In the 26th Jun 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israel’s Save A Child’s Heart has saved its 4000th child.
· An Israeli startup can build anti-bacterial protection into any fabric.
· Israel is giving a trust fund to every Israeli child.
· Israeli planes helped extinguish huge forest fires in Cyprus.
· Israeli-bred insects are on their way to save Russia’s agriculture.
· Israeli startups won top prizes at Asia Smartphone Apps contest.
· An Israeli app gets you a better air fare than the one you bought.
· Israeli gymnasts have won Euro and World Cup gold medals.
· Last week’s Israel Good News feature article. Click here for “Israel is in Europe too”. Also published on the IsraelSeen and United With Israel websites. My “The Gift of Life” blog on the Netanya MDA ambulance dedication was featured on the Jerusalem Post.
· Click here to see the 19th June newsletter on IsraelSeen, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Global Impact and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel. Thank You to all who have sent me links to many of these positive news articles. Please use IsraelActive to search the archives.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
SACH saves its 4000th child. (TY Hazel) 4-year-old Sanusey was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. The surgery needed to repair his heart is not available in Gambia. Sanusey is now recovering from open heart surgery at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel. He is the 4,000th child saved by Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart organization. Other children currently being treated include five from Iraq and Zead from Gaza.
Good trials of colon X-ray capsule. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported about Israel’s Check-cap previously (Feb 2012) that requires no prior preparation or hospital visit. After 4 years, trials on 54 participants of its ingestible and disposable low-dose 3D imaging capsule proved safe and well tolerated and detected small and large polyps.
US approves CT radiation safety system. (TY Atid-EDI) The SafeCT-29 solution from Israel’s Medic Vision Imaging Solutions produces high-quality medical scan images but reduces radiation doses by up to 80%. SafeCT-29 works with any CT scanner and has just been approved by the US FDA.
Canada approves tremor treatment. (TY Atid-EDI) Canada’s federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, Health Canada, has approved the Exablate Neuro system for the treatment of essential tremor developed by Israel’s Insightec. http://www.insightec.com/news-events/press-releases/2016/health-canada-approves-insightec-s-exablate-neuro-system-for-the-treatment-of-essential-tremor/
Skin stickers to monitor activity. A new medical innovation, developed at Tel Aviv University’s Center for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, uses ‘stick it and forget it’ electrodes affixed to the skin, to monitor muscle activity. Applications include monitoring driver alertness and individuals with neuro-degenerative diseases.
The science of daydreaming. Scientists at Bar-Ilan University have used low-level electricity to increase the rate at which daydreams - or spontaneous, self-directed thoughts and associations - occur. They also discovered that daydreams have a positive effect on task performance.
Help for patients and care-givers. Israeli Marni Mandell launched the startup CareHood to provide patients and care-givers with a website where they can learn what has helped other people in similar situations. They can then build a care package of services, gifts, tasks and errands that their friends and family can assist with.
Monitoring cancer in the genes. Israel’s NovellusDx monitors the effect of cancer therapies on a patient’s genetic mutations. NovellusDx reports to the oncologist on the contribution of the driver mutations to the activation of the signaling pathways. NovellusDx has just received $2.5 million funds from the VC Orbimed.
Making any fabric antibacterial. I reported on Israel’s Nano Textile previously (Feb 2015) when it announced its antibacterial Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nano-coating for bed linen and clothing to prevent hospital infections. Nano Textile has now announced that it can make any fabric (natural or synthetic) antibacterial.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
A trust fund for every child. For the first time in the history of the state, starting January 1, 2017, every Israeli child below the age of 18 will receive a trust fund in which the National Insurance Administration (Israel’s Social Security) will be making monthly deposits. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/its-about-time-government-trust-fund-for-every-israeli-child/2016/06/21/
Mekonen’s story. The film “Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew,” (see Nov 2015 newsletter) has just been released. Mekonen Abebe is a young Ethiopian shepherd who overcame financial and familial hardships to realize his dream of becoming an officer in the IDF.
Dogs visit Knesset on Blind Day. Dogs training to be guides for the blind visited the Knesset Tuesday, in honor of Israel’s sixth annual “Blind Day.” The Israeli parliament voted to introduce fines for (a) refusing to admit a blind person with a guide dog or (b) not employing a blind person because he or she uses a guide dog.
Israeli youth village fosters Jewish-Christian bonds. The Ahava Village in Kiryat Bialik near Haifa, treats over 250 at-risk child residents in 15 family units. Ahava receives funds from the many Jewish and Christian supporters of Bnai Zion Foundation, a century-old Jewish organization that funds Israeli humanitarian projects.
Eritrean refugees praise Israel’s democracy. Hundreds of Eritrean asylum-seekers marched in Tel Aviv in support of a UN probe into the African state's regime, considered one of the world's most repressive. One typical demonstrator said, "for a march like this one we would already be dead in Eritrea."
Israel gets recognition at last. My criticism of the BBC last week, for ignoring the Israeli source of life-saving melanoma treatment, was picked up by Israel National News (see here). But more importantly, it looks like the BBC has also taken notice. This week, the BBC World Service (and others) featured a report on the largest solar tower being built in Israel’s Negev desert that I reported in Feb (see here).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03y4hg9#play (from 49mins).
Hatikva rings out at Antwerp Cathedral. (TY Leonie) The Belgium city of Antwerp greeted Israeli President Reuven Rivlin with the Israeli national anthem played on the bells of the city cathedral.
Special Israeli delegation at the UN. (TY Algemeiner) Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon invited a delegation from the Special in Uniform (SIU) initiative to the U.N. to share their stories about how people with disabilities can contribute to society and to a nation.
Israel helps fight fires in Cyprus. The IDF sent three military firefighting planes and a cargo plane together with personnel to Cyprus to help combat raging fires near the Cypriot city of Paphos. It was the biggest fire Cyprus had seen in recent years, with strong winds making it difficult to bring the fire under control.
Israel’s benefit to Massachusetts’ economy. (TY Dan) In 2012 Israel-founded companies contributed $6 billion in direct revenue and over 6,600 jobs in Massachusetts (see here). For 2015 the figures are $9.3 billion and nearly 9,000 jobs. Israeli companies directly generate nearly 4% of the State’s GDP.
Israel South Africa Water Week. (TY Dan) The first annual Israel South Africa Water Week held successful sessions in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Over a dozen Israeli companies were joined by South African partners, NGO’s and high ranking members of national and provincial governments to focus on solutions for water scarcity in South Africa. http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/successful-israel-south-africa-water-week-creates-partnerships-2016-06-09/
Liberia’s President praises Israel. (TY Dan) Israel hosted the "Entrepreneurship Conference for Developing Countries” where Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf expressed delight in Israeli entrepreneurs whose commitment to innovation has transformed their nation and improved the lives of its people.
Israeli universities go global. (TY Dan) Good article detailing some of the international partnerships of the Technion (US), Tel Aviv University (China), Ben Gurion University (China), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Singapore), University of Haifa (China), Weizmann Institute (France) and Bar Ilan University (China). Also, the HUJ and TAU are in the Times Higher Education’s top 20 Asian universities.
Saving children from malnutrition. (TY Dan) The 3 Million Club is an Israeli NGO that works in Haiti, Nepal, and is now starting in India. It supplies nutritional bars that are specially formulated to cure children from malnutrition within 12-weeks. http://www.geektime.com/2016/06/12/this-hybrid-israeli-humanitarian-startup-is-a-lean-mean-child-hunger-fighting-machine/
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Hospitals to convert to natural gas. Eleven Israeli general hospitals and two psychiatric hospitals are to convert to natural gas for kitchens, sanitation, and heating. The hospitals spend NIS 150-200 million a year on energy, and the transition to natural gas is expected to save them NIS 60 million.
Exporting insects to Russia. Israel’s Biobee has sent Russia 500 million predatory insects as natural, non-toxic methods to get rid of agricultural pests. BioBee also sent Russian farmers its home-grown bumblebees for pollination, without which there is no horticulture. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-exports-500-million-predatory-insects-bumblebees-to-russia/2016/06/19/
Filtering polluted groundwater. JNF has opened the Center for Water-Sensitive Cities in Israel in the city of Kfar Saba. It employs a hybrid bio-filter - the first of its kind in the world, purifying dirty runoff rainwater in the winter and performing “aquifer dialysis” to purify polluted underground water in the rainless summer.
Israel-US conference to combat terrorism. (TY Dan) The Defense departments of Israel and the USA together with MIT sponsored the recent Combating Terrorism Technology Conference in Tel Aviv. It included two $100,000 prize competitions for Israeli security-related startups, won by Duke Robotic Systems and Spectory. http://www.geektime.com/2016/06/08/u-s-defense-department-comes-to-tel-aviv-looking-for-security-innovation/
US and Israel sign cyber-sharing agreement. US and Israel have signed a new agreement which will automate their sharing of cyber data for the first time. It will take the speed of sharing to an entirely different level to deal with constantly evolving cyber-attacks on the two countries.
Israeli cyber firms get their act together. Good to see two Israeli hi-tech companies getting together to enhance cybersecurity. Checkpoint is installing Mellanox’s 40GbE adapter cards in its 15000 and 23000 series security appliances in order to discover malicious behavior before it enters the network.
Stop spam at the push of a button. Israel’s IronScales has developed IronTrap which company Google mail and Gmail users can use to eliminate phishing spam. When an authorized employee highlights a suspicious email, IronTrap will analyze it, disable it and remove it from every mailbox on the company’s network.
Nice for Israeli smart city tech. The Israeli innovation pavilion at the Innovative City Conference in Nice included Aquarius Spectrum (leak detection), ElectRoad, Elencon (efficient air-con), GreenQ (truck sensors), Sowillo (solar panels) and TruckNet (reduces number of empty trucks).
Extending shelf-life for Indian produce. (TY Dan) Susan Lurie and Edna Pesis from Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture are advising the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project (IIAP) on maintaining the post-harvest quality of Indian fruit and vegetables. Techniques include “hot water brushing”, waxing and permeable packaging.
Planes for the Italian Air Force. (TY Atid-EDI) The first of two Gulfstream G550 business jets for the Italian Air Force has arrived at Israel Aerospace Industries’ facilities, to be reconfigured into an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.
Top of the mobile apps. (TY UWI) Israeli startups won three of the four top prizes at the Asia Smartphone Apps Competition in Hong Kong. Tekoia’s universal remote, won the grand prize for the event, and also the advertising and marketing category. Castle Builders won the games and edutainment category, and Bazz, came in second in the creative lifestyle category.
Professional videos made easy. Israel’s Slidely enables businesses and individuals to make a video with licensed music for a price as low as $20. Slidely has now joined forces with Getty Images, providing access to Getty’s library of nearly two million stock video clips. Slidely has over 100 million registered users.
Video messaging on smartwatches. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli video-messaging startup Glide (featured here) is now working on a new project for smartwatches that it plans to unveil later this summer.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Unemployment down to 4.8%. Israel’s annualized employment rate fell to 4.8% in May, its lowest point in a decade. The rate of participation in the labor force in the 25-64 age bracket reached 80.4% in May, while the unemployment rate in this age group dropped from 4.3% in April to 4.1% in May.
GM to triple size of Israeli R&D center. General Motors is to increase the pool of employees in Israel from 100 to 300 this year. Its center in Herzliya will be the only GM center globally specializing in autonomous vehicle technology outside the US. GM has also invested in, and purchased, several Israeli startups.
University invests $5 million in Israel. (From Richmond Times-Dispatch) Liberty University in Virginia USA is to invest $5 million of its endowment in Israeli healthcare fund that focuses on bio-techs immunotherapy and digital health. Liberty said it was glad to support a democracy that’s a close ally of the United States.
Paying artists for their work. (TY Dan) Israeli mobile platform EscapeX helps musicians, actors, comedians and other creative artists profit from their work and share it with fans. They create and run their branded mobile apps for free, organize their content, and make it universally available without need for Internet access.
Helping Korea develop startups. (TY Dan) One of the drivers for Israel becoming the Startup Nation was the efforts of the Israeli Venture Capital organization Yozma. Now Yozma has created a win-win situation in Korea where it partners the South Korean government in its efforts to foster tech startups and create jobs.
Free trade talks with Russia. (TY Dan) Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia and Israel will work to build a free trade zone between the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Israel. At his latest meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, several bilateral deals were inked in the spheres of energy, agriculture, and customs. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-06/08/c_135422362.htm
A better air fare. (TY Dan) Israeli app FairFly finds the best possible fare after you’ve booked. You send a copy of your itinerary to FairFly which scans for lower fares. If FairFly finds a better deal even after you add the airline’s rebooking charge – you’ll receive an alert on your smartphone.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Itzhak Perlman donates his $1 million Genesis Prize. Genesis Prize-winner Itzhak Perlman has said he will donate his $1m prize money to music education and helping people with disabilities. The Israeli-American violinist, was awarded the ‘Jewish Nobel’ for his accomplishments as a musician, teacher and advocate for the disabled. http://www.thejc.com/news/world-news/159617/choosing-a-cause-his-1m-genesis-prize-money-a-challenge-itzhak-perlman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGRyh-8lw6o
Helen Mirren sings Israel’s praises again. Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren was in Israel to host the Genesis Prize. And she had some more nice things to say about this country of ours.
Jerusalem park to go hi-tech. (TY Janglo) 40-acre Gan Sacher is Jerusalem’s largest public park. Built in 1963, it is to be made safer and greener. The upgrade includes smart lighting, new irrigation, photovoltaic panels, electric bike and smart phone charging stations, park-wide public Wi-Fi and … a coffee shop.
News from Israel. Israel News Talk Radio (INTR) is a new online radio station for Israeli news and talk programming in English. It says it provides an inside voice on what is happening on the ground in Israel and is committed to candid and straightforward reporting of Israeli news, events and current affairs.
Whiskey galore. The third annual Whisky Live Israel show will take place on June 29-30 at the Avigdor Complex Tel Aviv, with more than 250 different whiskies from all around the globe.
68 facts about Israel. (TY Grace) I don’t normally publish these, but it is a particularly entertaining video.
LA Dodgers sign up Israeli. (TY Algemeiner) The Los Angeles Dodgers is the first Major League Baseball (MLB) team to sign an Israeli citizen to a contract. Pitcher Dean Kremer was drafted by the San Diego Padres last year (see here), but did not sign with them. Kremer played for Israel in the 2014 European Championships.
Gymnasts win Euro gold. (TY Dan) Israel’s rhythmic gymnastics team won the gold medal in the clubs and hoops category at the European Championships in Holon, Israel. The team also won a silver medal for its ribbon routine, and the bronze in the all-around competition.
Gymnast wins World Cup gold medal. Israeli gymnast Alex Shatilov claimed a gold medal in his final event before the Rio Olympics, finishing in first place in the floor final at the World Challenge Cup competition in Anadia, Portugal.
Israeli wins air rifle bronze. Israel’s Sergey Richter won a bronze medal in the 10-meter air rifle competition at the World Cup event in Baku, Azerbaijan. Iranian Hossein Bagheri, who won the silver medal, didn't show up for the medal ceremony but shook Richter’s hand off camera.
THE JEWISH STATE
No queues for the elderly. Israel is to introduce legislation exempting those over 80 from having to stand in line at post offices, banks, theaters, cinemas, supermarkets and more. Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel quoted the biblical proverb from Leviticus, “Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly”.
Sheep may safely graze. (TY Janette) Every summer the Jewish National Fund sends a herd of around 500 sheep to the fields surrounding the Israeli city of Modi’in. The sheep help prevent fires by eating dried grass and thistles. They also lower the herbarium, giving smaller plant species the opportunity to develop and blossom. http://www.modiinfo.com/newstop/item/5357-sheep-in-the-city-to-help-prevent-the-spread-of-fires
Two great songs in one. (TY Avi) Ronny W – an ex-Israeli tank commander, now music artist – recorded this tribute for the recent Jerusalem Day. It combines “Jerusalem of Gold” with “If I forget you Jerusalem”. It received over 100,000 hits on Ronny’s Facebook site in one day.
Milka’s Fund. Israeli charity Yad Eliezer has set up a new Crowdfunding site where you can directly support campaigns to save individual lives. Contributions are tax-deductible for US tax payers.
We meet again. During the traumatic task of clearing up after a multi-vehicle accident, Yisroel Fischer saw one of the body bags move – a baby girl had come back to life. Years later, Yisroel, a volunteer driver for Ezer Mizion, transported a mother and daughter. He then realized that the baby he had saved was now the young girl in the back of his car. http://www.ezermizion.org/blog/next-stop-meron/
Arab and Jewish kids at an Israeli hospital. Nadim is a Palestinian Arab. Ariel is an Israeli/American Jew. Nadim speaks only Arabic. Ariel speaks English and Hebrew. These two boys communicate as only little kids can. Ariel and Nadim chase each other in their wheelchairs, play table basketball together, and just laugh.
In the 19th Jun 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· UK National Health Service adopts Israeli-developed melanoma treatment.
· Israel’s smartest student is a Muslim Israeli-Arab.
· Israel’s UN ambassador is voted chair of UN legal committee.
· An inclusive desert-located Israeli rooftop farm grows vegetables in the air.
· Israeli wave energy is feeding the electric grid in Gibraltar.
· Israel’s joining Europe’s air navigation organization means fewer delays.
· Queen is coming to Israel.
· Click here to see the 12th June newsletter on IsraelSeen, Janglo and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Global Impact, Technology and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel. Thank You to all who have sent me links to many of these positive news articles. Please use IsraelActive to search the archives.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
UK NHS funds melanoma treatment using Israeli discovery. The BBC has just reported that the UK’s National Health Service has approved the funding of patients receiving the pioneering melanoma (skin cancer) treatment developed by Israeli Professor Jacob Schachter. The approval was one of the fastest in NHS history. The anti-Israel BBC doesn’t mention the Israeli connection, so please read Sheba hospital’s article for details.
75% reduction in added surgery. (TY Atid-EDI) Surgeons at Mercy Medical Center at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, have reported that MarginProbe from Israel’s Dune Medical has reduced the number of repeat breast-cancer operations by 75%. MarginProbe checks accurately that all cancerous tissue has been removed first time.
Osteoarthritis pain and hypertension treatment by end of year. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli biotech Kitov has announced that it will be ready at the end of 2016 to launch its KIT-302 treatment for osteoarthritis pain and hypertension simultaneously. Dexcel will mass-produce and market the treatment.
Digital Health incubator is launched. I reported previously (Oct 2015) that IBM, Medtronic, Pitango and Rambam Medical Center planned a digital medicine incubator at the Life Sciences Park being built in Haifa. Well I can now report that “MindUP” is up and running, and ready to build technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2zYvladEcw
An ingredient to win your heart. (TY Atid-EDI) The supplement Cardiomato, from Israel’s Lycored, beat hundreds of high-quality competitor products to win the NutraIngredients Award for Best Finished Product of the Year – Heart Health. Cardiomato reduces oxidized LDL cholesterol and lowers systolic blood pressure.
What will they print next? I reported previously (Jun 5) about Israeli research into bio-ink that could potentially print human organs. Now two Israeli companies, Nano Dimension and Accelta have successfully lab-tested a proof-of-concept 3D bio-printer. It may even be able to print stem cells!
ALS solution wins $32k from public votes. The communication device for ALS and other "Locked in" patients from Israel’s EyeControl, reached the final in the on-line competition "The Venture". The public voted $32,683 of the $250,000 prize fund to EyeControl – the second highest of the 27 finalists (from 3000 entries).
Microsoft health analytics conference. (TY Dan) Microsoft’s Israeli Research & Development Center in Herzliya is the venue for the company’s first ever health analytics conference on Jun 22. Subjects include Internet data, wearables, big data and IBM Watson,
Sleep scientist wins $100,000 prize. The Adelis Award for groundbreaking research by a young scientist has been presented to Dr. Yuval Nir of Tel Aviv University for his work in the field of sleep. The $100,000 award aims to encourage excellence among young Israeli scientists performing brain research in Israel.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Disabled welcomed at Tower of David. The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem ran programs in the Purim and Passover holidays exclusively for families with children with disabilities. The museum closed to the public and ran art projects, games, puppet shows and imaginative play for the special needs children and their siblings.
Beach wheelchairs now available. I reported previously (Sep 2015) that Netanya beach had a special day when disabled were able to enter the sea using special wheelchairs. Now Michmoret’s banana beach (a few miles north of Netanya) has wheelchairs available to hire that disabled can use to enjoy the sand and surf.
Israeli-Arab is Israel’s smartest student. Mohammed Zeidan, from the Arab community of Kafr Manda in northern Israel scored an 800 on Israeli's Psychometric Entrance Test, the highest possible score. Zeidan plans to study electrical engineering at Israel’s Technion Institute.
Israeli food aid for Syria. Israeli produced food aid has reached the frontlines in Syria’s civil war. Chairman of the Free Qunietra Provincial Council, Fahad a-Musa, said "since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, we have been unable to get our wounded to any Arab country. There is also a large amount of medicine, baby food, and other foodstuffs which get into the province from Israel." http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4816394,00.html
Israeli chair of UN Legal Committee. Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, was elected chair of the United Nations Legal Committee (the Sixth Committee). It is the first time that an Israeli will head a permanent committee. One responsibility is the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
A better crop for Ethiopian farmers. (TY Dan) Here is another feature (also Jan 2016) about Israeli NGO Fair Planet which is giving Ethiopian farmers access to high-quality seeds and training. With the best seeds for the climate and soil, a farmer can increase his yield by five times.
Increasing Israel-Ethiopia cooperation. (TY Dan) Trade and political links between Israel and Ethiopia have been improving steadily recently. Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister will lead a high-level delegation to Israel in June and Israel’s Prime Minister will visit Ethiopia in July.
