Israel's Good News Newsletter to 27th Jul 2014


In the 27th Jul 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        US and European medical authorities have approved a unique Israeli spine support implant.
·        Diabetics can use an Israeli mobile app to request local help.
·        IDF medics have set up a field hospital to treat wounded Gazans.
·        Israeli self-sustaining mini-farms can help feed millions of hungry people.
·        Israel’s rise in employment is the highest in the OECD.
·        Israel’s biggest natural gas field is even larger than previous estimates.
·        David Blatt has become the first ever Israeli to coach an NBA team.
·        An ancient mosaic featuring elephants was found in a 1600-year-old Israeli synagogue.

·        Click here to see the newsletter on JewishBusiness News and IsraelSeen.com.  

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Spine support cage gets US & EU approval.  Formal US and European clearances have been granted to FLXfit, the world's first 3D expandable interbody cage, developed by Israel’s Expanding Orthopedics.  The minimally invasive implant corrects spine deformities.

Safer cancer radiation therapy.  Israeli startup Convergent RNR has developed MercyBeam, to improve radiation therapy for patients.  A patented lens collects most of the X-rays from any standard X-ray generator and focuses them at the tumor. It increases the therapeutic dose where it’s needed and not at surrounding tissue.

New process to diagnose blood clots in pregnant women.  Researchers at Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University have developed a simple way to identify clotting problems early in pregnant women.  The team used a point system to determine a baseline to diagnose clotting disorders.

Eating whey protein before a meal helps control diabetes.  (Thanks to Michael H) Israeli researchers have discovered that consuming whey protein before a regular breakfast reduces blood sugar spikes after meals and also improves the body's insulin response. Thus whey protein could help diabetics control blood sugar.

An app for diabetics to get immediate help in a crowd.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israeli Shlomi Aflalo developed HelpAround, a crowdsourcing application for people with diabetes and other chronic diseases. It allows them to communicate and get immediate help from people in the vicinity.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

$1.75 million donation to Israeli disabled charities.  The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is giving $1 million to SHALVA, The Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children in Israel.  Also, $750,000 to Beit Halochem-Tel Aviv, which provides services for disabled IDF veterans.

Israeli re-elected to UN committee on women. (Thanks to Hazel) For the third year in a row, Professor Ruth Halperin-Kaddari of Bar Ilan University has been elected as a member of the United Nation's Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

Israel named Tier 1 nation in combating human trafficking.  Israel has been awarded the highest ranking for its efforts to combat human trafficking in the U.S. State Department's 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report. It praises Israel's efforts to identify and rescue trafficking victims and take punitive steps against traffickers.

Muslim Zionist and an IDF officer.  Ala Wahib is the operations officer at a key IDF ground forces training base and the highest-ranked Muslim officer in the Israeli army.  He said, “I believe in the Muslim faith, and I will never abandon it, but I think that Zionism is more than a religion.”  Please read his amazing story.

IDF field hospital for injured Gazans.  The IDF has set up a field hospital at the Erez border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, mainly for women and children from Gaza.  It will include a delivery room.

Israel allows aid into Gaza.  Despite ongoing rocket fire at Israel from Gaza Strip, some trucks of goods including medicines, food and basic products entered Gaza from Israel's Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem 22nd best in the world.  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has ranked 22nd among the world’s top universities according to the Saudi Arabia-based Center for World University Rankings. CWUR evaluates the top 1,000 universities using objective academic and research indicators.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Green fabric printing.  Israel’s Kornit Digital Printing has developed water-based inks that are entirely organic, 100% non-toxic, vegan friendly and compatible with all types of fabric.  The company’s high-speed DTG printers are “revolutionizing” the industry with single step fabric printing and no additional finishing.

Student villages built from recycled shipping containers.  The Ayalim Association has built a series of ‘student villages’ throughout Israel. The latest in the city of Lod, not far from Israel’s international airport, has been constructed out of recycled shipping containers.

Mini-farms can feed a hungry world.  (Thanks to Hazel) Israelis Moti Cohen and Mendi Pollak won the $20,000 top prize in the Pears Challenge. Their Livingbox “mini-farm” can grow vegetables anywhere, with a self-sustaining “closed loop” of energy and nutrition. The idea can help feed a billion needy people.

Saving water in agriculture.  Israel’s Netafim has completed a successful international pilot project of its uManage platform, which helps farmers to monitor irrigation/fertilizer performance and yields. The software analyzes wind direction, weather forecast, temperature, radiation, soil moisture and fertilizer.

The world’s first photonic router.  (Thanks to Nevet - www.broaderview.org) Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have demonstrated for the first time a photonic router – an atom-based device that enables routing of single photons. It is a step towards building quantum computers that can process huge amounts of data.

Graduating in the greenest building in the Middle East.  32 Tel Aviv University Environmental Masters graduates received their MAs and MSc’s at a ceremony in the brand new Porter School of Environmental Studies Building.

Israeli designs Singapore Airport’s bio-dome.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israeli architect Moshe Safdie is building a huge bio-dome at Singapore’s Changi Airport. It will contain lavish gardens and fluid waterfalls that will pour down from the dome’s roof. The dome will connect Changi Airport’s terminals 1, 2 and 3.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel employment rate rise is highest in the OECD.  The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has reported that between 2010 and 2014, Israeli employment rose 13% compared to the OECD average of 2%.  The employment rate for Israeli women was 6.5% higher than the OECD average.

