement account fees.
·         Two Israeli films have been shortlisted for Oscars.
·         30 years ago, Israel rescued 7,000 Ethiopian Jews in Operation Moses.

·         Last week’s Israel Good News descriptive summary.  Click here for “Matters of Life and Death” (fast-loading version, no adverts).  Also on Jerusalem Post and San Diego Jewish World.
·         Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News, IsraelSeen.com and (in many sections) on United With Israel.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Electrical field slows brain tumors.  Israel’s Novocure has announced that its NovoTTF-100A portable scalp device extends the life of brain tumor patients. The device creates an alternating electric field and has had significant success in Phase 3 trials with patients receiving chemotherapy only.

Immunotherapy to fight cancer.  Israeli biotech Efranat Ltd. is developing an immunotherapy treatment approach for cancer, based on a glycoprotein named GcMAF (Globulin component Macrophage Activating Factor).  Efranat has just raised $4.5 million and is conducting trials at Tel Hashomer’s Sheba Medical Center.

Wiping out parasitic worm infections.  Ben Gurion University Professor Zvi Bentwich has received a Grand Challenges in Global Health grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for his project in Ethiopia to wipe out parasitic worm infections. Clean water and sanitation facilities and health education are being provided.

Progress in treatment of Celiac disease.  Back in Feb 2012 I reported good pre-clinical trials of Israeli biotech BioLineRX’s BL-7010 co-polymer for the treatment of celiac disease, for which there is currently no cure or formal treatment.  BioLineRX has now announced successful final results from its Phase 1/2 study of BL-7010.

3D printing of medical devices.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israeli 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys has joined with US-based Worrell to build medical devices using 3D printed injection molding.  With 3D printing, device prototypes can be produced in 95% less time and at 70% less cost compared with traditional aluminum molds.

Paralyzed Marine walks using Israeli exoskeleton to receive Bronze Star.  (Thanks to Israellycool.com) A Marine who was left paralyzed by a sniper’s bullet in Afghanistan walked to collect his Bronze Star in a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, using robotic leg braces developed by Israel’s ReWalk Robotics.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Donating hair for cancer victims.  Many Israeli women at the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem donated their hair to produce wigs for cancer patients at a fundraiser arranged by “Zichron Menachem”, the Israeli Association for the Support of Children with Cancer and their Families.

Israeli doctors treat terrorist before his victim.  I have included this, only to show how humane and moral Israeli surgeons are, opting to treat a critically wounded Arab terrorist ahead of his less-injured innocent victim.

Helping to save Kenyan wildlife.  Israel’s Dr Bill Clark works with the Kenya Wildlife Service to combat poaching.  He uses Israeli dog-handlers, restores old Israeli planes and trains wardens and pilots to detect and pursue poachers. He also employed Israel’s Maisha Consulting - specialists in countering environmental crime.

Israel – a global cleantech leader.  Excellent summary of Israel’s position as the world’s number one in the Global Cleantech Index (as reported in May).  One new item – The 18 fish farms in the Negev desert make Israel the world’s 6th largest exporter of ornamental fish!

More Muslims see the real Israel.  (Thanks to United With Israel) More than 250,000 Muslim and Arab visitors from countries with no diplomatic relations with Israel have arrived in Jewish state since 2009.  Kuwait announced last month that it would allow its citizens to visit Israel and the PA as part of a tour package.

Citrus production training for professionals from India.  19 professionals involved in the ongoing Israeli-Indian agricultural cooperation program underwent a two-week training program in Israel to learn best practices, know-how and new agricultural technologies in the citrus production field.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The power behind Samsung’s smartwatch.  Israel’s LifeBEAM, a maker of bio-sensing technology is to provide the technology to power Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch.  LifeBEAM’s sensor algorithms are embedded in Samsung’s Simband, measuring heart rate, temperature, blood flow, skin conductivity and more.

100Mb/s bandwidth is the new standard.  Internet customers of Israel’s Bezeq who are currently surfing at 40 megabits per second will see their service automatically upgraded to 100mb/s at no extra charge.  Israelis enjoy some of the world’s fastest internet services.

Coming soon - Israel Energy week.  December’s Israel’s leading energy investment summit – EnergyVest is part of a week-long series of conferences, exhibitions and special events: Israel Energy Week.  It includes an impressive lineup of Israel’s most promising new renewable and alternative energy technology companies.

Driving on a cloud.  In SAP Israel’s Ra’anana offices, SAP, Shell and Volkswagen are building the car of the future.  It will use Cloud technology to plan routes, park, pay tolls, and eventually even to drive – all without human interaction.  On route, the “driver” will receive offers for local shops, restaurants and attractions.

Most innovative cyber technology in 2014.  Israeli maritime data and analytics company Windward won first place at Tel Aviv’s International Innovation Competition for HLS and Cyber Technology.  Windward’s analytics systems harness the power of big data sciences to interpret global vessel activity across the oceans.

A box of worms for $16.  Israeli agritech Agrolan sells earthworms for about $16 a box. They are ideal for converting kitchen garbage into garden compost.  Agrolan also sells more advanced technology, such as drip irrigation systems, sensors for plants, and weather monitoring devices.  But sometimes, low tech is best.

A word in your ear about your diet.  For those who really want to lose weight or eat healthily, Israel’s BitBite will provide real-time data to help you change your eating habits.  BitBite is an app and an earpiece containing a microphone, Bluetooth chip and other sensors that track what you eat, how much and how quickly you eat.

Storing renewable energy.  Israeli start-up EnStorage has signed an R&D agreement with international energy management company Schneider Electric and French energy corporation Areva to develop a renewable energy storage system.  It will allow energy producers to store from 150 KW up to many megawatts for over six hours.

Bezalel Academy wins in Tokyo.  (Thanks to Israel21c and Atid-EDI) A delegation from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem won first place among foreign schools at Tokyo Designers Week.  Judges called their “How To” Youtube productions “excellent and brilliant.”

Ginger Keyboard for iOS and Android.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s Ginger Software, has launched iOS 8 and Android versions of Ginger Keyboard.  Billed as the world’s most advanced keyboard. Ginger Keyboard offers advanced writing tools, including live as-you-type proofreading to increase typing productivity.

The Untold News awards.  3 Israelis won $10,000 each at the inaugural Untold News Awards in New York.  Prof Dan Peer developed the "Cancer Bullet," an injectable form of chemotherapy; Prof Idan Tobis invented a metal ligament prosthesis that reduces the recovery time dramatically; and Shlomo Magdassi invented a  bendable plastic touch screen display for smart phones.

The Breezometer is “gale-force”.  Israel’s Breezometer beat 600 companies to win Israel’s 2014 Startup Open competition, and has been chosen by CNBC for its list of “20 of the World’s Hottest Startups of 2014.”  The app monitors air pollution using thousands of worldwide sensors and provides personalized alerts.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

No slack in Israeli trade with US.  This in-depth article describes how the “start-up nation” Israel is increasingly exporting its business and culture of entrepreneurship to America.

India is a strategic trading partner.  Israel’s $5 billion per annum trade with India could double once a new free trade agreement between the two democracies is signed.

LivePerson grows bigger.  Israeli digital engagement solutions provider LivePerson has bought US company Contact At Once! for $65 million.  The acquisition adds more clients plus CAO’s unique technology.

Saving money on retirement fees. (Thanks to Israel21c) Waze co-founder Uri Levine has developed a new app called FeeX.  Upload details of your IRA retirement account and FeeX will report how much you are losing in fees.  It will then give you a list of similar funds that have lower fees.  FeeX is available in the US and Israel.

Wix - One of the hottest startups.  The influential international business magazine Inc. included Israeli web development platform Wix in its seven hottest Middle Eastern startups.  It describes Wix as the model example of innovation and success in Israel’s Tel Aviv hub. Wix is advertising during this year’s US Super Bowl.

Israel’s Chinese “water city”.  Israel’s Minister of Economy, Naftali Bennett, headed a delegation of 15 Israeli water companies to advance the sale of Israeli water technologies in China.  Bennett also launched the flagship Israeli project by nominating the city of Shouguang to be the Israeli “Water City” in China.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

A beautiful library.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) A stunning design for the new Israel National Library has been released. The 34,000-square-meter structure will be located in the same complex as Israel’s parliament, the Israel Museum, the Science Museum and the Hebrew University.

Two Israeli “shorts” make Oscars shortlist.  Two Israeli films have made the “shortlist” of ten finalists for the 2015 Live Action Short Film Oscar and they were both directed, at least in part, by women. The two movies are “Aya,” by Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis, and “Summer Vacation” by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon.

Three judoka golds in six weeks.  Israel’s Yarden Gerbi won first place in the under 63-kilo category at the Qingdao Grand Prix international judo competition in Qingdao, China.  The victory marks Gerbi’s third gold medal in less than six weeks, having also won international grand prix tournaments in Tashkent and Astana.


THE JEWISH STATE

After death comes life.  A Jerusalem family chose to hold their baby’s brit milah (circumcision ceremony) as planned, in the synagogue where 5 Israelis were murdered by terrorists on Tuesday. "Judaism is all about moving from tragedies to happy days", said the baby's grandfather.

App educates kids about Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has launched an app that makes the Dead Sea Scrolls available on iPhone and iPad. The App transforms a kid’s iPhone or iPad into an archaeological tool and lets them play games to hone their skills, solve puzzles and piece the past together.

Celebrating Sigd in Jerusalem.  (Thanks to Sharon – The Real Jerusalem Streets) For centuries, Ethiopian Jews celebrated the festival of Sigd – 50 days after Yom Kippur.  On a mountaintop, they prayed to return to Jerusalem. Their prayers have been answered - they have come to the Promised Land and can see it themselves.