World Bank seeks Israeli edtech advice. The World Bank has just completed a mission to Israel’s ORT and its network of 200 Israeli Sci-Tech Schools – to seek advice on how to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Tech/World-Bank-seeking-tech-education-advice-in-Israel-457005
Israel is 30th member of European IBD federation. Israel has become the first country outside Europe to be accepted as a full member of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA). The EFCCA advances legislation to benefit patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
You can take a horse to water. (TY Dan) Just prior to Israel-South Africa Water Week, Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa offered to help alleviate South Africa’s water crisis. But will South Africa’s leaders listen?
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
A roof-top farm. (TY JBN) Israel’s Aleinu aeroponic farm sits on the rooftop of the Mishor Adumim industrial park in the desert between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. It employs some 20 people - Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, Israeli-born and immigrants. The herbs and lettuces grow in humid air, without soil or water. http://www.israel21c.org/next-gen-israeli-agtech-turns-a-rooftop-into-a-farm/
A Waze for walkers. The Israeli app Sidekix is marketed as the fun way to find your way – without a car. The urban on-foot navigation app customizes routes based on the interests and needs of its users.
Seeding space with nanosatellites. I reported previously (March 27) on Israel’s SkyFi and its project to launch a network of tiny satellites to bring the Internet to remote parts of the planet. Here is more info of Israeli satellite developments. Also a new video from SkyFi with a nice pro-Israel touch at one minute 30 secs.
Proteins to control insects. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Evogene has demonstrated the ability of certain proteins to act against pest insects. These can be developed into new varieties of insect-resistant seeds or as spray-able bio-insecticides. http://www.evogene.com/News-Events/Press-Releases/2016/Evogene-and-Marrone-Bio-Innovations-Disclose-Positive-Results-in-Insect-Control-Collaboration-
Find the chords for any song. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli music platform Utab has developed an algorithm that can analyze a chord from a recording of any song in just 15 seconds. It simplifies the task of finding the most accurate chords to play. https://www.utab.com/about
See it, scan it, buy it. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Mobilibuy has developed a free, simple to use, iOS and Android app that allows users to scan product images from magazines or screens and then instantly buy the product. The app is now available for download and is compatible with the entire June issue of COSMO magazine.
Protect your GPS system. Focus Telecom has developed GPSDome - the first low-cost protection against GPS jammers. GPS jamming is used by rogue governments and criminals to disrupt industry and security. GPSDome’s algorithms streamline the deflection of radio-frequency interference from the jammers.
Drone tech for North Dakota farmers. Israeli-developed Hermes 450 unmanned aircraft are being tested by farmers in North Dakota. The images from on-board cameras will provide a real-time aerial view of how their fields are progressing, allowing them to make fast agricultural management decisions.
Merging architecture and biology. A group of Israeli scientists and architects, including Nobel Prize-winner Professor Dan Shechtman, have created “Life Object: Merging Architecture and Biology,” a large-scale structure inspired by a 3D scan of a bird’s nest. It is displayed at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy. http://www.timesofisrael.com/architects-and-scientists-create-a-living-birds-nest/
Jerusalem hosts Wikimedia Hackathon 2016. Jerusalem was this year's hosting city for the annual Wikimedia Hackathon. 120 participants from 17 different countries gathered for a weekend dedicated to developing new features in Wikimedia technology, to help reach more countries and more languages.
Gibraltar turns on wave energy system. (TY Dan) I reported previously (May 1) on the testing of Gibraltar’s wave-energy plant built by Israel’s Eco Wave Power. It has now been officially "switched-on" by Fabian Picardo - Chief Minister of Gibraltar. The project is Europe’s first grid-connected wave energy array.
Cybertech. (TY Jacob and Jason) A formidable array of Israeli speakers will be presenting at this year’s Cybertech conference and startup exhibition in Beverley Hills on June 30.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israeli startups take-off in June. In the first week of June alone, 13 Israeli startups raised an impressive $237 million. They include WalkMe ($50 million), Trax ($40 million) Weka.IO ($32 million), SundaySky ($30 million), Zimperium ($25 million) and EarlySense ($25 million).
HP launches Israeli investment arm. (TY Atid-EDI) US technology and printing giant HP is launching HP Tech Ventures in Israel and the US. This corporate investment arm will focus on areas such as 3D printing, virtual reality, hypermobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and smart machines.
Technology can help you sell. (TY Janglo) AffiliaTech is holding a day conference of lectures, seminars and a job fair, in Performance Marketing, Sales & Advertising Solutions on July 5 at the Cinemateque in Tel Aviv.
State of Mind Ventures invests. Israel’s State of Mind Ventures (SOM) has used some of the $75 million it raised for investing in hi-tech startups. They are SpacePharma (see here), Twiggle (see last week), Perception Point and Cabara (both cyber-security startups). http://www.geektime.com/2016/05/23/israeli-vc-state-of-mind-ventures-raises-75m-first-fund-for-early-stage-investments/
Help your wedding guests bloom. (TY Dan) Israeli Omer Polak has designed beautiful hand-blown glass boutonnieres containing fresh flowers that can be worn by the most important guests at a wedding. No need to worry about your carnations wilting in the summer heat – these flowers come with their own water supply.
Techcrunch’s first Tel Aviv. (TY Dan) Techcrunch reports technology news and runs events to help startups raise funds for their innovations. It is to hold its first formal Israeli event in Tel Aviv on Jun 22. 10 Israeli startups will pitch to a panel of Venture Capitalists and compete for trips to Techcrunch Disrupt London.
JP Morgan hires new Israeli team. (TY Dan) Global bank J.P. Morgan is hiring technical developers in Israel for its “next generation pricing, risk management, analysis and trade management platform” known as Athena.
Fewer flight delays. (TY Dan) Israel has been admitted into the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol). Eurocontrol provides advanced control and navigation aviation services for managing and planning air traffic flows over European airspace to reduce delays in flight times. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israel-eu-agreement-to-reduce-flight-delays-1001129707
Israelis are saving more. (TY Dan) Israel is ranked 7th of 29 OECD countries for saving. In 2014, the net savings rate from disposable income rose to 12.1 percent, a 20-year high. The increase holds true across all levels of income and is linked to the increase in percentage of Israelis participating in the work force.
Much more gas down there. Israel’s Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz told the Conference of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Herzliya’s IDC that Israel has undiscovered offshore natural gas worth four more Leviathan fields (about 2,200 billion cubic meters). New exploration licenses are planned in the fall.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Heroes of the Jewish People. The new wing at Tel Aviv's Beit Hatfutsot (Diaspora) museum is showing an exhibition for children entitled “Heroes – Trailblazers of the Jewish People”. Its 144 top names include Maimonides, Albert Einstein, Anne Frank, Henrietta Szold, Theodor Herzl, Sigmund Freud and Bob Dylan. There is also a separate Dylan exhibition. And the exhibition of miniature synagogues gets a hi-tech makeover.
A good read. (TY Dan) “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Hebrew University’s Yuval Noah Harari was included in Bill Gates’ “5 Books to Read This Summer”. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg also included Harari’s book on his widely followed “A Year of Books” blog.
Telling Israel’s Story. Israeli filmmaker Eyal Resh produced this 4-minute film for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet. It seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTeyqQpdd6E
Baby whale visits Israel. In a rare event, what is believed to be a 10-meter baby fin whale has been spotted just 20 meters off the Israeli coast near Caesarea.
The secret fortress. (TY Hazel) The mountaintop Belvoir Fortress, a 13th-century Crusader stronghold near the Sea of Galilee, is the best-preserved Crusader fortress in Israel. Belvoir is based on the same concentric castle layout as the Tower of London. But unlike in London, you won’t need to fight through the crowds.
The new Jerusalem aquarium. (TY Janglo) The Sea Israel: Gottesman Aquarium at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo is due to open in 2016. It focuses on Israel’s four large water bodies - Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea. The environmentally-friendly building will also feature many environmental topics.
Queen to come to Israel. The first visit to Israel of the rock band Queen will be on Sep 12 at Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon. “This is an amazing opportunity at last to bring Queen music live to thousands of folks who have been devoted to our music for years. Can’t wait,” said original band member, guitarist Brian May.
If you don’t know Simply Red by now... Videos of the Tel Aviv concert by top band Simply Red. In contrast, Rock icon Alice Cooper attempted to “raise the dead!”
World’s best cookbooks. (TY Nevet) Israeli cookbook authors won four awards at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2016 including top prize, Best in the World Wines & Drinks book. Mira Eitan’s Bar Stories and Cocktail Recipes book (in Hebrew) won the Drinks category.
Silver at Euro swimming championships. (TY Nevet) Israeli swimmer Gal Nevo took home the silver medal at the European Championships in London. He completed the 200-meter individual medley in 1:59.69 minutes. Nevo and five other Israeli swimmers have already qualified for the Rio Olympic Games.
THE JEWISH STATE
Thousands learn together on Shavuot. The Tzohar Rabbinical Organization hosted some 8,500 people at Shavuot learning-together sessions at 22 different venues in major cities throughout Israel. The Tel Aviv program included discussions on social issues, halachic challenges, cultural and personal growth.
He survived two bullets in the head. (TY UWI) Assaf Bar - one of the dozen injured in the deadly Sarona Market terrorist attack - clearly described events that evening when a gunman shot him twice in the head. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v5aOOoGh5E
Terror survivor proposes. Asael Shabo barely survived the deadly Itamar 2002 terrorist attack that killed his mother and 3 brothers. But thousands of fans cheered as Asael stepped out onto the court at half-time in the Israeli basketball semi-final between Hapoel Jerusalem and Hapoel Eilat to propose to his girlfriend, Saray Cohen. http://unitedwithisrael.org/jerusalem-fans-cheer-on-terror-survivor-who-proposes-during-halftime/
10 Cuban Jewish mothers visit Israel. Ten Cuban-Jewish women visited Israel for their first time on a trip sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) and Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. (see also here.) New life has recently been infused into Cuban Jewry, especially since the release of Alan Gross.
How did they escape? Shellie Grafstein tells the dramatic story of how her house in Bet Shemesh went up in flames and all the miracles that saved their lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnCU8nZLXcM
Swing for life. Israeli cancer charity Ezer Mizion hosted its annual Golf and Tennis Tournament to benefit its International Bone Marrow Registry. The attendees met Josh, who thanked Ezer Mizion for enabling his two young children to grow up with a father. Josh then met his bone marrow donor Ran for the very first time.
NY’s umbrella parade celebrates Israel. If you missed New York’s latest annual parade on Jerusalem Day to celebrate Israel’s 68th birthday, here is a 3-hour video featuring some of the thousands of participants in the event. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33MerEwHr1s
Busking for blind Arab’s medicine money. Two religious Jewish boys in Jerusalem heard a blind Arab man say he didn’t have enough money to buy his medicine. So they played their guitars and raised the required 70 shekels. They then went to the pharmacy and bought him his medicine.
In the 12th Jun 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· An amazing Israeli-developed gauze bandage stops bleeding in minutes.
· The new Deputy Speaker of Israel’s Parliament is a Druze Arab.
· An innovative Israeli device will fold, de-wrinkle and perfume your washing.
· 2015 saw a record level of foreign investment in Israel.
· The first Israeli trade delegation to Egypt in a decade.
· Israel had a winner at the French Open Tennis Championships.
· Israeli archeologists have discovered silver coins from the 2nd Temple period.
· Click here to see the 5th June newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Global impact and Technology, . Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel. Thank You to all who have sent me links to many of these positive news articles. Please use IsraelActive to search the archives.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Gauze bandage saves lives. At Ben Gurion University Shani Eliyahu-Gross (now chief scientific officer and senior vice president of Israel’s Core Scientific Creations) developed WoundClot – a gauze that absorbs 25 times its own weight of blood and forms a coagulating gel membrane on the open wound. WoundClot is marketed in the UK by Redhawk Medical. https://aabgu.org/a-new-gauze-that-stops-bleeding-in-minutes/
Why not search for a cure for cancer? (TY Hazel) Friends of Israeli Professor Yoram Palti encouraged him to invent Novocure’s electrode treatment for aggressive brain tumors. Now eight years after its first trials, two of Novocure’s original patients are still alive. One of the trials was stopped as it was too successful.
International trauma training. Twenty-six leading healthcare professionals from 20 countries gathered in Haifa to participate in Rambam Medical Center’s Trauma Medicine Course. The course included lectures, workshops and simulations, using Rambam’s vast experience of treating victims of war, terror and accidents.
Successful trial for balloon catheter. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s AV Medical Technologies completed a 30-patient evaluation of its Chameleon angioplasty balloon catheter, demonstrating clear advantages over standard balloon designs. AV Medical plans to launch Chameleon in the USA soon. (see also Nov 15 newsletter)
Help with falling asleep. (TY Nevet) Israeli startup 2breathe Technologies has developed a sensor and smartphone app that helps users fall asleep and tracks their sleeping patterns. It plays musical tones in sync with an individual’s breathing pattern. The tones are gradually lengthened, and so users breathe slower and relax.
The gift of life. The day after the dreadful terrorist attack at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market, I was privileged to be invited to the dedication of an ambulance to Magen David Adom in Netanya. It was the tenth MDA ambulance to be donated thanks to the efforts of the Cockfosters and N. Southgate community of North London.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Autistic daughter of party leader graduates from IDF. Yair Lapid, head of Israel’s Yesh Atid political party, wrote emotionally on Facebook about his special needs daughter Yaeli who has just finished serving in the IDF. She volunteered for the entire year on a base of the IDF National Search and Rescue Unit.
Microsoft opens R&D center in Nazareth. Software giant Microsoft has inaugurated a research and development center in Nazareth, a city comprising mostly Christian and Muslim Arab-Israelis. It is Microsoft’s third R&D center in Israel, joining Herzliya and Haifa, where already more than 1,000 people are employed.
Druze MK voted as Deputy Speaker. The Knesset House Committee has appointed Member of Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) Hamad Amar as Deputy Knesset Speaker. Amar - of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party – is a member of Israel’s minority Druze community.
I am an Israeli-Arab. Abdullah Abed al-Rahman, 26, from Abu Ghosh Abdol states, “I am proud to be both Arab and Israeli”. Along with Orthodox Jew Michal Julian, he runs the Facebook page “Right Wing and Arabs Tweeting”, which aims to advance Jewish-Arabic coexistence from a Zionist point of view.
Ramadan Kareem. Prior to Ramadan, Israeli authorities installed festive lights and water stations in Eastern Jerusalem and the Old City. They thoroughly cleaned Arab neighborhoods and collected waste, resurfaced roads, organized cultural events and a vendors’ market. Israelis donated hundreds of holiday meals for the needy Arab families via Israeli paramedic organization Magen David Adom.
Heathrow airport considers Ben Gurion security model. London’s Heathrow airport is considering adopting the security system used at Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport, as a preemptive measure against possible ISIS attacks. With at least 12 separate security layers, Ben-Gurion is one of the most secure airports in the world.
Protecting USA army vehicles. The US Army is to protect its Armored Personnel Carriers with the “Iron Fist Light Configuration” active protection system produced by Israel Military Industries. The system uses radar and an electro-optical sensor to detect and intercept a range of incoming missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Einstein makes science accessible. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Smithsonian Institution are marking the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity by launching “The Einstein Project” - an initiative to make science more accessible to young people. Einstein was a founder of the Hebrew University.
Quantum Science Center. (TY Dan & NoCamels) Israel’s Technion Institute has opened the Center for Quantum Science, Matter and Engineering. It will focus on merging fundamental concepts of quantum science with engineering principles in order to pave the way towards new devices and systems for communications, computing, sensing and signal processing. http://www.technion.ac.il/en/2016/05/19150/
New planetarium in Netanya. The Israeli city of Netanya has dedicated a $3 million science and space center. The 1,000-square-meter Madarame Planetarium and Meditation Center was largely funded by Japanese businessman and philanthropist Rikoho Madarame.
An enhanced imaging camera. Researchers from Ben Gurion University have developed a more efficient ultra-spectral imaging system. The Miniature Ultra-Spectral Imaging system (MUSI) can enhance remote sensing, environmental research, bio-medicine, medical diagnosis, and industrial fabrication.
Lighting up the State of Georgia. Israeli-owned solar company Energiya has inaugurated the first-ever commercial solar field in the US State of Georgia (see previous newsletter). The 24-hectare (59-acre) solar power field in Glynn County will produce 22.5 megawatts of electricity.
Innovating mobile infrastructure. (TY Dan) Israel’s CellMining won the Mobile Infrastructure Innovation category at the GTB Telecoms Innovation Awards 2016 in London. It recognizes CellMining’s achievement of its customer-experience driven Self-Organizing Networks solution for Israel’s largest mobile operator Cellcom.
It even folds your laundry. An Israeli-led Silicon-Valley-bred robotics startup has invented the FoldiMate – the first appliance to automate the task of folding laundry. It can also steam out wrinkles, perfume, soften and sanitize the clothes. 58,000 have registered interest. Over 2 million have watched the video. Shipping in 2018.
Plant protein for a hungry world. Israeli startup Equinom has devised an algorithm that brings a new level of speed, accuracy and economy to breeding seeds that are superior in yield, nutritional value and appearance. Equinom has already produced hardy high-yield sesame and hardy high-protein legume and quinoa seeds.
Powering broadband from Russia to Myanmar. (TY Atid-EDI) Leading satellite operator Eutelsat has chosen Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks to power a new range of broadband services in Western Russia from the Arctic coastline to the Caspian Sea. In addition, Myanmar’s TV station Sky Net selected Gilat’s network for cellular backhaul. http://www.gilat.com/Eutelsat-Selects-Gilat-Technology-to-Power-Satellite-Broadband-Services-in-Western-Russia http://www.gilat.com/Sky-Net-Selects-Gilat%E2%80%99s-Network-for-Cellular-Backhaul-in-Myanmar
Navigating around Rio. Israeli app Moovit will guide 2 million locals and visitors to the fastest and safest routes to and between competition venues at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games. Moovit will provide real-time information in 35 languages on buses, trains, subway, light rail, ferries and cable cars. Moovit also has just won the Atlas Award in Tel Aviv for entrepreneurship and creativity.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Fitch is positive about Israel. (TY Atid-EDI) Rating agency Fitch upgraded Israel's credit rating outlook to "positive" from “stable” for its foreign currency debt, while retaining its A rating. Israel's credit rating is likely to be upgraded shortly. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon hailed the vote of confidence in the Israeli economy.
Foreign investment tripled. Foreign capital flow to Israeli assets hit a record $285.12 billion last year, nearly triple that in 2005 when the failed BDS campaign began. In 2015, Ford, IBM, GE, Tyco, GM, Singtel, PayPal, Yahoo, ProSieben, and Kimberly-Clark bought or invested in Israeli startups.
Yet another record for foreign currency reserves. May saw Israel’s reserves of foreign currency deposits increase by another $779 million from their level at the end of April to 96.463 billion - a new all-time record. The natural gas fund increased to $9.6 billion.
New Zealand’s innovation mission. As predicted (in my May 29 newsletter) a delegation of more than 50 business professionals came to Israel for New Zealand’s inaugural Innovation Mission. The executives represented telecommunications, utilities, agriculture, government, finance, education and training.
Just too good a deal to miss. I reported previously (Jan 2014) about Israel’s Implisit which analyzes a company’s incoming emails to forecast potential deals. Implisit itself has now done its biggest ever deal, being bought for tens of millions of dollars by the US giant Salesforce, which already owns two other Israeli startups.
OurCrowd launches crowdfunding app. Israel’s OurCrowd released its new social investor app at FinovateSpring 2016 in San Jose. The app gives investors the ability to make informed investment decisions right from their mobile phone. It supports diligence analysis, deal rooms, expert opinion and real time updates.
Israeli-born head of Brazil’s Central Bank. Israeli-born economist Ilan Goldfajn may help resolve Brazil’s economic crisis. 50-year-old Goldfajn, originally from Haifa, has been confirmed as president of Brazil’s Central Bank. Fluent in Hebrew, English, Portuguese and Spanish, Goldfajn has a doctorate from MIT.
Daily direct flights to San Francisco. (TY Dan & NoCamels) Due to strong demand, just two months after launching thrice-weekly direct flights between Tel Aviv and San Francisco (see here), United Airlines said it will increase the frequency of the route. Daily flights will begin on Oct 8, 2016 on Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Israeli trade delegation visits Egypt. (TY Atid-EDI) 38 Israeli captains of industry went to Egypt for the first time in 10 years. They were warmly welcomed by their Egyptian counterparts, who were enthusiastic about the prospect of increasing trade between the two countries. An Egyptian trade visit to Israel is planned during 2016.
Masschallenge Israel finalists announced. (TY Dan & NoCamels) 47 Israeli entrepreneurs and startups won through to the finals of MassChallenge Israel. They will benefit from the accelerator’s work space, training, and access to experts worldwide. At a ceremony on Oct 27 prizes of up to NIS 1 million will be awarded.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Hebrew Book Week for the People of the Book. Israel’s National Hebrew Book Week every June features large outdoor book fairs, special Book Week sales at bookstores all around the country, and a variety of events such as music, performances, children's events, workshops, and storytelling.
Jerusalem Opera Festival. Jun 20-25 is when Verdi’s Rigoletto is being staged at the grand Sultan’s Pool, against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s iconic Old City walls.
The Voice of Music in the Upper Galilee. Now in its 32nd year, “The Voice of Music in the Upper Galilee” July 12-16 features dozens of concerts: chamber, orchestral as well as vocal, informal concerts, meetings with artists, movies and open rehearsals. http://www.kol-hamusica.org.il/ (click on “English”)
First Israel performances for Larreal Spanish dance troupe. The beautiful show that conquered Europe and USA is coming to Israel for the 1st time. The 17 talented Spanish dancers will perform their new show Estampas de Espana in Tel Aviv, Karmiel, Herzliya, Jerusalem and Haifa from July 19-24.