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange joins Europe.  The General Assembly of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) unanimously approved the application of Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) to become an Affiliate member.  FESE has 21 Full members, 20 Affiliates and two Observer members.

We’re at war, and the stock market is up? Go figure!  Jon Medved, CEO of Israel’s OurCrowd is extremely bullish about the financial resilience of Israel’s economy during the current fighting against Hamas terrorists.

China boosts Israel ties.  A Chinese delegation, headed by Ren Zhiwu - deputy director-general of the High-Tech Industry Department of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) - arrived in Israel, the first time the high-level government team has come to Israel.

Vietnam’s trade with Israel surges 53 per cent.  Trade between Vietnam and Israel increased significantly during the first half of this year, reaching US$426 million or increasing 53 per cent year-on-year.

Unlimited coffee is now available in New York.  Israeli start-up “Cups” is expanding its virtually unlimited coffee supply to New York. Using Cups app, individuals pay a fixed rate of $45 dollars a month to receive a coffee of their choice at participating shops every half hour. Or $27 dollars a month buys one coffee per day.

25 Israeli start-ups to watch.  Forbes magazine has listed 25 Israeli startups to keep your eye on in 2014.  It says that Kaltura is most likely to be “one of the next billion-dollar exits” thanks to its wide-ranging video solutions platform. It also likes Petbnb, which pairs traveling pet owners with caretakers for their pets.

Google’s $100m Europe fund to invest in Israeli startups.  Five years after launching its Google Ventures investment fund, the Internet giant announced yesterday that it was launching a similar fund in Europe. sources informed "Globes" that Google will also use the fund to make investments in suitable Israeli start-ups.

Mobileye is a $3-5 billion company.  Israeli collision avoidance solutions developer Mobileye is looking to raise $150 million in funding from its US public listing.  Mobileye has developed a camera-based system mounted in vehicles that reads the road ahead and is designed to help drivers avoid accidents.

Leviathan gas field is larger than expected.  The estimated size of Israel’s largest natural gas reserve was raised by 16 percent. An updated analysis based on 3D seismic surveys has calculated the field to hold 21.93 trillion cubic feet (620 billion cubic meters.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli caves named UNESCO World Heritage site.  UNESCO's World Heritage Committee added Israel’s 2,000-year-old Beit Guvrin-Maresha caves to its prestigious list, during its annual meeting in Qatar.  The bell caves consist of thousands of chambers and networks.  Israel now has a total of eight World Heritage sites. 

Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys to perform in Israel. The Beach Boys are coming to Israel in 2015. “America’s Rock Band” has produced a record thirty-six US Top 40 hits, selling over 100 million records worldwide. Rolling Stone Magazine ranks the Beach Boys as the 12th greatest artist of all time.

Tony Bennett due in Israel in September.  After a 60-year musical career, Tony Bennett is finally coming to Israel. The 88-year-old American singer, known for his deep baritone voice, will perform at Tel Aviv's Charles Bronfman Auditorium on September 14.

David Blatt is the first Israeli to coach in the NBA.  David Blatt has accepted an offer to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers. Blatt, who steered Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Euroleague basketball championship this season, is the first Israeli head coach to make it to America’s NBA.


THE JEWISH STATE

Visit Nahal Teninim – Nature reserve and Roman aquaduct.  Nachal Teninim (Aligator stream) is a wonderful national nature reserve and is home to a Roman dam and aquaduct that brought fresh water to Caesarea.  Also features an ancient rock quarry, a byzantine flour mill and waterfalls.

New mosaic discovered in ancient synagogue.  A mosaic depicting a non-biblical battle scene has been uncovered in a 5th century CE synagogue in Northern Israel.  It features a group of soldiers and elephants clad in armor.  It might be a depiction of Alexander the Great meeting Jewish high priest Jaddua (Simon the Just).

IDF rescue team honored 20 years after AMIA bombing.  AMIA leaders came to Israel to mark AMIA’s 120th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the attack on AMIA’s center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and injured hundreds.  Ariel Cohen Sabban, AMIA treasurer, said, “We will never forget that Israel helped us.”

Six new bus lines in Judea and Samaria.  As residents of Judea and Samaria express concern over the frequency of public transportation and the resultant need to hitchhike, the Egged bus cooperative has launched six new routes and announced improvements to several others.

Christian NGO brings Sderot Holocaust survivors to Jerusalem.  Israel Always, a US-based Christian NGO, is caring for a group of 20 Holocaust survivors who have been bombarded by rockets in Sderot. It has taken them to Jerusalem, where it is providing free hotel accommodations, meals and activities.

1.75 million friends of Israel.  With nearly 1.75 million members, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) calls itself the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States.  At their annual summit in Washington, CUFI leader David Brog said, “we have to speak out and be a voice for Israel”.

Open Hearts, Open Homes.  (Thanks to Howard) As in previous years, the Jewish Community Center, Bergen County, Washington, New Jersey is running a program that provides respite and fun to Israeli teens that live along the Gaza border.  Please can other communities in the USA offer this kind of mitzvah (good deed).