The 30th anniversary of Operation Moses.  From Nov 18 1984 until Jan 5 1985, Israel rescued 7,000 Ethiopian Jews in Operation Moses.  It was the first time in mankind’s history, whereby non-blacks came to Africa to save blacks from oppression by bringing them out of Africa as free people.

Kinneret rises 3.5cm.  The level of Israel’s largest reservoir, Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) rose by 3.5cm – the largest rise in a single day since the end of the summer.  Recent heavy rains are set to continue – just as well, as the Kinneret is only 16cm above the lower red line.



141123


In the 23rd Nov 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        With an Israeli artificial pancreas, Type 1 diabetics can stop taking insulin.
·        Israel has shipped Ebola treatment clinics to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
·        Two Israelis won $100,000 by developing a no-network messaging system.
·        An Israeli printer has produced the first full-size 3D-printed electric car.
·        The Singapore government has made its first investment in Israel.
·        Israel won its third consecutive Euro 2016 soccer qualifying match.
·        The public can now view 1st Temple remains surrounding the Tower of David.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

An artificial pancreas implant.  Type-1 diabetes patients can one day avoid taking insulin injections if the bio-artificial pancreas, developed by Israel’s Beta-O2 passes its human trials in Sweden.  The BAir delivers oxygen to replacements for the faulty islet cells that are essential for producing insulin in the patient’s body.

A smartphone for the disabled.  Israel’s Sesame Enable is developing “the Sesame Phone,” which is specifically tailored to assist people who have limited or no use of their hands. The system enables control of the smartphone with a combination of small head movements and voice recognition.

Wristwatch to monitor Parkinson’s.  Intel Israel has developed a Parkinson’s disease monitor that sufferers wear on their wrists.  The device records pulse, slowness of movement, tremors and sleep quality, making up to 300 observations per second.  Doctors previously relied on patients’ verbal reports and brief hospital checkups.

Diabetes finger monitor gets cash boost.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI and Globes) I reported on the non-invasive diabetes finger monitor from Israeli biotech CNoga Medical in Sept 2013.  CNoga has just received a $12.5 million investment from Chinese investment fund GoCapital to help expand development and marketing.

Over 100 DTMS devices in use.  Israel’s Brainsway has now installed 101 Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation devices worldwide – 50% in the USA and has orders for another 36.  Brainsways depression-treatment service using DTMS is covered by the insurance policies of 193 million people in the US.

Mental health advice on New York street.  The Israeli start-up Talkspace has erected large transparent bubbles on New York’s Fifth Avenue to offer free online psychological advice to pedestrians.  Passersby can enter a make-believe living room inside an inflated dome and chat online with a psychologist.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israel’s first center for cerebral palsy.  Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel’s leading disabilities organization, is to set up the country’s first Center of Excellence for Cerebral Palsy and severe motor disabilities.  Beit Issie will document its knowledge, expertise and best practice of CP so it can be shared and implemented by others.

The first female deputy squadron commander. For the first time in the history of the IDF, a woman pilot was selected to fulfill the role of deputy squadron commander.  Major Gal, a transport pilot, will fill the role of Nachson Pilot Commander at the Nevatim Base in the Negev.

Israeli police resuscitate Palestinian Arab boy.  (Thanks to Hazel) Quick-acting Israeli border police on routine patrol in Hebron found a Palestinian Arab youth who had been electrocuted, was unconscious and had no pulse.  They saved his life, performing CPR until the emergency services arrived.

Israel helps PA to keep out Ebola virus.  (Thanks to Hazel) Israel has transferred Ebola screening tools to the Palestinian Authority in the hopes it will help PA officials to diagnose the virus among those entering from Jordan and also into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing. The transfer was made following a PA request.

Portable field hospitals to Ebola-hit countries.  Israel has sent six cargo containers of specialist equipment to set up portable field hospitals to treat Ebola victims in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.  Each clinic has 20 beds, medicines etc.  Israeli NGO's are to send Israeli volunteers, medical staff, doctors, paramedics and nurses.

Water for Africa.  Israeli companies Waterways, Tahal and Anyways Solutions are providing water solutions in Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana. Waterways has signed an agreement with the Water and Sanitation Organization of Africa, which links 36 African countries under its umbrella.

Tel Aviv is the World’s smartest city.  (Thanks to Size Doesn’t Matter) Tel Aviv beat 250 cities from across the globe to receive the World Smart Cities Award, a competition launched as part of the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.  Winning factors included free citywide wi-fi and its urban digital project.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israel’s part in the comet landing.  Two Tel Aviv University professors had key roles in the Rosetta project which completed the first ever spacecraft landing on a comet. Prof. Akiva Bar-Nun helped design the craft and its experiments.  Prof Morris Podolak and other Israelis will analyze the Dust Impact Monitor experiment.

Israeli plants can resist climate change.  (Thanks to Stuart) A study by scientists from Israel, Germany and the US shows Israel’s plants to be more resilient than other plant species in being able to withstand the stresses of any threat from global warming. One researcher said, "Our plants are strong and so are the people of Israel!"

Israelis win PayPal challenge.  Israelis Shai Mishali and Pavel Kaminsky won the $100,000 grand prize at the global hackathon competition held at PayPal’s California HQ.  They beat 3,000 international programmers by developing (in 24 hours) AirHop, for messaging without cellular reception or using devices without SIM cards.

Public transport app has over 10 million users.  (Thanks to Size Doesn’t Matter) One million users per month are joining Israel’s Moovit community for easier travel on public transport.  Moovit works in hundreds of cities worldwide.  It combines service company data with live actual data from Moovit travelers.

A really smart alarm clock.  Israeli Zach Bamberger has developed the SmartAlarm, which checks weather conditions, traffic alerts, and other data and decides when you need to get out of bed in order to make it to work on time.  E.g. detecting an incident on your route at 4am, the alarm can wake you 15 minutes earlier than usual.

New Cornell-Technion research lab.  Media giant AOL is funding the multi-million dollar “Connected Experiences” lab (ConnX) being launched by NYC-based Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute.  The lab will operate in both Israel and New York, allowing research of communication and coordination, food and wellness, education and safety, and information and entertainment.  It also includes a graduate fellowship program.

Israeli company wins European innovation award.  Israel’s Aqua-Rimat – Leak Buster, won the product innovation award for Smart Home and End User Engagement at European Utility Week in Amsterdam.  10,000 delegates attended the event, representing the world’s most successful utilities and solution providers.

You can now live out of a suitcase.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) An Israeli startup has developed FUGU luggage – a suitcase that expands from carry-on size to full size using a built-in electric pump. It includes a laptop case and shelves and can even be used as a table.  Pledges on Kickstarter have been phenomenal.

The world’s first 3D printed car.  The Objet1000 from Israel’s Stratasys is the largest 3D printer in the world.  And it has just been used to print a full-size prototype of the world’s first 3D printed electric car.  Researchers at Germany’s Aachen University developed the car – called the StreetScooter - in just one year.

The first agro-biomedical center.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s MIGAL Galilee Research Institute has established the first specialized Agro-Biomedical hub.  The center will serve applied researchers, clinicians, entrepreneurs, startups, growers and consumer companies. Research focuses on natural products.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Budget deficit halved.  Israel’s budget deficit for Oct 2014 was NIS 2.1 billion compared with NIS 4.5 billion in Oct 2013.  Government spending was up 3.1% during Jan to Oct 2014 compared to the same period last year.  Tax revenues were up 7.2% over the same period.

UK trade with Israel increases.  (Thanks to Hazel) UK Ambassador Matthew Gould reported that in addition to a 26% increase in bilateral trade, eight Israeli companies have gone public on the London Stock Exchange this year.  Israel’s Teva now produces one in six pills sold in the United Kingdom.

Czech market opens up for Israeli water technologies.  The 3-day Czech-Israeli Water Management Seminar in Prague connected government officials and the business sector to Israeli expertise in water safety and protection, wastewater reclamation and aquaculture technologies – all relevant to the Czech market.

Israeli gas for Europe?  Israel has proposed that EU countries invest in a multi-billion euro pipeline to carry its natural gas to the continent. The pipeline will go via Cyprus, Greece and Italy which all support the idea.

“The best opportunity for Mississippi”.  Governor Phil Bryan declared his recent Mississippi State business development mission to Israel as the best such trade trip he’s had as governor.  He is now planning an “Israel/Mississippi Business Summit” in April to bring Israeli companies to the Magnolia State.

Singapore discovers Israeli hi-tech.  Temasek, a $200 billion investment company owned by the Singaporean government, is placing $5 million in the Ramot Momentum fund operated by Tel Aviv University’s Ramot technology transfer company. It is the first official investment by Singapore in Israel, although telecom giant SingTel recently opened an R&D center following its purchase of Israel’s Amobee.

El Al direct flights to Boston.  El Al airlines is commencing a direct route from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion to Boston’s Logan airport in June 2015.  El Al will run three flights a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Microsoft buys Israeli company for $200 million.  Global computer giant Microsoft is acquiring Herzliya-based cyber security startup Aorato for around $200 million.  Aorato’s founders served in the IDF cyber security unit and have developed a firewall that learns and predicts behavior to counter web attacks.

Automated fraud system gets cash boost.  (Thanks to Nevet – www.borderview.org) Israeli startup Forter has raised $15 million to launch its new R&D center to support its automated three-layered fraud detection mechanism.  For the US venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates it was its first investment in Israel.

Supermarket to sell everything at 5 Shekels.  Israel’s Cofix coffee shops sell coffee, sandwiches, juices etc all for NIS 5 ($1.30) an item.  Cofix now plans to open 20 branches of “Super Cofix” in April 2015, selling 600 basic food products (plus non-food items) for a uniform price of NIS 5 each.  It apparently includes meat!