Tightrope walking over Jerusalem. Every day for the past month UK’s Sky TV has been broadcasting this video of slackliner (tightrope walker) Heather Larsen balancing on a stretched wire between the towers of Jerusalem’s Old City. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/WATCH-American-tightrope-walker-takes-on-Jerusalems-ancient-towers-452855
You’re having a laugh. Israel’s booth at the Buenos Aires Book Fair was awarded a prize for “originality and creativity.” The booth, almost completely devoid of furniture, included a “factory of laughs” and a “risometer” that measured the power of the visitors’ laughs. Israel won the same prize in 2014.
Israeli wins French Open title. Did newsletter readers spot that one of the winners of the Boys Doubles at the French Open at Roland-Garros was Israel’s Yshai Oliel. The 16-year-old left-hander and his Czech partner Patrik Rikl beat their opponents 6-3, 6-4 in the final.
THE JEWISH STATE
Tens of thousands celebrate Jerusalem Day. An amazing sight of the huge numbers of Jews gathered to celebrate Yom Yerushalayim at the Western Wall. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QgJWCmwbbc
Hasmonean era treasure discovered. Israeli archaeologists in Modi’in have unearthed a hoard of 16 silver coins from the Hasmonean period (126 BCE). The shekels and half-shekels - the property of a Jewish family - were minted in the city of Tyre and bear the images of king Antiochus VII and his brother Demetrius II.
The Righteous Gentiles who settled in Israel. Around 130 individuals found themselves drawn to Israel after rescuing Jews during the Holocaust. 13 are still alive, rarely telling their stories to the media. All of them were born non-Jews and therefore free from persecution by the Nazis. But they put their lives at risk by helping Jews and later immigrated to the Jewish State where they receive the country’s average salary as a monthly stipend.
Another Zionist aboriginal. I reported previously (see here) about Ron Evans the leader of Canada’s Norway House Cree Nation who leads youth missions to Israel. Now Ryan Bellerose, a Métis aboriginal from Northern Alberta, has co-founded Calgary United with Israel, which advocates “for the wellness and security of Jews and their national homeland.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/indigenous-activist-advocates-for-israelis-native-rights/
When Yeshiva boys hosted CP friends. A recent Sabbath in Yeshivat Birkat Moshe in Ma’ale Adumim was extra special when the boys invited the members of Ezer Mizion’s Matan Club for Young Adults with Special Needs to join them. Even those with severe Cerebral Palsy were an integral part of the celebrations.
From Hezbollah to the IDF. I reported previously (in Nov 2014) about Rabbi Avraham Sinai and his amazing journey from Hezbollah terrorist to Israeli Rabbi. Now his son Amos, who was born in Lebanon, has received a citation for distinguished service in the IDF’s Golani Brigade.
On Memorial Day he saved a life. On Israel’s Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron) David Sarel was mourning his brother Maj. Benaya Sarel, who was killed in Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Then he got a call from Ezer Mizion. His DNA matched a patient who needed a bone marrow transplant. David agreed to donate.
In the 5th June 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· The world’s first inter-family transplant of a previously transplanted kidney.
· Israel has provided humanitarian aid for flood victims in Sri Lanka.
· An electric road is being road-tested in Tel Aviv.
· Israel’s SodaStream now makes instant home-made beer.
· An Israeli won a World Championship gold medal for the martial art of Muaythai.
· Israel celebrates Jerusalem Day.
· Click here to see the newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Inclusiveness, Technology and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Israel’s first re-transplanted kidney. Israeli surgeons at Beilinson Hospital took out the kidney of a woman who had died of a stroke and transplanted it into her brother. The kidney had been transplanted into the woman in an operation nine years previously. It was the world’s fifth such operation and the first between relatives.
The end to monthly cramps. Israel’s Livia has developed a wearable device that provides instant relief from cramps, and lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. The device uses electrical pulses to block pain receptors. Female journalists given a free Livia device have described it as “a life-changing technology”.
Israeli herb extract controls blood sugar levels. Israel’s Frutarom has developed Portusana®, an extract of the herb purslane. Israeli scientists have confirmed its positive effects on blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 Diabetes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26854844 http://www.portusana.com/health-benefits/
Autoimmune treatment gets new lease of life. Professor Nathan Karin of the Rappaport faculty of Medicine at Israel’s Technion Institute invented an antibody that activates cells in the immune system, thereby reducing inflammation. After years of development, Pfizer has now signed an agreement to commercialize the product.
US boost for proton beam cancer treatment. Israel’s HIL Applied Medical develops safer focused proton beam lasers to treat tumors (see Sep 2014 newsletter) Now HIL has acquired US company Nanolabz which develops and builds smart nano-engineered targets and alignment systems for the short-pulse laser R&D sector.
Research into 3D organ printing. Israel’s Chief Scientist has awarded NIS 5.6 million to Israel’s Collplant. It will help finance projects, including the development of plant-based collagen and formulations intended for use as BioInk for 3D printing of tissues and organs.
State of the Heart conference. (TY TPS) International researchers and healthcare professionals attended a conference dubbed “State of the Heart.” at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital. It addressed global challenges in cardiovascular treatment and highlighted innovative changes in the field as a result of cutting-edge technology.
Medical tourism showcased in China. (TY Dan) The Israel Chamber of Commerce hosted a special seminar titled Israeli Medical Tourism and Women Empowerment at the Israeli Business and Cultural Center in Beijing. China is impressed with Israel’s physicians, its high-quality healthcare, and advanced medical facilities.
Israel’s BioMed Conference. (TY Dan) Israel’s NeuroRx won the startup completion at the IATI Biomed conference in Tel Aviv for its Cuclurad treatment for depression and suicide symptoms. The popular event included some 500 Business to Business meetings between Israeli and Chinese delegates.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
The next round of ability tech startups. A3i is the world’s first and only “ability tech” accelerator (see here). It is ready for another round of start-ups with products and technologies that not only will make money for their investors, but also improve the lives of millions of disabled people around the world.
Students start Israeli Arab start-up school. The TRI/O Tech entrepreneurship hub in the Israeli-Arab town of Kafr Kassem is a joint venture of Israeli nonprofit Tsofen (see here) and the MIT Enterprise Forum Israel. From 1000 candidates it is grooming 16 Israeli-Arabs that it believes will go on to launch their own startup.
Cheering up an Arab child with cancer. Emotional video of an IDF soldier volunteer at Tel Hashomer hospital playing with a Palestinian Arab infant who is being treated for cancer at the Israeli hospital.
Israel returns Egyptian artifacts. Israel has returned two colorful Egyptian sarcophagus covers from the 16th and 10th centuries BCE to Egypt amid warming relations between the countries. The artifacts were stolen and shipped to Dubai to London and to Israel. They were found in an antiquities shop in Jerusalem's Old City.
Aid to Sri Lankan flood victims. Israel has sent $20,000 worth of supplies to Sri Lanka, following recent floods and landslides that have killed over 100 and driven 650,000 residents from their homes. Israeli aid included water pumps, water filters, solar lighting kits, LED torches and 50,000 water purification tablets.
Israeli food festival in Japan. The Israeli Ministry of Economy held the first Israeli Food Festival in 25 Costco stores across Japan. A separate Israeli food festival took place in Vietnam in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4807936,00.html
Empire State Building in Blue and White. The Empire State Building in New York City will shine blue and white on June 5 – mirroring the colors of the Israeli flag – for the annual Celebrate Israel Parade and festival in New York City. http://unitedwithisrael.org/new-yorks-empire-state-building-will-shine-blue-and-white-for-celebrate-israel-parade/
Preserving family history in Papua New Guinea. (TY The Tower) Israeli genealogical website MyHeritage recorded family stories of some of the 800 native tribes in Papua New Guinea. MyHeritage’s Golan Levi said, “no matter the color of our skin or where we live, deep down we are all basically the same and we all care very much about our families. http://www.israel21c.org/israelis-salvage-the-personal-stories-of-papua-new-guinea/
20,000 Walk with Israel in Toronto. A record-setting 20,000 people participated in Toronto’s 46th annual Walk with Israel fundraising event on Sunday, eclipsing last year’s record of 17,000. The event raised approximately $1.1 million for Israeli charities.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
US-Israel link up with eco-technology. (TY Dan) The 31st US-Israel Joint Economic Development Group focused on the use of clean energy to solve some of the most difficult global challenges. The US Department of State and Israel’s Economy Ministry and Environmental Protection Ministry, agreed to explore the establishing of a bilateral, clean energy, finance task force. http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Environment/Green-tech-at-the-forefront-of-talks-on-US-Israel-collaboration-454901
Low-power wearable sensors. Israel’s Sensifree has developed a unique low-power RF based sensor technology that can accurately monitor biometric data without touching the body. Applications include watches, fitness trackers, sleep monitors and smart clothing. Sensifree has just raised $5 million of funding.
Tel Aviv tests an electric road. A road in North Tel Aviv is to be one of the first to test under-the-road electric charging beds. Israel’s ElectRoad’s technology will charge electric cars and buses when they drive over it. (See also Feb 7 newsletter) http://jewishbusinessnews.com/2016/05/26/israeli-startup-is-testing-out-the-countrys-first-electric-road-in-tel-aviv/
The world’s toughest smartphone. Following over two years of R&D in Tel Aviv and Sweden, Sirin Labs has unveiled its NIS 54,000 military-grade “unhackable” security smartphone. Called SOLARIN it is made up of over 2,500 inner components to achieve fast, seamless connectivity across any continent.
New Israeli islands? The Herzliya municipality is looking to build two artificial islands along Israel's coastline. One island will be for housing and the other for an airport for internal flights. Tel Aviv is also preparing plans for an island on which to build an international airport.
RideOn wins Israel startup Olympics. (TY Dan) Israel’s RideOn has been selected to represent Israel in the grand Olympic startups final in Rio 2016. RideOn develops augmented reality (AR) products for sports and outdoor activities (see previously). In the finals, RideOn will compete against seven international winners.
Most innovative startup in China’s Silicon Valley. (TY Dan) Israel’s Gemsense beat 200 local Chinese companies to win the 1st place at 'the Second China Fair for Innovation and Technology' in Shenzhen City. Gemsense also won 3rd place in the VR section and will represent Shenzhen city in China’s national finals.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Tel Aviv to New York with Azerbaijan Airlines. (TY Atid-EDI) Azerbaijan Airlines has begun weekly Tel Aviv-New York flights. From June 15, this will increase to two weekly flights on Sundays and Wednesdays, which will include a two-hour stopover in Baku.
Translating more in the USA. Israel’s One Hour Translation (OHT) has opened its third US branch, in Lehi, Utah, in addition to its US operations in Palo Alto and Washington DC. OHT provides high-quality human translation of 75 languages and 3,000 language pairs with 15,000+ professional translators in 100 countries.
Romania signs two water contracts. Romania’s largest water corporation, RAJA Constanta, signed a contract of cooperation with Jerusalem’s Hagihon. RAJA also signed a service contract with Israeli company Utilis, which uses satellite imagery technology to detect underground wastewater spills. (See also here and here)
A month of exits. (TY Nevet) Israeli firms taken over in April included SintecMedia, (by Francisco Partners for $400 million); Crosswise (by Oracle for $50M); Ahava (by China’s Fosun for $77M); and Genome Compiler, NorthBit, and Inneractive. http://www.broaderview.org/news
Ohio buys $50 million of Israeli bonds. Ohio’s Treasury office is purchasing $50 million worth of Israel bonds. It represents the largest single government purchase of Israel bonds in Ohio’s history following purchases of $47.8 million in 2014 and of $42 million in 2013. (See Jun 2014 newsletter)
One of the largest industrial centers in Israel. The cornerstone laying ceremony took place in Yokneam of the new center for Israeli hi-tech giant Mellanox, due to be completed in 2018. Of the company’s 2,600 employees, 1,800 are in Israel. It employs staff from Tel Hai to Beersheva, including Ramallah and Gaza.
Will.i.am buys Israeli machine learning startup. US singer/songwriter Will.i.am, via his consumer tech label i.am+, has purchased Israel’s Sensiya. Sensiya’s machine learning, speech recognition capabilities are being incorporated in a number of wearables, including smartphones and smartwatches. http://sensiya.com/index.html
Moovit integrates with Uber. Last week it was Germany’s VW investing in Israel’s Gett. Now Israel crowdsourced public transit app Moovit is to integrate with German ride-sharing app Uber in 131 cities in 22 countries. A recent US study showed that ride-sharing customers are also regular users of public transport.
Alibaba funds Twiggle. (TY JBN) It sounds like something out of “Arabian Nights” but in reality China’s on-line retail giant Alibaba is investing in Israeli startup Twiggle, which is developing next generation e-commerce search technologies. The funds will grow the company’s R&D team in Israel and drive global expansion plans.
Sodastream launches home-made beer system. Israel’s SodaStream has launched its new home beer system, the Beer Bar. It produces a 4.5% alcohol beer called Blondie using sparkling water and a unique beer concentrate. A one-liter Blondie bottle yields approximately three liters of beer.
Intel banks on Israel. (TY Dan) Despite global layoffs, IT giant Intel is still investing in Israel. It just announced that it is to create a financial technology innovation lab in association with The Floor - a fintech hub based at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Some of its focus will be on blockchain, IoT and biometrics.
Microsoft’s new Israel venture fund. Microsoft has launched a new Venture Capital fund named Microsoft Accelerator. The fund focuses on Cloud startups and effectively separates Microsoft’s investment arm from its startup incubator program.
Carrier of the Year. (TY Dan) Grupo Modelo SA, Mexico, producers of Corona beer and part of the AB INBEV Group, the largest beer producer in the world, chose Israel’s ZIM as Carrier of the Year in their annual award Ceremony in Mexico City. http://www.port2port.com/article/Sea-Transport/Liner-Shipping/ZIM-named-Carrier-of-the-Year-by-Grupo-Modelo-SA/
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Queen Mary 2 docks at Haifa. (TY Dan) British luxury ocean liner RMS Queen Mary 2, flagship of Cunard Line, called at Haifa recently. 345 meters long and 76,000 tons, it is the largest passenger ship to visit the port.
Jerusalem Light Festival. (TY Sharon) The week long, nighttime Festival of Light in Jerusalem’s Old City featured standalone light installations and several projected onto buildings; illuminated musicians, simulated water fountains and spectacular light shows. https://rjstreets.com/2016/05/30/best-of-jerusalem-light-festival/
June in Israel. Concerts in Israel in June include from Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Simply Red, Foreigners (“I Want to Know What Love Is”), Alice Cooper and Barry Manilow.
World champion at Muaythai. Israel's Nili Block added the IFMA Muaythai World Championship title to the one she won in kickboxing last year after claiming the gold medal in the under-60-kilogram competition in Jonkoping, Sweden. Block defeated Irina Chernova of Ukraine in the final. Muaythai is similar to kickboxing.
Israeli bronze at Judo Masters. Israel’s Golan Pollack won a bronze medal at the World Judo Masters tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Israeli bronze at Euro Gymnastics Championships. Israel's Alex Shatilov claimed his sixth career medal at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships yesterday, taking a bronze in the floor exercise in Bern, Switzerland. Shatilov will participate in his third straight Olympics this summer. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Sports/Israeli-gymnast-wins-bronze-medal-at-European-championships-455347
More Israelis to compete in Olympics. Maor Tiyouri became the 35th Israeli to qualify for the Rio Olympics when she finished the Ottawa marathon in 2:42.22 hours in her first ever competitive marathon. The Israeli cross-country mountain biking team has been ranked 22 and will compete in the Olympics for the first time.
THE JEWISH STATE
Excavation of Bar Kochba’s caves. Led by the Israel Antiquities Authority, 500 volunteers have re-excavated the Cave of the Skulls - one of the largest caverns at Nahal Tze’elim. They found many items that shed light on daily life of Judeans sheltering following the Bat Kochba revolt against the Romans in the second century CE.
3300-year-old amulet discovered. Young students participating in an archaeological excavation at the ancient site of Tzipori have discovered a 3,300-year-old Egyptian amulet. The scarab is from the time of the Ramses, the 19th Dynasty. Scarabs were mostly used as burial amulets, but also worn by the living, on rings.
Jerusalem Unity Prize. Jerusalem Unity Prize and Unity Day are positive events to commemorate the memory of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel, kidnapped and murdered in Jun 2014. 2016 prize winners include Kesher Yehudi (facilitating secular & haredi dialogue) and Hapoel Katamon soccer club (promotes youth community outreach). http://www.jns.org/news-briefs/2016/6/2/jerusalem-unity-prize-in-memory-of-slain-teens-awarded-in-jerusalem#.V1BbnPkrLIU=
Jerusalem Day speech in the Knesset. Israeli PM Netanyahu quoted from the Prophets and Psalms in his Jerusalem Day address to Israel’s Parliament. “Judah will exist forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.” “For he has strengthened the bars of your gates, and blessed your children in your midst.”
Six days of miracles. During the Six-Day War that culminated in the unification of Jerusalem 49 years ago, one particular hour was critical. As almost the entire Israeli air-force set off to attack Egyptian airfields, all of Egypt’s sophisticated jets and anti-aircraft guns went off-line. And then even more miracles occurred.
(Video has received 26,000 views in one day) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i3uIz7hoYs
In the 29th May 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israeli-developed computer-aided X-ray diagnostics will save many lives.
· Israel’s most inclusive soccer team is crowned league champions.
· An Israeli AIDS prevention device is approved for use in 14 countries.
· Israelis have reinvented the combustion engine.
· Americans are now receiving their Israeli portable child booster seats.
· Elton John “rocks” Tel Aviv.
· 25th anniversary of the largest two-day airlift rescue in Israel’s history.
· Click here to see the 22nd May newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Global impact and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
EU and US boosts for surgical sealant. Israel’s LifeSeal, the no-leak sealant solution for patients who have undergone gastrointestinal (GI) surgery (see Aug 16), has received CE approval for use in the European Union. LifeSeal has also been fast-tracked for approval by the US FDA through its Expedited Access Pathway (EAP)
New anti-bacteria coating. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have developed an innovative anti-biofilm coating. The anti-adhesive patches can prevent destructive bacterial biofilm forming on metal surfaces. It could be used on medical implants, devices and surgical equipment and even on ships and bridges.
Automatic diagnosis from radiology images. Tel Aviv University Professor Hayit Greenspan has developed a wide variety of “deep learning” tools to facilitate computer-assisted diagnosis of X-rays, CTs and MRIs, freeing radiologists to attend to complex cases that require their full attention and skills.
US Jews study trauma in Israel. Social work students from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work are in Israel to attend an intensive course on trauma, emergency response and recovery. It features workshops on trauma intervention, and real-time emergency response simulation.
Israel and US scientists join up to beat cancer. Israel’s Technion and New York University’s Langone Medical Center have begun a research project, targeting metastatic melanoma and mesothelioma. They will test the ability of a nanotechnology based on so-called “nanoghosts” using stem cells to home in on cancer cells.
Progress for DNA blood test. The DNA diagnostic breakthrough from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (see here) has been funded. Priority is now for a diagnostic tool for neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases plus a blood test for the early detection of multiple diseases at their asymptomatic stage.
Mayo Clinic to work with Israeli startups. (TY Dan) The US medical organization Mayo Clinic is launching the Mayo Clinic Israeli Startups Initiative. It will encourage collaboration among Israeli health care startup companies and Mayo Clinic and fund joint R&D to accelerate availability of medical innovations to the public.
Malaria detection for India. (TY Hazel) The SightDX Parasight Malaria Detection Platform from Israel’s Sight Diagnostics is to be introduced into India. Approximately 880,000 cases of malaria were reported in India in 2013. http://www.livemint.com/Companies/tawvlTnMXHEnoHjT4K9qvN/Becton-Dickinson-brings-4minute-malaria-detection-kit-to-I.html (See Aug newsletter for more about SightDX)
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel’s inclusive champion soccer team. Hapoel Beersheba just won Israel’s Premier league soccer title. Seeing female owner Alona Barkat celebrated by the male coaches and players demonstrates a beautiful side of Israel. The players include Jews, Muslims and Christians. All stood side by side for the national anthem.
Helping Haredim become self-sufficient. Israeli NGO Mesila encourages and teaches Haredim to become financially independent - breaking the Haredi cycle of poverty. Last year it reached 8000 men, women and children, in Israel, USA, Canada and the UK - helping them to seek, achieve and maintain financial stability.
Doctor and nurse share medical prize. Israeli-Arab Dr. Abed Abu Quidar, senior physician in the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department at Soroka Medical Center and Chaya Hirshberg, a nurse in the same department, won Israel’s Danielle Prize – for doctors and nurses who have shown “devoted care” and “admirable treatment” of their young cancer patients. (Photo shows Dr Quidar with President Rivlin and (Haredi) minister Litzman.)
NIS 900 million for Bedouin sector. (TY IsraPundit) The Israeli government voted to spend some 900 million shekels ($240 million) to develop and strengthen Israeli-Arab Bedouin communities in northern Israel over the next four years. The money is to improve local infrastructure, schools, and welfare services.
Israel’s first Bedouin hi-tech company. Sadel Technology, founded by Technion graduate Ibrahim Sana, is the first Israeli Bedouin hi-tech company. Most of SadelTech’s 15 employees are Bedouins, including three women. SadelTech provides mobile and web app development and software quality assurance.
Ex-Ethiopian MK meets African women UN delegation. Likud MK Avraham Neguise met at the Knesset a delegation of women from several African countries. They included politicians and academics, as part of the UN Women initiative. Neguise urged merging Israeli tech and fertile African soil to effect change in Africa.