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

3D design wins international fashion award.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israeli student Noa Raviv was chosen as the “Best Fashion Designer of the Year” at the international 3D Printshow event in Paris.  The designs only exist virtually and cannot be produced in the real world.  (In my opinion - probably just as well.)

The Backstreet Boys are coming back.  The popular Backstreet Boys have rebooked their postponed Summer 2014 Ra’anana concerts for 19-21 May 2015.  Previously purchased tickets will still be valid.

Israel is top of Euro 2016 soccer group.  In front of 30,000 fans, Israel defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-0 Sunday night to take them to the top of UEFA 2016 European Soccer Championship qualifying group B.  Israel had previously beaten Andorra 4-1 and Cyprus 2-1 last month.

Tamir comes home.  US basketball star Tamir Goodman joined Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2002 to avoid playing on the Sabbath.  He also served in the IDF and married an Israeli girl.  Now as Director of International Business Development for Hapoel Jerusalem, he also runs camps for Israeli kids.  In August, he formally made Aliya.


THE JEWISH STATE

Famous pianist follows dream and makes Aliya.  Internationally acclaimed Moscow-born pianist Oxana Yablonskaya has just become an Israeli citizen at the age of 76. Her son Dimitri, a famed cellist and conductor, made Aliya a few months ago. The musical family has scheduled its first concert in Jerusalem for Nov 20th.

Bringing life to the desert.  Allison Speiser traveled from the Merchav Am community in Israel’s Negev desert to tell the Perth community about fulfilling the wish of Israel’s founders - to “make the desert bloom”.  Allison is shown speaking here at the JNF event “Bringing Life to the Negev”.

Just around the corner from Temple Mount / Al Aksa.  (Thanks to Sharon – The Real Jerusalem Streets).  Life in Jerusalem goes on.  On Nov 12, the moat surrounding the Tower of David was opened to the public after 15 years of careful excavations.  It reveals Jewish history back to King Hezekiah in the 8th Century BCE.

Employment in Israel.  Students and young professionals thinking of moving to Israel from the US received plenty of advice at the “Impact Israel” conference in New York.  The message was – come to Israel for the economic and job opportunities, but stay for the lifestyle and chance to make your mark.

Rabbi Glick.  Rabbi Yehuda Glick was shot 4 times at close range in the stomach, lungs, neck and arm by a terrorist on Oct 29.  Following multiple surgeries, Rabbi Glick is about to be released from hospital.


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In the 9th Nov 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli monitor detects early problems in babies on ventilators.
·        A rhino is recovering from eye infection thanks to an Israeli-designed mask.
·        Israel’s fuel-saving aircraft tow truck is going into service.
·        Investment in Israeli companies on Wall Street in 2014 has already beaten all previous records.
·        Prayers for rain in Israel seem to have succeeded.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary.  Click here for (fast-loading version, no adverts).
·        Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News and on IsraelSeen.com.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Detecting preemie respiratory distress.  (Thanks to Israel21c)  Israeli startup Pneumedicare has developed the Pneumonitor to monitor premature babies on ventilation machines.  A ventilator can cause pneumothorax, in which the infant’s tiny air sacs over-inflate and burst.  Pneumonitor’s alarm sounds an hour before any problem arises.  http://www.israel21c.org/headlines/helping-preemies-breathe-easier/

Discovery of the infertility gene.  Tel Aviv University scientists have discovered that the genetic deletion of the protein Interleukin-1 (IL-1) improves fertility.  It could help increase the effectiveness of IVF treatment. The discovery was made accidentally during research at TAU into IL-1’s role in the hardening of the arteries.

Israel funds cancer research.  (Thanks to Israel21c) The Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) has made 94 new research grants for the 2014/15 year, totaling a record $3,453,332.  Since 1977, ICRF has made 2,115 grants, totaling over $52 million.  Successes include 3 top cancer treatments and two major genetic discoveries.

Violinist continues to improve.  Naomi Elishuv made headlines in September when she played the violin while Israeli surgeons implanted two electrodes in her brain to stop her tremors.  Doctors say Naomi is recovering impressively and they hope the type of implant will soon be used in other cases.

Treatment for prostate problems.  BPH won’t kill you – it stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia – but it can make life uncomfortable for 50% of men over 50 years old and 80% of men over 80.  ClearRing from Israel’s ProArc Medical can address BPH in 10 minutes by a urologist, with no sedation required, and no complications

Treating burns in children.  Israel’s MediWound has commenced a Phase 3 study to valuate the efficacy and safety of its innovative NexoBrid treatment for severe burns in children.  The study plans to be conducted in around 25 sites in Europe and Israel.  NexoBrid removes dead or damaged skin without harming viable tissue.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

US-Israeli defense relationship is as strong as ever.  America’s Dept of Defense clearly knows where to look for promising new ideas in the area of high tech defense.  It has teamed up with the MIT Enterprise Forum in Israel to announce the 2015 Combating Terrorism Technology Challenge, with a first prize of $100,000.

Israeli mask helps rhino ward off flies.  (Thanks to Size Doesn’t Matter) Israelis treating Tanda, a two-year old rhino at Ramat Gan safari, for an eye infection have developed a see-through mask to protect the rhino from flies.  Thanks to the “no-fly zone” mask, Tanda no longer rubs her eye on trees.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israel develops the car of the future.  (Thanks to Israel21c)  All major auto manufacturers, including Volvo, Toyota, Renault, Fiat and BMW, seek after Israeli car-tech.  Israel has about 150 companies developing some of the most advanced security and vision systems for the vehicles of today and tomorrow.

Ford buys Israeli navigation system.  The Ford Motor Company has signed a deal with Israel’s Mishor 3D, which develops augmented reality navigation systems for automobiles.  Ford will fit Mishor’s navigation systems into future Ford vehicles.  Mishor’s ShadowBox displays vital information onto the car’s windshield.

The first smart deodorant applicator.  No more smelly armpits.  Israelis Gilad Arwatz and Carla Bahri have invented the ClickStick – the world’s first reusable, electronic deodorant applicator.  It dispenses precise amounts of any retail deodorant, with eco-friendly refills.  Their kickstarter campaign is coming up roses!

Israeli home security is a winner.  The WeR@Home home security system from Israel’s Essence has just won the Broadband Infovision Award for Best Broadband Home Service Innovation.  Back in July, WeR@Home also won the European Consumer’s Choice Award for 2014.  Besides its alarm facilities, WeR@Home can control more than 1,000 devices and applications including door locks, switches, dimmers, and thermostats.

One-tap messaging.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) MIRAGE is a one tap instant messaging app that lets users share photo, video, text and voice messages that disappear after a few seconds. Tel Aviv’s Mobli Media has just launched version 2.0 of the platform.

Israeli towing system approved for Boeing 737 jets.  The Boeing 737 narrow-body jet has been certified in Europe and Israel for airport towing by the TaxiBot system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).  It will save over 1200 liters of fuel per take-off.  In-service evaluation begins next month at Frankfurt airport.

Transforming the desert.  In southern Israel, the next generation of Jewish pioneers is making the desert bloom. A group of young, Zionist, idealistic adults known as the Young Farmers Incubation Project are cultivating a previously uninhabited area in the northwest Negev on Israel’s borders with Egypt and Gaza.

Israeli agro-tech is a winner.  Israel’s AutoAgronom was one of the 25 finalists in the prestigious Massachusetts-based MassChallenge 2014.  Chosen from 128 participants and thousands of companies that applied, AutoAgronom’s intelligent irrigation system was the only agricultural technology in the contest.

France holds Israeli Innovation Day.  UBIFRANCE is hosting its 3rd annual Israel-France Innovation Day in Paris on 16th December. It will focus on finance and e-commerce, e-health and personalized medicine, and Big Data to help cities get smarter.  Israeli companies will link up with potential French partners.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Record year for Israeli companies on Wall St.  2014 has already set a record in offerings by Israeli companies in the US capital market (IPOs and secondary offerings by public companies).  So far 26 Israeli offerings have raised an all-time record of $3.6 billion, breaking the previous record of $3.3 billion set in 1999.

Israelis bring “magic” to Los Angeles.  The 2014 Israel Conference in Los Angeles covered Israeli activity in everything from cybersecurity to the Hollywood film and television industry.  One of the purposes of the conference was to “show the power and strength of how the Israeli economy is touching the world.”

Israeli-UAE sporting tie-up?  Leading UK soccer club Arsenal FC has signed a sponsorship agreement with Markets.com the online Forex, CFD and binary options company.  It is a little ironic that Markets.com is owned by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi and Arsenal’s home ground is the Emirates Stadium.

Israeli delegation begins 50-day visit to Japan.  A delegation of 30 senior Israeli representatives has set off for Japan aiming to deepen economic ties between the two countries.  It will present Israeli technology to large Japanese corporations, in an effort for greater cooperation timed ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A web boost for restaurants.  Israel-based website building tool provider Wix.com is acquiring OpenRest, another Israeli start-up that specializes in on-line ordering and mobile solutions for restaurants.  The move will help smaller restaurants attract hungry customers without paying hefty fees to third parties.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli wins French book prize.  (Thanks to Hazel) Israeli author Zeruya Shalev won the 2014 Prix Femina √Čtranger, a French literary prize for foreign novels, for her book "What Remains of Life," which tells the story of relationships in Israel throughout several generations and was published by Keter Books in 2011.

Kite surfers in Tel Aviv.  Imagine yourself in the Mediterranean beaches of Tel Aviv, riding on a surfboard while holding on to a specially designed kite, using the wind for propulsion.  That’s kitesurfing, and you’ll see many Israelis and tourists having fun with this extreme sport nearly every day of the year.


THE JEWISH STATE

McDonald’s – it’s not what you think.  One of my local synagogues was featured in the Jerusalem Post Metro supplement.

Winter has arrived.  We started saying the winter version of the blessing for a good year on Oct 30th and the heavens opened.  The first rains began whilst we were praying for rain during the festival of Shemini Atzeret.  The level of the Kinneret has started rising, and a (harmless) waterspout appeared off Tel Aviv beach.

Kindness on the light railway.  Jacob Richman has written this article about a security guard on the Jerusalem Light Railway late night run, who feels that it’s his duty to ensure security personnel at each station get a hot drink to warm them during the cold Jerusalem nights.

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In the 2nd Nov 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israel’s Universal Flu Vaccine is granted international patents.
·        The United Nations praised Israel for its work to combat the Ebola virus.
·        Israeli scientists have made electrical circuits from strands of DNA.
·        An Israeli fungicide dramatically slows down the deterioration of fresh food.
·        An innovative Israeli on-line system has entered the second-hand car market.
·        A pair of Israeli bridge players have become world champions.
·        A new inspiring website of positive Israel stories.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary.  Click here for “Israel Goes Global” (fast-loading version, no adverts).  Also on Jerusalem Post and United With Israel.
·        Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News and IsraelSeen.com.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Universal Flu vaccine gets EU and Japanese patents.  The European Union and Japan have granted patents to the universal flu vaccine Multimeric-001 (M-001) developed by Israel’s BiondVax.  The ex-Weizmann Institute technology already has patents in the United States, Hong Kong, Australia, China, Russia and Mexico.

US approval for Israeli ECG system.  The US FDA has approved the innovative ECG system HyperQ Analyzer Rest developed by Israeli biotech BSP.  HyperQ can test patients at rest, diagnosing early-stage heart disease without putting the patient under stress. It is less risky than alternative invasive and radioactivity tests.

Boost for GVHD treatment.  The US FDA has given orphan status to Glassia from Israel’s Kamada, to treat Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD).  Preliminary studies indicate that Glassia may be able to treat and reduce the severity of GVHD, a key life-threatening complication of stem cell transplantation from another person.

Success with new treatment for Parkinson’s.  Phase II trials of liquid levodopa/carbidopa (LD/CD) (ND0612L) by Israeli biotech NeuroDerm have shown improvements in patients with moderate to severe Parkinson’s disease. 

App improves eyesight of Israeli pilots.  The Israeli app GlassesOff has been tested successfully on 32 Israeli Air Force pilots.  On average, a 35% improvement in visual acuity (sharpness and clarity) was achieved after 3 months of exercises for just 12-15 minutes, three times a week.  GlassesOff improves the brain, not the eyes.

Leading the way on managing ADHD.  (Thanks to Nevet – www.broaderview.org) Hadassah Hospital’s Neurocognitive Center has one of the world’s most innovative models for the management of ADHD.  Hadassah’s diagnosis and therapy practices allow children to live normal lives with their families.

The world wakes up to WakeUp.  WakeUp is the Israeli-developed natural beverage solution to post-lunch fatigue. WakeUp, from Israel’s Inno-Bev, won the 2014 SupplySide CPG Editors’ Choice Award in the Energy Drink category.  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wakeup-post-lunch-drink-wins-cpg-editors-choice-at-supplyside-west-280505082.html  http://west.supplysideshow.com/cpg-awards.aspx


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

The “All Children’s Park”.  Israel has inaugurated another accessibility park for children.  The ACP (All the Children’s Park) at Hod Hasharon contains playing devices that allow children with special needs (emotional, social, mental, physical, sensual disabilities) interact with ordinary children.

Women take to Crowdfunding.  Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found that the proportion of women (35%) raising capital using the crowdfunding site Kickstarter was far higher than women using more traditional methods.  The reason is that women have better on-line networking skills than men.

Azerbaijan.  More on the emerging relationship between Israel and its majority-Muslim ally.

UN praises Israel’s work to combat Ebola.  Wow!  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a letter to Israel’s envoy to the UN, Ron Prosor, commending the Jewish state for its efforts to combat the outbreak of the Ebola virus. Meanwhile, Israel’s Sys Technologies makes the inflatable isolation tents recently installed in Guinea.  It also developed a stretcher that isolates those suspected of having contracted the virus.

Nursing sea turtles back to health.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Mikhmoret has nine patients.  They include Mazel (Luck) who is blind and Hofesh (Freedom) with his artificial fins.  They will stay and hopefully breed, but the other seven could eventually return to the sea.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Look what you can 3D print.  The Israeli website Inside3DP aims to become the primary authority on the 3D printing industry, providing expert analysis of the technology in all its varied aspects.

Electrical circuits using DNA.  An international scientific group led by Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor Danny Porath has made electricity flow through long molecules of four DNA strands. This breakthrough in molecular electronics could lead to a new generation of simpler and cheaper computer circuits.

Helping California combat drought.  Professor Eilon Adar, of Ben Gurion University's Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR), is in California sharing technology and experience of working with scarce water resources.  ZWIR specialties include desalination, hydrology, resource economics and water management.

Solar power from trees.  (Thanks to Size Doesn’t Matter) The Ramat HaNadiv nature park in Northern Israel contains an unusual tree. The solar powered tree has a brown metal trunk and branches. Its seven broad leaves are solar panels that provide shade, plus energy for electric and USB outlets, chilled water fountains and wi-fi.

Silence on board.  There has been quite a lot of “noise” recently about the ‘Quiet Bubble’ technology developed by Israel’s Silentium. It can create quiet zones around aircraft passengers' heads. The system, based on Active Noise Cancellation, was demonstrated in California and Washington recently.

Israel in global test of cosmic radiation.  Israel is part of a 4-nation project to measure the ionization rate from cosmic radiation at various altitudes up to 35km.  Scientists in Israel, England, Russia and Spain will release high-altitude balloons carrying cosmic ray detectors in the first international experiment of its kind.

New center for crop protection.  Israel’s Evogene has opened dedicated Research & Development facilities at its Rehovot facility to support the company's product programs focusing on fungus, insect and weed control.

Shelf life extended by 1500%.  An invention by Israel’s Pimi Agro could see the end of world hunger.  Pimi has developed a fungicide, based on hydrogen peroxide with additives, that keeps fruit and vegetables fresh for up to 10 weeks.  It will prevent the current wastage of one-third of all agricultural produce.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

A $ billion company in the making.  Israeli start-up ThetaRay uses complex maths for the early detection of security breaches, enabling the shutdown of systems before damage can be done.  Its customers and investors include GE, Hapoalim and Citi. It is in talks with Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley and has big ambitions.

Building up ties with Philadelphia.  Eleven Israeli startup companies are in Philadelphia, attending Philadelphia's first Israel Technology Conference, hosted by Drexel University.  Philadelphia is a perfect gateway for Israeli companies, thanks to its abundance of higher education and healthcare institutions.

The Chinese Go4Israel.  Hundreds of European and Asian investors looked to Israel for business partnerships at the twelfth annual Go4Europe/Go4Israel conference in Tel Aviv's Hilton Hotel.  This year's conference focused specifically on strengthening ties between Israel and China.

Good news for startups.  Investment in Israel startups during the 3rd quarter of 2014 was 6% higher than the same period in 2013.  Over $700 million of funding capital was invested in Israeli hi-tech from Jul-Sep 2014.

DNA test for your family tree.  Israel-based ancestry research company MyHeritage has joined up with 23andMe, the biotech company that sells personal DNA kits, to enable people to discover their heritage based on genetics testing and documented family history.

Reinventing the used car marketplace.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israel startup Beepi is transforming the buying and selling of used cars by providing inspection, financing and delivery, all through its digital platform.  It sounds too good to be true, but it has raised $60 million from investors who like the idea.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Things to do in Israel in November.  Many tourists enjoy visiting Israel during November.  The temperatures are much more comfortable than during the heat of the summer. 

Worth listening to.  I’ve just heard about the fascinating Jerusalem Stories Radio, which produces regular short features of what's creative and interesting about Israel: it's people, art, history, culture, religion...life.  Please visit the site and hear the stories.

Tel Aviv is one of the world’s top culinary cities.  The prestigious American food and lifestyle magazine Saveur rated Tel Aviv-Jaffa “Outstanding” in its annual rankings of the world’s best food destinations in the category of cities with a population of under 800,000.  Tel Aviv-Jaffa has 4,536 eating establishments.

Chinese student represents Israel.  Lechao Tang is studying for a master's degree in Bible and the Ancient Near East, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He is also representing the university (and Israel) on China’s highest rated game show “Who’s Still Standing”. 

25,000 in Tel Aviv Night Run.  More than 25,000 participants ran through Tel Aviv - the "City that Never Sleeps" - in its sixth annual 10 km urban night race.

Europe’s youth chess champion.  Israeli 17-year-old high school student Avital Boruchovsky is the 2014 European Youth Under 18 Chess Champion, after winning a four-hour game against his Spanish opponent Jaime Santos Latasa at the championships in Georgia.

World bridge champions.  Israel’s Ehud Friedlander and Inon Liran won the open pairs world championships at the 14th Red Bull World Bridge Series in Sanya, China. The margin of victory was an impressive 3% over the runners-up from Poland.  Also, Israel’s Ronnie Barr and Eldad Ginossar won the mixed pairs B final by 3%.


THE JEWISH STATE

 $13.2 million aid to Southern Israel residents.  The Jewish Agency for Israel has developed a $13.2 Million aid package to help the communities of Israel’s south recover from this summer’s hostilities, thanks to contributions from the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Kayesod-UIA, and other donors.