Israeli pavilion at human rights summit. For the first time in five years, an Israeli delegation is in Turkey. It is exhibiting at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, reflecting the Jewish tradition of ‘Tikun Olam’ (repair the world) in responding to international disasters and assisting developing countries.
Publicizing Israel achievements. My wife had a letter published in the media highlighting that London’s Thames Water company once boycotted Israeli companies but now uses one to purify its wastewater. Please use my database www.IsraelActive.com to publicize positive messages in the press about Israel.
Israel is the center of the digital future. (TY Dan) At the Dell Future Ready Conference in Tel Aviv, Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell stated "Israel's performance has inspired the entire world, and it's important for us to be in Israel”. He also used the event to name Dell Technologies as the merged Dell-EMC2 partnership.
Preventing AIDS in 14 African countries. The World Health Organization will approve the PrePex device by Israel-based Circ MedTech. It allows medical workers in Africa to perform painless circumcisions to help stop the spread of AIDS. WHO’s prequalification will allow PrePex it to be offered to adult males in 14 countries.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Transmitting the Olympics. Israel’s LiveU will provide IP-based live video transmission solutions for more than 80 broadcasters and online streaming customers during the Rio Olympics this summer. LiveU also previously transmitted the London Olympics, the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the UK election results.
Put your company on the Cloud in minutes. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Stratoscale has won a Red Herring Europe 2016 award for its Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution. Whatever computer hardware your company currently uses, Stratoscale says it can get you up and running using Cloud services in a few minutes.
Cybersecurity Excellence Award winner. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s LightCyber won the 2016 Cybersecurity Excellence Award as the best solution in the Intrusion Detection & Prevention awards category. It also launched first of their kind Attack Detection Metrics to measure the accuracy and efficiency of security solutions in detecting stealth attackers. http://lightcyber.com/lightcyber-wins-cybersecurity-excellence-award/
Recharge your hearing aid wirelessly. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Humavox uses proprietary radio frequency (RF) to recharge hearing aids. Humavox’s flexible hardware platform, ETERNA, includes the smallest power receiver available in the market, making it able to fit into the tiniest of hearing aids.
Elementary kids take photos from edge of space. Israeli students and parents from Yigal Alon elementary school sent a meteorological balloon up 15 miles and collected images and complete flight data. The 42.3 ounce Styrofoam box contained two GoPro type cameras, flight data recorder, locator and radio transmitter.
Double funding for joint Israel-Canada tech. Further positive impact from the recent Ontario delegation to Israel. The joint funding to companies will be doubled to $2 million annually, and an extra $5 million a year will be provided for cooperation between Israeli and Canadian industries and universities.
See hear for the latest from Orcam. Israel’s Orcam – developers of the speaking glasses for the visually impaired – have been busy. Activities include demonstrating the MyReader product at the British Dyslexia Association’s International Conference in Oxford. And launching MyEye for Hebrew speakers.
New engine could halve fuel costs and emissions. Israel’s Aquarius Engines has redesigned the internal combustion engine. Its horizontal-moving cylinder powers two electric generators with much less waste energy than current 4,6 or 8 piston engines. With the smaller engine, cars can reach 1300 miles on a single tank of gas.
Israel’s largest solar array. French PM Manuel Valls inaugurated Israel’s largest solar energy array at the Zmorot solar park in the Northern Negev. France’s EDF and its local partner Solex installed 207,000 photovoltaic panels to generate 50 MWp of clean energy. http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Environment/French-PM-Valls-inaugurates-Israels-latestand-largestsolar-field-454678
Facial recognition of character traits. (TY Myer) Israel’s Faception claims it can identify the character of a person using facial recognition software. The company says that personality is determined by DNA and reflected in the face - a kind of signal. It could have massive security applications. (Also in UK Daily Mail)
Israeli body armor protects UK troops. The British army is testing and rolling out the new Israeli-made Virtus body armor system to its infantry. The new gear is 50% lighter than the previous Osprey system thanks to Virtus’ innovative Dynamic Weight Distribution (DWD) system and Scalable Tactical Vest.
Organic display technology. (TY Dan) Israel’s StoreDot has unveiled its MolecuLED display technology in the world’s first organic display. The new technology allows for displays that produce vivid colors, are more cost effective, and are environmentally friendly, being entirely metal free.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Unemployment down to 4.9 per cent. (TY Algemeiner and Dan) April 2016 marked a historic drop in the Israeli unemployment rate, which sunk to 4.9 percent compared to 5.3 percent in March. 193,000 people were unemployed in April, down from roughly 208,000 in March.
New Zealand trade mission to Israel. The Trans-Tasman Business Circle has organized an Innovation Mission to Israel (May 29 to Jun 1). It will include a record number of over 50 business and academic leaders, including the Chief Science Adviser to the New Zealand Government, Sir Peter Gluckman.
Connecting Michigan and Israel. (TY Dan) The Michigan Israel Business Bridge is piloting Michigan Israel Connect to match companies in both countries in order to access new supplier opportunities. One goal is to include business incubators, accelerators and startups, many of which specialize in technology.
Incentives to airlines for direct flights. Israel will provide subsidies to airlines that launch new non-stop gateway flights to Israel. To be eligible, the flight must be from an airport located more than 74 miles from an airport that already offers direct flights to Israel. http://www.travelmarketreport.com/articles/Israel-Offers-Subsidies-To-Airlines-Launching-Direct-Service-To-Tel-Aviv
$307 million medical VC fund launched. (TY Nocamels) International investment firm OrbiMed has launched its second Israel-focused venture capital fund, OrbiMed Israel Partners II, LP, with over $300 million. Investors include several of the world’s largest heathcare companies and dozens of institutional clients.
An ultra-Orthodox investment club. (TY JBN) The 12Angels investment club focuses exclusively on high-tech startups headed by ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) entrepreneurs in the KamaTech accelerator (see previous mewsletters). The club recognizes the growing Haredi participation in Israel’s high-tech ecosystem.
VW invests $300 million in Gett. (TY JBN) German car giant Volkswagen has invested $300 million in Israel’s Gett. Gett offers a range of transport and courier services in 60 cities worldwide including New York, London, and Moscow. Ironically, Gett is a direct competitor to German taxi company Uber.
Israeli startups compete in Hong Kong. (TY JBN) Three Israeli mobile app developers, will take part in the Hong Kong finals of the Asia Smartphone Apps competition in June. Castle Builders’s Bookclip allows users to build story apps. Tekoia’s Sure is a universal remote controller. E.Soof’s Bazz prevents driving accidents.
Anadot is a “Cool Vendor”. Israel’s Anodot, the real time analytics and automated business incident detection company, has been named a “Cool Vendor” in Analytics in the 2016 Gartner report. Gartner reports Anodot as one of five “innovative vendors that are redefining the types of analysis that it is feasible for organizations to perform.” http://www.anodot.com/about/cool-vendor/
Portable booster seats are delivered. It seems a long time ago (July 2015) that I first reported on the Mifold innovative Israeli child seatbelt booster system that brings the seatbelt down to the child, rather than raise the child to the level of the seatbelt. Mifolds are now being delivered around the world – first to New York City.
Houzz is Google Play’s “Best App”. (TY Dan) Israeli-made Houzz won "Best App" in the first-ever Google Play awards. Houzz, created by Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, is an app for the popular home-design website. Adi and Alon previously won Forbes “newest power couple” award. (see Oct 2014 newsletter)
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
New Israeli stamps. (TY Jacob Richman) The latest issue of beautiful Israeli stamps includes Markets (Jerusalem, Acre and Jaffa); the Knesset Building; Israel Memorial Day; Israel-Spain: 30 Years of diplomatic relations; Bridge of Strings Jerusalem; Israeli achievements (Digital prepress & printing); Seasons – Spring.
Israeli wins best student film at Cannes. (TY SDM) Or Sinai, graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem, won first place in the student short film category in Cannes for her short film “Anna”. She beat 2,350 other student films from 277 film schools from around the world.
Elton John is Captain Fantastic. Superstar Elton John rocked 40,000 ecstatic fans at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park. He semi-dedicated his first hit, “Your Song,” to Israel and told the crowd there could have been “no nicer place” for him to open his eight-week European tour. He took no breaks during the two-hour-plus show.
Pharrell Williams “happy” to come to Israel. Multiple Grammy award-winning American musician Pharrell Williams, who shot to global superstardom with his hit "Happy" in 2014, is going to appear on July 21 at Live Park in Rishon Letzion. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/212782#.V0WH4r4bN30
Sergio Mendes to perform in Israel. Brazilian Bossa Nova artist Sergio Mendes will perform two concerts in Israel in June. The musician is one of the most important names in Brazilian music, with over 55 releases. See him at the Caesarea Amphitheater on June 23, or at the Zappa Club in Tel Aviv on June 24.
The first Geek PicNic outside of Russia. Geek PicNic Jerusalem is a three-day outdoor science and technology fair that was exported from Russia for the first time in its five-year history. It featured a massive Russian-made metal dragon robot and a US-made “Hand of Man” robotic glove that crushed cars.
Israel’s desert nature reserve. Spread over 3000 acres in the southern Israel's Arava desert, the unique Hai Bar wildlife nature reserve is home to endangered animal species, some of them already mentioned in the Bible. Enjoy the beautiful photography. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6gvHLD_HkY
THE JEWISH STATE
Zionist Tunisian brothers convert to Judaism. Brave Tunisian brothers Mohamed Faleh Boughdiri and Ibrahim Boughdiri have converted to Judaism. Now named Josef and Jacob, they are not afraid to show their support for the Jewish State even though they have received serious threats and bullying.
Chance encounters. A Haredi soldier was involved in a bus crash in which a female soldier died. In hospital, doctors discovered a tumor in the brain of the Haredi soldier but a pre-operation scan kept being cancelled. On Memorial Day, the soldier visited the grave of the female soldier and chanced upon Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot. Shortly afterwards, a taxi arrived to take the soldier for his scan.
Netanyahu is part-Sephardic. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a descendant of Lithuania’s Vilna Gaon. But at the opening of the new wing at Beit Hatfutsot – the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv – he revealed that DNA tests showed he has Spanish roots. He said “it shows that all Jews are intertwined”.
25th anniversary of Operation Solomon. On 24-25 May 1991, the IDF accomplished a miracle with its Operation Solomon covert mission to airlift 14,325 people and transport them 2,500 miles to a new life in Israel. It was Israel’s largest aerial expedition and included the world record number of passengers in a single plane. (25 years ago I had the privilege to see some of those 35 planes arrive at Ben Gurion airport.)
The craziest Lag B’Omer ever. Lag B’Omer at Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s tomb on Mount Meron is a unique experience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evz6ZikiC3U
And the flags are still out. Although Israeli Independence Day was over two weeks ago, Israeli flags are still displayed everywhere. Maybe it’s because Jerusalem Day is approaching – but many say it’s deeper than that.
In the 22nd Mar 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Successful trial of new Israeli insulin treatment gives hope to millions of diabetics.
· Jerusalem Education Week highlights Israel’s diversity.
· A charity donation to Israeli hospitals that treat Syrian war wounded.
· Israeli development of a keyboard operated using only eye-movements.
· An Israeli startup provides drinking water for the Taj Mahal.
· A delegation of 130 from Ontario boosts Israeli-Canadian trade.
· Israeli divers off Caesarea made a historic discovery of a sunken Roman ship.
· An innovative Israeli-directed Coldplay video has had over 15 million views.
· Click here to see the 15th May newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Global impact, Technology and Jewish State. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Success for diabetes treatment trial. Israeli biotech Oramed has reported success in the Phase IIb study of its insulin capsule. Oramed highlighted that it was the first time an oral solution showed a significant drop in blood sugar at night. Oral insulin will replace injected delayed-release insulin. (See also May 2015 newsletter)
Breakthrough scanning technology. GE Healthcare’s Israeli R&D center has developed the Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT system to perform faster, more accurate, safer and less intrusive SPECT/CT scans of the body. It uses 50% less radioactive tracers and captures all the required data on multiple organs in a single pass.
Living on the edge. The borderline between genius and madness is well known. Now Ben Gurion University and Weizmann researchers have shown that learning processes can make the brain operate at peak performance in processing incoming sensory information. However, it may also risk causing hallucinations.
Exoskeletons – the next generation. (TY Hazel) Israel’s ReWalk has teamed with Harvard University’s Wyss Institute to develop ‘soft suit’ exoskeleton systems enabling people to walk following stroke, lower limb disabilities, MS etc. Millions need some structural support but not a rigid exoskeleton such as ReWalk.
Jay Leno raises $50k for United Hatzalah. (TY Janglo) US personality Jay Leno donated a $36,000 fully equipped “ambucycle” to Israeli Emergency Medical Service United Hatzalah at a concert to support the EMS. Leno also made a separate appeal to the 1300 members of the audience, which raised another $50,000.
Help create new dream doctors. I have reported about Dream Doctors (Israeli medical clowns) previously. Now you have the opportunity to donate in a matching scheme to sponsor five new clowns to heal and decrease the suffering of sick children in Israeli hospitals. https://www.causematch.com/en/projects/dream-doctors/
Imaging tech to save women’s lives. (TY Hazel) Israeli startup Illumigyn, is using IDF technology to develop the Gynescope – an advanced machine-vision image-recognition device for gynecologists to identify cervical cancer and other diseases in routine inspections. http://illumigyn.com/
Israeli men have world’s 5th longest life expectancy. Israel is ranked fifth in terms of men's average life expectancy, at 80.6 years - after Switzerland, Iceland, Australia, and Sweden. Israeli women's life expectancy is ranked ninth globally, at 84.3 years.
A medical device powerhouse. (TY Dan) This is a very informative look at Israel's medical device sector with 725 medical device companies. http://investingnews.com/daily/life-science-investing/medical-device-investing/isreal-a-medical-device-powerhouse/
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Diversity in Jerusalem’s Education Week. (TY Sharon) The theme for children’s arts projects during Education Week in Jerusalem was “My home, your home”. Projects in Hebrew and Arabic were displayed next to each other. Please take a look at the photos, and note the diverse groups that attended the opening event.
Google donates to Israeli disabilities tech initiative. Google is granting $700,000 to Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM), an Israel-based initiative aimed at producing technology to help people with disabilities. TOM’s 120 prototypes include a bionic hand and a walker that helps disabled people climb stairs.
Education for kids with Cerebral Palsy. Ilanot is a school in Jerusalem for children with physical and cognitive disabilities. Seventy students aged six to twenty-one attend the school daily. The school provides students with knowledge to improve motor function and help independence to increase their quality of life.
Not another trip to the doctor. Cancer charity Ezer Mizion transports the sick, frail, elderly and disabled to treatment centers, therapy clinics and doctor’s appointments. And it even takes them to weddings and the Western Wall - after all, everyone needs to enjoy life.
$10 million for humanitarian hospitals. The Helmsley Charitable Trust has donated $10 million to the Poriah hospital in Tiberias and the Ziv Medical Center in Safed that treat Syrian wounded. Another beneficiary is the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon where surgeons from Save a Child’s Heart operate on overseas children.
A better life for Majuli islanders. Israeli Gili Navon used her Master’s degree from Hebrew University of Jerusalem to found the charity Amar Majuli (“Our Majuli”) and enhance the livelihood and wellbeing of the Mising tribe on the island of Majuli in Assam, northern India.
Australia security experts visit Israel. A group of business people, intelligence experts and academics have participated in the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce Security Delegation to Israel. Analyses included from Bar-Ilan University’s Prof. Efraim Inbar and University President Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz.
Female-only startup competition in Vietnam. (TY Dan) Israel’s Vietnamese embassy is launching a new women-focused startup competition called Startup Tel Aviv. It will have the sponsorship of the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology. One of the partners must be female and aged between 25 and 35.
A Danish innovation center in Tel Aviv. (TY Dan) Denmark’s Education and Research Ministry and its Foreign Ministry are to establish a new innovation center in Tel Aviv. “We are strengthening Danish research by co-operating with the best environments abroad,” said Ulla Tørnæs, the education and research minister.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
A keyboard for your eyes. Israeli cancer charity Ezer Mizion and Israeli startup Click2Speak are piloting an on-screen keyboard operated by eye-tracking. The goal is a low-cost, multi-lingual, easy-to-use keyboard, for users with impaired motor skills and high cognitive ability. Google has given the project a generous grant.
Five female students win Intel awards. Five female engineering students studying at Ben Gurion University have received Intel Academic Excellence Awards. They are Liron Agmon (Chemical), Liel Cohen (Industrial), Shiran Navah (Electrical & Computer), Rachel Abu (Industrial) and Naama Shukran (Electro-Optical).
At the forefront of education technology. This blog highlights some of the Israeli startups leading the way in technologies designed to improve the educational progress of students with learning difficulties.
Security using neuroscience. Israeli Psychoanalyst, counter terrorist expert, international writer and newsletter subscriber Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin has written “The Jihadi Dictionary”. This groundbreaking work is an essential intelligence tool for law enforcement. It is being used by US Psychological operations (PSYOP).
NIS 800 million to boost energy efficiency. Israel’s cabinet has approved a plan to allocate some £200 million in loans and grants for projects that will lead to energy efficiency in industry, business and local governments. It is expected to save the Israeli economy $8 billion, cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce pollution.
A cyber city in the Negev Desert. (TY Dan) Beer Sheva is becoming a cyber-city to cement Israel’s place as a major digital power. No other country is so purposefully integrating its private, scholarly, government and military cyber-expertise. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/how-israel-is-turning-part-of-the-negev-desert-into-a-cyber-city/2016/05/14/f44ea8e4-0d58-11e6-bfa1-4efa856caf2a_story.html
Israel’s desert is a teaching experience. (TY Dan) The Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT) hosts over 1,000 students every year from across Asia and Africa at its 10-month agriculture work-study program. In 2014, AICAT introduced an 18-month-long international master’s degree in plant sciences.
Water for the Taj Mahal. It is because of Israel’s Aqwise that visitors to India’s Taj Mahal have drinking water. The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, a city with about 2 million people. Aqwise helped build a water treatment plant, designed to treat 160,000 cubic meters per day, supplying drinking water to the entire city.
Romania seeks Israeli water tech. The senior management of Raja Constanta, Romania’s largest water utility, visited Israel with an intention to implement Israeli water technologies to improve Romania’s infrastructure. Currently only half the 22 million Romanians are connected to municipal water or wastewater systems.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Debt to GDP falls again. For the sixth consecutive year, Israel lowered the ratio of Government debt in proportion to GDP – this time by 2.1%. It also reduced interest paid on the debt by NIS 600 million.
Workspace for out-of-town entrepreneurs. Outside of Tel Aviv, startups also need space to develop. Powerball in Ness Ziona and In-Vent in Haifa provide facilities and services for those who don’t want to “schlep” to Tel Aviv’s startup hub.
Israel’s first on-line shopping mall. BIG Shopping Centers announced that in early 2017 it will launch BIG+, Israel’s first online shopping platform. It will offer apparel, home products, travel goods, electronics, plus international brands not currently sold directly to the Israeli consumer.
£50 million for TAU School of Management. UK businessman Jeremy Coller has donated $50 million to the Tel Aviv University School of Management, which will be renamed after the entrepreneur. The donation is earmarked for research and development, study programs, and teaching.
Air Europa increases Israel flights. Air Europa, Spain’s third largest airline, is adding an additional weekly flight to the three it operates on its Tel Aviv-Madrid route. It is also adding follow-on routes from Madrid to Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador, starting in late December. It is also launching a price sale to Spain and South America. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-air-europa-adds-israel-latin-america-flights-1001125259
Medtronic to market Israeli surgical robots. Israeli innovative bone mounted surgical robotic guidance systems developer Mazor Robotics has entered into two strategic agreements with US giant Medtronic. Medtronic will invest in Mazor and also co-promote, co-develop and potentially distribute Mazor products.
And (TY Dan and Israel21c) six more Israeli Robots that are transforming surgery. MedRobotics, MST (more), Human Extensions, Microbot Medical, XACT Robotics (more) and Memic Innovative Surgery.
Huge Canadian trade delegation. (TY Dan) Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne came to Israel on a five-day trade mission together with 130 government officials, academics, scientists and business leaders. Two-way trade in 2015 between Israel and Ontario was almost $1 billion, making Israel Ontario’s fifth largest trading partner. Premier Wynne signed 18 new agreements and partnerships valued at $87 million.
An all-women mission to Israel. (TY Dan) The first all-women Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) mission to Israel is led by Lucy Turnbull, Australia’s first lady and a respected company director in her own right. The 36 participants want to learn about smart cities, Israel’s ecosystem and its innovation culture.
Massive Chinese incubator fund. (TY Dan) Chinese tech giant Kuang-Chi is to launch a $300-million global fund and incubator in Israel. It intends to invest in the best Israeli companies in the fields of biometrics, communications, robotics, and AR, and to take them to the next level commercially and technologically.
Netanya’s new hotel. (TY Dan) Visitors to my home town can now stay at Accor’s luxurious MGallery by Softel hotel. Rebranded from the David Tower hotel in King David street, the MGallery has a spa, heated indoor swimming pool, restaurants and bar and beautiful views of the Mediterranean. Accor also plans to open another Netanya hotel next year.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
The biggest treasure discovery in 30 years. (TY Jacques) Two Israeli divers have uncovered a treasure trove of ancient artifacts that made their way to the sea bed when a merchant ship sank off the coast of Caesarea some 1600-years ago. Many Roman bronzes in perfect condition were described as of great historical importance.