From Hezbollah terrorist to Israeli rabbi.  How did a Shia Muslim and Hezbollah commander become Rabbi Avraham Sinai of Tzfat?  You have got to believe that anything is possible, when you read this amazing story.

Bringing Israel’s message to the World.  “People2People Diplomacy” tells the truth, through worldwide speaking engagements and specialized tours of Israel. What is the truth? As the only democracy in the region, Israel's highly educated and innovative population is a blessing to the world!

“From The Grapevine”.  This excellent website features original articles highlighting the inspiring, beautiful and innovative side of the Jewish State.  It also includes some stunning photography to accompany positive Israeli stories that cover Innovation, Health, Nature, the Arts, Food and Lifestyle.


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In the 26th Oct 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        20,000 international doctors connect using the Israeli medical network G-Med.
·        A female Druze Arab is the first to become an Israeli police commander.
·        Israelis have delivered humanitarian aid to 1000 Yazidis and Christians in Iraq.
·        One billion products sold last year contained microchips from Israel’s CEVA.
·        An Israeli company will coordinate security at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
·        Google Tel Aviv has been designated one of the world’s “coolest” designed offices.
·        A new film sets the record straight on the historical link between Jews and Israel.

·        Last week’s Israel Good News descriptive summary “Building a New World”.  Also on Jerusalem Post, United With Israel and San Diego Jewish World.
·        Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News, IsraPundit and IsraelSeen.com.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

20,000 doctors use G-Med.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s G-Med, the world’s first and only global social-professional network exclusively for physicians, allows doctors anywhere to consult with colleagues, and manage multinational research projects.  Launched in 2013, G-Med now has 20,000 users in over 50 countries.

Diagnosing liver disease.  A multi-center trial is to commence of the innovative diagnosis device developed by Israel’s Exalenz Bioscience to detect liver disease.  The device is already used to examine a patient’s breath in order to detect bacteria in the stomach that causes ulcers.

A treatment for bone infections.  Israeli biotech PolyPid is raising funds for trials of its BonyPid process and device that can release medication over a long period of time.  Currently, infections of dental implants and fractures may need treating by repeated surgery.  BonyPid needs inserting only once.

Israel & Jordan work to cure parasitic disease.  Israeli biotech Pharmaseed has initiated a new project bringing Israeli, Jordanian and Swiss researchers together to search for a cure for cutaneous leishmaniasis.  The parasitic disease is common in the Middle East and can cause death in patients with weak immune systems.

Doctor saves Shaul twice.  Reserves officer Dr. Oren Weisman saved Shaul Hanoni in July after a Hamas mortar severed Shaul’s arm during Operation Protective Edge.  Weeks later, Shaul came to Sheba hospital and found that Dr Weisman was on the surgical team that successfully restored functionality to Shaul’s arm.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

More Israeli female medical directors.  (Thanks to Margie) I erroneously reported that Professor Tamar Peretz was the first female head of an Israeli hospital.  In fact, the medical director of HaEmeq medical center in Afula (Dr Orna Blondheim) is a woman, and so apparently is the head of the Carmel medical center in Haifa.

The first female Druze police commander.  Faten Nassraldin, from the Arab Druze town of Dalit El Carmel, received her post and pin as a platoon commander in the Israeli Police force.  "I decided to become an officer myself because I wanted to contribute as much as possible to the country and to the police," Nassraldin stated.

Israeli police organize help for new immigrants.  Police officers from the Ofakim precinct near Gaza have “adopted” a family of new immigrants who were struggling to make ends meet.  They gathered food, furniture and clothing and collected donations for them.  They even built them a tabernacle for the Sukkot holiday.

Passenger complaint leads to more buses.  Is this the end to overcrowded buses?  Following a resident’s complaint, Israeli bus drivers must report each occasion when more than ten passengers are forced to stand.  If this happens three times in one hour, the bus company must add an extra bus for the hour of high demand.

Over 308,000 Israelis start college.  The new Israeli academic year gets underway with 238,420 students studying for a bachelors (first) degree, 59,455 students are enrolled in graduate programs, and 10,860 are working on their doctorates.

Tmura funds charities with over $10 million.  (Thanks to Steve) Israel’s public service venture fund Tmura has given $10 million to over 100 education and youth-related charities throughout Israel.  360 Israeli and Israel-related high-tech companies have donated their shares to Tmura’s unique equity donation program.

Hadassah program saves Palestinian Arab children.  Hadassah Medical Center’s physicians not only perform complex cardiac surgeries on Palestinian Arab children, they also train Palestinian physicians so that they can treat Palestinian Arab patients closer to home.

Aid for refugees fleeing Islamic State.  The Israeli NGO IsraAid has distributed beds, blankets, basic supplies and food to over 1,000 Yazidis and Christians fleeing the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) terror organization in the Kurdish regions of Iraq.  The Israeli team has been warmly received by the Kurdish refugees.

Green technology for Rwanda.  An Israeli delegation is currently in Rwanda, as part of a program helping the poor east African nation save millions of dollars a year through recycling and green technology.  It includes a 4,650 sqm solar array on the roof of the Rwandan parliament building saving $7,500 on electricity per month.

Pro-Israeli German magazine re-launches.  The last issue of the original Judische Rundschau was published just before Kristallnacht in 1938.  Now, Dr. Rafael Korenzecher has revived the magazine to “reach the German public”. His two senior editors have promised to “stand behind Israel”.  We wish them much success.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Dairy technology in China.  The Nestle Dairy Farming Institute has just opened in China. It features Israel’s SCR Engineers Ltd, a pioneer of Cow, Milking and Herd Intelligence, whose cow monitoring technology will optimize the productivity of every cow.  SCR will also provide training and courses in farm management.

New smartphone-tablet has Israel inside.  The new $200 Asus PadFone X hybrid smartphone-tablet contains a digital signals processor made by Israel’s CEVA Inc.  It also has an Intel chip.  In 2013 alone, one billion products were sold with CEVA’s chips inside.  See another example of CEVA’s hi-tech innovation in the video.

Secure storage in the cloud.  Amazon Web Services has just designated Israel’s CTERA Networks to be a Storage Competency partner.  CTERA declares that it revolutionizes storage, data protection and collaboration for enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs).

$9.6 million donation for research.  The Helmsley Charitable Trust is granting more than $9.6 million dollars to four Israeli institutions – the Technion, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Weizmann Institute and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

U.S. honor for Israeli Flash storage innovator.  Dr. Eli Harari, Israeli founder of the SanDisk flash storage company, is one of the nine 2014 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation.  Dr. Harari developed the Floating Gate EEPROM, which laid the foundation for flash memory.

Top prizes at international Physics event.  Eight Israeli high school students from the Ilan Ramon Youth Physics Center at Ben-Gurion University have earned the top prizes in the First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics international competition.  Some 80 nations participate in the annual competition, which is held in Warsaw.

Doubling the Math numbers.  Ten major Israeli international high-tech companies are working together on “Project 5times2”.  Intel, Sandisk, Marvell Israel, Microsoft, IBM, Qualcomm, Red Hat, Amdocs, eBay, and Philips aim to double the number of Israeli high school pupils matriculating in the five units of Math.

Israel’s global water solutions.  At the International Water Association’s annual conference in Lisbon Israelis presented creative solutions to global water problems. Israel’s Miya received the IWA’s Project Innovation Award, Asia Pacific Region, for significantly improving urban water system efficiency in Manila, Philippines.

Shipping data you can rely on.  The Automatic Identification System that supposedly tracks the position of world shipping is being manipulated to conceal criminal activities and worse.  Secure technology from Israel’s Windward provides reliable data for both economic and security purposes.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Managing security at Rio Olympics.  The Olympic Committee and the agencies managing the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympiad have selected Israeli security company ISDS to provide security for the world's biggest sporting event.  ISDS will be the systems and security integrator at the various Olympic Games sites.

More British Airways flights to Israel.  For Summer 2015, due to growing demand, British Airways is raising the seat capacity on the London-Tel Aviv route by about 50%. Six weekly flights will be added, raising the total number to 20.  Also, schedule changes will help passengers connect to North American destinations.

The first California Israel Summit.  The California Israel Chamber of Commerce will hold the first annual California Israel International Business Summit at the Microsoft Campus in California on Oct 22nd and 23rd.  The summit is a hub for Israeli and California-based firms to explore new joint business opportunities.

Japan comes to Israel.  Japanese Culture Week in Jerusalem showed that Japan has definitely found the Israeli market. Under the guidance of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Japanese food manufacturers are even obtaining kosher certification.

Increasing ties with Saskatchewan.  The Canada-Israel Industrial Research Development Foundation, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Israeli Embassy announced a new program to encourage research and development between Saskatchewan and Israel, and strengthen innovation and economic ties.

A hi-tech power couple.  Forbes has declared the Israeli-born husband and wife team of Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen to be the high tech world’s “newest power couple.”  Adi and Alon founded Houzz.com - a platform for home remodeling and design. Houzz has 25 million monthly users and the company is valued at $2 billion.

A cool place to work.  (Thanks to Janglo) Google Tel Aviv is one of the eight companies included in Inc. Magazine’s 4th annual list of the World’s Coolest Offices.  See pages 5 – 8 in the linked article.

Telefonica to support Israeli start-ups.  International telecommunications giant Telefonica is to provide help and funding to companies in Israel’s VLX Ventures technology incubator. Telefonica will invest up to $1 million in specific digital communications projects, and will also contribute its experience.

Cutting out the banks.  Blender is a new Israeli on-line platform that connects borrowers to lenders without a bank acting as middleman.  The result is less bureaucracy, better rates and lower fees, albeit with greater risk.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Great Israeli music.  Listen to the 1980s decade of Israeli music on Kol Cambridge from DJ Antithesis on Tel Aviv’s Radio TLV1.  Hits include “Hora” and “Hai”.

Here come the cranes.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Summer has officially ended, as tens of thousands of cranes fly in to Israel’s Hula valley on their way to their winter retreat in Africa.  They are just part of the 500 million birds from 200 species that will touch down for some Israeli hospitality during their migration from Europe.

Body and Soul: The state of the Jewish Nation.  This is a film that I would really like to see - the latest documentary by Gloria Greenfield and her company, Doc Emet. The film will have its premiere later this month in numerous American and Canadian cities, as well as in Jerusalem.


THE JEWISH STATE

Roman inscription discovered in Jerusalem.  The second part of a 130 CE Latin inscription has been unearthed at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, many years after the first part was discovered.  The tribute to Emperor Hadrian is from the Tenth Legion, just prior to the final Jewish revolt against Roman rule.

Let’s enjoy Shabbat together.  Israelis joined an estimated 1 million Jews worldwide celebrating the latest Shabbat Project initiative.  The Israeli message - it is not only in wartime that we can be united.


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In the 19th Oct 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli-discovered link between diabetes and brain disease may lead to treatments for both.
·        The new head of an Israeli hospital is from Israel’s minority Druze community.
·        An Israeli startup is developing a 3D desktop printer that can print electronic circuits.
·        Israel has abolished customs duty on imports of clean technology products.
·        Three Israeli TV shows were big sellers at the Cannes international MIPCOM show.
·        Israel hosted the largest vegan festival in the world.
·        The birth rate in the Jewish State is the highest in the developed world. 

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary.  Click here for “Defeating the Forces of Darkness” (fast-loading version, no adverts).  Also on United With Israel and San Diego Jewish World.  And a first-ever posting in Portuguese (thanks to Amigo de Israel).

·        Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News, on IsraPundit and on IsraelSeen.com.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Link between diabetes and brain disease.  (Thanks to Israel21c) In another brain disease discovery, Ben Gurion University researchers have found similar adverse protein interactions in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Type 2 diabetes.  Treatments to prevent these interactions could prevent all three diseases.

The first medical inhaler for cannabis.  Israeli biotech Syqe Medical has developed the world’s first metered-dose device for inhaling medical cannabis – vital for many patients suffering from MS or pain that does not respond to conventional treatments.  The device can be produced on a 3D printer and controlled by iPhone.

Eye surgery in Kyrgyzstan.  (Thanks to Hazel)  Israeli eye doctors performed 55 operations and examined over 250 patients at the Eye Microsurgery Department of Osh Interregional Hospital in Kyrgyzstan. (Note - the original website article has been deleted)

It’s breast cancer awareness month.  I missed reporting previously this report on Israel’s Channel 2 of the Octava cancer test from Israel’s Eventus.  So this month it’s a good opportunity to include it.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

New head of Israeli hospital is Druze.  Dr. Salmaan Zarka is the first doctor from the Druze community to be appointed as head of an Israeli hospital.  Zarka will be heading up Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat (Safed).  Ziv is frequently in the Israeli news because of the injured Syrian civilians that it treats.

The first female head of an Israeli hospital.  Professor Tamar Peretz began her career as a medical student at Hadassah Medical Center.  She advanced to head of oncology and is now the hospital’s director general. Her personal story is a microcosm of Jewish endeavor.

Lee saves six people.  19-year-old Lee Hasin died last week from a brain tumor.  Six people received his organs, including a 5-year-old boy with liver failure and an 18-year-old girl.

Syrians who trust Israelis with their lives.  Senior doctors at Ziv Medical Center in Tsfat (Sefad) and the Medical Center of the Galilee in Nahariya talk on Tel Aviv Radio TLV1 about the wounded Syrians who seek out urgent medical treatment from “the enemy” (Israel).

US army veterans find healing in Israel.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Based in New Jersey, the nonprofit Heroes to Heroes brings to Israel “teams” of American war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The vets enjoyed being shown respect by Israelis, who understood what it meant to serve their country.

A friend in Portugal.  A pro-Israel news site in Portuguese has been promoting VerygoodnewsIsrael.  It has also attracted many new readers in Brazil.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

3D electronics printing.  Israel’s Nano Dimension is developing a desktop-sized 3D printer that prints electrical circuit boards.  It uses silver nano-particle processes developed by Hebrew University Professor Shlomo Magdassi to produce insulating and conductive inks for the circuits.  Maybe one day you will be able to print your own computer or mobile phone.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4m5skH0sGw

The plastic center of attention. The International Polymer Processing Society (PPS) is holding its annual conference in Israel for the first time in its 30-year history.  Top experts will discuss 3D printing, nano-technology, biodegradable polymers, super-hygrophobicity, medical polymers, smart materials and much more.

The Israel Conference in LA.  The Israel Conference Oct 30-31 in Los Angeles features 75 stellar speakers from Israel-facing hi-tech companies. The diverse cross-section of innovation and design from Israel provides the attendees with a front-row seat to the technologies and products of tomorrow.

Converting kitchen waste to cooking gas.  Israeli HomeBioGas units are transforming trash into bio-gas for Bedouin residents of Umm Batin near Beersheva.  Israel’s environment ministry subsidized the 8,000-shekels cost per unit.  Now 50 units are headed to the Dominic Republic as part of a test project.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

No customs duty for cleantech products.  Israel has joined a group of 41 countries that have agreed to drop all customs duties on goods that contribute to a cleaner environment.  The global deal will also make Israel’s vast range of clean technology products cheaper abroad and thus help Israeli exports.

The first haredi incubator.  “Yazam BaLev” (“an entrepreneur at heart”) is the first full-fledged accelerator that will provide support to haredi (very religious) Jewish hi-tech start-ups.  The 4-month Jerusalem College of Technology program includes mentoring and training in how to present to potential investors.

Am Yisrael Buy.  A new app Am Yisrael Buy helps users find products that were specifically made in Israel to buy.  The name is obviously a play on the Hebrew phrase “Am Yisrael Chai” which translates as “long live the Nation of Israel.”  The app is available for both Android and iOS smartphones and devices.

Israeli TV shows are big sellers.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Turkey, Italy, Germany, France, Sweden and Spain have all signed deals for new original Israeli game shows and reality formats.  At the MIPCOM TV market in Cannes, international TV producers bought “The People’s Choice”, “Help! I can’t cook!” and “300 Sec. Ride” 

All good news here.  Thanks to ex-Ambassador Yoram Ettinger for this report of recent Israeli global business successes.  http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=10245

Israeli gas is a game changer.  By end 2015, Israel may have binding agreements to sell billions of dollars of natural gas to Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Even Turkey is interested.  Israeli Energy Minister Silvan Shalom said Israel’s gas “allows us to enjoy both political and economic fruits”.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli dance troupe wins Cyprus folklore festival.  Hadera’s 26-member “Colors of Dance” troupe won first prize at the Ninth Mediterranean Folklore Festival in Larnaca, Cyprus.  12 countries competed in the five-day festival, including Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Egypt and Georgia.

The world’s largest vegan festival.  Israel hosted on Monday what organizers say is the largest vegan festival in the world. Ramat Gan’s Vegan Fest 2014 featured workshops, lectures, panels, concerts, some 15,000 visitors and (of course) meat and dairy-free food.  Israel also has the largest proportion of vegans in the world.

The balloons go up and down.  (Thanks to Israel21c) This year’s International Hot Air Balloon Festival began near Mount Gilboa in the Galilee and finished at Park Eshkol in the Negev, watched by over 10,000 spectators. 16 balloons traversed the country, including from the US, Austria, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

The best bar in the Middle East.  (Thanks to Hazel and Israel21c) Drinks International magazine listed Tel Aviv’s Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar as the best bar in Africa and the Middle East.  Outside of Israel, however, the choice must have been somewhat limited!

10 dolphins visit Israeli coast. Tourists to the Jewish State during the festival of Tabernacles included a school of 10 dolphins that entertained the survey team from the Israel Marine Mammal Research & Assistance Center.

Two wins out of two.  Israel made it six points out of six in soccer’s Euro 2016 qualifying Group B, with Omer Damari netting a hat trick in a 4-1 victory in Andorra.  Previously, Israel had an encouraging 2-1 win in Cyprus.


THE JEWISH STATE

From Chief to Chief.  In 1953 Yigael Yadin - the first Chief of Staff of the new Jewish State - discovered letters written by Simon Bar Kochba - the last commander of Judea.  The letters, now on display in the Israel Museum, were addressed to commanders of the Jewish army - perhaps including Yadin, some 1820 years later.

Leader of Jewish legion returns to Zion.  Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson led the British Army’s Jewish Legion to battle against the Turks in WW1.  He was widely recognized as a “true righteous among the gentiles”. To commemorate the 147th anniversary of his birth, Lt. Col. Patterson’s ashes will be re-interred in Israel.

Another rescue via Entebbe.  The Ugandan Jewish community of Abayudaya had no Arba Minim (4 species) with which to celebrate the festival of Sukkot.  So Melanie Lidman traversed facebook, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Entebbe airport and Kampala to bring a set donated by total strangers to the eagerly awaiting Jews.

President Rivlin’s “green” sukka.  Israeli President Reuven Rivlin used the theme “Sukkot in the Environment” when he invited the public to join him in his Jerusalem sukka.  Visitors enjoyed activities and displays promoting recycling and reuse, green space, bio-gas from waste and sustainable construction.

Israel has the highest birth rate in the developed world.  At the Jewish New Year 2014, Israel's population has risen to 8,252,500.  Israel’s birth rate of 3 children per woman is the highest in the developed world.  (The international average is 1.7)  42% of the world’s 14.2 million Jews now reside in Israel.