National Conservation Week. The Society (Council) for the Preservation (Conservation) of Heritage Sites in Israel invites all to celebrate Israel's "Heritage Week" from May 20th-28th by joining tours and events from the Upper Galilee, to Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6Qu7NOWq0w http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/212497#.Vz1vr74bN30
On-line exhibition of Israeli achievements. (TY Jacques) Israel21c invites guests to the “must-click” online exhibition “18 Ways Israel is Changing the World”. It spans from cancer sniffing devices to Israelis who help Syrians; from latest role models to water scarcity solutions. http://www.israel21c.org/exhibition/
Your next Israeli adventure – the Arava. Vanishing Valley, House of Aloe Vera, Peace Road, Yotvata Chocolate Trail and other treasures beckon from this long strip of desert filled with B&B lodges. You can enjoy archaeology, Bedouin hospitality, eco-art, hiking, biking, riding, farms, birdwatching and ice-cream workshops.
Tuesday is Tel Aviv food tour day. A 2-hour tour every Tuesday explores Tel Aviv’s vibrant food scene, home to the trendiest eateries in the entire Middle East. The $39 fee includes guiding, tasting and water.
Coldplay’s Israeli-made video. The video promotion for the track “Up & Up” from Coldplay’s new album “A Head Full of Dreams”, was directed by Israelis Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia. Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin raved about the two Israelis on Beats 1 radio, saying, “it's one of the best videos people have made.”
Acro-yoga flash mob in Tel Aviv. Organizers say the 150 gravity-defying balance enthusiasts in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square formed the world's largest outdoor flash mob of its kind. The fact that it took place only three days after a terror attack on the Tel Aviv boardwalk shows just how much Israelis love life.
Euro silver for Taekwondo. Israel’s Ron Atias, ranked 80 in the world, won the taekwondo under-58 kg silver medal at the European Championships in Montreux, Switzerland. World No. 2 Rui Braganca of Portugal edged Atias in the final, after three rounds ended tied at 2-2. Atias is aiming for gold at the Rio Olympics.
THE JEWISH STATE
Jewish mothers connect Israel and Diaspora. More than 800 Jewish mothers from 14 countries celebrated a life-changing journey to Israel this month, at a Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) Mega Event. It launched the JWRP’s specialized “Momentum” trips for 2600 women from 26 countries.
Bene Israel are descended from Jews. Researchers in the USA and at Tel Aviv University have produced genetic proof of the Jewish roots of the Bene Israel community from western India. 70,000 Bene Israel made Aliya and always considered themselves descendants of 14 Jews who were shipwrecked on the Indian shore.
How Israeli animals survive in the heat. With Israeli temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius the animals at Ramat Gan safari park keep their cool in various ways. Some manage by themselves, whilst others need help.
Did you try kosher for Passover beer? Israel’s Bryan Meadan produces gluten-free beer made from chickpeas and buckwheat all year round. But for the Jewish festival of Passover he brings out a date ale which is certified Kosher for Passover by Badatz Beit Yosef. (3rd link is to a USA site that brews KfP honey beer.)
In the 15th May 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Hadassah doctors used hi-tech to save two Palestinian Arabs and a Cypriot baby.
· Israelis are helping victims of the Canadian wildfire.
· An Israeli company won an innovation prize in Abu Dhabi.
· China is getting its first taste of Israel’s Max Brenner chocolate.
· Israelis have won international gold medals in karate and judo.
· Israel celebrated its 68th birthday with torches, fireworks, fly-pasts and parties.
· Last week’s Israel Good News descriptive summary “Just look at Miriam now” was also published on the United With Israel website.
· Click here to see the 1st May newsletter on IsraelSeen, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Inclusiveness, Technology, and Sport. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Switching off antibiotic resistance. Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have found new RNA-control switches (“ribo-switches) for genes encoding antibiotic resistance and discovered that these switches are actually “turned on” by the antibiotics themselves. The switches could be turned off by future treatments.
Israeli doctors save “no chance” Cyprus baby. (TY Beverly) No newborn with a heart defect like that of Cypriot baby Vassilios had ever survived. But Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center was willing to treat him. After an anxious journey to Israel, Hadassah surgeons achieved the “impossible” and after 10 days Vassilios and his happy parents returned to Cyprus. http://www.hadassah.org/news-stories/cyprus-newborn-saved.html
Hadassah saves Al Quds student with organ failure. (TY Beverly) Palestinian Arab student Sara al Katzroy collapsed whilst jogging. She was brought from Jericho hospital to Jerusalem where Hadassah doctors used a Molecular Adsorbent Recirculation System (MARS) to save her liver. Sara now wants to become a nurse.
Doctors save Palestinian Arab boy who fell into boiling jam. (TY Barbara Sofer) One of Barbara Sofer’s 68 reasons to love Israel includes this amazing report of how doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center managed to save the life of Mohamed - a Palestinian Arab toddler who fell into a vat of boiling jam.
Eye spy. Two people have regained their eyesight after receiving the corneas of the late former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who died March 17 after a long battle with cancer. Avraham Gian, 81, and an unnamed 70-year-old woman received the corneas at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital.
Heart implant is a success. (TY Atid-EDI) UK medical journal The Lancet reported the first implants of the interatrial shunts from Israel’s V-Wave (see previous newsletters). In less than 1 hour, each of 10 Canadian patients suffering poor left ventricular function received new implants and were discharged home next morning.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Alcohol/Smoke-free Woodstock. Jerusalem’s Sobar Music Center is presenting the first-ever alcohol/smoke-free Community Woodstock festival on 8th Jun. Sobar provides an exciting and safe environment for teens and young adults from all over Jerusalem.
An Israeli photo for Mother’s Day. Although Mother’s Day is not a holiday in Israel, this photo of an Israeli mother who has just given birth to triplets, will be an eye-opener to anyone believing lies from the BDS idiots.
When things don’t go right. A computer glitch meant that an entry to a Chinese auction run by Israeli cancer charity Ezer Mizion didn’t get processed. Ezer Mizion called the donor to apologize, refund the donation and give a prize. The donor was so impressed that they not only refused the refund but they donated more.
Aid to victims of Canadian wildfire. Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID is helping many of the 90,000 evacuees from the wildfire in Alberta, Canada. IsraAID volunteers are providing social and psychological support. Once the fires have been extinguished another IsraAID team will go in to help clean up the debris.
US and Israel expand energy cooperation. US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, have signed an agreement to foster R&D, drive down the costs of clean energy technologies and encourage collaboration between top energy scientists.
China signs seven more agreements. (TY Hazel) Israel and China have signed seven academic cooperation agreements with Chinese universities. These include the establishment of joint Israeli-Chinese study institutes, as well as investments in student exchange programs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeOSvKTT7wM
Another agreement with NSW. The Agricultural Research Organisation of Israel and the University of Sydney signed an agriculture agreement focusing on teaching, training and research activities in the areas of dairy, poultry and aquaculture. It follows a (1st May) R&D agreement between New South Wales and Israel.
2 million likes from Brazil. The number of Brazilians who have “liked” Israel’s Ministry of Tourism Facebook profiles in Portuguese has exceeded 2 million. It is part of the ministry’s strategy to attract pilgrims from Brazil to visit the Holy Land. Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world.
Thousands of Egyptian Copts visit Israel. (TY Hazel) So far in 2016, at least 5,700 Coptic Orthodox Christians have travelled from Egypt to Israel - one thousand more than for the whole of 2015. The Copts previously banned pilgrimages to Israel, but in Nov 15, the new Coptic Pope Tawadros II came to Jerusalem.
NATO upgrades Israel’s status. (TY Hazel) NATO has upgraded its ties with Israel. Israel will now be able to open offices at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s headquarters in Brussels and complete a credentialing process for its representatives. The step “will help boost Israeli security”, said PM Netanyahu.
Israel at 68 is not isolated. Ambassador Yoram Ettinger writes about Israel’s links with NATO, Turkey, India, China, plus tech giants such as Oracle, Cisco and Intel.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Water tech for Sau Paulo. Professor Jerson Kelman is CEO of SABESP - the water company for Sau Paulo, Brazil’s financial center, with a population three times that of Israel. He has come to Israel to learn how Israeli tech can help SABESP overcome Sau Paulo’s water shortages. http://israelnewtech.com/2016/04/sau-paulo-water-utility-sabesp-ceo-visits-israel-in-search-of-water-technologies/
Desalitech wins award – in Abu Dhabi. Israel’s Desalitech won the Breakthrough Water Technology Company of the Year award at the 2016 Global Water Awards in Abu Dhabi. Desalitech’s closed-circuit reverse osmosis desalination system counters the slow build-up of salinity in aquifers and waterways.
Second in International Robotics competition. A team of students from Israel’s Rothschild-Hashomron High School in Binyamina came second at the prestigious international FIRST Robotics Competition in St. Louis, USA. Over 20,000 students from 24 countries pitted their robots against one another in completing set tasks.
Unhealthy food banned from Israeli schools. New Israeli Education Ministry guidelines prohibit selling or serving of sweets, snacks, and sugary or fatty foods to school and kindergarten students throughout Israel. Replacements include low-fat spreadable cheeses, avocado, whole-wheat pasta and bread, fruit and vegetables.
Cleaning solar panels in India. Israel-based Ecoppia is building a plant in India to manufacture its robotic solar cleaners at a new, state-of-the-art facility near Chennai. Ecoppia’s robotic cleaning system uses controlled air flow to push the accumulated dirt off the solar panels
Don’t pay the bad guys. The technology of Israel’s Tipalti ensures that companies never make payments to individuals or companies that are on government watch lists. Tipalti did $2 billion of sales last year.
Dyson fan shows Israeli air quality status. British engineering giant Dyson has linked up with Israel’s BreezoMeter to allow users of Dyson's new Pure Cool Link fan to compare indoor air quality, humidity, temperature and pollen count with outdoors. Nearly 9,500 Londoners die annually from exposure to pollutants.
3D printers refurbish Israeli planes. Israel Air Forces’ Aerial Maintenance Unit is using 3D printers to print aircraft parts in order to keep 30-year-old planes flying. The technology has attracted original manufacturers Boeing and Lockheed to see how the upgrades can make the planes perform even better than when new.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Seven million barrels of oil. The latest estimate of Israel’s Hatrurim oil reservoir, north of the Dead Sea, is 7 million barrels – worth around $321 million at today’s prices.
Another $0.9 billion of reserves. Israel’s reserves of foreign currency shot up another $900 million at the end of April to another record - $95.685 billion. The Bank of Israel is trying to counter the strength of the Shekel.
First incubator agreement with China. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Alon MedTech Ventures incubator, is signing a cooperation agreement with Tsinghua University, one of China’s leading universities. This is the first cooperation agreement of its kind between an Israeli technology incubator and a Chinese entity.
Israeli chocolate for China. Israeli chocolatier Max Brenner opened its first branch in China. The Beijing branch, located at THE PLACE mall in the city’s financial district, is the latest of 65 worldwide storefronts. The company also recently opened the doors of its fifth Japanese branch, near Tokyo Disneyland.
Hainan airlines begins Beijing – Tel Aviv route. (TY algemeiner) China’s Hainan Airlines has begun operating a direct Beijing – Tel Aviv route three times a week. Hainan Airlines is China’s largest privately-owned airline. Israel is to increase its annual marketing budget for China from 1 million to 15 million shekels.
Prize for best Olympic startup. Israel’s Hype Start-Up Foundation is offering a 100,000 Euro ($113,000) prize to attract startups, entrepreneurs and veteran companies to develop apps and technology that will enhance the Olympic experience for fans, broadcasters, players, and anyone else connected with the games.
Another purchase for Frutarom. Israel’s Frutarom has paid $8.2 million for Germany’s Extrakt Chemie - maker of natural extracts including some used to treat liver diseases, digestive problems and prevent infections. Frutarom’s fifth acquisition of 2016 is active in Denmark, Switzerland, France, Austria and Australia. Frutarom also has opened a state-of-the-art center for R&D, marketing, and production in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Intel spends $1 billion in Israel annually. (TY Atid-EDI) Global microprocessor manufacturer Intel spends an annual average of $1 billion on procurement from 1,000 different Israeli suppliers. The company has spent $10 billion on procurement in the Israeli market over the past decade.
Security eyes are opened wider. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Magal S3 has acquired Canada’s Aimetis for around $14 million. Aimetis’ IP video management software will enhance the state-of-the-art perimeter intrusion detection systems developed by Senstar – a subsidiary of Magal.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Opening more doors. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (27th Dec) about “Open a Door to Israel” - the nine giant screens, shaped as doors, which visitors open to learn about Israel’s heritage, music scene, family life, education and innovation. Here is a new video about the exhibition, which is now in Paris.
Tel Aviv opens its doors. Open House Tel Aviv (May 26-28) will open up to the public 140 of its most architecturally and historically notable private buildings. http://www.batim-il.org/ToursEng.aspx?batim
Salvador Dali’s Zionist works. A selection of 25 paintings from Salvador Dalí’s little-known “Aliyah” series has gone on private display in New York. The biblical and Zionist-themed paintings were commissioned in 1967 for the 20th anniversary of the state of Israel. http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/04/11/little-known-zionist-series-by-salvador-dali-goes-on-private-display-in-nyc/
Helen Mirren to host Genesis Prize ceremony. Oscar-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren is to host Israel’s Genesis Prize ceremony on 23rd June in Jerusalem. Dame Helen said "My connection to Israel and the Jewish people has truly been a part of making me what I am today, and I am very excited to be returning to this great country.” http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/156207/dame-helen-mirren-host-jewish-nobel-prize%E2%80%99-ceremony-jerusalem
Beyonce commissions Israeli designer. Israeli fashion designer, Inbal Dror, is designing a line of dresses for Beyonce's much-anticipated world tour "Formation." The award-winning singer fell in love with the dress Dror designed her for the Grammys earlier this year. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Crazy-in-love-Beyonce-commissions-Israeli-fashion-designer-for-Formation-world-tour-453617
20 Eurovision stars visit Israel. (TY Jacques) A month before the 61st Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm on May 14, 20 international artists were invited to a three-day-trip across Israel. Plus, a promotional video and a new hi-tech video of the Israeli entry “Made of Stars” set against Tel Aviv’s Azrieli towers.
Good start for Israeli golfer. Israel's 24-year-old Laetitia Neck, the first golfer from Israel to qualify for the LPGA Tour, surged into a two-shot lead in the opening round of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Prattville, Alabama. She ended the tournament at eight-under-par and tied for 15th place, winning $17,659.
Israel beats Iran to win 12 karate medals. A delegation of Israeli youth won 12 medals in an international Shinkyokushin Karate event in Lucerne, Switzerland, overcoming a team from Iran along the way. Over 300 competitors from 18 countries took part in the event.
Another gold-winning Judoka. Israeli judoka Gili Cohen won the gold medal in the up to 52kg category at the Grand Slam Baku tournament in Azerbaijan. She defeated Italian rival Odette Giuffrida, winning the highest honor of her career so far and significantly increasing her chances of competing in the Rio Olympics.
THE JEWISH STATE
Happy 68th birthday. Jerusalem Post’s Barbara Sofer lists 68 reasons to be proud of Israel as it celebrates its 68th Independence Day. There is one that I hadn’t reported previously – included now in the Medical section. And TY Sharon for this article showing how Israelis journey from Yom HaShoah to Yom Ha’Atzmaut.
Lighting the torches. I reported previously (on 1st May) that Christian leader Father Gabriel Naddaf will light a torch at the Israeli Independence Day torch ceremony. Other honorees include the widow of Israel’s first astronaut, a deaf Holocaust survivor, a Nepal aid worker, IDF soldiers and everyday heroes.
Robots play Hatikvah on xylophone. As part of their holiday series, Technion students have built something special for Israel’s Independence Day - the world’s most Zionist robot.
Come home for a visit. JNF Missions are experiences unlike any other. In addition to visiting many of the cultural, religious and historical highlights of Israel, JNF Missions transcend the boundaries of a standard trip and provide participants with a deeper connection to the land and people of Israel.
Outstanding Zionist immigrants. (TY Janglo) There are six winners of the Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize for 2016. The award recognizes outstanding Anglo Olim - veteran and recent - who encapsulate the spirit of modern-day Zionism by contributing in a significant way towards the State of Israel.
NYC boy donates all his Bar Mitzvah money to Israel. Noah Helfstein from New York has donated all his Bar-Mitzvah money, $76,000, to bring the first-ever "Maker Bus" - a mobile technology lab - to less fortunate children throughout Israel. The advanced 3D printer on the bus allows the production of almost any object.
In the 1st May 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· In complex operations, Israeli surgeons saved an Israeli woman and a Gaza boy.
· A Christian leader is to light one of Israel’s Independence Day torches.
· An Israeli field hospital is saving lives in Ecuador.
· Israeli wave power is generating renewable energy for Gibraltar.
· Israel is helping the Philippines become more water efficient.
· Daniel Samohin won Israel’s first International Skating Union gold medal.
· An ancient Egyptian seal found in Israel may have belonged to the Biblical Joseph.
· Last week’s Israel Good News descriptive summary. Click here for “Just look at Miriam now” (fast-loading version, no adverts). Also published on the Jerusalem Post and San Diego Jewish World websites.
· Click here to see the 24th Apr 16 newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Doctors save woman with brain thrombosis. Surgeons at Israel’s Soroka Medical Center successfully unblocked veins in the brain of a 56-year-old woman suffering from serious cerebral venous thrombosis. The rare, complex catheterization procedure involved the removal of a number of large blood clots.
Israeli doctors save Gazan child from paralysis. Doctors at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem removed a tumor from the spine of a 3-year-old Palestinian Arab boy from Gaza to prevent him from becoming paralyzed. The unique six-hour surgery involved stretching the boy’s spine and removing a vertebra.
US approval for skin cancer detection. (TY Atid-EDI) The US FDA has approved the DermaCompare melanoma (skin cancer) diagnosis system developed by Israel’s Emerald Medical (formally DermaCare). The smartphone app enables tele-dermatology to detect possible melanomas and save lives.
Better communications in ER. Soroka Medical Center has implemented a new and unique SMS service for the 230,000 patients that visit its Emergency Room (ER) each year. Patients receive texts including names of the doctor and nurse assigned, progress of their blood test, and doctor's decision (hospitalization or discharge).
One of the top 100 Ophthalmologists. Israel’s Professor Anat Lowenstein was selected in the top 100 most influential people in the world of ophthalmology by Ophthalmologist Magazine. It noted that “her contribution to, and influence in the field of medical and surgical retina cannot be underestimated.”
Better dental implants. Israel’s Magdent has developed an electromagnetic-based technology that could speed up the process and improve bone quality in patients who are having trouble getting their implants in place. After animal trials, a human study is now necessary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUTg5c0qJuo
No heart problems with IVF. A huge 25-year study of almost 100,000 women by researchers at Ben Gurion University and Soroka University Medical Center has concluded that fertility treatment has no cardiovascular risk to mothers. 4,153 women receiving fertility therapies were compared to 95,138 who conceived naturally.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Women lead the way at Soroka. At Soroka Medical Center, women are in charge of Infectious Diseases, Women’s Ultrasound, At Risk Mother & Child unit, Respiratory clinic, Interventional neurology, Opthalmology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric unit, Geriatric medicine, Neonatology, Pathology and more.
Where women build startups. WMN is a co-work space and ecosystem for women entrepreneurs. In a spacious compound at the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa Port, it is helping women to start their first business by themselves.
Christian leader to light Independence Day torch. Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest and leader of the Aramean Christian community in Israel, has been selected this year to light a torch at the Israeli Independence Day torch ceremony under the category of “civil heroism.”
More help for Israeli-Arab startups. The Hybrid accelerator and Made In Jerusalem brought 15 Arab entrepreneurs from Nazareth and East Jerusalem to meet top figures in the Israeli tech ecosystem. They spoke with Jewish entrepreneurs and pitched their ideas to prospective investors.
Saving Syrian lives. Next door to the war raging in Syria, doctors at the Galilee Medical Center are showing the true character of Israel. When they say that ‘Israel is a light unto the nations’, this is what they mean…
Rescuing the Cypriot economy. In 2013 Cyprus was in financial crisis. It had become insolvent as no-one was paying property taxes. Then Israel’s Ofek Aerial Photos undertook a project to provide an aerial map of the country. Ofek’s technology enabled Cyprus to correctly assess the taxes due on real estate in the country.
Israeli tech saves Turkish soldiers. (TY Ron) An Israeli upgrade on a U.S.-made M60T tank used by Turkish military forces in Mosul saved the tank’s crew from a missile attack by Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists. The tank was hit by a 129K9 Kornet anti-tank guided missile, but it did not explode. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-upgrade-to-turkish-tank-protects-soldiers-from-isis-anti-tank-missile/2016/04/24/
Field hospital in Ecuador. Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID has set up a field hospital in Canoa, Ecuador. It has been treating victims of the Ecuador magnitude-7.8 earthquake since Apr 23. In addition to its medical aid, the humanitarian volunteers have also set up child-friendly spaces.
10-year visa agreement with China. Israel and China have signed an agreement to issue mutual multiple-entry visas valid for 10 years. Israel is only the third country (after the USA and Canada) to have such an arrangement. China’s Hainan Airlines is shortly to commence direct flights between Beijing and Tel Aviv.
This is my Earth. (TY SDM) A special event at the Knesset launched a new global network to protect critical ecological habitats. This Israeli initiative raises funds and allows everyone on the planet to participate in the purchase of environmental hot-spots, such as threatened areas of Brazilian rainforest. (see 5th July newsletter)
90 species of endangered plants grow in Israel. An Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) survey and mapping project over the last two years has determined that Israel meets international standards on biodiversity protection. Israel has 90 species of endangered plants, 28 being unique to Israel or the countries that surround it.