Returning lost property.  Yarden Ben-Ezra was driving behind a Brink's security truck in the Israeli city of Kiryat Ata when a sack containing 400,000 shekels fell out of the truck.  Ben-Ezra retrieved the bag and chased the truck until it finally stopped. The guards, who hadn’t noticed the loss, thanked Ben-Ezra and drove off.

“They will all come to Jerusalem”.  Zechariah’s prophecy is coming to fruition.  Thousands of Christian supporters of Israel packed Jerusalem’s streets and the new Pais Arena to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.


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In the 12th Oct 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli scientists have identified proteins in the body that cause dementia and cancer.
·        An Israeli biotech has developed the first ever treatment for dry AMD.
·        In a life-saving operation, Israeli surgeons removed a bullet from the neck of a Syrian boy.
·        The first-ever commercial app for smart glasses is Israeli.
·        Israel’s exports to the UK in the last 8 months were up 38% to a record £1.6bn.
·        Six Israeli swimmers broke the world record by swimming from Cyprus to Israel.
·        Latest Israeli excavations reveal a 2000-year-old ritual bath, with 70-year-old graffiti.

·        Last week’s Israel Good News descriptive summary.  Click here for “A Good State for the Whole Body” (no adverts).  Also on United with Israel.
·        Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News and IsraelSeen.com.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Preventing the brain from aging.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered that the protein interferon beta impairs the cognitive ability of the brain – common in old age.  The finding may lead to treatments that can prevent or reverse cognitive decline and rejuvenate the brain.

A target for anti-cancer treatments.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israeli biotech Compugen has discovered a protein, codenamed CGEN-15049 that prevents the immune system from destroying tumors.  Attacking CGEN-15049 could prevent many cancers, including lung, ovarian, colorectal, gastric, prostate and liver.

ALS treatment is fast-tracked.  The US FDA has designated NurOwn, developed by Israel’s Brainstorm, as a Fast Track product for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Incubating life.  Israel’s government is to fund FutuRx - an incubator to provide as many as 40 new biotechs up to 3 years and $2.3 million to develop life-saving treatments. So far, it has selected one startup developing brain disease treatment technology and another working on a cancer treatment that blocks a specific protein.

Gold-coated heart patches.  Israeli scientists have performed successful lab tests to repair damaged heart tissue using replacement tissue that has been impregnated with gold atoms.  Gold carries electrical signals from the heart until the new tissue is able to grow sufficient amounts of protein to do the same job.

The first ever treatment for dry AMD.  OpRegen, developed by Israel’s CellCure NeuroSciences is designed to treat patients with the severe stage of the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (dry-AMD).  Dry-AMD is the leading cause of visual impairment in an aging population.  No approved therapy currently exists.

Protecting the elderly from falls.  Up to 1 million hospital patients a year are hurt in falls. Israel’s EarlySense bed sensors give nursing staff advance notice of patients who are about to get out of bed at night.  Assistance and intervention at the bedside will potentially prevent falls.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

1.7 billion shekels to fight poverty.  Israel has approved a budget increase of NIS 1.7 billion for the implementation of the recommendations of the Elalouf Committee to Reduce Poverty in Israel.  Increased support includes for education, daycare, employment integration, needy pensioners and social services.

Arab media praises Israel.  Regarding Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian Arab workers, the Arab media only has praise.  Al-Hayat Al-Jadida commended Israeli employers for much higher wages, job security and other benefits.  In Judea and Samaria 15,000 Palestinian Arabs work side by side with Israelis.

Syrian boy saved.  Israeli surgeons managed to remove a bullet, just millimeters from the main blood vessels of a Syrian child's neck, in a delicate operation lasting several hours.  The report even reached the UK media.

Israel’s closest Muslim ally.  The majority Shiite nation of Azerbaijan is the biggest supplier of oil to Israel.  Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited the Azeri President recently. It was the first Defense Ministry visit since diplomatic relations were established 22 years ago.

Israel is beautiful.  Kristen Dalton, one of 11 US beauty queens on a five-day tour of Israel, said that Israelis “have created an exquisite, highly innovative country that provides job security, democracy, health insurance, and top quality education to people of all religions and races. Most importantly, they value life over death”.

Texas can learn water conservation from Israel.  (Thanks to Nevet – www.broaderview.org) Israeli water expert Arie Brish spoke at the SXSW Eco conference in Austin, Texas.  Texas can overcome its severe drought by implementing Israel’s water recycling and drip irrigation techniques.

Ebola mobile clinics are on the way.  The Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Mashav department is sending three Israel-manufactured mobile emergency clinics to West Africa to help try to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading.  Medical experts will accompany each clinic to train local staff in the operation of its equipment.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Aiming for the Moon.  Yanki Margalit is an Israeli entrepreneur. He is also the chairman of SpaceIL – the company that is planning to make Israel only the fourth nation in the world to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

Eilat’s technology hub. Kibbutz Ketura near Eilat will be the location for a new technology hub developing products that can provide energy and water to poor populations that are not connected to their national grids.  Companies can test off-grid solutions, including for energy storage, horticulture, biogas generation and water.

Searching for Dark Matter.  Scientists believe that mysterious Dark Matter comprises much of the known universe, but cannot prove it.  Dr Ran Budnik of Israel’s Weizmann Institute is lead scientist on the project to build the prototype of a device to detect the result of dark matter particles colliding with liquid xenon.

Israeli wins international computer award.  Bar-Ilan University Professor Doron Peled was presented with the 2014 CAV (Computer-Aided Verification) Award at the 26th annual CAV conference in Vienna, Austria.  Prof Peled and 3 others were commended for their contribution to eliminating computer errors.

The first commercial smart glasses app.  Mekorot, Israel’s water company, is the first firm in the world to equip its field workers with smart glasses – Epson’s Moverio BT-200 devices.  It’s also the first to be deploying a commercial app – by Israeli startup FieldBit to receive specific guidance and instruction when they repair high-tension electricity installations at Mekorot facilities.

Two security awards for Magal.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI)  Two products of Israel’s Magal-Senstar won awards at the 2014 ASIS Accolades Competition: Security’s Best Award.  Its RoboGuard robot patrols security fences.  CyberSeal protects against cyber attacks.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Record business with the UK.  Bilateral trade between Israel and the UK rose by 28% between January and August, reaching record levels.  Israeli exports to the UK were worth £1.6 billion, up 38%.

New laws for Angels.  Israel is amending the Angel Investors Law, granting tax incentives to those investing in start-ups at the seed stage of research and development.  Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said it “will ensure that the New Year will be one of entrepreneurship and encouragement of investment in high tech.”

US Navy buys Israeli radar systems.  The United States Navy is acquiring Gulfstream jets which have been modified to carry the radar detection system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)/Elta Systems for airborne Aerial Early Warning missions.

China is Israel’s top investor.  Nearly 1,000 Chinese business people visited Israel last year, including those at the first-ever Israel-China Economic Summit. For China, Israel is a great source of technology to help them develop their economy. For Israel, it’s a unique opportunity to gain entry into the biggest market in the world.

Israeli beer wins Gold at World Beer Cup.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israel’s Alexander Brewery tasted international success when its Black Beer beat 74 other brews to win the Robust Porter category at the World Beer Cup in Denver Colorado, USA.  The Israeli brewery has only been marketing beer for 3 years.

Kaspersky to open Jerusalem R&D center.  Russian software giant Kaspersky Lab, known for its popular anti-virus system, will open a development center in Jerusalem next year - one of its few outside of Russia. 

Israel gas will save Jordan JD 700 million annually.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) The Jordanian government said that its state-owned National Electric Power Company is expected to buy 250-300 million cubic feet per day of (Israeli) natural gas, which experts said will save around JD700 million annually of the energy bill.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Netanya’s International Guitar festival.  Netanya hosted the 9th International Guitar festival, featuring concerts, master classes, competitions, flamenco dancers and even a guitar tour of Netanya.

World record swim.  Six Israelis have entered the Guinness Book of Records with the open water relay record by swimming the 236 miles (380km) from Cyprus to Tel Aviv.  Last year’s attempt had failed – but Israelis never give up! They also raised awareness for protecting the environment of the Mediterranean.

Formula 1 cars return to Jerusalem.  Ferraris, Audis and Porsche racecars roared up to 240km per hour around the walls of the Old City as part of the second annual Jerusalem Formula road show.  The event drew hundreds of thousands of onlookers along the route from the First Station to the Karta parking lot near Mamilla.


THE JEWISH STATE

Unique twins.  19-year-old twins Yael & Noga Steinman were born Fatima and Zukra Islambakov, in Uzbekistan to a Muslim mother and a Jewish father.  When they discovered their roots they made Aliya and joined the IDF.  One has since converted to Judaism and the other is completing her conversion.

An inflatable tabernacle!  It’s kosher, and easy to put up - an idea for next year, perhaps?

A luxury Sukkot at the Inbal Hotel.  This is the ultimate for those wanting 8 days in a 5-star penthouse overlooking Jerusalem.  Full board for a family of four with your own huge sukkah costs a cool $50,000.

Excavation reveals ancient & modern.  Archaeologists working in the hills outside of Jerusalem uncovered an ancient Jewish ritual bath that reveals not only remnants of Second Temple-era life in the area, but also the inscriptions of two Australian soldiers who visited the site while passing through during World War II.


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In the 5th Oct 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli alternative to antibiotics reprograms the immune system to fight infections.
·        Health workers in West Africa are saving lives with an app built using Israeli software.
·        Israeli hospitals have treated over 1200 wounded Syrians.
·        The next two generations of Intel’s advanced microprocessors are Israeli-developed.
·        The most advanced 3D printer factory in the world has been inaugurated in Israel.
·        Free tours were given to hundreds of unique sites during Open House Jerusalem week.

·        Last week’s Israel Good News descriptive summary “Israel begins a New Year” . Also on Jerusalem Post, United with Israel and IsraelSeen.com.
·        Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News and on IsraelSeen.com.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

A new way to fight infection.  The US Biomedical R&D Authority has awarded Israel’s Atox Bio $24 million to develop its treatments for severe infections.  Atox Bio’s AB103 uniquely modulates the patient’s immune response rather than attacking the virus or bacteria. Pathogens cannot develop resistance to the treatment.

Hepatitis treatment fast-tracked. The US FDA has awarded Fast Track Designation to Israeli biotech Galmed for its Aramchol treatment of Non-Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis, or NASH.  Galmed is to perform Phase IIb trials of Aramchol this year with 240 NASH patients who also suffer from obesity and insulin resistance.
                       
Robotic heart surgery in action.  An Israeli Broadcasting Authority report about the groundbreaking robotic catheterization procedure that was broadcast live from Israel to 12,000 US doctors two weeks ago.  Two Israelis founded Corindus, the company that developed the system.

New non-dairy, no soy infant formula.  Two Israeli baby-food executives have developed a new vegetable-based product called INDI (Innovative Non Dairy Infant formula).  It provides a solution for babies who cannot tolerate cows milk.  It also doesn’t contain soy, which can affect a baby’s hormones.

“About Ebola” saves lives.  Health workers in West Africa have used the Israeli app Snapp to build a website containing essential details about preventing the spread of Ebola.  “About Ebola” is the first Android app written in the Jola / Diola language and around 5,000 copies have been downloaded.

Israel’s oldest hospital celebrates 120 years.  An old Jewish blessing states, “You should live for 120 years.” Jerusalem’s Herzog Hospital, Israel’s oldest hospital, is celebrating its 120th birthday and is still expanding. Herzog is Israel’s foremost center for geriatric and mental health care, treatment and research.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Innovating for good.  Beit Issie Shapira has won Microsoft Israel’s “Innovate for Good” competition for its “IssiePlay” app for computer tablets.  IssiePlay is an imaginative game with accessibility features for children with disabilities.  Beit Issie benefits 30,000 Israeli disabled children and adults.

A special friend.  (Thanks to 12Tribe Films) This is a beautiful video of Erez, an Israeli boy with special needs, who is introduced to a horse on a farm in Israel.  Erez is one of 150 Israelis with “Williams syndrome” – a disorder in which sufferers have problems connecting with others.

A “next generation leader”.  Israel’s Adi Altschuler has been named one of Time magazine’s six “Next Generation Leaders.”  27-year-old Adi has created “communities of kindness” through the establishment of Krembo Wings, a nationwide youth movement that runs after-school activities for children with disabilities.

 “Israel: A failed state.” (Thanks to Robyn) I almost missed this article by Charles Abelsohn – founder of “Truth be Told”.  I had assumed from the title that it was anti-Israel.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

6 more Syrians treated in Israeli hospitals.  On 27th Sept, three seriously wounded Syrian children were brought to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed. They were treated at the trauma unit and were expected to undergo surgery when their condition stabilizes.  Ziv has treated 376 Syrians.  On 28th Sept, a severely wounded 10-year-old and a wounded man in his twenties were brought to a Northern Israel hospital.  On 2nd Oct, Poriya Hospital in Tiberias received a 23-year-old Syrian man with shrapnel wounds – its 106th Syrian patient.

Saving Syrian lives is Israel’s priority.  Israel has spent over 32 million shekels (about $9 million) treating 1200 wounded Syrians, despite a severe shortage in hospital funds. IDF and Health ministry officials state that the treatment of Syrian wounded is viewed as being of the highest humanitarian nature.

Editor of Lancet sees reality.  When Professor Richard Horton, editor of UK medical magazine “The Lancet” was criticized for publishing an anti-Israel article, he decided to visit an Israeli hospital himself.  Seeing Jews and Arabs treating and being treated at Haifa’s Rambam hospital may open his eyes and his mind.

Northern Ireland group visits Israeli trauma centers.  A group of trauma therapists and sufferers from Northern Ireland recently came to see the world-famous Trauma centers of Israel at work.  Northern Ireland Assembly member, Michael Copeland, said it was “one of the most moving experiences of my life”.

Sky’s the limit to Israel-India ties.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was delighted to meet with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi in New York – the first meeting between leaders of the two countries in 10 years.  PM Netanyahu invited PM Modi to Israel, in what would be a first for an Indian Prime Minister.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The world’s largest dairy farm project.  This video describes the work of Israel’s afimilk Vietnam - the largest dairy farm project in the world.

Design and print your own 3D product.  Industrial designers Oded Marcus and Shaul Cohen welcome students and studios - and the general public - to come inside their new 3D Factory in Tel Aviv to check out the cutting-edge three-dimensional printers and what they can make.

Turn your saddle into a bike lock.  Israel’s Seatylock is a neat way to carry around the lock for your bicycle, without you needing to take on any unnecessary extra weight.

$5 million donation for cyber security research.  Carole and Marcus Weinstein have sponsored the building of a new Cyber Security center at Ben Gurion University - a key component of Israel’s CyberSpark initiative.  The 1580 sq. m. building will house laboratories, classrooms, auditoriums, conference rooms, and offices.

The next generation of microchips is Israeli.  Intel is launching its new Israel-developed Core M computer processor chips and already planning the release of its successor – the SkyLake, also designed in Israel.  Intel’s Israeli developments are astounding.  http://www.haaretz.com/business/.premium-1.618097

Growing coral in the desert.  (Thanks to Charlie) Israel’s OkCoral in the Negev desert produces fast-growing corals for use by Israel’s Corebone (featured previously) in dental implants and bone regeneration. (CNN video)

Over the moon for Israeli space technology.  Over 200 leaders in the “space business” gathered at the Israel exhibition at the International Astronautical Congress in Toronto.  Israel is one of only seven countries to launch and maintain its own satellites and works closely with both NASA and the European Space Agency.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Moody’s gives Israel A1 rating.  International credit rating agency Moody’s reported that Israel’s investment grade remains at an A1 sovereign rating, and that the country’s economy maintains a stable outlook.  Moody’s attributes the favorable rating to Israel’s “resilient growth model and effective governance.”

$360 million for Gaza-border communities.  The Israeli government has appropriated $360 million to communities adjacent to the Israel-Gaza border on top of the $114 million allocated to the south during Operation Protective Edge.  It is the biggest investment Israel has ever made in the south, funding factories, business support, developing tourism and benefiting all Negev residents, including the Bedouin community,”

Ben Gurion airport sees highest-ever traffic over holidays.  A record 521 aircraft will land and depart from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday, transporting some 70,000 people.  In total, 1.4 million passengers will travel through the airport during the holiday season, up to the end of the Sukkot holiday in October.

New 3D printer factory employs hundreds.  Israel’s Stratasys has inaugurated its new plant in Kiryat Gat. The factory is described as the most advanced in the world for the manufacture of 3D printers.  The new plant will have hundreds of employees, mainly from southern Israel and the inland coastal region.

The prickly pear farmer.  The “sabra” (prickly pear in Hebrew) also gives its name to the native-born Israeli – prickly on the outside but soft inside.  Noam Blum cultivates six species of sabra on his farm.  He makes them into jams, chutney and smoothies. He plans to open a food factory to process 40,000 tons of the cactus fruit.

Lockheed Martin Israel.  (Thanks to Nevet – www.broaderview.org) Following the opening of its new Israeli office, US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has formed a new subsidiary - Lockheed Martin Israel Ltd.  It will focus on cybersecurity, enterprise information technology, data centers, mobile, analytics and cloud.

Boosting performance at Yahoo!  Israel’s Mellanox has helped Yahoo! Japan improve its database performance tenfold.  Yahoo!’s Hiromune Ozaki said, “Mellanox’s FDR InfiniBand solutions enable us to handle the growth in our data in the most efficient way and improve our capability to serve our users.”

Frutarom expands into S.America.  Israeli foods and flavors giant Frutarom has bought Peru’s Montana Food which also includes its Chile operation.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Open House Jerusalem.  Hundreds of unique Jerusalem sites were opened to the public as part of “Open House Jerusalem” week.  They included free tours of apartments, hotels, synagogues, churches, hospitals, museums, excavation sites, tunnels, gardens and much more.  Be sure to check out this event next year.

The Drawbox Project.  On Oct 5th, British and Israeli children will be able to simultaneously create a virtual world of interactive artwork.  Israel’s Design Museum in Holon links up with London’s Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the International Big Draw Festival running in 21 countries.

A year of good memories and new beginnings.  This video gives a brief overview of some of the thoughtful films being produced by Jerusalem’s Maaleh School of Television, Film and the Arts.

Israeli gymnasts win world silver medal.  Israel’s rhythmic gymnastics team won the silver medal in the clubs exercise at the World Championships in Izmir, Turkey - the country’s best showing ever in the sport.


THE JEWISH STATE

Re-instating the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  Some 8,000 people will recreate an ancient tradition of the “Foot Festival” when they embark on a two-day march to Jerusalem over the upcoming Sukkot holiday.  In Temple times, all Jews came to Jerusalem on Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Pentacost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles).

A time of Repentance.  Several events took place to raise the spiritual level of Jewish Israelis during the past days between Rosh Hashana (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).  Jerusalem’s Beit Avi Chai hosted its annual Piyut Festival.  Meanwhile inmates at Beer Sheva’s prison enjoyed a Selichot service performed by Ashdod’s Andalusian Orchestra – see IBA News video at 21 minutes.