Cleaning up Charleston. (TY Zev) In Jan 2014, the Elk River - the main water source for Charleston, West Virginia, USA was contaminated with toxic waste, forcing a water crisis and shutting down several businesses. Israeli experts went into action, advising on how to alleviate the problem and prevent future similar situations.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Wave power for Gibraltar. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Eco Wave Power has completed the construction and entered the testing phase of its first commercial scale wave power plant in Gibraltar. The $5 million, 5 Megawatt plant is expected to produce 15 percent of Gibraltar’s electricity within two years.
Writing articles automatically. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Articoolo has developed an algorithm that generates unique, proof-read, high-quality textual content from scratch - simulating a real human writer. It enables anyone who needs content to purchase articles online for a fraction of the price they used to pay. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HNrlUujfEk http://articoolo.com/
TV ad with fast delivery. Israel’s Dov-e and Gett have teamed up with Coca-Cola Israel, to demonstrate fast response to a TV ad. Dov-e receives an ultrasound signal from the TV ad and activates a smartphone app. If the owner responds, the drinks are delivered within the hour by a taxi from Israel’s Gett.
Solving critical production issues. Israel’s Takipi transforms computer logs into real-time intelligence for IT support teams to solve critical production issues really quickly. Takipi has just raised $15 million of funding.
Water recycling technologies. Recent video showing how Israel recycles 85 percent of its wastewater.
BBC features Israeli water technology. The BBC World Service “Elements” series praised Israel’s success in desalination, drip irrigation and water recycling during its second episode on “Hydrogen (water)”. Listen from 13 mins 30 secs. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03s94x9
Silencing that annoying satnav. Car satellite navigation (satnav) systems can be distracting and dangerous. Israel’s Cellepathy has developed Ergo, which uses sensors, cameras and artificial intelligence to turn off the satnav when the driver doesn’t need it. Cellepathy won the ConnecteDriver 2016 Auto App Challenge.
Nanotechnology Innovation of the Year. (TY Nevet) Israel’s Melodea won the Nanotechnology Innovation of the Year Award at NanoIsrael 2016 in Tel Aviv. Melodea has developed technology to extract nano-crystalline cellulose (NCC) – an important new material – from the waste products of the paper industry.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Agro-tech delegation to the Philippines. An Israeli delegation to the Philippines is promoting irrigation technology to cut costs and make water use by farmers more efficient. The companies are Agrotop, Bermad, BioFishency, Eshet Eilon, Metzerplas Cooperative, Netafim, ShneorSeed, and Tefen Flow and Dosing Technologies. www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Economy&title=israeli-agriculture-firms-promoting-more-efficient-irrigation&id=125322
More incubators. Israel’s Chief Scientist has licensed two new technological incubators. MedX in Or Yehuda will invest in the fields of medical devices, combined medicine and digital health for operations, diagnostics and treatment. eHealth Ventures in Modi’in Illit will focus on investments in digital health.
Integrating the workforce. Kemach is unique project in the North of Israel, that gives the country’s ultra-orthodox a crucial first step on the career ladder. Kemach helps get Charedi men into employment using training, job placements, mentoring and aptitude tests,
R&D agreement with New South Wales. Australia’s New South Wales government has signed an industrial Research & Development agreement with Israel that will team up companies to co-develop and commercialize innovative products. R&D areas include cyber-security, water management and agricultural technology.
America’s favorite coconut drink. Israel's Ira Liran cofounded Vita Coco, a globally successful coconut-water business. The company has 10 manufacturing facilities in eight tropical countries, which altogether utilize two million coconuts daily. http://www.israel21c.org/a-little-israeli-chutzpah-is-packed-into-vita-coco/
More chips for China. Israel’s TowerJazz will be manufacturing more integrated circuits for Chinese chipmaker 3Peak - thanks to TowerJazz’s new factory in Japan. TowerJazz produces all of 3Peak’s products.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
300,000 tour Israel on one day. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis flocked to Israel's parks and beaches on the last full day of Chol HaMoed Pesach (the Intermediate Days of Passover). Most popular were Caesarea, Eshkol National Park, Ein Gedi, Einot Tzukim, Ashkelon National Park, Beit Guvrin, and Me'erat HaNetifim.
Promoting Israeli art to the Netherlands. KunstenIsrael (Dutch for “Art and Israel”) is an independent foundation that encourages Dutch culture venues to show the work of Israeli artists. The organization brings museum directors, curators, presenters and journalists to Israel to get a first-hand taste of the cultural scene.
Israeli jazz goes global. Israeli saxophonist Eli Degibri has taken time off from organizing August’s popular Red Sea International Jazz Festival in Eilat, to play with some of the world's finest musicians at the White House on the United Nations' International Jazz Day on April 30.
Israel’s largest sea festival. The largest water sports festival in Israel took place at the Tel Aviv Marina. Sailors, surfers, kayakers, SUP boarders, swimmers and marine fans participated in the Sail Tel Aviv-Yafo Passover holiday event. http://www.israel21c.org/tel-aviv-celebrates-sea-festival/
Israel’s first female Olympic wrestler. Ilana Kratysh will be the first-ever Israeli woman to compete in the wrestling events at the Olympic Games after winning the World Qualification Tournament in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Womens-Wrestling-Kratysh-makes-history-earns-Rio-Olympics-berth-452124
Second place in Formula race. Israeli race car driver Roy Nissany finished in second place in the Formula One world V8 3.5 Series championship, which took place at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. Driving a Lotus, Nissany also set the fastest lap time.
Israeli is new World Junior figure skater. (TY Nevet) 18-year-old Israeli skater Daniel Samohin wowed judges and the audience alike at the 2016 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Debrecen, Hungary when he pulled off three quads to vault himself from ninth place to the gold medal – Israel’s first ever ISU title.
THE JEWISH STATE
The 4th best place to raise your kids. (TY JNi media) InterNations’ Family Life Index, says that of the world’s 41 top countries to raise a family, the best are Austria, Finland, Sweden and Israel. The UK was 22nd; The USA was 25th. Saudi Arabia was 41st. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/internations-report-israel-fourth-best-place-to-raise-your-children/2016/04/26/
Low suicide rate and getting lower. Israel’s suicide rate is the second lowest compared to 28 European countries. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4795316,00.html
Was this Joseph’s seal? A birdwatcher at Tel Dor on Israel’s Carmel Coast has found a rare scarab seal of a senior Egyptian official of the Thirteenth Pharaonic Dynasty (the 18th-17th centuries BCE). It has the phrase “overseer the treasury” – the position occupied by the Biblical Joseph after he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams.
Jewish symbols on ancient Egyptian temple. Two Star of David engravings have been discovered in an ancient Temple in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan. The Roman Temple, which dates back to the 3rd century B.C, is located in the Elephantine Island in Aswan. http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Star-of-David-found-engraved-into-an-ancient-Temple-arouses-bustle-in-Egypt-450074
The oldest Haggadah. (TY algemeiner) Remnants of one of the world’s oldest surviving Passover haggadahs (text of the Passover seder service) discovered in the Cairo Genizah, are currently on display at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. The haggadah, hand-scribed on parchment, dates from the 12th century CE.
Widespread literacy in ancient Israel. Tel Aviv University researchers have discerned that literacy during the First Temple period existed throughout all levels of the administrative, military and priestly systems of the Kingdom of Judah. 16 ancient Hebrew inscriptions unearthed in Arad were written by at least six authors.
In the 24th Apr 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· UNESCO and the International Red Cross praise Israeli medical activities.
· Israel is helping survivors of recent earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan.
· New Israeli technology located a tunnel from Gaza into Israel.
· Israel showcased advanced materials produced using nanotechnology.
· Four Israeli wines triumphed at Dusseldorf’s international wine festival.
· Two Israelis won European Championship Judoka medals.
· A Pharaoh amulet was found in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount debris.
· My highlights blog “Israeli Achievements you cannot Pass Over” has also been published on the Bridges for Peace website.
· Click here to see the 17th April newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Inclusive and Global, Technology and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
An app to prevent diabetes. Israel’s Sweetch has developed a clinical-outcome prediction platform, a behavioral analytics engine and risk meter, to stop diabetes before it starts. Sweetch’s proprietary machine-learning algorithms detect pre-diabetes seven times more accurately than existing clinical evaluation.
US approves treatment for severe asthma. The U.S. FDA has approved Cinqair - the asthma treatment from Israel’s Teva - for adults who have a history of severe attacks despite taking medication. More than 22 million Americans had asthma as of 2013, and there are more than 400,000 asthma-related hospitalizations each year.
Good results in Leukemia treatment trials. Israel’s BioSight is pleased with its Phase I/IIa study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its Astarabine treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and relapsed/refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Full results later this year. (See also 1st Nov newsletter).
Training 100 medics in the desert. In Israel’s Negev desert it sometimes takes United Hatzalah’s emergency medical services half an hour to reach remote communities. So it is running a training course to increase the numbers of its EMS volunteers from 150 to 250. Its goal is at least one volunteer in every village and kibbutz.
Born in ambulance – just like his Dad. Chen Sabag was born 32 years ago in a Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance in the southern Israeli town of Netivot. On March 29, Chen’s son was born to his wife Hadas, in an MDA ambulance near the northern Israeli city of Afula.
Red Cross praise Israeli disaster aid. (TY Hazel) International Committee of the Red Cross’s chief surgeon, Dr. Harald Veen, attended Israel’s “Surgical Management in Austere Environments” conference. He said Israel is a role model for disaster medicine as “Israelis have the knowledge and experience” to excel in emergencies.
UNESCO chief praises Israeli initiative. At UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova inaugurated the second leg of a photo exhibition showcasing the Israeli Education Without Borders initiative – a project aimed at providing education to hospitalized children. (See previous newsletters)
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Help Sobar open a safe place for Jerusalem kids. Sobar’s no-alcohol music bar for Jerusalem youth is hoping to open in May. Please help make this a reality by donating to their Headstart fundraising campaign.
Ezer Mizion volunteers – no salary is the best salary. (TY Chani) Esther looks like any other religious woman. Like most Ezer Mizion volunteers she thrives on giving. Every day is different – cooking for an exhausted new mother’s family or tackling the ever-growing pile of laundry, Esther is just happy to help.
Credit card for the needy. (TY SDM) Colel Chabad has launched a special prepaid credit card for needy Israeli families to use to buy food with dignity. The Eshel Card can be used in selected grocery store chains.
Seeking integration. Associated Press (AP) published this article showing that many in the Israeli ultra-orthodox community are seeking employment in Israel’s hi-tech industry.
Israelis pass anti-Apartheid test. A controversial social experiment was conducted in Israel, placing signs saying “Jews Only” on benches, sidewalks and even on beaches. Watch what Israelis did to those signs.
Telling the truth about Israel. (TY Algemeiner & UWI) Judith Bergman writes about Israel’s humanitarian work and begs that everyone tells the world about all the good Israel does. I certainly would agree with that!
An Israeli water incubator for LA. The Office of the US President announced 30 water initiatives on World Water Day. One was the setting up of the Los Angeles Cleantech incubator that will introduce 10 Israeli companies in water, energy, and agricultural technologies to California and their nearly 123,000 farmers.
Israel is still helping Nepal recover. Contrary to the lies of the BDS supporters, Israel doesn’t just show up at disaster areas and leave. They are still working in Nepal – a year after the two earthquakes that killed 9,000.
Earthquake aid to Japan and Ecuador. Israel’s IsraAID is the only foreign humanitarian organization still in Japan providing assistance five years after the devastating tsunami. As such, its volunteers and workers were able to offer almost immediate emergency assistance to earthquake victims in Kumamoto city. IsraAID has also sent a 15-person search-and-rescue team and medics to Ecuador, in the aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 16. http://www.israel21c.org/israeli-aid-teams-join-relief-operations-in-japan-ecuador/
Warm welcome for Singapore PM. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong headed a 60-member delegation to Israel - the first ever by a Singaporean leader. Lee praised Israel’s innovation and industry and thanked Israel for their decades-long defense aid to his country.
Birthright highlights Israeli achievements. Taglit-Birthright Israel is opening the “State of Mind” center for entrepreneurship and innovation in Tel Aviv. Tour groups will see Israeli entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology in areas such as agriculture, medicine, defense, cybersecurity, transportation, and aerospace.
Six Israeli universities in world’s top 100. Six Israeli universities are among the world’s top 100 universities in the 2016 QS World University Rankings by Subject. They are Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Technion Institute, Weizmann Institute, Ben-Gurion University and Bar-Ilan University.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Almost zero carbon output. You’ll be pleased to hear that Israel isn’t contributing to any of the perceived chemical impacts on climate change. In fact, Israel is one of the major innovators of solutions to famine and drought. http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/israel-remains-a-leader-in-climate-change-technology/
Cleaner garbage trucks. Israel is to install emission filters on 500 garbage trucks. They will filter out 97 percent of the cancer-causing fumes emitted from the diesel trucks, according to the Environmental Protection Ministry, at a cost of NIS 10 million.
Grow more with less water. A new video showing how Israeli water technology has developed in the last 50 years to produce 700% more crops with the same quantity of this precious resource.
Hundreds attend UK-Israel science conference. Top medical researchers (250 British, 100 Israeli) attended the annual BIRAX Conference in Oxford, England. BIRAX (Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange) focuses on regenerative medicine to fight diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart conditions.
Nanotech materials conference. 600 delegates attended the first-ever Innovations in Advanced Materials conference. It showcased breakthrough nanotechnologies from Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists for use in everything from sensors and coating materials to electronics and 3D printing.
Very small startups. Some of the Israeli nanotech startups featured at Jerusalem’s Innovations in Advanced Materials conference have never been mentioned previously in my newsletter. They are BioNanoSim and TrioxNano (therapy delivery), Voyager Medical (surgical sutures), OphRx (eye-drops), Neteera (bio-sensors). Neoprol (anesthetics), NanoAF (antibacterial coating) and MercuRemoval (toxic chemical removal).
The Israeli “Cyber Olympics”. Hundreds of kids gathered in Tel Aviv to compete for the title of Israeli Cyber Champ 2016. The massive gaming project competition aims to encourage students to choose tech as a career. One sponsor is Israel’s SanDisk – inventor of “disk on key” and a sponsor of the Rio Olympics.
This app will make you laugh. Comedy.com is a new mobile app designed for high-quality, short-form comedy videos. Founded by Israelis Barak Shragai and Dor Mizrahi, the startup just launched its free app on both iOS and Android. Comedy.com has just raised $1.5 million of funding.
Less electricity keeps hotel cool. Chiller Smart Management System from Israel’s Elencon Systems analyzes weather and location; predicts hourly conditions and switches off air-conditioners without sacrificing comfort. The annual $150,000 cost of cooling the Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center has been slashed by $50,000.
http://www.israel21c.org/smart-software-keeps-buildings-cool-using-less-electricity/ (see also Jan 2015 news)
Smart hotel apps. Tel Aviv - the Smartest City in the World in 2014 - is leading an integration of Israeli travel apps into 12% of the city’s hotels. The apps, Howazit, Dotz and Aspectiva, will communicate between guests and the hotel and give tourists details of activities and events.
A smarter kayak. Israel’s Motionize has developed sensors and proprietary algorithms to help kayak paddlers improve their performance. Motionize's product is already helping the US team train for the Rio Olympics.
Don’t text while driving. Israel’s Cellebrite - the company that (probably) unlocked a terrorist’s iPhone for the FBI - has launched the “textalyser” to detect drivers who used their phone before an accident. One in five deaths from road traffic accidents in the UK in the last five years have been caused by drivers using their phone.
Israel’s Iron Mole. (TY JNi.Media) Israel has developed what is dubbed “The Iron Dome for Tunnels”. Its sensors and algorithms successfully located a Hamas tunnel reaching 90 feet into Israel from the Gaza Strip. The USA is interested in the technology for locating tunnels dug by smugglers across the Mexican border.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Check out Ramon International Airport. (TY Hazel) Flights at the new Ramon International Airport in Timna, 10km north of Eilat, are expected to begin taking off in 2017. The airport is named after Ilan Ramon - Israel’s first astronaut and his son Assaf and will initially handle two million passengers a year.
Motorola’s new Israel innovation center. US technology giant Motorola Solutions is to establish an innovation center in Israel focusing on cyber, analytics, mobile and the Internet of Things. Motorola said its Israeli branch is "a strategic asset”. In the 1970's Motorola’s first center outside North America was in Israel.
An app to connect with young philanthropists. Israeli start-up PocketCause has developed a digital platform to encourage young smartphone users to donate to non-profit organizations. Users follow or like a social cause on Facebook and can send messages and donations, through the app, directly to the organization.
Bayer invests in Israeli agriculture. International giant Bayer has made a $10 million investment in a new fund that Israel’s Trendlines has set up to support Israeli agro-tech start-ups. In the five-year deal, Bayer will work with Israeli firms developing bio-pesticides, packaging, and crop and animal breeding technologies
Israeli wines win German competition. Israeli wineries won four gold medals and five silver at the international Mundus Vini Competition in Dusseldorf, Germany, which featured over 5000 global wines. Galil Mountain Alon 2012 won the prestigious Grand Gold medal.
Hub Etzion is open. (TY Sharon) A Hub Etzion Launch Party was held at the first co-working space in Gush Etzion. (See also 17 July newsletter) The hub will utilize working space and offer shared resources to startups.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Israel’s new national library breaks ground. The new National Library of Israel (NLI) broke ground last week, in a cornerstone-laying ceremony led by President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem. The stunningly designed 45,000-square-meter building will be completed in 2020.
Jazz player Pat Metheny to perform in Israel. (TY SDM) Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny will be performing in Herzliya on June 14 and Rishon Lezion on June 15. Metheny, last visited Israel was in 2011, and is one of the world's important jazz musicians. He has won 20 Grammys and is a member of the Jazz Hall of Fame.
Carlos Santana is coming to Israel. (TY SDM) Six years after cancelling his previous Israeli concert, Mexican rock legend Carlos Santana will put on a show in the city’s Yarkon Park, on July 30.
Ma’agalim – circles. Uri Lotan’s animation music video for the song “Ma’agalim” (Circles) by Israeli folk-rock band Jane Bordeaux has had over 70,000 views in just a few days.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgHHph-CrC8 (animation video)
http://paulcpw.blogspot.co.il/2016/04/maagalim-circles-jane-bordeaux.html (lyrics translation - TY Paul)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzGCXnN0emU (2013 live performance)
Thank you Morgan Freeman. Hollywood star Morgan Freeman was proud to post a photo of his visit to Israel on his Facebook site. Please add to the positive comments by thanking him using this link.
Skiing in Israel. What comes to mind when you think of Israel? Desert? Camels? How about snow? Or skiing? Mount Hermon - the highest point in Israel at 2,236 meters (7,336 feet) - is Israel's ski resort.
Things to do in Chol Hamoed (middle days of Passover) Some ideas of where to go during the intermediate days of the festival of Passover. Many are free – especially for children. Note the Geek picnic in Jerusalem.
Israelis win Euro Judoka medals. For the second year in a row, Israeli judoka Or Sasson won the silver medal at the European Championships in the men’s over 100kg category. Israel’s Timna Nelson-Levy won bronze in the women’s under 57kg division.
THE JEWISH STATE
Pope’s skull cap raises money for SACH. Two years ago Pope Francis swapped one of his white skullcaps (calotte) with a TV journalist who has now donated it to an online auction to raise money for the Israeli charity, Save a Child’s Heart. SACH doctors perform life-saving cardiac surgery on children from developing countries.
If on-line media told the Exodus story. (TY Aish & UWI) This humorous yet educational video questions how today’s media would have handled the reporting on the Jewish exodus from Egypt over 3000 years ago.
From Biblical town to modern city. Beer Sheva, the capital of the Negev desert, was one of the towns where Abraham lived. It is now a modern city containing Ben Gurion University, a leading cyber-technology park, interesting museums and a vibrant night life - all contributing to the economic and cultural boom of the city.
Pharaoh’s amulet found in Temple Mount debris. Archaeologists have deciphered a 3,200-year-old Egyptian amulet found whilst sifting debris dumped by the Muslim Waqf when building on Temple Mount. It contains the name of Pharaoh Thutmose III, who reigned Egypt from 1479 BCE to 1425 BCE
In the 17th Apr 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israeli doctors cured 15 Russian children from a genetic bone disease.
· A UK news report about Israeli-Arab Bedouin army trackers.
· An Israeli cybersecurity startup uses Artificial Intelligence to stop attacks.
· An Israeli car cleaning service requires no water or waiting at a car wash.
· Israel produces over two-thirds of the world’s Medjool dates.
· 2500-year-old evidence of a Jewish businesswoman in Jerusalem.
· Two highly entertaining Passover videos from Israel.
· Last week’s Israel Good News descriptive summary. Click here for “Israeli Achievements you cannot Pass Over” (fast-loading version, no adverts). Also published on the Jerusalem Post, IsraelSeen, San Diego Jewish World and United With Israel websites.
· Click here to see the newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Inclusivity and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Blood cancer treatment success. Israel’s Gamida Cell reported good results from Duke University trials of its NiCord blood cancer treatment. Compared with 101 patients receiving ordinary umbilical cord blood, the 18 patients using NiCord had a lower mortality rate, less infections and less time in hospital post-transplantation.
More cancer tests. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Rosetta Genomics has made three major additions to its unique molecular diagnostic testing service. They are for hematologic cancers (e.g. leukemia, lymphomas and myeloma), BRAF mutation analysis for lung cancer and NRAS mutation analysis for colon cancer.
Preventing hospital infections. Two Israeli companies have partnered to cut the risk of patient infections dramatically in 10 hospitals in the US, Switzerland and Israel. Hyginex wristbands, sensors and beacons use Atomation's IoT platform to capture data on staff hand washing and vibrate to remind them before and after patient contact. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-22cKRceYHo
Curing Russian children of bone disease. (TY Hazel) Doctors at Hadassah University Medical Centre in Jerusalem successfully treated 15 children from Russia who suffer from osteopetrosis, a rare and fatal genetic bone disease. In the northern Russian Republic of Chuvash, one of every 4,000 newborns has this condition.
World’s first nuclear imaging machine. Israeli patients will be the first in the world to enjoy a first-of-its-kind hybrid nuclear imaging scanner, at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital. Doctors can map tissues and bones and identify diseases including cancer, heart and kidney diseases, broken bones, and infections.
A mechanical pacemaker beats them all. Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have trained cardiac cells to beat using mechanical stimuli that do not come into contact with the cells. The cardiac cells continued to beat over an hour after the mechanical stimulus ceased. It could lead to development of more effective pacemakers.
Cancer victim gets new 3D printed jaw. Doctors at the Poriya hospital near Tiberias treated a patient suffering from a large tumor in the back of his jaw by replacing the damaged part with a titanium copy that they made using a 3-D printer. The patient started to eat normally only a few hours after his surgery.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Award for Naomi Campbell. (TY SDM) On International Women’s Day, Israel’s ex-President Shimon Peres presented supermodel Naomi Campbell with the “Women Leading Change” award in recognition of her global endeavors for women and for needy communities. It was Campbell’s first visit to Israel.
Women who lead by example. (TY Diane) Twelve Israelis are featured in this Timeout article to mark International Women’s Day. One of them (Natasha Gutman) happens to be my wife’s cousin.
Apartheid? (TY EoZ) A video of posters published by Elder of Zion that shows how Arabs are well- integrated into Israeli society. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21uMB6GL6TU
Israeli-Arab boy fulfils his dream. (TY Hazel) Ali Salati, a 13-year-old Israeli Arab boy from Nazareth, realized his dream when he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ask him "to make every effort to bring peace and unity to the whole region." http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=32461
Scholarships for IDF Christian veterans. (TY SDM) The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum is awarding academic scholarships to 40 Christians who served in Israel’s armed forces or performed national service. The IFCJ awarded scholarships to Druze students in Aug.
Bedouin who patrol Israel’s borders. (TY Hazel) Many Bedouin have sworn allegiance to Israel and volunteer their tracking skills to the IDF. Major Guy Gadir, 41, a veteran Bedouin tracker, shares the secrets of his trade with MailOnline.
African Muslim leaders visit Israel. (TY Hazel) Imams and other Muslim religious leaders from six central African states spent four days in Israel, discovering the socio-political aspects of Israel; generating an interreligious, intercultural dialogue; and exploring economic and agricultural cooperation development.
Abbas’ brother treated in Israel. The brother of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is being treated for cancer at Tel Aviv’s Assuta Medical Center. 76-year-old Abu Luay, who lives in Qatar, decided specifically to come to the Tel Aviv hospital for treatment, where other members of Abbas’s family have been treated in the past.
Sick lion rescued from Gaza. (TY Hazel) A lion in declining health was rescued from a zoo in Gaza and transferred to a zoo in the Palestinian Authority in a joint effort by Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Gaza Ministry of Agriculture and the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture.
A joint farm with Jordan. (TY Hazel) A model farm is to be established in Jordan, to be managed by both Israeli and Jordanian experts. Its goal is to eradicate the threat that the housefly poses to agriculture on both sides of the Jordan River, and promote advanced and efficient agriculture in both Israel and Jordan.
The first IDF officer at the UN. Major Jonathan Conricus is the first Israeli officer to hold a position at the United Nations. Since Nov 2014 he has been responsible for identifying and evaluating risks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, on al-Shabaab in Somalia, and on Ukraine separatists.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Revolutionizing multi-focal lenses. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli dynamic multi-focal glasses startup Deep Optics (see Mar 2015 newsletter) has raised $4 million to fuel the development of its adaptive electronic liquid crystal lens technology. Deep Optics is now exploring AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) applications.
Super-charged plant nutrition. (TY Dan) Israel’s Haifa Group has launched its Haifa Turbo-K™ product, a chloride free fertilizer based on potassium nitrate. It also contains Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Sulfur, Iron and Zinc. Agronomists who tested it, together with growers who already used it are most impressed.
Israel’s water management success. (TY Dan) Another report about Israel’s leadership position in water conservation. Innovations include desalination, recycling, drip irrigation, reclaimed wastewater, aquifer management, runoff collection, water storage, hi-tech systems, reservoir development and river rehabilitation.
Treating wastewater in Mexico. Israel’s Aqwise has opened its new wastewater treatment plant in Durango, Mexico. It employs Aqwise’s AGAR (Attached Growth Airlift Reactor) process that uses biofilm grown on carrier media to aerobically degrade soluble organic pollutants in wastewater. Aqwise has built over 400 plants in 35 countries. http://www.israel21c.org/aqwise-dedicates-wastewater-plant-in-mexico/
Artificial intelligent cybersecurity. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Deep Instinct has filed five patents covering the only technology that applies deep learning to cybersecurity. Deep Instinct is the first company applying deep learning to detect malware in real-time. It can therefore detect threats that no-one has seen before.
Stopping “Locky”. Many companies and individuals have been forced to pay blackmailers who have used a computer “ransomware” program called “Locky” to encrypt their data files. Israel’s Ironscales successfully blocked an attack on one of Israel’s largest defense companies before an infection could take place.
Don’t let your boss know you’re job-hunting. (TY JBN) Israeli startup Workey has launched its system for employees to seek new jobs anonymously. Workey was founded by IDF intelligence veterans whose algorithms analyze your skills and experience. You decide whether to approach suitable interested companies.
Spectral analysis with a smartphone. Israeli startup Unispectral (see Mar 2015 newsletter) is developing miniature digital cameras that can fit into smartphones and use hyper-spectral sensors that can (for example) check if fruit is fresh or whether milk contains bacteria. Unispectral has just raised $7.5 million of funding.
Innovation meets Robotics. Israeli ingenuity and know how in the field of robotics was on display at ICR2016 - the Fifth Israeli Conference on Robots in Herzliya. It featured over 120 presentations by top robotics experts. http://www.icr2016.org.il/
More power to the mobile network. Israel’s Vasona Networks provides mobile network analysis tools to the top mobile network operators – such as Telefonica. Vasona’s SmartAIR edge application controller resolves cell phone congestion in real time. Vasona has just raised $14.6 million of new funds.
Waterless car wash. With the new app from Israeli startup Bonshine you can order a waterless car cleaning at your location. Bonshine’s crew comes to you, with a liquid produced from plants and five types of wax. Saves time, money and the environment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7pyeu5QR54 https://bonshine.com/
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Huge increase in foreign currency reserves. Israel’s foreign exchange reserves leapt by a record $4 billion in March to $94.775 billion. It includes $9.3 billion in the fund bought under the natural gas purchase program.
Israeli salaries rise 2.3%. (TY Atid-EDI) At the end of 2015, the average monthly salary in Israel was NIS 9,591 (approx. $2,500) up 2.3% from the end of 2014.
Israeli startups raise $1 billion. 81 Israeli startups raised a total of $1.02 billion in the first quarter of 2016 - on a par with the rate achieved in 2015. 33 startups raised over $10 million each. $149 million (12% of the total) was raised by 10 cybersecurity companies – Israel’s hottest hi-tech industry.
Record numbers travel by rail. March was a record month for passenger numbers on Israel Railways. Some 225,000 Israelis used Israel Railways on an average workday, with a total of 5.4 million rides during the month. Reasons for the increase include more frequent trains, more available seats and new stations.
Israel produces most of the world’s Medjool dates. (TY Hazel) Israel exports 30,000 tons of Medjool dates each year - between 65% and 75% of all Medjool dates exported globally. Most are grown in the Arava and Jordan valley. The Medjool date is becoming more popular due to its superior quality to other varieties.
More cybersecurity funding. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli cybersecurity startup EnSilo has just raised $19 million to expand its real-time data protection platform. EnSilo preempts attacks and is currently in use by a number of Fortune 100 companies along with leading defense contractors and payment solutions worldwide.
More power to the loyalty card. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli startup AppCard empowers thousands of retailers to market directly to their customers in a personalized way. AppCard has raised $20 million to fuel the huge growth in its business generated from the latest version of its platform and further develop its technology.
Wizz from Riga to Tel Aviv. Low-cost airline Wizz Air will operate a new flight route from Riga, Latvia, to Tel Aviv from 20th June on Mondays and Fridays. WizzAir already flies to Tel Aviv from Budapest, Bucharest, Warsaw, Katowice, Prague, Sofia, Vilnius and Lviv.
Sapiens goes live at RSA. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Sapiens International Corporation has announced the successful go-live of Sapiens Reinsurance at Royal and Sun Alliance (RSA) – one of the world’s leading multi-national general insurance groups, serving customers in around 140 countries.
12,000 new homes in Netanya. The Israeli Government has signed a municipality agreement for 12,000 new housing units in several neighborhoods of Netanya. 75,000 new homes are targeted to be constructed in the coming years. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-govt-set-to-sign-plan-for-12000-netanya-homes-1001115123
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
The first Israeli theatre company in N. America. Israel’s Aspaklaria theater troupe has opened a new branch in Toronto, Canada. Its debut performance “The Odds” is a dramatic comedy that has been running successfully in Israel for the past six years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL1715k89C8
Sylvia – Tracing Blood. (TY Les) This video introduces the movie "Sylvia - Tracing Blood" about Israeli spy Sylvia Rafael. The movie opens in London and New York in July and is already entered for the Cannes Film Festival. https://youtu.be/Wu68MID1ezs http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Sylvia-goes-to-Cannes-450422
Sounds of the Old City. (TY Sharon) The Sounds of the Old City music festival in Jerusalem featured a line up of musicians performing on nine stages around the Old City.
Craig David plays Tel Aviv. British former king of R&B Craig David gave his first ever Israeli performance in front of 6,000 fans at Tel Aviv Port. Whilst in Israel he visited the Kotel and Yad Vashem.
Barry Manilow to do Israel. Legendary American singer songwriter, Barry Manilow is to perform his first ever concert in Israel, at the Yad Eliyahu Arena, Tel Aviv on 30th June. Manilow has 80 million album sales and includes the hits “Mandy”, “Can’t Smile Without You”, and “Copacabana (At the Copa)”.
Israel in 3 minutes. (TY Leonie) Tel Aviv, Jaffe, Hula valley, Acre, Hermon, Jerusalem, Haifa, Dead Sea, Masada, Safed, Eilat, Negev, Rosh Hanikra and the Galilee. Israel: Tiny country, endless beauty.
Running for good causes. (TY Sharon) Some photos of the thousands of participants of the Jerusalem Marathon who were raising money for their charities.
The road to Rio – Judoka’s Yarden Gerbi. Netanya’s Yarden Gerbi is the world’s top female Judoka. She won the gold medal at the 2013 World Judo Championship and is Israel's best-known current athlete.
THE JEWISH STATE
Woman's seal from First Temple discovered. A rare 2500-year-old seal, inscribed with the name of Elihana bat Gael in ancient Hebrew letters, was unearthed at the City of David in the Jerusalem Walls National Park. The seal, found in a building from the First Temple period, showed the high legal status of the woman owner.
Judean glass kilns discovered. Ancient glass kilns have been discovered at the foot of Mt. Carmel, showing that Israel was at the center of the global glass trade during the late Roman period. An edict by the fourth century CE Roman emperor Diocletian refers to Judean glass.
If you cannot get to Ben Gurion airport. (TY Nevet) Further to my previous newsletter (27th Mar) about the exhibition at Ben Gurion airport of posters showing Israel’s world-changing achievements, here is a site where you can read about each individual poster. http://ex.most.gov.il/en/
Israelis rescued in Himalayas. Israeli-born Nepal Chabad Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz called in a rescue helicopter to evacuate two Israeli women backpackers who had been stranded in Annapurna in the Himalayas and were suffering from hypothermia. The women used Chabad-supplied GPS devices, donated by an Israeli family.
Welcome to Israel. This video by Ezri Tubi highlights Israel’s uniqueness. On the one hand, it is progressive and profound for its technology. And on the other, it is the revival of an ancient historical dream.
Where miracles are brought to life. (TY UWI) The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology tells the Passover story in an exciting new way, using breakdance to combine creativity and technology.
The Seder safety procedure. (TY Kaye) Fasten your seatbelts as the Passover exodus departs from a table near you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nm3BpcOJTM
In the 10th Apr 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· A new Israeli treatment for blocked arteries has spared patients from amputations.
· Israeli spies brought to Israel a bone marrow donor for a Syrian girl with cancer.
· 1.3 million Israelis participated in Good Deeds Day 2016
· France’s Health Minister sought Israel’s help on how to treat victims of terror.
· An Israeli breakthrough in splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.
· Israeli engines will (hopefully) land a spacecraft on Mars in November.
· Official estimates of Israeli natural gas deposits have been tripled.
· Half of London’s black taxis are now working for Israel.
· 70,000 ran in the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem marathon-day events.
· Click here to see the 3rd Apr 16 newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with extra features on Medical, Global impact, Technology and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Successful trial of blocked artery treatment. Israel’s Eximo (see 30th Aug newsletter) has successfully completed a multicenter clinical trial of its laser system and unique catheters for treating peripheral artery disease (PAD). Doctors cured 20 patients, some of whom otherwise required bypass surgery or leg amputation.
Prostate cancer treatment goes live. (TY JBN) I reported on Weizmann Institute’s groundbreaking prostate cancer treatment previously (in my 10th Jan newsletter). After 100% successful Mexican and European trials it has now been approved by Israel’s Ministry of Health and administered to a patient at Beilinson Hospital.
Nanotech antioxidant protection. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Israel’s Technion have activated the body’s natural defense against free radical damage. Enhanced micro-emulsion liquids produce a powerful antioxidant protein called Nrf2 and nanotechnology delivers it to the skin and organs.
Detecting diseases at cell level. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a disease diagnostic method called methylation which identifies the source of fragmented DNA caused by cell death. In tests on 320 patients it has identified pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, diabetes, traumatic brain injury and MS.
Bionic heart patch unveiled. (TY Nevet) Tel Aviv Professor Tal Dvir has unveiled his remote-controlled, bionic heart patch, which researchers say could become a revolutionary alternative to heart transplants for patients whose hearts have been damaged by heart attacks or cardiac disease. (See also Oct 2014 newsletter)
Sleep apnea solution goes global. At the 13th International Dead Sea Symposium on Innovations in Technology, Treatment & Prevention of Cardiac Arrhythmias, Israel’s Itamar Medical announced that 60 international hospitals have now adopted Itamar’s Total Sleep Solution. (see 17th May newsletter)
An implant to treat spinal degenerative disc disease. (TY Dan) Israel’s Rainbow Medical is working with with Medos International Sarl (part of Johnson & Johnson) to develop a minimally invasive implant to treat spinal degenerative disc disease - which has no current cure and leads to acute chronic back pain.
The lengths Israel goes to save Syrian girl. (TY Ron) Doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center healed a 5-year-old Syrian girl from her civil war wounds but then discovered she had cancer. Israeli security services mounted a secret operation to smuggle a relative with matching bone marrow from “an enemy state” into Israel.
Fighting the Zika virus. One of the Grand Challenge Israel winners is Israeli startup BioFeed. It will use the 500,000-shekel prize money to advance its solution in the fight against the Aedes aegypti mosquito, carrier of the Zika virus. Biofeed uses odor to attract insects to poison that eliminates the pest without spraying crops.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Riding therapy for special kids. The Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding School, in Israel’s Arava desert, each week takes 200 special needs children and adults into another dimension. The therapists, volunteers and 22 beautiful horses give the riders increased control of muscles and helps their emotional development.
Good Deeds Day 2016. Israel founded Good Deeds Day in 2007. In 2016 1,300,000 Israelis took part. It involved 99% of the local authorities, more than 1,500 business groups, 200 youth groups, and hundreds of schools. 14,000 projects included blood donations, volunteering with the needy, second-hand markets, helping out in animal shelters, and much more. http://www.shariarison.com/en/content/good-deeds-day-2016-0
The voice of an Israeli-Arab doctor. Faiza works in the intensive care unit at a major Israeli private hospital. She lives in Shuafat, an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem where there are frequent disturbances. She has ten siblings - most of them graduates of Israeli universities. Here she shares her vision about life in Israel.
Israeli-Arab kids win national tech prize. Three students from Bustan El-Marj Sci-Tech High School (part of the ORT Sci-Tech network of Israeli high schools) won 3rd prize at Israel’s Young Engineers’ Conference. It is the first time that Arab-Israeli schoolkids have won a prize – this for an app to direct firefighters to the nearest hydrant. http://www.timesofisrael.com/how-3-arab-israeli-kids-from-a-poor-village-won-a-tech-prize/
Arab girls join IDF. Young Muslim girls are joining the Israel Defense Forces. Together with a growing number of Christian Arab girls, they are breaking new ground joining ranks with the Israeli army.
Lebanese “refugee” studies at Israeli university. Dr. Carol Jahshan is the daughter of a Lebanese refugee from Haifa who grew up in Beirut before moving the USA. She has just completed a 3-month working collaboration at Israel’s Bar Ilan University. Here is her story.
From Bondi beach to Ashdod. (TY Dan) Life-guards from Australia have come to Israel to help train Israelis in water-safety. It was their response to several drowning incidents in 2013. The first two sessions at Ashdod beach attracted 117 children and resulted in the setting up of a new organization Surf Life Saving Israel.
French seek help treating terror victims. French Minister of Health Marisol Touraine visited Israel in an effort to learn from the Jewish state's medical expertise on treating victims of terror attacks. Touraine visited Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center on Thursday and met Israel’s Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.
A positive agenda at the UN. Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, is promoting “good cop” advocacy at the world body. Events such as Israeli singers, or a panel about water technology. Israel has lot to offer the U.N. http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2016/3/25/israels-un-envoy-offers-positive-agenda-as-solution-to-bias-at-world-body#.VvbO3kfn95Q=
How Israeli benefits the US economy. (TY Nathan) From manufacturing to medical research, the Jewish state is crucial to the economic health of the U.S. Economic ties with Israel sustain American jobs. Joint US-Israeli funding for science, industrial research and agricultural research has advanced the technology of both countries.
How to setup a field hospital in 12 hours. When it responds to an international disaster, the Israel Defense Forces can get a field hospital functioning within 12 hours of arriving at the setup site. An unbeatable, awe-inspiring feat of logistics. http://www.israel21c.org/how-to-build-an-emergency-field-hospital-in-12-hours/
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israeli girl finds new geometric theorem. (TY Dan) 10th grade student Tamar Barbi from Hod Hasharon discovered the new "Three Radii Theorem" whilst studying mathematics at the highest level in Israel. If three or more lines extend from a single point to the edge of a circle, then the point is the center of the circle and the straight lines are the radii. http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=32345
Smart cities in Brazil. Israeli startup Magos’s civil security systems won the 3C Smart Cities Challenge in Tel Aviv to develop solutions for Brazilian smart cities. Second was GreenIQ’s smart management of green spaces. Third was Pixtier, which develops an engineering system. The three startups won grants and flights to Brazil.
Breakthrough production of hydrogen from water. (TY Dan) Professor Lilac Amirav of Israel’s Technion, has developed nanotechnology and solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen with 100% efficiency. In time for Pesach - Moses would have been proud! http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b04813
Water tech in India. Israel’s agriculture minister Uri Ariel opened India Water Week in Delhi. It will feature eleven Israeli companies in the water industry who will demonstrate, through simulations, innovations in irrigation, desalination, water purification, measurement and management for municipalities and farms.
The first “reefer cargo” block train from Israel. (TY Dan) As part of the EU project Fresh Food Corridors (FFC), the first ever “reefer” (temperature-controlled containers) block train loaded with Israeli fruit and veg travelled from the Slovenian port of Koper to Rotterdam. It arrived 6 days earlier than ships direct from Israel.
Ten more global winners. (TY Dan) In the second round of Grand Challenge Israel, ten Israeli companies won government grants of up to half a million shekels for creating technological solutions to health and food security challenges in developing countries. (See 25th Jan newsletter for previous winners).
Inclusive school wins robotics innovation award. (TY Dan) A team from the Jusidman Science Center for Youth won the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) - a global robotics competition for young people, held for the first time in Israel. The Jusidman Team includes religious and secular Jews and Arab Bedouins. http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/news/jusidman_FIRST.aspx
The cleanest air. (TY Dan) Israel raised the threshold for the six most carcinogenic or toxic substances listed in the Clean Air Law and set values for two other substances. The values are more stringent than European standards, and don't exist in the U.S., making Israel one of the most advanced countries in terms of environmental regulation. http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/InnovativeIsrael/GreenIsrael/Pages/Knesset-committee-approves-raising-threshold-of-air-quality-2-Mar-2016.aspx
The world’s smallest diode. Israeli and US researchers have made the world’s smallest diode – just one molecule small. Diodes are electronic elements that allow current to flow in one direction but prevent its flow in the other direction. They are essential for all electronic devices including smartphones and computers.
The world’s first emergency video app. Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service has launched a first-of-its-kind smartphone video distress platform, based on an app developed by Israeli startup Reporty. The service shows emergency operators an outside caller's exact location and provides vital real-time information.
Engines to land spacecraft on Mars. The European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission blasted off from Kazahkstan on 14th March. Israel’s Rafael Industries made the vital hydrazine thrusters for the Schiaparelli landing module, which on 19th Oct will slow the decent of Schiaparelli to just 2 meters above the Mars surface. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2r7qqK5E7fU
Smart transportation conference. The 4th EcoMotion Conference on 19th May in Tel Aviv will showcase the innovation and entrepreneurship of over 150 Israel startups in the field of Smart Transportation. Featuring presentations, workshops and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, industry leaders and researchers.
Now you can 3D print your shoes. (TY Diane) Israel’s Stratasys, the world’s biggest maker of 3D printers, has launched the Stratasys J750 that can print anything from trainers to voice recorders in a single operation. It has 360,000 different color shades and multiple properties, from rigid to flexible and opaque to transparent.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Moody’s confirms Israel’s A1 rating. International credit rating agency Moody's confirmed Israel's A1 rating with a stable outlook. It highlighted the economic flexibility and great effectiveness of the government, which works to improve Israel's debt and financing figures. Only Israel's geopolitical risks prevents a higher rating.
Natural gas estimates tripled. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Energy Ministry has tripled its estimate of the volume of still-undiscovered natural gas in Israeli waters. The new assessment is a potential 2,100 billion cubic meters (BCM) based on a report by French consulting firm BeicipFranlab. Tamar and Leviathan gas fields have already yielded 750-950 BCM of natural gas. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4770058,00.html
A global water company. Israel’s Desalitech has reached the finals of Global Water Intelligence’s Global Water Award for Breakthrough Water Technology of the Year, for the second consecutive year. Desalitech’s water purification systems are used by several Fortune 500 companies, including Coca Cola.
Infinidat expands. (TY Dan) Israel’s Infinidat is still growing. The data storage company (value $1.2 billion – See May 2015 newsletter) aims to compete with IT giant EMC and has quadrupled the size of its Boston US base. It is also expanding offices in Europe, South Africa, India, Japan, Australia and Canada.
Animating emails to increase business. US-Israeli PowerInbox merged with Israel’s ActivePath in 2012. It markets DynamicMail, which boosts the business of hundreds of its clients. PowerInbox saw a 2000% increase in revenue in 2015 and has now raised $6.5 million to expand its Israeli offices and enhance its product.
New airport shuttle to Tel Aviv. (TY Janglo) Tourists arriving at Ben Gurion Airport now can get to their Tel Aviv hotel other than by expensive taxi. Flo Shuttle is operating a door-to-door shuttle service between the airport and your hotel for just $17/pp that operates every hour, day and night. Pre-booking is required.
Transforming sand dunes into businesses and homes. 250-acres of sand dunes in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon LeZion are to be developed into a 1.7 million sq. meter business center and 5,500 housing units. The Mayor of Rishon said that it will be the future business center of Israel.
Israeli London taxi cabs. BDS supporters can no longer use most London taxis, thanks to Israel’s Gett buying British black cab company Radio Taxis. Gett becomes the UK’s largest black cab app, with half of all the licensed taxis in London. The buyout was welcomed by London's Licensed Taxi Drivers Association.
Grapefruit exports to Asia up 300 percent. (TY Dan) Israeli exports of red grapefruit this year to the Far East were 300 percent greater than they were just four years ago. In 2012 Israel sold 1,086 tons of red grapefruit to the region, compared to 4,000 tons so far this season – which is only halfway through.
Toying with VR. Israeli virtual reality (VR) tech firm WakingApp (see 20 Dec newsletter) is partnering with PPI Worldwide – that supplies novelty collectable toys to MacDonalds, Coca-Cola, Unilever and Nestlé. It will use WakingApp’s ENTiTi Creator to digitize its products and make “Happy Meals” even happier.
Israeli startup on Australian exchange. Israeli cybersecurity company Genome Technologies is floating on the Australian Securities Exchange. Genome’s predictive identity engine profiles each employee and determines possible cyber-attacks targeting specific employees.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Fresh Paint in Tel Aviv. (TY SDM) Fresh Paint Contemporary Art & Design Fair, Tel-Aviv is the largest and most influential annual art event in Israel. 35,000 visitors are expected. This year, the fair pays tribute to the first international Fair that took place in 1932 in the same location.
Made of Stars. (TY Janglo) Israel’s 2016 Eurovision Song Contest entry “Made of Stars” will be sung by 29-year-old Hovi Star (real name Hovev Sekulets) from Kiryat Ata. Israel came ninth in 2015.
30,000 run the Jerusalem marathon. A record-setting 30,000 people from 62 countries participated in the sixth annual Jerusalem marathon. They included a record 2,400 foreign competitors and 6,000 who were raising money for good causes.
40,000 run the Tel Aviv marathon. (TY Janglo) 40,000 runners from around the globe took part in the 2016 Tel Aviv Marathon and fell in love with one of the world's most attractive coastal cities, with its scenery, its lively streets and its boundless energy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFDXmIO9Rzo
Israeli gymnasts take another gold. Israel's national rhythmic gymnastics team continued its sensational form with another gold medal, finishing in first place in the ribbons final at the Thiais Grand Prix in France. Israel ended the all-around competition in fifth place overall.
Israeli duo make history in Qatar. Israeli beach volleyball duo Sean Faiga and Ariel Hilman became the first Israeli team in the sport to participate in a competition in an Arab country.
THE JEWISH STATE
Increased rent subsidy for Olim. (TY Janglo) In February, the Israeli government nearly doubled the rental assistance benefit given to immigrants aged under 49, in the 2nd to 5th years after Aliyah.
Where anyone can make an historic discovery. Hiking is very popular in tiny Israel and you have the potential to find things almost everywhere at its 37,000 registered archeological sites. Israel Antiques Authority chairman Yisrael Hasson has used educational programs to engage schools in archeological activities.
2nd Temple tools discovered. A 2000-year-old incense shovel and jug have been discovered at Magdala, a 2nd Temple Jewish town in the Galilee region. The Israel Antiquities Authority has been leading extensive excavations at the site and has uncovered Jewish ritual baths and a synagogue with a mosaic floor.
Visa-free access to Filipinos. (TY Dan) An act of Filipino hospitality - opening the Philippines to Jews fleeing the Holocaust - earned the gratitude of Israel, which now shows it by welcoming Filipino pilgrims, tourists and even skilled workers. http://thestandard.com.ph/mobile/article/201576
Honoring Italian cyclist who saved Jews. On 20th March, Israel’s pro cycling team set out on the route from Florence to Assisi that Italian champion road cyclist Gino Bartali took secretly during World War II to save Jews escaping from Nazi persecution. He hid forged documents in the handlebar and seat of his bicycle.
Hero’s widow remarries. In the 2006 Lebanon war, Major Roi Klein saved his unit by jumping on a live grenade thrown by a Hezbollah terrorist. His widow Sarah has now married Rabbi Yigal Levenstein, one of Roi's former pre-military academy teachers. Rabbi Levenstein’s wife passed away in November.
In the 3rd Apr 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Two Israeli inventions can save the lives of stabbing victims.
· Israeli ultrasound brain surgery has cured an Israeli of Parkinson’s.
· An elite IDF unit is helping Arab-Israeli startups.
· A Dubai woman named her son after the IDF officer that helped deliver him.
· A new Israeli innovation keeps fruit and vegetables fresh.
· Shh… an Israeli company helped the FBI unlock a terrorist’s iPhone.
· A sale of $1.5 billion Israeli bonds was five times oversubscribed.
· The BBC bought an Israeli story to base its new drama series about autism.
· Israel Good News feature article is back after a 3-month gap. Click here for “All Will Be Revealed” (fast-loading version, no adverts). Also published on the Jerusalem Post, IsraelSeen, San Diego Jewish World and United With Israel websites.
· Click here to see the 27th March newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Global Impact, Technology and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) available in German.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Preventing lung collapse. (TY Dan) Another innovation from Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s BioDesign students. They developed ThoraXS - a one-handed thoracic portal opener that shortens the procedure time of chest-tube insertion from minutes to less than 30 seconds. It is timely for saving victims of terror stabbings.
Stopping uncontrolled bleeding. Gallium is a bio-metal currently used to stop bone loss in cancer patients. Moshe Rogosnitzky, a researcher at Israel’s Ariel University, has discovered that Gallium in liquid form (known as gallium nitrate) can rapidly halt bleeding from deep wounds, without causing blood clots.
Leukemia trial results. Latest reports of Phase II trials of BL-8040 from Israel’s Bioline Rx (see Nov newsletter), show that 38% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia, went into complete remission after just two cycles of the treatment. All these patients had previously failed to recover from other leukemia treatments.
How bacteria escape their enemies. A joint team of scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and from the Netherlands have discovered that the common E. coli bacteria plays “hide and seek” to avoid detection from the predatory B. bacteriovorus bacteria. It extends research into combating antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Gene enhances insulin production. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered that the gene p16 enhanced insulin secretion in beta cells of mice that suffer from diabetes, thereby partly reversing the disease and improving the health of the mice. Similar results in human cells are expected.
Mending hearts again in Tanzania. Surgeons from Israel’s humanitarian organization Save A Child’s Heart returned to Tanzania in March to perform more life-saving operations on African children. (See July newsletter for previous mission) http://www.israel21c.org/healing-childrens-hearts-in-tanzania/
$25 million to fund new blood center. Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom received its largest ever donation - $25 million - to build a new blood services center in Ramle. The Marcus National Blood Services Center will replace a facility in Tel Hashomer that is vulnerable to rocket attacks from Gaza.
Exercise center for the brain. (TY Jacques) Swiss Ambassador to Israel Andreas Baum inaugurated Israel’s first BrainPath in Neve Eshkol, near Gaza. The fitness parlor, adjoined to the region’s largest senior citizen center, has eleven exercises that stimulate blood-flow to the brain. http://www.neveshkol.org.il/page_50511
China seeks Israeli remote health tech. Renming Zhu of China’s Truth Enterprises is seeking Israeli startups for its new incubator in Shanghai. Of particular interest are solutions to bring medical care out of the doctor’s office and into the field. China’s vast geography and aging population puts a huge strain on its healthcare costs.
Israeli woman cured of Parkinson’s. The focused ultrasound brain surgery of Israel’s Insightec has been used 500 times around the world. In its first procedure in Israel, surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center successfully cured an Israeli woman of her uncontrollable shaking. (Video had 570,000 views in 2 days).
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
A unique school. (TY Hazel) The Eastern Mediterranean International School near Tel Aviv has 140 students including Israeli Jews, Arabs and Palestinian Arabs. They include citizens of Afghanistan and Yemen. Almost all receive scholarships from Israel’s Ministry of Education, foundations, and private donors. http://www.timesofisrael.com/kids-from-morocco-afghanistan-yemen-west-bank-flock-to-unique-israeli-school/
The integration of Haredi Jews. More young Israeli ultra-Orthodox lead pious lives while also embracing technology, the modern workplace and their fellow Israelis. This article features the Open University, the Yeshiva High School "Chachme Lev," and the non-profit KamaTech which has launched 220 Haredi startups.
Coming clean about co-existence. Jamila Hair, a 76-year-old Israel-Druze owner of a soap factory, amazed the Spanish audience and press at the Festival of Women in Segovia, Spain, speaking about the peace between the Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze women who work at her factory.
IDF veterans promote Arab startups. Former Israeli soldiers are helping Arab tech startups in Nazareth. The The Israeli Government and the 8200 Alumni Association - representing graduates of the top technology unit in the Israeli army - have introduced the Hybrid Program at the Nazareth Business Incubator Center.
An Egyptian sees Israel for the first time. Egypt’s Ramy Aziz was invited by the Israeli Ministry of Exterior to visit Israel as part of a delegation of European-based Arab journalists and media representatives. He freely explored the country without influence by any person or institution. Here is his report.
Tunnels tell stories. Israel have completed digging the tunnels for the new Tel-Aviv Jerusalem Rail Line. It will help all Israelis (Jews, Moslems, Druze, etc) dramatically cut the travel time between the two cities. They are in stark contrast to the purpose of the tunnels that Hamas are digging in Gaza.
Dubai Arab names baby after IDF officer. An Arab woman from Dubai, who went into labor while travelling to the Palestinian Authority, named her newborn son Hadi - after a Druze IDF officer who saved the day and assisted in delivering her baby.
Nigerian competition to win pilgrimage to Israel. (TY Dan) Kennedy Opara, exec secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, said that it was extremely necessary for every practicing Christian to visit Israel on pilgrimage. NCPC has launched a “Win-a-trip-to-Israel” program to generate funding for the pilgrimage. http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/03/pilgrimage-to-isreal-is-biblical-opara/
Help for a million Africans. Innovation: Africa, founded by Israel’s Sivan Ya’ari, has connected 104 rural villages in Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, DRC and Ethiopia to water and electricity. It has brought solar energy, improved irrigation and cleaner water to as many as 1 million people.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
How Israel survived the Mediterranean’s worst drought in 900 years. A new NASA study shows that the 1998-2012 eastern Mediterranean drought was the area’s worst drought in 900 years. But recycling wastewater, desalination of seawater, and a major water conservation campaign has made Israel nearly drought-proof.
Israeli security stops ATM attack. The first ever mass attempt to steal from Israeli cash machines has been foiled. Israeli cyber-security expert Ido Naor led international cyber-security firm Kaspersky Lab to uncover the ATM-Zombie attack, inform authorities and help to prevent the spread of the attack.
More sensitive than a sniffer dog. Another article about the nanotech odor technology from Israel’s Tracense that can detect explosives, narcotics, stashed cash, banned metals and toxic liquids. (Also Jul 2014 newsletter)
Trump brothers invest in Israeli Math teachers. (TY Dan) Eddie and Jules Trump (no relation to Donald) have invested over $150 million in improving math instruction in Israel. The money trains 35 to 45-year-old technology professionals with knowledge in math, who were tired of their job and were seeking challenges.
Phresh keeps produce fresh. (TY Dan) Israeli start-up Phresh has unveiled an organic solution which enhances the shelf life of fruit and vegetables by 3 times for consumers. Phresh is based on an organic, non-toxic powder, which dissolves into the atmosphere and based on 12 years of research. Phresh just raised 150% of its $30,000 funding goal on Kickstarter. http://www.i4u.com/2016/02/105856/phresh-food-protectors-enhance-fruits-and-vegetables-shelf-time-three-times https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkLXa_Zuf-U
Inspect with thermal imaging. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Opgal has announced general availability of NDTherm - its Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) solution that uses thermal imaging to detect faults in machinery and infrastructure. (See previous articles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFxkFNse-nA
Smart shower wins innovation award. Italy’s Tissino won the Bathroom Product Innovation of the Year award 2016 for its Intelligente Digital Shower, at the KBB Awards. The central component of the shower is its E-valve powered by Israel’s SmarTap - a major breakthrough in water ecology and usage efficiency. (see here)
Terrorists’ phone is unlocked. Israel’s Cellebrite has (reportedly) successfully accessed the iPhone used by the terrorists who perpetrated the San Bernardino massacre in December. http://www.thejc.com/news/world-news/155600/israeli-company-hacks-san-bernardino-terrorist%E2%80%99s-iphone
Diver panic bracelet. (TY Hazel) A near-death experience led Omer Arad to the idea of a wearable panic bracelet that lets a diver call his or her partner even when there is no eye contact between them. Arad’s team won this year’s Israeli finals of the international 3-Day Startup (3DS) competition at Israel’s Technion.
Lockheed Martin’s Israeli cybersecurity system. Less than a year after investing $25 million in Israel’s Cybereason, US Giant Lockheed Martin has officially released a cyber-security solution based on the Israeli firm’s technology. It includes Cybereason’s market-leading endpoint threat detection and response mechanism.
Boycott Israel? (TY Zev/Barry) A short video that shows it is impossible to avoid Israeli technology.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israeli bonds are sold out. (TY Dan) Israel has just completed a successful issue of $1.5 billion worth of Government bonds. Demand for the 10-year and 30-year bonds was more than five times the amount issued. It shows the great trust in the Israeli economy throughout the world.
Five Israeli startups take Berlin. (TY JBN) Pzartech, Join VR Technologies LTD 4.0, Myndlift, Quiccargo and Shopeat are first Israeli companies to take part in the Tel Aviv-Berlin exchange program.
Israeli builds party platform in New York. (TY Dan) Israeli entrepreneur Amnon Israel has launched Funnster – a web platform to help users create a social event with their friends, split the payment and register who's bringing what to the party. http://upstart.bizjournals.com/companies/startups/2016/03/10/funnster-ceo-hustle-friendly-n-y-c-puts-startups.html
Nano Dimension launches on NASDAQ. (TY Dan) Israel’s Nano Dimension, a leader in the area of 3D Printed Electronics, has listed on NASDAQ. The company aims to increase awareness within the U.S. investment community and expand its presence in the U.S. market.
Why didn’t they buy? Another app that helps on-line retailers find out why customers fail to complete their purchases at the checkout page. Boston-based BlueSnap markets the system they acquired when they bought Israel’s Plimus two years ago and now has 70 Israel-based employees.
Last minute travel bargains. (TY Dan) Tens of thousands of passengers flew on low cost flights in 2015 thanks to Israeli app Hulyo. Hulyo’s parent Gulliver has just raised $1 million to launch a new global online travel venture. http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Tech-Talk-Travel-app-raises-funds-447269
Incubator for banking startups. (TY Dan) An Israeli financial technology hub “The Floor” has opened with the backing of China’s firm Pando Group to help connect Israeli technology with the world’s second-largest economy. The hub provides space, an R&D center, and partners including HSBC, Banco Santander and RBS.
Shipping Peru avocados to Europe. (TY Dan) Israel’s Mehadrin company has been working in Peru to promote the products grown by small farmers so they can directly export their products to European supermarkets out of Israel’s season. Mehadrin helped Peru export 300 tons of Peruvian avocados to Europe.
$25 million for 3D metal printing. Israel’s XJet (see Dec newsletter) has just received a $25 million investment to help fund its unique 3D inkjet printing technology for liquid metal. The XJet system uses nanoparticles in liquid suspension to build metal parts without the need for expensive molds or lasers.
Inneractive exits for $46 million. Israeli mobile ad startup Inneractive has been bought by German mobile ad technology platform RNTS Media for a minimum of $46 million. Inneractive’s platform currently serves over 630 million active users spanning 180 countries.
20,000 houses for Ghana. (TY Dan) Ghana’s State Housing Company has signed a contract with Israel’s IDM International to deliver 20,000 housing units in Ghana. The project will ease the massive housing problems facing Ghanaians. http://www.ghana-news.adomonline.com/business/2016/March-11th/state-housing-partners-israeli-coy-to-provide-20000-housing-units.php
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Israel’s Edge. A new book “Israel’s Edge: The Story of the IDF’s Most Elite Unit – Talpiot”, features the elite soldiers who are taught not just how to fight, but also how to think. Talpiot’s graduates have created cutting-edge businesses including Check Point, Compugen, Anobit (bought by Apple) and XIV (bought by IBM).
Hear the noise. Following the article from Sharon (see Mar 6th newsletter), here is a video of Jerusalem’s Winter Noise Festival, in which you can hear the exciting events.
Nature paints the Negev red. Carpets of red anemones (known as kalanyot in Hebrew) cover the Negev “desert” of Israel every spring. To celebrate this breathtaking sight, the annual "Darom Adom" (The Red South) Festival takes place during the months of January/February.
BBC buys Israeli drama about autism. The British Broadcasting Corporation is broadcasting “The A-Word” – a drama about a family with an autistic son. The BBC bought the format from Israel’s Keshet International and has remade the Israeli script. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXJvWVl2KKM
Feed the birds. Israel’s unique location, geography and climate attracts about 500 million birds annually from 550 species. In the Hula Valley, the Israeli Government feeds eight tons of corn to tens of thousands of cranes every day. http://www.timesofisrael.com/why-israel-is-a-pilgrimage-site-for-birds-and-birdwatchers/
Judo gold in Georgia. The Israeli judo team won a prestigious Grand Prix in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, with Ori Sasson winning a gold medal.
Sela wins 20th tennis title. Israel’s Dudi Sela beat China's Di Wu (175) 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the Shenzhen Open Challenger tennis tournament – his 20th Challenger title success. Sela did not drop a set throughout the competition, which lifted him up to 67th in the world rankings.
THE JEWISH STATE
Israel’s Christian minority. (TY Zev) Shadi Khalloul writes that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians and other minorities grow in freedom and safety with full democratic rights. Christians fill all types of high positions including a Supreme Court Judge, Salim Jubran – a Maronite Christian.
Support for pro-Israel activists. The Kadima Fund, a bottom-up online resource center for grass roots pro-Israel initiatives, has just been launched. It will offer advice, materials, contacts, professional resources, financial assistance, and more, to pro-Israel Activists in local, grassroots initiatives. Could it help me?
Protecting wildlife. As forecast, in my March 2013 newsletter, the eco-bridge over Highway 1 between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is now being constructed. Wildlife will soon be able to cross the highway in safety.
Jacob sheep will return to the Holy Land. (TY Nevet) On a small farm 43 miles east of Vancouver, British Columbia, Jenna and Gil Lewinsky, an Israeli husband and wife, are raising around 130 Jacob sheep - mentioned in Genesis. The Lewinskys plan to take the sheep to Israel this year on a specially fitted plane.
Reconnecting lost Jews. Israel’s Ashley Perry - President of Reconectar - describes the vital project that reconnects descendants of forced converts of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities (Bnei Anusim) with the Jewish people and the Jewish State. http://unitedwithisrael.org/reconectar-brings-numerous-descendants-of-spanish-and-portuguese-jews-back-to-their-roots/
A safer Shabbat hotplate. After a hotplate caused a deadly Brooklyn house fire in 2015, an Israeli designer, Rafi Gabbay, developed a safer version. HotMat, is a new foldable 4-ring hotplate, to give observant Jews a safe, portable and rabbinically sanctioned method of heating up food on the Sabbath. Shipping for Passover.